RESOURCES FOR IMPROVING YOUR HOME
- What to Look for in a Contractor
Adding or making improvements to your home can be an exciting process. Finding the right contractor for the job can make sprucing up your home that much better. Use these tips to find a contractor who can build what you want at a price you can afford.
- Check their credentials and history. Look for a licensed and registered contractor with a good reputation. Use your state’s consumer protection agency to make sure they have a clean track record.
- Get bids for your project. Once you’ve selected your top three contractors, ask them to submit bids for your project. Keep in mind that the highest and lowest bids are not always indicators of quality. Any bid that comes in and is much lower than the others should be considered carefully. It’s natural to want to save money but this could be a sign that the contractor has underestimated the project or cuts corners.
- Price isn’t everything. Your contractor will be a part of your life and home for the duration of the project. Make sure you feel comfortable with their personality, working style, personal communications and reputation. Save yourself potential frustration and disappointment by making sure you and your contractor see eye to eye before the project begins.
- Contracts are everything. Regardless of your project’s size, be sure to have a contract that covers every detail. This includes work timelines, materials used, the brands of any fixtures used, the payment schedule and everything else including the possibility of defects that may need to be corrected. The contract ensures any issue that may arise is dealt with in a timely and satisfactory manner.
- Stick to your payment schedule. Structure when and how much you pay your contractor to encourage a positive working relationship. Generally, paying 30% upfront and 10% on a successful completion is a good idea. Other payments can be made at agreed-upon times during the project. This helps to make sure your project gets done to your liking in a reasonable amount of time.
- What Can I Use Home Equity Funds for?
The equity you have built in your home is an excellent resource for accomplishing your goals. You can use equity funds you’ve borrowed to …
- Make improvements and repairs on your home
- Build additions or renovate your home
- Pay off high-interest debt like medical bills, student loans and credit cards
- How Much Equity Can I Borrow?
The equity of your home can be a great tool for making improvements or renovations and even consolidating debt. The amount of equity you may be able to borrow depends on a variety of factors like how much debt you have, how much equity you have built, and your ability to repay the loan.
LOAN ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
At GECU, we have programs to help you achieve your dreams of homeownership. Our friendly, knowledgeable professionals know what it means to buy a home and can help you find ways to help you open the door on your very own home.
Home Assist Program1:
GECU Community Development can help you qualify for up to $26,500 in home purchase assistance1 towards a beautiful home. The cost of the homes is $119,500 and you can choose options like floorplan, tile, appliances and more. Learn More
Welcome Home El Paso2:
Make homeownership a reality with this program that offers up to 5% of the amount of your home loan in down payment assistance(2) that you don't have to repay! GECU is the only lender in El Paso offering this program, ask us about it today!
(1) The Home Purchase Assistance Program is on a first-come, first served basis, and is subject to credit qualification, income criteria and period of affordability. The program is part of an NSPII grant from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. To be eligible for the program, household income must be at or below 120 percent of area median. (For example, in 2017 to receive up to $26,500 in home-purchase assistance and up to 3% of purchase price in settlement costs, a family of four could have a gross income of $62,900 to be eligible at 120% of median income.) The homeownership assistance also includes a minimum period of affordability determined by the amount of assistance a borrower receives: five years for up to $15,000, 10 years for more than $15k to $40k, and 15 years for more than $40k. To be eligible, the borrower must attend a four-day Homeowner Workshop (FEH) from HUD-approved housing-counseling agency, attend an NSPII orientation at EPAH, and pay a minimum of 3% of purchase price for down payment. Other conditions apply.
(2) This assistance program is brought to you by the El Paso Housing Finance Corporation, and is subject to qualification, income criteria and home-purchase price. The residence must be located within the El Paso city limits. Other conditions apply.