Many people see making home improvements as a great way to make a house feel like a home. You can see the popularity of home improvement projects, when you turn on your television and watch the multitude of programs that show you how to renovate your house. While home improvement projects may look like fun, the biggest challenge in completing one is getting any money you might need to complete the home improvement project.
These days, getting a home improvement loan from your lender is fairly easy. And as a homeowner, there are actually several options you might consider to finance your home improvement projects.
One option is to refinance your entire mortgage. This is considered to be cash-out refinancing whereby you take a new loan out for a higher amount than your current principal. Let’s say that you own a home worth $200,000 and have $100,000 left on the current mortgage, you could refinance and take out a new loan of $150,000. You would then have an additional $50,000 in cash to pay for your home improvements.
The refinancing option is a good way to go if you are planning a rather expensive project. It is also a good option if you can find a good deal on the interest rates and if you are able to find a lender that will waive the surcharges and fees associated with refinancing.
By using the equity that you have already, you would have the option of refinancing your entire mortgage so that you could get the full $50,000, or you can choose to take out a smaller home equity loan. While it sounds extremely tempting to take the full amount available to you, it is important to understand that you will basically have to start from scratch on repaying your mortgage, if you take the full amount of the equity you have built up in your home.
If you are currently paying at a low interest rate and the refinancing option would be at a higher interest rate, then you may not want to pursue the refinancing alternative. If interest rates are higher now than when you originally took out your mortgage you may find it wise to take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) instead. This way you will only be repaying the cash that you actually need and use. If you get a HELOC and have $50,000 available, you may find that you only need to spend $20,000 on your home improvement projects. This means that you will only be repaying the $20,000 that you spent, not the full $50,000 that you could have spent; and you will have the comfort of knowing that the remainder of the money is available if you need it.
These loans are not for everyone. If you have not owned your home for very long, then using your equity for home improvement projects may not be the best route to go. The reason for this is because you really have not had a chance to accumulate very much equity.
Equity is determined by calculating how much of your homes’ mortgage you have paid off and how much your home is appraised for. For example, if you purchased a $200,000 home and have paid off $100,000 of the mortgage, then your available equity would be in the neighborhood of $100,000. This is of course assuming that your home is still being appraised for $200,000. The amount that you can actually take out for the home improvement loan will vary from lender to lender and their individual policies.
It is also important to understand that, as a general rule, home improvement loans like the ones mentioned above should only be considered when you need a large sum of money to complete your projects. If your proposed project is under $10,000, then it may not make financial sense to use your homes’ equity; you may want to consider an unsecured loan or a personal loan instead. While you might be paying a higher interest rate with these types of loans, it makes more sense financially than taking out an entire new mortgage on your home and paying the lender fees and associated fees.
As you can see, there are many options available to homeowners to get the money that they need for your home improvement projects. It is always a good idea to turn to experts in the mortgage industry, to determine which option is the best for you and your current situation.