With the days getting longer, it’s a great time to start that home improvement project you’ve been putting off all winter. If you haven’t factored home fixes into your budget for 2017, you could still fund your dream renovations with government grants, free upgrades or a cash-out refinance of your mortgage! Make your next remodel a reality with these financing options.
The right project can dramatically increase the resale value of your home. Most experts agree that kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels and second-story additions yield the highest return on investment (ROI). According to HouseLogic.com, home improvement projects with a high ROI tend to be energy-efficient, low-maintenance and relatively cheap. Smart thermostats and sprinklers are two easy upgrades to improve your home’s value in 2017. Energy-efficient home improvements and those that are medically necessary could be tax deductible, saving you more money in the long run.
But be careful not to over-improve. It’s difficult to recover the investment in a home that’s already more valuable than most others in the neighborhood. And remember that eclectic tastes probably won’t appeal to mainstream homebuyers.
Cash from Savings
If you already have the cash set aside to fund home improvements on a smaller scale, then pay for the project yourself, but be sure to stick within your budget. According to HomeAdvisor.com, however, the average reported cost of a kitchen remodel is $20,556, which, for many homeowners, would necessitate external financing. Additionally, homeowners who pay cash for their home upgrades miss out on possible tax deductions on home loan interest.
Capitalize on the equity you have in your home by taking advantage of a cash-out refinance.
Let’s say you owe $100,000 on a $200,000 house and need $20,000 for a kitchen remodel. You can refinance your original mortgage into a new one for $120,000, extracting that $20,000 of equity, which you’ll receive as one lump sum payment when you close on your refinance. Reinvest that cash equity into your home by funding your kitchen remodel to further increase your home’s value.
A cash-out refinance may also allow you to secure a lower mortgage rate, and the interest you pay could be tax-deductible. Consult your tax advisor to see if you’re eligible for tax deductions.
If you’re 62 or older, you may be eligible for a reverse mortgage, allowing you to convert some of your home’s equity into cash. Instead of having to make monthly payments, your mortgage lender will actually pay you so you can fund home remodels and updates.
Government Grants and Home Loan Programs
The federal government offers funding for many types of home improvements and renovations. Contact your local Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office to see what financing options might work for you. The government also provides home improvement resources for specific demographic groups.
Options for Senior Citizens
Life transitions can prompt a need for alternative home conditions. Senior citizens can find information and resources for funding remodeling projects through the Home Repair and Modification guide on the Eldercare Locator website, run by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Options for Veterans
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers grants for disabled veterans who need to make home modifications. Contact your regional Veterans Affairs office to check your eligibility for this assistance.
Options for Native Americans
The Section 184 Indian Home Loan Guarantee Program provides financing for new construction on homes as well as rehabilitation projects on homes owned by American Indians and Alaska Native families.
Options for Rural Residents
Households in rural areas could benefit from home improvement grants and loan programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Rural Development. Check your eligibility for household or individual water, wastewater and well system grants as well as single-family housing repair loans and grants.
Options for Renovating Historic Homes
While the majority of government grants for historic renovations are offered to nonprofit organizations, there are some funds available to individuals renovating a primary residence with historic value. Tax incentives may be available for residents of historic properties. Learn more about historic preservation programs through the Preservation Directory.
Weatherization Assistance Program
Free weatherization services, including improvements for heating and cooling and electrical systems as well as for energy-inefficient appliances, are offered for low-income households through the Weatherization Assistance Program. Find out where to apply in your state to see if you’re eligible for assistance from this program.
Increase Energy Efficiency
Home improvement projects that boost your household’s energy efficiency could save you money every month. Many energy companies offer clients incentives to improve their home’s efficiency. Contact your local energy provider to find out what resources or incentive programs may be available through energy efficiency initiatives.
Let’s face it – we may not all be as handy as Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor. If that’s the case for you, DIY projects might not be the best option. Hiring a professional handyman could save you time and give you a little more peace of mind.
Work with an experienced contractor who’ll finish your home improvement project on time and on budget. Talk to friends, neighbors and coworkers. They’re great sources for a referral. You could also drive around your neighborhood and look for signs posted at job sites. That’s a great way to view a contractor’s work firsthand.
If so, subscribe now for tips on home, money, and life delivered straight to your inbox.