If you let the condition of your property deteriorate or if home prices fall, you equity could seriously erode. In the early 1990s, many real estate markets around the country experienced depreciating property values due to economic downturns. Some buyers lost their equity and more. Today, many of these markets have turned around, but it is a good lesson in how appreciation cuts both ways. Market conditions aren’t the only culprit; deferring maintenance or failing to make serious repairs can also drop your home’s value.

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