Updated: Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Should You Use a HELOC for a Renovation?
A lot of people, thanks to low interest rates, are thinking about home renovations right now. You have different options to pay for these projects if youre not going to pay in cash. One option is a Home Equity Line of Credit or HELOC.
A HELOC is a way to borrow against your homes equity, and it provides flexibility. With that being said, because of that flexibility, you need to be careful to stay on budget when you use funds.
The following are some things to know about a HELOC, particularly if youre thinking about using it for a renovation.
How Does a HELOC Work?
With a HELOC, youre spending in a way thats similar to a credit card. You borrow up to a certain limit as defined by your lender. Then, you pay back whatever you borrow with interest. You can withdraw and make payments on whatever basis works best for you.
A lender gives you a draw period, which is the time you can withdraw money. When your draw period is ended, you may be able to renew the credit line.
If you dont or cant renew, you pay the outstanding balance either all at one time, or you do so over a repayment period.
HELOC lengths can run as long as 30 years.
The benefits of a HELOC and flexible repayment include the fact that you only borrow what you need, and many have no fees. The interest on a HELOC might be deductible if you use your funds for home improvements.
What Are the Risks?
While HELOCs can work well for funding a renovation, there are possible risks to be aware of before you borrow.
Since your home is your collateral, if you dont make the payments, you could lose your home. Typically a lender will try to protect against this by limiting borrowing amounts, but its still a big consideration.
A lender can also freeze a credit line or reduce it. Youll only see this usually if you havent made your payments or your homes equity changes, but its something to think about.
The interest rates on a HELOC are variable, and theyre tied to the prime rate. If there are changes in the market, you may end up paying more so that uncertainty may not be ideal.
How Does a HELOC Compare to a Home Equity Loan?
A home equity loan is another financial product often used to fund renovations and home projects.
A home equity loan also involves borrowing against the equity in your home, which is used as collateral. A home equity loan differs from a HELOC because its a lump-sum loan rather than a revolving line of credit. You pay the loan back over its life plus interest, and you make those payments based on a set schedule. Most home equity loans have a fixed interest rate, which alleviates the worry of fluctuating market conditions impacting interest rates.
When is a HELOC the Right Choice?
If youre deciding between a HELOC and a home equity loan, the loan might be better if youre certain of the cost of your project. If youre comfortable with a fixed monthly payment, a home equity loan could be the better option.
On the other hand, a HELOC might be right if you want a lot of flexibility in how much you borrow. Maybe youre not sure about the scope of your project or what your budget will be.
The biggest differentiators between the two will come down to first, flexibility, and second, certainty. If you want flexibility, consider a HELOC. If you want certainty, think about a home equity loan.
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When Is the Best Day of the Month to Close?
Maybe youve heard this and maybe you havent, but when someone asks when the best time is to close on a contract its typically at or near the end of the month. Why? Because its how mortgage interest is accrued. When someone makes a mortgage payment on the first of the month, the payment doesnt apply to the month about to be lived in but instead its for the interest that accrued for the previous month. But at the settlement table when a purchase mortgage is taken out there are no previous occupied days, yet interest is still collected.
Its called prepaid interest and its an amount that includes interest on the first day of the new note up until the first of the following month. If a closing takes place on the 20th of the month, the lender will collect interest up to the first of the following month. In this example that would be 10 days. If on the last day of the month, there will only be one days worth of interest collected.nbsp;
Then, there would be no mortgage payment on the first of the following month because its already been paid. So, with a purchase transaction, it makes sense to close as close to the end of the month as possible. Some like to give a little breathing room and close on the next to last day of the month just in case something happens to cause a delay.nbsp;
The closing date on a purchase is clearly laid out on the first page of the contract. Closing must take place on or before that date. Any extension must be agreed to by both parties. Theres really no wiggle room about that. If the buyers cant close on the specified date, they run into the possibility of losing their earnest money deposit.
On the other hand, theres a bit of a difference as it >
When refinancing, there will be interest in arrears for the number of days for the old mortgage plus prepaid interest collected up to the first of the following month. Again, because the interest has been prepaid, there will be no mortgage payment on the first day of the next month because its already been paid.
During a purchase transaction the closing date is established upon execution of the contract. When refinancing, its completely up to the homeowners not just whether or not it makes sense to refinance but setting a closing date.
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5 Surprising Ways to Invest in Your House
One area that many people never think about changing is their driveway. Over the years, a lot of people have learned that they can expand their driveway to hold more cars. This is especially useful if you have multiple vehicles that members of your family drive.
In the average neighborhood, there is simply not enough space for more than a few cars. It is a small investment to expand the driveway of your home, and the potential future buyers will love this feature.
The kitchen is one of the most important areas of the home when it comes to selling. Cabinets are a central point of any kitchen. If you want to improve or replace your cabinets, it is vital to work with a company that has experience in the field. Look for cabinet refinishing companies near you through online sources.
The cabinets in your kitchen should flow with the rest of your home. With such a large investment of both time and money, make sure that you have conducted research on the best cabinets for your current home.
Tile in Bathroom
Another vital room in your home is the master bathroom. You will spend a lot of your time in this room, so it is important to make it as inviting as possible.
Upgrading the floors in your bathroom is a great choice. Tile is the most common piece of material to use. Not only does it last longer, but it looks much better than other options as well.
Heated tile is another feature that many people enjoy. In the cold mornings of the winter, heated tile can be a nice luxury. As soon as you walk on the tile, your feet will be heated and you will enjoy the bathroom experience much more. This is new technology that a lot of people are upgrading to.
Smart HVAC System
Everyone knows that a new HVAC system is not cheap. However, there are new HVAC systems that focus on reducing your total energy consumption. Although these units are still expensive, you will save some money every month on lower electricity bills.
With so many options on the market today, it is vital to spend some time finding the right model for your home. If you live in a cold area, make sure the heating unit is large enough to heat your entire home. In many areas, the upstairs part of the home is difficult to heat in the winter without a large unit.
Perhaps the easiest way to improve the value of your home is to simply paint the walls. New paint on the walls can really improve the look and feel of your home. Although you can do the painting yourself, it makes sense to hire someone who has experience painting.
Painting an entire house is a long process. Although it will not be cheap, it will improve the value of your home greatly. This is one of the best things to do right before you list a home on the market.
Investing in your home is one of the best financial decisions that you can make. As the housing market continues to improve in value, investing in your home will help you financially. You can even use the equity in your home to pay for the new upgrades that you want.
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