When you re-finance with cash out to you, then your loan becomes what is called "cash-out" and some peculiar rules apply to it. Whenever you re-finance a cash-out, it stays a cash-out type of loan. This means that only certain lenders will be able to handle the transaction. So, once you do it, you'll be stuck with it for a long while. If you need more cash later, it's back to a lender who can do cash-outs to get it done. The transaction fees can mount up seriously. Just ask your lender about it before you decide on this.
HELOCs, on the other hand, have the advantage that you can pay them off, pay them down and make another withdrawal, withdraw a little and then some more later, and so on. That's a distinct advantage of lines of credit. However, a drawback is that the interest rate on the HELOC may vary. Maybe you get a great rate today and a year from now it's 9.9%. Still, you'll be happier with the limitations on HELOCs than on a credit card. Some HELOC even have a provision to convert them from variable to fixed rate. You can split the HELOC into more than one line and have a variable and a fixed, and so on. Also, the fees are extremely low.... more
The land will be an asset, but it will not be used to determine your ability to pay the monthly mortgage payment. Having assets is good, but is not the determinant of income.
Your down payment of 20% will qualify you for a number of loans, but again the income stream and its likelihood of continuance is what they look at (not just your credit rating - willingness to pay).
A mortgage broker is more likely to spend some time looking at your file and discussing your employment. Having continuous employment is required for VA loans and they do not look at the line of work very closely. FHA and conventional lending do tend to scrutinize the line of work or profession, meaning less than 2 years on a particular job title can hurt you. Ask a loan officer (not from one of the massive banks) to look at your application. USDA requirements are similar to VA but they make loans only in non-urban areas. Most of Rockwall county, where we have a house, is eligible for USDA funding.
If you'd like to discuss it, please give me a call so I can refer you to someone.