Your Home Equity Questions Answered

By: MIKE SELVON

If you intend to rent a house or apartment your entire life, this audio program may not be of any use to you. But then again, you may find yourself owning a piece of property and wondering what your home equity is and how it affects your house. Each house owner has to deal with home equity from the moment they sign the mortgage papers.

Over the course of the ownership, your equity builds and you might wonder how to benefit from all of those payments. Equity can also help you when it comes time to sell your house and purchase another. For first time home owners equity can be confusing but with a little research and investigation, you can understand the value of your house and how you effect how you build up equity. Keep reading this article to understand how growth affects buying, selling and owning a house.

What is home equity?

Home equity is the amount of monetary difference between what is owed on the home and what the home is worth. It can vary according to what the condition of the home is and how much work you have put into the home. Some times home equity can go up without you doing anything at all.

If the neighborhood prices begin to soar, your equity can rise as well since your assessment and value will rise. Home equity is a great thing to have in case you have an emergency.

If I buy a home, how long should I wait before using my home equity?

You should wait as long as possible before using that equity. You do not want to use it unless you absolutely must because it means another payment you have to make. Yes, the equity is yours but you should only use it in case of emergencies or to pay off other bills that may be draining your finances. Many people will pay off credit card debts, college tuitions, or medical bills with a second mortgage.

How does home equity affect my mortgage?

Unless you refinance your mortgage, your home equity will not really be a factor in it. It will be a factor in whether or not you can take out a second mortgage. Most people, if they have a huge house payment and have built up a sizeable growth, will refinance their loan to a better interest rate and a lower payment. This helps keep their budget more manageable and may even allow them to pay the house off quicker because it allows them to make more payments to the principle.

Does it affect my interest rate?

Unless you refinance your mortgage to a better interest rate based on your available equity, it will not affect your current interest rate. If you have made all of your payments on time and your credit rating has increased, it may be a great idea to refinance your mortgage to receive a better interest rate.

But you need to pay attention to the mortgage company's interest rate at that time. You definitely do not want to refinance only to find out that you are going to pay a higher interest rate. You also want to stay away from Adjustable Rate Mortgages that have interest rates that change. You could have a low payment one month and the next have one that is suddenly doubled.

What happens to my home when I die?

When you pass on and the proceeds from the home sale exceed the amount left owed the bank or mortgage your heir will receive the profits. If there are still amounts left to pay, your heir will need to refinance the amount and pay off the remaining debt or let the bank repossess the home.

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