HEI

Weighing the options: The pros and cons of a Home Equity Investment

Explore the pros and cons of Home Equity Investments (HEIs) and determine if they're the right financial tool for your needs.

Yuliya Benkhina
March 21, 2024

Explore the series: A guide to Home Equity Investments

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Home Equity Investments, also known as HEIs, can be a game-changer for homeowners looking to capitalize on their property's value. Home Equity Investments provide homeowners with a way to tap their home wealth without stringent credit requirements and costly monthly payments. However, as with anything, an HEI has pros and cons. We'll unpack how Home Equity investments work, the advantages and challenges, and how to tell if an HEI is the right solution for you. 

How a Home Equity Investment works 

A Home Equity Investment is a financial agreement that allows homeowners to tap into the equity in their homes in exchange for a share of their home’s future appreciation. To understand a Home Equity Investment, you first need to understand home equity. 

Home equity is the part of your home that you truly own — the difference between your home’s current value and any debts you owe on the property, such as your first mortgage. You build equity in your home through appreciation, home improvements, and steady mortgage payments. 

There are many different financial tools available to homeowners looking to leverage their equity, such as HELOCs, cash-out refinances, and home equity loans. A Home Equity Investment differs from these solutions because it is an equity product and not a form of traditional debt financing. 

This means that when you receive a Home Equity Investment, you do not make monthly interest payments. Instead, you repay your HEI in one balloon payment when you sell your home, refinance, or via another source of funds. 

Home Equity Investment pros and cons 

Like any other financial tool, an HEI is not the right fit for everyone. Let’s discuss Home Equity Investment pros and cons to help you figure out if this financial solution is right for you. 

Pros of a Home Equity Investment 

Less stringent requirements 

Since an HEI is an investment in your home, your finances can be less important than the property in question. This means you may be eligible for a Home Equity Investment even if you don’t qualify for home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) or home equity loans. Homeowners can qualify for an HEI with: 

  • A credit score above 500
  • No/low income

Your DTI is not taken into consideration with most HEI companies. 

No monthly payments

Once you receive your HEI funds, you don’t have to worry about monthly payments. You owe nothing until your term is over — or you decide to sell your home or repay early. This means you can maximize your monthly cash flow. 

Access to a large lump sum of cash

Depending on your home value and how much equity you have, you can get up to $500k with a Home Equity Investment. 

No restrictions on use of funds

You can use your HEI proceeds for anything you need. Common uses include: 

Your home wealth is yours to use as you see fit. 

Long repayment term

Different HEI companies have different term lengths for their products – generally 10 or 30 years. A Home Equity Investment from Point comes with a flexible, 30-year term. That means that if you choose, you’ll pay nothing for up to 30 years. There are no prepayment penalties, so you can repay your HEI on your own schedule.  

Second properties can be eligible

Depending on the HEI company, you may be able to get an investment on a rental property or second home, albeit with stricter qualification requirements. Getting a home equity loan on investment properties can be challenging, so this provides a compelling option for owners of multiple homes. 

Cons of a Home Equity Investment

No financial product is the right fit for every consumer. These are some things to keep in mind when considering a Home Equity Investment. 

Sharing future appreciation

When you take out a Home Equity Investment, you are agreeing to share the future appreciation in your home with an investment company. That means you will have to give up part of the proceeds when you sell your home or take out a cash-out refinance

Longer application timeline

While there are some financial products you can take out quickly, such as a credit card or a personal loan, an HEI is tied to a thorough investigation of your home’s value and title. That means an HEI takes longer to fund than an unsecured product. 

Not available for every location/property type 

Since Home Equity Investments are a newer product, they are not available to homeowners nationwide. You’ll need to confirm the eligibility of your location. You’ll also need an eligible type of property – certain home types, such as manufactured homes or farms on large acreage, cannot qualify for an HEI. 

Risk of foreclosure

Like any product secured by your home, if you fail to repay your HEI, you may face the risk of foreclosure

Uncertain costs

Unlike a loan, you won’t know exactly what you owe until you get ready to repay. The cost is tied to the value of your home, and you cannot predict how much your home will appreciate. Some companies, including Point, include protections that prevent you from repaying too much if your home appreciates immensely. 

When is a Home Equity Investment a good idea? 

While a Home Equity Investment is not the right fit for all homeowners looking to tap into their equity, it might be a good fit for you if: 

  1. You can’t – or don’t want to – make a monthly payment. 
  2. Your income or credit disqualifies you from traditional financing solutions. 
  3. You’re looking for a large, lump sum payment to cover a major life expense. 
  4. You want the flexibility of paying back any time during a 30-year term. 

Final thoughts

While a Home Equity Investment is not the ideal product for every single use case, it’s a powerful tool in the home equity arsenal of many homeowners. To find out if a Home Equity Investment might be right for you, you should first see if you qualify. Be sure to compare and contrast with other financing options to make sure you make the best decision for your financial needs. 

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