Maximize Equity in Your Home as Seen In the Tacoma News Tribune

Real Estate Agent with Windermere Real Estate/Professional Partners

Maximize equity in your home!

 By Steve Sloboda

 Home equity is the value you own in your home. If you have a mortgage, equity is simply the value of your home (determined by market price) minus the amount you owe. As the value of your home increases or as you pay off your mortgage, your equity grows.

Let's focus on what you can do to raise the value of your home and, therefore, maximize its equity.

A good place to start is in the original home search. Being an informed purchaser can increase potential. Look for homes in "up-and-coming" neighborhoods near or around "hot" or "overvalued" areas. Prices just outside those areas usually catch up fast, allowing you to buy lower and sell higher. Being ahead of the market up front is the first key to gaining equity.

Another way to gain equity is to look for the least desirable house in the most desirable area. You can make cosmetic improvements yourself to increase value and catch up to those surrounding the home. Paint, carpeting, windows, kitchens and bathrooms are the common areas where you can get the most bang for the buck. 

"Sweat equity" is the term used to describe putting your own skills to use in order to gain real dollars toward your home's bottom line. Good, old-fashioned hard work to update an older home or spruce up a forgotten gem can pay off in many ways.

There are also many ways to maximize your home's equity with the strategic use of creative mortgage programs. It is important to consult with a mortgage professional to make sure you are getting the best program available for your desired results. Most mortgage brokers will have quite a few options from which to choose.

When working with a real estate agent, it is to your advantage to communicate your goals so he or she can put together a plan to help you reach your desired results. Working with a team of professionals that you trust will help you become educated and informed throughout the home-buying process.

There are many advantages to having the ability to tap into the equity in your home, some of which are:


  • debt consolidation or payoff
  • financing a college education
  • making home improvements - which can further increase equity in your home
  • covering medical expenses or other emergencies
  • purchasing big-ticket items (vehicles, vacations, etc.)
  • pursuing investment opportunities.


Having equity in your home is a valuable asset. Taking steps to maximize your home equity is a great way to empower your personal financial status.


Steve Sloboda is currently Associate Broker at the University Place, WA office of Windermere Real Estate/Paragon Co.

Robert Havana
Park and Protect- Alberta Real Estate License Parking - Calgary, AB
Alberta Real Estate License Parking

Welcome Steve.  Your off to a good start already.  Have a great 2009

Jan 02, 2009 07:28 PM