Table of contents: VOL. 34, NO. 6 - June 1, 2005
COVER STORY
They sure look nuts, with triple-digit increases and stretched buyers relying on ever more exotic financing. But the fact is, the roof isn't going to fall in, and your home--even today--is still a great investment. (more)

Features
Surf, sand, salt air, cedar shingles, a price under $500,000. Believe it or not, you can still find it all in these special places. So pack the sunscreen and the sand pails--quickly. (more)
Something strange happens to a place when real estate makes everybody rich. And no place seems stranger these days than San Diego, where property values have soared higher than in any major metropolitan area. Is this where your town is headed too? (more)
How do you afford a home in a booming market? For many, the answer is a wildly popular new loan that is part blessing, part time bomb. (more)
Home prices across the country will keep rising over the next year. While many hot markets on both coasts could see a dramatic slowdown in their growth rates, the forecasters at housing research firm Case Shiller Weiss aren't predicting outright losers anywhere. (more)
Wannabe millionaires are flocking to gurus who promise that anyone can get rich in real estate today. It's not a lie, exactly, but it sure isn't the whole truth. (more)
Their nerves are frayed and their cash is gone. But they still plan to fix up their castle by the sea--if they don't go broke first. (more)
Renovations here cost the most, but they can return the most value for your money (more)
Make your home bigger without actually making your home bigger (more)
A place you can spend all the time you want--and not a minute more (more)
Four small projects that can make a big difference (more)
Are high-end machines worth the price? It depends on what you're looking for. (more)
Home Improvements That Really Pay Off (more)
Actually, they can. Systems that keep your family safe, your lights on (or off) and your home running the way it should aren't just for geeks anymore. (more)
How I Did It
With an eye for fixer-uppers and a nose for shady contractors, she's made a fortune in a tricky market: real estate AS TOLD TO JOAN CAPLIN (more)
Invest
They want a certain income; they need to make their money last (more)

The market's nervous. That makes this a good time to show a little daring. (more)
What I learned about real estate and investment strategy by selling my apartment (more)
A stop-loss order offers downside protection, but at a price that may be higher than you think (more)
How High Should the Fed Go? (more)
MARKET PERFORMANCE (more)
Plan
Someday you'll want to move your retirement account. So save this page. (more)

Purge your wallet, shred everything and keep a watchful eye, says privacy expert Beth Givens (more)
Two broods prepare to combine very different money styles (more)
With a new rate formula, U.S. Savings Bonds lose appeal (more)
Seeking loftier rates, some savers actually lost money this year (more)
You can't buy friends, but they're not exactly free either (more)
Reverse mortgages can be a good way to turn your home into retirement income--but not for everyone (more)
Start
Medicare's nationwide data on hospital performance are online (more)


NOT DRIVING A HYBRID? OTHER WAYS TO BEAT SOARING GAS PRICES. (more)
Sam Zell, the nation's biggest landlord, has a message for real estate worrywarts: Relax. (more)
Commissions haven't come down in 50 years. Regulators are finally asking why. (more)
MAKE YOUR MONEY WORK FOR YOU, NOT UNCLE SAM (more)
To cut costs or reap profits, more homeowners these days are deciding that great homes come in small packages (more)
RECENT ISSUES
FEATURES
To chart a course to your financial goals, it's essential to know your starting point. Take this quiz to see where you are, then follow some simple steps and strategies for getting to the next landmark. |more|