Todd, Sounds like you have your mind made up You're right, this is the construction biz. It's the 2nd riskiest industry in the world. Years ago I refied my home with all good intents. It didn't quite work out as planned. Things in life can take place that can be out of your control. It will be a long long time when we see values that peaked 2 years ago. Thats neither here nor there, today Home values are plummeting, thanks to foreclosed and short sale homes. There are so many foreclosed and short saled homes that when an appraiser pulls comps, all he/she has to work with is comps for homes that sold for 1/2 their value. (LOL - I have a buddy thats a real estate appraiser, about a month ago he and I had a hr long conversation on this, where he had to break the reality to me) People always say a home is an investment. Well, no it's not a freakin investment, it's a HOME! We all WILL need a roof over our heads each and every day until we die. It's a HOME! Now, owning other property where you do not hang your hat at night.....that's an investment, thats something one can count on for when times get tight, or to fund retirement and the kids college tuitions. I recently refinanced to take advantage of the current low rates. The settlement guy is also the owner of the settlement company with 2 offices. When signing papers he commented on the fact that I didn't take cash out. I responded "been there done that, I took cash out to pay some business bills, never again". Being the owner of a successful settlement company, he responded "I hear you, I have done that too, and I'll never do it again either, if I need money for the business - I'm gonna get rid of employees before I re-fi my home again". There are guys that are very frugal with their money. But like you said, the construction industry is up and down, up and down. Because of that fact, when it comes to loans, I am overly conservative. I have a lawn / landscape maintenance contractor buddy that is as successful as one can imagine. A very smart, young Guy. His house is on a 15 yr mortgage, with like 5 or 6 years remaining. He recently bought a commercial property for his business, put down a HUGE deposit....IN CASH.....without taking a penny from his home's equity. He said his friends and family were all amazed that he had saved up for the down payment, because he never told anyone. This year, I think many of us have learned the value of the term "cash flow". All you need is a rich sugar mama to support you!!!