Assuming the contractor did pay attention during the application process for the Suffolk County home improvement contractor’s license, he or she was tipped off that three towns in Suffolk have their own rules. The application materials make it very clear that the Suffolk County home improvement license does not apply to the Townships of Southampton, East Hampton or Shelter Island. This is because those towns have their own home improvement license rules. The relatively low use of home equity loans, which has in fact been trending up in recent years, is due in part to the facts that home equity levels for homeowners fell dramatically after the housing crash and lenders became more restrictive with home equity lending. However, there is another reason why these loans have fallen sharply since the housing crash. Long-term interest rates have been trending down for the past decade, and many owners who want to borrow to finance a home improvement project had another appealing and readily available option: they could refinance their principal mortgage to take advantage of lower rates, and simultaneously pull out some of their equity by increasing the loan amount on their low-interest, fixed-rate, first mortgage.
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