Many homeowners face the decision of whether to remodel their existing home or to buy a new home. There are many factors to consider when looking at remodeling your existing home verses buying a new house. If you can answer two important questions however, the other decisions and considerations are much easier to make. These questions are:Are you satisfied with your current neighborhood?Are you going to need a loan to remodel?The old real estate maxim states the three most important things affecting a house’s value is location, location, location. If your live in a desirable neighborhood and the property values are on the rise you should weigh the costs of remodeling versus buying a new home.If you don’t have the money on hand to pay for a remodeling job, you will need to secure a loan. Most lending institutions will be looking for a home equity line of credit loan. The interest rate you pay on the average home equity loan is normally lower than a credit card or other non-secured debt, but not as low as you can get on a conventional home loan. The interest on home equity loans is however, generally tax deductible just as a standard home loan. If you don’t have enough equity in your home to secure a loan, you may be able to apply for a FHA home improvement loan. There are a large number of institutions that offer this type of loan. They carry low interest rates and you can secure terms up to 15 years. Almost anyone who is a homeowner can apply for a FHA loan. Eligibility is not a restrictive as most mortgage loans and you don’t have to have equity in your home to apply for a Title I home improvement loan.
Another consideration concerning buying a new home is the market value of your existing house. If you are in a down real estate market, which is the current situation for almost all of the US, you might have a difficult time in selling your home. Of course bargains can be had when buying a house in this type of market, but what you save may be offset by the loss you take in selling your home.OK, let’s say you love your neighborhood and real estate values are going up so you decide you don’t really want to move, you just want more room, a bigger kitchen with modern appliances, an updated bathroom – generally a complete home remodel. What’s your next step?If you need to secure a loan, you should start the loan process by developing an estimate of what the job will cost. You can work out a lot of the remodeling design yourself, but most lending institutions are going to want to see a detailed estimate from a building contractor. Work with your contractor or two or three contractors to get detailed plans for your remodel. Make sure the estimates include a time line for construction start date and estimate for time to completion. Some contractors might be able to supply you a set of non-construction plans at little or no cost. You should prepare an up to date financial statement that lists your assets, income, debts and other financial obligations to show your lender.
Once remodeling begins, you will have to resign yourself to living in a house under construction for awhile. This can be quite stressful. Some people factor in the cost of alternate housing while the construction is taking place.