Six years after prices collapsed, housing has begun to climb out of its hole. So what are the best moves to make now? In a three-part series, we offer smart strategies for buyers, sellers, and owners in today’s market.

Are you a homeowner? Not planning to sell your house anytime soon?

You can still take advantage of the rebound in the market by putting your rising home equity to work for you in the long run.

Seize the opportunity to refinance.

If you haven’t had enough equity to refinance your mortgage at the record-low rates of the past couple of years, it’s time to try again.

Chances are you own more of your home than you did a year ago; according to the Federal Reserve, homeowners’ equity rose 18% from the third quarter of 2011 to the same period last year.

Related: Does it pay to refinance?

For a traditional refi, lenders typically require 20% equity; should you fall short of that, you’ll have to choose either a refi with private mortgage insurance or an FHA loan. PMI rates have come down, so that’s probably the better choice if your credit score is above 680. Otherwise, go for the FHA, which has less stringent underwriting guidelines.


Thank you for visiting the blog site of the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit trade association inStaten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically; and to promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of over 1,600 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS),which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR members belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors,” on Twitter via @SIBOR, and on YouTube at the Staten Island Board of Realtors and RelevantPR channels.

SIBOR Media Contact: Barton Horowitz

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761