Home Remodeling Tips Make Every Day Feel Like Earth Day

While homeowners continue to invest their money in improvements to increase the resale value of their existing homes, many are turning toward “green materials” to make their living space more eco-friendly, according to a leading Minneapolis design firm. With dwindling resources and global warming on everyone’s minds, homeowners are looking at ways to incorporate earth-friendly products into their existing surroundings.

Advancements in technology, along with new energy efficient products, give homeowners a choice of design options that weren’t available to them just a few years ago. Real estate can be restored to their natural beauty both ecologically and economically with natural materials like cork, bamboo, recycled aluminum, and bronze - not to mention the tax credits that may be available from your local energy provider for using energy saving products.

To help fund these remodeling projects, many homeowners will turn to the traditional Home Equity Loans (HELOC) as a source of funding. HELOC mortgage rates  (7.96% APR national average) are generally lower than those of credit cards (12.15% APR national average) or personal loans (13.09% APR national average) and have the added benefit of being tax-deductible in most instances.
Here are some tips you’ll want to consider to help you pick the right HELOC:
• Avoid unnecessary fees.  The market for HELOCs is very competitive. When shopping for the best offer be aware of any application fees, closing costs, usage fees, appraisal costs, or maintenance fees which can drive up your actual costs. Find a HELOC that doesn’t penalize you if you decide to pay down your principal early.

• Ability to convert.  Since most HELOCs are adjustable and can change at different times of the year, what may seem like an attractive rate in the beginning can skyrocket later on should interest rates rise. Look for loan features that will allow you to convert to a fixed mortgage if this happens.

• Shop for the best rates.  Comparison shop for the best HELOC. Be aware of low teaser rates which may escalate after the brief introductory period. Make sure you know the index and margin used to calculate these rates. Determine if the rates you’re comparing are competitive once all fees have been integrated.

Whichever loan you choose, do your research first. Select the right HELOC that offers you the greatest flexibility with the least amount of restrictions.

Source: Informa Research Services