and we're about ready to move on to the next phase of rebuilding. Actually that's not quite right, we have found a new place for "Big Daddy" to live and will be buying outright it with some of the insurance funds. So here's the new wrinkle: one of the greedy (the greediest) kinfolk is about to sell a home that was obtained under "questionable" circumstances. I won't go into long boring details but suffice it to say, we plan on getting that house. Unfortunately, we're about to close within 2 weeks on the new place for Big Daddy so we can't halt that. Our problem then is twofold: how to pay and how to hide our involvement. First, we're not going to halt the closing on the new place. But we figure that once we settle and hand over the $150,000 check we're not going to have enough to buy the other house. However, we will have a substantial amount, maybe 20%-30% of what we think the home is going up for. Since we have "bruised" credit but have been getting way better over the last 3-4 years, what do you think of taking a home equity loan against the first place to use with the 20% to buy the second place? Dose that make sense? I hear that home equity loans are much easier to get--especially if you own the place free and clear as we will. Or, should we chance it and try for a first time home mortgage program? The second problem requires a little finesse. We want the place but don't want it to be known who we (she) are until it's a done deal. (She thinks that if the greedy relative finds out, the deal will be canceled and we loose any chance at the house). She was thinking of using a buyer's agent or maybe an entity like her incorporated business (self-employed) or a bank trust to act as her shield. Any ideas on this? She's willing to pay whatever market price, she just wants to make sure that house gets back to the intended side of the family.