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June 2023

Unlocking Your Home’s Value: Exploring the Benefits of Taking Equity Out of Your House

1000 500 Taylor Witt

For many new homeowners, their house represents not just a place to live, but also a valuable asset that can be leveraged to meet financial goals. One way to tap into the value of your home is by taking equity out of it. In this article, we will explore the concept of taking equity out of your house, the methods available, and the potential benefits and considerations associated with this financial strategy.

red blocks on brown wooden table

Understanding Home Equity

Before delving into the process of taking equity out of your house, it’s important to understand what home equity means. Home equity is the difference between the market value of your property and the outstanding balance on your mortgage. As you continue to make mortgage payments and your property value appreciates, your equity gradually increases over time.

Additionally, new research from Truehold shows that many Americans believe they’ll be tapping into their home equity quite soon. In fact, the study shows that 88% of Millennials, 80% of Gen Zers, and 77% of Gen Xers say they’re worried that a potential recession might force them to pull money out of their house, and just 56% of Baby Boomers agree.

Methods of Accessing Home Equity

There are several methods homeowners can use to access their home equity. Let’s take a look at three popular options:

  1. Home Equity Loan (HEL) or Second Mortgage: A home equity loan, also known as a second mortgage, allows you to borrow a fixed amount of money using your home’s equity as collateral. You receive a lump sum upfront and repay it, typically with fixed interest rates and monthly installments over a specified period. This option suits those who need a large sum for a specific purpose, such as home improvements or debt consolidation.
  2. Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): A home equity line of credit functions more like a credit card, providing you with a revolving line of credit based on your home equity. With a HELOC, you can withdraw funds as needed and only pay interest on the amount borrowed. This flexible option is ideal for ongoing expenses or when you’re uncertain about the total amount you’ll require.
  3. Cash-Out Refinance: In a cash-out refinance, you replace your existing mortgage with a new one, borrowing more than you currently owe. The difference between the new loan amount and your old mortgage is received as cash. This option allows you to take advantage of potentially lower interest rates, and the funds can be used for various purposes. However, it’s essential to consider closing costs and the impact on your mortgage terms.

Benefits of Taking Equity Out of Your House

  1. Home Improvements: Accessing your home equity can be a smart move if you’re planning renovations or upgrades. By reinvesting in your property, you can increase its value and potentially enjoy a higher resale price in the future.
  2. Debt Consolidation: If you have high-interest debts, such as credit card balances or personal loans, taking equity out of your house can provide a means to consolidate those debts into a single, more manageable payment. This strategy may offer lower interest rates and potentially save you money in the long run.
  3. Education or Investments: Using your home equity to fund higher education or investments can provide opportunities for personal and financial growth. Whether you’re considering further education or looking to start a new business venture, accessing your home equity can be a viable financing option.
  4. Emergency Expenses: Life can throw unexpected financial challenges our way. In such situations, having access to your home equity can serve as a financial safety net. Whether it’s medical bills, unforeseen repairs, or sudden unemployment, having liquid funds available can provide peace of mind.

Considerations and Risks

While taking equity out of your house can be beneficial, it’s crucial to approach it with careful consideration.

100 us dollar bill

Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  1. Equity Erosion: By tapping into your home equity, you reduce the stake you have in your property. This can affect your net worth and may limit your options in the future, such as downsizing or accessing further equity.
  2. Increased Debt: Borrowing against your home equity means taking on additional debt. It’s crucial to assess your ability to make repayments and ensure you have a plan to manage the new financial responsibility.
  3. Fluctuating Property Values: The real estate market is subject to fluctuations, and property values can rise or fall. It’s essential to evaluate the potential impact on your equity and loan-to-value ratio, especially if you plan to sell your home in the near future.
  4. Costs and Fees: When considering any method of accessing your home equity, be mindful of associated costs. These may include application fees, closing costs, origination fees, and appraisal charges. Factor in these expenses when determining the financial feasibility of your decision.


Taking equity out of your house can be a valuable tool to achieve your financial goals, whether it’s renovating your home, consolidating debts, investing in education, or handling unexpected expenses.

However, it’s essential to weigh the benefits against the potential risks and consider your long-term financial plans before making a decision. Consulting with a financial advisor can provide personalized guidance to help you navigate this financial strategy and make an informed choice. Ultimately, when used wisely, tapping into your home equity can open doors to new opportunities and provide the financial support you need.

best cities for millennials

Top 7 Best U.S. Cities for Millennials

1000 500 Taylor Witt

Millennials, born from 1981 to 1996, are a generation on the move. They are looking for more affordable living, a positive job outlook, and a balance between work and a fulfilling personal life. These are the seven best US cities for millennials to move to, whether or not they can afford their first home or if they’re looking to make their first offer on a house.

Additionally, the job market uncertainty has had a significant impact on millennials, many of whom are struggling to secure stable employment and financial stability. This uncertainty has also affected their ability to enter the real estate market, with many millennials postponing homeownership due to the high costs associated with buying a home.

Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these challenges, as job losses and economic downturns have made it even harder for millennials to save for a down payment or qualify for a mortgage. As a result, many millennials are opting for more flexible and affordable rental options, which has led to an increase in demand for rental properties and a decrease in the demand for home purchases. Overall, the job market uncertainty and economic anxiety shown by a recent Checkr study has had a profound impact on the real estate industry, with millennials representing a significant demographic affected by these changes. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the cities Millennials are loving right now. 

Denver, Colorado

Denver has one of the largest concentrated populations of millennials in the US, representing up to 34% of the people living in some of the downtown neighborhoods. This is a more expensive city for millennials with high average rents. With a well-paying job, the quality of living more than makes up for the costs. You can enjoy lots of parks and climbing on rocks at the nearby Rocky Mountains, or even ski.

 Nashville, Tennessee

While Nashville may be known for country music, it has a diverse collection of industries in health care, compounding pharmacies, finance, publishing, and music production. This gives millennials in the city plenty of employment sectors to choose from. The vibrant nightlife and sprawling neighborhoods mean millennials can always find something to do, from trying one of the many local breweries or attending city festivals.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle is a great place for millennials seeking employment in the booming tech industry. This city has one of the largest tech sectors in the country, which gives millennials job opportunities to work in the industry for big-name companies, such as Microsoft. Although Seattle does have one of the most expensive housing markets in the US, it has accessible public transit around the city. The city’s location on Puget Sound and many parks around the city provides plenty of outdoor activities to keep millennials busy.

Jacksonville, Florida

The millennials moving to Jacksonville will live in a city with multiple beaches, but at an affordable price. The city has a low unemployment rate, and average housing prices are lower in Jacksonville than national prices. The artistic neighborhood of Riverside has one of the largest increases in the millennial population across the city. The draw of the neighborhood likely comes from eclectic shops, trendy restaurants, and high walkability ratings. Additionally, it’s even featured on a new list for the top summer vacation cities in the U.S.

San Jose, California

More than 13% of people living in San Jose are millennials. San Jose also has growing incomes, although the average rent is high in the city. Across the city, there are lots of neighborhoods popular with millennials from the bustling downtown area to manicured Rose Garden and Japantown.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis is a Midwestern city with a family-friendly vibe and a great safety ranking — suburbs like Edina are some of the safest places in America. Minneapolis is a city with amazing public schools for kids of all ages, and that goes a long way as concerns with school systems, student transportation and other issues ramp up. Additionally, with great restaurants and an abundant number of the craft breweries millennials love, this city attracts an increasing number of millennials. For an urban city, it has an affordable median rent of just under $1,800 per month. It shares proximity to its sister city of St. Paul, which helps millennials find even more things to explore.

Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital of Washington, D.C., is a magnet for millennials for many reasons. Millennial Wages in D.C. are the highest in the nation. Despite the political environment, millennials in this city are some of the best off in terms of mental health. This small city has a lot of public transit options. Local metropolitan trains go to the suburbs of D.C. Trains leaving the city even go to larger cities along the east coast, such as Boston. This makes it easy for millennials to travel, a popular activity for this generation.

Although they enjoy city living, millennials want a balanced lifestyle. Each of these cities provides a unique experience but has something for every millennial from affordable rent to beach-style living. These cities are some of the best for millennials.