12

After a 6% commission to sell, you have $80K in equity. 20% down on a $400K house. 5% down will likely cost you PMI, and I don't know that you'll ever see a 3.14% rate. The realtor may very well have knowledge of the cost to finish a basement, but I don't ask my doctor for tax advice, and I'd not ask a realtor for construction advice. My basement flooring ...


9

If the goal is simply to allow you to eliminate mortgage insurance, you're almost certainly better off using whatever budget you have to pay down the debt than to try to improve the appraised price of the house. It is rare for any home improvement project to increase the appraised price of the home more than the cost of the project itself. There are sites ...


7

Be careful that pride is not getting in the way of making a good decision. As it stands now what difference does it make to have 200K worth of debt and a 200K house or 225K of debt and a 250K house? Sure you would have a 25K higher net worth, but is that really important? Some may even argue that such an increase is not real as equity in primary residence ...


7

I am quite sure you can set up an office in your basement for a lot less than $15,000. Don't build any walls, install any flooring, or upgrade the ceiling. Just install more lights and plugs. Set up your desks, bookshelves and what not in whatever corner is furthest from noises like the laundry room or the furnace. The kids and the nanny get the main floor - ...


7

"Good debt" is very close to an oxymoron. People say student loans are "good debt," but I beg to differ. The very same "good debt" that allowed me to get an education is the very same "bad debt" that doesn't allow me to take chances in my career - meaning, I would prefer to have a 'steady' job over starting a business. (That's my perogative, of course, ...


6

There’s no standard for early redemption penalties. Some mortgages have them and some don’t — read the small print of any mortgage you are thinking about applying for. But in general, avoid fixed-rate mortgages and go for floating rates, which are much less likely to have redemption penalties.


6

I would pay off the HELOC today. The "safety" of having $24K in cash/stock is costing you $150 a month in interest. You still can have $16K in liquid savings to handle most all emergencies. From there, then you can decide which is more important - having a larger cash emergency fund or remodeling your kitchen. The kitchen is something you've wanted for a ...


5

With gift tax it's not that the giver can agree to pay, the giver has the tax obligation, not the recipient. To the recipient the gift is not taxable income. For 2018 you can give $15,000 to each parent as separate gifts, if you are married you and your spouse can each give $15,000 to each of your parents, for a total of $60k with no extra fuss. If you ...


4

No, a tradesperson is not acting withing the law if they add VAT in an invoice if it wasn't also clear in the quote. To do so is a misleading omission under The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. The Pricing Practices Guide section 2, while having no mandatory force, is easy to read and explains to traders that: All price ...


4

You should look into a home equity line of credit: A home equity line of credit (often called HELOC and pronounced HEE-lock) is a loan in which the lender agrees to lend a maximum amount within an agreed period (called a term), where the collateral is the borrower's equity in his/her house. Because a home often is a consumer's most valuable asset, many ...


3

Don't buy a house as an investment; buy it if/because it's the housing you want to live in. Don't improve a house as an investment; improve it if/because that makes it more comfortable for you to live in it. It's a minor miracle when a home improvement pays back anything close to what it cost you, unless there are specific things that really need to be done ...


3

There are two things to consider here, whether you will have to pay VAT on top of the price quoted, and whether you will be able to reclaim the VAT yourself. From the tags, I'd guess the latter isn't an issue, but I'll cover it anyway. If the tradesman is VAT registered (and his/her VAT registration number should be on the quote if he/she is) then he/she ...


2

If a price is quoted with no mention of VAT, then it includes VAT. So your tradesman can't then add VAT on top.


2

sheegaon's reply looks fine to me, a HELOC can usually be set up for a minimal ($50?) fee, and is currently a pretty low rate, mine is 2.5%. If this doesn't appeal to you, my other suggestion is a 401(k) loan. While this is usually a last resort and 'not' recommended, a short term use may make sense. The rate is low, and you can pay in back in full after ...


2

The number one reason to borrow is quite simple; when you have no other choice. The primary reason to do this is when renovations or additions must be made in a timeframe that precludes you being able to save enough money to pay cash. Harmanjd's example of a kid on the way with no space to put him is a very good hypothetical. Disaster recovery is another; ...


2

You can only guesstimate a return on investment. For example, you see that in your road that a house with a loft extension is selling for 120,000 whilst a house without is selling for 100,000. Cost of loft extension (or whatever it is) 10,000 then ROI = (120,000 - 100,000) / 10,000 = 2. 2 does not mean 200% return. A return of twice the investment means ...


2

I'm assuming that when you sell the house you expect to be able to pay off these loans. In that case you need a loan that can be paid off in full without penalty, but has as low an interest rate as possible. My suggestions: Look for a credit card with a low introductory rate, and transfer the balance(s) to that. When you sell the house off, pay off the card ...


2

There is no guarantee improvements will raise the appraised value. You also don't want your property tax appraisal to go up if you can avoid it. Since you are talking on the order of $10k I'll assume you're only a few thousand dollars more from getting to 20%. That said, any schemes you might come up with like refinancing or second line of credit will ...


2

As someone who's done quit a bit of home improvement and seen positive ROI, I can speak from some personal experience. All of this assumes you do the unskilled labor yourself and shop around for relatively cheap plumbers, electricians, etc. First, never underestimate the resale value added by a can of paint. This assumes you have, or know someone with a ...


2

Realtor.com gives the following list of "best renovations for the money" and they include ROI numbers: Home Improvement Job Cost Resale Value Cost Recouped Minor Kitchen Remodel $17,928 $15,278 85.2% Window Replacement (Wood) $11,040 $9,416 85.3% Bathroom Remodel $12,918 $10,970 84.9% Window ...


1

The problem here can be boiled down to that fact you are attempting to obtain a loan without collateral. There are times it can be done, but you have to have a really good relationship with a banker. Your question suggests that avenue has been exhausted. You are looking for an investor, but you are offering something very speculative. Suppose an investor ...


1

You need to determine for the taxing jurisdiction when the next tax appraisal will be done. In some cases the appraisal is done every year, or two, or three. In other cases it is also done when the property is sold. The county tax office website should contain this information. They will also have information on how to appeal. Most jurisdictions do have a ...


1

It depends entirely on what you're improving and what you're spending. Taking the kitchen for example, if you're replacing a tired 1960's kitchen with cheap but functional IKEA units and appliances, and you're doing as much of the work as possible yourself, you will definitely see a good return. However if you're spending $50,000 on a Poggenpohl kitchen to ...


1

Conventional wisdom seems to be that renovating homes generally doesn't improve the value more than the cost of doing so. On the other hand, clearly some are able to make a profit from purchasing, renovating, and flipping homes. Remodeling magazine publishes an annual cost vs. value report for 101 US cities. I'm not sure how reliable this data is, ...


1

I know that both Lowes and Home Depot (in Canada at least) will offer a 6 month deferred interest payment on all purchases over a certain dollar amount (IIRC, $500+), and sometimes run product specific 1 year deferred interest specials. This is a very effective way of financing renovations. Details: You've probably seen deferred interest -- It's very ...


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