Some Tampa real estate home owners may qualify to tap into home equity loans as these lines of credit have rose 30% in 2012 and are projected to rise an additional 31% in 2013. This has prompted many real estate analysts see this as a positive sign the housing market is rebounding according to the article, “Home Equity Loans Make Comeback Fueling U.S. Spending,” Reuters (Nov. 26, 2012). But hold on there, not so fast.
Is tapping your home’s fragile equity really worth taking on additional debt especially with the looming financial cliff just around the corner? If you are a Tampa real estate homeowner with equity you are certainly in the minority and you have survived the economic downturn of the worst recession in American history. Do you really want to fall back into the behaviors and habits that just a few short years ago almost brought this country to the brink of disaster? I would hope not.
If it were me and I were considering a home equity loan or line of credit for a piece of Tampa real estate property, I would really think about what it is I want to accomplish and at what cost. Is that new refrigerator or new car really worth the risk? There would be a great many questions I would ask of myself. My first and truly most important question I would ask is how safe and truly secure is my current job? Second, do I have a guaranteed contract that pays me regardless? Other questions I would ask myself are; How valuable am I to the company I work for? Have others in a similar position where I work been laid off in the past year? Have I recently or will in the very near future get a new boss, supervisor or company CEO?
Some other possibilities to think about include your current age and overall health condition of you and your family. Is there any issue that you might need that equity for a major operation or other health crisis in the near future? Think about how many families lost their homes since 2008 due to a major illness because they had no cash reserves. If you are thinking about a home renovation, you may want to make sure you know what your current home’s value is in your neighborhood. Remember how may home owners in the past blew out their equity on kitchen and bath renovations that out did all the comparable homes in the neighborhood and they lost money.
If you are considering a renovation project I would advise to first have a good home inspection performed to find any hidden problems. It makes no sense to redo your kitchen when you may have hidden structural termite damage. After hiring a home inspector then I would also advise getting a certified appraisal done. This will give you a good idea of what your home’s true value is and talk with the appraiser about what you are planning to renovate and see what he feels the possible appreciation value might be.
If after assessing everything, getting the answers you know you need and you are comfortable with taking on additional debt, then you will at least be moving forward with confidence with a loan on your Tampa real estate home.
What do you think? Is it a good idea for home equity lines of credit and loans to return to the housing industry? Let me know.Brad Jenkins is a licensed professional real estate agent in Tampa, Florida. He has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and was a high school teacher previously
Technology Should be Easy to Use and Save Time and Money for Tampa Bay Real Estate Agents. Docusign Does all of that and more.by: Brad Jenkins, BA Psy-ABS Licensed Real Estate Agent, Charles Rutenberg Realty Florida’s Most Trusted Real Estate Professional ”TM”
Like it or not, Tampa Bay real estate has become intertwined with technology and it appears they will continue to evolve together for the foreseeable future. I must admit, I am a technology geek. In my Tampa Bay real estate business I have my Ipad2, my Iphone and wireless internet access as well. I am the epitome of the technologically connected real estate agent in the Tampa Bay area. Now that does not mean that I jump at every new gadget or technology that comes along, far from it. It had better be good and more importantly be able to save me time and money.
In my opinion, the service from Docusign meets my criteria for investment in it. Docusign is a browser based document signing service that makes obtaining the signatures of my Tampa Bay, Florida real estate clients who might be in a location other then my presence very easy. The process is simple and it has a very short learning curve. The service accepts most forms of documents including all Microsoft and Adobe PDF products. Docusign can upload files from many sources including a hard drive, Dropbox or other cloud based storage site and on line forms as well.
Another great feature about Docusign is that you can have multiple singers for the same document. These signers can even be in different locations form each other. All they need is an email address to send the documents to and the rest is a piece of cake. I found the interface for the service to be clean and straight forward. I was up and running inside of 15 minutes at the most. I even tested their customer service just to see how responsive they were and I did it during my trial period. Simply put they were awesome. My hold time was under three minutes and the customer service rep was polite and courteous. The rep treated me just like I was a regular paying subscriber not one who was using the trial period.
In the end Docusign made working with my international and out of state real estate clients who purchased property in the Tampa Bay area go much smoother. Gone are the days of sending faxes, printing emails, scanning documents, jammed fax machines, busy signals and all of the other hassles that used to accompany remote transactions. Simple and easy, that is how technology should operate and Docusign is just that. I highly recommend it.