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The elephant in the room, it seems to me, is title ownership. I’ve told all seven of my kids that for the foreseeable future they shouldn’t even consider buying a house until the banks can prove they actually have clear title to a home and that it’s registered with the appropriate county clerk. The way mortgages were tranched and split up I seriously doubt if anyone could guarantee clear title. Fortunately, I bought a house to live in, rather than as an investment, and it’s totally paid off, no mortgage. You might ask about title insurance? That’s a joke. If the title company that insured your mortgage’s title is purchased by another company, they are under no obligation to do anything should there be a challenge to the title. This happened to me when we took over the mortgage to my daughter’s house and then sold it. The County Clerk where the deed was registered said it was missing a particular paper which had not been filed. The title company used at the time of the transfer had been purchased by the title company doing the work on the sale and they refused to have anything to do with the problem. Fortunately, my daughter had kept all of her paperwork, had the needed form, and we were good to go. If she had not had that form, I doubt if the sale would have happened. Houses are to live in, not to use as an atm. If they gain in value over 20 or 30 years, that’s fine, but it should not be the primary reason for buying a house.
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