January 2014 will see many new rules for obtaining bank loans, including new borrowing limits and stricter, more detailed documentation. Mortgage rates are increasing, and banks are making just one-third as many loans as they did before the housing crash, according to an article in US News. In addition, your mortgage cannot lift your household debt to more than 43 percent of your income, and lenders are unlikely to compensate for a large cash down payment or reserve.
These factors may make you think twice about buying a new home or refinancing your existing one. There’s also the expense and time of moving itself. Before you rush to buy a home, consider the alternatives. Remodeling is often a viable option, and one that might turn out to be both cost-effective and lower-stress for your family. Ask yourself why you’re house-hunting in the first place. Upgrading or needing more space is one of the most common reasons for buying a new home. So is downsizing.
Instead of moving, think remodel. If you need more space, a professional remodeler can show you how to get it. You can build up, out or within by reconfiguring existing space. The possibilities are endless. Upgrades are most commonly done for kitchens and baths. It can be as simple as a new look with flooring or cabinetry or a total overhaul that moves the plumbing, knocks down walls and expands the space. Get a good team of architect, designer and remodeler in place, and they can make your dream house happen – no move or mortgage required.