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MARKET JITTERS? A HOUSE MAY BE JUST THE INVESTMENT

Your home has always been your castle, and it used to double as a piggy bank, until a classic late-'80s bust crushed the notion of housing as an investment. But the market is finally springing to life again, and fast. Remember those heady housing markets of the 1970s and mid-'80s? Forget 'em. Not returning anytime soon. But for the first time in a decade, home prices in most of the U.S. are rising fast enough to outstrip the inflation rate of about 2.5%. And there are many hot spots. The Midwest is seeing some of the biggest leaps, while house hunters...

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