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    The Importance of Home Equity in Building Wealth

    The Importance of Home Equity in Building Wealth | MyKCM

    Homeownership has always been the first rung on the ladder leading to household wealth. As Freddie Mac recently posted:

    “Homeownership has cemented its role as part of the American Dream, providing families with a place that is their own and an avenue for building wealth over time. This ‘wealth’ is built, in large part, through the creation of equity…Building equity through your monthly principal payments and appreciation is a critical part of homeownership that can help you create financial stability.”

    Home equity is the difference between the current market value of your house and the amount you currently owe on your mortgage. To estimate your equity, subtract your mortgage balance from the market value of your home.

    You can find what you owe on your mortgage by looking at your last monthly statement or by contacting your lender. If you need help determining the current market value of your home, contact a local real estate professional.

    Is homeownership truly a better path to wealth than renting?

    Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of property taxes and home repairs. Every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs (property taxes, repairs, insurance, etc.) are already baked into the rent payment – along with a profit margin. You don’t save money by renting.

    As proof of this, First American broke down the net worth of homeowners and renters by income categories. Here are their findings:The Importance of Home Equity in Building Wealth | MyKCMOnly one income category ($127-192K) has a higher net worth for renters over homeowners. Every other category shows that being a homeowner leads to greater accumulated wealth.

    According to the latest Homeowner Equity Insights Report from CoreLogic, the average homeowner gained $17,000 in equity in just the last year. Here’s a breakdown of the year-over-year equity gain by state:The Importance of Home Equity in Building Wealth | MyKCM

    When can you cash in on your housing wealth?

    Your home equity is part of your total wealth as a homeowner. The two most common ways homeowners can leverage their wealth are:

    • Selling
    • Refinancing

    Selling: When you decide to sell your home, the equity you’ve built over time will come back to you in the sale. For example, if you paid off your $200,000 mortgage and sold your home for $350,000, you would receive $150,000 after closing.

    Refinancing: You can refinance your current mortgage and take out some of the equity you have accumulated. With today’s historically low mortgage rates, you may be able to take out substantial cash and keep your monthly payment the same. Thankfully, homeowners today are doing this responsibly and not repeating the same mistakes made in 2006-2008 when some cashed out their entire equity to purchase luxury items like new cars, lavish vacations, etc.

    How can these options help homeowners?

    During these difficult times, many households are struggling with their housing expenses. Homeowners, because of their equity, have better alternatives. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, recently explained that homeowners financially impacted by the pandemic will not necessarily be faced with foreclosure:

    “The foreclosure process is based on two steps. First, the homeowner suffers an adverse economic shock…leading to the homeowner becoming delinquent on their mortgage. However, delinquency by itself is not enough to send a mortgage into foreclosure. With enough equity, a homeowner has the option of selling their home, or tapping into their equity through a refinance, to help weather the economic shock.”

    What might the future bring?

    Most experts are calling for home prices to continue appreciating going forward. The Home Price Expectation Survey, a survey of a national panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists, indicates appreciation will continue for at least the next five years. Using their annual projections, the graph below shows the equity build-up a purchaser would potentially earn by buying a $300,000 home this January:The Importance of Home Equity in Building Wealth | MyKCM

    Bottom Line

    Home equity, for most Americans, is the quickest way to build household wealth. That wealth gives homeowners more options during good times and in difficult situations.

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    Carin Nguyen

    Carin Nguyen takes the business of real estate very seriously and she has the track record to prove it. She holds the recent prestigious title and ranking of the #1 realtor in AZ for sides as awarded by the Wall Street Journal. Carin is an Arizona native and fully understands the complexities and changing landscape of the Arizona market. She has been in the real estate industry for over 10 year’s full time and comes by her expertise honestly, having honed it during years in the finance and mortgage industries. Education and knowledge is key in getting her buyers and sellers what they what. A rich resume built with a tireless commitment to her clients, undeniable proven past success and an uncompromised vision for the future create the recipe for complete customer satisfaction. Carin understands the potential emotional stress and sometimes life altering experiences felt by clients during the real estate transaction process. Carin is unyielding in insisting on complete professionalism from herself and her team while understanding that real estate is a personal business. She thrives on managing the details and individuality of each transaction and client. Her clients know that having Carin on their side means they have an advocate who cares about them and their needs. Carin is convinced that building relationships will ensure continued satisfaction and be reflected in future success. There is no denying what provides Carin with her constant strength. Her family is “at the heart of my motivation to push myself to achieve my goals and to be forthright in all that I do. My husband, Son, is my biggest source of support, my coach and my best friend. I am truly blessed with a loving husband and four great children who collectively strengthen my resolve to be the best at all my endeavors. I can be a wife and mother and still be a successful Realtor because I tackle everything with all that I have. My motto is ‘Working Hard To Get Homes Sold’ for a reason. I am thrilled that so many families have made me their real estate consultant.” A commitment to professionalism, an empathetic and understanding approach to her clients and an unstoppable and dependable force from her family all ensures success for Carin and most importantly, her clients

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