Financial Assistance For Home Modifications
There are 4 types of assistance for home modifications: financial loans, grants, labor, and equipment loans.
Fortunately, there are many sources of assistance for making modifications to ones home to accommodate elderly and/or disabled persons. Prior to discussing these, it is helpful to distinguish between the types of assistance that is available.
1. Low Interest Loans Some organizations, mainly governmental, offer low interest loans for home modifications or guarantee loans so that banks are less restrictive with their lending requirements. These are loans and, therefore, need to be paid back.
2. Home Improvement Grants These grants are typically one-time, available for a specific home modification purpose, and do not need to be repaid.
3. Free Labor Another form of assistance is free labor to make home improvements. This is commonly offered by non-profit organizations or charities. Materials are not covered. The building of a wheelchair ramp is a common example.
4. Equipment Loans Some organizations make free, long term loans of home modification materials. As an example, a portable wheelchair ramp that does not need to be returned until the borrower moves from their home or no longer requires use of it.
Federal Incentive Programs And Government Grants For Home Repair
Home improvement loans are available through a variety of federal, state and local government programs. Some of these programs cater to specific groups of people like veterans, seniors or low-income families. But with all the options available, youre likely to find one that works well for you. Lets take a closer look.
What Else Do I Need To Know Before Starting A Home Repair
Tips for Hiring a Contractor
Finding a good contractor to do repairs and improvements to your home is important. Before hiring a contractor, get tips from the Federal Trade Commission on avoiding home improvement scams. Also, find out how you can report a problem, if you encounter any issues with work you’ve had done on your home.
Watch Out for Utility Lines Before You Dig – Call 811
Before digging on your property, . Utilities will come out to mark the area to help you avoid damaging or being injured by underground utility lines. The timing for processing your request differs from state to state. Some states allow for an online digging request.
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How To Get Your House Remodeled For Free
The Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Grant Offers assistance of up to $7,500 to rehabilitate your home. Finances are available to low-income rural residents and live in a property needing repair to make the home safe and inhabitable. This includes repairs such as
Removing lead paint from the wall Clearing the home of toxic mold Fix or replacing a water heater or furnace Making repairs to well or septic tanks Fix leaky roofs Storm Clean up
What Help Is Available For My Home Energy Bill
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program may be able to help with:
- Assistance to pay your heating or cooling bills
- Emergency services in cases of energy crisis, such as utility shutoffs
- Low-cost home improvements, known as weatherization, that make your home more energy efficient and lower your utility bills.
LIHEAP funds may not be used to pay water and sewer bills.
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What Is A Cash
A cash-out refinance is the act of replacing your current mortgage with a new one. When you refinance your home, the new mortgage may have more favorable terms, such as a lower interest rate or a lower monthly payment. Refinancing is a popular option to pursue when interest rates drop.
A cash-out refinance is essentially a new mortgage with a home equity loan amount higher than what you previously owed on your old mortgage. Once the home equity loan is disbursed, the difference between your new loan amount and current loan balance goes to your pockets. This allows any borrower to use their home mortgage to get some cash.
You must have built equity on your home in order to cash-out refinance, and you must usually leave 20% of the equity in the home if you are going with an FHA or conventional loan.
Heres an example of a cash-out refinance at work:
Current Home Value: $200,000
Equity Left in the Home : $40,000
New Loan Amount: $160,000
Cash out: $60,000
You will have to factor in closing costs when determining your maximum cash out, but this gives you a general idea. VA loans allow you to get a cash-out loan for 100% of the home value.
The money that you pocket from a cash-out loan is considered debt, so it is tax-free. Many homeowners commonly reinvest this money back into their homes, using the funds for renovations and other home improvements.
What Financial Help Is Available For Home Repairs
Home improvement loan programs help with home repairs and modifications. They are the most common type of government financial assistance for home improvements. Some programs are available nationwide, while others are only available at the state or county level.
Find Loans and Other Incentives
Learn about the HUD Title 1 Property Improvement Loan program. Loan amount and repayment terms are limited based on the type of property.
Find out about the 203 Rehabilitation Mortgage Insurance Program. It lets homebuyers and homeowners borrow an extra $35,000 through their mortgage for home repairs and improvements.
For programs in your community, contact:
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Medicares / Medicare Advantage Benefits For Home Modifications
Most people immediately think of Original Medicare as a potential source of financial assistance. Unfortunately, Original Medicare typically does not pay for the cost of home modifications. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Medicare may pay for assistive technology devices that are part of the modification process provided they are required for medical reasons and prescribed by a doctor. One might also receive assistance from Medicare in determining what home modifications are medically required. Medicare Part B will pay for an occupational therapist to evaluate a home and determine what changes are required. In fact, in 2018, Medicare lifted the caps on occupational therapy. Finally, in some rare instances, Medicare will pay for bathroom modifications and walk-in tubs. Learn more about paying for walk in tubs or stair lifts specifically. However, to be clear, the vast majority of home modifications for the elderly are not paid for by Original Medicare. If assistance is provided, it will be for the hardware associated with the modification, not for the construction component.
Grants For Accessibility Accommodation In The Home
If you have concerns regarding the cost of home modifications, its a relief to know there are resources for financial assistance. Some grants cover partial costs, while others award the full expense.
Typically, youll fill out a form where you share your unique story, as well as what you hope to accomplish should you receive the grant. Be personal and honest these grants are made to make a difference in recipients lives and well-being, so the reasons you need financial support are important.
Many grants include specific eligibility criteria, so be sure to check requirements and deadlines as you apply.
The US Department of Veterans Affairs offers the Specially Adapted Housing Grant. Veterans and service members with certain service-connected disabilities can use grant money for the purchase or construction of a new home, or the modification of a current home.
Rebuilding Together AmeriCorps helps many groups of people build new homes or modify existing ones. They pride themselves in working with families who have one or more members living with a disability to repair or modify homes to make them safer and more accessible. Find your local affiliate for more information about specific requirements.
Ready to start your home modification project?
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What Is A Heloc
Home equity lines of credit are a revolving source of funds that you can access as you choose. HELOCs usually feature variable interest rates, depending on the lender.
HELOCs have two phases: the draw period and the repayment period. The draw period is usually 10 years. This is when you can access your available funds as you choose, and as little or as much as you may need. During this time, youll most likely only be required to make small, interest-only payments against what you borrow.
If you dont ask for an extension after the draw period, then you will enter the repayment period. Once in repayment, you can no longer access additional funds, and you must make payments to the principle, plus interest. The length of the repayment period varies, but most lenders have a 20-year repayment period. Depending on your lender, you may be offered different types of repayment options.
How To Refinance Second Mortgages
Refinancing a second mortgage requires almost the same steps as refinancing the first mortgage. In most cases, youll have to wait at least 12 months from when you were approved for the second mortgage before refinancing it. Most lenders also require you to have at least 20% equity in your home. If you plan to refinance with a different lender, you may want to check with the lender who holds your second mortgage before pursuing refinancing.
It may be slightly more difficult to find a lender, as refinancing second mortgages carries more risk for the lender. If for any reason your house is foreclosed, the second lender only gets whats leftover after the first lender is paid off. Nonetheless, if you have good credit, a stable income, and youve made your mortgage payments on time, you should be able to find a lender willing to help you refinance your second mortgage.
Before considering refinancing any mortgage, you should do your research, speak with your financial advisor, and calculate whether youll benefit financially by refinancing. Depending on the fees, the cost of refinancing a second mortgage may outweigh the benefits.
Once youve decided that refinancing your second mortgage is the right choice, figure out if you would qualify for favorable interest rates by checking your credit score and assessing your financial situation. Your lender may look at your other debts, so determine your debt-to-income ratio.
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Veterans Programs For Home Modifications
There are home modification assistance programs available to veterans from both the Veterans Administration and from unassociated, non-profit organizations that serve veterans. The VA provides multiple grants including SAH Grants, SHA Grants, and HISA Grants for this purpose. Also available are Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services . This program provides veterans with financial assistance to help them remain living in their homes. It provides them with a certain amount of discretion to use those funds as they see fit. Making home modifications to accommodate for a disability would be an acceptable use of funds regardless owhetherot their disability was connected to their military service. Learn more about Veterans Directed programs. Veterans pensions, such as Aid & Attendance, offer one-time bonuses for unreimbursed medical expenses. Should a home modification be a medical necessity, veterans receiving a pension can receive a temporary increase in benefits to cover the cost. Finally, the national, non-profit organization Rebuilding Together offers home modification assistance both in the form of labor and some materials to U.S. veterans through its Heroes at Home Program.
Temporary Residence Adaptation Grant
A Temporary Residence Adaptation grant is a variant of the SAH or SHA grant designed to support veterans and service members looking to receive funds to help update the home of a family member where theyre currently living. In effect, if you qualify for a SAH or SHA grant and are temporarily living in a family members home that needs changes to meet your needs, you may be able to access the TRA grant program.
Under the terms of the TRA program, if you qualify for an SAH grant, you can receive up to $40,637 in funding, and if you instead qualify for an SHA grant, you can receive up to $7,256 in funding.
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Homeowners Can Get More Than $3000
- 15:56 ET, May 4 2021
HOMEOWNERS can get more than $3,000-a-year in mortgage relief thanks to stimulus aid.
The Mortgage Stimulus Program is designed to help average US citizens as well as stimulate the economy.
Homeowners could get up to $307 a month, equivalent to $3,252 a year.
The money can go towards various expenses such as home improvements, remodels, debt or other bills.
Only single-family homes are eligible and apartments and mobile homes are excluded.
The news comes after it was revealed President Joe Biden is currently working on two stimulus proposals that could include more relief checks or cancel student loan debt.
The policy proposals currently focus on creating jobs and supporting families, but many are hopeful that additional stimulus checks and student loan forgiveness will also make the cut.
In his speech to the joint session of Congress last week, President Biden praised the impact of stimulus checks but did not comment on whether there would be more of them in the future.
We kept our commitment Democrats and Republicans of sending $1,400 rescue checks to 85 percent of American households, Biden said. For many people, its making all the difference in the world.
The IRS is still sending out the third round of stimulus checks, and many Democrats are pushing for more checks in the future.
Bidens American Jobs Plan would inject $2 trillion into the US economy to create infrastructure jobs. There are no plans yet for it to include stimulus checks.
Determining What Modifications Are Needed
While it is possible and tempting for the non-professional to assess the modifications required to make a home both accessible and safe for the elderly, the use of a professional occupational therapist can be worth the additional effort and is sometimes paid for by Medicare. There are two major considerations. First, it is important to recognize that aging is a progression. Modifications to accommodate needs today might not be sufficient for needs two years in the future. Being able to project how ones needs will change is of critical importance if one hopes to make lifelong modifications in a single project.
Second, knowledge of assistive technologies is critical. There are many devices on the market today and, importantly, a flood of new options become available each year. To make the most cost-effective modifications, one needs to be aware of the full breadth of products on the market today, but also the tools that will be available in the near future.
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Does The Assistance Have Any Conditions
You must agree to continue to own and live in your home for at least five years after the work has been completed. If you do not, we may ask you to repay the grant and loan with interest.
If you take up our offer of a loan, it will be secured as a charge against your property. Providing that you keep to our conditions you will not have to make any repayments until your home is sold or the ownership passes to someone else.
Contact us at for more details of the terms and conditions.
Benefits Of Remodeling And Home Repairs
While many assume remodeling is only beneficial from a cosmetic perspective, there are a handful of other benefits that ensue from upkeep, remodels and consistent repairs precisely why there are so many programs dedicated to investing and loaning money toward it. A few major benefits include:
The long-term savings and increased value are wise reasons to invest and keep up with home renovations. Check out our visual below to see which improvement programs and fixes give you the most bang for your buck!
As you can see, the benefits and potential savings from properly maintaining your home should not go ignored. Whether taking advantage of government loans or using charities and funds to hire a contractor to help, there are many free renovation programs and affordable ways to ensure you can get the job done. Using savings from homeowners insurance and other areas can help fund these home renovation costs and keep you on track for a healthy, happy living space.
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Federal Tax Credits For Energy Efficiency
Many people think that the Federal Stimulus Bill only deals with checks to back to tax payers. However, recent Federal Legislation in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has prompted some significant home improvement tax credits that you should be aware of.
New tax laws have been passed that provide nice tax credits for energy efficient home improvements. Check out the Energy Star site for specific details on the tax credits that are available. Basically the government is helping to subsidize home improvements and construction that promote energy efficiency in our homes.
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