This is a sponsored post on behalf of LendingTree for She Savvy.
How to Make The Equity in Your Home Work For You:
I sit down at the rickety table outside of our local coffee shop. Am I the only one with the innate ability to pick the table with the wobbly legs and the grocery shopping cart with the squeaky wheel?
I am waiting for my friend to show up for our monthly mom’s morning coffee date.
I look up and immediately spot her stress as she approaches the table. Hopefully an hour of mommy-talk and a nice warm caffeine-laced beverage will bring her back on track.
Her brows are furrowed, her posture slightly slumped over and I sense her reluctant smile as she sits down. Thankfully, I already have her drink waiting, so the venting session can start without delay.
“What’s wrong?” The words barely escape my mouth as she tearfully starts to unload. In between sips and sobs, she confesses that she and her husband are in a financial “pickle.”
“We have so many monthly bills, between old student loans, credit cards – especially after the holidays and now also with the roof repairs we need after last year’s hurricane. I am not sure how we are going to make ends meet and it’s causing so much stress in our marriage.
He yelled at me for coming here this morning. He said we can’t afford spending money on coffee.”
“Well, good thing I got here first and the latte is on me today!” I’m carefully trying to cheer her up, when suddenly it dawns on me. I may just have the solution for her.
When she and her adorable little family moved to our area five years ago, they bought a beautiful home in our suburban paradise. The house wasn’t a new construction at the time, but they got a great deal on it because the previous owners were relocating out of the area.
We have been getting together monthly for a number of years now. Over time, our conversations have gotten more and more personal – as they tend to do. Nothing is off limits between us, we talk about spouses, kids, family and also money, which unfortunately seems to be a taboo topic between many friends.
Without hesitation, I tell her about a strategy we employed last year, when we needed an infusion of cash to take care of a few major home improvement projects.
According to a Forbes article, national home prices have increased for 23 consecutive months. From January through October 2017, the US National Home Price Index increased 5.92%, on track to be the biggest gain since the recovery of the housing market in 2013.
What does an increase in home prices have to do with my friend’s financial dilemma?!
The answer is simple and the solution is perfect for her, I almost want to scream it from a mountain top.
This simple solution will consolidate their debt, give them an infusion of cash, reduce the amount of interest they pay and it may even save them money on their tax bill.
I take a deep breath and start to explain everything to her.
As I am talking, her facial features, one by one, slowly relax – the tension she had when she got to the coffee shop is lifting. Her posture improves and I might even be able to detect a genuine smile, as tears of happiness flow.
“THANK YOU… This is the type of solution we so desperately need.”
How to Make The Equity In Your Home Work For You:
Home Values – The Time is Right:
- Real estate prices and home values have gone up tremendously over the past several years.
- Homeowners who have diligently made their monthly mortgage payments without refinancing, have more than likely built up equity in their home.
- Equity = The difference between what a house is worth today and what is owed on the house: mortgage balance plus any home equity loans or lines of credit.
Why borrow against the value of a home?
- Taking out a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) is simply putting the increased value of a home to good use.
- Look at it this way, the equity in your home is like a pile of money stuffed under your mattress, not being used, when you might be struggling to make ends meet, have high credit card debt or want to do home improvements.
- The interest rate on a home equity loan or a HELOC is lower than regular credit cards, consumer debt and bank loans because you are using the equity in your home to secure the debt.
- The interest paid on a home equity loan or HELOC is tax deductible (up to $100,000 if the funds are not used to improve the home.)
- This means, the interest you pay reduces your family’s tax bill.
- Interest paid on credit card debt is NOT tax deductible and therefore only benefits the bank.
- The credit card interest rate is generally higher than a home equity loan. In other words, it costs you a lot more to borrow $50,000 on a credit card, than it does taking $50,000 out of the equity in your home.
How do you find the best solution for your situation?
- To get started, visit LendingTree.com
- Go to “Home Loan”, then “Home Equity.”
- Answer the questions in their easy-to-use questionnaire.
- LendingTree helps you identify the best lending solution at the best rate for your particular financial need.
- The website is frustration-free and clearly explains your options.
- LendingTree takes the guesswork and stress out of your financial concerns. It’s like having a personal banker in your living room.
What can I do with these funds?
- Pay off your credit cards with the equity in your home.
- You will no longer have three, four or more monthly credit card bills, where you barely make the minimum required payments and pay potentially double digit interest rates that aren’t tax deductible.
- Pay off old student loans and any other outstanding debt.
- Imagine not owing your in-laws the $10,000 they begrudgingly lent you and your spouse years ago when your car broke down and you needed a new vehicle immediately.
- Improve the value of your home.
- Remember my friend’s leaking roof? Well, a home equity loan or HELOC is a great solution in her case.
- The bright pink master bathroom in your home, the one you swore you would update as soon as you moved in, but then life happened and you ran out of cash… well, that’s now possible!
- The carpets that look more like a paint splattered work of art than suitable floor covering in a suburban home: tear them out and put in the dark hardwood floors you have been drooling over at the local hardware store.
- Self-improvement and medical bills.
- Kids have a way of needing glasses, braces and other costly contraptions at some point in their lives. Instead of making painful monthly payments to your child’s orthodontist, pay him off and wave at him in the grocery store with a clear conscience.
- Have you ever needed major surgery for any reason? Even a brief hospitalization can leave you with more medical bills than you can manage.
- Pay off all your old medical bills, instead of cringing whenever your phone rings, wondering if the creditors have caught up to you yet.
- Boats, cars, motorcycles are all very fun toys, until they break down or need costly repairs.
- Bring your family van up to safety standards with brand new tires and fix your boat’s engine so you no longer have to worry about being left stranded during your next fishing excursion.
- College, higher education, continued education.
- Kids, wives and husbands need to keep their minds sharp to grow and thrive.
- Imagine sending your kids to college without having to leave them with big unmanageable student loans.
- What about your secret dream of becoming a Certified Gemologist once the kids leave the house – that’s now a reality!
You CAN realize all those dreams and achieve your goals by putting the equity in your home to good use, instead of leaving it “stuffed under the mattress.”
LendingTree takes the guesswork, sweat and worry out of the lending process.
LendingTree helps you identify your cash needs and gives you a side by side comparison of lending products best suited for your particular situation. Their easy-to-use questionnaire is straight forward and within minutes, you receive an email with rates and lenders. There’s no guesswork or hassle, only answers and solutions that will help you relieve stress and sleep better at night.
Now, what are you waiting for? Spend less than five minutes on LendingTree so you can plan your family’s financial future and stop worrying about your monthly bills.
LendingTree DID turn out to be the solution my friend and her husband needed. They put the equity in their home to good use: consolidated debt, paid for a new roof and got back on their feet – and we STILL enjoy our monthly coffee dates, because there IS money in her budget for coffee after all.