When Shirley Wasco, 67, and her husband, George, 75, saw the prospect of another long winter in northern Montana ahead of them last fall, they decided to make their move.

They’d been thinking of buying a second home in a warmer climate for the past three years and the low prices in the Sun Belt states told them it was the right time to buy. And they knew they would pay in cash.

"We didn’t want payments and you can strike a better deal and a faster deal in cash," Shirley said. "We were losing money where it was invested."

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