You’ve stared at your old cabinets and you’ve scrubbed through black mold; it’s time to breathe some fresh air into your home. Here are some tips to help you finance that long overdue renovation.
You can’t start a new project on a whim, neither can a contractor. They’re busy, too. They’re busiest in the summer after the snow melts away exposing a worn down home. That’s when everyone wants their services. By preparing early, you can get competitive bids to compare, analyze, and select your contractor during their slow season. Working with their schedule might save you money. Ask them if they’ve built in a contingency fund in case they discover the need for more work. Do your best to avoid unexpected expenses.
Know Your Style and Products
Design-Build firms will pair you with an interior designer who will walk you through the whole process. They’ll make suggestions to suit your style. If you’re trying to save money, you can curate the design yourself. Get on Pinterest, identify your style, and then start browsing. Speak with your chosen contractor about their discounts at different suppliers. Also, check out store loyalty credit cards to save on some purchases.
Save Up and Avoid Debt
I know, you wanted to take action right away. What you thought was $10,000 is now $30,000 and you’re wondering how to afford it. You should choose a high interest savings account to earn money while you sleep. The more you save, the less you pay in interest once the renovation is complete. Incurring any debt should be for emergency situations such as finding knob & tube wiring, asbestos, or mould. Otherwise, know your costs, and save up. It’s faster to save up then it is to pay back a debt. You could end up paying thousands of dollars beyond your budget in interest alone if you fund the reno with credit cards.
Plan for Accommodations
If it’s a whole home renovation, it’s probably best you move out. They don’t call it divorce dust for nothing! If you choose a travel card, you might earn enough points for a vacation. Can you stay with family and friends? AirBnb is a good choice. What happens if your renovation, despite all the planning, runs long on time? Can you extend your stay anywhere? Research your travel card to see if there are any perks by staying at any hotels.
Manage Your Money
If you’ve used a few loyalty cards and travel cards the next step would be to, use a balance transfer credit card. You can consolidate your debts onto one card with 0% interest for a period of time. Shop around for the best balance transfer card to suit your needs. You should look at the promotional interest rate, the length of time of the promotion, and if there’s a balance transfer fee.
Use Your Home’s Equity
If you’ve burned through your savings and time available on your balance transfer card, It’s time to dig into your home equity line of credit (HELOC). What is it? Every time you make a mortgage payment, you build up your HELOC. Your home equity is the difference between the value of your house and the remainder of your mortgage. You can borrow up to 65% of the available equity in your home. A line of credit secured against your home comes with a much lower rate than a standard line of credit. Talk to your bank about getting yourself set up on automatic withdrawals to pay it down as fast as you can.
Shop for Your New Mortgage
Now, you have a beautiful new home, a mortgage, and a HELOC. Roll your HELOC into your mortgage when it comes up for renewal so it’s easier to manage. Your mortgage premiums will rise, but you’ll only have to deal with one payment. Ratehub.ca offers a great mortgage comparison tool to help with this.
Update Your Home Insurance
Are you creating a smart home with security cameras? Did you replace your roof or upgrade to a tankless hot water heater? Do you plan to rent out a finished basement? Speak to your home insurance provider about your renovation and ask how you can save money.
With any renovation, as with most things in life, you’ll likely have to pick two: quick, quality, cheap. Taking the time to plan will give you the best value from your hard-earned dollars.
Ratehub.ca is a website that compares mortgage rates, credit cards, high-interest savings accounts, chequing accounts and insurance with the goal to empower Canadians to search smarter and save money.
Cover image courtesy of Forumiuris.