If you're anything like me, and do a lot of dreaming about wild and wonderful things you could do to your home, then you'll know from extensive Google-searching that most home improvement projects can be expensive. I should know, after obsessing over self-cleaning windows and integrated summer houses for well over two years now.
Even if you’re being brave and planning to do improvements yourself to save money, you’ve still got to consider the cost of tools and materials. So how on earth should you go about funding them? Especially in this day and age when funds are tight? Well, I've done more than a little bit of thinking about this and have come up with a few different options you might find helpful . . .
If you're forward-thinking and already have some savings, you could use these to pay for home improvements as it's probably preferable to borrowing money. If you don’t have savings, you could reset your timescales and save up - but this could take a while if you’re trying to fund an expensive project. Depending on your income, saving up for a project under £1000 could be feasible, but anything over this may be too challenging and you might not want to wait that long - especially if the home-improvement you want to carry out is particularly time sensitive. However, if you do have some disposable income to squirrel away, then using a high interest savings account can help.
Extend your current mortgage
If you're under a mortgage, you may be able to approach your current lender and ask them to lend you some more money, which is then added to your mortgage. This is a great option if you currently pay very low interest rates that you’re unable to beat elsewhere. Of course, it does mean that it will ultimately take you longer to pay off your mortgage, so bear this in mind and weight it all up. Being on good terms with your current mortgage lender will help to ensure that your loan is approved.
Remortgage your home
Remortgaging a home involves taking out a new mortgage to pay for your current one. By doing this you may be able to take out a new extended mortgage that covers the cost of renovations, so this is worth knowing! Remortgaging is worthwhile if your current mortgage is charging you high interest rates - it could be a chance to take out a new home loan with lower interest rates as well as make those lovely improvements you've been dreaming about.
Use a secured loan
A secured loan allows you to use your home as collateral. This means that if you don’t keep up with payments, a lender can sell your property as a way to get their money back, so it's not without risks. Why take out a secured loan? Well, these loans often don’t have the same credit score requirements because you’re using your house as collateral. They can also allow you to access bigger loans that would be tricky to access elsewhere. The likes of Loanable’s secured loans can give you an indicator beforehand of how much you can borrow. These loans can be a good option if you’re planning a big project or if you’ve paid off your mortgage.
Use an unsecured loan
Unsecured loans do not require you to use your home as collateral which is great if you're a renter like me. However, they do come with greater credit score requirements upfront plus you may not be able to borrowing limits may be set. Interest rates can also be quite high on some of these loans so please do watch out for that before committing to anything. The benefit is that you don’t have to worry about potentially losing your home if something happens and you cannot keep up loan payments (sometimes we've got to think about worst case scenario!).
Pay by credit card
Most credit cards don’t have a huge limit, so you may not be able to use them to fund a whole project. However, you may still be able to part-pay for various remodelling projects and if it gets you on your way then it can be well worth it. When choosing a credit card to pay for home improvements, consider looking into low interest or even 0% interest cards. Check out this Money Saving Expert guide to 0% interest credit cards - it's worth its weight in gold!
I'd love to know what your home improvement ideas are . . . and if you get to see them through to fruition. Do let me know in the comments and we can dream big together!
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