Home Owning

Home Finances

When readers ask Monty about home finances, they are not asking about the household budget. Readers ask Monty when they are contemplating refinancing, or taking out a second mortgage to buy a vacation home. They ask about what to do because they are behind on their payments or are considering walking away from their home because it is “underwater.” There are hundreds of different financial situations involving mortgages, loan denials, appraisals gone sour and lost documents, just to name a few.

What will Monty advise? Every family’s circumstances are unique and, therefore, some seemingly small detail may affect Monty’s suggestions.

While it is helpful to read what others have dealt with, being certain your situation does not contain some small detail that differentiates your issue with another reader’s issue is paramount. If you have a question, just Ask Monty.

  1. My real estate taxes doubled. Is this legal?

      Reader Question: My real estate taxes went up over 100% this year. Is it legal to raise taxes so high in one year? Monty’s Answer: For real estate taxes to double in one year would be extremely rare. One has to wonder if any community in the United States has ever experienced such a […]

    August 12, 2019
  2. My name is not on the deed of our home. My spouse put the house up for sale after 22 years. Am I entitled to half the profits of the deal?

    Reader Question: My name is not on the deed of our home. My spouse put the house up for sale after 22 years. Am I entitled to half the profits of the deal? Monty’s Answer: Ten states embrace marital property law. During a marriage in these states, all assets and debts acquired are “community property.” […]

    July 29, 2019
  3. Is a full-time house sitter a good idea?

    Reader Question: We have a chance to take a six-month trip to Australia. We have always cared for our home ourselves. We have several pets, yard work, maintenance items and other responsibilities. Is a full-time house sitter a good idea? Monty’s Answer: The internet has allowed the advance of this business model which has fueled […]

    September 25, 2017
  4. We are in our late seventies. We have decided we want to stay in our home. Our children keep hinting that we find another option. Do you have any advice?

    Reader Question: We are considering aging in place. We are in our late seventies and both in pretty good health. Our children keep hinting to us that we should sell our house and move into some age-based community. We have checked out some different options, of which there are many, and it seems they all have […]

    February 6, 2017
  5. We outsource our relocation benefit package to a relocation company. They say there is nothing that can be done to reduce the relocation costs. What do you say?

     Reader Question:  I work in finance with a mid-size publicly traded company. We outsource our relocation policy to a third-party relocation company. Our relocation company says that short of reducing benefits, there is not much we can do to reduce relocation costs. What is your answer to the question, “Is there anything we can do?”   Bill […]

    May 11, 2015