By Joanne Y Cleaver | Updated Aug 17, 2013 10:44 PM

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Experts agree that the housing market has touched bottom in most markets. With values stabilizing, now is a good time to explore opening a home equity line of credit (HELOC).

Home Equity Line of Credit - HELOC

Photo: wachusettmortgage.com

• Stable values mean that you can project the likely value that a home improvement project will add to your property, instead of wondering if the return will be eroded by another jolt in the market.

• Rates are at an all-time low, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. You have plenty of options—folding an improvement loan into a refinance, securing a traditional home equity loan, and more.

• Several months’ worth of  market stability will be showing up in appraisals, giving you an estimated home value that will be relevant at least for the short term.

• Winter is a slow time for construction, which means the application process is less congested right now. With all the potential credit complications in play for even the best candidates, some extra TLC from less-stressed lending staff can speed the process.

By opening a home equity line of credit, you’ll have the authority to negotiate backed up by real buying power. Contractors might be willing to work you into their schedules more quickly if they know that you’ve got money on hand and are ready to spend.

For more on financing, consider:

The Case for Flood Insurance
FHA Financing for Renovations? Yes, But…
How To: Calculate the True Cost of Homeownership