Your Home Equity May Be Able to Offset Affordability Issues
Are you considering selling your home? If that's the case, today's mortgage rates may make you reconsider. Some homeowners are hesitant to sell their current house and take on a higher mortgage rate on their future purchase. If you're concerned about this, keep in mind that while interest rates are now high, so is home equity. Here's what you should know.
Bankrate explains exactly what equity is and how it grows:
“Home equity is the portion of your home that you’ve paid off and own outright. It’s the difference between what the home is worth and how much is still owed on your mortgage. As your home’s value increases over the long term and you pay down the principal on the mortgage, your equity stake grows.”
In other words, equity is how much your home is worth now, minus what you still owe on your home loan.
How Much Equity Do Homeowners Have Now?
Recently, your equity has been growing faster than you might think. To help contextualize just how much the average homeowner has, CoreLogic says:
“. . . the average U.S. homeowner now has about $290,000 in equity.”
That's because property values have risen dramatically in recent years, allowing your equity to accumulate faster than usual. Even though the market has begun to normalize, there are still more people looking to buy homes than there are homes available for sale. Because of the increased demand, housing prices are rising once again.
According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the Census, and ATTOM, a property data provider, nearly two-thirds (68.7%) of homeowners have either fully paid off their mortgages or have at least 50% equity (see chart below):
That means nearly 70% of homeowners have a tremendous amount of equity right now.
How Equity Helps with Your Affordability Concerns
With today’s affordability challenges, your equity can make a big difference when you decide to move. After you sell your house, you can use the equity you've built up in it to help you buy your next one. Here’s how:
- Be an all-cash buyer: If you've been living in your current home for a long time, you might have enough equity to buy a new house without having to take out a loan. If that's the case, you won't need to borrow any money or worry about mortgage rates. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) states:
“These all-cash home buyers are happily avoiding the higher mortgage interest rates . . .”
- Make a larger down payment: Your equity could be used toward your next down payment. It might even be enough to let you put a larger amount down, so you won't have to borrow as much money so today’s rates become less of a sticking point. Experian explains:
“Increasing your down payment lowers your principal loan amount and, consequently, your loan-to-value ratio, which could lead to a lower interest rate offer from your lender.”
If you're thinking about selling your home, the equity you've built up can make a significant difference, especially now. Let's talk about how much equity you have in your current home and how you can use it to buy your future property.