Is your home no longer the pristine structure that it once was? Are your tiles chipping, your wooden framing getting scratched away at, and your carpets fading into a near perpetual state of gray? It’s a surprisingly common occurrence – after years, even decades, in a home, a lot of the features that are at the top of your home’s quality list begin to fall apart, reducing its value and overall appeal.
Millions of homeowners experience this every year, and each and every one deals with it in their own way. Some invest in a new property, reselling their old home and ‘upgrading’ to something a little more modern. Others go the do-it-yourself route, improving their homes by themselves. And others, particularly today’s professionals, invest in the skills and experience of construction staff.
Whichever way you go about improving your home, the process is one that’s both expensive and potentially stressful. Do-it-yourself home maintenance and renovation, once regarded as a cheap way to get your home looking perfect, is a fairly costly process by itself, requiring thousands of dollars for even basic changes, not to mention the immense time burden of working by yourself.
Then there’s working with a professional builder or home renovation team – again, not a cheap process. Beyond the tens of thousands of dollars spent on labor and other expenses, there’s the immense cost of purchasing raw materials and drawing up renovation plans. There really isn’t a cheap way to do this, which is why many people use home improvement loans for their homes.
Home improvement loans are loans specifically designed to assist you in buying materials for your home, pay for staff to repair or improve your home, or carry out any type of home operation with a plan to enhance its value or desirability. They’re a standard issue loan available from many lenders, and as with all loans, it takes a little bit of research to secure the best home improvement loan rates.
Like mortgages, home improvement loan rates can vary, both from one lender to another and based on the type of loan itself. Also like mortgages, home improvement loans can draw from equity in an existing home or asset, lowering their interest rates and improving deals for borrowers. In this guide we plan to look at all of these issues, and explain how they relate to you, as a homeowner.
For the most part, finding home improvement loan rates that work for you is like finding any other type of affordable loan – you compare different lenders, loans, and services, and pick the one that’s best aligned with your needs. In this case, the ideal loan is one with a low interest rate. Finding this requires that you compare interest rates from various lenders and pick one that works for you.
Generally, the easiest way to do this is online, by searching lenders’ websites and finding the ideal interest rates. As with mortgages and vehicle loans, there’s rarely a huge gap in interest rates from one lender to another. For the most part, home improvement loan rates are fixed at a fairly steady point, although many lenders may stray from the basic interest rate to appeal to more customers.
It’s also relatively easy to find information about home improvement loan rates offline. The bulk of lenders provide information at their retail branches – often retail banks and credit unions. Just walk into your nearest local bank, nationwide branch, or other lender and ask for their current rates, and you’ll likely leave with a brochure full of their current loan offerings and financing terms.
When taking out a home improvement loan, it’s important to be relatively straightforward with both your lenders and the people you plan to invest in for your home improvement. Specify what you are going to use the loan for, and how much you anticipate it will cost. It’s always a good idea to know how much your work will cost in advance, and use it as the basis for your loan’s cash volume.
It’s also important to be straightforward with the people that will carry out your home improvement, or alternatively, in the case of a do-it-yourself job, the people you plan to purchase equipment, paint or materials from. Projects like this can often go over budget, and by being straightforward and very honest in the early stages of a project, you can ensure that it sticks to plan and costs what it should.
Before you take out a home improvement loan, it’s important that you understand what other loan options are available to you. The majority of home improvement loans are taken out to cover the cost of major home renovations – additional rooms, retiling, major design changes, and other such things. As such, it’s often better to use a small loan to pay for minor maintenance and changes.
However, if the situation is ideal, and the loans available to you are financially sensible and easily repayable, a home improvement loan is generally a good idea. As with any loan, research the rates and fees before pursuing a specific loan, or working with a specific lender. A home improvement loan can be a major financial boost, but the wrong choice can quickly turn into a major disaster.