4 factors to consider before buying a home

Mood of the Market

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It's tax time, so those who don't own homes are seriously thinking about whether they should. And those who do are busy trying to collect up and cash in all of their deductions. To boot, the real estate market is in year six (!) of what those who can't agree on a precise economic term can all agree to call the doldrums. Those who haven't lost or walked away from their homes are very focused on how much theirs are worth, how much value they've lost, how much they're paying for them, and whether they can refinance. Given these financial fixations, one would think that homes were simply a financial instrument, like stock shares or options or something. But I recently watched a film that poignantly highlighted a number of ways in which the real estate decisions we make are very often driven by values, priorities and motivations that have little or nothing to do with money.In "The Descendants," George Clooney is the patriarch of a family that owns a massive land trust...