July 17th, 2019 9:17 AM by Jackie A. Graves
If you plan on making home improvements this summer, you're not
alone. The home renovation market has grown by more than 50% since 2009, and
the overall market for home improvement and repairs in the U.S. is more than
$400 billion annually, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing
growth isn't surprising given the age of existing housing stock, the need for
affordable homebuying options, the number of retirees opting to age in place, and the shortage of the U.S. housing supply.
address these challenges, Freddie Mac recently announced its CHOICERenovationSM mortgage,
which offers more cost-effective options for financing or refinancing home
renovations, repairs, or improvements. Further, CHOICERenovation is unique in
that it allows borrowers to use proceeds to renovate or repair a property that
has been damaged in a natural disaster or finance improvements to help prevent
damage from a future disaster, such as building storm surge barriers,
foundation retrofitting, or retaining walls.
offering, combined with low mortgage rates, is great news if your home
needs renovations. If you're planning on using a renovation mortgage for your
projects, it's important to work with a trusted lender to guide you through the
process – whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a current homeowner looking
Here are some
additional tips for working with professionals to get your projects done:
Talk to friends or check with
your local homebuilders association for reliable contractors. Ask for
references and check with the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have
Get estimates from multiple
Make sure the contractor is
licensed and registered with the state and has personal liability, worker's
compensation, and property damage insurance. Ask for copies to ensure documents
Get a detailed written
agreement on the work that will be completed. Before signing, be sure you
understand and agree to the terms and how payments will be made.
Don't pay in advance and never
pay in cash. You may be asked to make progress payments but hold up to
one-third of the contract amount until the work is completed to your
Keep a written record detailing
the progress of the work, payments made, approved changes, and other notes.
Your records could help resolve confusion along the way.
To learn more
about owning and maintaining your home, visit MyHome® by
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