Home Improvement

How to Finance a Home Improvement Project

A home is a great investment and probably your biggest one. Over the years, prices have always increased and there is no reason to believe that won’t continue.. Maintain your property, keep it up to date, and make improvements over time to protect your investment.

Loan Options:

Home Equity Line of Credit

A home equity line of credit is bank account you set up with a mortgage lender that you can use for home improvement projects. The interest rates are usually very good. But you need to have equity in your home in order to get the line of credit. Sometimes a homeowner will use a line of credit to complete of the home improvement project. After the project is completed the home value increases, and then the homeowner can refinance the home mortgage and home equity line of credit into one home mortgage.

Construction Loan

A construction loan is another loan given by the home mortgage companies. Payments on this type of loan are usually paid from the loaned amount until the home is re-occupied. In basic words, if you borrow $20k and the payments are monthly at $500, then the $20k is used to make those payments. So if the project takes 6 months to complete, the borrowed amount of $20k is reduced by $3k for the 6 payments of $500.

The Title I Property Improvement Loan Program

If you do not have enough equity in your home and a construction loan is not right for you then a FHA Title I loan might be the answer. FHA loans are HUD insured. This is also a great loan for small home improvements like a new heating unit. To find an FHA-approved lender in your area.

Making Your Home Improvement Project Pay Off

A home remodel is a very costly venture. Homeowners are always looking for ways to add value to their home. Renovating is a great way to update an area of your home and add value to your biggest investment, your house. But not all home upgrades and renovations are worth spending your hard-earned money on. Here is some simple advice to make your home renovation worth the money and effort you put into it.

Repair first

Repairs are the renovations that will yield the most value for your home. Fix the areas of your home that are in need of attention from a contractor or handyman. In an article by Realtor.com, you will be more likely to get the best value from handling repairs than any other renovation. Good repairs to consider are: fixing a leaking roof, replacing broken kitchen tile, stopping leaky faucet, and having an electrician rewire a faulty outlet. Even these small repairs can increase the value of your home.

Plan to stay a while
Are you thinking of selling or are you planning on staying in your home a while? Getting a good return on your home improvement project might not pay. To find out if a home renovation increases your home value before you sell, contact a local realtor for advice. A local realtor will be able to evaluate your home with an eye for what sells. He or she can tell which renovation project will get your the best ROI. If you not planning on moving then the best renovation project is one you want to do the most.

Go Solar

Since Obama took office there has been a huge push from the federal government to sponsor energy efficient programs like solar energy. The federal government has created the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) as part of their policy to support the growth of solar energy in the United States. The tax credit has enabled businesses and homeowners to build and purchase solar energy projects with confidence in knowing that the government will provide a credit for solar related products and uses. Here is more information on this great tax credit:

  • Incentive Amount – The solar ITC provides a 30 percent tax credit for solar systems on residential (Section 25D) and commercial (Section 48) properties.
  • Growth on Solar – This tax credit has help solar grow as a renewable fuel option for homeowners by 76% annual compound growth since 2006.
  • Credit Expiration – Under current federal law, the tax credit will remain in effect through December 31, 2016, with the likely possibility of an extension.
  • State Credits – A majority of states offer their own tax credits in addition to the federal 30% credit. You can view detailed state level tax credit on solar by visiting the link below.

Big addition, Big No
Additions are the most costly of all home renovations. A good remodel is a much better bang for your buck. But if you need more space and love your home, an addition is the only way to solve that problem. Consider you local market when adding on. If the neighborhood is full of 3 bedroom homes then adding an addition with 2 bedrooms to make your home have 5 probably won’t get a good return on that investment. You would be better off selling your home and buying a bigger home in the neighborhood with similar home sizes.

Go Green
Going green is all the buzz right now, but it also just makes good financial sense. You can save money in the long run with energy efficient appliances, windows, doors and more. You can also get tax breaks on these energy efficient products too. Energy prices are only going to increase, do your best to keep your costs at a minimum.

Choosing the Right Solar Company

There are a number of solar energy manufacturing companies now selling products to homeowners and newer companies continue to enter the market as the renewable energy sector reaches all time growth heights. Choosing the right solar manufacturer is key to making sure that you install a safe, reliable, and cost-effective solar solution on your home. Here are some tips to consider when looking for a solar manufacturing company.

  • Experience – The best companies in the industry have been performing solar installations for years. Look for a company that has been in business for a minimum of 10 years so you know they have experience.
  • Made in the USA – Support your country by purchasing solar products made here in the USA. The quality of these products will be far better than anything purchased oveseas.
  • Quality – You will always get a better product when all of the pieces of the product are made in-house by the same manufacturer. Buy from a manufacturer that produces the solar cells, wafers, and panels themselves rather than outsourcing the production of those items.
  • Warranty – A great product will have a great warranty. The best solar companies on the market have a warranty of at least 20 years to cover any potential issues you may have with your residential solar system.

In addition, many manufacturers are also the installers of the solar energy products. This means that a highly trained crew that understands the product will be installing the solar system on your home. Solar installations are very technical and having a reliable and trustworthy company performing the work on your home will ensure a very confident and seamless process so you can enjoy your new solar investment.