Category Archives: Home Care

Home Improvement Financing

Home Improvement Financing

Despite the economic difficulties of the time, it can still be a good time for home improvement. Many people are deciding to ride out the remainder of the financial storm where they already live, and any improvements made to their property at this opportune time, will almost certainly pay high dividends when the economy begins to recover. Home improvement financing loans can be obtained at some pretty low interest rates at this time. With the economy still in disarray, contractor costs will likely be less than in times of higher demands for their services.

Home improvement financing

Home improvement isn’t cheap, and most people don’t have several thousand dollars sitting around for home improvement financing. There are several ways to finance a home improvement project. If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you have decided to perform the work yourself, which will save you money, but only if you practice careful planning. Whether you do the job yourself, or hire a contractor, you will still have to pay for the job.

Home improvement financing: Pay as you go

You can plan your home improvement project so that it can be done a little at a time, as the money is available. If this is the method you choose, you should plan the project carefully in segments matching the amount of funding as it comes available, and set a start and finish date. Do your homework and know exactly what material you will need, the cost of the material, and set up a plan, and a time frame for each part of the project.

Home improvement financing: Pay with credit cards

You can pay for the materials using a credit card. If you take this route, pay off the credit card bill in such a way that you will avoid late fees and other such onerous problems imposed by credit card companies.

Home improvement financing: Home improvement loans

If your credit is in good condition, your home mortgage payments up to date, and your equity in the home sufficient, you can probably get a home improvement loan without too much trouble. Shop around a little on this option. Credit unions are a good source. Large lumber and hardware chains sometimes offer home improvement credit cards with low to no interest. Doing your homework on this part of the project can pay huge dividends in the form of savings.

Home improvement loans: Government funding

FHA Title 1, HUD, and VA

If you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible for home improvement loans from one of these agencies:

FHA Title 1

FHA Title 1 home improvement loans make it possible for homeowners to get loans without equity backing up to $25,000.00. This includes the construction of buildings which are not residential in purpose. These loans extend to manufactured housing, and fire safety equipment, and may in some cases be available for long term renters.


HUD has a number of programs ranging from basic home improvement loans to “fixer upper” loans like their 203(k) program. It would take a separate article to just give a thumbnail description of the possibilities, so the best way to learn more is just follow the link above.


The VA will assist Vets in home buying, and there is an abundance of information available on their website. I am not sure how far into home improvement this extends, but I thought it should be included, especially with the numbers of young men and women involved in various conflicts throughout the world who will return, and are deserving of every benefit possible.

State and local governments

Some states and cities also offer incentives for home improvement, essentially paving the way for home improvement loans with financial institutions as well as special home improvement loans for local citizens. Your best bet for information is to search for state and local information for your area online, or call the state or local entity for details. These vary widely from one location to another.

The main lesson in home improvement financing is that like most other endeavors, good planning and doing your homework will produce the best results and the best bang for your buck.

Hidden Costs Of Home Ownership

Hidden costs of home ownership

Home ownership is a wonderful thing. Home ownership has always been the main component of the American dream. Home ownership allows you to build equity in something solid and corporeal, but like owning anything else, it comes with responsibilities. Home ownership, in most cases, comes with a payment, or mortgage. We all know this, and want to get the best possible deal at the best possible rates. This is a matter of doing your homework with due diligence, and getting a variety of opinions and offers before committing.

There are other things you should consider, like location, quality of the product, and a lot more.

Counting the hidden cost of home ownership

One thing that is not often given the consideration that it needs is the cost of upkeep. Home maintenance and improvement is as much a part of home ownership as the mortgage. Buying a home without considering home maintenance and repair costs is like buying a home without considering the cost of the mortgage. Remember that these costs will also increase over time.


They say that there are two certainties in life, death and taxes, and there will be property taxes on your home. Talk to your county tax office to get the low down .


Home owner insurance is an expense that you will need to consider, luckily, it is simple to determine. Just find a few companies, and check prices.

Home owners associations

Depending on where you live, there may be a home owners association, and these usually come with a fee. Talk with your real estate agent for details.

Home maintenance costs

The cost for home maintenance varies from situation to situation, but it is a widely accepted theory that it costs between 1 and 3 percent of the cost of the home mortgage per year. So, if your mortgage payment is $3,000.00 per month, you should be putting back at least $300.00 per month for maintenance and repair. These costs include such things as:

Lawn and landscape maintenance

This is one of the easiest costs to determine. If you plan to do this job yourself, consider the cost of equipment and equipment upkeep, and materials like pesticides and fertilizers into the equation. If you hire a lawn maintenance company, figure the annual cost, and add that into the budget along with your finance costs.

Pest control costs

Prevention is the key to a solid pest control program at home. Pest prevention is the outcome of good outdoor maintenance practices, good indoor hygiene, and a properly sealed home. Unfortunately, such things are often ignored by homeowners, and prevention is not always possible. The net result is that the average homeowner will need to pay someone to do the work of preventing and controlling pests. This is usually done with an annual contract, so the cost can be determined by calling a few pest control contractors, and getting prices, then adding them to the overall cost of home ownership.


Roof replacement costs due to storm damage are normally covered by homeowners insurance, but that does not mean that you will not need to replace the roof from time to time during the life of your home. Such costs should be considered and added.


Even if your home is brick or stone, there are usually a few places on the homes exterior, and most all of the interior that will need to be patched and painted from time to time.

Heating and air conditioning

Improvements in the safety and longevity of home heating and air conditioning have made our lives more pleasant and safe. These units will last for many years, but they do need to be maintained, filters replaced, and lubricated. They will also need full replacement, or replacement parts installed at some time in the life of your home. This is an area which should be taken into account ahead of time.


All systems eventually fail, and plumbing is no exception. If you live in a house for long enough, you will have plumbing problems. They can range from simple clogs and leaks, to massive catastrophic failure. Even the small problems will cost money to repair, and the longer they go without repair, the larger the problem and expense when the repair is made. For such repairs, money needs to be available immediately to perform them.

Home improvements

Live in a place long enough, and you will want and need some additions and improvements. Setting aside money to make such improvements is a wise idea. Home improvement financing and related costs should be considered when buying a home, particularly if you already have improvements in mind when you make the purchase.