5 money myths that are financial nonsense

Myth No. 3: My home is a good investment
Myth No. 3: My home is a good investment © V. J. Matthew/Shutterstock.com

Not these days, Cardone says. "This is a complete lie," he says. "A house is not the American dream; it is a nightmare."

Housing prices have dropped from the bubble years. Then, there are the increasing costs of property tax and maintenance.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't own a home. Just be aware that your house should be looked at as "an expense, not an investment," Cardone says. "It is merely a place to live."

Which raises the question: Should you pay off your mortgage as soon as possible?

It depends on whether you plan to live in your home for the rest of your life, says Adam Koos, president of Libertas Wealth Management Group Inc. of Dublin, Ohio.

"If the answer to that question is no, then it doesn't make sense," to pay off the mortgage quickly, he says.

The reason? You are tying up your money in an illiquid asset that you can't get back unless you sell your house, he says. Plus, you are making an assumption, which could be wrong, that the house will increase in value.

"Now, if you want to live there forever and this is your true retirement home, it's OK to pay it off for peace-of-mind sake," he says. "(However), one should still weigh the cost of debt versus the rate of return earned (on that extra money) elsewhere."

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