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Financing Your Home Improvement or Remodeling Project

Although there are many aspects to one's decision on whether to move or remodel their home, one of the key factors is financing.

house with dollar signs

In many cases homeowners believe, and rightly so, that it is easier to move into a new home and get an increased mortgage than it is to finance a proposed home improvement such as an addition or bathroom or kitchen remodeling project.

If financing your home improvement or remodeling is forcing you to look for a new home consider investigating these alternatives.

  1. Refinance your existing mortgage. The first people to talk to our your current mortgage holders, however they are not your only alternative. If they refuse to refinance, check out other mortgage companies.
  2. Banks, as a general statement, will provide the lowest mortgage rates. That being said, some of the newer mortgage finance companies are very aggressive.
  3. Mortgage finance companies are in business for one reason, and one reason only - to lend money! If your proposed home improvement or remodel will increase the value of your property, they will be interested in your proposal.
  4. If you cannot refinance your current mortgage, or if your current interest rate is such that refinancing is not an economically responsible thing to do, consider a second mortgage. The interest rate will be higher than a first, but the time period is usually shorter.
  5. The larger contractors generally have pre-approved or access to financing plans. They want your construction business and will definitely aid your attempts to get funding.
  6. Depending on what you have in mind for a home improvement or remodel you may find that the big box operations such as Home Depot and Lowe's will provide financing for major home renovation projects, providing they get the business. You can get 5% off purchases made with a Lowe's credit card, but you'll want to have a plan in place for paying down the balance as soon as possible. Large retailers such as Sears also have financing available for the home improvement services that they provide. In many cases they offer one year free interest financing, and providing you pay the loan in that period, it is a good deal. But be aware. If you have to pay them interest, you may find that you are paying credit card rates of more than 20% per annum.
  7. If all else fails you can do the "A Bit At A Time" remodel. Choose projects that you can afford to undertake as you have funds available. It may take longer, but it avoids paying interest on loans. It also allows you to shop for sales of material such as flooring.