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How do I build equity in my home?

Home ownership has many advantages, and one of them is the ability to build equity.

Your home equity is the value of your home minus any outstanding mortgage balance. Anything that increases the value of your property or reduces the amount you owe on your mortgage will help to increase the equity.

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Let’s take a look at the most effective ways to quickly build equity in your home.

Increase your home’s value

Property values climb in two main ways: through changes in the housing market and through improvements. One of these variables is beyond your control, but you can harness the other to help you increase equity.

Prices on the housing market, both generally and in your area, will rise and fall in response to market conditions. Naturally, your home’s value will probably ride along with these changes. If you have the luxury of time, you can ride out any downtrends and wait for the market to improve. With property, this is usually only a matter of time.

You can, however, take control of increasing equity in your property – by improving it. Substantive changes or even minor and cosmetic improvements to your home can increase its market value. For example, you might redecorate or replace old wiring or windows. You might go further and remodel rooms like the kitchen and bathroom or create more space by adding an extension. These changes increase the value of your home, translating to more equity.

When making improvements, if your sole goal is to build equity, it might be a good idea to first do some research. It’s important to confirm that any renovations or improvements you carry out will actually increase your home’s value. It’s also a good idea to check whether there is a ceiling on property prices in your area. This can help you avoid spending money on home improvements that will not increase its value.

Regular home maintenance is also important as it helps preserve your home’s value. It might, therefore, be useful to regularly carry out maintenance actions such as cleaning gutters and ensuring that the central heating system is in good condition.

Reduce your debt

There are several actions you can take to reduce your outstanding debt quickly.

  • Put down a big deposit – A big deposit when first taking out your mortgage reduces the capital you need to borrow to buy the property by a significant margin. This gives you greater equity right off the bat. A 30% deposit, for instance, will give you 30% home equity at the time of buying. A bigger deposit also reduces your monthly repayments. These savings could then be used to boost mortgage repayments, reducing the debt and further increasing your home equity.
  • Make overpayments every month – Not only does this immediately add to your equity, but it also reduces the interest portion of your payments moving forward (monthly interest is calculated based on outstanding mortgage balance, so a lower balance means less interest). When a bigger portion of the repayment is going towards paying off the capital, your equity will grow much faster.
  • Add windfalls, bonuses, and any unexpected cash into mortgage repayments – Rather than splurging these on unnecessary expenses such as an expensive holiday, you can funnel them into mortgage payments. 

Final word

Building your home equity quickly requires a concerted effort on your part, but it is an undertaking that is certainly worth it.

Home equity can be a source of cash for both short-term and long-term uses and can also be used as a wealth builder. The quicker you build it, the better. It is, of course, useful to run the numbers first to find the right and most viable strategy for you when it comes to equity building.

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