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Home Equity Investment: Tap Into Equity Without Taking Debt

Written by Allison Martin

Allison Martin is a personal finance enthusiast and a passionate entrepreneur. With over a decade of experience, Allison has made a name for herself as a syndicated financial writer. Her articles are published in leading publications, like Banks.com, Bankrate, The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, and Investopedia. When she’s not busy creating content, Allison travels nationwide, sharing her knowledge and expertise in financial literacy and entrepreneurship through interactive workshops and programs. She also works as a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) dedicated to helping people from all walks of life achieve financial freedom and success.

Updated September 9, 2023​

2 min. read​

home equity investment

As your home increases in value, you could be tempted to tap into the equity. In fact, many homeowners seek out options that allow them to convert equity into cash, to perform home improvements as an example that could increase the value of your home. But many home equity products often come with monthly principal and interest payments that could stretch your budget thin. 

Assuming you don’t want to add more debt to your plate, there’s a better way to unlock your home’s equity. It’s through a co-investment, which could get you a sizable amount of cash to pay off debt, retire early, renovate your home or meet other financial goals without having to take out a loan. 

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How to Tap into Your Home Equity Without Taking a Loan

Many homeowners pull equity out of their home with a loan product, like a home equity loan, home equity line of credit (HELOC), or cash-out refinance. But if you don’t want the added debt, a shared equity agreement that gets you cash through a co-investment could be a better fit. 

What is a Shared Equity Agreement, and How Does It Work?

A shared equity agreement is an agreement between an investor and a homeowner. The investor gives the homeowner a lump sum of cash in exchange for a portion of the home’s future value. 

Here’s how it works:

  • The homeowner finds an investor that’s willing to enter into a shared equity agreement and offer a co-investment. 
  • The homeowner and investor arrange to have the property appraised to determine its current value. 
  • The investor creates a shared equity agreement that outlines the terms of the arrangement.
  • The homeowner reviews the closing documents, and both parties sign to make the agreement effective. 
  • The homeowner receives the co-investment. 

At the end of the agreement term, the homeowner pays the investor an amount equal to the original co-investment plus a share of any increase in the property value. (If the property value decreases, the investor receives the original co-investment amount minus a share of the loss). 

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Older homeowners can get peace of mind and added financial security with a reverse mortgage from AAG.

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Buy a home or refinance your existing mortgage with Zero Mortgage.

Is a Shared Equity Agreement a Solution for You?

A shared equity agreement could be a good fit if you want to cash out your equity without acquiring more debt. Some homeowners who have trouble getting approved for traditional home equity products also turn to co-investing to unlock the equity in their homes.

There are also perks to consider when deciding if a shared equity agreement is most ideal. For starters, you won’t have monthly payments or interest rates since this is not a loan. Instead, the cash is yours to use for the term of the agreement. When the agreement ends, the investor gets an amount equal to the original co-investment plus a share of your property’s increase in value. (And if your home drops in value, in most cases, the investor also shares in the losses with you).

Plus, you can use the cash for almost anything. Some use the proceeds to pay off high-interest debt and free up income to live the life they’ve always dreamed of. Others use the money to retire or fund home renovations that could increase the property value. 

You may also find that it’s easy to qualify for a co-investment with a low-middle FICO score, and the application process is relatively simple. Perhaps the most enticing benefit is that, in most cases, the investor will also share in the losses if the property depreciates in value over time. 

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