improvement

Home Improvement Loan Rates

Home Improvement Loan Rates

Home improvement loan rates are fundamentals that you have to understand if you are thinking of venturing into these kinds of investments. You need to finance your home. This is quite pricey if you are going to consistently improve it when the situation calls for it. By improving your home, you increase its value. Who knows what will happen in the future.

You might indeed sell this. At least with all the investment you've been putting into it, you can get ten times your money back if ever you do decide to sell it. All actions that you do in your home can increase its value. That's why you need to understand home improvement loan rates. At least you are in the loop of the value of your home. This may vary from kitchen repair to bathroom extension, from constructions of swimming pools to building fences.

Regardless, all these improvements in your home can be seen as some kind of investment that you are making in the future. There are different types of home improvement loan rates. It really depends on the kind of mortgage that you signed up for. To give you an idea, there are first mortgage and second mortgage loans. The refinancing solutions really depend on the unsecured loans that you have. In order for you to accurately calculate your home improvement loan rates, you need to have a detailed plan of the changes you want to do in your home.

You need to estimate the costs and check what your budget is. You can canvass and compare so that you can have the best deal by getting the appropriate rate which is in accordance with your lifestyle. Here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself whenever you are canvassing for home improvement loan rates. First and foremost, you need to check whether the improvements that you want to do in your home can certainly increase the value of your home.

If it can, then the loan you applied for is definitely a profit that you can maximize in the long run. The second concern you should look at is how much the monthly payments would cost. If this is something you can afford, then go for it. Just make sure that you do not miss the payment because it will be harder to pay the bill if it amounts too much. You also have to double check the tax implications. If there are possible tax obligations then make sure that the calculation is correct.

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Home Improvement – The Top 10 Home Improvement Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Home Improvement – The Top 10 Home Improvement Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Although a major home improvement can prove to be a rewarding project, it can also turn your life upside down if you are not prepared. I’ve heard of some worst case scenarios involving people who have lost their homes because they got in over their heads and others who ended up with incomplete project nightmares that cost them thousands of dollars to correct.

Following is a list of the top ten mistakes homeowners make when undertaking home improvement projects and tips on how to avoid them:

1. References. Do enough research and background checking to satisfy you. Walk away if the contractor is not willing to provide references from former clients. Do an online search of the contractor’s business and personal name. Check with local courts for judgments filed against them and with the Better Business Bureau for any consumer complaints. Look at previous work completed (in person). Check with material suppliers since a good contractor will have a long-standing relationship with suppliers. Contact other contractors who have worked with them before. Check their credit standing – contractors with bad credit are often disorganized and don’t manage their business well. Inquire about insurance, workers compensation and licensing.

2. Project management. You need one person to help you manage your project. Most issues occur when inexperienced homeowners try to manage their own project. A project manager is a single point of contact between the homeowner and other contractors and is responsible for scheduling and workflow.

3. Contracts. Make sure your contract is solid. As obvious as this may sound, failure to get a contract or signing an incomplete contract is one of the most common mistakes. Put all the details in writing – never take someone’s word for it. Following are items that should be included in the contract: (1) the full name of the company and the person you are doing business with and their contact information, (2) an addendum consisting of the complete set of plans, (3) an addendum consisting of the materials to be used, (4) the price of the goods or services, (5) the manner and terms of payment, (6) a description of the work to be performed, (7) a start date and an estimated completion date, (8) a default clause in the event either party defaults that specifies how damages will be calculated, (9) warranties and (10) signatures.

4. Warranties. Make sure you receive a warranty with detailed terms and conditions. Don’t accept a contract that simply states that all work is guaranteed. There is often confusion as to who is responsible for the warranty. Get the following in writing: (1) Who is backing the warranty? (2) What is covered and what is not covered? (3) How long is the warranty valid for? (4) What can void the warranty? (5) What is the process for placing a warranty claim?

5. Changes. During the project, you may change your mind on certain design aspects which may require more or less work from contractors. It is critical to document every change order and note the exact cost or savings. Changes should be signed and dated by all parties.

6. Plans. Get a clear description on what will be done, how it will be done and the materials to be used. For smaller projects, contractors can draw up plans. For larger and more complicated projects, find a qualified designer or architect. And, for example, if load-bearing walls will be altered, find an engineer to review the structural side of the plans.

7. Costs. Estimating costs tends to be a big problem because people do not make realistic comparisons. Homeowners may hire the contractor with the lowest price but that price may turn out to be much higher in the end. “Allowance items” tend to be the main culprit in estimating costs. For example, contractors may give you allowances for flooring, lighting or hardware that are artificially low. The bid looks enticing until you examine it closely. Request a line item for straight costs on materials and labor since some contractors mark up materials and labor so they can make a profit on it. Ask the contractor to pass along costs to you and to add a line item for their fee. This creates a more clear and honest assessment of the job.

8. Financing and payments. Before signing the contract, figure out how you are going to pay for your home improvement project. Make sure you maintain control of the money – don’t let your project manager or contractor control the money. This sounds obvious but many homeowners allow contractors to make draws on construction accounts only to realize that the draws were not used for the intended purpose. What does this mean? It means your contractor scored a new truck, you’re out of money and the project is incomplete. Tips: (1) don’t pay a lot of money up front, (2) pay when materials are delivered, (3) pay when work begins and (4) pay as work progresses. Pay only after work and materials are inspected and approved.

9. Inspections. Don’t wait until your home improvement project is almost complete to do the inspection. Plan phased inspections along the way so work doesn’t need to be re-done. Don’t rely on city and county building inspectors to protect you since the codes they enforce don’t guarantee quality (and they often miss things too!). Before paying for work, hire an independent inspector to do periodic phase inspections.

10. Materials. Stick with products that are tried and true. This rule especially holds true when it comes to windows, doors, framing materials, roofing products, concrete coverings, epoxy floors, plumbing, light fixtures and electronics. You don’t want to be the guinea pig that test runs the supposed latest and greatest new products or materials only to find out that these items don’t last or turn out to be fire hazards!

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Home Repair Or Home Improvement on a Shoestring Budget – A Handyman Service Can Help Save Money

Home Repair Or Home Improvement on a Shoestring Budget – A Handyman Service Can Help Save Money

are as tax refund season is now upon us, more individuals and families are receiving larger refunds than anticipated partly due to minimal tax reform incentives from the current administration. Many home owners will just squander the tax refunds away on expensive toys and luxuries. A few of the wise families will save and make safe investments.

One of the few truly safe investments has been and still is one's home. It would be foolish to dump all of a tax refund into any one thing, however, a portion of that refund can easily be put towards any variety of home improvement projects. True, the current real estate market is depressed, but history has never failed to show us that property values ​​always come back and any home improvement project or home repair is never a waste of money.

Many common and popular home improvement projects undertaken in the second half of the winter season have been adding a deck, fence, or converting the existing patio into a screened in patio. With the economy experiencing a recession, home owners may attempt to make these projects into a do-it-yourself experience. A majority of the time the experience is learned the hard way.

Fencing, decks, and screen patios are nowhere near as simple as the home improvement books would indicate. Different regions of the country and different ground types require specific methods. An example would be the sandy soil conditions and poor drainage conditions in Florida as opposed to the hard packed ground that granite provides. Building codes can also vary greatly from county to county.

Should a home owner's budget be thin, one answer to this predicament can be to coordinate with a local handyman company to perform much of the more difficult tasks and labor, leaving the simple final touches like painting or molding to the home owner to complete at their leisure.

The only word of caution to this possible solution is most home repair or handyman service companies will not guarantee their work if the home owner makes any changes to the materials or labor provided. The best solution in this case is for the home repair or handyman company to explicitly explain in detailed writing the guarantee or warranty on materials and labor provided before any services resignation. The role of the home owner in any coordinated project should also be spelled out in detail in order to eliminate any potential confusion or disagreements in the future.

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Home Improvement and Repairs – Hiring a Contractor

Home Improvement and Repairs – Hiring a Contractor

Hiring a competent and reliable contractor is essential to making sure that the job is done right. While it may seem as if it should be as easy as opening the yellow pages and choosing one in your area, smart homeowners know that finding a good contractor takes as much time and effort as other aspects of your remodeling job.

Remember, the person you choose to do the work for you will have complete access to your home and family for several days or even weeks, so you must be completely comfortable with having them in your home for an extended period of time. The best way to find a contractor that you can trust is to:

  • Ask friends, neighbors and co-workers for referrals
  • Check references with people the contractor has done work for in the past
  • Ask salespeople at the local lumber yard or home renovation center who they recommend
  • Check with your local zooming and / or code enforcement office for a list of licensed contractors in your area

Once you find a few contractors that you'd like to consider using for your remodeling project, it's time to schedule an interview. The Federal Trade Commission suggests that homeowners ask the following questions to determine if a contractor is right for you and your project:

  • How Long Have You Been In Business?
  • Are You Registered and Licensed With the State and Local Building Authorities?
  • How Many Projects Like Mine Have You Completed in the Past Year?
  • May I Contact Some of Your Former Clients?
  • Will You Be Hiring Any Subcontractors for This Project?
  • What Types of Insurance Do You Carry?

Once you've chosen your new contractor, be sure to insure that you get all the details of your project (including price and delivery estimates / completion dates), in writing before paying any deposits. A written contract is essential to ensuring that the work is done properly and on time.

Unfortunately, not every contractor is reputable, and homeowners need to be on the look-out for potential rip-offs. Here are a few things to watch for when hiring a contractor:

  • Door-to-door solicitation.
  • Offers to use leftover materials from another job.
  • A contractor who only accepts cash payments.
  • Someone who insists on receiving payment in full before concluding work.
  • Pressure to make an on-the-spot decision.
  • Offers to help you secure financing with their own "lender".

Hiring a reputable contractor looks like it should be easy, but oftentimes it is not. Homeowners should be aware of the dangers of hiring the wrong person to work on their home and take all necessary steps to ensure that the work is completed to their specifications, timetable and budget.

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Home Improvement Loan Interest Rate

Home Improvement Loan Interest Rate

You always have to check the programs that are available for you if you are canvassing for home improvement loan interest rate that can give you what you need.

In order to finance your home improvements, you need to file for loans that insures the lender that you can pay for whatever you owe in due time of what you have agreed on.

You also have to present your credit history. It is advised that you have an impeccable credit standing in order for the lender to easily approve the loan that you want to make and also provide you with the home improvement loan interest rate that is appropriate for you.

Remember that the home improvement loans are not really government loans or grants.

The low interest rate regulates the interest so you can make the most out of this. The least you can do is to pay your mortgage on time so that these would not pile up.

If it did, then you would have a harder time paying it. The mortgage that you were supposedly to be responsible for can ever turn to foreclosure and this will mean losing your home. No home owner would want that to happen.

Home improvement loan interest rate may be used to finance the permanent home and to also make improvements which protect or also improve the livability and utility of the properties.

It includes the manufacturing of homes for single families or a number of families. Make sure that the plan that you signed up for will give you the most out of your money. After all, that is still your blood, sweat, and tears.

The interest rate is fixed and is usually based on the market rate of the area during the time the loan was made.

If it is negotiable, it varies between the lenders so the way for you to know which home improvement loan interest rate to go for is the one that is the best for you.

You can determine this is the rate that is given to you is an amount that you can afford and when calculated can give you ten times the price of your house when you bought it.

You can actually make a profit from it if you do plan to return it to the market.

The best part about the home improvement loan interest rate is that there is no prepayment penalty. However, you still have to pay your mortgage on the day that you should.

This is to ensure that the stack of bills will not balloon up and you would not have a harder time catching up.

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Home Improvement – Furniture

Home Improvement – Furniture

When we think of home improvements, visions of saw dust and sheet rock come to mind. We try to avoid these things as long as possible because it requires lots of time and effort. Many times large cash outlays are also required. We never think of improvements we can make in our home by simple changes in our living quarters. These improvements are rather easy and most can be done in a weekend. We throw out stale bread, stale pastries and stale coffee but we hang on to stale furniture until it falls apart. We never get around to replacing the look that we loved several years ago. If you are like me, I never know where to start. It sees everything needs changing. We could not do it all at once so we picked a room and jumped right in.

Our living room seemed right place to start. I really did not want to drive all around town looking through furniture stores. Most stores had the same tired selections and the styles were pretty similar. We wanted something different. The internet seemed a good place to start looking. I was surprised at the wide selection of furniture I found online. The pictures looked great and the prices were in line with the stores. My question was was the quality of the furniture up to my standards? From experience, I learned long ago to never forsake quality for price. Surprised, I found most web sites offered my money back if I was not happy with the purchase for any reason and the shipping was free. With that, I felt secure and started seriously looking.

The problem with the old furniture, other than being old, was it appeared to crow the room. We wanted more open space and decided to look at smaller pieces and place them at different angles. A few inches will make a big difference in a room. Many fabrics and styles were available in a multitude of colors. The anchor pieces, sofa and loveseat, was our first purchase. We then chose a coordinating accent chair that really made the room look fresh and new. With childhood excitement, we picked the occasional tables and other accessories to finish off the room. We did all this from the comfort of our home and a single web site. No driving around town looking and looking and looking. We saved time and money with comfortable internet shopping.

Our purchase arrived on time and in perfect condition. We were facilitated with the style and quality of the furniture. After attaching a few legs we moved the magic inside. That fresh new look had entered our home and wow what a difference. Our home improvement was complete, all we have to do now is sit back with a cool drink and enjoy. We have just what we wanted. A little different ambience that makes this comfortable room really us. Home improvements inside can be fun and you do not have to drive a single nail.

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How to Start a Profitable Home Improvement Referral Service

How to Start a Profitable Home Improvement Referral Service

Home improvement referral services are cropping up from New York to California. They are taking the time to do the legwork to find reputable and reliable contractors and these businesses are reaping profits from good work.

It really doesn’t take much to start. A home improvement referral service business takes only a little money and not more time than a regular 40 hour a week job. They can actually start making money within the first year of business.

The first thing to consider is what types of home improvement businesses your will refer. This can include gutter cleaning and replacement, remodeling, building additions, fencing, lawn maintenance, and many others. Remember, all though you may like to paint a client may not like it or have the time. Therefore, no business should be overlooked.

Once you have an idea of the types of contractors for your referral service business, you will need to call the local, county, and state government offices. Get the regulations and requirements regarding licensing, bonding, business registry, and insurance for each type of contractor. This is the first step to building your list. Any contractor that does not meet government regulations should not be on your referral list.

By knowing these requirements and using them, your home improvement referral business will gain credibility with your clients. They will know that if the contractor doesn’t meet these requirements, they will not be on your list. It makes the client feel more sure the job will be completed professionally and correctly.

Another way to ensure creditability of your referral service business is to only look at contractors that are recommended by their past happy customers. But this is not the end of the screening process. Recommendations are not enough.

Once a contractor is recommended to your home improvement referral business, you need to check out his or her service. Talk to them, explaining your referral service business. Many contractors will give you the needed information happily. Ask to see their licenses, bonding information, and insurance to ensure they are current and up to date. Ask for a list of services they provide and the cost for these services. Finally ask for references you may speak to.

Now you have gotten your contractor referral list started. While working on creating this list, you should have started thinking about a name for your referral service business, advertising, office area, office equipment, and ordered a phone line for the business. You may want to use a computer right away, but an index card or file system could work just as well and for a fraction of the cost, until your company grows. Keep in mind that as your company grows, the office space, office equipment, and referral list system will probably need to become computerized to save time and money.

Since your referral business is going to begin locally, check with local newspapers and periodicals to see if they would be interested in doing an article about your business. Make some flyers and ask local hardware stores if you could leave some there to advertise your service. You may also want to send letters to realtors announcing your business, they can be great advertisers for you.

Make your services free to the people calling into your business looking for referrals. Many home improvement referral businesses charge the contractor anywhere from 6% to 15% depending on the size of the project. You put the customers in touch with the contractor, and upon completion of the project, the contractor pays you a fee.

Advertise that no contractors pay you to get onto your referral list. If clients or contractors ask how they get on the list, explain to them the only way for a contractor to get on the list is for a customer to recommend them. You may want to explain the whole screening process to let the person know the exact qualifications the contractors need to have before being accepted.

A referral service business can expand easily and rapidly. Once your business starts to grow, create a business plan to set goals. Decide how much you want to expand and consider starting franchises in other locations or expanding the list to include contractors that were not included originally. This is your home improvement referral service business and you can take it wherever you want.

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Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Start-a-Profitable-Home-Improvement-Referral-Service&id=40924

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Feeling at Home With Your Home Improvement Contractor

Feeling at Home With Your Home Improvement Contractor

You would not pick the low bidder to do plastic surgery on you, so why pick a fly-by-night operator to give your home a facelift?

Picking a home improvement contractor is a lot like picking a roommate, you're going to have to live with them for a while, so you had better pick someone you can get along with and trust. Here's a few pointsers:

Know what you want going in: If you already know exactly what you want and can communicate that to them, that allows the contractor to tell you how he or she will complete your project.

If they sound knowledgeable about your specific requirements – knows how to install hardwood floors, it is familiar with the type of window frames you want, etc. – it's a good bet that he or she is a reliable professional. Conversely, if they give you the deer in headlights look when you discuss the advantages of a floating floor, you might want consider going with someone else.

Do further research: The more you know about the project you want to undertake, the better you'll be able to direct them. Also, knowing what's up will also make it harder for your home improvement contractor to pad the bill with unnecessary additions or outrageous labor costs. Not that any of them would do that, of course.

Do not believe the advertising: Remember, contractors pay for all those flashy ads and television spots. If you want to find out a their real value, ask for references and a portfolio.

Papers please: Most states have laws requiring contractors to be licensed and bonded. Ask to see their credentials and also check your contractor's certificate of insurance. Contractors in most states are required by law to carry worker's compensation, property damage and personal liability insurance.

Ask questions: Word of mouth is usually the best reference when it comes to contractors. Talk to friends who have recently had work done and also ask other professionals like your plumber or landscaper who they would recommend. Also check with local building inspectors and other public officials involved in construction.

Get legal: Check with your local district attorney's office, the Better Business Bureau, or small claims court to see if any of your potential home improvement contractors are facing any pending litigation. In most jurisprudence, court records are available to the public, and you should be able to see if any judgments have been entered against the contractor for incomplete or shoddy workmanship or shady business practices.

Picking the right home improvement contractor is key to the success of your project. Be informed and be aware and you'll ensure that you get a professional that 'll do your home right.

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A Home Improvement Loan Calculator – How to Use and Understand It

A Home Improvement Loan Calculator – How to Use and Understand It

When we set out to begin a major home improvement project, the first things we should be thinking about are our total cost and final budget. However, even with a budget, we can overshoot our material expenses or underestimate our costs, leaving us without backup funds to complete the project.

That's where loans come in. Loans are a great and often low-interest way to finance major home improvement projects. However, as easy as it is to walk into a local loan office or apply for a loan online, you need to make sure you understand all the costs involved with your home improvement loan.

One tool that helps figure out the exact expenses involved with a loan is a loan calculator. Essentially, a loan calculator works by taking the amount you want to borrow for your project, the number of months you expect it will take you to pay it back and a general estimate of your interest rate. With that information, the loan calculator provides in return a fairly accurate estimate of your monthly loan payments.

Of course, loans can sometimes be a little more complicated than that, so keep reading to learn about the different variables that will help you understand how a loan calculator works.

1. Periodic Payment Figure

The periodic payment amount is the figure that you will need to pay every "pay period." A standard pay period is usually one month. The amount of these payments is based on the number of payments you're making or the length of your loan, along with the total principal amount and the interest.

2. Periodic Interest

The periodic interest rate, once settled on by your loan officer, is the amount of interest, or percentage of the total loan, that will be charged every payment or interest period. Remember to shop around for the best interest rate.

3. Total Payments

This is the total number of payments that you will be required to make over the duration of the loan. For example, a 3 year or 36-month term loan will likely require you to make 36 payments. Usually, the sooner you pay back your loan, the better. Of course, a shorter loan period means higher payments. Before making this decision, evaluate your monthly income and general household budget to make sure you're choosing a payment plan that you can afford.

These are just the basics of home improvement loans and the three factors you'll encounter when using a loan calculator. Before deciding on and signing a loan agreement, always make sure you understand the terms and all associated fees and costs.

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Need Cash For Home Repair? Free Home Improvement Grant Money Can Help

Need Cash For Home Repair? Free Home Improvement Grant Money Can Help

If you have a home that could classify as unsafe, unsanitary, or inhabitable, you may qualify to receive as much as $ 50,000 in home improvement grant money to help repair your house. These funds are often provided by government agencies, but you can often find cash for home repair by unaware private grant programs available to the public.

With a home improvement grant, the funds obtained can typically be used for material and labor costs. Each grant program has different terms, and you'll want to be sure you are familiar with those terms in order to apply for the grant that is most appropriate for you.

In most cases, as long as you do not violate the terms of the grant, you will not need to repay the money. Grants are provided as cash awards and do not accrue interest, and you usually do not have to pay taxes on the money awarded.

Grants for home improvement may or may not be available in your area, but by searching a grant database you can find what grant programs you can qualify for. For instance, if you are a student or single mother, you may be able to claim grant money for other purposes, which cold free up you spending in other areas.

An up to date grant database will allow you to see exactly what programs are available and how much you can obtain if your application is accepted. Access to the database will also help you with the grant writing process so you can be sure you submit the best possible application to get the money you need.

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