Build Home Equity Faster
Home equity is the part of your property you actually own. For instance, if your property’s worth $250,000, and you have a mortgage with a remaining loan balance of $100,000, your equity in the property is $150,000.
Naturally, building home equity comes at a price, usually in the form of larger payments. If building home equity means incurring debt to make ends meet, then you’ve defeated the purpose of building equity in the first place.
The first option in home equity building is to make additional principal payments. One way to do this is to sign up for a bi-weekly mortgage, in which you make two payments per month (which added together equal one monthly payment). You will make the equivalent of 13 monthly payments per year instead of 12, which may seem insignificant. But a 30-year loan with a bi-weekly payment plan is usually paid off in about 20 years.
The other way to build home equity faster is to refinance. If you had a $200,000 30-year ARM at 8.13 percent and replaced it with a 15-year fixed rate loan at 6.75 percent, your monthly payment would go from $1485.69 to $1769.82. You would save $200,000 in interest and build the same amount of equity in half the time.
Winterizing Your Home
Check for leaks: Replace worn weather stripping and caulk.…Replace old windows with energy efficient ones or install plastic window seal.… Draft stoppers can be attached to doors. Hire a contractor to perform a blower test to locate air leaks.… Install foam gaskets behind wall switch plates.… Close the damper on your fireplace when not in use.… Close crawlspace vents during the summer and winter and open them in spring and fall.
Check your heating and a/c: Hire professionals to clean, check, and lubricate the system.… Replace your heater’s air filter monthly.… Update old heating systems.… Use a setback thermostat, which turns the system down when you are, then back up when you are home.… In winter, set your ceiling fans so they blow upward to circulate heat without chilling you.
Check insulation: Check for adequate insulation — floor, wall, ceiling.
Check outside: Trim trees and dead branches.… Clean your gutters to prevent blocked drainage.… Install a chimney screen to block falling leaves.… Keep snow and ice from around your garage door.… Make sure steps and handrails are in good condition.… Drain gasoline from lawn mowers and other equipment only used in summer. Winter is on us don't wait !