What’s Right for Me? A Cash Out Refinance or Home Equity Loan

January 30th, 2010

While cash out refinance and home equity loans offer essentially the same benefit, they are quite different loan products. Let’s look at the differences:

Cash Out Refinance Loan

A cash out refinance loan is essentially a new larger loan to pay off an older loan with the difference in loan amounts being provided to the homeowner in cash at closing. For example, let’s say you have a 10-yr old mortgage that has been paid down to say $100,000 and your home is worth $250,000.  A lender might be willing to finance say 80% of your home’s appraised value or $200,000.  So in this case with a cash out refinance loan, you would be taking home $100,000 at closing and you’d have a new mortgage loan of $200,000 afterward. Read the rest of this entry »

What Are Some Potential Uses of Home Equity Loans

January 30th, 2010

Most Americans spend more time at home than any other place, including their workplace. One’s home provides  a place to relax after work, spend time with the family, and entertain guests. But in today’s harsh economic climate many people are feeling a bit uneasy about their finances. Fortunately equity in one’s home can provide a source of cash to pay the bills or fund home improvement projects for example. Read the rest of this entry »

Finding the Lowest Home Equity Loan Rates

January 30th, 2010

With interest rates hovering at all time lows, right now is a perfect time to consider a home equity loan.  But how can you find the lowest home equity loan rate with so many options available? Consider these tips: Read the rest of this entry »

How to Choose Between a Home Equity Loan and Line of Credit

January 28th, 2010

On the surface, a home equity loan and home equity line of credit may seem the same, but it’s not quite that simple.

A home equity loan is likely best if you have a larger one-time need such as credit card debt consolidation, replacing a leaky roof, or paying for a child’s college expenses. With a fixed rate home equity loan, your monthly payments are fixed, which allows you to budget easily. Read the rest of this entry »

Understand Risks Before Tapping Your Home’s Equity

January 28th, 2010

Unlocking your home’s equity to make home improvements, which hopefully increase your home’s value, is perfectly logical if you have sufficient equity and extra income to fund the new debt payment. But in some cases, a home equity loan might not be the best idea. For example, using a home equity loan to build a pool in your backyard, which have historically shown to be a worthless addition (depending on the area). Any number of websites can provide you with estimated returns on new additions to your house. Read the rest of this entry »

Consider the Benefits of a Home Equity Line of Credit

January 3rd, 2010

A home equity line of credit is a perfect way to tap equity in your home. At the most basic level, a HELOC essentially allows checkbook access to your home’s equity to use however you wish. Let’s look at some of the benefits you can receive with a home equity line of credit. Read the rest of this entry »

Score Major Contractor Bargains, Courtesy of the Housing Meltdown

December 10th, 2009

As the old saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. There’s no question that our nation’s housing market is currently in shambles. But here’s the upside: you can score some major remodeling and house repair deals right now. In this sluggish economy, contractors are actually returning phone calls, accepting significantly smaller projects and cutting their prices.

Of course, these incredible deals won’t last indefinitely. Now’s the time to hire a contractor to remodel your master bathroom, re-face your kitchen cabinets or repair that leaky pipe you’ve been eyeing in the basement. Read the rest of this entry »

Maximize Profit on the Sale of Your Home with the Help of a Professional

December 10th, 2009

Selling your home can be a stressful undertaking that necessitates a considerable amount of expertise and patience. Most people eventually learn that, when dealing with some of life’s larger issues, it is best to seek the advice of professionals. For example, if you were experiencing health concerns, you would consult a physician. If your house needed rewiring, you would seek out an electrician.  Selling your house is really no different. A professional, experienced realtor has the knowledge you can use to your advantage to gain the most from your sale. Another huge benefit is that your agent will only present you with qualified buyers. In our fast-paced world, time is precious, and yours won’t be wasted on useless prospects.

When selecting a physician, you would most likely exercise a certain amount of caution and discretion. You should do the same when choosing your realtor. Don’t be manipulated into the common mistake of choosing a friend or relative. If things don’t go as smoothly as you hoped, you will be faced with the prospect of ‘firing’ someone you like. It is also important to note that, while some agents charge less commission than others, you usually get what you pay for. Select an agent with a strong sales record and ask for references from their most recent sales.  A few minutes on the phone speaking with an agent’s past clients could keep you from making a critical mistake. Read the rest of this entry »

Home Buyer Tax Credit Program Extended into 2010

December 10th, 2009

In November 2009, President Obama signed the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 which included an extension of the original $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit and also created a new, $6,500 credit for current homeowners buying a new home.  The credit is available to qualifying buyers who sign a binding sales contract on or before April 30, 2010, and close by June 30, 2010.The original credit was scheduled to expire as of November 30, 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s the Difference Between a Home Equity Loan and Line of Credit?

December 3rd, 2009

Once you have built up equity in your home, you have the privilege of borrowing against the value of your house through either a home equity line of credit (often called a HELOC) or a home equity loan. In effect, both are essentially a second mortgage on your home. You can usually receive equity access for up to 80 percent of your home’s appraised value, minus whatever you owe on your first mortgage. Read the rest of this entry »