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Using the equity in your home – good idea or not?

599 320 Nisha Muire
Now that you have your first Toronto property and you have been paying towards it for a year or two – maybe more, you have definitely built-up equity in your place. The equity built adds value to your overall financial bottom line. Lately, with interest rates being as low as they have been for the last decade or more, many homeowners have been tempted to use the equity built up in their homes – is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well, the answer lies in how you use that equity.
There are some very good reasons to use the equity built up in your home – and all of those increase your overall net financial value over time.
The good:
Using equity to finance improvements to your home
Using the equity in your home for renovations and updates is one of the best reasons to pull the money out of your home. Renovations – especially to bathrooms and kitchens can increase your home’s value by up to 25%.
Buying more property
If you use the equity in your home to fund additional property purchases, this is another very good thing as it will increase your net value as well as provide you with a steady source of passive income. However, you have to be prepared to deal with all of the ancillary issues that arise with owning income property.
Another good reason to use the equity in your home is to put it into secure investments that will grow at a higher rate than the rate of interest on your home. If you are confident that this is possible and you can achieve such returns, then using the equity to investment might be a good idea. However, if you are going to use it to gamble on iffy investments that have no real security, then you should leave your equity where it is.
Borrowing the equity in your home is to further your education is another good investment. If you invest in your education, which in turn will lead to better career and salary prospects, then it is definitely a worthwhile investment – but, you must be determined to complete your education and to apply it for a better career and salary.
Debt consolidation
If your debts have spiraled out of control, it might be a good idea to consolidate all of them into your mortgage. However, you need to be extremely disciplined and stick to your budget so that you don’t once again fall into the credit trap – because then, it would have been a bad move on your part.
The bad:
You should never use the equity in your home to purchase anything that loses value such as cars, electronics, furniture, and vacations.
If you are not going to be able to gain anything except temporary pleasure or convenience from your purchases then they should never be made using the equity in your home.


Nisha Muire

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