Your home is your castle, so you want to keep it in tip-top condition. Unfortunately, housing upkeep can be pretty costly, and it’s not always possible to make the changes to our homes that we may want or need, which is where a home improvement loan can help.
If you’re looking to add value to your house, or need to do carry out repairs, there are a few finance options available which can help you complete the renovations while paying back the loan over time.
Compare home improvement loans
Admiral Finance Secured Personal Loan
- Borrow from $1,000
- Flexible payment options
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Admiral Finance Secured Personal Loan
Apply today to get approved within 60 minutes for up to $50,000.
- Max. loan amount: $50,000
- Loan term: 6 to 60 months
- Turnaround time: 60 minutes response during business hours. Funds released within 24 hours upon approval
- Fees: $12 account administration fee, $125-$595 application fee depending on loan size, $40 early prepayment fee (new loans from 1 July 2017 will not be charged this fee)
- Quick 5-minute application
- Flexible options catered to all financial situations
What types of home improvement finance options are available?
If you’re looking to improve or renovate your property, there are a few different options when it comes to finance. Here are some you might want to consider:
- Unsecured personal loan. An unsecured personal loan allows you to finance anything you like, such as a holiday, a car or home improvements. These loans usually come with higher interest rates and fees than other loans because there is no asset provided as a guarantee, which is more of a risk for the lender.
- Secured personal loan. A secured personal loan lets you borrow money by putting up an asset as guarantee. If you’re looking at making improvements in your home you can attach your house as security, or if you have a mortgage you can use the equity in your house as a guarantee. Just remember the amount of equity you have has to be more than the loan amount.
- Mortgage finance. If you already have a mortgage you can increase your mortgage amount to finance home improvements. If your loan has a redraw facility and you have made extra repayments, you can also consider using that to fund the renovations.
How you can compare renovation loans
Home improvement loans have a few common features that you can use for comparison.
- Loan type. The type of loan you decide to apply for should meet your needs and situation. For example, if you have a high interest rate on your home loan, you may want to opt for a personal loan with a lower rate rather than adding to your mortgage. However, only having one payment to make can be more convenient.
- The purpose of the loan. Make sure can access the funds when you need them and you can use the funds for the renovation. Some loans are specifically designed for renovation purposes and come with flexible features, so you may want to consider this as an option.
- Loan costs. Consider the upfront and ongoing fees as well as the interest rate when looking at loan costs.
- Repayment options. You need to ensure the lender offers repayment options that suit your desired payment frequency and income. For instance, if you are paid monthly you may want to opt for a lender who will let you make monthly repayments.
- Flexibility and extra features. If you are looking for additional features that you have seen offered by other lenders, choose a loan that will provide these.
What types of home renovations can you do?
Renovating a home can be a daunting task, given there is so much you could do. One way to begin the process is to identify what you want to accomplish, be it a change to styling, structure, or functionality. You can choose to make renovations to your bathroom, patio, landscaping, or even add new rooms or change your home’s heating and cooling system.
The improvement of space and the addition of amenities may include building or improving outdoor living spaces; adding indoor storage space or relocating or modifying your laundry space. You can also experiment with furniture layouts so they are space-efficient; renovate your kitchen to improve safety and traffic flow, or making aesthetic changes to your bathroom.
You can choose to improve your home’s heating, cooling, and air quality. This aspect can be tricky and involves paying attention to windows and glazing, ventilation, thermal mass, and insulation. You might want to choose a heating and cooling system that comes with high energy star ratings.
Installing solar or energy-efficient hot water systems can work well, and if your home doesn’t already have suitable solar access you could think about getting an active solar heating system. Try to improve the flow of natural light, and use LED lighting to replace low-efficiency lighting.
How to make your home renovation pay off
Before you begin renovating your home, establishing the purpose is very important. Do you, for instance, want to renovate your home to enhance your lifestyle? Do you want to make more money from renting it out or do you plan to sell it? While carrying out a feasibility study in the second and third scenario is crucial, ensuring you don’t overspend is important irrespective of why you want to renovate.
- Add value through creativity. Homebuyers pay particular attention to a home’s bathrooms and kitchen, and without spending too much you can transform a seemingly run-down bathroom or kitchen. When it comes to making cosmetic renovations, it is best to limit changes to ones that are in plain view.
- Keep a tab on expenses. This is not difficult if you plan ahead and stick to it. When budgeting, take into account the cost of materials as well as labour and spread your budget across the different spaces you wish to renovate.
- Consider DIY. Undertaking renovations the DIY way can help keep costs in check, but make sure you have access to the correct tools as well as the required skills.
- Compare your alternatives. If you take the time to shop around and work on your negotiation skills you can save money on supplies as well as labour costs.
- Think long-term. This is particularly important if you are making changes to a house you plan to continue living in, because you’re the one who benefits. Energy-efficient additions are a definite plus, and by opting to go the green way you may qualify for certain rebates.
Things to consider
Before taking out a loan to cover the cost of your renovations, it is important to consider a few things:
- Can you afford the repayments?
To calculate the cost of your repayments you not only need to consider the interest rate you are charged for the loan, but also any ongoing fees. Look at how long you are taking the loan out for; the repayment frequency you have chosen; any monthly or annual fees, and the rate you are charged. This will give you an idea of the true cost of the loan and repayments.
- How flexible is the loan?
Flexibility is another important consideration. Personal loan terms are generally between one and seven years, and as this is a significant amount of time you need to ensure that the loan can accommodate any change in circumstance. Look out for things such as being able to make additional repayments, the ability to close the loan early or change the loan terms.
- Have you applied for the right amount?
This is an important question, not only because you could borrow too little money but also you could borrow too much. The principal amount you borrow from the lender will affect the interest and could cost you a lot of money if you miscalculate the loan amount. If you borrow too little, it may be difficult to access additional finance to complete your home improvements.
How to apply for renovation loan
- To apply for a home improvement loan you can compare your options using the table above and click the “Go to site” button if you find a loan you want to apply for. This takes you through to the lender’s website where you can fill out an online application form. If you have decided to access additional funds in your mortgage, you will need to speak to your mortgage lender directly.
- To take out a personal loan you need to be over the age of 18, a permanent citizen or resident of New Zealand, and depending on the lender you will usually need a good credit rating. When applying you need to provide your name, address and proof of your identity. You will also need to provide details of your income; your employer’s name and contact details, and information regarding your assets, debts and liabilities.