Home Improvement Benifits - Ideas

 Home Improvement Benefits

Need More Room? Don't Move - Improve
(ARA) – According to the National Association of Realtors, the continuation of a soft market is predicted for existing home sales in the coming months. This comes as bad news for people who are considering selling their homes in the near future.

Gone are the days when potential buyers would fight over every listing that comes on the market, driving up prices in the process. Now homes may linger on the market for months, fetching far lower prices. The national median home price for existing single-family homes was $206,200 in the fourth quarter of 2007, down 5.8 percent from just a year prior. Because buying a new home typically requires first selling your current home, many people who want to “move up” to a bigger or nicer home are choosing to stay in their current homes and upgrade them rather than put them on the market.

Home improvements offer many benefits: they not only make your home more comfortable, but can also be a prudent investment. Popular projects include: kitchen remodels, bathroom additions, deck additions, siding and window replacement – all improvements that, in addition to making a home more livable, may actually increase the value of a home.
But with the economy being as tough as it is lately, where will people find the money to pay for their improvements? A popular option is to tap into the equity in the very house you’re planning to fix up. “When it comes to funding home improvement projects, consumers with equity in their homes have multiple options, such as taking out a home-equity loan, setting up a home-equity line of credit or refinancing an existing mortgage,” says Stephen Semprevivo, president of LowerMyBills.com, a free online service that can help consumers compare low rates on monthly bills and reduce the cost of living.

Here is a quick guide to financing choices:

Home-equity loan: With a home-equity loan you take out one lump some of money based on the equity you already have in your home. The amount you borrow and the interest rate are fixed at the start of the loan. These loans typically last from 5 to 15 years.
Home-equity line of credit (HELOC): Like a credit card, a home-equity line of creditfunctions as an open line of credit, only it is borrowed against your house like a second mortgage. The benefits of using a home-equity line of credit instead of a credit card are that the interest rate for a home-equity line of credit is almost always lower than that of a credit card and the interest you pay is usually tax deductible.

Cash-out refinance: A cash-out refinance allows you to refinance your mortgage for more than you currently owe, leaving cash on the table that you can put toward your home improvements. Unlike a home-equity line of credit or home-equity loan, a cash-out refinance does not require taking on the additional burden of a second loan.

Don’t want to take the gamble of borrowing against your house? Don’t despair. “Homeowners that don’t have a lot of equity in their homes, or don’t want to tap into that equity, may find that simply refinancing their homes can help offset home improvement costs,” says Semprevivo.

Interest rates are near record lows. If you bought your home a few years ago you may well be able to refinance at a lower rate. That lower rate can yield substantial savings that can go a long way in paying off your home improvement bills.

Want to find out which option offers the best scenario for you? There are benefits and drawbacks to any home loan so it’s a good idea to discuss your options with a trusted financial professional. Once you’ve decided on the right move for you, Web sites like www.LowerMyBills.com can connect you with lenders who will compete for your business by offering competitive rates and terms.

Whether you go with a home-equity loan, a home-equity line of credit or a refinance, your interest payments will likely be tax deductible, and no matter which financing option you choose, upgrading your home can add value and comfort. Better get started right away though so you can enjoy those improvements in time for summer.

To shop for competitive home loan quotes visit www.LowerMyBills.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Home Improvement Idea

A Home Improvement Idea for 2008 That Impresses
(ARA) - What is the most dramatic, eye-catching home improvement project you can launch into this year? It’s an exterior upgrade that adds style and curb appeal to one-third or more of the front of homes: the garage door.

Chances are, if your home is 10 years old or older, you’ve been living with a good old-fashioned raised-panel steel door – just like every other home on your street. And they probably all look pretty much the same.

A Stylish Statement

You’re probably thinking, “How much difference can a garage door really make? It goes up, it goes down; what does style have to do with it?”
The non-commercial Web site – GarageWowNow.com – features before and after garage door photos that show the effect that a replacement has on a home. All the majorgarage door manufacturers are producing dramatic new styles and you can review them and decide what’s best for your home.
Hot Trend: Carriage Doors

The industry’s hottest trend is the carriage house door. The look that was popular on carriage houses and stables a century ago is today’s new chic in garage doors. The styles, windows, accessories and colors vary so widely, there’s little chance the garage door on your home will look like another one down the block.

For homes with more modern or Southwestern looks, there are sleek, contemporary styles in a variety of materials. Opaque panels and copper cladding provide a modern look that will update the entire appearance of your home.
The Latest Features

What else is new in garage doors? How about energy savings? Many of today’s garage doors feature insulation that helps reduce heat loss in winter and helps your home stay cooler in the summer. And as energy bills continue to rise, a new door begins to pay for itself soon after installation.

If you’re thinking about a new garage door, think about a new opener, too. Today’s garage door openers are quieter and provide more convenience and safety features than ever before. Yes, garage door openers have gone high tech.

Keypad Kids

Homeowners with keypad entry consider it a necessity, not an option. Yesterday’s “latchkey kids” have become today’s “keypad kids.”

But even the keypad has taken a step up the technology ladder. How about fingerprint-activated entry? It is here and available today. Only those who have scanned their fingerprint into the system can open the door with the pad.

Another modern tech update is laser-aided parking accessories that tell you exactly when to stop in the garage. Battery back-up systems mean that your door will open every time, even when the power goes out. There’s even an in-house monitor that tells you when your garage door is open, a handy tool for those of us who forget to close the garage door at night.

Not a DIY Job

Garage door installation is something best left to the pros. A garage door is the largest and heaviest moving piece of equipment on your home. Garage door springs are under a remarkable amount of tension, and these can cause serious injury to even the handiest weekend warriors.

To find the nearest garage door professional, as well as the best range of products available, simply enter your zip code on GarageWowNow.com. A handy search feature will identify the professional installing dealers nearest your home.

Courtesy of ARAcontent


9e58c73a-ed1d-11e1-b7e3-000bcdcb471e said...

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