Alyx Akers
Five College REALTORS ® | 413-320-6405 | AlyxAkersRealtor@gmail.com


Posted by Alyx Akers on 3/29/2020

No homeowner wants to borrow more money. However, if you’re experiencing hard financial times or looking for a way to fund a home improvement project, there are ways to borrow money with your home as collateral.

In this article, we’re going to talk about home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOC). We’ll explain how they differ and break down their benefits and risks.

Before the bubble

Before the financial crisis of 2007-2008, many homeowners were borrowing readily based on the equity of their home. Interest rates were low on home equity loans, encouraging homeowners to leverage their portion of homeownership.

During the recession, however, all of that changed. People owed more money on their mortgages than their homes were worth, and banks became reluctant to lend.

In recent, years, however, house prices have been creeping back up, and banks and homeowners alike have gained confidence in the equity of their home.

As a result, a growing number of homeowners are turning back to home equity loans and lines of credit as a source of low-interest financing.

So, what exactly are these loans and credit lines?

The difference between a home equity loan and a line of credit

A home equity loan is a lump sum of money that you borrow which is secured by the value of your home. Typically, home equity loans are borrowed at a fixed rate. Lenders take into consideration the amount of equity you have in your home, your credit history, and your verifiable income.

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a bit different. Like a credit card, you are able to borrow money as you need it via a credit card or checks. HELOCs often have variable interest rates, which means even if you’re approved for an initial low rate it could be increased. As a result, HELOCs are better suited for borrowers who can withstand a higher leverage of risk and variation each month.

Is now a good time to borrow?

If you’re a homeowner, there’s an understandable temptation to use the equity you’ve built over the years to your advantage. In some cases, home equity loans and HELOCs can earn you better interest rates than other forms of borrowing.

However, as with other loan types, it’s important for homeowners to realize that HELOCs and home equity loans are not the same as having cash in your savings account.

Another danger that borrowers face is the potential for foreclosure if things go badly. While most lenders won’t seek foreclosure after a few missed payments, your home has been put up as collateral for repaying the loan. Most lenders will choose to sell a defaulted loan to a collections company rather than seek foreclosure.

Ultimately, the best course of action is to avoid borrowing unless it will help you out financially in the long term. However, for those with high home equity who may, for one reason or another, need to borrow, a home equity loan or line of credit might be the best choice.





Posted by Alyx Akers on 3/24/2020

This Single-Family in Northampton, MA recently sold for $255,000. This Farmhouse style home was sold by Alyx Akers - Five College REALTORS ®.


15 Ryan Rd, Northampton, MA 01062

Florence

Single-Family

$249,000
Price
$255,000
Sale Price

6
Rooms
3
Beds
2
Baths
OFFER ACCEPTED. Open House will be held for back-up offers only. ***Walk to Florence Center! This wonderfully updated home features 3 bedrooms/2 baths, and a 2-car detached garage with storage above. Large, remodeled kitchen features updated cabinets, granite countertops, hardwood floors and updated appliances. Living room with wood floors, laundry and full bath, mudroom entry and front porch complete the first floor. 3 bedrooms upstairs and bath with walk-in shower. Updated electrical, 2015 roof (apo), and gas furnace. Fenced rear yard and more! Access point to Sawmill Hills for hiking and biking right nearby.

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Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Alyx Akers on 3/22/2020


15 Beyer Dr, Easthampton, MA 01027

Single-Family

$249,000
Price

5
Rooms
3
Beds
1
Baths
Move-in ready ranch with lots of extras! Spacious eat-in kitchen leads to three season porch to extend your living area for much of the year. Three bedrooms with hardwood floors. Newer Mitsubishi mini-split system for heat and A/C. Partially finished basement with bonus room and office/playroom with wood-look vinyl plank flooring, and recently added bulkhead for easy access. Outside the fully-fenced, level yard with deck provides the perfect place for gardening, pets, entertaining, and outdoor fun. Don't miss it! Showings begin right away. Click to view the video tour!
Open House
No scheduled Open Houses

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Categories: New Homes  


Posted by Alyx Akers on 3/22/2020

Becoming a home owner for the first time is an exciting milestone for Millennials! Going from renting an apartment to owning your own property represents a big transition from dependency to independence.

For many people, it even symbolizes making the leap from childhood to adulthood. Once you're a homeowner and a property taxpayer, there's often a newfound feeling of being more established and successful.

While home ownership may bestow upon you a boost in status, the added responsibility of paying for your own repairs, maintenance, and upkeep can take an unexpected toll on your budget. With a little extra planning, however, you can avoid many of the pitfalls of home ownership.

Looking at the Big Picture

Here's a misconception that sometimes creates a financial strain for first-time homeowners: "If we can afford to pay $1800 in rent, every month, then we should be able to afford monthly mortgage payments in that same amount!" While that premise may sound logical, there are a few crucial "missing pieces" from that equation -- pieces which could throw your household budget out of kilter!

In addition to the costs associated with purchasing real estate, such as a down payment and closing costs, there's also the matter of home repairs and property maintenance. Depending on where you decide to live, there could be other fees to absorb, too, including garbage collection, yard waste removal, and water usage. Other expenses that first-time homeowners may overlook include the cost of buying a lawnmower, a snow blower, yard maintenance supplies, tools, and furniture. That's why creating a detailed estimated budget, based on your income, debts, and anticipated expenses can help you determine whether you're truly ready to take the plunge into homeownership.

Enlisting Professional Help

A mortgage broker or bank loan officer can provide you with assistance in calculating your financial readiness for purchasing a home. A good real estate agent can also offer insights and guidance into the process of finding, buying, and owning a house you can comfortably afford. They should be able to provide you with vital information about school taxes, property taxes, average utility bills, homeowner association fees (if any), and any issues revealed in the seller's disclosure form.

One way to avoid -- or at least be prepared for -- costs that often accompany home ownership is to have a qualified property inspector take a close look at the condition of everything in the house from the basement and attic to major appliances and structural features. They can generally tell you whether there are any concerns about mechanical systems, water in the basement, foundation damage, issues with property drainage, the electrical system, potential plumbing problems, and dozens of other vital checkpoints

Whether you're a first-time house hunter or a seasoned homeowner, it pays to understand, anticipate, and budget for the many costs of being a property owner. While owning your own home can be a rewarding and satisfying experience, a guiding principle to keep in mind as you consider available homes on the market is "caveat emptor" (Let the buyer beware)!




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Alyx Akers on 3/20/2020

This Single-Family in Hatfield, MA recently sold for $394,000. This Farmhouse style home was sold by Alyx Akers - Five College REALTORS ®.


113 Prospect Street, Hatfield, MA 01038

Single-Family

$399,900
Price
$394,000
Sale Price

8
Rooms
3
Beds
2
Baths
Prepare to be wowed AND charmed by this 1920 farmhouse, conveniently located in bucolic Hatfield near major commuting routes and area colleges. The flexible floor plan offers plenty of entertaining space and bright and sunny rooms! The 1st floor consists of a mudroom/enclosed porch, an eat in kitchen, an updated full bath, a 1st floor bedroom or dining room, a formal living room and a large step down family room addition overlooking the spacious backyard. Upstairs are 2 more bedrooms, a remodeled full bath, plus a flexible office space or additional bedroom. Updates include new flooring in the family room, 1st floor bath vanity, brand new porch windows and a new front door. The oversized, heated 2 car garage opens out to the pool area, with a natural gas heated, fiberglass salt water in-ground pool with a slide and a paver patio. The 2nd floor of the garage offers loads of storage space. Brand new septic system in 2018. UPDATE, full 9.11 parcel will convey, no land will be gifted.

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Categories: Sold Homes  




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