My Home is Worth What? (Hometown Perspective: Denver)
UMB serves communities across an eight-state footprint. Each region is different, with its own personality and local economy. With that in mind, we’re launching a new Hometown Perspective series where you can gain insight into UMB and the communities we serve.
As a recent home buyer in Denver, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my home had increased in value by almost 40 percent over the last several months. No, I’m not a real estate genius with an uncanny ability to spot a home at low price and flip it for a profit. Actually, I bought my home with the idea that I would live there for the rest of my life.
So why do I care about a rise in home value if I’m not planning to sell any time soon, if ever? The answer is that my home is a series of projects and this boost in value gives me the equity‡ to spend on home improvements. I will be able to add a floor over the subfloor in the living room and remodel the kitchen with new cabinets and a double oven with a warming drawer. This has been the plan all along but now I can complete these projects much sooner than I expected.
So if you’re like many in the Denver area and your home has increased in value recently‡, what should you do? Put a “For Sale” sign in your front yard? Head to your local bank and apply for a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)‡? It all depends on your own situation and your long-term plan.
If you’re thinking about selling your home because the value has increased, you might consider sprucing it up a bit and then contacting your realtor. Add a coat of paint to some of the walls or have the carpet professionally cleaned. Then call up a real estate professional to work with you on selling your home.
If you plan to stick with your home for the long haul, it might be a good time to consider using your equity to start a remodeling project. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to a trusted source of advice like your financial advisor or local banker. They are usually well-equipped with experience, knowledge and tools that can help you decide.
Whatever you choose to do, be cautious and don’t jump into any big decisions without doing research. Look up the value of your home on sites like Zillow‡* and Trulia‡*. If you’re planning to apply for a HELOC, talk to a financial professional at your local bank about how much of your home’s value to borrow. You might even consider getting multiple opinions. If you plan to sell, you can consult your realtor on the best steps to take to prepare your home and when is the best time to put it on the market.
While you can work with a good real estate market to your advantage, your home is an asset that you should use wisely.
* UMB Bank, n.a. has provided these links for informational purposes only, and in no way endorses or insures the accuracy of the information contained therein.
Ms. Hales is vice president, financial center manager for the UMB financial center located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Denver, Colo. She is responsible for planning and executing sales routines with branch staff, coaching all team members. She joined UMB in 1990 and has 23 years of experience in the financial services industry.