3 tips for leaving an underwater home behind

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Q: I have house that is upside-down. I'm looking to move, as I'm retiring. Is it wise to pay, say, $30,000 cash if I see a property that I want, or should I try to get financed? I really don't want a note. Do I have to let my mortgage company know if I buy something else? --Elnora A: You're in a difficult position, Elnora, but you're certainly not the first homeowner to find herself there. In fact, millions of homeowners are still underwater on their mortgages, and the age of the average American continues to increase, along with the vitality and life span many retirees expect to have after they stop working. As such, I suspect we'll continue to see and more and more people faced with very similar dilemmas to yours. There are a number of pieces of information I wish I had from you, to be able to give you a fuller recommendation. How upside-down are you? How are home prices trending in your local market? As I see it, more important than whether you pay cash for your next h...