5 Tips to Finance Your Home Improvements

If you find yourself in the process of plotting out a magnificent home improvement project, you ultimately will need to address an important question: How will you pay for your improvement plan? One obvious, albeit possibly impractical, course you could take is paying for you home improvements with cash on hand. The reality is that for many homeowners who really want to improve their residences, this strategy is not going to work.

When it comes to paying for your home improvement project, painting services or alike there are five key tips that you need to bear in mind. Some of these may have already crossed your mind. However, like most people in your shoes who want to embark on a home improvement project, you may not be familiar with all of these suggestions.

Explore a Title 1 Home Improvement Loan
One possible avenue you may be able to pursue, that you may not be aware of at all, is a Title 1 Home Improvement Loan. The federal government established this loan program.

Pursuant to the Title 1 home improvement loan program, the U.S. government provides lenders with insurance on loans to homeowners who want to make improvements on their residences. The federal government will guarantee loans of this nature up to $25,000. In other words, the government essentially is eliminating the risk to a lender in making a home improvement loan of up to $25,000.

A Title 1 home improvement loan can extend for a term as long as 20 years. A borrower like you does not need equity in the residence in order to qualify for this type of loan.

There are some limitations, beyond the maximum dollar amount available in a loan through the Title 1 program. For example, the money cannot be spent on so-called luxury items. Luxury items are defined as such things as hot tubs.

Not all lenders are approved to make Title 1 home improvement loans. Therefore, the first step in exploring this type of financing option is to identify those lenders in your area that are approved for the Title 1 home improvement loan program.

Solar Energy Incentives
If you are considering installing solar energy systems of some sort in your residence, as part of your home improvement plan, you likely will qualify for different tax incentives available on both the federal and state levels. The federal government offers tax credits for the installation of things like solar-energy systems, including solar panels, or solar water heaters. Many states offer similar incentives, including rebates for at least some of the money expended on these residential improvements.

Don't Charge It -- Apply for a Personal Loan
Each year, tens of thousands of people "finance" their home improvement projects by going mad with their credit cards. The rack up what prove to be significant balances on their credit cards in order to pay for residential improvements.

Do not take such a step until you explore your other options. Included on the list of what you will want to check out is the prospect of obtaining a personal loan to at least fund in part your home improvements.

You do need to have solid credit for a personal loan. What you do not need is available equity in your home when you seek a personal loan. In addition, the interest rate associated with a personal loan will be less than what you would face using your credit cards and paying them off over time.

Contractor Loans
If you are not a do-it-yourselfer, and if you will be seeking a contractor to aid in your, you have yet another possible financing option that may not yet be on your radar. Larger contracting outfits sometimes provide their own financing options to people like you who want to undertake a home improvement project.

In regard to this type of potential financing arrangement, you need to make certain you undertake due diligence that includes getting a specific, guaranteed interest rate before you sign on the bottom line. You might also want to reach out to other homeowners who have done business with a particular contractor and obtained a contractor loan.

Home Equity Line of Credit
Finally, and this is likely a pathway you are aware of, you can always consider taking out a home equity line of credit. Of course, you must have equity in your residence in order to take out this type of financing. One of the benefits of a home equity line of credit is that you can "borrow" money as you need it for your home improvement project. You can more specifically control what you borrow, rather than just obtaining a lump sum loan.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage a leading company that provides Internet fax service for individuals and businesses.


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