Seven tips when considering a HELOC for Home Renovations

Homeowners looking to undertake home renovations can often use a home equity line of credit or HELOC to finance their projects. Here are six quick tips on how to shop for and manage a HELOC:

Shop around. Comparison shop to get the best rate.

Ask about the margin. If you’re offered a rate that’s lower than the competition, it’s probably just an introductory rate, so ask about the lender’s margin. For example, if the introductory rate is 3.5 percent and your lender’s margin is 2 percent, your final interest rate will be 5.5 percent.

Consider a conversion clause. Some HELOCs allow you to convert a variable interest rate to a fixed rate, usually during the draw period (5-10 years).

Watch out for balloon payments. Balloon payments mean that you must pay the balance in full when the draw period is up. Do not choose this option unless you have the financial means to handle it.

Create a family plan. Decide what the money will be used for and who will handle the funds. Keep in mind, you can lose your home if the HELOC is not handled properly. Create a payback plan. Come up with a reasonable plan for how the loan will be paid back.

Consider other options. Nowadays, some homeowners opt for a “Cash out Refinance” if they have substantial amounts of equity in their home. A cash out refinance allows the homeowner to refinance their existing home loan into a new loan for a higher amount. The homeowner is then paid the difference in cash. If you are renovating your home, consider this option as some contractors will offer a discount for services if paid in cash.

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Nicole Emanuel Real Estate

Coldwell Banker

(408) 410-2060

www.realestatebynicole.com

nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com

BRE# 01899594

Recent Mercury News Article Shows its a Great Time for Buyers!

Check out this recent article in the Mercury News which discusses the recent trends in the Bay Areal real estate market. (Bay Area Homes Sales Below Average, Price Growth Slows). While its hard to say whether its a seasonal phenomenon or a market trend in the Bay Area, anecdotally, we have been seeing home sales slow down for the past few months. What we do know is the slow down has created an opportunity for many buyers in the market to purchase without all the competition. If you are considering a purchase, now is the time while other buyers are taking a break for the holidays!

Tips for Selling Your Home in the Fall

Summer has ended, the weather is cooling, leaves are changing and, you may be surprised to learn, homebuyers are out in force. Autumn is a popular time for corporations to relocate associates – creating a pool of buyers who need to make quick decisions about housing. They’re serious about purchasing and, with fewer houses on the market this time of year, your house may soon be getting more attention. What can you do to make sure your home sells before all the leaves fall off the trees? Here are a few helpful tips:

Highlight the location. Bring the benefits of your location front and center. Establish a list of perks that your property offers, such as proximity to public transportation, schools, shopping, recreation or entertainment. Continue reading “Tips for Selling Your Home in the Fall”

Bay Area Events Calendar – October

The holidays are fast approaching and that means a load of fun Bay Area events are upon us! I’ve attached a schedule of great events for the month of October.  CLICK HERE – October Events Calendar

As always, if I can assist you or your friends or family with any real estate related needs over the holidays, let me know!

 

Nicole