Considering transforming your home from ‘blah’ to ‘brilliant’, but lack the funds to support your makeover? Never fear, we’ve rounded up five home renovation finance options that could help turn your dream into reality.
1 Equity Release / Top Up Home Loan
This is probably the most common way people borrow money when they want to renovate. It involves borrowing against the current value of your home, before any value-adding renovations and in most cases allows you to obtain the funds upfront. You won’t be able to borrow the full value of your home but, without mortgage insurance, you can usually borrow up to 80 per cent of its value if you own it outright....It may be worth considering Lenders Mortgage Insurance however, if you can see that the renovations are going to achieve you great return on lifestyle, and / or investment! Equity is key!
2 Construction loan
If you're planning to completely transform your home and undergo a major makeover, this may be a good option as you can spread the cost over a long period of time. You could even possibly borrow up to 90 per cent of the end value of your home and take advantage of mortgage rates which tend to be lower than credit card and personal loan rates. With a construction lending, the lender will assess the value of your home after the renovation based on the building plans and you can typically borrow against that value. You won’t be given the full loan amount upfront, but usually in staggered amounts over a period of time – this is called ‘progress payments’ and is linked to a fixed price building contract which will be from your builder.
3 Line of credit
When you apply, you can establish a revolving credit line that you can access whenever you want to up to your approved limit. You only pay interest on the funds you use and, as you pay off your balance, you can re-borrow the unused funds without reapplying if that becomes necessary. However, care must be taken not to get in over your head in terms of serviceability and to make sure that you are actually paying off over the loan, which is not necessarily a feature of a line of credit. Rates on this product are typically much higher than a construction loan or top up loan so we want to make sure that there are no other, perhaps more suitable options for you, and that this really is the right product for you! This product feature is great if managed well, but can also be a trap if not seriously considered as your limit will never change.
4 Personal loan
If you’re only making minor renovations – personal loans are usually capped at around $30,000 – this might be suitable, but interest rates on personal loans are higher than on home equity loans and payments need to be made usually over a maximum of seven years.... certainly worth looking at a new valuation to the home after the renovations are completed, as we might be able to consolidate that lending for you, and rates probably half that of the personal loan!
5 Credit cards
This option should only be considered if you want to undertake really small renovation projects. The interest rates are usually much higher than on mortgages, but for a very small project, that extra interest might actually total less than loan establishment fees. Sometimes, this can be a more cost effective option than increasing, or taking a loan with Lenders Mortgage Insurance, but careful consideration needs to be taken to ensure you understand the pros and cons of this approach, and that you prioritise paying off that credit card FAST!
If you’re looking for further assistance to be able to afford your property renovation project, the Federal Government recently announced $25,000 grants for eligible Australian owner-occupiers to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. The Government’s HomeBuilder package is designed to assist the residential construction market by encouraging the commencement of new home builds and renovations. Income and other conditions apply and this grants program is active until 31 December 2020. For more information visit the Treasury website.
One thing you must do!
There are very few exceptions to the rule that your renovations should add more value to your home than they will cost to carry out. Think about how the money you spend on a renovation will increase the value of your property. For example, consider making changes that would appeal to the majority of potential buyers to help you sell your house faster and at a higher price.
Interested to know more in any of these? Feel free to reach out, book a meeting and let's chat (because I am home all the time... and I miss people, any excuse will do!)
Rachael Bland – Founder & CEO