Realty Vision

Posted by Realty Vision on 2/2/2017

Mortgages werenít the only financial instruments that helped to cause the Great Recession. Home equity loans also played a role in the massive economic decline. Lenders and homeowners both had a hand in creating the volatile situation. Both also bore a huge brunt of the fallout.

So, why are home equity loans again on the rise?

What makes home equity loans so attractive?

Home equity loans put hundreds, at times thousands, of dollars within a homeownerís reach.Although interest rates are rising, they continue to be low in most areas. Get a home equity loan while rates are low and youíll yield short and long term savings on the repayment side of the loan.

Another reason why more homeowners are getting home equity loans is because having the money to upgrade, repair or renovate a house can be a significant plus,especially if homeowners use home equity loans wisely. Upgrades, repairs and renovations add value to a house, another area that homeowners learned not to leave to chance during the Great Recession.

Using home equity loans to strengthen your real estate investment

Yet, itís easy to get into trouble with home equity loans. To stay out of trouble with home equity loans:

  • Only borrow as much as you can afford to repay on time. Donít assume that you will be able to repay the loan. Create a budget and list out all of your expenses, including money that you spend on entertainment.
  • Consider using investment accounts like IRAs and 401(k)s to grow wealth and not solely your home. This could keep you from viewing your home as your sole source of long-term wealth.
  • Get sufficient homeowners insurance. Donít just get enough insurance to cover the exterior or your home. Get enough insurance to cover your personal belongings as well.
  • Consider getting your home inspected and appraised before you pay for upgrades, as the upgrades that youíre thinking about getting may not increase the value of your home enough to make taking out a home equity loan good sense.
  • Despite what bank commercials may say, do not take out home equity loans to pay for vacations, cars or shopping sprees. This is a primary way that homeowners got in over their heads before the Great Recession.
  • Perform regular maintenance on your home. This includes cleaning out drainage pipes, changing filters and tightening and replacing screws, washers and bolts. By maintaining  your home, you can reduce the amount of a home equity loan you might need.
  • Adhere to manufacturer instructions when operating appliances. Doing so could extend the life of your appliances.
  • Care for the exterior of your home. For example,keep your lawn healthy, trim hedges and resurface your front walkway and driveway as needed.

Take out a home equity loan at the right time and the money could help to increase your overall wealth. View the loan as an investment in your home. Itís also important to approach a home equity loan as, just that, a loan. Remember that you have to pay the money back to the bank with interest, as a home equity loan is not a gift.

Posted by Realty Vision on 12/1/2016

When you're a homeowner, it's tempting to save money any way you can. Oftentimes people take repairs into their own hands when they don't have the knowledge or experience to complete the job safely. What begins as a way to save money can quickly turn into a disaster--as you spend lengthy periods of time on a project and find yourself going over your initial budget. It isn't always easy to know which projects you can attempt yourself and which ones are better left to the pros. And, of course, it will depend on your comfort and skill level when it comes to various household repairs. So, if you're a plumber, disregard our plumbing advice and dive in to your DIY plumbing projects since you have the know-how. But if you're an average homeowner looking to make some renovations and repairs, read on to find out which ones you should attempt and which ones are better left to the pros.

1. Electrical work

So you've got a few faulty outlets in the new home you bought. It doesn't seem worth calling in an electrician just for those few minor issues. However, due to the dangers and complications that can arise from electric work, it's a good idea to hold off and call in the experts. Aside from shocking yourself (which can be deadly), you could also create fire hazards or damage circuitry, resulting in much higher repair costs than you initially had. Another benefit of calling in al electrician, other than having the project done correctly, is that they will be able to diagnose your home circuitry to let you know what other problems might arise in the foreseeable future.†So, when it comes to power issues, always call in the pros.

2. Hazardous materials

Many people will tell you not to worry about asbestos or lead paint unless you have children. However, these are both dangerous materials than can create several chronic health problems in adults as well. If you're concerned for the safety of yourself and your family, call in contractors who will remove the lead or asbestos. What can go wrong if you try to do it yourself? Lead chips and dust will fly through the air when attempting to remove lead paint. Breathing in these fumes is dangerous initially and down the road when the dust settles into the corners of your home. Asbestos, especially in blown-in insulation can be particularly dangerous. Aside from ensuring your safety, a contractor will also be able to assess the situation and determine whether your hazardous materials need to be removed or can just be "repaired" or covered up. Simple repair jobs on asbestos or lead-containing objects can save you some serious time and money.

3. Roofing and siding

There's a reason even building contractors bring in third party companies to install roofs and siding. These are both labor-intensive and time-intensive jobs that require specialized skills and tools that only dedicated companies can accomplish correctly. Roofing and siding are both dangerous jobs that carry the risk of falling off of roofs and ladders, as well as injuring your back lifting heavy shingles. The pros have the tools and experience to avoid these injuries. When you hire the professionals to do your roofing or siding, you can rest assured that the job is done correctly and will last much longer than if you made it a DIY project as well.