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New trends, home improvement financing allow homeowners to upgrade

Posted on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 9:19:01 AM

In today's day and age, homeowners are often tasked with accommodating several generations of family members under one roof. According to remodeling company Neil Kelly, multi-generational living has become one of the top design trends in 2014. Now, houses have to be built to work for both grandparents and children, and that means a unique set of home improvements.

As a result, 2014 is shaping up to be a banner year for the remodeling industry, explained Home Loan Investment Bank's Brian Harvey. He cited Hanley Wood's Metrostudy, which analyzed a number of the major housing markets across the United States. Reported growth here is reflected in increased renovation activity, and that means more spending and interest in home improvement financing. In order to capitalize on this improving sector, homeowners should focus on the upgrades that provide a significant return-on-investment.

"The most popular trending projects this year are kitchen and bathroom renovations, upgrades and redesigns," said Harvey. "The kitchen and baths tend to be the areas that homeowners first consider when deciding to upscale and invest in their home. Key to the growth of this industry is the propensity for homeowners to include higher-end renovations to help modernize the area and increase or accommodate the living space of the room."

Therefore, using home improvement financing to change several features in both the kitchen and bath could be the smart thing to do.

"Popular kitchen concepts include LED lighting, larger pantry space, computer areas with built-in charging stations, water filtration systems, and family space such as floating counter tops, breakfast nooks and islands," he stated. "Many bathroom renovations involve LED lighting, walk-in showers or stall showers without tubs, water-saving toilets, high-end hand showers and unique or personalized vanities and sinks."

Above all else, homeowners will want to find the most cost-effective and affordable methods to start new renovation projects. Home improvement financing can help, as could other financial incentives.

"With the housing market in recovery mode, many sectors are seeing stability in property values along with increased values in many areas," Harvey noted. "This may open the door for homeowners to pursue traditional equity loan products to help finance these improvements. The non-equity based Title I home improvement loan remains a viable option for many homeowners who are not able to qualify for an equity driven loan or for those not looking to endure the process that an equity loan involves."