How to Unlock Equity in Your Home

For many homeowners, one of the most significant advantages of owning property is the opportunity to build equity. As time passes and you continue to pay down your mortgage, and as property values increase, your equity grows. But how can you access and utilize this equity, especially if you have a significant project on the horizon? Enter remortgaging.

1. Understanding Home Equity

Before diving into the concept of remortgaging to fund a project, it’s essential to grasp what home equity is. In simple terms, equity is the difference between your home’s current market value and the outstanding balance of your mortgage. So, if your home is valued at $600,000 and you owe $400,000, you have $200,000 in equity.

Equity is more than just a financial metric; it’s a resource. By effectively leveraging the equity in your home through remortgaging, Canadian homeowners can fund significant projects, laying the foundation for future financial growth and stability.

2. What is Remortgaging?

Remortgaging involves replacing your current mortgage with a new one, typically with a different lender. This can be done for various reasons, such as securing a better interest rate or, as we’re focusing on here, unlocking the equity in your home.

3. How Can Equity Fund Your Project?

Imagine you’re planning a significant home renovation, launching a new business, or even investing in further properties. All these endeavours require substantial capital. By remortgaging, you can access the equity in your home, providing you with the funds needed.

For instance, let’s return to the previous example. If you have $200,000 in equity and need $50,000 for a home renovation, remortgaging can allow you to borrow against this equity.

4. Benefits of Using Home Equity

Cost-effective: Compared to other forms of credit, borrowing against your home’s equity often comes with lower interest rates.

Flexibility: Instead of a conventional loan with a set monthly payment, equity can offer more flexible repayment options.

Potential for Increased Home Value: If using the equity for home improvements, the right projects can further increase your property’s value.

5. Things to Consider

Borrowing Limits: Typically, lenders allow you to borrow up to 80% of your home’s appraised value, minus any outstanding mortgages.

Interest Rates: Ensure you’re aware of current market rates and whether you’re opting for a fixed or variable rate.

Cost of Remortgaging: There may be fees associated with remortgaging, including appraisal fees, title search, and legal fees.

Future Market Conditions: Consider potential fluctuations in property values and interest rates.

6. Steps to Unlocking Equity

a. Determine Your Need: Clearly define the project and its costs.

b. Assess Your Equity: Understand how much equity you’ve built up.

c. Shop Around: Compare various remortgage deals and lenders.

d. Application: Just like your initial mortgage, you’ll need to apply, providing necessary documentation.

e. Funds Release: Once approved, you can access the funds and kickstart your project.

7. Potential Pitfalls to Watch Out For

As beneficial as unlocking equity through remortgaging can be, it’s essential to approach it with a full understanding of potential pitfalls.

a. Overextending Yourself Financially: Accessing too much equity might lead to higher monthly payments. It’s crucial to ensure your new payments align with your budget.

b. Market Instabilities: Real estate markets can be unpredictable. Borrowing heavily against your home’s equity during peak market conditions could be risky if property values decline.

c. Closing Costs: The process of remortgaging often comes with various fees. Ensure that the cost doesn’t outweigh the benefits of the equity you’re accessing.

d. Longer Mortgage Period: While remortgaging can provide immediate funds, it might also mean you’ll be paying off your mortgage for a more extended period.

8. Alternatives to Remortgaging

While remortgaging is a popular method of accessing home equity, it’s not the only way:

a. Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC): A revolving line of credit that lets homeowners borrow against their equity. HELOCs usually come with variable interest rates and offer flexibility in repayment.

b. Home Equity Loan: Unlike a HELOC, this is a lump-sum loan against your equity, which you repay over a fixed term at a fixed interest rate.

9. Final Thoughts on Utilizing Home Equity

Unlocking the equity in your home is like tapping into a savings account built over years of homeownership. Whether it’s for renovating your space, funding a child’s education, or any significant financial project, the equity in your home can be a lifeline.

However, as with all substantial financial decisions, it’s essential to proceed with caution, knowledge, and expert advice. Ensure you understand all the implications, costs, and terms associated with remortgaging.

As always, every financial decision should be made with diligence and foresight. At, we’re committed to guiding Canadians through their remortgaging journeys, ensuring they make informed and strategic choices.

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