The equity in an asset is its value, less any money owed on it.
For example, if your house is valued at $600,000 and the current debt is $250,000, the equity in the home would be $350,000.
Accessing the equity in your loan is easy. With a simple mortgage refinance, you can be steps closer to buying a second home. Using equity in an investment property to buy a home works pretty much the same too. The equity from your home or investment property can be used as a deposit on a second property, while your current property becomes a security on the new debt. Using equity allows you to buy a second property with no cash deposit.
When the value of your home rises, the equity does too. A home's value may rise because of capital growth or dedicated mortgage payments. You could also increase the value in your home by making renovations (though you will need to consider the costs of materials and labour to do this).
Your lender will calculate your loan to value ratio (LVR) to ensure some equity is held as security. After this, you can determine how much equity you have after refinancing.
Consider the earlier example, where the equity is $350,000.
If your lender offers an 80 per cent LVR - note than anything higher than this will likely require Lenders Mortgage Insurance - you have $280,000 usable equity. This amount can be used for a home mortgage for another property. Keep in mind that you'll need more than the deposit - stamp duty and legal fees will have to be factored in.
A line of credit loan means a certain credit amount is approved based on your usable equity.
You only pay interest on what you spend. You can link your line of credit loan to an offset account, too. This offsets the credit amount in the offset account against interest payable on the loan.
If you take out a lump sum, you'll pay interest on the entire amount. With a line of credit, you only pay interest on the amount used, but you could be tempted to access this money for unnecessary luxuries.
According to Your Investment Property Magazine's 'Beginner's Guide To Accessing Equity From Property', cross collaterisation is a high risk strategy.
The equity of your current property is used as security for loans on both this property and another property. So if you can't pay off the debt on one property, then both properties could be repossessed.
However, there are some cases that permit cross collaterisation. For example, the debt on your current property might be too high to allow traditional refinancing.
If you will be able to pay off both mortgages and perhaps have good knowledge of the property market, then this could be an option - but be aware of the risks.
As with any investment, it pays to be aware of the risks.
If you are buying a second property, you are not diversifying your assets - you are instead concentrating your wealth. If the property market drops, so will the value of your home. Of course, if the market works in your favour, you could do very well.
Consider how much knowledge you have of property investment in general, as well as of the particular market you are looking to buy into, and consult a financial adviser if you're unsure. It may also help in the long run if you have the cheapest investment home loan in the market. You’ll save more money by not paying too much interest. Take the time to research and compare home loan rates to find the best one for you.
Wherever you are in your home-buying journey, there is a loans.com.au home loan for you. Choose from stream-lined packages to fully-featured loans. We offer some of the cheapest home loan rates.