You see, I’ve been meaning to give this website – Cheap Home Improvement- an overhaul. Most of our readers are here because they want to turn their house into a home. And they don’t want to go broke in the process.
I’d like to believe we’ve done a good job of helping them do that. We’ve made it our job to show you how to “hack” home improvement. But the thing is, most of our posts are about actual construction. Almost none of them are about funding that construction.
So, I reckon, it’s time for that to change.
As of late, I’ve been spending countless hours pouring over any resource I can find regarding home improvement grants. Here’s just a couple I’ve learned about as of recently:
HUD Rehabilitation and Repair Home Loan
More commonly known as the 203k program, this is the most popular home improvement program around. In case you’re unfamiliar, here’s a quick rundown…
The 203k is a type of loan, offered by banks but backed by the U.S. government. You can use it to fix up any condominium or 1-4 family owner occupied residence.
What makes it different than most loans is that you can use it to fund both the purchase of the home AND the rehabilitation of that loan. Most traditional loans don’t allow you to do this… forcing you to buy the home first and then get another (more expensive) repair loan after the fact.
And 203K loans are cheap. They’re especially tailored towards low income homeowners. That means better interest rates and lower closing costs than you’re likely to find under any other program.
How do you get a 203K loan. Check with your friendly neighborhood banker for details.
Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loan and Grant
This is one of few improvement loan programs that are funded directly by the government (as opposed to just being guaranteed), through the United States Department of Agriculture. However the qualifications are tricky…
For one you have to be a very low income homeowner. That means your income can’t exceed 50% of the average median income in your area.
Secondly, you have to be 62 or older. If you’re a young buck, you can forget about qualifying for this program.
But if you do qualify, the program will cover all expenses related to removing health hazards from the property and/or making it accessible by those with disabilities.
How do you apply? Contact the local rural development office in your area. You can yours here: USDA Service Center Locator.
Are there other programs?
Yes. Many, many of them. So many, in fact, that they won’t all fit into this introductory article.
In the coming months, I plan on discussing other grants available for home improvements. To read the latest articles, click the “financing your improvements” link to the left.