Who will win and who will lose in next year's housing markets? While the answer depends largely on individual initiative, history can suggest some trends that might be repeated now that the nation's long-booming housing markets are settling into "normalized" levels. The winners: Longtime homeowners who haven't over-tapped their equity should be sitting pretty on a comfortable cushion that will afford them a number of options and opportunities. Those who want to keep their homes can hope to earn steady and still attractive returns on their investment in their home and continue to take advantage of the income tax deductibility of home mortgage interest and property taxes. Equity-rich homeowners also can still tap their equity cushion, albeit at a higher interest rate, to remodel or make other home improvements. Senior citizens can obtain a reverse mortgage to turn their home equity into a lump sum or income stream for their retirement years. And homeowners who want to sell can walk aw...
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