Home Improvement Tips: Financing Home Repairs and Improvements

Finding funding may be a project itself, depending on the scope of your home improvement plans, For smaller projects, you may be able to save for it from your regular household budget. But for major projects, you will probably need financing. It may be possible to borrow against the cash value of your life insurance policy. Talk to your life insurance agent for information about this option.

Contact your bank, savings and loan, or credit union for information about home improvement loans. Compare interest rates, repayment options, and penalties from a few lending institutions before selecting one of the following options:

Second mortgage: A second mortgage is loan against the equity in your home, in effect, an additional mortgage. Typically, financial institutions let you borrow up to 80% of the appraised value of your home, less the balance on your original mortgage. For example, if your home is appraised at $100,000 and your current mortgage balance is $70,000, you may be able to obtain $10,000 by a second mortgage. You may also have to pay all the fees normally associated with a mortgage, including closing costs, title insurance, and any fees. Your tax advisor can tell you if the interest on a second mortgage is tax-deductible.

Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal With Front Yard Landscaping Ideas for Beginners

Few people will deny that an attractive front yard adds considerably to the overall appeal of a home. One only has to look at a house with manicured grass, shade trees, and flowering plants to understand why so many people invest so much money to get that perfectly sculpted garden.

For a seasoned gardener, combining the various landscape elements to come up with a stunning design is virtually a piece of cake. The task becomes more daunting for beginners who know little about plants and shrubs and even less about how to design an entire lawn. However, with these front yard landscaping ideas for beginners, you will be able to approach the project with newfound confidence.

Understand Your Needs

The first step to designing a fantastic front yard is to understand exactly how you would like it to function as part of your day-to-day life. Some want a garden purely for its aesthetics while others wish to cultivate a vegetable or herb garden. Still others want to provide their children with a cozy play space.

Jot down any and all thoughts you might have for your front yard and start working on some rough sketches. This is a great way to organize all your ideas and come up with something that finally works for you and your family.

5 Components To Consider In Kitchen Remodeling Projects

Do you wish you could take on a large-scale kitchen remodeling project but find that it is too expensive or labor-intensive to be worthwhile right now? If so, it may be a good idea to find a few ways to change or update the look of the kitchen without having to invest in totally redoing the space. There are some common adjustments and changes you can make that will give it a fresh appeal without actually limiting you too much during the process.


As one of the largest components to the makeup of this space, the cabinetry needs attention in any kitchen remodeling project. If the overall condition is good, sanding them down and re-staining them a color that you like is one option. In others, you can have a professional handle re-facing them. This could save you money and help you to avoid costly removal of the actual framing.

The Countertops

The countertop in any space can get worn down, cracked and beat up easily. It takes the most abuse. Removing the existing countertop and replacing it with a new one can be simple to do and even more affordable than other types of projects.