How to refinance to renovate?

Refinancing to renovate a property is a significant decision that will hopefully improve your standard of living or add substantial value to your property.

Refinancing isn’t as straightforward as you might expect. The type of renovation proposed goes a long way to dictating the loan required. If the wrong loan is chosen, you could be left with a pile of unexpected debt.

Know your budget
Before considering refinancing, you need to have a clear idea of your budget. If you underestimate your budget, you run the risk of not being able to complete your renovation or having to re-apply for a loan which the banks generally don’t like.
Be conservative with your estimate and speak to your broker about what you can afford and how you can borrow additional funds in case you do go over budget while you can avoid paying extra for the money you don’t use.

Line of credit loan
Also known as an equity loan, to be eligible, you must be looking to make upgrades to the cosmetic domain of your property.

Installing a new bathroom or kitchen, painting the interior or exterior of the house and other basic construction falls under a line of credit loan.

These renovations, more often than not, do not supersede the costs of structural changes, so homeowners can call on up to 80 per cent of their Loan-to-Value Ratio (LVR).

A line of credit loan is a “revolving door” of credit that combines your home loan, daily spending and savings into one loan.

If you choose a line of credit home loan, it essentially works as a large credit card. You can use it to purchase cars, cosmetic renovations and other investments. However, the interest-only charge starts when the equity is drawn down.

Keep in mind, line of credit loans provide you with money that can gather interest quickly, so speak to your finance broker for a plan that matches your unique circumstances.

Construction loans
Construction loans are suitable for structural work in your home, for example, if you’re adding a new room or making changes to the roof.

Construction loans give homeowners the opportunity to access larger sums of money, with the amount dependent upon the expected value of the property after renovations are completed.

The advantage of a construction loan is that the interest is calculated on the outstanding amount, not the maximum amount borrowed. This means you have more money available in your kitty, but only pay interest on the money you choose to spend. For this reason, the broker may recommend that you apply for just one loan, but leave some leeway in your borrowed kitty.

When applying for a construction loan, council approval and a fixed price-building contract are required, which your finance broker can assist with to reduce the paperwork and stress.

Your lender will appoint an assessor to value your construction at each stage of the renovation. This will happen before you pay your instalment. When construction is complete, speak to your mortgage broker as you may be able to refinance back to the loan of your choice.

When looking at both these loans, you can also use other property you own to boost your overall borrowing amount if you need to.

Broker advice
If you speak to a broker they will be able to determine which loan will give you the options you seek. This advice is essential, as a poorly planned construction loan could cost you more down the road.

While these specific options can be discussed with your broker, if they aren’t suitable, there may be other options available to you. Speak to your broker to make your grand renovation plans a reality.

Credit Representative 487350 is authorised under Australian Credit Licence 389328     
The information provided is general in nature only. Your full financial needs and requirements need to be assessed prior to any offer or acceptance of a loan product.
*Subject to lender’ criteria, term and condition as well as fee and charges.