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Five Ways to Build Home Equity

Five Ways to Build Home Equity
Whether you own a home or are considering purchasing one, you may be looking for ways to build equity. Home equity is the overall difference between the amount you owe on your mortgage loan and your home's market value. Home equity can be used to take out a loan, invest, build long-term wealth, or sell your home for more than you owe and keep the profit. 

The equity you have access to will increase as you make payments that pay off your mortgage balance. It can also grow when your home's value increases. The following details five of the quickest ways to build home equity. 



1. Make a Larger Down Payment
The simplest and quickest way to build equity in a home is to make a large down payment when you first buy the property. The down payment you make is immediate equity. Let's say that you're buying a home for $200,000. With a $10,000 down payment, you'll owe $190,000 on the mortgage and have $10,000 in equity. 

If you can afford it, you could instead choose to make a down payment of $40,000, meaning you would owe $160,000 on the mortgage and have $40,000 in equity when you first move in. Remember that a 20% down payment will also remove the private mortgage insurance requirements for conventional loans, which is an added benefit. 

2. Make Mortgage Payments More Often
Only a percentage of the mortgage payment you make each month is put towards the principal of your house. The remainder of the payment goes towards interest and taxes. When you make additional payments or provide a payment that's higher than the minimum amount, you are putting more money toward the principal and increasing your equity. 

3. Consider a 15-year Mortgage
If you take out a 15-year mortgage as opposed to a 30-year one, your monthly mortgage payments will be significantly larger. When you take this approach, you’ll be paying off more of the principal each month, which will help you build equity quicker. You'll also pay less interest over the course of the loan. 

If you've already purchased your home, you could decide to refinance the mortgage loan, which would allow you to switch from a 30-year loan to a 15-year option and build equity faster. Make sure that you can afford the higher monthly payments before choosing this solution, and make sure you take current interest rates into account as well. 

4. Invest in Home Improvement and Remodeling Projects
You can also build equity in your home by investing in home improvement and remodeling projects that will increase the home's value. The most popular renovations include kitchen and bathroom remodels. Make sure that you select projects that will get you the best return on investment (ROI). Reach out if you want to discuss projects with the highest ROI in our area. 

5. Use Gifts and Windfalls
Consider building equity by using any gifts or windfalls you receive to pay down the balance of the loan. Do you receive birthday or holiday gift cards? If so, these can be converted to cash and added to your mortgage payment. The same is true of any inheritance you receive. 

Building home equity gives you financial security and allows you to prepare for your future. By making a large down payment, paying more money each month, and improving the quality of your home, you can build equity relatively quickly.