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We are selling our NYC coop apartment for $800K and buying a house in the suburbs for about the same amount. We currently have a paid off mortgage so we could buy the new house with cash. IF it's the right thing to do.
Any thoughts on whether we should incur debt to buy the house?

Well, there's basically 2 views - (1) get a mortgage for as much as you can and invest the money you get from the co-op vs. (2) pay cash for the house. Okay, there's a 3rd view, too.....(3) You could also split down the middle, and get a mortgage for maybe 50% of the value of the home (or maybe whatever % a non-jumbo mortgage would cover), and invest the rest.

There are lots of arguments (pro and con) that can be made for each viewpoint. Although you will get people who argue vociferously for the pros of their viewpoint and won't admit the cons - there really are pros and cons (i.e. rewards and risks) for each one.

But, if it's the right thing for you to do depends entirely on you. It depends on what you think is risky, and what will let you sleep at night. I would suggest starting by asking yourself why did you pay off the mortgage on your current property? Then I would ask yourself if those still reasons that you want to be without a mortgage? Another question that you could ask yourself is - If we were keeping the co-op, would we take out a mortgage on it?

If you are honest with yourself, you should be able to come up with the right answer for you.

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