Jaime Westenbarger of Bluebird Roofing Discusses Remodeling Financing Options
So, you have an idea for a great home renovation — that’s a good start. Remodeling companies are still operating during the pandemic and many of them have adopted new protocols to keep their customers and clients safe.
However, what about paying for it all? Often a new roof or another significant upgrade can cost several thousands, which could deter some people from projects. But, while you might think a kitchen upgrade or a new roof is beyond your means, there are several ways you can finance these investments, explains Jaime Westenbarger from Brentwood, Tennessee, who is the director of sales for Bluebird Roofing.
Home Equity Loan
Your remaining home mortgage versus the current valuation of your home means you have equity, and it can be put to work for you, explains Jaime Westenbarger.
One of the options is to approach your lender about a home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC), which allows you to borrow against your equity at a more favorable interest rate than a traditional loan. That’s because the risk to lenders is lower, as the loan is usually secured against your home’s equity.
Qualifying for this option means you will need to have a strong credit history as well as steady income to demonstrate you can pay it back.
FHA Title I Property Improvement Loan
This type of loan offered by approved lenders is favorable to banks because there’s less risk involved, notes Jaime Westenbarger. That’s because these types of loans are insured through the department of federal housing and urban development.
Property improvements of any size can be financed, although loans higher than $7,500 must be secured by a mortgage or deed of trust — so the consequences could be stiff if you don’t maintain payments. The maximum loan amount for a single unit is $25,000, with a maximum loan term of about 20 years.
You might find different interest rates and terms for the Title I program, so it pays to shop around different financial institutions.
Some renovation contractors will allow you to spread payments out over a specified amount of time — which could be months or years — but there will likely be interest to consider, warns Jaime Westenbarger.
You should work out the full cost of choosing in-house financing before committing and whether you can handle the burden on the monthly payments.
Before looking at some of these other options, especially when it comes to roof repair or replacement, check with your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if the work is already covered. This is usually an option if the roof was damaged by a weather event or another mishap, rather than the usual wear that one would expect over time on roof shingles.
Meanwhile, some roofing companies are using drones to survey roofs for insurance purposes, without the need to climb up on them. This helps to reduce contact and increase safety.
Don’t Forget About Value, says Jaime Westenbarger
Despite the financing arrangement you choose, know that not all roofers and other contractors charge the same amount for the same work, explains Jaime Westenbarger.
However, the lowest bid is not always the best work, so be sure to get references and read reviews when deciding on a roofing contractor. Saving a bit of money now from a disreputable company could end up costing you much more down the road in repairs.