One of the benefits of being a homeowner is that you build equity over time. By selling your house, that equity can be used toward purchasing your next home. But before you can put it to use, you should understand exactly what equity is and how it grows. Bankrate explains it like this:
“Home equity is the portion of your home you’ve paid off – in other words, your stake in the property as opposed to the lender’s. In practical terms, home equity is the appraised value of your home minus any outstanding mortgage and loan balances.”
Majority of Americans Have a Large Amount of Equity
If you’ve owned your home for a while, you’ve likely built up some equity – and you may not even realize how much. Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and ATTOM, the majority of Americans have a substantial amount of equity right now (see graph below):
And having such large amounts of equity is a benefit to homeowners in more ways than one. Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President of Market Intelligence at ATTOM, explains:
“Record levels of home equity provide security for millions of families, and minimize the chance of another housing market crash like the one we saw in 2008.”
Over time, your home equity grows. In addition to providing financial stability while you own your house, when you’re ready to sell it, that money could go a long way toward paying for your next home.
By selling your house and leveraging your equity, it can be easier to pay for your next home. Let’s connect today so you can find out how much home equity you have and start planning your next move.Leverage Your Equity When You Sell Your House
Many people are reaching the point in their lives when they need to decide where they want to live when they retire. If you’re a homeowner approaching this stage, you have several options to explore. Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:
“As we see the transition of the large Baby Boomer generation age into retirement, it will be interesting to see if they move in with their Millennial and Gen Z children or if they stay put in their own homes.”
Lautz lists two options: move into a multigenerational home with loved ones, or stay in your current house. Multigenerational living is rising in popularity, but it isn’t an option for everyone. And staying put may fit fewer and fewer of your needs. There’s a third option though, and for some, it’s the best one: downsizing.
When you sell your house and purchase a smaller one, it’s known as downsizing. Sometimes smaller homes are more suited to your changing needs, and moving means you can also land in your ideal location.
In addition to the personal benefits, downsizing might be more cost effective, too. The New York Times (NYT) shares:
“Many downsizers expect to improve their retirement income stream if their new home costs less than what their old house sells for. Lower utility costs, insurance and property taxes — as well as investment returns on the proceeds — can also improve the bottom line.”
Being in a strong financial position is one of the most important parts of retirement, and downsizing can make a big difference.
A key part of why downsizing is still cost effective today, even when mortgage rates are higher than they were a year ago, is the record-high level of equity homeowners have. Leveraging your equity when you downsize can lower or maybe even eliminate the mortgage payment on your next home.
So, not only is the upkeep of a smaller home likely more affordable, but leveraging your home equity could make a big difference too. Your local real estate advisor is the best resource to help you understand how much equity you may have in your current home and what options it can provide for your next move.
If you’re a homeowner getting ready for retirement, part of that transition likely includes deciding where you’ll live. Let’s connect so you can understand your options and explore your downsizing opportunities.
- As you get ready to sell your house, focus on tasks that make it inviting, show it’s cared for, and boost your curb appeal.
- This list will help you get started, but don’t forget, a real estate professional will provide other helpful tips based on your specific situation.
- Let’s connect so you have advice on what you may want to do to get your house ready to sell this season.