Home Equity Is Up – What’s Your Next Move?

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Key Takeaways:

  • With home values continuing to rise, what are the best options to maximize your equity gains?
  • Now might be the perfect time to tap into your equity for a vacation home or investment property.
  • Don’t delay—contact us and put your home equity gains to work for you!

Homeowners Have Historic Equity Gains

It’s no secret that home equity values are at historic highs right now. Surging home prices have caused tappable equity to set a record in 2021, hitting $9.9 trillion, mortgage technology and data firm Black Knight Inc reports. The firm also noted that the average mortgage holder has $185,000 in tappable equity. 

For current homeowners, these recent gains are tremendous and mean all your hard work has paid off. Of course, the big question in many homeowners’ minds now is: what should I do with the equity I’ve gained? So if you’ve been calculating your equity gains and wondering what the best thing to do with them is, let’s explore some ways you could maximize your equity growth.

Renovations, Repairs, and Restoration

Happy smiling woman in goggles with saw sawing wooden board

With the current equity built up in your home, you can borrow against it by taking out a home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC) and using that money for whatever you want. While homeowners commonly borrow against their equity to fund renovations or repairs, you can take out a home equity loan to use for any goal you have in mind. But if your home desperately needs a new roof, windows, newer energy-efficient appliances, or even an addition, tapping into your equity to make that happen is warranted. And with recent drops in lumber costs, this may be an ideal time to get that extra space you’ve been dreaming of.

There’s also the option to do a cash-out refinance. With a regular refinance, you typically borrow the exact amount you owe on your mortgage. However, with a cash-out refinance, you borrow more than your remaining mortgage balance and receive a check for the difference. And as with a home equity loan or HELOC, you can use that money for any purpose you choose.

Purchase a Second Property

Senior couple standing outside log cabin in countryside

According to CoreLogic, nationally, home prices increased 19.1% between January 2021 and January 2022, which has been fantastic news for current homeowners. Equity gains don’t just benefit those looking to sell their homes to walk away with a substantial profit. If you don’t have plans to sell your home in the near term, having a lot of equity in it affords you plenty of different options to put that money to good use. 

Consider using your existing equity to buy the vacation home you’ve been dreaming of, or to purchase income-producing real estate that may generate passive income and possibly lower your monthly costs, or other investment assets. Until recently, financing a vacation home was the same as financing a primary residence. But the Federal Housing Finance Agency recently announced increases to upfront fees for second-home loans that took effect on April 1, 2022. As a result, homeowners have been encouraged to tap equity from their primary residence to pay for their secondary property.

Make a Smart Move

Your decision on what to do with your equity gains depends upon your financial situation and long-term real estate goals. So as you’re watching your equity grow and wondering how to put that money to good use, having a trusted, experienced real estate team behind you is your best first step to figuring that out. You’ll rest easy knowing that we’ve seen the ups and downs of the market over the years, so contact us today to discuss your options!

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Now Could Be the Best Time to Sell Your Home

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Key Takeaways:

  • Shifting buyer demand creates lucrative opportunities for decisive sellers
  • Higher mortgage rates have set fire to this already hot housing market
  • Don’t delay—now is the time to contact us and get your home on the market!

The current housing market

With a sudden jump in home listings recently, today’s hot housing market has many homeowners wondering if now is the best time to sell. Of course, trying to time the market perfectly is challenging, though if there ever was a time to sell, this is absolutely a great one. 

Everyone’s situation is different, but if you’ve been thinking about selling your home lately, contact us today to begin the process and maximize your success. 

The supply of homes for sale, explained 

Saleswoman giving home keys to new property owner.

Compared with last year, the supply of homes for sale jumped 9% in May, which is striking considering the historically low supply of home inventory that has defined the US housing market this year. 

As sellers rushed to put their properties onto the market and cash in their equity gains, new home listings rose nearly twice as fast as a year ago in May, while pending home sales fell by almost 4% in April. And with sales of newly built homes dropping by a much broader 16% compared with March, this marked the sixth straight month of sales declines. 

To fully appreciate this drop-off, consider that this softening in demand for housing marks the greatest slowdown on record in nearly a decade. 

Home sales are slowing because mortgage rates have risen sharply since the start of the year, with the most significant gains coming in April and early May. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage started the year close to 3% and is now well over 5%, causing new home buyers to slow down a bit.

The reality of rising mortgage rates

Businessperson's Hand Protecting Balance Between Percentage Red Cubic Block And House Model On Wooden Seesaw

While homeowners and homebuyers certainly enjoyed locking in 30-year fixed mortgages at the historic low of 2.68% in December 2020, this is far from the norm. It was only a few years ago, during the decade of the 2010’s, that mortgage rates averaged between 3.45% to 4.87%—not that far off from today’s average of just over 5%. 

If you step back even further in time, the absolute highest mortgage rate was a whopping 18.45% in 1981! Like today, that was due to the Federal Reserve raising the federal funds rate to combat inflation, causing mortgage rates to spike. But unlike potential homebuyers in 1981, we have good news on the horizon, as we’re seeing mortgage and refinance rates start to decline for the first time in weeks and the economy showing signs of stabilizing. 

An overdue housing market correction

Chart showing home values changing over time.

If you’re still worried about the housing market, you don’t need to. The good news in these reports is that homes are still selling, and in many cases, they’re still selling above their asking price. The housing market is cooling down due to a lull in buyer demand. However, this cooldown is a much-needed correction to what has been a short-term housing market fueled by the pandemic. 

The critical difference in the market now is that with fewer buyers competing with one another over available housing, home prices rose another 21% in May, meaning equity gains are still there for homeowners. And if you’re looking to sell to downsize and lower your monthly expenses, you’ll be perfectly positioned to find your ideal home with fewer buyers competing with you in the market.

Sell Now for Your Best Return

If you’re considering selling your home, this may be the best possible time to list. With a trusted, experienced real estate team behind you, you can rest easy knowing that we’ve seen the ups and downs of the market over the years. You can always make a smart move, so contact us today to discuss your options!

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