Four Uses for Home Equity Loans

August 28, 2011 in National Real Estate

What to do with home equity money
By
Broderick Perkins
Home equity loans can put you well into the black, financially speaking, provided you don’t use the lending strategy as a stepping stone to even more debt. Home equity money is yours to use as you wish, but most home owners focus on several economic priorities when they cashin on home equity loans.
1. Transform many bills into one
Debt consolidation is by far how most home owners use home equity loans. It can also be the riskiest way to use the home equity loans. If you’ve racked up bank credit card debt, retail credit debt and other debts, home equity loans can pay them all off
leaving you with one monthly bill that’s likely smaller than the others combined. It’s also a good chance the interest rate will be half what you were paying on just one credit card. The rate on home equity loans is cheaper because, unlike credit cards, the debt is secured by your home. Additional debt-cost savings are available because with the consolidation you’ll likely pay off your debt sooner. Along the way you’ll get to deduct the interest, up to the
legal limits allowed for home equity loans. Aside from the savings of home equity loans, a single monthly bill can also improve your cash flow, leaving you with more disposable income to save or invest. And over time, the single monthly payment also improves your credit profile, revealing to lenders that you are a less risky borrower who isn’t over burdened by debt. However, the need for home equity loans could indicate a credit habit the home equity fix might only exacerbate. Homeowners should consider how to prevent themselves from scoring more credit
before securing home equity loans. Don’t just pay off your old debts, cut up all but one card for emergencies and consider debt counseling to learn how to
budget your income. Be sure to write a letter to your creditors telling them to close your accounts so you can’t get at them and your credit report doesn’t show you’ve got unused credit you can still tap. If there’s a difference between what you were paying each month on all your debts and the home equity loan’s payment, save it and learn to use cash where possible. Do not take on additional debt while the home equity loan is still outstanding.
2.  Put the home equity money back
Almost as common as debt consolidations are home equity loans used for home improvements. With carefully planned and professionally completed work, homeowners effectively put home equity loans back into the home by adding more square footage, by bringing the home up to current building codes and by upgrading to contemporary home design and features. Problems here stem not so much from using home equity loans for home improvements, but the decisions you make about the improvements. The best improvements from home equity loans increase the fair market value of your house. Remodeled rooms, notably kitchens and bathrooms, add the most value. Additions are fine too as long as you don’t over improve. Additions should blend in both with your home’s existing style and the design of the homes in your neighborhood. Interior painting, carpeting and the like probably won’t add much value, but those cosmetic touches will improve the salability of your home. Keep in mind, however, that lenders aware that your home is on the market may not give you an home equity loan, without additional costs. And if you have an equity loan when you sell your home you have to gross enough to pay off both the first mortgage and any outstanding home equity loans.
3.  Invest home equity funds in your kid
Using home equity loans for education is another popular choice, what with the skyrocketing costs of post-secondary education and higher incomes that don’t qualify for special grants and government-backed loans.Home equity loans used to pay for education are investments of sorts too. An educated son or daughter is more likely to be financially independent sooner and building his or her own wealth rather than draining yours. Unfortunately, college for your kids comes just about that time when you are nearing retirement and may consider home equity loans to offset your reduced income. Don’t over look special educational loans, tax writeoffs and scholarships to meet your children’s educational needs.
4.  Disposable goods and services
No matter what you do with your home equity money you can deduct the interest and that’s a compelling reason to use the home equity loans to buy those big-ticket items you’ve always wanted, a new car, boat, recreational vehicle. Home equity loans are also a godsend if you are hit
with big medical bills or some other emergency. Don’t forget, when the car is ready for a trade-in, the recreational vehicle is up on blocks and you are fit and healthy again, you may still have equity loan payments to make. Your home is on the line.

Open Houses!

August 27, 2011 in Boulder Events, Colorado News, Open Houses

6851 GoldBranch

Sunday 1-3pm

Presented by Jennifer Egbert (303) 619-3373

Beautiful Casa Brunella is situated in the exclusive Goldbranch Estates Village in Niwot, CO. Upon entering the estate, you find yourself in a perfectly executed courtyard, complete with 3-tier fountain, OUTDOOR FIREPLACE & high-end OUTDOOR KITCHEN. Private balconies & porches look out onto the gorgeous Colorado Rockies for out-of-the-world SUNSETS. Open floorplan w/GOURMET KITCHEN make entertaining a breeze. VIEWS, Old World European architecture, trails, putting greens & Riparian Corridor

 

1040 Ithaca

sunday 1-3pm

presented by Derek Mayber (303) 817-6670

NEW LANDSCAPING, COPPER WIRING, SEWER LINES, ROOF, WINDOWS (HIGH R VALUE) & RADON MITIGATION are the added bonuses with this beautiful Table Mesa Ranch home. Eat-in kitchen leads to a back yard retreat from your day. Solid, gorgeous wood floors are in nearly every room of the house. The finished basement has PLENTY of storage for all of your outdoor gear as well as a great guest or master bedroom and full bathroom.

 

1455 Yarmouth # 211

Sunday 11-1pm

Presented by Dave Naber (303) 875-6933

Enjoy the Flatiron and Dakota Ridge views from this spacious North Boulder Loft. South facing end unit with:wood floors throughout,12 ft ceilings, open floor plan,three side of panoramic windows,large walk out deck. Master bedroom has a oversized walk in closet. Comes with plans to possibly convert into a 2 bedroom. Minutes from biking and open space trails.Proto’s Pizza and Amante coffee, along with many other shops are in the Neighborhood. Please call listing agent for lending options.

 

5060 Pierre #D

Sunday 1-3pm

Presented by Dave Naber (303) 875-6933

Enjoy living in this Modern loft Style home that sits close to the base of the foothills and Boulder open space.The front porch overlooks the new Neighborhood Park.The upscale kitchen features slab granite counters and SS appliances. High end finishes thru out.Each bedroom has its own bath.The finished basement could be used as a guest bedroom or rec room.The living room opens up to a south facing outdoor porch living area with nice mountain views. Each upper bedroom has it’s own deck.

 

residential mortgage originations at 15-year low

August 21, 2011 in Financial News

Friday, August 19th, 2011, 4:36 pm

The Mortgage Bankers Association expects originations to come in around $931 billion next year, marking the lowest volume since 1997.

The huge trade group also raised its estimate for residential mortgage origination volume in 2011 because of higher refinancing activity, and now expects total volume of $1.1 trillion this year, up about $100 billion from prior forecasts.

But the weak economic data and political uncertainty of the past few weeks, led the MBA to lower its GDP growth estimates, as well. The group now expects GDP growth of 1.5% for 2011, down from a prior projection of 1.9%, and growth of 2.3% next year, down from 2.8% previously. GDP growth slowed to 1.3% in the second quarter.

Still, MBA Chief Economist Jay Brinkmann said the group doesn’t believe the economy faces the same types of risks as in 2008 despite the unprecedented events of the past month. He said the MBA also expects the unemployment rate to hover around 9% through 2012.

“Were the U.S. economy to enter a recession, it would likely be the result of an external shock, and would be shallow and relatively brief,” according to Brinkmann. ”On the other hand, given that both fiscal and monetary policymakers’ options are limited at this point, it would be difficult for policy changes to soften any blow.”

On Wednesday, the MBA said mortgage applications rose4.1% last week, as homeowners continued to take advantage of historically low interest rates when refinancing.

“Nothing in the housing market data suggests any significant change from our previous expectation of a frustratingly slow period with lackluster sales volumes,” Brinkmann said.

Write to Jason Philyaw.

Follow him on Twitter: @jrphilyaw

Housing Affordability

August 21, 2011 in National Real Estate

Housing Affordability at Highest in 20 Years

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 2011

Housing affordability continued to be near record highs in the second quarter, hovering near its highest level in the 20-plus years it has been recorded, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.

About 72 percent of all new and existing-homes sold in the second quarter of the year were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,200, according to the index. The record high remains 74.6 percent, which was reached last quarter.

“At a time when home ownership is within reach of more households than it has been for more than two decades and interest rates are at historically low levels, the sluggish economy and the extremely tight credit conditions confronting home buyers and builders remain significant obstacles to many potential home sales,” says Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. “That said, however, some housing markets across the country have stabilized and are beginning to show signs of a budding recovery.”

Most Affordable Housing Markets

According to the index, Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa., was the most affordable major housing market during the second quarter with 93.7 percent of all homes sold found to be affordable to households earning the area’s median family income of $54,900. Other cities ranking near the top for affordability is: Syracuse, N.Y.; Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind.; Dayton, Ohio; and Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.

Least Affordable Markets

The index found the least affordable market in the country–for the 13th consecutive quarter–is New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., in which 25.2 percent of all homes sold during the quarter were affordable to those earning the area’s median income of $67,400. The other least affordable major metro areas includes San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.; Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, Calif.; and Honolulu.

By REALTOR® Magazine Daily News

open houses this weekend!

August 20, 2011 in National Real Estate

1863 Tansy Pl

Sunady 12-3pm

presented by Dunbar Hardy (303) 859-7922

GREAT VALUE FOR NEWER-BUILT IN NORTH BOULDER! MOVE-IN READY! Hardwoods w/Open Floor Plan – Living Dining & Kitchen Island All Blend Together w/Stylish Double Sided Gas Fireplace. Slab Granite Countertops, Cherry Cabinets, Stainless Appliances. Vaulted Master Suite w/5-Piece Luxury Marble Slab Bath & Walk-in Closet. Upstairs Laundry Room. Unfinished Basement w/9′ Ceilings. 2 High-Efficiency Furnaces & Central AC. Slate Tile Rear Patio, Xeriscaped Lot on Sprinkler System. Great Nearby Amenities!

 

1866 MacCullen

Sunday 11-3pm

presented by Tom Precourt (303) 921-9080

This gorgeous home in popular Arapahoe Ridge boasts beautiful updates, a bright open floorplan, private guest suite, ~1/4-acre prof-landscaped yard & spectacular views! Lives large w/ over-sized rooms: large kitchen w/island & huge pantry, spacious family room, & incredible master w/ fireplace & retreat. NEW updates include gorgeous Brazilian cherry hardwoods, slab granite, Int/Ext paint, lighting & more! Fabulous backyard w/ large deck & water feature. One blk to awesome neighboood pool & park!

 

2420 10th St

Sunday 11-3pm

Presented by Jay Hebb & Amanda Salzman (303) 859-9485

This is the Mapleton Hill Charmer you have been waiting for! Spectacular renovation/expansion boasts modern luxuries while staying true to the original character and charm of this Historic Victorian. Features include a new gourmet kitchen, high ceilings, reclaimed wood floors, 4 bedrooms upstairs w/ new master suite, front and back porches and a private, mature backyard with detached carriage house. Rare off street parking. Short walk to Pearl St & Ideal!

 

 

July housing stats

August 16, 2011 in Boulder Housing Stats, Financial News

 

 

Open houses this weekend!!

August 13, 2011 in National Real Estate

1040 Ithaca

Sunday 1-3pm

Presented by Derek Mayber (303) 817-6670

NEW LANDSCAPING, COPPER WIRING, SEWER LINES, ROOF, WINDOWS (HIGH R VALUE) & RADON MITIGATION are the added bonuses with this beautiful Table Mesa Ranch home. Eat-in kitchen leads to a back yard retreat from your day. Solid, gorgeous wood floors are in nearly every room of the house. The finished basement has PLENTY of storage for all of your outdoor gear as well as a great guest or master bedroom and full bathroom.

 

423 Juniper Ave

Sunday 11-1pm

Presented by Paul Kimbiris (303) 885-9520

An elegant and well crafted home in one of boulders most sought after neighborhoods. Lot is huge and footsteps to sanitas trailhead. Just completed renovation features timeless design, gourmet eat in kitchen, breakfast nook, steam shower, porte cochere, and detached 3 car garage with unfinished loft. Attention to detail and high end finishes throughout. Come see one of boulders best!

 

1866 MacCullen

Sunday 1-4pm

presented by Tom Precourt (303) 921-9080

This gorgeous home in popular Arapahoe Ridge boasts beautiful updates, a bright open floorplan, private guest suite, ~1/4-acre prof-landscaped yard & spectacular views! Lives large w/ over-sized rooms: large kitchen w/island & huge pantry, spacious family room, & incredible master w/ fireplace & retreat. NEW updates include gorgeous Brazilian cherry hardwoods, slab granite, Int/Ext paint, lighting & more! Fabulous backyard w/ large deck & water feature. One blk to awesome neighboood pool & park!

 

315 Arapahoe ave # 203

Sunday 1-3pm

presented by Kathryn Whelan (303) 810-2408

Security, serenity & stylish living are yours at Shadow Creek. 2nd floor unit served by elevator w/ underground parking. Updated kitchen & mater bedroom bath. 2 large storage closets-heated porch room, within listening & viewing distance of Boulder Creek. Stairway down to manicured grounds w/ gazebo perched above creek & outdoor pool. Steps from Eben G Fine park & creek path.

 

 

open houses this weekend!

August 6, 2011 in Boulder Events, Open Houses

1040 Ithaca

sunday 1-3pm

presented by Derek mayber (303) 817-6670

NEW LANDSCAPING, COPPER WIRING, SEWER LINES, ROOF, WINDOWS (HIGH R VALUE) & RADON MITIGATION are the added bonuses with this beautiful Table Mesa Ranch home. Eat-in kitchen leads to a back yard retreat from your day. Solid, gorgeous wood floors are in nearly every room of the house. The finished basement has PLENTY of storage for all of your outdoor gear as well as a great guest or master bedroom and full bathroom.

 

6851 Goldbranch

Sunday 1-3pm

presented by Jen Egbert (303) 619-3373

Beautiful Casa Brunella is situated in the exclusive Goldbranch Estates Village in Niwot, CO. Upon entering the estate, you find yourself in a perfectly executed courtyard, complete with 3-tier fountain, OUTDOOR FIREPLACE & high-end OUTDOOR KITCHEN. Private balconies & porches look out onto the gorgeous Colorado Rockies for out-of-the-world SUNSETS. Open floorplan w/GOURMET KITCHEN make entertaining a breeze. VIEWS, Old World European architecture, trails, putting greens & Riparian Corridor

 

1863 Tansy Pl

Sunday 12-2pm

presented by Dunbar Hardy (303)859-7922

GREAT VALUE FOR NEWER-BUILT IN NORTH BOULDER! MOVE-IN READY! Hardwoods w/Open Floor Plan – Living Dining & Kitchen Island All Blend Together w/Stylish Double Sided Gas Fireplace. Slab Granite Countertops, Cherry Cabinets, Stainless Appliances. Vaulted Master Suite w/5-Piece Luxury Marble Slab Bath & Walk-in Closet. Upstairs Laundry Room. Unfinished Basement w/9′ Ceilings. 2 High-Efficiency Furnaces & Central AC. Slate Tile Rear Patio, Xeriscaped Lot on Sprinkler System. Great Nearby Amenities!

 

5060 Pierre St D

Sunday 1-3pm

presented by Dave Naber (303) 875-6933

Enjoy living in this Modern loft Style home that sits close to the base of the foothills and Boulder open space.The front porch overlooks the new Neighborhood Park.The upscale kitchen features slab granite counters and SS appliances. High end finishes thru out.Each bedroom has its own bath.The finished basement could be used as a guest bedroom or rec room.The living room opens up to a south facing outdoor porch living area with nice mountain views. Each upper bedroom has it’s own deck.