Have questions about the home equity process and what you can do to get the best deal? Here you’ll find answers to our most frequently asked questions, along with access to our online and in-person support.

What are draw and repayment periods?

A Home Equity Line of Credit has two different periods, a draw period and repayment period. The draw period is 10 years, where you have ongoing access to available funds and can use the funds how you’d like. Once the draw period ends, the account enters the repayment period.

During the repayment period, you can no longer advance on the home equity line of credit, and must make principal and interest payments. The new minimum payment will ensure the balance is paid in full by the maturity date. The interest rate on the balance continues to be variable.

How do I quickly calculate my home equity?

Follow these steps to calculate your home equity: 

  1. Determine the estimated value of your home. Use this tool to quickly determine that value.
  2. Check the remaining mortgage balance on your latest mortgage statement.
  3. Determine the “Loan to Value (LTV) ratio by dividing the remaining mortgage balance by the current value.
  4. Calculate your home equity using the formula:. 100% – LTV = Home Equity.

Example: If you have a $400,000 home with a remaining mortgage balance of $244,000.

  • The LTV is $244,000/$400,000 or 0.61 (61%).
  • The home equity for this example is: 100% – 61%= 39%. 

Note: Fidelity Bank usually requires less than an 80% LTV ratio, which equals 20% home equity.

At Fidelity Bank, we pride ourselves on making the process as easy and convenient as possible. Talk to a Fidelity Banker whichever way you choose – in person, on the phone, or digitally.

How does Fidelity calculate the value of my home?

While automated valuation tools (Zillow, Redfin, etc.) offer a preliminary glimpse into a property’s potential value, they lack the comprehensive insight provided by seasoned professionals in the NEPA, Lehigh Valley real estate market. Partnering with a local Fidelity Bank expert ensures a local understanding beyond mere algorithms.

Our network of real estate professionals possess years of local market expertise, to discern the unique qualities of your property – be it a Lackawanna gem or a Luzerne diamond – and translating them into tangible market value.

Here’s how Fidelity Bank’s local real estate experts empower informed decisions:

  • Data-Driven Insights: Leveraging market intelligence and proprietary resources, they provide a clear picture of current conditions and future projections.
  • Hyperlocal Expertise: They navigate the intricacies of specific neighborhoods, understanding subtle details that impact property value.

Ready to surpass algorithmic estimates and harness the power of local expertise? Connect with a Fidelity Bank real estate professional in your NEPA community today.

Are there simple ways I can add value to my house before an appraisal?

HELOCs and Home Equity loans are usually taken out to finance a home improvement. But there are many ways to maximize the current equity in your home to increase the size of your loan. Simple projects to add the most value to a home are:

  • Paint. Lighten and brighten your rooms. Paint rooms white or with a light color paint to neutralize your space.
  • Revamp the exterior. Curb appeal always add value. Keep your shrubs, trees, and grass trimmed and tidy. Add a splash of color with vibrant plants. Consider a focal point like a flagstone walkway.
  • Clean and declutter you home. While this does not actually increase usable space, the appearance of roomier closets, useable basement space and a well-maintained interior add to the quality and value of your house.
  • List Your Home Improvements. Be sure to provide a list of your home’s improvements and upgrades. Feel free to provide details descriptions of the material and costs. This will ensure that the Appraiser is aware of all the amenities to the house. Let them consider every feature for the determination of value.