Homeowners who are planning a remodel or home improvement project must carefully review ways through which they will finance the job as there exist numerous payment and financing options.
The one that pleases you best will rely on several factors such as the cost of your project, the amount of money you have on hand, the expected time of the completion of the project, plans for doing other home improvement projects, and the amount of equity you have in your home.
Ways To Help You Finance a Home Improvement Project
Here are the points that describe the most common methods with which you can pay for home improvements, such as which choices might be best for different people.
Paying With Cash
- Some homeowners might have saved up adequate cash to pay for the home improvement project outright.
- By evading financing altogether, you do not pay finance charges or interest, and this can save you quite a bunch of capital.
- Besides, since you did not use your home as collateral to pay back a loan, there exists no risk of losing your property to foreclosure.
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If your project can end up costing anywhere from a couple hundred to a few thousand dollars, it is best to consider making the payment with a credit card.
Credit card interest rates are notably high, but you do not have to pay any loan fees or closing costs. You must use this option only if you are financially stable enough to pay off the entire balance in a couple of months.
Unsecured Personal Loan
- By using an unsecured personal loan to finance your home improvement project, you borrow capital without putting up your home as collateral.
- This method implies that if you cannot pay, your home does not stand at risk for foreclosure. Some lucky homeowners can obtain personal loans from family members.
- Banks also offer unsecured personal loans, but typically for modest sums of money. Be wary of payday loans or personal loans that are offered by non-banks, as many of them have exorbitant interest rates.
Home Equity Loan
A home equity loan is a type of loan that puts your house as collateral, similar to your primary mortgage. With a home equity loan, you acquire capital against the value of your property less than the worth of the existing mortgage.
The borrowed amount stays fixed, which makes it a reasonable option if you are financing a one-time project.
The interest rate also stays fixed, which can be beneficial if you believe that interest rates might rise over the tenure of the loan.
Besides, the interest you settle on a home equity loan used for home improvements is tax-deductible.
With several home equity loans, you will have to settle closing costs. You also risk foreclosure if you are unable to make the payments.
Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
Similar to a home equity loan, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) puts your home as collateral to assure payment.
A HELOC acts like a revolving line of credit, where you are eligible to withdraw different amounts of money over time up to a fixed maximum.
The maximum withdrawable amount depends on the equity available in your home.
HELOCs perform well if you are working on a long-term project or will require funds for other home improvements in the future.
The interest rate for a HELOC is typically variable, which implies that it can start small but climb steeper if the prime rate escalates.
Similar to home equity loans, the interest you pay on a HELOC is tax-deductible.
Borrowing From Your 401(k)
Some employer 401(k) plans enable you to borrow capital to pay for home improvements. Rates are often low, and you do not have to pay fees or be eligible for a loan.
However, if you quit your job, you must pay the entire balance or face large withdrawal penalties and taxes. You will also have to pay penalties and taxes if you fail to pay the whole sum within five years.
Besides, financial experts recommend that even though you pay the loan back to the account, when your project is complete, you will have less money in your retirement account than if you had not withdrawn capital.
Title 1 Loan
Title 1 loans are provided by banks and insured by the federal government. They help you finance light-to-moderate improvement projects on personal property or the development of non-residential buildings.
Similar to home equity loans and HELOCs, you put up your home as collateral and must clear interest and closing costs. However, the distinction is that Title 1 loans do not require that the owner has equity in the home.
There exist some limits in this program, such as you cannot get a Title 1 loan for non-essential, luxury elements such as swimming pools, and the highest loan sum for a single-family home is $25,000.
Another choice to fund a home improvement project is to refinance your original mortgage for a more significant amount and get the difference back in money.
Just as with any home loan, you will have to pay closing costs and fees. This option might appear attractive if you are required to fund a large project, home prices are escalating, and interest rates are dropping.
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The ideal way to finance your next home improvement project depends entirely on the project that you are planning on and also your financial position. If you are looking to utilize your existing home equity and planning a mid-sized to a large project, a home equity loan or a HELOC might be ideal for you.
If you have plans for a mid-sized project but are skeptical about putting up your home as collateral, a home improvement loan can be your best bet. If you wish to save on interest for a larger project, refinancing your mortgage should be preferable.
Regardless of the route you take, thoroughly research all options, and find a trustworthy financial planner to settle your finances adequately.
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