Adrian Olmstead
Broker, Licensed in Oregon
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Lake Oswego

  • Mobile 503-449-9580
  • Office 503-534-1519
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The Truth About Homeowner Equity


Equity is a powerful tool. Equity allows you to borrow. Equity allows you to trade up to more expensive homes. And Equity is one of the best forms of investment. As you can see, equity matters, it matters a lot. However, equity can also be a liability when not approached in a responsible way or with the right plan and understanding. You can hit me up for more on that, but for this post, lets stick to the message. Your equity matters and you can use it to buy a better home.


A recent article from a reputable news source was titled: Here's why some homeowners still can't sell. In the opening bullets of the article, the author claimed, “Negative equity is one of the main reasons why there are so few homes for sale.” The article then goes on to soften that stance but we want to bring better clarity to the equity situation. A recent report from CoreLogic (which was quoted in the article) revealed that over 80% of all homes now have “significant equity,” which means the home has over 20% equity. That level of equity allows the homeowner to sell their home if they so desire. (There was no reference to significant equity in the article.)


If eight out of ten homeowners now have significant equity in their homes, it is hard to make the claim that lack of equity is “one of the main reasons why there are so few homes for sale.” As you can see from the below infographic equity isn’t a problem in the Portland market. I will add though, if you are looking to use that equity to trade up in homes, you must own the home at least two years otherwise much of the equity is eaten up in fees.


Here is a map showing the percentage of homes in each state which currently have significant equity:

Bottom Line


If you are one of many homeowners who is debating selling your home and are wondering how much equity you have accumulated, let’s get together to determine if now is the time to list.