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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Upgrade, Upgrade, Upgrade—and Save: Matthew Thorne of Nova Home Loans covers the many options available for home improvements including financing, retrofitting and upgrades.

May 30, 2014 09:10AM ● By Matthew Thorne

Our group at Nova Home Loans is very dedicated to leaving our clients better off than when we found them. We do this by educating them about options that are available in the market through home financing, retrofitting (energy usage savings) and home upgrade ideas. Improving our clients’ knowledge and awareness helps them make better decisions that best fit their individual situation. Many homeowners have ideas that they would like to integrate into their home and we help them get the right information to achieve these goals.

Having the available capital to perform these upgrades is the challenge for many people in today’s economy, but there are solutions available that they may not be aware of. In the mortgage arena, we have many options for small weatherization packages, energy-efficient mortgages, solar finance programs and full-blown renovation programs that are available for primary residences, second homes and investment properties. Upgrades added to a home also improve the quality of the home and, in many instances, increase the market value at the same time.

Because market rates are still very low, we have helped many people refinance existing homes and add the financing for improvements that they are looking for with little change to their existing mortgage payment. On purchase transactions, many clients find that the increase in the loan amount for the desired improvements also has a minor impact to the overall payment. In both scenarios, the small changes in mortgage payments are offset by utility payment reductions when considering the retrofitting of a home. Sometimes, the overall monthly cost for the home (mortgage and utility payments) is actually decreased.

There are also many non-mortgage programs that are available in the market, such as small consumer loans that work effectively with 12 months same as cash terms or that offer lower interest rates than a typical consumer credit card with a higher interest rate (depending on credit).

Also, there are still funds available to homeowners from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (stimulus) that are in place, offering thousands of dollars in tax credits. This was set up for people that are making improvements to a home to reduce energy costs.

Matthew Thorne is a senior loan officer specializing in Arizona and New Mexico. Contact him at 602-385-4817, [email protected] or

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