The cheapest ways to pay for property improvements

The sun is shining. It’s the time of year when home-owners and landlords start thinking about improving and adding value to their properties. But what is the cheapest way to pay for improvements? Gavin Richardson, looks at the options?

It’s common knowledge that extensions, extra bathrooms and kitchen upgrades can add value to property. For home-owners, extending can be much cheaper than moving. For landlords, improvements can ensure that new Energy Performance Certificate standards are met.

But how do you find the money required to carry out these projects? For most of us, getting a loan is the answer but what sort of loan should you get? How much will it cost? And will you qualify to borrow what you need?

In my opinion, there are two great ways to borrow money for home improvements that are cheaper than taking out a personal loan.

1. Further advance

A further advance is when you borrow more from your current mortgage lender, usually at a different rate from your main mortgage. Further advances are cheaper than personal loans because, like mortgages, they are secured on the property. They are a great option if you are tied into Early Repayment Charges or if your mortgage is on such a good rate that you don’t want to refinance.

How much can you borrow with a further advance?

It depends on how much equity you have in your property but you can borrow anywhere from £5,000 up.

What rate will you pay?

That depends on your current mortgage lender but rates are currently extremely low. We have years of experience negotiating further advance deals for both home-owners and landlords, so do get in touch if you prefer a professional to do the work for you. Remember we only charge fees if we are successful in getting you a formal loan offer, so you’ve got nothing to lose chatting through the options.

How long does the process take?

It’s a relatively quick process because you’re not moving, so there is no waiting around for solicitors. Your property will need to be professionally valued but this is usually done online or as a drive-by.

On average, we can usually get the deal wrapped up in four weeks.

How to qualify:

You will have to complete an application form and provide proof of identity, address and earnings. Lenders will check your credit record, so do tell us up front about any blips or issues in order that we can address them. If you are landlord, the lender will want to evaluate your portfolio too.


2. Remortgage to raise capital

If you are not tied into Early Repayment Charges, it may be cheaper to remortgage with a different lender. Remortgaging to raise finance for property improvements is extremely common and very straightforward, although it may take a little longer than getting a further advance.

Rates are currently so low, we have sometimes we have found that we can save customers money on their monthly mortgage payments in addition to helping them raise capital!!

How much can you borrow?

Again, this will depend on how much equity you have in your property. With a home-owner mortgage you can borrow from as little as £25k and a penny as long as the loan to value does not exceed 90%. If you are looking to remortgage and raise capital on a buy to let basis, again you can borrow from £25k and a penny, up to 85% loan to value, although 75-80% will give you many more options.

What rate will you pay?

For home-owners - use our Mortgage Calculator to get an idea of rates.

For residential landlords - use our Buy to Let Mortgage Calculator and Rate Finder to get an idea.

How long does the process take?

Usually, the process takes longer than a further advance but not as long as when you are buying a property. On average, it takes around eight weeks but if time is of the essence, you should know that we do track lenders’ processing times, so can factor that into your requirements.

Firstly, we would talk to you about your requirements so that we find the most suitable lender and product. We would then help you to fill in a form so that we can get you an agreement in principle before submitting a full application.  

How to qualify:

You will have to complete an application form and provide proof of identity, address and earnings. Again, lenders will check your credit record, so do tell us up front about any blips or issues, because this will help us to determine which is the most suitable lender.  If you are landlord, the lender will want to evaluate your portfolio too.


I hope this helps. The point I’m trying to make is that you won’t know which option works best for you without doing some research. That’s where we come in. Do get in touch to chat through the options - I am out of the office until the end of July, but my expert team are ready and waiting to take your call:

Call: 0345 345 6788


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Initial advice is completely free of charge and without obligation, so you’ve got nothing to lose. That extension, new bathroom, kitchen upgrade could be closer than you think… 


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