How to get everything you want without actually doing anything to get it: The Sassy Girl's Guide to Home Renovation!

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11:56 AM
Just a quick rant today y'all, so bear with me ...


Have you ever noticed ridiculously improbable teasers for articles; the kind that claim to have all the answers to your EXACT problems? Last night, I found myself searching for some applicable solution to our current restoration dilemma and answering an enthusiastic "YES!" upon finding a cache of information that seemed to apply to our situation. I was quickly let down when I discovered the advice being offered which supposedly pertained to my query (below) was not even a little applicable. Like... at all.

How can I finance a home restoration when I've half-finished some of the work? OR How can I re-finance my current home loan with our house in shambles?

The short answer seems to be "You can't, so just get comfortable living in hell house dummy!"


I found this article last night that outlines five non-traditional ways to fund home renovations without tapping into your home equity:
  • SAVINGS
  • CREDIT CARDS
  • YARD SALE
  • SWEAT EQUITY
  • ASK A FRIEND OR RELATIVE FOR A LOAN

  All my problems are solved!



 Me too, Liz. Me too.


 Seriously? I personally relate to exactly none of these as viable option:

Savings: I have spent the last 10 years working, basically, as a babysitter. As a matter of fact, I earned more (proportionally) as a babysitter in high school ($2 per hour, per child .. adds up). I think we can all just accept that there wasn't anything left to save after I indulged my extravagant tastes with such frivolity as "eating" and "paying the utilities" .. downright scandalous, I know, but I am not about to cut holes in my safety net this early in the game.

Credit Cards: Really?! I'd sooner take out a HELOC than finance something with a credit card. If that's an option for someone else, terrific. By all means, you go girl! For the rest of us, it comes down to the most basic math: Estimated equity loan rates between 5-9% (which is still stupid-high in my opinion) and average credit card interest rates at double and triple of the conventional rates, it isn't exactly hard to decide which is a better idea. The downside, of course, being that you've financed an imaginary value and if you default, you will lose your home. Dumb!

Yard Sale: This one is my favorite. A yard sale! WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT?!? GOOD THING IT'S PRIME YARD SALE SEASON GUYS! ALL MY PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED BECAUSE IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT I HAVE ALL THIS REALLY VALUABLE SHIT TO SELL! Oh. Wait. No. None of that. Currently, the most valuable items in our house are our tools, so that won't end well. Besides, we already sold all non-essential belongings on craigslist over the last few years and have LITERALLY nothing left to liquidate. Again - might work for someone, but that someone is decidedly not me. Unless you know someone who wants a sweet tube TV from 1998. Contain your jealousy, folks and form a line to the left...

Sweat Equity: Okay, this isn't even a little bit helpful because we're ALREADY lousy with this. I actually kind of hate this term "sweat equity" because it's imaginary and worthless (at least to anyone writing a loan). You'll never walk into a bank with a list of home improvement tasks you've completed and walk out with a bag of cash. "A loan, you say? Let me just look at your hands for a moment ... yes, those are the hands of someone who has invested a lot of sweat equity. Here's $25,000. BYEEEEE!" Listen, that's the kind of thinking that got us into this mess. We knew what we were in for when we took this on (mostly. okay kind of. Sorta... okay... whatever. Shut up.) and understood that we were trading cost for time. A longer timeline and lower cost SEEMS like a great idea up front, but the time has come to get stuff done. Moreover, the tasks at hand aren't suitable to DIY - Do you know how to install a new electrical panel? No. Me neither. As luck would have it, we're fresh out of electrician's certifications as well, so we'll just have to go out into the world and find a new one. Do you know what this costs? It's not exactly couch-change, yo.

Personal Loan: Okay, again: a great idea if you can tap this resource. Unfortunately for us, this just isn't on the table. I guess, maybe it might be, but I have no idea. I don't make a habit of inquiring into the financial status of my close friends and family members; but even if I was fully apprised of someone's ability to give us money neither of us would ever presume upon that relationship and leverage it for money. It is SUCH a tricky dynamic, to balance family or friends and money that it simply isn't worth the risk involved.



I'm not sure this qualifies as a legitimate update, but I hope it was at least entertaining.


About the author

Lanny is a reluctantly-homeowning anthropologist busying herself with blogging while her husband does all the work on their historic house. In her abundant spare time, she likes to cycle, perfect breakdancing moves, perform at all local rap battles, and research the original owner and map his genealogy in hopes of lurking his descendants on Facebook.

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