Need Money? Equity May Be the Answer

As a homeowner, your equity is your secret weapon. With every mortgage payment you make, your stake in the home grows — and so does your equity.

When your equity stake is large enough, it can be used to improve your financial standing. Tap into it to pay off debts, use it to cover home improvement costs or, most importantly, consider it a safety net in case of emergency.

Have you been paying down your current mortgage for some time? Then you probably have equity to tap. So what can you do with it?

  • Home Equity Loan: This is a loan you take out in addition to your existing mortgage. It lets you borrow against your stake in the home in exchange for a lump-sum, one-time payment. 

    Often, you’re able to borrow up to 85% of your home’s appraised value, minus what you owe. Many homeowners use these for large expenses like tuition, medical bills or the down payment on an additional property.

  • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): HELOCs work like credit cards, only without the sky-high interest rates. The equity in your home is used to create a line of credit that you draw from as needed. 

    HELOCs typically come with long draw periods (think decades) and are often used for ongoing expenses, like regular home improvements or maintenance. This method should allow you to borrow 75% to 80% of your home’s appraised value, minus what you still owe.

  • Cash-Out Refinance: Refinancing essentially replaces your existing mortgage loan. You take out a new loan larger than the balance on your current one, and then keep the difference in cash to cover whatever expenses you’re facing. 

    You can typically borrow up to 80% of your equity with a cash-out refi. Some homeowners use the money to pay off debts or high-balance credit 

5 Tips for a Hassle-Free Moving Day

Does the idea of moving have you frazzled? You’re not alone. 

It’s a big undertaking, even for the most organized of homeowners and renters. On top of all the purging, packing and loading you have to do at your old place, there are lots of tasks to complete at your new home.

Are you planning a big move in the near future? Use this list to keep everything on schedule:

1. Clean your new place. As soon as you have access to it, give your new home a good cleaning. Moving in and sorting your belongings is hard enough — you don’t want to be dusting and vacuuming on the day of the move too.

2. Set up utilities ahead of time. You want functioning electricity, water and internet on move-in day, right? Make sure to get utilities and service providers set up early to avoid moving day hassles.

3. Plan for oversized items. Have a piano or large sculpture? What about heavy mirrors? Start planning how you’ll transport these items ahead of time. And designate spaces for each piece in the new home. Don’t forget to keep your movers in the loop.

4. Hang all your window coverings. You don’t need a fully decorated house on day one. But installing blinds and curtains on moving day is necessary. Why? Because you probably don’t want to wake up at sunrise on day two.

5. Keep track of the paperwork. Do you know where you’ll keep move-related documents and receipts? Make sure you’re keeping them in one place — a secure, easy-to-find one. You’ll need that paperwork when it comes time to file your taxes.

After that, it’s just time to unload, unpack and get settled, and turn your new house into a home.

Are you looking for your next home? Get in touch to discuss your financing options.