Can I use a equity loan to buy another home?

If you have a significant amount of equity in your home, you can use it through a home equity loan. You can then use this money for any purpose you want, including buying a second home or investing in real estate. However, using a mortgage to buy another home is not without its risks, so it is wise to understand the pros and cons before moving on.

Basically Takeaways

  • If you have enough equity in your home, you can use the money from a mortgage to buy another home.
  • Like regular mortgages, mortgages are secured by your home, so you will risk it if you can not repay the loan.
  • There are alternative ways of borrowing that may be better in some cases.

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Using a equity loan to buy another home

The short answer to the question of whether you can use a mortgage to buy another home is yes, generally you can. Keep in mind, however, that some lenders may have limitations on the source of your down payment and may not be willing to mortgage your new home if you are using a home equity loan for this purpose. Of course, this will not be a problem if you pay all the cash for the new home.

Unlike a home equity credit line (HELOC), which provides a renewable credit line, a home equity loan gives you the full amount of the loan in advance. The amount will depend on how much equity you have in your home, its market value and how much you want to borrow. Your income and credit history will also affect the amount of the loan. Most lenders will limit the total amount to a percentage (usually 85%) of the value of the home. When your mortgage is paid off, you will receive all the income and then you can spend the money to buy another house or do whatever you want with it.

Advantages and disadvantages of using a equity loan to buy another home

The most important advantage of using a mortgage to buy a second home is that it can be your best (or only) important source of financing if you find yourself rich at home but poor in cash. Another potential advantage is that mortgage rates will often be lower than other types of loans, although they are usually higher than mortgage rates.

The biggest disadvantage of using a mortgage to buy another property — or for any other purpose — is that you are risking your main home because it serves as collateral to secure the loan. If you can not make the payments on your mortgage, the lender could foreclose on your home and evict you.

An added risk is that taking out a home equity loan, especially if you are still in debt for your first home mortgage, could help you get out of debt if you face an unexpected financial upheaval, such as job loss or large medical bills. Indeed, you could have to pay off three mortgages at once: the balance of your home mortgage, a mortgage on your second home (if your mortgage is not big enough to buy your home permanently) and your home equity loan .

Finally, another disadvantage is that you have to pay the closing cost for the mortgage share loan, which can be between 2% and 5% of the total loan cost. You will also have to pay the closing cost for the house you are buying.

Alternatives to Using a Equity Loan to Buy Another Home

Before applying for a equity loan to buy another home, it is worth considering the alternatives. They also have advantages and disadvantages.


The best source of cash to buy another home would be money you have already saved and for which you have no immediate need. Of course, if you have this, you should not look for a loan at all.

Retirement savings

Your retirement savings are a possibility. If you have a 401 (k) program at work, for example, your employer may allow you to borrow part of it through a 401 (k) loan. Like home equity loans, retirement loans can be risky. You will usually have to repay the loan within five years — even earlier if you lose your job. If you can not repay it, then you will owe income taxes and possible penalties.

If you borrow from 401 (k), you will have much less money to save for your retirement years, which could mean financial problems along the way.

Personal loan

You could consider a personal loan. You will pay a higher interest rate than with a mortgage or HELOC, but if the personal loan is unsecured, then your home will not be in danger if you are late in paying.

Redemption by redemption

A redemption refinance repays your current mortgage with a larger one based on the accumulated equity in your home. You can then use the extra cash for other purposes. Of course, you will now have more debt and higher monthly mortgage payments. These loans also have closing costs that can run into the thousands of dollars.

Housing Credit Line (HELOC)

Using a HELOC to buy an investment property, rental property or second home can give you more flexibility than getting a home equity loan, as you do not have to take the money all at once. This can be useful if you need some cash now for a down payment and expect to need more in a year or two to do some renovations. However, HELOCs usually carry variable interest rates, making them less predictable than a mortgage, which usually has a fixed interest rate.

Reverse mortgage

If you’re 62 and older and want to own your retirement, you could take out a federally secured home equity conversion (HECM) mortgage, better known as a reverse mortgage, to buy a rental property to give you an income stream. in the years of your twilight.

An HECM converts your home equity into cash that is usually tax-free and does not affect Social Security or your Medicare. Your lender pays your money and you have no monthly mortgage payments. In fact, as long as you live in the house, you do not have to pay the mortgage at all, although you have to pay the maintenance costs of your house. However, when you leave the house, sell the house or die, you, your spouse or your estate must repay the mortgage in full, plus interest from a variable interest rate accruing during the loan and consuming the home equity.

This means that if you plan to leave your home to your heirs, there will be a heavy bill to be able to do so. However, at that point, the proceeds from the sale of your rental property could potentially pay off the reverse mortgage.

Can you use a equity loan to make a down payment on a home?

Yes, if you have enough equity in your current home, you can use the money from a equity loan to make a down payment on another home – or even buy another home without a mortgage. Note that not all lenders allow this, so if you are planning to buy a second home with a mortgage, you may need to shop around to find one.

How Much Money Can You Make From a Home Equity Loan?

Usually, you can borrow up to 85% of your home equity. However, you may have to pay several thousand dollars for the closing cost, so you will not leave the agreement with the full 85%.

What are the risks of using a equity loan to buy another home?

The main risk of a home equity loan, as with a regular home equity loan, is that it is secured by your home. This means that if you are not able to keep up with the payments, your lender could seize the house, sell it and evict you. Instead of a mortgage, you may also be eligible for an unsecured personal loan, which will not put your home at risk, although it will usually have a higher interest rate.

Which is better: A home equity loan or a home equity credit line (HELOC)?

It depends on why you need the money. A home equity loan may be better if you need a lump sum at a given time — such as buying another home. A Home Equity Credit Line (HELOC) could be better if you do not need the money all at once, but expect to spend it gradually. Some credit lines remain open for up to 10 years.

In terms of interest rate, a mortgage equity loan can be more secure because its interest rate is fixed, while the interest rate on a HELOC is variable. Borrowers with HELOC have some protection in the form of ceilings on how quickly they can raise their interest rates, although this can vary from lender to lender.

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