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Linda Klein, Kamloops real estate. How to Finance your Renovation

Courtesy of Mark Bertoli, Abbott Wealth
Home improvement is always in fashion. But the big question for many homeowners isn’t what to do, it’s how to pay for it. There are many ways to secure the financing you need, and each has advantages in certain situations.

Home equity line of credit
A line of credit gives you access to a predetermined amount of credit on demand. Generally, you can borrow up to 75% of the appraised value of your home — up to 90%, if the line of credit is insured. You take what you need, when you need it, and pay interest only on the outstanding amount.

A line of credit secured against the value of your house will typically be issued at a lower rate than an unsecured loan or personal line of credit. Accessing the home equity line of credit is easy and convenient. You may have the option of writing cheques or using a credit card or bank card.

Repayment is also flexible. You can pay some or all of the outstanding balance at any time without penalty, or make interest-only payments.

Increase your existing mortgage
Increasing the amount of your mortgage may be the right renovation-financing option for you if your mortgage is coming due, if you are selling one house to buy another, or if you are taking out your first mortgage.

It may also be a smart move if you’re locked in to a long-term mortgage at a significantly higher rate than is currently available. In this case, any penalty you may incur could be offset by the savings in interest over the long term.

While this option lacks the flexibility of a line of credit, the advantage for many is knowing that the borrowed funds are structured to be paid back in a set amount of time. And interest rates can be fixed, if you choose — unlike a line of credit, which floats against prime.

A second mortgage
A second mortgage is just that — a mortgage that is in addition to your first mortgage. Like a first mortgage, a second mortgage is a loan with a specified rate of interest and repayment schedule.

A second mortgage can be a good choice for homeowners who are locked in to a longer-term mortgage, but wouldn’t benefit from breaking their first mortgage. Lending rates for a second mortgage may be higher than a first mortgage.

Like increasing your mortgage, this option trades repayment flexibility for the peace of mind of knowing the debt will be paid down if you stick to the repayment schedule. Every situation is unique. But we can help you determine your best option.

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