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Transforming Neighborhoods One Home at a Time

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It’s summertime and homeowners across the Inland Empire are planning to tackle home repair projects at their home. However, too often the last thing that homeowners focus on is how to affordably pay for work that goes beyond a can of paint or a few swings of a hammer. Since repairing costs can run from  hundreds of dollars easily into the thousands, it’s appropriate to take time and consider the best financing and money-saving options.  As a NeighborWorks organization, NPHS not only offers tips on lowering the cost of repairing your home, but also provides low cost financing options for qualified homeowners through our new Renaissance Home Repair Loan.

“By helping homeowners rehab and repair their homes, NPHS achieves a number of community development goals, including helping owners improve their homes’ energy efficiency. This results in lowering costs and improving the livability and safety of their homes,” said Adam Hicks, Vice president of NPHS Redevelopment Strategies. “It will also help stimulate neighborhood revitalization by encouraging other owners to improve their homes.”

Buying on credit

For do-it-yourself projects, labor isn’t a relevant cost but materials are. Before pulling out a credit card, check to see if there are discounts available or cash back when purchasing items from certain stores. Does a credit card from the store that you’re buying materials offer any ‘same as cash’ incentives such as no-interest if paid in full within a set amount of time? This may be a good option if you’re disciplined enough to pay off the debt in the allotted time frame. If not, interest charges on these types of store cards could easily top 20 percent annually.

If you’re considering paying for home repairs with credit, consider a low interest loan from NPHS through our Renaissance Home Repair program. For more information on this special financing program for qualified homeowners, or call directly at (909)988-5979.

Rent the tools you need

Most people have a hammer in the house, but not everyone owns all of the tools necessary for more than a minor repair. If you’ll need more tools than what’s sitting under the sink or gathering dust behind boxes in a garage, consider renting them. Larger home improvement stores such as Lowe’s and Home Depot  rent tools at a fraction of the purchase price. Why buy a tool to cut stone, ceramic tile or lumber when it could be rented for a lot less?

Moreover, there may be a tool library in your community. Nonprofits in the community have been developing tool lending programs, recognizing that especially in lower income communities, the cost of maintenance shouldn’t be an obstacle to keeping a home well maintained and updated.

Another great option is borrowing a tool from a neighbor. A survey from NeighborWorks America last summer found that 86 percent of people believe that a neighbor would lend them a tool or help out in other ways.

Be sure you know how to operate the tools and take all necessary safety precautions. Many rental places and offer training on the safe and proper use of many tools.

 Put that tax refund back into your home

Two-thirds of taxpayers expect to receive a refund this year. According to the Internal Revenue Service, roughly one in seven taxpayers wait until the final day. Whether you’ve waited until the last minute or already have a refund in hand, a way to use the cash is to help pay for a remodeling project.

Even if your refund isn’t near the average of just above $3,000, combining any refund received with other funds is a way to lower any interest costs that come with borrowing to pay for a home remodeling project.

So this summer, or whenever you choose to tackle a home remodeling project, keep an eye on the financial side of things. It will make living with the finished project that much sweeter if lingering costs aren’t interfering with enjoying the fruits of all that labor.

About the Author:

Jessica is the Public Relations and Marketing VISTA at NPHS. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations from California State University, Dominguez Hills.