Home improvement is the renovation of a home for the purpose of improving the aesthetics, safety, or convenience of the home. This can include landscaping, interior and exterior remodeling, and garage maintenance. In some areas, the resale value of a home is impacted by these projects. Therefore, it is important to make sure you are working with a qualified contractor and are not taking on an unnecessary project.
In addition to having a written contract, it is also a good idea to have an escrow account set up. This is a fund that you can use to pay the contractor only for the work until the job is substantially complete. If you decide to hire a contractor, make sure you ask for references, as well as to verify that they are insured. Depending on the scope of the work, you may also want to arrange a payment schedule. Some contractors will offer incremental payments until the job is done.
A home improvement loan is one of the most common forms of financing available. These loans are secured by the homeowner’s home and can be borrowed up to 85% of the home’s value. They can be used for just about anything, from replacing an old kitchen range to rehabilitating a porch. Personal loans are also available, but they carry higher interest rates. It can be beneficial to shop around and determine what kind of loan will be best for your needs.
Having a solid home improvement plan can help you increase the overall value of your home. Depending on the size and scope of your plans, it can be done in a single lump sum, or spread out over a few months. However, if you have a very large home improvement project in mind, it may be a better idea to seek out a home equity loan. The money can be repaid over a five to thirty-year period.
While there are several options available, personal loans are a popular choice. Typically, they are available with an introductory 0% APR period. Interest rates range from 16% to 24%. To qualify, you must have good to excellent credit. Depending on the lender, you might be required to put up collateral, such as a home. Getting a loan is often a great way to avoid the fees and restrictions associated with a traditional mortgage.
You can also find home improvement credit cards. These can be useful for new appliances, painting, and other minor projects. Many lenders have introductory 0% APR periods, which can provide you with a year of no interest. Unlike a home equity loan, personal loans do not require a down payment.
Lastly, a new front door is an affordable way to improve the look of your home. New windows are also a great upgrade. Replacing drafty windows can save you a lot of money on energy costs.
Taking the time to research your options will ensure you get the best possible results from your project. Before you sign any contracts, ask for referrals from friends or neighbors who have used a contractor recently. Compare prices and timelines from several contractors, and ask about their qualifications.