When the time comes, replacing your roof is a big, important, investment. Since a new roof can cost $10,000 or more, paying cash is not an option for most homeowners. Financing, by taking out a home equity line of credit or a home improvement loan, is how most homeowners pay for the roof they need.
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A line of credit or a loan allows a homeowner to pay in installments spread out over time, which is easier to handle than an upfront cash payment in full. This guide will help you sort out the different types of home renovation loans so you can find the one that best meets your needs.
The first step is to contact at least three licensed contractors to discuss your roofing options and to get estimates on the cost of a new roof. Knowing how much your new roof will cost will help determine which type of financing works best for you.
Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs)
HELOCs are revolving credit lines that typically come with variable interest rates. Your monthly payment amount will depend on the current interest rates and your loan balance.
HELOCs are very similar to credit cards, except the rates are generally significantly lower because your home serves as a collateral, whereas credit cards are considered a form of unsecured debt (with some of the debt often becoming uncollectable for Credit Card companies, hence requiring high interest rates) with much higher interest rates.
Once, you are approved for a certain HELOC amount, you can then draw any amount, at any time, up to your credit limit. You can pay the loan down or off at will.
HELOCs have two phases. During the draw period, you use the line of credit as needed, and your minimum payment may cover only the interest due for that month.
However, eventually, usually after ten years, the HELOCs draw period ends and your loan enters the repayment phase. At this point, you can no longer draw funds and the loan becomes fully amortized for the remaining years.
HELOCs offer low closing costs and are very convenient. They offer low monthly payments during the draw period. The downside of these loans is that they use variable interest rates, meaning the interest rate can rise in tandem with the Federal Reserve’s prime rate.
Also, your monthly payments can significantly increase once the repayment phase begins and you begin paying both the interest and the principle on the loan.
Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage
You might be able to use your homeowner’s insurance policy to cover the cost of a new roof. Many homeowners’ insurance policies also include roof replacement insurance, and hence will cover roof replacement if the roof was severely damaged by fire, wind, or hail. However, if your roof degraded due to age and general wear-and-tear and/or due to a lack of maintenance (no roof cleaning, allowing moss outgrowth, not dealing with issues like loose shingles in time, etc.), the insurance company won’t cover the replacement. One thing to consider is that making a claim on your insurance will, most likely, raise your premium in the future.