Real Estate Information Archive


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Investing Options: Tapping into Your Home’s Equity

by Tim Hart

When the housing market is in a full swing recovery like it is today with interest rates still historically low and inventory changing daily, it is a good time to see how you, the ‘happy in your current home and not looking to move,’ can tap into the market through investing.

Usual Methods of Real Estate Investment: These include: financing a new purchase with a mortgage or selling some stocks and bonds, taking money out of your IRA or from your 401(k). These are hit and miss and sometimes turn out to be not-so-smart moves but they seem to be the methods by which most investors fund their second (or third, or fourth…) purchases.

An Unusual Proposal: Some investors have begun to start using the equity they have built up in their own home as the launch point for an investment property! Home equity, the difference between what a person owes on their mortgage versus their home’s market value, rises with the strengthening real estate market. The increasing value of your home’s equity can be monetized through a home equity loan (a call-out refinance) allows home owners to use their current home’s value to pay for a second home. This, like the methods above, does has pros and cons to it.

  • Pros: Lenders are more willing to lend on more favorable terms because the home owner has more skin in the game. The costs on borrowing will be lower as well since this form of loan does not involve paying for title searches or the transactional cost of a new mortgage.
  • Cons: Your monthly payments will increase and if you cannot pay, you may lose your primary home to foreclosure. In addition, this is an eggs all in one basket approach—you will be investing in one type of asset.

Curb Appeal: Tips for Property Investors

by Tim Hart


Making a home stand out in a market that is evermore ‘template’ based for building homes is not something that can be put off for another day. In order to make your house pop when a potential renter/buyer is looking at it, follow these dramatic tips:

Simple and Sweet: Manicure your lawn. Great lawns require upkeep and that is a fact that people just have to face. Cutting, trimming, weeding, fertilizing, and a little bit of TLC to make the velvety green plain look solid and well cared for. If you do not have the time for it, hire either a professional company or if you are on the fence about the amount you need extra help, neighborhoods have a great summer work fleet of eager young kids looking to make a few bucks.

Beyond lawn care, shrubs, flowers, and bushes are spendy  to purchase so once they are in, trimming them back and keeping them in top-notch condition is only sensible. Here in Montana where spring is gorgeous, summer is short, fall is crisp, and winter is long investing in some winter resistant evergreens will keep a touch of color in snow covered yards.




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