Is it hot yet? Not as hot as the housing market! For this issue, I’m going to talk about finding extra money. If you’re a homeowner, you’re in luck.

My wife, Jacquie, has been a realtor for 20 years. We decided to move into our “forever” home by downsizing. We sold our 2-story and bought a slightly smaller 1-story house. We have no problem with stairs now, but who knows in the future. There is also less upkeep.

So how do you get money out of your house without creating more debt? Easy. The housing market is slowing down a little bit. A couple of hundred homes just hit the MLS in Vegas as I write this. We were and still are under inventoried. But the inventory is starting to fill back up. And prices are starting to come down. Don’t get me wrong; prices are still up there. But, if you sell a house that seems to be larger and emptier (i.e., the kids are grown and gone) than what you need in retirement, you now have a bunch of equity. How much, you ask? That depends on where you live and how long ago you bought it.

Look at it this way. If you sell the home you bought 10 years ago for, say, $350,000, owe $220,000, and now it appraises for (look on $700,000. You will pocket roughly $480,000. Take that equity to buy or put a down payment on your new smaller home with that $480,000.

If you still have a mortgage payment after that, it should be much smaller. The rates are low, but they are going up. On the other hand, if you sell a very expensive home, like my wife’s clients who keep moving to Vegas from California, you’re in for a treat. She had a client who sold their 1.5-million-dollar home in California and paid cash for a $600,000 home here. We now manage the remaining $900,000 for them. So now they have no mortgage payment and a nice comfortable income from our managed money portfolio. And no more stairs!

You don’t want to sell your house, but want extra income? You could always do a reverse mortgage. Back 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have advised that. But there are some good ones out there now. You just need a trustworthy broker who is honestly trying to help you. I have a couple that I have vetted that I introduce to my clients that could benefit from doing one. We don’t sell mortgages, but we can refer you to someone who can help.

Feel free to ask your American Retirement Advisor if any of these strategies interest you. We are here to help.