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  • Tips on How to Pay for Home Renovations

    This post is in partnership with American Express Personal Loans.

    I mentioned this in a recent post and wanted to mention it again: I am always SO interested to learn how people handle their finances, specifically how people fund their home renovation projects.  Please tell me I’m not alone!

    One of my favorite things to do is discover a new renovation story being shared on social media. I love how we can discover and follow home renovations all day! I eat it up and can’t get enough. The finance professional in me often wonders, how do people finance their home renovations? Did they take out a loan? Are they paying cash? I need to know, I’M SO CURIOUS!

    Not only do I love discovering renovations on social media, I also love discovering them in person when I’m out and about. Every time I travel to Southern California (which is very frequent but also never enough), I notice every other home is being torn down and completely rebuilt. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and here the home renovation scene feels a little different. In the East Bay where I live, most folks are renovating within the boundaries of their current floor plans. Our neighbors, for example, are building a second story! We have plans to expand our home as well in the next few years, but have some smaller scale projects on our list before we are ready for a home expansion. It’s the smaller scale projects, like a bathroom remodel or HVAC upgrades, that seem fitting for quick-access financing options.

    No two people have the same financial situation, and evaluating the best method of financing a renovation project for your home is a very personal and unique-to-you situation, BUT! given that I have a half-dozen major home renovation projects under my belt with many in our near future, as well as a long career in corporate finance, I do feel very comfortable sharing my perspectives on the financing solutions I have, and would, evaluate for tackling all the various projects we have completed or have in line for our home.  American Express has asked me to join in on the conversation about financing those dream home projects and speak to the option of taking out an American Express Personal Loan. I’m happy to share my perspective!

    Different renovation projects call for different means of financing, here are a couple of financing options my husband and I consider when budgeting and planning a new home project:

    • Savings: we’ve funded a handful of our projects through savings, considering the upside is you don’t incur debt when paying for projects and materials in cash, yet the downside is the loss in any nest-egg or financial buffer you’ve built for your family.
    • Personal Loan: consider a personal loan when needing to purchase materials for a project that are critical to a project’s timeline. Materials like tile or hardwood flooring, or even if you need a new roof! We would consider, for example, an American Express Personal Loan should we need a new roof or need to install a new water heater etc.

    At the moment, we are simultaneously managing three projects in our home: 1) upgrading all electrical in our master suite including adding can lights to our ceiling, dimmer switches and the like. Electrical work can get expensive very quickly! 2) We are also installing a new front door as our current front door takes the strength of 1,000 men to open. 3) And don’t forget the new flooring we are installing in our master suite as well!

    Here are a handful of other purchases and projects that would be perfect to execute with an American Express Personal Loan:

    • Appliances
    • Materials for remodel project, like tile for the bathroom
    • Emergency plumbing or electrical upgrades
    • Landscaping or exterior project in preparation to sell your home
    • New roof
    • Upgrading windows in home for energy efficiency

    So if you’re an eligible consumer American Express Card Member, American Express Personal Loans may be a good place to start.

    • They offer loans of $3,500 – $40,000 with no origination fee and APRs starting as low as 6.98% to eligible consumer Card Members1
    • Find out more about eligibility and the quick application process, plus the full terms and conditions here.
    Business Tips: advice on financing your dream renovation project with American Express Business Loans

    Thank you for supporting our site and the sponsors we choose to support the messages we share!


    1 American Express Card Members must be pre-approved for a loan offer in order to apply. Pre-approved APRs and loan amounts are based on the Card Member’s creditworthiness and other factors. Pre-approved APRs will be between 6.90% and 18.97%, as of 3/2/2018. Not all Card Members will be pre-approved or receive the lowest APR or the highest loan amount.

    1. I’m sorry. I’m a huuuuuge fan girl of yours. Like I’ve sent your rooms into Modsy for design inspiration. I’m nursing my son in the rocker you recommend. But as a financially savvy person I just feel like this is such irresponsible advice, which you cannot really endorse as a controller. And that makes me sad. I sincerely hope it helps you achieve your financial goals. But telling someone to take on an almost 7 percent loan for a water heater, which cost me $809 to replace in the northeast, that seems wrong. I agree I’d love an honest conversation on this, but this fell short for me. I am stil really excited to follow your reno.

      1. Sara – I have to agree with your take on this. Clearly this was a sponsored post with very little regard for the true discussion of financial options available. I get it, I do. Mamas gotta pay the bills, and bloggers have to keep the lights on. But … really? Love the blog, but this was not the blog’s best moment. Looking forward to future posts, though.

    2. Thank you for this post! It is exciting to see all the alternate loan options today. With more small business owners and other non traditional incomes, there are needs not met by the traditional banking system. I have never used American Express personal loans but our small business has utilized the Square loans several times. They may have higher interest but come with their own benefits. It is worth exploring and sharing the various ways to finance projects.

      1. Absolutely! And I appreciate the added info from your experiences! It’s actually great learning the options that are, everyone’s situation is different and I just believe it’s good if we’re all better informed about legitimate options (rather than shady options that we know exist too).

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