Saturday, October 24, 2009

Getting Refinancing and Your Home Improvement Loan

By Henry L. Pikus

Refinancing packages, also called "refis," can be difficult to get; it depends upon what you are looking for. If you're experienced and you've done this before, you'll probably have an easier time of it, but it's ultimately based upon the health of your credit history. Of course, you'll do the best if you have a good credit history, and you can get A-loan package deals if so, but you can still get pretty good interest rates (although somewhat higher) with less than perfect credit through package deals with B and C loans. It'll take you some elbow grease to find the right refinance, and you should be able to take advantage of low interest rate deals right now because of the market. Even so, it can still be complicated as a process. There are some things you should think about when you're looking to refinance so that you get the money you're looking for.

What are your options with refinancing? For example, you may want to get a home loan through refinancing for home improvements or for cash. In that case, it looks intimidating, but it's not as hard as it looks. You can take a second mortgage on your house or you can take out a home equity loan when you refinance so that you can fix your house up.

If you're looking to do some home improvement, before you start, take a look around and see what you want to do. Is what you're going to do going to make your home more valuable? How much is the remodel going to cost you -- or the addition, or the energy efficiency improvement, and so on? Once you figure out what you want, find reputable contractors in your area and get quotes from them. You could also be looking at having to repair your home because it's experienced some damage and your insurance company is going to foot the bill for it, such as if your roof has been damaged, and you want to be doing some home improvement while it's being fixed. That's a pretty big job to take on, so make sure everything is in order.

A home improvement loan is like borrowing money for a time from your house to fix it up so that in time it might be worth more in the long run and then you make your money back and the investment is worth more to you and to the bank as collateral for your mortgage. This type of loan can be looked at from a business perspective or a personal one either way the job gets done and your house is improved. The work should be done on the home so that the value increases, this is the key. If the value does not increase than the loan was not worth it, and the improvements did not "improve" your house. Lenders often look at this in terms of market trends and economic conditions before a home improvement loan is authorized. One thing to keep in mind though is that if the loan is taken out and then the work is not done and the money not used for the purpose it was intended, than the possibility of refinancing in the future is less of an option.

First look at this question: is a home improvement loan and there are refinancing solutions for that. If you are fixing up your home, a home equity line of credit may be available also from a lender. You do not always need to get a refi package for just your home needs, perhaps it is a personal loan which can be used for a variety of valid purposes, whether to aid in going back to school, whether it is that you need to pay off hospital bills or are getting married or so on, personal loans are also available at the bank and through various lenders and are options to consider.

It is best to state your intentions clearly when shopping around for the best home improvement loan or refi package deal so that you are up front with the lenders you inquire with and they can lead you to the right option for you. So, talk to a bank representative or loan officer to find the right solution and make sure you do your homework first so that you can find an interest rate that is lower and even compare rate quotes with other lenders to see if they will match your offer from another lender which creates some competition among lenders.

With refinancing, of course, you can also use home improvement loans and you can take the money out of your home's equity or value so that you can make those improvements and repairs you need to. If you want to add an addition or to remodel your home so that its value is higher over the long run, this is another option. Before you do that, though, make sure you know the investment you're taking on and make sure you know that this is going to make your home's value go up. Especially during recessions, for example, it's very often the truth that home values go down and interest rates go up -- or that both happen -- which can affect how much value of any this type of work gives to your home. It's also true if you live in a location that was once highly in demand and now is no longer. Any of these reasons may make it true that you home improvement loan will not be approved because your home's value may not increase after the work is complete. Because of this, make sure you only undertake this work if you know it's going to increase your home's value in the end.

What does that mean, then? Take a look at your needs and find the best solution for them. Then, refinance so that you can do the home improvements you need to. To start the process, talk to a lender or more than one, find a reputable contractor, and seek out the advice of friends and family who've also gotten home improvements done if appropriate. Once you've done the research you need to, you may be able to refinance so that you can improve your home as you need and want to.

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