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DON'T WANT TO SELL? BECOME A LANDLORD

If you can't or don't want to sell your house, consider becoming a landlord.

About 10 percent of move-up buyers rent out the homes they're leaving rather than sell them.The decision must be based on the following tests:

- CAN YOU CHARGE ENOUGH RENT? Your goal, of course, is to turn a profit.

But Leigh Robinson, author of "Landlording: A Handy Manual for Scrupulous Landlords and Landladies Who Do It Themselves" warns that it's often difficult to set the rent high enough to cover the cost of the mortgage and maintenance.

- IS THE TAX CODE ON YOUR SIDE? You can deduct the expense of owning rental real estate, including depreciation, not only against the income from the property but also against other income (as long as you actively participate in the management of the property and meet certain income requirements).

- CAN YOU BUY YOUR NEW HOME WITHOUT SELLING YOUR OLD ONE? Consider a home-equity loan to raise cash for your down payment.

You can usually borrow up to 75 percent or 80 percent of the property's value.