Tips for Building Equity

Dated: August 27 2021

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Tips for Building Equity

Real estate investors and homeowners share a common goal when it comes to the value of their home or portfolio. Everyone is looking to build equity. In real estate jargon, equity refers to the current market value of a property minus the balance of any mortgage loan owed to a lender. Equity is one of the main benefits of home ownership. In frenzied, seller’s markets, equity growth can sometimes appear to be exponential. Other times, it just creeps up in small increments through the years.

Many homeowners are content to take a passive approach and watch their property appreciate over time. Serious investors and homeowners looking to pull equity from one home to finance their next one are well advised to take an active approach to promote equity growth through renovations that will enhance the value of their property. Another way to increase equity is to reduce debt through early pay down of mortgage loan balances.

Here are a few proactive tips for building equity:

Maintenance and Upkeep

A house that is well-maintained will always retain more value than a property that is unkempt. More importantly, a home that is unloved and neglected can lose equity in the blink of an eye. Seemingly small items such as leaky faucets and roofs are equity killers when they lead to major damage. Maintenance can admittedly be boring. If you do not wish to perform the maintenance tasks yourself, consider hiring a handyman or property manager to protect your equity.


Renovating is a great way to build equity in a property, but beware that not all home renovation projects offer the same return on investment (ROI). Before sinking hard-earned money into a makeover, talk with your Realtor to learn which projects are most likely to enhance the value of your home. This will vary considerably by property, neighbourhood and price point. On some highly-coveted building lots, a tear down of the existing structure will help build equity faster. In most situations, however, this is not the case. Kitchen and bathroom renovations traditionally bring the best ROI, but homeowners should shy away from over-the-top projects and high end materials that do not always deliver a good return.

Debt Reduction

Imagine owning a debt-free home, unencumbered by the constraints of mortgage loan financing. You can make this dream a reality with an aggressive approach toward pay down of your existing mortgage loan through shorter loan terms and extra payments. Even one extra mortgage payment a year can significantly reduce the duration and total cost of your loan. Each dollar spent to reduce the debt gets added to the equity column on your home’s balance sheet and, by making the extra payments on a voluntary basis, you maintain flexibility and the right to direct those funds elsewhere when the need arises.

Meticulous Tenant Screening

A bad tenant who goes months without paying rent and forces you into court to seek an eviction is a definite equity killer. It can get even worse if you find out they trashed your valuable asset. The best way to guard against bad tenants is to adhere to strict qualifying standards with in-depth screening. In addition to reviewing each tenant’s credit history and financial situation, insist on checking references with former landlords. Make an appointment to check in on the home periodically to ensure that the tenants are respecting your property. This will also afford you the opportunity to attend to any repairs that are needed.

One of the best things about being a homeowner is that it gives you freedom – the freedom to decorate and renovate your home as you see fit without requesting approvals. Once you have built up equity in a property, you will also realize the benefits of financial freedom and the security that comes with the ability to borrow money against the equity in your home. Over time, investing in Calgary real estate has proven to be a lucrative investment. Start building that equity now!

Are you looking to Sell or Buy a home in Calgary and need someone who won’t rest until you’ve found your dream home or until your home is sold? I’ll work hard to earn your trust and to deliver exactly what you need. Contact me at 403-589-0004 or at

About Bryon Howard

Bryon Howard and his team of Calgary real estate professionals sell an average of two homes a week. He is a member of the MLS Million Point Club, which ranks him roughly in the top 1% of productive realtors in Calgary. His aim is not just to please clients but to help them buy/sell a home in Calgary at the best price, in the shortest time, and with the least hassle. He is a member of the RE/MAX House of Real Estate that leads in the Canadian market. Learn more about Bryon at

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Bryon Howard

From a very young age, I had determined that I wanted to be in the eco-tourism / adventure business. I would take small groups of people into communities in interesting parts of the world. I would ass....

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