Real Estate News From Your Neighborhood

Ways to Increase Your Home's Equity

Susan Massa CRS SRES ABR 908-400-0778 Credits: sm

Sometimes you forget and don’t realize your home provides so much to your life. It brings along with it your dreams of the future, shelter to you and your family, a way to provide a better lifestyle, a better commute, a neighborhood, schools, community involvement and recreational facilities. But it also provides a way to save for the future. It does this by allowing you to build your home equity, which is the difference between your home’s market value and what you owe on it. Each time you make a mortgage payment you increase your equity. How beautiful is this. It’s forcing you to save for the future. And should home prices rise, your equity grows faster as your home’s value increases.

The building up of home equity is an exceptional feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.  Tapping into Equity is also a great resource for home improvements which even adds more value to the home. Consider an equity line of credit or home equity loan. The secret here is moderation, you need to keep your financial picture and life in balance by responsibly paying off debt, saving for retirement and being ready for any emergency. If using equity for home improvement, which is still tax deductible under the 2018 the new Tax Laws, there are some home improvements that provide a better return on investment than others. Article to Follow

If you are thinking of growing your homes equity even faster and at warp speed you’ve got two main tools to use: You can increase the home’s value or reduce the mortgage debt. Or do both.

Sign Up for E-News

Here are a few tips to help build your home equity:

  • Make your down payment a substantial one.

 This is instant equity with a large down payment you get the equity right from the beginning.  If you put down at least 20% or more of the property’s value for a bonus: You will avoid that expensive private mortgage insurance that never goes away on the existing mortgage unless you refinance down the road.

  • How about   a 15-year mortgage if you qualify for one.

Taking out a 15-year mortgage or refinancing into one from a 30-year loan, piles on the equity. You’ll save plenty on the total interest and more money is applied to the principal because you pay the interest on the loan for less time. But remember: Your monthly payments are higher with a 15-year home loan. See if refinancing makes sense for you. Whether it’s a 15 year or a 30 year  there are many loan programs available . Contact Brian DiVito VP Guaranteed Rate cell 908- 451-4517

  • Improve the property

Some remodeling and improvement projects boost a home’s equity. But not all. of them do. The average rate of return on most common upgrades range from 72% to 93%, according to some remodeling research. And that’s if the home sells within a year. Smaller projects — adding attic insulation, replacing a garage door or front entry door — do better at increasing equity but these projects should be paid by check instead of loan.    (Adding value to your home to follow)

  • Pay more on your mortgage earmark to principle

Paying more is a great option. Just make sure the extra money is applied to your mortgage principal. Ask your mortgage servicer (you can find the phone number on your monthly statement) how to do it and watch your monthly statements to be sure the money is credited correctly. Here are a few ways to pay more regularly:

  • Add an extra sum to your monthly payment. Pick an amount big enough to make a difference but not so big that it effects your budget. For instance, if your payment is $983, round up to $1,100, and then increase the amount when you’re able.
  • Another option is to of add to your monthly payment: increase the payment by an amount that is equal to a twelfth of a payment. By the year’s end, you’ll have made an extra payment.
  • Another option is to modify to a biweekly mortgage payment. Paying every two weeks instead of   once a month adds one extra monthly payment to your mortgage annually.
  • Schedule extra payments automatically from your bank to your mortgage account on regular intervals
  •  Use Your bonuses, any monetary gifts or windfalls.

If you don’t want the monthly commitment that comes with a 15-year mortgage or increasing the size of your payment, or scheduled payments to principle or using one person’s income then look for cash that in here comes your way here and there. Maybe a holiday or birthday or that bonus or overtime pay can be decimated to applying to the mortgage. Even convert gift cards to cash and add it to your mortgage   building your equity. If you are fortunate enough to inherit money, use part of it to pay down the mortgage. Your mortgage servicer can tell you how to apply smalls increments or that big windfall to your equity. Again, just make sure the money goes toward the principal, not interest.

  • Decide if one partner’s salary will go directly to the mortgage.

Couples who want to increase equity in a hurry sometimes decide to live on one salary while using the other persons paychecks are earmarked for paying down the mortgage.

Sometimes this belt-tightening can be demanding so review all your expenses and also add for any emergency  the rewards will be well worth it .  My Best to You, Susan.


Susan Massa Broker Associate a reputation of excellence, market knowledge, personalized service and world class marketing technology and a profound understanding of the area makes all the difference in helping you meet your home goals.

Always thinking outside the box, Susan raises the standards as an innovative leader. Her unique marketing technique and innovative advertising, along with her uncompromising integrity, dedication to her clients, impeccable reputation for quality and results has helped obtain the best for her clients ... The channels are clear; she works to win for you and is dedicated to making your experience the best it can be!  Call Susan 908-400-0778

Certified Residential Specialist, Accredited Buyer Representative, Seniors Real Estate Specialist. Real Estate Broker, Member NJAR Circle of Excellence since 1998 Presidents Leader Club, Certified Relocation Specialist, Certified Historic Homes Specialist, Member Who’s who in Luxury Real Estate, Accredited Staging professional  Keller Williams Premier Properties 188 Elm Street Westfield NJ  07090  and 488 Springfield Ave Summit NJ 07901

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Dianne Grossman, Mallory's Mom & Founder of Mallory's Army, to Speak in Scotch Plains

July 20, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ — Mallory Rose Grossman, a girl from Rockaway, NJ, took her own life on last June at the age of 12. Following this tragedy, her parents, Dianne and Seth Grossman, started a charitable foundation called Mallory’s Army. Its mission is to change behavior, provide education to parents and create enrichment programs for schools to put a ...

Corruption Has No Place in Union County

July 19, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman, as county manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Westfield Community Center , Westfield

Rummage Sale


Mon, July 23, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Southern Maryland Blue Crabs vs. Somerset Patriots

Arts & Entertainment Sports

Westfield Police Blotter: Multiple Businesses Report Thefts & More

July 18, 2018

July 11,2018 3:50 p.m.

A business located on the 100 block of Central Avenue reports being the victim of a theft. Unknown actor came into the business and removed $2,200.00 worth of property.

July 12, 2018 2:40 a.m.

Danny Burke, age 32, of Edison, NJ was arrested for driving while intoxicated pursuant a motor vehicle stop. Subject was arrested, processed and released to a ...

Shakespeare in the Park Returns to Union County Sunday, July 22

July 20, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the return of Shakespeare in the Park this weekend. The performance will be presented on Sunday, July 22 at 12:30 p.m. at Cedar Brook Park in Plainfield.

The Shrew Mechanicals Troupe from The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey will present an hour long performance of “Shakespeare Gumbo,” a stirring collection of ...

IRS Working on a New Form 1040 for 2019 Tax Season

The IRS plans to streamline the Form 1040 into a shorter, simpler form for the 2019 tax season. The new 1040 – about half the size of the current version – would replace the current Form 1040 as well as the Form 1040A and the Form 1040EZ. 


This new approach will simplify the 1040 so that all 150 million taxpayers can use the same form. The new form ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



Picking up the Pieces – The Benefits of Account Consolidation

Over a lifetime of investing we often have numerous accounts located at different financial firms.  Rarely are these accounts managed with a grand plan that takes into account all the individual pieces.   Account proliferation can be detrimental to your investment performance, increase your risk profile, and lighten your pocketbook.  

Account consolidation offers the ...

Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...

26 Homes Sold July 8-15 in Westfield and Surrounding Towns

There were 26 homes sold between July 8 and July 15 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside`

TOWN          ADDRESS    STYLE            RMS   BRS BTH   GAR   Sale Price

Cranford  115  Bryant Ave ...

Dog Found in Garwood

UPDATE: Reunited with owner.

ORIGINAL POST: Dog found on Pine Avenue in Garwood. He was given food and water. Garwood police now has him. Sweet and friendly. Contact the Garwood Police Department.

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

ELL Summer Experience at Westfield Public Schools

Westfield students representing six different languages recently enjoyed a weeklong summer camp focused on providing meaningful enrichment activities for students to continue their English language acquisition while having fun.

The ELL (English Language Learners) Summer Experience ran from July 9-13 at Wilson School, welcoming students in grades 1-4 whose native languages are Russian, ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper Welcomes Stephen A. Timoni to Firm

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper P.C., announced that Stephen A. Timoni has joined the firm in its Westfield office. Stephen will focus his practice in the areas of Corporate and Health Care Law.

“Stephen brings additional depth and experience to our firm. He has tremendous experience in complex corporate, M&A and health care areas of practice. We anticipate that Stephen ...

Livingston Council Votes on Ordinance to Prohibit Vape Shops

July 19, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Concern about the increased use of electronic cigarettes and other vapor products were among the reasons why the Livingston Township Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting “vape shops,” or any establishment that primarily sells “electronic devices, liquid nicotine or vapor products,” in the township’s retail commercial ...


Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more