January 30th, 2019 6:13 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President
need a new roof or your kitchen is outdated, there is a mortgage that’s right for your fixer-upper. Here are your options
and what you should know about each one.
Home renovation loan
Minimum credit score
Minimum down payment / Equity required
Fannie Mae HomeStyle loan
5% down payment
FHA 203(k) loan
3.5% down payment
Home equity loan / HELOC
Mae’s HomeStyle Loan
One of the
best-known loans for home improvements, Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle Renovation
borrowers to either buy a place that needs repairs or refinance their existing
home loan to pay for improvements.
loan is available from any Fannie Mae-approved lender, but there are
of a HomeStyle loan is that it’s just one loan; you don’t have to take out a
loan for the mortgage and then another loan for home repairs. One loan reduces
paperwork and closing costs.
Keep in mind
that the money for the home improvements goes into a separate escrow
account that’s used to pay the contractor directly. You don’t have access
to those funds like you do with a home equity loanor a cash-out refinance.
with the HomeStyle loan is that there’s a little less freedom for the customer
because the funds are held in an escrow account,” says Eric Wilson, director of
operations at Better Mortgage.
Housing Administration offers a home renovation loan called a 203(k). There’s
typically a lower credit-score requirement for this loan than there is for a
HomeStyle loan, and a lower minimum down payment of 3.5 percent.
There are two
types of FHA 203(k) loans:
A limited FHA
203(k) loan is designed for cosmetic improvements and is capped at
$35,000. This rehab loan can be used to finance repairs and improvements
like a kitchen remodeling or a new paint job.
A standard FHA
203(k) loan can be used for extensive remodeling, but it requires you to hire a
qualified 203(k) consultant to oversee every step of the work, from the plans
to the finished product.
This type of
home renovation loan is available for homes that are at least a year old. The
rehab project must have a cost of at least $5,000. The agency sets mortgage
amount limits by state, county or area, and you can look your area up through a
searchable tool on its website.
security in having the consultant. Most people doing a major home improvement
project hire a contractor on their own, notes Stuart Blend, regional sales
manager for Planet Home Lending. But with a standard 203(k) loan, the
consultant is your project manager, assessing the cost, the plans and
overseeing the work.
“When you take
out that loan, that money rests with the lender. We’re holding those funds in
escrow, and we’re making sure everything is done the way it’s supposed to be
done,” Blend says.
equity loan and HELOC
Another way to
finance your home renovation is by taking out a home equity loan, also known as a second mortgage. This is a one-time loan, so
it’s not subject to fluctuating interest rates, and monthly payments remain the
same for the loan term.
A similar loan
is the home equity line of credit, or HELOC. It has a revolving balance and
might be best for someone who has several large payments due over time, like
with a big home improvement project.
option, you’re pledging your home as collateral, meaning if you don’t
make your payments, the lender will end up owning your house. Alternatively,
you can take out an unsecured personal loan to avoid putting
up your home as collateral.
and FHA 203(k) loans have some advantages over home equity loans.
amount with either of these is based on the completed value and not the present
value. A home equity loan is based on the current value,” says Gregg Harris,
president of LenderCity Home Loans, a division of BBMC/Bridgeview Bank Group.
A cash-out refi
allows homeowners to refinance their mortgage. This mortgage will be for a
higher amount than the first one, and the homeowner gets the difference in
equity loans and HELOCs, cash-out mortgages require homeowners to use
their home as collateral. But if you’ve got a considerable amount of equity in
your home, you might be able to find lower interest rates. Combine lower
interest rates with the added home value derived from renovations, and you
could benefit more in the long run.
You’ll need at
least 20 percent equity in your home to qualify for cash-out refinancing. The
total loan amount is limited to the available equity in your home. Credit score
requirements vary per loan amount and value of your home, but generally start
comes down to credit and eligibility,” Harris says.
An FHA 203(k)
might be best for a borrower with so-so credit and little money to pay
down since borrowers can get a mortgage with only 3.5 percent down.
much you want to borrow and what it is you want to change. It can be hard to
calculate the best home renovation mortgage for your needs, so work with a
lender who has extensive knowledge of the different loans, advises Laurie
Souza, national business development manager at Mortgage Network Inc. in the
you’re working with a lender that is well versed with the details of the
program,” she says.
To help you
pick the right renovation loan, here’s a list of key considerations for each
type of financing.
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