Hardly a day goes by where we don’t see something in the news about the wild housing market here in Maine. Or hear stories about houses in our neighborhood that have sold in days for thousands over the asking price. And you are probably asking yourself, what should I do? – Sell and cash in? If I am going to buy a new home, how do I compete with cash buyers? In a market with little available housing inventory what’s my best move? Should I stay put and refinance or remodel? Or is there something else I can do to get the most from my money?
A home equity loan may be an option to help finance your family’s needs. They have limited closing costs, offer fast turn-around time, and can be used in a variety of ways from home financing or improvements, debt consolidation, creating an emergency cushion and more. Here are six ways you can maximize your home’s equity in this current housing market and possibly save some money.
Refinance Your Mortgage with a Home Equity Loan – With home loan rates at historic lows, refinancing your mortgage could make sense. If you have a 30-year mortgage, you may be able to pay it off sooner and save thousands in interest by refinancing with a home equity loan. With a Closed-End Home Equity Loan you can finance your home with a set monthly payment and interest rate for up to 15 years.
- Home Improvement, Remodel or Addition – If you have been spending more time at home this past year, you may be thinking it’s time to add a home office, remodel the kitchen or landscape the backyard. Consider taking out a home equity loan to make those renovations or needed maintenance.
- Use as “Bridge Loan” to Buy Real Estate – Whether you are in the market to buy a new primary home, vacation property, camp or 1-4 unit rental property, having access to cash will make you more competitive in this volatile housing market. You may be able to create a financing “bridge” by maximizing the equity in your home with a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) and go into a transaction as a cash buyer or offer a large down payment.
- Purchase an Auto, RV or Boat – To put yourself in a position to negotiate a better deal when buying your next car, recreation vehicle or boat, use your home’s equity through a Home Equity Line of Credit (HECOL) to become a cash buyer.
- Peace of Mind for Emergencies – Financial planners often recommend homeowners take out a Home Equity Line of Credit on their homes to have available for unforeseen emergencies or medical expenses. The best time to do this is when you are working full time and don’t need the money. It can be difficult and time consuming to qualify for a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) if you are not working and in the middle of an emergency.
- Consolidate Debt – If you find yourself struggling with escalating credit card bills or other installment debt with high interest rates you may be able to refinance these debts into a fixed-rate home equity loan. This could provide you with one monthly payment and drastically improve your cash flow each month.
Feel free to reach out to us anytime to discuss what is on your mind about home financing or any other money questions you may have. You can connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.649.3495 to schedule time to talk with one of our member service representatives.