DEAR BOB: I can't believe the high prices home sellers are receiving in my neighborhood. But I've read in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere that we may be in a "real estate bubble" for home prices and today might be the time to sell. What is your opinion? – Richard C. DEAR RICHARD: When I bought my first property more than 38 years ago, the Realtor proudly told me home prices in the area appreciated an astronomical 3 percent in the previous year. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. I quickly figured a 3 percent return on my cash down payment was a terrific return. That's called "leverage," meaning the owner controls the property with a small investment. Someday, I should write a whole article about leverage benefits. Recently, the National Association of Realtors reported the median U.S. home value appreciated 15 percent in the last 12 months. But in 2004, homes only appreciated about 10 percent, according to NAR. That means, for example, a home buyer who made a $10,000...
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