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This option takes advantage of the equity you have built up in your home by refinancing your current mortgage for one larger than your current balance and taking out the difference in cash. For example, say your home is worth $250,000 and you still owe $150,000 – you have $100,000 in equity that you could use to finance your renovation. Cash-out refinancing often has attractive interest rates, but refinancing costs can be expensive, so do the math.
Home equity loan
A home equity loan is a second mortgage on the available equity in your home. The interest and term are generally fixed, but the interest is usually higher than a first mortgage, and the term shorter. On the other hand, there are often fewer fees and closing costs. You get the entire loan amount in one lump sum, which can be useful if you are paying a contractor.
Home equity line of credit
Think of a home equity line of credit as a credit card tied to your home’s equity. This is the most flexible of home equity options. Once the lender has approved your line of credit, you can access it through either checks or a credit card. You only borrow what you need at any given moment – perfect for making purchases at the home improvement store or paying contractors in stages. Pay back what you’ve borrowed either all at once or in a small monthly payment – an advantage if cash-flow is an issue. Typically, the interest rates for lines of credit are variable, but some lenders allow you to fix the rate on a certain portion of the line of credit.
With all three options – cash-out refinancing, home equity loan and line of credit – interest payments are usually tax deductible. Check with your tax advisor about your personal situation.
Personal loan or line of credit
This is an option if you have limited equity in your home and your project is fairly small. Interest rates are generally higher than home equity options and interest may not be tax deductible. However, a personal loan or line of credit usually carries fewer fees.
The battle cry this millennium seems to be “Go Green.” When decorating your home, you may want to jump on the bandwagon. If you do, the first thing is to make a commitment not to buy anything new this year unless absolutely necessary. Look around your house and find something you can recycle or that would work just as well. It’s economical, and it’s “Green.” Here are some pointers and tips to help you continue down the Green road.
Go easy on the planet. Try not to buy anything new unless it is absolutely necessary. You may even try the neighborhood garage and rummage sales to find objects just as good without having to add to the chronic disposable flaws we, as a society, have developed over the past years.
There is no need to sacrifice your own personal style when decorating eco-friendly. You don’t have to stick with browns and beiges any longer. There are many colorful objects in the stores that are eco-friendly. If you must buy, you just have to look for the “green” logo on the packages and make sure the objects have recycled content.
Recycled content means that there are less raw materials used. There are also renewable objects, which means the fibers such as cotton and hemp have been grown without pesticides. Also, fewer raw materials are used to make recycled items.
You may find that this makes the items you want to purchase cost a few more dollars than their counterparts which are not recycled or produced in mass quantities. That is why you should always look around in your house, in your family’s houses and friends for what you are looking for. They may have something they no longer want which will be exactly what you are looking for.
Get together with friends, family and neighbors and host once a monthly swap meet. It is true that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This is the most eco-friendly way of recycling and costs you nothing.
Purchasing cleaning products for your home is an easy task if you remember to look for the “Green” logo. There are many products on the market. Also combining one part vinegar and three parts water makes an all purpose household cleaner.
If you are planning to re-do a floor, look into the green floor coverings companies are coming out with. They look wonderful, allow you to use your own unique tastes and are made from recycled materials. The best part is that you don’t use any glue! The squares fit together like puzzle pieces, leaving no seams or residue behind. They are also very durable.