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The Truth About How to Save the Most Money Financing a Home Renovation

Jun 29, 2008
Renovating your home is a stressful process but it is a great way to improve its appearance and make it a more enjoyable place to live. A home renovation can greatly improve the way you and your family live, and once it is completed it will increase the value of your home. Renovating your home is probably one of the biggest financial investments you will ever make but if the financing is properly structured you can save thousands of dollars in interest charges. There are many different options available when it comes to financing a home renovation and we will examine three different options to see which is the most cost effective.

One alternative that many homeowners use for financing a home renovation is their credit cards; this is probably the most expensive way to go. Most credit cards charge approximately 18%-30% interest and if you consider the monthly compounding the interest charges are phenomenal. If you were to use a home improvement project of thirty thousand dollars as an example, with a credit card that charged 19% interest the payments would be approximately $459.00 per month for interest only payments. That means if you paid only the minimum payment every month you would never bring down the balance.

Another option is an unsecured loan such as a line of credit or bank loan. An unsecured loan is a loan that the bank gives you based solely on your credit history and since there is no collateral for the bank, this type of loan is a higher risk so the interest charges are higher. The average unsecured loan charges an interest rate of 10% -13%. Using the last example of a thirty thousand dollar renovation and a ten year term with an interest charge of 10% the monthly payment would be $383 per month. This is a much less expensive way to go to finance a large project.

The third alternative is a secured loan such as a secured line of credit or a refinance. The difference between a secured loan and an unsecured loan is that the bank uses the equity in your home as collateral. This type of loan is much less risky, so the homeowner is rewarded with lower interest charges. Interest charges range depending on the type of secured loan you decide to go with, a secured line of credit generally fluctuates with the prime rate. The least expensive choice is a refinance, what this means is that you take your renovation and combine it into your current mortgage.

With a refinance you are increasing your current mortgage amount and monthly payment but by doing so you are saving a loan payment and getting great rates that range anywhere from 4%-6%. A homeowner whose house is worth $250K and they owe $180K has a monthly payment is $1062. If they were to consolidate the $30K renovation into their current mortgage the payment would be $1239/month. That would save the homeowner $206 per month when compared to a traditional bank loan. It is apparent that the most cost effective way to finance a home renovation is a secured loan, now deciding on which type of secured loan that is best for your personal situation.

There are many factors to consider and each homeowner's situation is different so the best thing to do is to get some help from a professional. A specialist at the bank will recommend programs offered by their bank, not necessarily what's in your best interest. Using a mortgage broker will offer you unbiased advice because they are familiar with all of the different banks and their programs and they have access to the best rates available. Whichever way you decide to finance your renovations be sure to consider all of your options.
About the Author
As a mortgage consultant I specialize in assisting clients obtain mortgages. Whether you are looking for a new home and want to get pre-approved , or you are looking to refinance to help get rid of debt, a mortgage broker is the answer. We work for you. For more information go to www.winyourmortgage.ca
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