Is a vacation home in your future?

Maximize the equity in your home with Platinum Real Estate.

By Patricia Nugent

With so many Clevelanders hitting retirement age and thinking about making the most of their senior years, planning where they should live can be complicated.

Denise Zervos, who, along with her husband, Mark, heads up The Neighborhood Experts at Platinum Real Estate, prefers to call downsizing, “right-sizing.”

In this Mimi Magazine series, we explore the seven factors to consider when right-sizing. This month’s topic is equity positioning.

“We are constantly asking ourselves, how a client’s equity can best be used to their advantage to keep them in the driver’s seat of their next move,” says Denise. “In many cases, people may wish to buy the right-sized home, but may not be ready to sell their existing one. A home equity loan can be a good solution to open up options.”

She explains a home equity loan is secured by your primary residence, so as far as your lender is concerned, the second home doesn’t count.

“If strategized for the purpose of buying a second home, or vacation condo on the beach, with careful planning and number-crunching you may discover that a second home is less expensive than you thought, and it may come with interesting perks,” she continues. “For the purpose of buying your ‘right-size’ home it frees you to comfortably move at your pace, then sell your current home for the best dollar and pay back the loan at the time of the sale.”

She says that according to their lending partners, equity loans allow a borrower with good credit to borrow up to 85 percent of the current value of the existing home less whatever is owed on a current mortgage secured by the property.

“For example, if your home is worth $400,000 and you still owe $200,000 on your mortgage, you could buy a second home for $140,000 using a home equity loan on your current primary residence ($200,000 + $140,000=$340,000 or 85 percent of $400,000),” she says.

Get your free checklist, “What to Consider when Right-Sizing Your Next Home,” by calling 216-990-2100 or 440-974-SALE. Or, give Denise or Mark a call to sit down for a free consultation and answer any questions. Visit for more information. Platinum Real Estate has seven offices in Northeast Ohio and five in Southern Florida.

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