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Here’s How to Finance Your Renovation

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How many times have you watched a program on HGTV only to shut off the TV frustrated and slightly jealous that your house doesn’t compare to these masterpieces? Hey, you’re not alone.

Home is not only where your heart is, it’s your haven and escape from work and daily stresses. So it’s only reasonable to want a space that’s not only comfortable, but also aesthetically attractive.

But even if you have a hundred wonderful ideas for transforming your tired decor into something fabulous and envy-worthy, your bank account might not agree with your plans.

Let’s be very honest here, there’s nothing cheap about home improvements and renovations. Sure, you can visit any retail store and buy a few decorating pieces to give your house a little pizzazz, but for a complete makeover like redoing your kitchen and bathrooms, or perhaps finishing your basement or adding a room to increase your property’s value, you need will some extra cash.

Fortunately, you don’t have to kiss your dreams of an updated space goodbye just because your savings account can’t accommodate your plans. This might come as a shock, but getting cash to fix up your house is easier than you think. There are several doable ways to drum up cash for a home improvement project.

Take a look at a few options and decide which one is right for you.

  1. Refinance your Mortgage and Tap your Equity

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If you have substantial equity in your house, you’re practically sitting on cash.

Refinancing your mortgage not only helps you get a lower interest rate and a lower payment, there’s also the option to cash out some of your equity.

Ordinarily, homeowners have to sell their properties to profit from the equity. If you don’t have plans of moving anytime soon, a cash-out refinance lets you borrow up to 80 percent of your equity. This cash can be used for any purpose, such as debt consolation, paying for a kid’s education or updating your home.

  1. Get a Home Equity Loan or Personal Loan

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Unfortunately, applying for a mortgage refinance involves completing a new mortgage application and paying closing costs, which might be as much as 2% to 5% of the mortgage balance, according to real estate company, Zillow. To avoid a long underwriting process and closing costs, consider a home equity loan or a personal loan.

With a home equity loan, you can get a loan for home improvements using your home’s equity as collateral. There are typically no closing costs, plus the interest rate on a home equity loan is cheaper than many credit card rates. If you don’t have enough equity in your home, consider getting a personal loan using other property as collateral, such as a paid off vehicle.

  1. Apply for a Reverse Mortgage

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As a retiree on a fixed income, it can be difficult to afford needed home improvement or renovation projects. Also, you might be uncomfortable tapping your savings to pay for these projects. Luckily, there’s a practical option available to some retirees.

A reverse mortgage is another option for financing home improvement projects if you’re over the age of 62. You might hesitate with applying if you don’t know much about reverse mortgages. However, mortgage lenders can provide reverse mortgage information and calculators to ensure you understand how the process works, and that you’re 100% comfortable using this option to finance home improvement projects.

With a reverse mortgage, you can convert a part of your equity into cash. It might be the perfect option if you’re house-rich and cash-poor. And the best part, there are no monthly payments. A reverse mortgage isn’t repaid until after you die or sell the home.

  1. Use a Zero Percent Interest Credit Card

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Loans for home improvements or home renovations involve interest, which ultimately increases how much you spend on a project.

Not only should you compare contractors to save money on your renovations, consider financing your home project with a 0% interest credit card. Some credit cards feature 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 to 18 months. You can use one of these credit cards to finance home improvements, and then pay off the card during the introductory rate period. It’ll be the same as paying cash for the renovation.

Bottom Line

This is your home and you should be 100% comfortable and proud of your space. So if feel your house is outdated you have the chance to do something about it. Explore your financing options and choose an option only if you feel 100% comfortable with it.


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