What is equity
Equity is the financial interest or cash value of your home, minus the current loan balance(s). If selling the home, this would also be minus any costs incurred in selling the home.
If you're buying a home and don't have very much money for the down payment, you may want to find out if the seller would be interested in "sweat equity". This would allow you to perform the labor on any needed repairs and maintenence to the home, (such as outside repairs, painting or electrical work) in exchange for credit towards closing costs.