In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
Homeowners have what seems like a never-ending list of need-to-do and want-to-do home improvement projects. From regular maintenance and repairs to protect your home’s value, to bathroom updates or additions to potentially increase value. The reality is that all renovations and repairs cost money and there is some serious time and planning involved if you want the project done right.
When you pay off debt, you open up options for yourself. You improve your cash flow, so you can stop living from paycheck to paycheck; you free up money so that you can buy the things you need and want to live a more productive and engaged life; and you put yourself in a position to save more money for a more comfortable retirement.
If you’re not sure if you can afford to improve the energy efficiency of your home, you’re in good company. Lots of people wonder not only about how to pay for home improvements but also about what upgrades make the most sense. The good news is that you can get help about both concerns. At Efficiency Vermont, it’s my job to give objective advice about lowering energy use within any budget. One of the ways that many people are able to make their dream of an efficient home a reality is with a low-interest energy loan.
If you’re buying a home, it's time to get organized! A home is one of the most expensive purchases you are likely to make in a lifetime and the homebuying process can be complicated. This is the time to decide what kind of home you want and what you need to do in order to buy it. So, take a moment to consider (and write down) the steps you’ll need to take in the months to come.
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As a result of the new tax legislation, enacted in December of 2017, homeowners will not receive tax deductions on home equity loan interest. Since the 1980’s homeowners have enjoyed a deduction for home equity interest on amounts up to $100,000. The legislation eliminated tax deductions for interest on new and existing home equity loans from 2018 through 2025. It did not eliminate deductions for interest on primary home mortgage loans.
If you have owned your home for a while, you may be ready to upgrade to a bigger house; but before calling the movers, consider why you want to move and what the financial impact of owning a larger home could be.
As you pay down the mortgage on your home, the equity you build becomes an asset you can use to secure a loan or a line of credit. You can use the loan or line of credit to make home improvements (including energy efficiency upgrades), consolidate debt, make a large purchase, pay off school loans, cover retirement expenses, or more. Because home equity loans and credit lines are secured by your house, you can get a much lower interest rate than you would if you took out an unsecured loan or used your credit card for the expense.
I am a passionate person, so I often have to rein in my emotions when making important decisions like buying a house. But you don’t have to be an overly intense person for your decisions to be influenced by emotion. In fact, it has long been known that emotions are the primary drivers behind human decision-making. Though our emotions can help us make quicker decisions based on past experiences, they can also get in the way of good decision-making by allowing us to sidestep our more analytic nature.