Homeowners not tapping into rising home equity

Homeowners are sitting on a record amount of equity, but this time they’re stubbornly reluctant to borrow against it.

Strong home price appreciation has handed Americans more than $5.8 trillion of equity they could be tapping and aren’t, more than double the level in 2011, according to data provider Black Knight Inc. At least part of that reluctance stems from rising rates, which means debt carrying adjustable rates will keep growing more expensive.

Last decade’s mortgage crisis has likely made consumers hesitant, too. Home prices fell 35 percent after the bubble burst, leaving many borrowers owing more than their house was worth. People who tapped their equity to pay off their credit cards ended up struggling to meet their obligations, said Dan Alpert, managing partner at Westwood Capital, a New York-based investment bank focusing on real estate.

“There’s a long-memory issue,” Alpert said. “People got caught with home equity lines last time.”

The banking industry is now encouraging homeowners to take a little more risk. Lenders jacked up the number of direct-mail solicitations for home equity products by 30 percent in the first quarter compared to a year earlier, according to market research firm Mintel.

The offers are landing in the mailboxes of potential customers like Andy Dogan, 42, who considered taking out a home equity line to increase his stake in the architecture firm where he’s a partner and make home improvements. He ultimately passed when the bank offered him a line for about $20,000 less than the mailer said he could be eligible for.

read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-12/homeowners-have-more-equity-than-ever-but-don-t-want-to-tap-it

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Helix water rates going up in November

The Helix Water District voted to raise prices for its customers after a heated public meeting Wednesday night.

The hearing drew a small but vocal crowd to the district’s headquarters in La Mesa.

On the agenda was a proposal to raise water rates 4.7 percent starting November 1 for the district’s service area which includes La Mesa, El Cajon, Lemon Grove, and parts of Spring Valley,
Lakeside and Santee.

The price hike would work out to just over $2 a month for an average user.

read more at: https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Helix-Water-District-Rate-Increase-Approved–166419036.html

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7 area where you shouldn’t waste your money before selling your home

We all want to maximize the selling price of our home – it’s usually our biggest asset. But when you’re devising a pre-sale makeover list, there are some updates that aren’t worth the time or money.

1. Designer fixtures and fittings

There aren’t too many buyers who will be able to tell the difference between Carrara marble and an engineered stone look-alike, a Moooi chandelier versus a clever replica. And most buyers won’t consider upping the offer on your property just because you have installed a high-end bath and loo.

“A new kitchen and bathroom can definitely add value, but there is always the possibility for over-capitalization,” says Tim Bodman, director of CSA Valuers in Brisbane. “Sometimes a $10,000 Ikea kitchen might do the job.”

BresicWhitney Hunters Hill agent Nicholas McEvoy says he advises vendors not to indulge their designer wish-lists just before listing.

“When you’re selling it’s not the time to go and buy luxury fittings. It’s unlikely you’ll get your money back.”

2. A high-maintenance garden or pool

If there’s one key message that has remained consistent on TV lifestyle shows, it’s that while Aussies love the great outdoors, they don’t want to spend their weekends working hard to maintain their green spaces. Borders of manicured hedges, rose gardens, lilies and even citrus require above-average attention to thrive.

“Aim to keep the landscaping simple,” says Mae Chan of Di Jones North Shore. “Most people don’t want the hassle of too much gardening.”

Licensed builder and founder of renovationjunkies.com.au James Mason says the same goes for the backyard swimming pool.

“Not everyone wants a pool and sometimes it’s more maintenance and more work than it’s worth,” he says. “Put a pool in for your family’s lifestyle, but not for sale.”

read more at: https://www.domain.com.au/advice/the-seven-areas-where-you-shouldnt-waste-your-money-before-selling-your-home-20180727-h137qh-755514/?utm_campaign=strap-masthead&utm_source=smh&utm_medium=link&utm_content=pos5&ref=pos1

disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only