home equity - Articles

Home Equity Loans: Why They're Back, and Better

ShutterstockHave you gotten a pitch from your bank for a home equity loan? By Vera Gibbons Last year, homeowners recouped about $1.9 trillion in lost value, according to estimates from Zillow. That put more equity in our hands, and in turn led to a return in home equity lending. Granted, we're not at pre-crash levels in... Continue Reading »

Key Things to Know About Home Equity Loans

Shutterstock By Kirk Haverkamp Home equity lending is making something of a comeback. After being nearly shut down with the collapse of housing prices during the Great Recession, lenders are once again opening up their wallets and allowing people to borrow against the value of their homes. Newly originated home equity... Continue Reading »

Don't Count on Home Equity to Fund Retirement

Eric Risberg/AP By David Ning Many people are counting on the equity they have built in their home to help fund their retirement years. But folks who are living without quite enough saved for retirement should be realistic about what that equity can provide. Here are a few reasons to be cautious about relying on home... Continue Reading »

Rising Home Prices Keep Lifting Underwater Mortgages, Report Says

More homeowners got out from underwater on their mortgages in the first quarter as a recovery in housing lifted prices, a report from CoreLogic showed on Wednesday. There were 9.7 million properties underwater -- whose owners owed more on the mortgage than the homes were worth -- during the quarter, down from 10.5 million... Continue Reading »

More Homeowners Gain Equity, Rise Above Water Again

The housing market's massive downturn several years ago took a significant toll on homeowners nationwide, and some are only now finally recovering from it. However, that number grew significantly in the fourth quarter of last year. Between October and December 2012, some 200,000 consumers who had previously been underwater... Continue Reading »

30% of U.S. Homeowners Are Mortgage-Free, Zillow Says

Media coverage of the real estate market has focused so much on the mortgage woes of homeowners over the past five years, you might be excused for believing that only a small minority of homeowners actually, well, own their homes -- mortgage-free. But you'd be mistaken, a report released by listing service Zillow... Continue Reading »

Reverse Mortgage: Is It Too Risky?

By Beth Braverman If you're 62 or older, you've probably started getting reverse-mortgage solicitations in the mail, and it's hard to miss the aging actors singing the loans' praises on TV (hey, it's the Fonz!). The pitch may sound appealing, especially if you're among the 83 percent of boomers who plan to stay in their... Continue Reading »

Reverse Mortgages: 3 Ways You Can Tap Home Equity to Enhance Your Retirement

By Gerri Detweiler You may have heard of reverse mortgages as a way for seniors to tap the equity in their homes to pay for living expenses, but there are other ways that homeowners are using their homes to get by. Many seniors are on fixed incomes, with Social Security payments providing a significant portion of their... Continue Reading »

Home Equity Lending's Uptick: Why It's Good News for Homeowners and the Economy

By Jeff Brown Terrific news! Home equity lending is increasing! OK, maybe it's not a world-changing event. But an uptick in home equity loans is more evidence that the housing market is strengthening. And it gives another loan option to homeowners who still do have equity despite the plunge in home prices after the... Continue Reading »

Remodeling? How to Pay for It When You Don't Have Home Equity

By Dona DeZube When your kitchen is screaming for quartz countertops but your wallet is yelling laminate, your home can be a great source for generating the income you need to fund a home renovation you want -- even if you don't qualify for a home equity loan. To make room in your monthly budget for a remodel, try these... Continue Reading »

What You Should Know About Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage is a type of loan that enables older borrowers to convert their home equity into cash, often serving as a source of supplemental income for retired homeowners. Unlike all other mortgages, in which borrowers pay their lenders, reverse mortgages flip the money flow: They pay the borrower, either in the... Continue Reading »

Home Value Policy Promises to Shelter Equity in a Meltdown

With millions of Americans still reeling from the real estate bust's massive blow to household wealth, a little-known form of insurance has emerged as a way for homeowners to hedge their bets against another real estate downturn. Home value insurance enables homeowners to preserve home equity should real estate prices... Continue Reading »

Think it's tough to qualify for refinancing your existing mortgage? So does Richard Shin, a Queens attorney with good credit and great income who was turned down by his original lender when he wanted to refinance his 30-year-fixed rate mortgage on his single family brick home to a 15-year-mortgage with a lower interest... Continue Reading »

HELOC Frozen? Here's How to Take Action

During this recession lenders are cutting the umbilical cord to the funds as homeowners with a HELOC have a high likelihood of being severely delinquent on their mortgage payments, according to a November 2010 study by TransUnion, a credit management information company. The study indicated that under certain circumstances... Continue Reading »

Home values sank, the stock market plummeted, 401K plans were depleted, and today many of the nearly 40 million Americans in retirement are discovering they may have not been financially prepared for a doomsday scenario. One remedy many Baby Boomers, with their record-high level of home ownership, may not have considered... Continue Reading »

Is Renting the New American Dream?

Today's homeowners aspire to ... rent? That's what the majority of respondents to a Harris Interactive poll said when asked about attitudes toward renting. Seventy-six percent of those who responded to the May survey said that they believe that renting is a better option that buying a home in the current real estate... Continue Reading »

To Refi Your Mortgage, Write a Check

About a third of all the people who refinanced their home loans in the last months of 2009 lowered their principal balance, typically by writing a check to their bank for tens of thousands of dollars. It used to be that many people refinanced to squeeze money out of their homes. Higher home values, lower interest rates,... Continue Reading »

Rich Use Home as ATM Too

According to a page one story in today's Wall Street Journal, the wealthy can be just as bad about diluting their home equity as your average Joe, if not slightly worse. Ronald Burkle, a grocery store billionaire and Bill Clinton supporter, has apparently borrowed $56 million against his two homes, including $9 million in... Continue Reading »

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