The equity you have in your home is part of your home that you have already paid off. If your home is far more valuable than what you owe to your mortgage, you may be able to use that equity to fund improvements and refurbishments.

But before you take advantage of your home equity, you need to learn about the advantages, options, and how to get the most out of your home equity.

Home Equity Options for Home Renovations

The following are the three main ways to access home equity:

Cash-Out Refinance

All homeowners should first consider refinancing their payments. Refinancing a payment replaces the original property mortgage loan with something more valuable than you owe on your home, and you receive the cash difference.

Cash-out refinancing rates are currently low, so you may be able to get the money you need for your refurbishment and save on mortgage interest. Keep in mind that refinancing payments resets your mortgage conditions. You will pay closure fees, valuations, processing fees, and more out of your pocket.

Higher mortgage rates can make this option less attractive if you haven’t refinanced in the last year. In that case, you can consider a home equity loan, which is a long-term waiting option for homeowners.

Home Equity Loan

Home equity loans work like traditional loans. You will receive a one-time payment at the beginning of the loan period and then a monthly payment until you repay the borrowed money, including interest.

Interest rates on home equity loans are fixed. That is, the interest rate at the beginning will not change. This can be beneficial in today’s low-interest rate environment.

Home Equity Line of Credit

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) functions like a credit card. It is a revolving line of credit that your home guarantees. You can access it by check, debit card, or other means as directed by your lender.

HELOCs have a floating interest rate. This means that the interest rate payable during the term of the HELOC will fluctuate and change depending on the market. Traditionally, HELOC operates on a model of 30 years, with a draw period of 10 years, and a repayment period of 20 years.

During the draw period, you can use up to the spending limit set at the time of application. You can then repay the amount, plus interest, you have spent over the full repayment period.

Benefits of Using Home Equity to Finance Renovations

Tax Deduction

Interest paid on home equity loans, and HELOC is subject to tax deductions. However, there are crucial restrictions that you must understand before proceeding. First, you should spend the loan to improve the home that secures it.

You cannot use it for personal living expenses or credit card debt repayment. The main improvements are changes and refurbishments that increase the home’s value, extend its useful life, or adapt it to new or different functions.

Regarding the interest deduction eligibility, there is also a limit on the loan amount. As of 2018, co-applicants can deduct interest on eligible loans worth up to $750,000. On the other hand, single or married applicants who file individual returns can deduct interest up to $375,000. These numbers represent a reduction from the previous limit of $ 1 million for joint returns and $500,000 for individual returns. You must submit a separate return to receive the deduction.

Low-Interest Rates

The interest rates on HELOCs and home equity loans are generally low since they use the home as a mortgage for the loan. However, getting the best rates relies on your financial state.

People with high credit ratings can access the most competitive rates, but non-ideal credit applicants will pay higher rates. In most cases, credit scores above 700 are most likely eligible for a mortgage loan if other application requirements are met.

You can research rates from different lenders to ensure you get the best deal based on your credit score. You can also improve your credit score and increase your chances of getting a competitive interest rate. You can do this by paying off outstanding debts, making consistent and timely payments, and disputing lousy credit reports.

Ellie Chen

Ellie Chen is a graduate of New York University with a Master’s in Real Estate who has been an expert in property market trends and real estate investment for over 12 years. Her previous roles include working in real estate brokerage and as a property analyst. She has provided insights into real estate marketing, property management, and investment strategies. Her background includes roles in real estate development firms and as an agent. Beyond work, she is a great hiker and a volunteer in housing affordability programs. She is also a passionate urban cyclist and enjoys participating in community development initiatives.

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