5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Loan for a Home Reno

By Sophie

So you've decided to renovate. Great! And why wouldn't you? With the housing market as tough as ever, renovating is the ideal way to transform a house into your dream home. Plus, with a home renovation loan, finding the money to renovate is easy. That's the first job done.

But before you start ripping up those broken old bathroom tiles, you'll need to make sure you're getting the most value for your investment. Here are a few things to check off before the builders come knocking.

1. Prepare a detailed budget

Every renovation is different. While your friends, neighbours and your Uncle Garry the tradie will all have well-intentioned advice on how much you'll spend - and how to spend it - taking control of your budget has to be your first priority.

Your budget spreadsheet should be detailed and specific about the scope of your home improvement work. By setting a path from the start, you'll stay in charge of your finances, as well as the final results.

And finally, don't treat your budget as set-and-forget. Revise costs as you go - and know the unexpected will happen, so add 10-20% to your budget for contingencies.

2. Get expert advice

No matter how much research you put into your budget (and the answer will be: a lot), you're bound to miss something. Most of us haven't renovated before, and it's much more complicated than reality TV makes out. Particularly if you're planning a structural renovation on top of a cosmetic one.

Speak to every professional you can about your plans. Even if you'll be on the tools yourself - in fact, especially if you're DIYing it - a trusted quantity surveyor can help assign your funds in the right places. Likewise, interior designers aren't just useful for the finishing touches; by involving them from the beginning, you'll avoid any little details (like fittings and lighting) causing headaches down the track.

3. Shop around for quotes

It's the golden rule of home building and renovation: get at least three quotes from builders, tradespeople and suppliers. These can vary wildly, so comparison is essential to knowing where you stand.

Then you can start shopping around for a good deal. Find out from salespeople if they'll beat prices offered by their competitors. And don't be afraid to ask for a discount. Perhaps you're sourcing the majority of your materials from one supplier, in which case they may give you a large order discount. Some suppliers may also cut their prices in return for early payments.

When it comes to making the most of your money, even small percentage discounts can have a huge impact on the overall project.

4. Think ahead to selling

Whether you're planning to renovate for short-term profit, or you'll be living in your home for many years to come, thinking ahead to what a future buyer might see as desirable in your house can help steer you in the right direction.

Many cosmetic improvements - especially external ones like driveways, garden beds and cement rendering - can add value worth several times what you paid for them. Even a new lick of paint delivers incredible bang for your buck if you do it yourself.

And if you do have a sale in mind after finishing your renovation, chat to your real estate agent before you dive in. They'll be able to identify what you can do around the home for the best returns within your budget.

5. Choose the right loan for you

To get the most out of a personal loan, it's essential you choose the one that's right for you and your plans.

At Latitude, our personal loans can be used for your home renovation - no matter how big or small the project. Rates are assessed on your individual circumstances, so we can agree a loan amount and repayment schedule to suit your needs.

To find out more about our fixed rate secured and unsecured loans, with flexible repayment options, head here. Happy renovating!

Find out more about Latitude's Personal Loans here.

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