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Summer Is Here, But Is It the Best Time to Renovate Your Home?

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Summer may officially kick off on June 21, but people have been unofficially celebrating since Memorial Day weekend — and with the nicer weather may come the desire to renovate.

Summer can be a great time to renovate a house, according to Jacob Channel, LendingTree senior economic analyst. Renovations may be especially appealing this summer, as U.S. homeowners are sitting on a record amount of home equity. In fact, nearly 50% of Americans are planning home improvements by the end of the summer, according to a recent LendingTree survey.

Here are a few other reasons why it can be a good idea to get renovations done this summer — and some tips for financing them.

Why summer can be the best time to renovate

No. 1: Longer days and better weather

A big reason summer can be a good time to renovate is that the months are warmer and the days are longer, Channel says. 

“People typically don’t need to worry as much about stopping a project due to bad weather,” he says.

As for projects dependent on daylight — like painting the exterior of a house, which a quarter of Americans plan to do — there will be more opportunities to get things done faster than in the darker winter months.

No. 2: Opportunity to avoid some of the work

Renovations can be stressful, especially if it means going without necessities like being able to use your kitchen for a few days (or even weeks) . (More than 1 in 5 — 22% — Americans plan on kitchen renovations by the end of summer).

Suppose you’re planning to go on vacation this summer and feel comfortable having contractors work while you’re gone. In that case, you could reap the benefits of renovations without having to deal with the messier side of living through them.

Depending on the project, you may be able to avoid all, or at least some, inconvenience by scheduling the work during your trip.

No. 3: Extra free time for parents

“For families with children who might be busier during the school year, summer can help provide some extra free time that homeowners can use to focus on projects,” Channel says. “After all, if you don’t need to worry about spending time each day taking your kids to school or helping them with their homework, you might have more time to do something like retile a bathroom.”

No. 4: Get ready in time for the holidays

If you like to host friends and family members at your home during the holidays, renovating during the summer can be a great opportunity to ensure you’ll have everything in working order by the time the holidays roll around. 

This can also help give you more confidence when hosting or entertaining others at your house — which is a concern for 20% of millennials (ages 26 to 41).

How to finance home improvements

Because summer can be a popular time to renovate, it can be more costly than doing so at another time of year, Channel notes. 

“On top of that, raw materials like lumber are expensive, which can also make upcoming projects a bit harder and more costly to complete,” he says. “So if a homeowner plans to renovate this summer, they should be sure to plan and budget accordingly.”

To help you get started, here are a few options for financing home improvements, including renovations:

  • Cash-out refinancing: This replaces your mortgage with a new (and larger) home loan, with the difference coming to you as cash — that way, you could use the excess to fund renovations. Certain types of cash-out refinancing could be available for borrowers with credit scores as low as 500.
  • Home equity loans: This allows you to borrow a lump sum using the equity in your home, which serves as collateral. Interest rates are typically fixed.
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs): Similar to home equity loans, HELOCs let you borrow against your home’s equity, though in the form of a revolving line of credit. After the HELOC’s draw period expires, you’ll owe the balance on a repayment schedule.
  • Home improvement loans: This is a type of personal loan, so rates and approval depend on your credit score. Rates can be fixed or variable.

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