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Home Equity Line of Credit - Great for Remodeling Projects


Many homeowners are lucky enough to find a house that represents exactly what they want in a home. They buy it, make the payments on it, and live more or less happily ever after. Others are not so fortunate. Some buyers who live in a pricey market may have to settle for less house than they need, hoping to find a solution to their lack of space later. A third group of buyers may find that their housing needs change over time, as their family size increases. What can be done in these situations?

A common solution to these problems is to add on to the house, often accomplished by converting a garage to a room, adding a room over the garage, or simply adding a room somewhere else on the property. For these projects, a home equity loan is a great source of financing. The home itself is used as collateral for the loan, and the addition actually increases the value of the house. As most of these projects involve a fixed cost, the payments can be structured at a fixed interest rate over a specific period of time. But what about the do-it-yourself project? What if the problem with the home isn't a lack of space, but a lack of taste on the part of previous owners? Is there a better financing choice in these situations?

If your problem is gold appliances, lime green carpet, and smiley face wallpaper, you may be looking at a remodeling project of indeterminate duration. For such a project, a better financing choice would be a home equity line of credit, or HELOC. A line of credit offers greater flexibility, both in interest rates and repayment terms, than a traditional line of credit. The loan amount is based on the amount of equity in the home, but the funds aren't dispersed all at once. Instead, the borrower is given a checkbook, a special credit card, or both and can use them to draw upon funds at his or her leisure. Payments only apply when money is actually borrowed, and the repayment plans can be arranged with both fixed and adjustable interest rates, depending on the lender. This is ideal financing for someone who has purchased a fixer-upper home that needs a variety of changes, repairs, or modifications. The credit card can easily be used to purchase paint, drapes, flooring, appliances or whatever the homeowner requires to make the home fit their needs.

If you just need to hire a contractor to add a gameroom to your home, a traditional home equity loan would work well. For ongoing projects with indefinite timeframes and budgets, a home equity line of credit may be the best choice.

Copyright 2005 by Retro Marketing.

Charles Essmeier is the owner of Retro Marketing, a firm devoted to informational Websites, including End-Your-Debt.com, a Website devoted to debt consolidation and credit counseling information and HomeEquityHelp.net, a site devoted to information on mortgages and home equity loans.


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