Exploring the Finances Behind a Kitchen Remodel

One of the biggest projects most homeowners take on is remodeling their kitchen. A kitchen remodel is also one of the most expensive upgrades to your home. You may wonder if you have enough money in your budget to cover all the designs you covet.

According to HomeAdvisor, an average kitchen remodel costs between $12,555 and $34,653. Smaller projects may run as low as $10,000 and there are ways to save money by doing some of the work on your own. Figuring out where the money for a refresh is coming from is half the battle when it comes to renovations. Here are some of your options.

1. Get a Personal Loan

One way to get the money for your kitchen remodel is through a personal line of credit. If you have an established relationship with your local bank and something you can use as collateral, such as your home or a vehicle, your bank may extend a personal loan. Depending on your credit score, expect to pay between 10% and 28% for a personal loan. The bank will also look at your debt-to-income ratio and the length of the loan you’re seeking.

2. Use Credit Cards

Check out credit card offers from your local home improvement stores. Some offer one-year financing at 0% interest. One thing to be aware of with this type of financing, however, is that if you are even one day late on a payment, you may wind up paying far more in interest than you ever planned. If you can’t pay the loan off at the end of the year, you’ll be subject to higher credit card fees. Although you could use an existing credit card to finance a remodel, the interest rates are so prohibitive on most cards that there are far better options available.

3. Leverage Your Home’s Equity

If you wish to take on a significant kitchen remodel, you may even look into leveraging your home’s equity. If you have enough equity, you’re likely to get a much better rate than any other type of financing. Generally, of course, the interest rate depends on the current market interest rates.

You can either take out a home equity loan (fixed interest rate) or a home equity line of credit (HELOC), which has a variable interest rate. While a home equity loan is a lump sum payment, a HELOC is a credit line that can extend up to ten years. While both are attractive options for major remodels, make sure you do your research and find out whether this is a logical choice for you. You’ll also have to get the loan approved, a process that has become more stringent since the 2008 market crash.

Additionally, homeowners may use a renovation loan to finance a dream kitchen remodel. A major advantage is that the future or as completed value is used to determine the equity available. Therefore, even owners with little equity could potentially finance a major job. First, there is the popular FHA 203k loan with its very flexible guidelines. Then, the Fannie Mae Homestyle Renovation will finance kitchen remodeling on a primary, secondary, or investment property. Even the military or Veterans have an option called the VA Renovation loan!

4. Small Kitchen Remodel Options

Your dream kitchen remodel might include some pricier elements that simply won’t make sense to redo all at once. Check out the average costs for popular finishes:

Don’t want to sacrifice high quality? If you are a patient person, you can upgrade your kitchen one element at a time and pay for the upgrades as you go. Save up the money and replace the floors. Then, save more money and replace your cabinets. Next, go with nicer countertops. Make changes as you can afford them and, before you know it, you’ll have a beautiful new kitchen design.

5. DIY Kitchen Remodel Ideas

If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to finance your remodel, there are some ways to save a bundle on a remodel. If you’re a savvy DIY-er, you might be able to do much of the work yourself.

If you take your time and tape off things you don’t want paint on, you can easily paint a room. Cabinets can be painted as well. Install your own vinyl plank flooring. Take a tiling class at a local home improvement center and install your own backsplash. Go to thrift stores and junkyards and find materials you can upcycle, such as turning an old dresser into a new kitchen island.

With a bit of creativity and a lot of sweat equity, you can have a beautiful kitchen for a fraction of the cost.

How You Tackle Kitchen Remodel Costs

By using creative financing options or your own hard work, you can afford an amazing new kitchen. You may have to compromise on a few things, but the end result will be a brighter, fresher home and a kitchen you can be proud to show off.

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Written By: Russell Smith