The Green Mortgage: Using Home-Improvement Loans in the Garden

By Richard Barrington Columnist

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With home prices languishing -- or worse -- homeowners are turning to home-improvement loans as a means of raising the value of their properties. If you consider this, remember that home improvement doesn't have to stop at the four walls of your house.

Improving your outdoor property can help you sell your home or build more home equity in the long run.

Reinvestment Builds Home Equity

As home prices rose over the last few years, many homeowners viewed their home equity as a kind of bank which they could tap into as needed. The combination of rising prices and people paying down mortgages over time built home equity into a powerful source of capital.

Of course, of the two contributors to home equity, paying down the mortgage was more of a slow and steady component, while rising prices was essentially easy money. Now that prices have stopped rising, home equity is harder to come by. This should prompt people to think long and hard about how they use their precious home equity. Using it for a home improvement loan, rather than for short-term spending, is a form of reinvestment that can help further build home equity in the long run.

Curb Appeal and More

As you consider uses for a home improvement loan, don't neglect projects in your garden. Cleaning up unattractive features or fixing problems can eliminate obstacles to eventually selling your house. Adding new features such as walkways or patios can extend your living space and raise the value of the property.

Whether it is landscaping or building, projects in the garden can be a productive use for a home improvement loan. Consider it a form of "green mortgage" that can help your garden--and your home's value--grow.

Detroit Free Press

About the Author
Richard Barrington is a freelance writer and novelist who previously spent over twenty years as an investment industry executive.

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