Home renovation loans easier to qualify for

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Our home is our castle, no matter what size it is. There's always room for improvement but money gets in the way. Now, there's an alternative loan program that could cover everything from a new pool to a roof repair.

The conventional loan helps homeowners looking to purchase new homes or upgrade their current homes.

Juan Urrea purchased a fixer-upper in an established Chandler neighborhood three months ago. He shared the before and after images, which paint a true picture of what can be done with the funding that is now available through conventional loan incentives.

"It's great for new home buyers. It's great for retirees, also, that like the area but don't want to go through the trouble of remodeling their own home, so they just go into a house that is move-in ready," Urrea said.

Vanessa Accra with Keller Williams S4 Group says a new conventional loan program is tailor-made for people looking to move up or upgrade.

"Most regular home buyers or first-time home buyers do not have the cash flow to do these improvements, so this is a great way to get them into a home, fix it the way they would like to be, and finance it into their mortgage," she said.

Accra says the loan qualifying process for home upgrades is easier and more affordable than in years past, in part because of interest rates remaining low. She says a renovation mortgage is an alternative to an equity loan, and most people don't even realize they can easily qualify.

"They don't have the knowledge and the power of knowing what's available to them through these financing options," Accra said.

Perhaps the most appealing factor is the long-term benefit of increasing the value of the home, whether consumers are looking to buy or simply stay put.

"Sometimes it's better to keep your home," Urrea said. "If you love your neighborhood and you love living there, it's a lot better to be able to remodel your own home, have a house that looks just like this one, and stay where you want to live."

The only item that does not apply to the loan program is a detachable building, such as a garage or mother-in-law quarters. The space has to be added to the existing home.

For more information, visit www.academymortgage.com.