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The Sandy Spring Way

Home Equity – My Safety Net

August 27th, 2014 | By Sandy Spring Bank

By Brian Saylor, Vice President, Integrated Sales Development Leader

Earlier this week on the blog, we announced that we have more than $400 million in consumer loans in the communities we serve. We are proud of what we’ve helped thousands of individuals and families accomplish, whether it be a college education or a much needed home renovation.

What the bank does for so many in the community hit home for me and became a safety net when my family needed it most. Here’s my story…

From a young age, my father instilled in me the value of saving for the unexpected. So as we looked for a new home, it was imperative that we find a house that would give us room to grow, but still allow us to save for those rainy days. Little did we know there would be many rainy days ahead.

In 2006, my wife and I welcomed our first child. Like many people, we quickly realized that as our family expanded, our living space would need to follow suit. After a long search, we purchased our dream home. We had a fresh start, more space, and a small savings just in case.

Four months later, the Mid-Atlantic experienced “Snowmageddon.” This historic winter caused extensive damage to our roof and it had to be replaced. We had our savings account, but it was not enough to cover such significant repairs, especially since we just bought the house.

Fortunately, we had equity in our house, so we took out a loan using our home as collateral. This type of loan or line of credit is designed to help with major purchases and/or unexpected expenses — like a new roof. It provides terms and rates that are flexible, manageable, and that met our budget needs.   For us, we paid for the repairs using the equity line and we intended to pay it back within a year.

Around the same time, I started having car trouble. My wife and I both work full time, so when we learned the damage was more than the value of the car, we decided it was time to buy a new vehicle. With less than eight hours to find, negotiate and purchase a new vehicle, we decided to take an advance on our line of credit. The line provided quick access to funds, a manageable payment, and a low interest rate. With no prepayment penalties we could pay it back as quickly as we wanted, and we did so within two years.

A few months later, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. My chief concern was her health, but I was also worried about how we would afford the impending medical expenses. I realized that I already had a financial safety net in place. Using our home equity line of credit we were able to pay for medical and monthly bills not covered by insurance, and it allowed me to focus on my wife’s recovery.

I am happy to say that my wife is a breast cancer survivor and that our family continues to build lasting memories in our dream home. After several years of many unexpected surprises, we’ve planned a cruise next year to celebrate life and relax—and we used our home equity to pay for it!

To learn more about how the equity in your home can be your safety net, click here or call 877-815-9713.


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