Compass SF

Second mortgages - Are they worth it?

by Eric Janson 06/16/2024

Major pros & cons of a second mortgage  featured image

A second mortgage grants homeowners the ability to borrow equity from their home to gain financing. These funds can be used to pay bills, enhance the property and more. 

The second mortgage is connected to the equity your current mortgage has built up, so it’s crucial to understand the ins and outs of a second mortgage before deciding to use it. 

Advantages & disadvantages of a second mortgage


  • Lower interest rates in comparison to standard lines of credit. 
  • More financial wiggle room to invest in larger home renovations. 
  • You can use your homes’ equity without having to refinance the original mortgage. 


  • Your mortgage lender may require a high credit score and debt-to-income ratio to qualify. 
  • Your home may be at risk if the home equity line isn’t paid back within contract guidelines. 
  • If you decide to sell your home, you may make less profit. 

How do I get a second mortgage & what should I expect?

To take out a second mortgage loan, most lenders require a decent amount of equity to be built up on your home which is the amount you’ve paid towards the principal balance (the cost of the home plus interest). 

After taking out the second line, you’ll need to have at least 20 percent equity still built up on your home. If you need this money fast, please note, it takes a few weeks for lender approval and the loan comes with fees. 

If you’re unsure a second mortgage is for you, speak with your lender to explore your options and make adjustments as needed.

About the Author

Eric Janson

Known as the #TallestManInRealEstate, in 2019 I teamed up with the Bellings Brothers (also Bay Area natives) and we quickly became the #1 buyers team in 2019 and 2020 by helping our clients purchase over 100 houses and condos in San Francisco. This wouldn’t be possible without our operations manager Teryssa Pineda and our Transaction Coordinator, which allows us to give the personal care and attention our clients need in this extremely competitive market. 

With my 10 plus years of experience in the mortgage and real estate industry, I look forward to serving you and your personal real estate interests.