7 Creative Ways to Fund Your Next Big Home Improvement Project

A big home improvement project can have an equally big impact on your life and the value of your home. But there’s always the money hurdle: funding a renovation (especially a big one, like a new roof, a landscaping makeover, or a new kitchen) can feel close to impossible, especially if you’re a new homeowner.

Here are seven options you may not have considered for funding your next home improvement project, so you can get past your budgetary challenges and start getting your hands dirty.

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5 "Haunted" Homes for Sale Right Now

This time of year is just right for a few great scares and, who knew, possibly buying a new home. But ‘tis the season to be scary, so allow us to show you 5 “haunted” houses currently on the market.

Buyers beware, these homes are said to still be occupied - and not by the living. If you’re interested in snagging some prime (and terrifying) real estate, this is the article for you.

Read on, if you dare…

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Positive Equity Isn't Always a Positive Thing

“Average homeowner gained $16,000 in home equity in 1 year.” That’s not a clickbait headline, it’s from Housing Wire, a publication of note for the mortgage industry.

If you’ve read many of these columns, you know that I’m a veteran of the real estate crash. Or, maybe I contributed to it… it all kind of depends on your point of view, I guess. Anyway, as I read further into this article, I learned that negative equity (also known as being “underwater”) fell another 9%, leaving only 4.3% of mortgaged homes underwater nationally.

Obviously, this is incredible news for people who own houses already, not such great news for people looking to buy a house right now…

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Surviving the Financial Storm After a Hurricane

By the time this blog publishes, Hurricane Florence will have already come and gone, but for the people who were in her wake, the real struggle has only just begun. Even a Category 1 hurricane can make a huge mess, dump buckets and buckets of water on soil that’s already saturated (a huge problem for a building's foundation) and destroy the morale of an entire state.
But it’s not really the hurricane that’s the worst part of it. It’s the after days. It’s figuring out how to move forward when your life is flipped completely upside down.

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Everything You Need to Know About Doctor Home Loans

Doctors get all the good stuff: highly communicable diseases, giant student loan debt, and around-the-clock work responsibilities. In seriousness, doctors are heroes -- and mortgage lenders have caught on that student loan debt can be incredibly crippling to doctors when it comes to obtaining a home loan.

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E-Loans and You

We all like to talk about how terrifying that a rise in interest rates can be for a potential borrower, but there’s something a lot more horrifying that we don’t usually talk about: mortgage paperwork. Yeah, I said it. All those piles of pulp, some in multiples, can really add up. That’s why when the idea of e-mortgages was first floated, Realtors, mortgage pros and closers were so very excited.

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Misleading Mortgages and Predatory Lending

Getting your first (or even your second or third) mortgage can be really stressful and confusing. There’s a lot of technical information to absorb in a very small window of time and sometimes that means you’ll miss some of the details. Most of the time, your banker will be happy to fill in the blanks for you, but what do you do if you have a lender who doesn’t have your best interest in mind?

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Read This Before Hiring a Mortgage Consultant

Let’s be honest: it’s tough going it alone. Especially when you’re a home buyer. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone on your side? Someone to guide you in the right direction when it comes to buying the right house for you — and at the right price, with the right financing and terms?

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Home Loans for the Self-Employed

Being self-employed can be a really great situation for people who need more control over their work environments or who simply work better by themselves. For the most part, it’s just like working other jobs, except that you’re the one making the big decisions. Unfortunately, for a long time a lot of lenders didn’t see it that way -- instead, you were considered a high risk borrower.

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Your Burning Questions About the Fall 2018 Real Estate Market

Even though it’s been a while since I was an active Realtor, I do still keep an eye on the market because I am both a homeowner and a future home buyer. It’s good to know what’s going on when you’re making such a large purchase, but it’s not for everyone. That’s why I’m here to distribute tips and hints and bits and pieces that hopefully help you better understand the whirlwind that is buying a home.

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Fed Plans to Raise Interest Rates Despite Continued Drop in Home Sales

Well, kids, the numbers are in. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales are still down. So far, we’ve had five months of this type of flailing. Reporting by HousingWire states that it’s the slowest pace since February 2016. February: one of the traditionally worst months of the year for selling a house, that’s where we are now.

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American Homebuyers are Rejecting New Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Even as the housing market starts to sort of get back to normal, there are clear signs that we’re not back to business as usual. Last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association shared their weekly round-up for mortgage news and while people are trying very hard to buy, there’s an elephant in the room: the adjustable rate mortgage.

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15 Things We Wish We’d Checked Before Buying a House

When you’re buying a new house, you’re considering more than just a structure; you’re creating a new lifestyle. You’re choosing the right container — the right foundation — for every moment of your home life moving forward.

Wouldn’t it be great to test drive that foundation? After all, some questions can only be answered by spending more time in the space.

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Wildfires, Insurance and You

As I listen to the news on my Echo (hey, toys are fun and Alexa is a handy pal) each morning, I can’t help but feel incredible sorrow for the people who are being evacuated from their homes because of wildfires. Everyone says, “Oh, don’t worry, they had INSURANCE.”

This is the beauty of not having had to experience a house fire.

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Weekly Column #5: "Disrupters"? The Real Estate Tech Revolution

While everybody else was busy focusing on interest rates and new housing trends, something sort of unbelievable happened--a whole bunch of real estate-related startups popped up and started changing the way people manage their home purchases from the moment they decide to apply for a loan and well beyond the closing table..

No, really, it’s true.

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Weekly Column #4: Dodd-Frank’s Eroding Power and You

The year was 2007 and America was celebrating a high financial point by spending every last nickel it could find on everything under the sun. Housing prices soared, so much so that a big part of the market was priced out of purchasing, and in some areas, homes were under contract in a matter of hours for amounts way over their asking price.


It was a non-stop PAR-TAY, especially if you were in the banking, insurance, and real estate sector. Then, one day in June, I went to a closing with my buyer and it all came crashing down. My banker was never, ever late, so this alone alarmed me that morning. Was he injured? Some kind of family emergency?

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How Millennials Can Get a Home Loan in 2018

Rather than starting out with some tired joke about Millennials and diamonds, Millennials and Ramen, or Millennials and their useless college degrees -- we’re actually here to give you some good news.

Millennials have a fantastic advantage when it comes to purchasing a home in 2018.

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Weekly Column #3: Is It A Good Time to Buy or Sell? Some Economic Indicators That Can Help

At least once a year, without fail, I’m asked to write a piece about whether or not it’s the right time to buy a home, get a mortgage or sell a home. This is life in the fast lane when you’re a writer with a lending and real estate background. Everybody wants an answer to THE burning question--it appears in search constantly. Site owners want to be able to give readers something that can help them figure out their current financial picture (while encouraging them to click on said site link)

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Thinking about Getting a Home Equity Line of Credit? Here Are the Most Important Factors to Consider.

A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, is a revolving line of credit that’s secured by the equity in your home. Think of it as a secured credit card, with your home acting as collateral.

Just like with a credit card, you’ll have a limit. This limit represents the equity in your home. You can tap it as frequently as you want, provided you have the available balance. When you pay down your balance, that amount of money is credited to your HELOC and you can spend it again later.

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Here’s What You Have to Consider Before Taking Out a Home Improvement Loan

Whether you’re looking at a Fannie Mae HomeStyle loan, an FHA 203k, or a good old home equity loan -- borrowing to make home improvements isn’t a decision to take lightly.

For any of these types of loans, the most important question any home buyer can ask is “What sort of house improvement can I buy with this loan?” The reason: it’s all too easy for a buyer to jump into a renovation loan in order to buy an extreme fixer-upper, without realizing that the house may be a total disaster.

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Weekly Column #2: FHA’s Mortgage Insurance is in the News Again

I keep a pretty close eye on economic data when it comes to housing and lending (kinda my job), but I’ve been especially eagle-eyed in the last couple of months as my husband and I are getting ready to get ready to buy a house in our adopted home of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. The market here is complex, so I don’t want to rush things, you know?

Of course you do.

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How to Get Started Applying for an FHA Loan

If you’re interested in getting an FHA mortgage loan to buy a home, you aren’t alone. Borrowers across the U.S. are intrigued by FHA loans for several reasons, including their incredibly low down payment requirements and the fact that you don’t need perfect credit to apply.

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Why You Should Buy a Home in 2018

While the U.S. financial crisis began over 10 years ago, many Americans are still a little worried about the idea of buying a home. After all, the crisis led to home prices falling more than 40% in some of the country’s top markets -- and no one wants to buy something that will drop significantly in value just a few years later.

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Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage or Invest Your Extra Money?

If you’ve recently gotten a windfall -- say, a big work bonus, or an inheritance from a long-lost uncle -- you might be wondering whether to pay off your mortgage, or invest the extra cash in order to make more money in the future.

When it comes to deciding the best way to spend your extra money, there are several factors to take into account. This includes the type of mortgage you currently have, your personal appetite for risk, and how much you expect to get from your potential investment. We’ll help you make the call.

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Is It Legal to Rent Your Home Out to Pay Your Mortgage?

Maybe you’re having trouble making your mortgage payments. Maybe you just want to downsize. Or maybe you simply want to escape your everyday routine and travel the world for a year. Regardless of your circumstance, renting out your home to pay your mortgage has never been a more popular option. But before you rush to list your house on Zillow and Trulia, know that renting your home could actually land you in trouble -- if you don’t take the right precautions first.

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Working with a Mortgage Broker: How Do They Operate?

If you’ve been looking for a home loan, you’ve most likely heard the term mortgage broker on more than one occasion. But what is a mortgage broker? Can they help you get a better home loan than if you simply went to your bank? Let’s take a look!

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Weekly Column #1: Predicting Changes to Interest Rates

Trying to predict what the real estate market is going to do is a bit like trying to nail a runny egg to a tree. Nevertheless, buyers are often asking real estate experts questions like “is it a good time to buy a house?” These market-related questions have as many answers as they have askers -- the industry as a whole is a slippery beast.

With this new and exciting column from Home.Loans, we’re going to tackle those animals, as well as help you understand the information that experts rely on to forecast trends. Let’s go!

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A No-Nonsense Guide to the Different Types of Mortgages (Part Five)

In part four of our “Different Types of Mortgages” series, we talked about home loans for refinancing, and home equity loan products. In the fifth and final part of our no-nonsense mortgage guide, we name a few more uncommon types of mortgages on the market.

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A No-Nonsense Guide to the Different Types of Mortgages (Part Four)

In part three of our “Different Types of Mortgages” series, we talked about conforming loans, jumbo loans, and super jumbo loans. Now, we’ll share some of the other types of mortgages that aren’t used for buying a residence -- from refinancing loans to home equity products.

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A No-Nonsense Guide to the Different Types of Mortgages (Part Three)

In part two of our “Different Types of Mortgages” series, we talked about government insured loans and conventional loans. The next category of mortgages is based on size: do you need a jumbo loan, or a conforming loan?

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A No-Nonsense Guide to the Different Types of Mortgages (Part Two)

In part one of our “Different Types of Mortgages” series, we talked about fixed and adjustable rate mortgages. The next important consideration when looking at your mortgage options is whether to go for a government-insured home loan, or a conventional one.

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A No-Nonsense Guide to the Different Types of Mortgages (Part One)

When it comes to buying a home in 2018, the average American has more home loan options than ever before. Unfortunately, more choice isn’t always better. With many options come many questions, especially if you’re a first time home buyer and not a veteran of the mortgage game. Thats where our ultimate guide to mortgages comes in! Our 5 part series will delve into the nitty gritties of the many types of mortgages on the market.

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The 5 Best FHA Lenders in Texas

If you’re looking for a great home loan in Texas, you’re not alone. Right now, the Lone Star State is home to more than 28 million people. The housing market is relatively hot, with home prices having increased a solid 7 percent between June of 2017 and 2018. In this article, we’ll review the best FHA approved lenders in Texas and how they can help guide you on your quest to homeownership.

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Is a 40-Year Mortgage for Real? How and When You Might Consider One

The most common type of mortgage for first time home buyers and longtime homeowners alike is the U.S. is the classic 30-year fixed-rate home loan. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is another popular home loan option, followed by the somewhat less common 20- and 25-year mortgages.

One of the types of mortgages that’s a lot less talked about is the 40-year mortgage -- and no, it isn’t a fairy tale or myth. 40-year mortgages do exist, but that doesn’t mean that they’re a good choice for everyone.

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