A home equity loan is a type of loan in which the borrower uses the equity of his or her home as collateral. The loan amount is determined by the value of the property, and the value of the property is determined by an appraiser from the lending institution.

If I have a house that its market value went from $100k to $140k can I get a HELOC $40K?

If yes, I would use this money to renovate the house or add an attachment which would add again more value to the house. Can I again ask for a HELOC after I finish the renovation in order to do more renovation and maybe try to end up renovating the house so its value raises up to $500k?

How many HELOCs can a bank offer for one house?

Note: I just found out the amount you can get is based on how much you owe. From the calculator, basically they will lend you only the amount you already paid for the mortgage. Awful, and they call it equity loan?

  • 3
    Yes it is an equity loan. One way to think of a mortgage is that the bank purchased the property on your behalf, and you are buying it from them over time. Your equity is the portion of the purchase you have already paid for as opposed to the amount you still owe. If you use this thought model, then an equity loan is you selling your ownership interest back to a bank with another agreement to repurchase it over time.
    – Rozwel
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 18:56
  • right, I was under the impression that the equity loan is the difference between the price of the house I paid and the current market value.
    – Grasper
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 20:00
  • It is the difference between the current market value and what you owe. Assuming a stable market, it rises as you pay down the principal on your note. However market fluctuations may cause you to gain (or lose) equity at a significantly different rate. If property values have risen, your equity may be significantly higher than what you have paid in. Like wise, if they have fallen it may be significantly lower, or even negative. A large contributor to the foreclosure rate in the '07/'08 crash in the US was falling values putting people into the realm of negative equity.
    – Rozwel
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 20:23
  • Something that is not mentioned in the answers is that the credit line part of the HELOC will usually carry a higher interest than the mortgage. Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 20:33
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    As noted in past answers, most home improvements increase the value of the house considerably less than they cost. Do them to make the house fit your needs better, not because you hope to make a profit.
    – keshlam
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 23:36

4 Answers 4


The bank I work with would be more inclined to expand an existing HELOC rather than write a new one. I think that would be your best bet if you decide to continue borrowing against your home. Consider that your own income would have to support the repayment of these larger homes. If it is, why didn't you buy a larger home to begin with?

As far as increasing the appraisal, you don't usually get one dollar of increased appraisal for each dollar you spend on improvements unless you have a rundown house in a nice neighborhood; part of the appraisal comes from a comparison with the appraisals of the other homes nearby. Eventually you get close enough to par with the other houses that anyone looking for something more expensive will often choose a different neighborhood entirely.

Update: To your edit that mentions the original lender will cap the amount you can borrow, you can take additional secondary mortgages/HELOCs, but the interest rate is usually higher because it is not the first mortgage. I don't generally recommend it, but the option is there.


If I have a house that its market value went from $100k to $140k can I get HELOC $40K?

Maybe - the amount that you can borrow depends on the market value of the house, so if you already have $100k borrowed against it, it will be tough to borrow another $40k without paying a higher interest rate, since there is a real risk that the value will decrease and you will be underwater.

Can I again ask for HELOC after I finish the renovation in order to do more renovation and maybe try to end up renovating the house so its value raises up to $500k?

I doubt you can just "renovate" a house and increase its market value from $140k to $500K. Much of a house's value is determined by its location, and you can quickly outgrow a neighborhood. If you put $360k in improvements in a neighborhood where other homes are selling for $140k you will not realize nearly that amount in actual market value. People that buy $500k houses generally want to be in an area where other homes are worth around the same amount.

If you want to to a major renovation (such as an addition) I would instead shop around for a Home Improvement Loan. The main difference is that you can use the expected value of the house after improvements to determine the loan balance, instead of using the current value. Once the renovations are complete, you roll it and the existing mortgage into a new mortgage, which will likely be cheaper than a mortgage + HELOC.

The problem is that the cost of the improvements is generally more than the increase in market value. It also helps you make a wise decision, versus taking out a $40k HELOC and spending it all on renovations, only to find out that the increase in market value is only $10k and you're now underwater.

So in your case, talk to a contractor to plan out what you want to do, which will tell you how much it will cost. Then talk to a realtor to determine what the market value with those improvements will be, which will tell you how much you can borrow. It's highly likely that you will need to pay some out-of-pocket to make up the difference, but it depends on what the improvements are and what comparable homes sell for.

  • The neighborhood houses are around $300k, literally across the street. So it is a nice area, the house I live in is just old.
    – Grasper
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 16:23
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    My experience has been that home values are generally comparable in a neighborhood on a per square foot basis, so it's possible for a nice home to be a third of the price of a similar style home next door which is three times as large.
    – user12515
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 17:44

In short, your scenario could work in theory, but is not realistic...

Generally speaking, you can borrow up to some percentage of the value of the property, usually 80-90% though it can vary based on many factors. So if your property currently has a value of $100k, you could theoretically borrow a total of $80-90k against it. So how much you can get at any given time depends on the current value as compared to how much you owe. A simple way to ballpark it would be to use this formula: (CurrentValue * PercentageAllowed) - CurrentMortgageBalance = EquityAvailable.

If your available equity allowed you to borrow what you wanted, and you then applied it to additions/renovations, your base property value would (hopefully) increase. However as other people mentioned, you very rarely get a value increase that is near what you put into the improvements, and it is not uncommon for improvements to have no significant impact on the overall value. Just because you like something about your improvements doesn't mean the market will agree.

Just for the sake of argument though, lets say you find the magic combination of improvements that increases the property value in line with their cost. If such a feat were accomplished, your $40k improvement on a $100k property would mean it is now worth $140k. Let us further stipulate that your $40k loan to fund the improvements put you at a 90% loan to value ratio. So prior to starting the improvements you owed $90k on a $100k property. After completing the work you would owe $90k on what is now a $140k property, putting you at a loan to value ratio of ~64%. Meaning you theoretically have 26% equity available to borrow against to get back to the 90% level, or roughly $36k. Note that this is 10% less than the increase in the property value. Meaning that you are in the realm of diminishing returns and each iteration through this process would net you less working capital.

The real picture is actually a fair amount worse than outlined in the above ideal scenario as we have yet to account for any of the costs involved in obtaining the financing or the decreases in your credit score which would likely accompany such a pattern. Each time you go back to the bank asking for more money, they are going to charge you for new appraisals and all of the other fees that come out at closing. Also each time you ask them for more money they are going to rerun your credit, and see the additional inquires and associated debt stacking up, which in turn drops your score, which prompts the banks to offer higher interest rates and/or charge higher fees...

Also, when a bank loans against a property that is already securing another debt, they are generally putting themselves at the back of the line in terms of their claim on the property in case of default. In my experience it is very rare to find a lender that is willing to put themselves third in line, much less any farther back. Generally if you were to ask for such a loan, the bank would insist that the prior commitments be paid off before they would lend to you. Meaning the bank that you ask for the $36k noted above would likely respond by saying they will loan you $70k provided that $40k of it goes directly to paying off the previous equity line.

  • yeah, I should have mentioned that I pay a mortgage on my current house and still own 80% towards the principle.
    – Grasper
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 20:05

Your best bet is to talk with a banker about your specific plans.

One of the causes of the housing crash was an 80/20 loan. There you would get a first for 80% of the value of a home and 20% on a HELOC for the rest. This would help the buyer avoid PMI. Editorially, the reason this was popular was because the buyer could not afford the home with the PMI and did not have a down payment. They were simply cutting things too close.

Could you find a banker willing to do something like this, I bet you could.

In your case it seems like you are attempting to increase the value of your home by using money to do an improvement so the situation is better. However, sizable improvements rarely return 100% or more on investments. Typically, I would think, the bank would want you to have some money invested too. So if you wanted to put in a pool, a smart banker would have you put in about 60% of the costs as pools typically have a 40% ROI.

However, I bet you can find a banker that would loan you 100%.

You don't seem to be looking for advice on making a smart money decision, and it is difficult to render a verdict as very little detail is supplied about your specific situation.

However, while certain decisions might look very profitable on paper, they rarely take into consideration risk.

  • ok, I will take that into account. I wanted to add a house addition but I don't think they will give me $40k.
    – Grasper
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 16:28

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