The goal of homeownership isn’t always an easy one to achieve. But when you do become a homeowner with a mortgage, you can then use that achievement to realize other objectives. Let’s look at a few ways that refinancing can help you to utilize the equity you have in your home as a tool to reach a variety of financial goals.
Investing as a Goal
For a huge number of Americans — almost one in five based on a recent survey — investing is their top financial goal. And this objective is nearly equal across different age demographics, with Generation X, millennials, and Generation Z all showing similar desires to invest more. Baby boomers lag just behind them with about 15% of people in that age group looking to make more investments.
Cash-out refinancing may be one of the best ways you can use the equity you have in your home to help you invest. With this strategy, you would replace the mortgage you currently have with a larger one, and, as the product’s name suggests, take out the difference in cash. You can then use that money to fund a host of different investments. The key here is to invest in something stable that has a rate of return that’s higher than the rate you are paying on the funds you took out through refinancing.
Stocks can be one way to do this. While subject to market forces and not 100% guaranteed to be profitable, historically, the stock market offers an average return of 10%. As a hypothetical, if one is paying 5% interest on the cash they use to invest, and that investment is returning at 10%, they’re making a steady profit. Granted, the rate of inflation will reduce those profits, and stock values fluctuate, so the stock market is a long-term strategy best managed with the help of financial professionals who know what they are doing.
And you might consider that the money you may gain isn’t limited to what the investment earns; given today’s attractive interest rates, you could very well get a better rate on your current mortgage through refinancing and lower your monthly payments.
Refinancing and Real Estate Investing
One of the most direct ways to employ cash-out refinancing to invest in real estate is to use the money you get to put a down payment on an investment property. This could be a considerable amount, as cash-out refinancing allows for borrowers to get up to 80% of the equity they have in their homes — with low credit score requirements, as low as 640. Some borrowers could very well have enough equity in their homes to buy an investment property outright with cash.
Also, keep in mind that refinancing works for the second property as well if, like many, you use a mortgage loan to buy an investment property. Just as you can with your primary residence, you can use refinancing to change the mortgage terms on an investment property. One might wish to refinance from a mortgage with an adjustable rate to a fixed one. Or shorten the term of a loan to own a property sooner, paying higher monthly payments but accruing less overall interest. You might also use cash-out refinancing with the mortgage you have for an investment property to pay for maintenance and repairs on that property.
Paying Down Debt
Recent data shows that paying down debt is the number-one financial goal of people in the United States, as about 20% of Americans are looking to reduce what they owe. You may be able to simply achieve this goal by using the money you save in monthly payments by refinancing at a lower rate and putting that difference toward debt each month. Though one can also use cash-out refinancing to pay off debt by consolidating high-interest debt with a lower-interest loan. Credit card debt, for example, tends to have a higher interest rate than mortgage rates.
Home Improvement as a Financial Strategy
Repairing or upgrading your home isn’t just a goal that could improve your living situation in the short term — it’s also a long-term financial goal. Several home improvements offer significant returns on investments by increasing property values. While not all home upgrades pay off, many do. These often include kitchen updates, replacement entry doors, energy-efficient windows, wood decks, and new garage doors. In terms of cost versus value, Remodeling magazine found that adding stone veneer to a home’s exterior recoups 95.6% of its cost when a property sells. These improvements, paid for through refinancing, could earn you money in the long run.
To utilize refinancing to pay for some or all of these upgrades, you can look to an FHA 203k Rehabilitation Loan. Backed by the Federal Housing Authority, these versatile loans can be used for basic upgrades such as a revamped kitchen or a bathroom makeover, or extensive projects such as additions or even tearing structures down to their foundations to rebuild. It’s a simple deal: you just roll the renovation costs into your current monthly mortgage payment. All with credit-score requirements as low as 580, no tax returns are needed, and you don’t have to currently hold an FHA mortgage to take advantage of FHA refinancing.
More Money for Retirement
One way to use refinancing with retirement goals in mind is to shorten the term of your mortgage so that you pay off a home sooner and retire with less debt. Entering retirement with a home paid off offers peace of mind that goes beyond pure financial stability. But others use a different strategy: using cash-out refinancing to invest in their retirement savings by contributing to a 401(k) or an IRA. This might make sense if the return on the investment is higher than the interest rate on the home loan.
Are you ready to take proactive steps to secure your financial future? If so, City Lending is waiting with a range of loan products designed to help you achieve your financial goals. Contact us today.