How Much “Housing Wealth” Can You Build in a Decade?

Earlier this month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a special study titled Single-Family Home Price Gains by Years of Tenure. The study estimates median home price appreciation over the last 30 years based on the length of homeownership. Below are three graphs depicting the most important data revealed in the study. How much have home prices increased? One of...

Take Advantage of Your Home Equity: A Homeowner’s Guide – Part 3

HOW DO I ACCESS MY HOME EQUITY IF I NEED IT? When you put your money into a checking or savings account, it’s easy to make a withdrawal when needed. However, tapping into your home equity is a little more complicated. The primary way homeowners access their equity is by selling their home. Many sellers will use their equity as a downpayment on a new home. Or some homeowners may choose to...

Take Advantage of Your Home Equity: A Homeowner’s Guide – Part 2

WHAT CAN I DO TO GROW MY HOME’S EQUITY FASTER? Now that you understand the benefits of building equity, you may wonder how you can speed up your rate of growth. There are two basic ways to increase the equity in your home: Pay down your mortgage. We shared earlier that your home’s equity goes up as your mortgage balance goes down. So paying down your mortgage is one way to increase the...

Take Advantage of Your Home Equity: A Homeowner’s Guide Part 1

Homeownership offers many advantages over renting, including a stable living environment, predictable monthly payments, and the freedom to make modifications. Neighborhoods with high rates of homeownership have less crime and more civic engagement. Additionally, studies show that homeowners are happier and healthier than renters, and their children do better in school.1  But one of the...
Explains Homestead Exemptions

Homestead Exemptions!

Homestead Exemptions are Due by April 30th.Homestead exemptions remove part of your home's value from taxation. If you want to receive a homestead exemption for the taxes on your home, the home must first qualify as a residence homestead on January 1 of the year in which you are applying.There are two requirements: You must own your home on January 1. (If you are over...

Home Ownership: Down Payment Strategies

More options than you think! You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal like home ownership. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders. But there can be financial benefits to putting down a small...