Financing Options For Home Improvement Projects: What To Know

Financing Options For Home Improvement Projects: What To KnowAre you planning on updating your house? A home improvement project can be expensive, but you don’t necessarily need to pay for the entire cost upfront. There are several loan options that can make it easier for you to get your home improvement project started right now. What are your options?

A Personal Loan

One of the most common options people use to finance a home improvement project is a personal loan. This could be a great option for you if you don’t want to use your home as collateral or if you don’t have enough equity in your home to use one of the other options available. The downside of this option is that you might have to pay a higher interest rate because a personal loan is not necessarily collateralized.

A Cash-Out Refinance

Another popular option is a cash-out refinance. In this option, you will refinance your mortgage, replacing your current loan with a new loan. Then, you will withdraw some of the equity in your home. You will increase the balance you have to pay back, but you will have a lump sum of cash you can use to cover the cost of your home improvement project. If interest rates have gone down since you took out your first mortgage, you might be able to keep your monthly payment the same. If you can’t get a lower interest rate, you might extend the length of the mortgage to prevent your monthly payment from going up. 

A Home Equity Line Of Credit

Finally, you should also consider a home equity line of credit. As long as you have enough equity in your home, you can withdraw some of the equity and use it to finance the home improvement project. Essentially, it is a second mortgage, but it has a lower interest rate than a personal loan because you use your home as collateral. 

Get Ready For Your Home Improvement Project

You need to think carefully about every financing option available to you. They each have their benefits and drawbacks, and you should get your finances in order before you decide to apply for a loan. Consider reaching out to a professional who can help you.

 

The Top Home Renovations You Should Go All Out On

The Top Home Renovations You Should Go All Out OnWith many people spending more time at home, lots of homeowners are taking advantage of the opportunity to improve their houses. If you are thinking about making an upgrade to your house, you probably have a budget you would like to stick to. On the other hand, there are several home renovations you should splurge on if you want to maximize the return on your investment.

Renovate The Kitchen

Many people say that the kitchen is the center of the house. This is where you will spend a lot of your time, and a lot of your guests will congregate in the kitchen as well. Because of how important the kitchen is to not only yourself but a prospective homebuyer, this is where you can maximize the return on your renovation investment. It is not unusual for you to recoup most of the money you spend improving your kitchen when you go to sell your home. 

Replace Your Floors

Even though you may not think about the surface on which you walk, upgrading your floors is a great way for you to improve the value of your home. Your floors take a beating between heavy equipment, your feet, and your pets, so if you can replace your floors and give them an upgrade, you can increase the value of your home. There might even be new flooring options available, such as luxury vinyl plank, that were not available when you first purchased it. Consider upgrading your flooring to increase the value of your home. 

Finish Your Attic Or Basement

One of the most direct ways to increase the value of your home is to increase your square footage. You do not necessarily need to complete an addition if you can finish your attic or your basement. You may want to work with a professional contractor who can help you turn your attic or basement into an extra room. You can use the extra space as a home theater, a gym, or a recreational space.

Invest In Your Home Through Renovations

These are a few of the top renovations on which you should consider going all out. Even though it might be expensive, these renovations can increase the value of your home. 

 

The Top Issues Homeowners Cannot Ignore

The Top Issues Homeowners Cannot IgnoreOwning a home can be a major investment, but it is also a significant responsibility. From time to time, issues can pop up, and it is important that homeowners do not to ignore them. Ignoring these issues can lead to significant repair bills down the road. What are some of the top issues that homeowners should not ignore?

1. Mold

Mold is a sign that the humidity level in the home is off or that there is standing water present somewhere. Mold thrives in warm, moist conditions. If homeowners do not address mold as quickly as possible, it will proliferate throughout the house, damaging the structure. Mold can also lead to significant health concerns, particularly for people who suffer from chronic respiratory conditions. 

2. A Warped Floor

If there is a warped floor present, it needs to be investigated quickly. A floor begins to warp when there is water trapped underneath it. Water damages the integrity of the floorboards, causing them to bend and buckle. The problem will get worse if the water source is not identified and rectified. Homeowners need to fix this as quickly as possible. 

3. Missing Roof Shingles

The roof is responsible for protecting the rest of the home from precipitation. If there are any shingles that are damaged or missing, they will not do their jobs. Water can get in through this area, spread throughout the rest of the roof, and lead to major damage. Homeowners need to get the roof inspected to identify and fix missing shingles.

4. Unusual Noises From The HVAC 

If there are unusual noises coming from the HVAC, it could be a sign of a tremendous amount of stress on the unit itself. This could cause the HVAC unit to burn out quickly, leading to a major bill. When unusual noises are addressed, the HVAC unit can be fixed, extending its lifespan.

Take Care Of The Home

These are a few of the many issues that homeowners should not ignore. If homeowners do not identify these issues and fix them as quickly as possible, they will simply become more expensive and cumbersome down the road. These signs need to be addressed by a major professional, and many of them can be avoided with routine maintenance. 

 

A Home Improvement Loan: How To Get One

A Home Improvement Loan: How To Get OneWith more people spending time at home than ever before, many people are wondering how they can go about changing the way the home is laid out. This can be an expensive project, which is why many people are interested in getting a home improvement loan.

With many people buying outdated houses, there are numerous projects that many homeowners want to finish; however, this process is not the same as applying for a mortgage. There are home equity lines of credit, cash-out refinance opportunities, and financing through the contracting company. How is the process of applying for a home improvement loan different, and what do homeowners need to know?

Gather The Right Information Before Tapping Into Home Equity

One of the most common ways homeowners complete projects is to tap into the equity in the home. Therefore, no matter what option someone chooses, they need to make sure they gather the right information. All homeowners must make sure they have a great credit score before pursuing this option. Homeowners have the right to check their credit score once per year free of charge. They also need to have documents that verify their income, as lenders will want to take a look at someone’s debt to income ratio. Other forms of debt include car payments, credit card debt, and student loans.

Compare The Cost Of The Loan Options

Next, homeowners need to take a look at the cost of each loan. There are home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), and cash-out refinances. The interest rates on these loans can vary depending on the market, and many of them will have closing costs as well. Homeowners need to take a look at the costs and the interest rate to figure out which option works best for them. Some of these loans have adjustable rates on them, which can make them risky, and some of these loans have limits that are dependent on the amount of equity in the home.

Fixer Upper Loans Are Available

Those who have purchased a home in dire need of repairs might qualify for a rehabilitation loan, which is a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) 203(k) rehabilitation loan. This provides funds for renovations and repairs that are necessary to restore a home. Consider all options available before deciding.

A Comprehensive Home Maintenance Checklist For The Homeowner

A Comprehensive Home Maintenance Checklist For The HomeownerThere are many people who purchase a home with a target monthly payment in mind. This monthly payment usually includes major expenses such as the monthly mortgage payment, real estate taxes, and homeowners’ insurance. At the same time, there are other costs as well, such as home repairs and maintenance.

In general, homeowners should budget between one and three percent of the home’s value every year to cover typical maintenance and repairs. This does not include renovation expenses, which might require additional funding. What are a few examples of maintenance expenses homeowners need to consider?

Monthly Home Maintenance Tasks

There are a few straightforward tasks that homeowners need to do every month. These maintenance tasks can help homeowners prevent larger bills down the road. A few examples include checking the filters on the HVAC system, looking for leaks that might be present around sinks and toilets, and taking a look at the filter in the kitchen vent hood. Homeowners also need to make sure their smoke and carbon monoxide filters are working properly. Finally, go for a walk around the outside of the house to look for any cracks in the foundation.

Winter Maintenance Tasks

There are a few maintenance tasks that need to take place during the winter as well. Homeowners in the colder climates need to watch for the buildup of ice dams on the roof, which could trap snow as it melts. Homeowners should also inspect the home for any drafts under the doors or windows, which could drive up heating bills. Finally, depending on where your home is located you may need to cover the air conditioning units to protect them against snow and ice.

Spring Checklist Tasks

While winter can be tough on a home, there are several maintenance tasks that should be done during the spring as well. It is important to order an HVAC inspection during the spring to make sure it is working properly. The roof should also be inspected by a professional for any signs of issues. Sometimes, the gutters can be clogged by leaves and ice buildup, which should be addressed before spring storms arise. Finally, make sure the doors and windows are sealed as well.

Following these spring maintenance tasks can reduce the risk of repairs down the road.

7 Inexpensive Upgrades You Can Make To Your Rental Property

7 Inexpensive Upgrades You Can Make To Your Rental PropertyUpgrading your rental doesn’t need to cut deeply into your profits. You can add curb appeal and help prospective tenants see your rental as their next home by making some simple changes. The following upgrades are all things that a handy landlord can do without needing to hire professional contractors.

1.  Decorative Switch Plates

Replace ugly cream switch plates with either stainless steel models or decorative designs. Fancy switch plates for light switches and electrical sockets cost very little, yet make any room look nicer. The best part is, you can do the replacements yourself, using only a screwdriver.

2.  Flower Beds

Beautiful flower beds make any rental look more inviting. You can enhance curb appeal by planting inexpensive perennials around the front of the rental and along the pathway leading up to the door. Top off your newly planted flower beds with a fresh layer of colored mulch.

3. Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Kitchen cabinets are pricey, but it’s cheap to just reface existing cabinets. You can either replace the entire doors or take them off and give them a fresh sanding and a couple of coats of varnish or paint.

4. Fresh Paint

Even quality paint is inexpensive. Give your rental a beautiful new look with fresh paint throughout. You’ll want to use neutral tones, but consider making an accent wall, painted with an attractive color.

5. New Light Fixtures

Old light fixtures make a place look dated. You can pick up inexpensive light fixtures at big box home improvement stores. This simple upgrade will make your rental more attractive and modern.

6. Broom Storage Area

Most rentals don’t come with a broom closet, but you can create a makeshift broom storage area very cheaply. Just pick up some plastic broom holders and a shelf from the hardware store. Attach the broom holders to the wall and hang the shelf over that. Your tenants will appreciate the upgrade!

7. Fresh Window Treatments

Window treatments make a house look like a home. Replace window blinds or shades for an instant upgrade. Curtains are even cheaper and can be laundered and reused between rentals.

No matter where your rental is located, you can make it more attractive with these easy and inexpensive upgrades that you can do yourself.

The Top Tricks For Updating A Home On A Tight Budget

The Top Tricks For Updating A Home On A Tight BudgetThere are a lot of people who are looking for ways to get the most money out of their property when they put it on the market. One of the tricks to doing this is to update the home before it goes on the market. Unfortunately, this can also be expensive.

Even though it is true that many homeowners will be able to recoup the price of the renovations when they list the home on the market, we still need to pay for these updates out-of-pocket. This can be incredibly expensive and could take money from other important areas, such as a car or someone’s education. Fortunately, there is a way for people to update their home without spending any money out of pocket. 

Refinance The Home And Free Up Some Cash

The first option the people need to consider is the opportunity to refinance the home while also freeing up some cash. Those who have been in their home for several years might have some equity built up in the home. They may be able to refinance their home, reducing their monthly payment while also getting a little bit of cash they can use to complete the renovation without paying anything out of pocket. Those who are interested in this option should speak with their lender about some of the ways they might be able to finance their renovation project.

Set Up A Payment Plan With The Contractor

Another option that homeowners might want to consider a set up a payment plan with the contractor. A lot of contractors are willing to provide homeowners with very low interest rates, or 0 percent interest rates, on the home renovation project. Most contractors understand that a lot of families are operating on a budget and might not have money to pay for the project in its entirety up front. This is another topic that homeowners should discuss.

Finance A Home Improvement Project On A Budget

These are just a few of the many ways that homeowners can finance a home renovation project without spending an exorbitant amount of money out-of-pocket. Think about these options ahead of time and make that next home improvement project more affordable.

 

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy Things For A Home

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Buy Things For A HomeFor those who are trying to buy things for their home, it is important to think carefully. Nobody wants to overpay; however, reaching for something cheap may simply end up getting replaced quickly. There are a few highlights that everyone should consider purchasing for their home in January!

Purchase Some Furniture In January

First, everyone has to make sure they think about buying furniture either in January or July. A lot of furniture manufacturers provide retail stores with new pieces in February and August. Therefore, a lot of furniture will go on sale starting either in January or July.

Storage Items Go On Sale In January

Again, a lot of stores will roll out sales in January for storage essentials such as baskets, shelves, and organizing systems. There are a lot of student’s who are looking for inexpensive items before the start of the new semester and what’s leftover after Christmas will often go on sale in January.

Major Appliances Go On Sale During January And The Holidays

One of the most expensive items that people purchase for their home is a new appliance. These tend to go on sale during the holidays and shortly after Christmas. With new versions coming out at the start of the new year, the prior year’s models need to be cleared out and retail stores will slash their prices in January.

Flooring And Paint Will Go On Sale In January

A lot of homeowners will take breaks from remodeling projects during the holiday season. Therefore, paint manufacturers and flooring specialists are often desperate for business during the winter. For this reason, a lot of paint and flooring essentials will go on sale during January, providing homeowners with a chance to save some significant money on their next renovation projects.

Linens And Towels Go On Sale In January

Finally, anyone who is looking for new linens and towels should try to wait for January. These are common gifts during Christmas so retail stores will be looking for ways to clear out the leftover inventory after the holidays. As a result, a lot of linens and towels will be marked for major discounts following Christmas.

The Top House Appraisal Tips For Home Buyers And Sellers

The Top House Appraisal Tips For Home Buyers And SellersThere are a lot of steps that come with buying or selling a home. One of the routine steps that have to be accomplished is called a home appraisal. When it comes to a home appraisal, this is something that can cause both buyers and sellers to pause for a second. For those who might not know, a house appraisal is where a trained professional will take a look at the fair market value of the home. It is important to understand what happens when a home appraisal is conducted. 

Compare The Home To Similar Properties

When a home appraisal is conducted, its value is usually compared to homes in the area that are similar. The value of a home is always determined by what similar homes in the area have sold for recently. This is what the lender is going to look for. For example, if someone is selling a condo, and the value of that condo is going to be compared to other condos in the building that have sold recently. Even though there might not be identical houses in the area, the same process is going to happen for free-standing homes. 

Make Improvements To The Home

For those who are going to be selling their home in the near future, one of the easiest ways to drive up the value of the home is to make improvements. If the countertops, floors, or cabinets have not been updated recently, then performing these updates can drive up the value of a home. In some cases, homeowners might be able to get a bigger increase in the value of their home than the amount of money they spent on the improvements. 

Get A Second Appraisal

In some cases, home buyers might not like the appraisal that came in on the home. In this case, they might be able to challenge this first appraisal by getting a second appraisal. Even though this might cost a bit of money, if the home comes back at a significantly reduced cost, then there might be opportunities for the buyer to renegotiate the price of the home. Everyone wants to make sure they are getting a fair deal when a home changes hands.

How To Finance Your Home Improvement Project

How To Finance Your Home Improvement ProjectIf you have been spending a lot of time at home recently, then you might be getting tired of staring at the same four walls. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for you to switch it up by financing a home improvement project. At the same time, home improvement projects can be expensive, particularly if you are targeting the kitchen. Therefore, you might be wondering how you are going to be able to pay for them. There are plenty of ways that you can finance a home improvement project, so take a look at a few of the options below. 

Consider Taking A Cash-Out Refinance

One way that you can free up some extra cash is to carry out something called a cash-out refinance. Right now, due to the coronavirus pandemic, mortgage rates are at historic lows. Therefore, you might be able to complete a refinancing plan that can free up some cash for the home improvement project. When you refinance your loan, you essentially change the terms of your mortgage to free up some of the equity that you already have in your home. Then, you can put this equity toward your home improvement projects. 

Take Out A Home Equity Line Of Credit

You might also be able to tap into the equity you have in your home directly by creating a line of credit. This is a common option when it comes to home improvement financing. The money that you receive from this home equity line comes directly from the equity in your home. If you have been paying into your mortgage for several years, then there is a high chance that you have built up an equity line of credit. At the same time, remember that this is very much like a second mortgage, so you are essentially putting up your house as collateral.

Finance Your Home Improvement Project

Even though you can always put your home improvement project on a credit card or take out a personal loan, it might be better for you to tap into the equity in your home. By accessing a lower interest rate, you might be able to save a significant amount of money while still accomplishing your home improvement project goals.