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Unlock Your Home’s Potential: Using Home Equity for Renovations

November 15, 2023 | Posted by: Ashley Hall

Unlock Your Home's Potential: Using Home Equity for Renovations

What is home equity? Imagine your home is a piggy bank, except instead of spare change, it's filled with the value you've built up over time. Home equity is the difference between your home's market value and the amount you owe on your mortgage. The more you pay down that mortgage and the more your property value climbs, the more equity you have to play with.

Now, why should you consider using this equity for renovations? For starters, updating your kitchen, adding a bathroom, or finishing the basement can not only increase your enjoyment of your home but can also bump up its resale value. It's like investing in a stock that you live in!

So, how can you tap into this equity? There are a few ways:

  1. Home Equity Loans: Think of a home equity loan like a second mortgage. You borrow a lump sum, secured by the equity in your home, and pay it back over time. It's straightforward, and it comes with fixed interest rates, meaning your payments stay the same each month.
  2. Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): A HELOC is more like a credit card secured by your home. You get approved for a certain amount and draw funds as you need them, only paying interest on what you use. It's flexible and perfect for projects that have varying costs over time.
  3. Cash-Out Refinance: Here's where you refinance your mortgage for more than you owe and pocket the difference in cash. This can be a smart move when interest rates are lower than your current mortgage rate, but remember, you're resetting your mortgage clock.

You might wonder if there is any risk involved. Your home is on the line, so it's not a decision to make lightly. You'll need to make sure you can handle the additional payments. Plus, consider the return on investment for your renovations. Not all home improvements are created equal in terms of adding value.

Now, let's talk about cost. Remember, with a loan or HELOC, there are going to be interest rates, possibly some fees, and the need to pay the money back over a certain term. However, the rates are typically lower than personal loans or credit cards since your home secures the loan.

Before you dive in, here are a few tips:

  • Crunch the Numbers: Work out what your monthly payments will be and how the renovation will affect your home's value. A mortgage professional can help you with the math.
  • Have a Plan: Know what you want to do and how much it's going to cost. Unexpected expenses can pop up like uninvited house guests, so include a buffer in your budget.
  • Check the Market: Ensure your planned renovations make sense in your current housing market. Over-improving beyond the value of similar homes in your neighborhood might not give you a good return on your investment.
  • Stay Insured: Chat with your insurance agent. Major improvements could affect your home's replacement value and your insurance coverage.

In essence, using home equity for renovations can be a great way to enhance your living space and potentially boost your home's value. Just be smart about it! Plan thoroughly, consult with a mortgage professional, and don't overextend yourself financially.

If you would like to finance your next home renovation by tapping into your home equity, reach out to a trusted mortgage professional. We can help you figure out the best past forward. Let's turn that home equity into your dream space!

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