For many people, the dream of buying a home cannot become a reality without a mortgage. By paying your mortgage, you are building home equity, which can be a helpful tool when making other large purchases. Home equity is the part of your home that you actually own, so the less you owe on your mortgage, the more home equity you have.
To start building home equity you can make a large down payment when you purchase your house. You can also accelerate your payments by making more than the minimum payment each month. If you do decide to build your home equity faster by paying off your mortgage more quickly, just be sure to check the terms of your mortgage for prepayment charges.
Your home equity also has to do with the market value of your home. If your home is near excellent schools or has other attractive features, the value of your home could increase, which in turn increases your home equity.
Your home equity can be very helpful when you need to make other major purchases or expensive home improvements. Borrowing against your home equity can be one of the easiest and least expensive ways to finance costs. You can also usually borrow a considerable amount when you borrow against your home equity - usually up to 80 percent. The interest rates on home equity borrowing can be quite competitive and typically the amount you pay in interest is tax deductible.
But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should use your home equity for just any purchase. Some experts only recommend borrowing against your home equity to finance home improvements, major purchases, college expenses or for consolidation of high-interest debt. Using your home equity to finance improvements and renovations can prove to be an especially smart move because new and modern home features can actually increase the value of your home.