On the weekend, I touched on New Year’s resolutions, and with summoning the inner strength to hit the gym proving
difficult and my rowing machine long gone, I decided to place fitness a little
further down the totem pole in favour of getting our house in order. The
deadline, of course, is Christmas, but given the extent of the renovations and
changes we’re undertaking, it’s easier said than done for a number of reasons.
It was interesting to speak to friends
who’ve taken on something similar, particularly those who have just purchased
their first homes. One can easily forget that paying the deposit and getting a
mortgage by no means represents the finish line when it comes to buying. Moving
costs, stamp duty, agents and solicitors’ fees, surveys – these things all cost
significant amounts of money, and by the time you actually move in, the costs
of doing the renovations you originally envisaged can be quite prohibiting.
But, as far as possible, undergoing the
changes which not only make your house more liveable, but also add value to it,
shouldn’t be side-lined or deferred, even if it means turning to home improvement loans.
After all, as I recently discovered while
doing some research, the marketplace for consumer credit has become rather
user-friendly, and not only as a result of the record-low interest rates in the
UK. Indeed, the online age has unlocked a new realm of loan providers
within alternative finance, and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms in
particular have increased competitiveness in a sector formerly dominated by
value and convenience
P2P platforms provide good value as a
result of their lack of overheads (they function entirely online) and efficient
business model, which involves matching those seeking a loan with fellow
consumers, who opt to lend their extra money for better returns than they’d
otherwise get in a savings account or ISA. As a borrower, this means low-cost
loans, with a hassle-free process which involves a mere two-minute application
There is a screening process to ascertain
your default risk, but, if approved, funds arrive within two working days.
Furthermore, there is handy flexibility in both the amount you wish to borrow
(£1,000 to £25,000) and the loan term (1 – 5 years). Some platforms like
Lending Works even permit you the chance to make early settlements at no extra
Price comparison sites give you an
excellent idea of the best personal loans out there, and whether the best one
for you turns out to be one from a peer-to-peer lender or not, you might be
pleasantly surprised at the APRs – and convenience – on offer by the various
What it all means is that if finance is
your major hurdle for turning your house into a home, it need not necessarily
be the blocker any longer. Certainly you wouldn’t want to take on any more debt
than you feel comfortable with, but remember that your home is an asset, and
taking on a loan in this case can effectively in time amount to an investment.
Of course it is only prudent to do a
cost-benefit analysis of some kind, and perhaps overly-indulgent enhancements
shouldn’t simply be taken on purely because of this new-found finance. But when
it comes to our home, I know how excited we all are to get it into tip-top
shape. Perhaps, if a little helping hand is what’s needed for you to do the
same, it’s worth looking into?