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Homeowners Are Using This Surprising Method to Buy Houses — Should You? – The Motley Fool

As soon as people realize they can use their home to make money, and not by renting out rooms, they become interested. And most anyone who owns a home they bought before 2020 has seen its value increase a…….

As soon as people realize they can use their home to make money, and not by renting out rooms, they become interested. And most anyone who owns a home they bought before 2020 has seen its value increase as houses across the nation have experienced double-digit price growth year over year since 2019, or pre-pandemic. So, what’s the surprising method? A cash-out refinance.

What is a cash-out refinance?

A cash-out refinance is a method of using the equity in your home for any purpose you wish. You take out a new mortgage loan for more than what you owe. The overage is your cash, which you can use to buy another property or make a down payment on one. Other popular uses of a cash-out refinance include debt consolidation, home renovation, and home repairs. Although you can use the cash for a vacation or something frivolous, most financial advisors recommend against doing that — if you fall on bad times and can no longer afford the mortgage payment, you could lose your home.

Image source. Getty Images.

I’ve used this method successfully

I bought my last rental property by doing a cash-out refinance. It was the summer of 2020, when house prices were starting to rise and mortgage interest rates were at an all-time low, around 2.5% for a 15-year mortgage. I was going to refinance at that rate no matter what, and it happened to be the perfect time to take some cash from the home to buy another property.

You might want to consider doing this

If you own a home and have a significant amount of equity in it — 20% or more — you might want to do a cash-out refinance, too. Mortgage interest rates are still low, so chances are you won’t be paying a higher interest rate. You might even lower your interest rate.

Be aware of risks and drawbacks

There are some risks and drawbacks of cash-out refinancing, in general, you should be aware of.

  • They’re expensive, typically running between 2% and 5% of the new loan amount.
  • You start your mortgage over from scratch. However, you could change the terms to a 15-year mortgage if you don’t want to commit to another 30-year mortgage.
  • Homes can depreciate. (Although, at the time of this writing, March 2022, there are no significant price drops on the horizon.) If your home depreciates, you might wind up owing more than the home is worth.
  • You could lose your home if you can no longer make the new loan payments, maybe because of a job loss or some other catastrophic situation.

Over-leveraging yourself

There’s another big risk …….

Source: https://www.fool.com/real-estate/2022/03/27/homeowners-are-using-this-surprising-method-to-buy/

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