After the last few months of craziness in the housing market, I’m hearing from clients reevaluating whether they still want to upgrade to a newer or larger home.
They are getting frustrated with being sucked into bidding wars and feeling like they have to pay significant amounts over list price just to buy a home right now.
Several of these clients are first time home buyers, so they are going to hold tight renting for now.
One couple decided to move into their parents’ basement so they can cut costs and save more toward their down payment.
Two other families have decided to refinance their current homes to do massive renovations. Both love their current neighbourhoods, but wanted updated finishes and more modern floor plans.
By refinancing their current homes and staying put, they are still going to be able to accomplish this.
Due to the increase in the values of their homes there is enough equity to cover the costs of the renovations they are planning.
How does this work?
Current guidelines allow clients to refinance to 80% of the value of their home. For instance, if your home appraises at $500,000. you could refinance to a total of $400,000.
If you bought your home several years ago, it is likely the value has increased enough to allow for a refinance. Let’s say you bought your home ten years ago for $400,000.
Depending on the amortization and payment schedule you chose, let’s say your mortgage balance is now $300,000. The current market value of your home is $600,000.
This means, provided you qualify to carry the larger mortgage, you could refinance up to $480,000.
I don’t recommend maxing out your mortgage based on current values, but considering pulling some equity to renovate or expand your current home might be a great option as opposed to jumping into the fray of trying to buy a newer or larger home.
This might also be a great option to prepare your home to sell if you are definitely planning to move.
Presenting your home in its best light may increase the value to put you into a different price point if you do want to sell.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.