Christian Home Improvement Mortgage

A Christian home improvement mortgage allows a family to get the cash needed to either maintain or increase the value of their primary residence. For most households, the house is the largest investment they have and it is financially prudent that this investment be protected. But beyond that, a house is more than a structure. It is the place where the family comes together, a refuge from the ills and stresses of the outside world. The house is home with all the many connotations contained in that simple word. Many people consider their homes to be a reflection of themselves -- an extension of personalities and interests. They want to be comfortable in the surroundings, to be able to function in the space, and to welcome others to share in hospitality. When costly maintenance projects need to be made or when the time comes to modernize the house with upgrades, families will want to consider the various options for financing the projects. Most often, they will apply for a home improvement mortgage to fund the repairs or projects.

There are several things to consider before beginning the application process for a home improvement mortgage. The homeowner should make a careful list of all projects that need to be completed. The list may include such behind the scene items as upgrading water pipes or the electrical wiring. Perhaps the insulation needs replacing. These kinds of projects may not be much fun because no one ever sees the plumbing or the wires or the insulation. But the structure of the house should be the main priority when considering how much to borrow with a home improvement mortgage. Once these items are listed, the homeowner can include the fun stuff: upgrading the kitchen cabinets and counters, turning a mundane bathroom into a spa retreat, adding a sunroom. After listing all potential projects, the homeowner can prioritize them. This is a very important step. Shopping for new spa accessories for the bathroom is more exciting than talking about wiring specifications with an electrician. But a house with faulty wiring is a disaster waiting to happen. Wiring repairs must take precedence over cosmetic upgrades and splurges.

Once the homeowner has a prioritized list of needs and wants, she can begin estimating the costs of the projects. The homeowner may need to discuss potential costs with a contractor to be sure that the estimates are realistic. With this information, she can review the projects list. Most likely, some items will have to be deleted to fit into her budget. The Proverbs writer says: "Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly" (Proverbs 13:16). Now that the homeowner knows approximately how much money will be needed to complete the projects, it's time to review the home improvement mortgage options. Of course, the best option would be to save the money and pay cash. However, this isn't always feasible, especially if urgent repairs need to be made to the house. In some instances, an individual may be eligible for a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This federal agency works with state and local governments and non-profit agencies to make repairs and upgrades to the homes of individuals who meet eligibility requirements. Unlike a loan, a grant does not have to be repaid. For a low-income family living in an older home, this can be a great option for improving one's property.

When neither personal savings nor a government grant is an option, a home improvement mortgage may be the answer. The homeowner may want to contact the lender that holds the primary mortgage. He may qualify for an extension of his current mortgage. With these types of loans, the lender may require the list of projects and cost estimates. In some cases, the lender may give the individual the funds upfront, but some lenders may pay the contractors directly as the work progresses. The primary lender has an interest in the upkeep of the property as it serves as collateral for the original loan. The homeowner may choose to refinance the primary mortgage with the current lender of with a different lender. If the property appraises for a higher amount than is owed, the homeowner can tap into the difference (the equity) and use these funds for his projects. For example, someone may have bought a home ten years ago for $100,000. The current mortgage is $60,000. In today's market, the house appraises for $150,000. The equity amounts to $90,000. Let's say the project estimate totals $40,000. By refinancing the entire amount instead of applying for a separate home improvement mortgage, the homeowner can have one loan in the amount of $100,000 (the current loan of $60,000 and the additional amount borrowed of $40,000). He still has $50,000 equity in his home based on the appraisal of $150,000. Because the individual is borrowing less than 80% of the value of the house, he avoids PMI (private mortgage insurance) fees.

Still another type of home improvement mortgage is a second loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). The lender for either of these loans will require certain documentation regarding the applicant's credit history, employment stability, and income. In either case, the property serves as collateral for the borrowed funds. However, the money may be used for purposes other than maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. Some people choose to take out a second mortgage or a HELOC to consolidate debts, purchase other big ticket items such as an automobile or boat, or to take an expensive vacation. The interest rates may be lower than other forms of financing and the interest is often tax deductible. However, it may not be financially prudent to put the house at risk for these kinds of expenditures. Home improvement loans are best used for home improvements.

Christian Home Improvement Grant Loans

Home improvement grants loans can enable people to fix up and improve their house using someone else's money. They can find these opportunities at the federal level and even at local city level. It is in the local community's best interests to help residents make changes to improve their homes since this benefits the property values of the community as a whole. There truly are a wealth of options; homeowners just need to know where to look.

Homeowners who want to improve their house for the curb appeal can check with the local city's community development department. Home improvement grant loan programs typically target seniors on fixed incomes, low to moderate-income residents making improvements on the property's exterior, and even owners of mobile homes. Many cities also offer these programs to all homeowners willing to invest in home modification to improve the energy efficiency of the house.

Anyone who feels their house is unsafe can possibly qualify for a variety of federally funded home improvement grant loan programs. The federal government offers 35 different types. These programs can be used for replacing heating systems and electrical wiring if they are unsafe and for installing or repairing sanitary water and waste disposal systems. Structural and foundation problems raising safety issues can also qualify for a home improvement grant loan.

Many federal government home improvement grants loans target specific areas and ethnic groups. They range from rural farm assistance to Indian housing assistance. A person who has suffered a disability affecting their mobility can obtain assistance to make the house wheelchair accessible. "But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace" (Psalm 37:11).

Those who are unable to qualify for any home improvement grants loans can always finance home renovation by qualifying for an equity loan. An equity loan allows the homeowner to borrow against the house's equity which has accrued due to increasing property values. The owner can use this money to finance whatever improvement plans desired. These loans generally carry a very low interest rate and are awarded in large sums, depending upon the value of the house and how much equity has been established.

Government assistance is available to encourage homeowners to make important changes to their homes to make them safer, more accessible, and more energy conscious. Applicants for these programs should bare in mind that they will have to provide detailed information to the government. Homeowners will also need to provide receipts as proof that the home improvement grant loan actually went towards house repairs and must report any funds granted to the IRS. This is all a small price to pay for the great reward of seeing one's home at its best.

Home improvement loans can be used to update a house or make needed repairs to bring not only the quality of the house to a higher level, but to increase the value as well. This form of assistance is designed for specific repairs and upgrades, and most have construction and add-on restrictions. There are many different lending agencies that have the ability to offer a home improvement loan, and there are a variety of flexible terms available as well. Mortgage companies and banking institutions are just a few of the companies that offer this service. Many of these agencies can be found online, where competitive rates and terms are listed for the consumers convenience.

Getting a home improvement loan is pursuing money to get a house in tip-top condition. This is a good way to increase the value. This type of assistance uses the equity in the house as collateral for the loan. The amount is based on the size, or amount, of equity that is in the house. There are many different lenders who offer flexible terms and low interest rates. Some can last for up to fifteen years. Variable and fixed rates are also available with the various services advertised on the Internet today. Some retail home improvement centers will help borrowers find lending institutions that work with the retailer to qualify applicants.

With most home improvement loans, there are restrictions to what can be done to the home. Adding a bath or bedroom is generally accepted, and updating kitchens and bathrooms are prime projects. Swimming pools are not usually considered to be an improvement, because a swimming pool does not usually increase the value of the house, or compensate the investment upon the selling of the house. Remodeled and upgraded kitchens will usually recoup 100% of the initial investment. Speaking with lending agencies or contractors will give homeowners a better idea of what can be accomplished with home improvement loans.

Remodeling a home is exciting, and qualifying for a home improvement loan can give a Christian homeowner the opportunity to better his or her lifestyle and increase conveniences. The Bible teaches us, though, to keep our focus on eternal blessings, keeping Christ as a priority in our lives. Remodeling a home is perfectly fine, but keeping a balance between the material blessings and spiritual blessings is important. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)

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