One of the most common reasons for taking out a personal loan are to make home repairs or improvements. For some, a personal loan is a great way to replace carpet, add on a room or finish a basement. What many people don’t know is that they may also qualify for home improvement or home repair grants from a governmental agency such as the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Start with an Estimate
The first step in the process is to figure out how much it’s going to cost to do what you want to do. Having a written estimate will help you know how much money you need, but it will also help you figure out what kinds of grants you can apply for. Most of the time, a contractor or home improvement company will be able to give you an estimate as to the cost of the repairs or improvements at no charge. Get estimates from a couple of companies to make sure you’re getting a fair price.
Start Grant Searching
Next, you need to start looking for grants. While Matthew Lesko would prefer you order his books on how to get grants, the fact of the matter is that there are plenty of free grant search engines available. One of them is located at http://www.grants.gov, for example.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development is a wonderful resource if you need to find home repair grants. HUD can help to pay for repairs that make a house safe and secure. HUD may have an office in your local area, or you may have to call in to a regional office to find out more.
While the Federal Emergency Management Agency has certainly gotten a black eye since Hurricane Katrina, the fact of the matter is that FEMA has made improvements. If your home was damaged in a natural disaster of some sort, FEMA may be able to help. Usually, after a natural disaster, FEMA will set up local offices and you can find more information there.
Some communities may offer special grants designed to help particular areas. For example, some neighborhoods that have been affected by urban blight may be eligible for grants, or even low-interest personal loans, to make improvements to the property or to make repairs.
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