I was chatting recently with a few of my decorating-enthusiast friends about which projects we would tackle in our current homes if budget constraints were not an issue. One friend said she would replace the counters and backsplash in her kitchen, another said she would add a media room to her basement, and yet another would like to create an outdoor patio with fireplace. I confessed that I would love to remodel our master bathroom. While there is nothing horribly wrong with our master bath–and I think I’ve done an acceptable job of making the best of the space–it is definitely not my dream bathroom. The shower is much too small, the vanities do not have sufficient counter space, the tile is all wrong, and the tub is missing claw feet.
It is always fun to dream big for our homes, but unfortunately we do live in a world where budget constraints are a reality. What would you change in your home if you could afford to do so? A February 2015 survey from SunTrust bank shows that 57% of all homeowners plan to take on a home improvement project this year. The majority surveyed plan on paying for those projects using savings or credit cards. I am a firm believer in making your home into the best possible version of itself, so let’s explore some tips on how to pay for home improvements!
Tip 1: Implement slow decorating.
Slow decorating is the process of creating a space over time and making small changes as time, resources, and money allow. I redecorated our kitchen using a slow decorating approach to finances. The main advantage to slow decorating is that you do not exceed your budget and only implement decor changes as you can afford to do so. The main disadvantage is that it requires a lot of patience and your home may look and feel unfinished which can be stressful on the entire family, especially in the case of major remodels.
Tip 2: Save money by doing it all yourself.
If you are handy, you can save as much as 50% by completing a redecorating or remodeling project yourself. The advantage of this is that you save as much as 50%! The disadvantage is that you are constrained by your own skill level and can easily get in over your head. If you are a novice do-it-yourselfer, this tip works best for small redecorating projects. I mostly utilized this tip when redecorating our half-bath a few years ago, but I still hired out the electrical work. It is very important to know your limits when doing home improvements by yourself!
Tip 3: Finance your project with a loan.
Securing a loan for your home improvement project might be the best option for you, especially if you fall into the 30% who plan on paying for home improvements with a high-interest rate credit card! The advantage of financing your project with a loan is that you will be able to complete the project in a timely fashion utilizing the professionals and materials of your choosing. The disadvantage is that loans can be a hassle and finding and qualifying for an affordable loan can be difficult.
One online company you might want to look into if you are considering applying for a loan is LightStream. If you have good credit, you may qualify for a fixed rate, no collateral loan from LightStream. Obtaining a LightStream loan is an entirely online process, with an application that takes just minutes to complete. Once approved, the funds you receive can be used for any vendor, product or service associated with the loan purpose. For example, let’s say you plan on remodeling your kitchen. Your home improvement loan can be used to hire a designer and contractor, as well as to purchase new bar stools, a kitchen table, and new dishes to display in your new open shelving. LightStream delivers loans up to $100,000, with NO FEES for autos to adoptions, home improvements to private school tuition, family travel to medical expenses.
To celebrate home improvement season, from March through May 2015, LightStream is offering a special home improvement loan with rates as low as 3.99% APR with AutoPay for customers with excellent credit. You can learn all the details at www.LightStream.com/2015HomeReno.
You might also be interested in following LightStream’s new Facebook community to join in on the conversation on home design tips, private school tuition strategies, family travel destinations, and more!
Please visit http://www.LightStream.com/2015HomeReno for additional details, rates, terms and disclosures.
This post is written by me on behalf of LightStream, a division of SunTrust Bank. Opinions and text are all mine.