What are home improvement loans?
With the cost of properties soaring in the UK, the idea of moving home can be daunting. Many people are improving rather than moving. This saves a lot of time on house-hunting plus avoids the stress of the actual move as well as the costs involved.
Depending on which part of the country you live in, you might find the number of properties for sale is in short supply. An article in the Telegraph says Britain’s ageing population is moving less frequently and creating a shortage of homes.
Other reasons for staying put may include the fact that you like your neighbourhood and find it convenient for work, the school run or shopping, so making the best of what you already have could be a more positive move.
And you’re not alone in going down the home improvement path. Research shows 94% of homeowners would rather improve their home than sell it and move somewhere else, according to a Property Wire article.
Another Property Wire article says more than 50% of UK homeowners are planning to improve their house this year. While a growing family is a top reason for carrying out the works, older children returning home is another reason to extend or improve a property.
There are various home improvements that you could put on your wish list.
You may need extra space for a growing family, so are looking to convert the attic. You may want to create a granny annexe in the garage. You may want to update your old bathroom or kitchen, fit new windows or improve the look of the garden. All of these will add value to your home and make it a nicer place to come home to.
An article in the Independent says adding a garden, such as a roof garden, can add 10% to your home’s value, a new kitchen or extra bathroom can add 5% and a loft conversion can add up to 10%.
So not only will you get a smarter home, but you should be increasing its value too. But how do you go about paying for the home improvements?
If you don’t have savings or don’t want to wait until you have saved enough money, you could consider home improvement loans.
There are several companies or banks which will provide you with a loan. However, you need to make sure you can afford the repayments for loans for home improvement work each month. Also check the interest rate to see which company is offering the best deal.
You may be able to take out some of the equity in your home to pay for improvements, so it is worth checking all your options.
A company such as Evolution Money can arrange loans from £1,000 to £20,000, subject to certain criteria. They will undertake credit checks, but their decision is not only based on this. They will also consider customers who have negative equity and self-employed customers who can provide evidence of their past six months of income.
Once you have access to funds, you will need to find your builder.
Money Supermarket advises you to get at least three quotes from different traders so you can pick the best person to do the work. It also advises you to ask for a quote rather than an estimate, so you know exactly what the bill will come to, and to check reviews from previous customers either online or through a company such as www.checkatrade.com.
Also, make sure the work is guaranteed and that your builder has insurance. A Telegraph report says a contractor should have three types of insurance: public liability insurance, employer’s liability insurance and contractor’s all-risk cover.
Finally, make sure the builder can do the work to your exact specifications and requirements. You don’t want to find out half way through that he is keeping to his own agenda instead of your wishes.