Home Improvement Loan – Refinance Your First Mortgage Or Obtain a HELOC?

Home Improvement

A home improvement loan? You bet. A home improvement loan, which is just another name for a mortgage loan, will finance the improvements that will add value to your home and can provide you with cash too, not only take care of your home improvements, but payoff credit card debt as well.

Mortgage loans provide you the opportunity to access more money by allowing you to pay, over time, large amounts of money borrowed against your home equity.

You know you need a home improvement loan to get your home where it should be. Enlarging your home financed by a home improvement loan is smart and just plain prudent.

Your son is entering junior high. He brings over two friends with their music, laughter and horseplay. Your daughter is just behind him in age and brings home a gaggle of little girls with their giggling and constant chatter. Dad just wants to watch TV in peace and you just want some tranquility in your home. It has, therefore, become painfully obvious that unless you do something to enlarge your home, its going to burst its seams. It’s time now to look at making your home larger because this is not the time to sell your home for less than what you can purchase a new home. It’s time for a home improvement loan.

The question now becomes, “should I refinance my current home loan or should I get an equity line second mortgage, also known as home equity line of credit (HELOC)”? Here’s how to figure out the answer to that question.

A. The current mortgage rate for a home loan refinance is in the mid 6s. If your current interest rate on your first mortgage is less half a point lower than that, then, by all means, refinance your first mortgage, pull cash out of your home and begin your home improvement.

B. If your current mortgage interest rate on your first mortgage is more than a half a point lower than the mid 6s, then you might want to leave your first mortgage right where it is. It is doubtful the mortgage rates will return to that level in this lifetime. You may have been lucky enough to get an interest rate in the 5s during the refinance boom between 2001 and 2003.

There are, however, some exceptions to these two statements. Thinking of paying off your credit card debt with this loan as well? If so, then you need to look at the bottom line. What will your monthly outgo turn out to be after all is said and done. Once your home improvement project is complete and you have paid off all your credit card debt, what is your monthly house payment? Is it going to be lower than it would have been had you left your first mortgage alone, got an equity loan for your credit card debt and home improvements? No brainer.

It may hike your interest rate on your first mortgage to payoff your credit card debt and get money for your home improvements. On the other hand, your equity loan won’t be in the mid 6s because 2nd mortgage rates are governed by the current prime interest rate, which results in a higher interest rate than a first mortgage rate. Even thought second mortgage rates are always higher than rates on first mortgages, but the monthly payments on both mortgages may turn out to be less than the combination of payments that include your credit card debt. Either way, you have made your credit card debt tax deductible. The only questions should now be, which is the lower monthly payment.

It’s simple, only two options exist for home improvement mortgages. Do your homework by getting good faith estimates from your lenders of choice and carefully comparing them for rate and closing costs. Comparison shop just as you would any other large purchase. Shop for the lowest mortgage rates available because mortgage rates determine your monthly payment and the best mortgage rate you can find will give you the lowest monthly payment. Refinance mortgage rates sometimes will be slightly higher than purchase mortgage rates depending on the lender. If it turns out the 2nd mortgage home equity line of credit is the way for you to go, shop around the for best home equity loans featuring the best terms. Current mortgage rates should play a big part in your decision.

Don’t be turned away by the extra fees lenders are tacking onto refinance loans these days. Reputable lenders will allow such fees to be used towards closing costs or refunded upon funding of the loan or at the very least, the low rates right now just might justify the extra fee. Study your personal financial situation objectively and thoroughly and you will ensure you have a full understanding of your current financial condition so you can choose the right mortgage option for your circumstances.