HELOCs will be getting a winter workout this season, according to recent research from TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank (No. 38 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list). More than three quarters (80 percent) of homeowners with existing HELOCs who responded that they were planning home renovations for the upcoming winter season also said they would consider dipping into their home equity for funding.
Savvy Winter HELOC Use
With an average HELOC size of more than $84,000, half (51 percent) of those surveyed stated they plan to spend at least $50,000 on renovations as winter approaches.
"Immediate access to low-interest funds through a HELOC gives homeowners peace of mind to adequately prepare for any season, whether they need a new roof or updated insulation," said Mike Kinane, Head of Consumer Lending for TD Bank. "Using a HELOC to make renovations during the winter is a smart, cost-effective option for homeowners because they can take advantage of reduced prices on materials during annual holiday sales, and access a larger pool of contractors who may now be working on more flexible off-season schedules."
Most Popular HELOC Uses
The top three uses for HELOCs cited by respondents were for home renovations (32 percent), emergency funds (14 percent) and education expenses (12 percent). Homeowners who indicated that they did not borrow against their HELOC over the past 12 months said it was because they either didn't have a specific use for it or that they were saving it for an emergency.
HELOC Borrowers Are Coming Back for More
TD Bank also asked approximately 200 additional homeowners who participated in last year's HELOC Reset Measure what happened when their draw period came due this past year, and discovered that:
- Twice as many homeowners surveyed in 2016 who said they intended to refinance their HELOC this year (13 percent) actually did so (28 percent)
- Of those approaching their reset period who decided to refinance, 68 percent kept a HELOC at the same amount or higher
- Eighty-five percent of HELOC borrowers who chose to refinance said the borrowing process was easier or as easy as expected
- More than half (52 percent) plan to stay in their homes for at least 10 more years, giving them the opportunity to build additional equity that can either be leveraged through an existing HELOC refi or a brand new HELOC (after their current one has been paid in full and closed)
"By alerting Customers well in advance of their HELOC reset period, we're able to help them assess how their financing needs may have changed," said Kinane. "A HELOC is useful for homeowners, whether they use it for a large home-related expense, debt consolidation, student loans, or for the security of emergency funds."