As of 2016, the U.S. Census showed that the average American will move 11 times during his/her lifetime. The reasons for moving can vary - upsizing, downsizing, job transfers, or maybe just a change of scenery. But lately we have seen an interesting trend developing: The combination of rising home prices and limited home inventory has made it more challenging for homeowners to change addresses. Because of this, many people have opted to simply stay in their current homes. And the longer they stay, the more their equity builds up. Multiply this by millions of homeowners across America, and our country is flush with home equity – about $15 trillion worth!

While building-up home equity is a good thing, aging homes require repairs, maintenance, and upkeep. Perhaps a major home improvement project is in your plans, such as house painting, a new roof, or a swimming pool. Due to their price points, these types of projects are often financed. Those with equity in their homes are in a perfect position to finance their projects through home equity loans (which have more favorable interest rates than credit cards). Even cosmetic or decorative home improvement projects such as new flooring or cabinets can be financed using your home’s equity.

As far as timing goes, sooner is better than later. Rates are rising! Interest rates have already increased several times this year, and there’s a strong possibility of even more rate increases in 2019. That means that if you wait, you will pay more for any project that you finance. If you’re planning to stay put, and you’ve been considering some upkeep or upgrades for your home, take advantage of the still-low interest rates. In the current economy, it doesn’t pay to wait.