There are a series of questions that need to be asked when contemplating a home improvement loan. A well informed applicant can be assured that the outcome of his/her diligence will be appreciated by all concerned. The first question one must ask is 'what can I afford'? An accurate accounting of finances is a basic requirement. 'What is my income'? 'What are my expenses'? 'Do I have a good history of paying my debts'? These type of questions are necessary, not only for my own well-being but for the protection of the lender and the person performing the work. Each person is relying on the integrity of the other.
Home improvement loans are a vital tool in today's economy. The main reason for obtaining them is to ultimately increase the value of your home, as opposed to purchasing a new structure. The biggest benefit to improving an existing property is the fact that less money needs to be invested. A loan can be used for something as modest as putting in an extra bathroom or as extensive as adding several hundred square feet for a growing family. Borrowing for the project is the best way to get the extra room you need when you need it. Sometimes its just not feasible to save for a long period of time. For example, planning a nursery for a new arrival may not have the same priority if the child is going to grow out of it before you can complete the project.
A good piece of advice for someone that is ready to borrow for their improvements is, talk to someone who has done it. But remember to keep an open mind. People have varying experiences; some good, some not so good. Personality is a big factor. One homeowner may be very detail oriented and therefore see a minor flaw as a catastrophe while someone else may not even notice major defects in a project. In each instance you will receive opposing feedback. You must decide, in the end, what your own expectations will be. One of the best resources you can get is your building inspector. He is trained to look for anything in a project that does not meet local building codes. But because of his experience he can tell if a tradesman is good at what he does.
Finally, but most importantly, research your lender options. Who has the best interest rates? Do they have a good reputation in their community? Be aware that the lender you choose will be working with you to see that the job is done in accordance with their requirements. Remember, this is their money and they want to protect their investment. A good lender will spend time with you and your contractor to make sure you get the finished product you deserve. People that do the work for you will more than likely know your lender and as they work together on your project you should have a gratifying experience. When your home improvement is finished you will be a qualified reference for others.