Bio Pat Mertz Esswein

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Pat Mertz Esswein

Associate Editor
Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Esswein joined Kiplinger in May 1984 as director of special publications and managing editor of Kiplinger Books. In 2004, she began covering real estate for Kiplinger's Personal Finance. She writes about the housing market, buying and selling a home, getting a mortgage, and home improvement. Prior to joining Kiplinger, Esswein wrote and edited for Empire Sports, a monthly magazine covering sports and recreation in upstate New York. She holds a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minn., and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

Latest Features

Ask Kip
November 2019

Does Rental Income Count for IRA Contributions?

Rental income is considered "passive," and traditional and Roth IRA contributions must come from "active" income, or compensation from working.

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Travel
October 2019

How to Get Rid of a Timeshare

It’s not easy, and you will never get back what you paid for it.

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Mortgages & Refinancing
October 2019

Unconventional Mortgage Loans Are Making a Comeback

Lenders are making it easier to get loans, but a repeat of the housing crisis isn’t in the cards.

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Family Finances
October 2019

Discover Your Roots With DNA Testing

DNA testing offers insights into your family tree, but watch out for unintended consequences.

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Making Your Money Last
August 2019

How to Complain and Get Results

Impersonal customer service makes it hard to get help. Here's the script for success.

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Mortgages & Refinancing
August 2019

Now Is a Good Time to Refinance

You may benefit even if you can’t reduce your mortgage rate by a full percentage point.

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Tax Breaks
July 2019

Market for Home Solar Systems Heats Up

With falling costs and hefty tax credits for solar systems, more homeowners are harnessing the sun to save money.

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Best Cities, States & Places
July 2019

Richmond, Va.: A Smart Place to Retire

Opportunities in the arts abound in this vibrant eastern city for retirees.

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Best Cities, States & Places
July 2019

Claremont, Calif.: A Smart Place to Retire

Explore Claremont’s vast range hiking trails or try out lectures and performances at one of its seven colleges.

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Ask Kip
June 2019

How to Protect Your Home From Deed Theft

You don’t need to pay a company to protect you from criminals who put their names on your home title. You can protect yourself for free with these steps.

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Travel
June 2019

Get a Good Last-Minute Travel Deal

You can still save on end-of-summer or fall vacations.

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Financial Planning
May 2019

Financial Rules of Thumb to Consider Breaking

We found five rules that you may want to bend—or ignore.

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QUIZ
December 2016

How Smart a Home Buyer Are You?

The more you know about the home-buying process, the more money, time and hassle you'll save -- no matter what the current real estate market is doing.

Here are 10 questions to see how pr...

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QUIZ
February 2017

How Smart a Home Seller Are You?

As a home seller, your goal is to get the most money possible, whether in a hot or cold market. The more you know, the bigger your profits -- and the fewer your headaches.

Here are ten qu...

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SLIDE SHOW
April 2019

Home Features Buyers Hate Most

As a home seller, you don't want to let the small stuff sabotage your sale. These 15 problems are among the biggest buyer turn-offs, according to industry studies and interviews with real estate agents ...

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SLIDE SHOW
April 2019

11 Reasons You Need Umbrella Insurance Right Now

An umbrella insurance policy can protect your assets and future earnings from expensive lawsuits. This type of policy increases the liability limits beyond the coverage offered by your auto and homeowners ...

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Buying & Selling a Home
April 2019

Zillow Moves to Improve Home Price Estimates

First free online home pricing site aims to tweak its accuracy and avoid unrealistic expectations of homeowners.

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