Anyone know what options are out there for getting equity out of a paid-off house? We are in a weird situation in which we have one paid off house and another pretty far underwater. We live, now, in the paid-off one and had the other rented out. Well, found out today that the renters were actually using it as a drug house! Thank goodness not a meth house with the associated toxins, but now we have to get the doors that the cops kicked in fixed. BTW, this was managed and screened via a property mgmt company. I had thought about seeing if we could take equity out of one house to afford to sell the other, if we even can, but since it's paid off I'm not sure how that works. We don't have enough cash to cover the difference (~ 1 yrs pre-tax salary for both of us) and don't yet think it's a good idea to look into any retirement type funds. It would be hugely disappointing not to have a paid-for house, but I'm starting to seriously consider whether it's worth renting out for the years/decades it would take to get to a point where we could afford to sell with cash on hand. I think the difference in monthly cost would be less variable, maybe a bit higher over the long term but not something we couldn't afford at this point.