Let’s face it, we are all house-proud. We want to make sure that our home looks stylish and welcoming from the outside and functions fully on the inside. Whether it’s aesthetic or structural home improvements you have in mind, many people aren’t fortunate enough to have a “rainy day” fund they can dip in and out of as they please.
If you’ve got creative ideas about how to change the look and feel of your family home, but you don’t have the funds immediately to hand, read on as we detail the easiest ways to raise money for home improvements.
Secure a credit card with 0% interest on purchases
First and foremost, you may look to pay for your refurbishments using a 0% credit card. While credits cards that offer 0% on balance transfers are extremely popular, credit cards offering 0% interest on purchases are also increasingly commonplace. You’ll need to bear in mind there will be a time limit for which your purchases will not incur interest. Depending on your credit score, you may be able to secure one for up to three or four years if you are lucky.
Using a credit card for major transactions like home improvements also provides additional financial protection. Anything costing between £100 and £60,260 is covered under the Consumer Credit Act.
If you have several home improvements in mind, the chances are that the bill for your project will cost more than most credit card providers are willing to lend. Whether it’s converting an attic, constructing a new conservatory or sunroom, or even transforming your front garden into a much-needed driveway, personal loans from high-street banks may be a credible alternative.
Personal loans are also available at highly competitive rates of interest – certainly much lower than a credit card’s typical APR beyond its 0% introductory deal. Your own bank may be the best port of call for a personal loan, as they will have a good handle on how ‘risky’ you are as a borrower.
Remortgaging against the value of your home
Some property owners may be able to leverage the equity built up in their home and borrow more money by remortgaging. If the equity in your property is substantially more than the remainder of your existing mortgage, it may be possible to borrow more money. Trussle offers a handy comparison tool that allows you to compare the best mortgage deals for new and remortgage applications.
If you do have substantial equity in your home, it’s also possible to reduce the interest rate on your mortgage repayments, despite taking out more money against your property.
Investigate whether your project is eligible for a cash grant
It’s also possible to obtain cash grants from the government for home improvement projects, particularly those based around improving your home’s energy efficiency and carbon footprint.
Earlier this year, the Green Homes Grant was launched, allowing homeowners to apply for vouchers towards the cost of energy-efficient upgrades, such as improved loft or cavity wall insulation. These grants will cover two-thirds of any such project, up to a maximum of £5,000.
Each of the above solutions to cover the cost of home improvement projects carries pros and cons. It’s important that you analyse your unique financial circumstances carefully to calculate what you can afford to borrow and meet your repayment obligations.