My Home Needs Repairs I Can’t Afford!

10490268956_c4b84777e4Image courtesy of Denis P

It’s one thing to dream longingly of replacing your worn out carpeting with stunning hardwoods throughout your home. It’s another beast entirely to be living in a home with damage that could be dangerous or hazardous to your (and your family’s) health.

But what is one to do when the cost of repairing the damage is far above and beyond what you can afford? The answer for many is simple: just live with it. In fact, according to the National Center for Healthy Housing, in 2013, 35 million homes in the U.S. have at least one safety or health hazard that needs attention. That’s forty percent of U.S. homes! Water leaking through roofs causing damage and mold formation in the walls, holes in the foundation or exterior walls that allow mice and rodents inside, water leaks inside the home due to faulty pipes and miscellaneous roofing issues are just some of the issues homeowners are facing.

These millions of homes are left in disrepair because their owners simply don’t see a financial solution that makes sense for them. Living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to make ends meet, barely able to make the minimum monthly payments on their credit cards already, most people just don’t think there’s any way to fix their houses until (and if) they somehow come into more money, or get that tax return, or a promotion, etc.

And all too often, it just feels like there is something more pressing to spend extra money on. So, the home repairs go unattended, and the problems they’re causing get compounded, which makes what may have started out as a relatively small fix, into something significant.

The good news is that there actually are programs to help people who find themselves in need of repairs to their homes. That being said, the need must be necessary and not a luxury like those gorgeous wood floors mentioned earlier. The value of the home needs to be higher after the repair to get help, too.

If you meet those qualifications, and are a low or middle-income family, you can seek out a non-profit agency called NeighborWorks America for assistance. NeighborWorks was initiated by Congress, and helps aid community development in the U.S. by matching homeowners in need with organizations that do non-profit work and offer loans for just such a purpose. You can find them online at www.nw.org.

Secondly, if you feel like the work involved to fix the place up to living conditions would just be too much, consider contacting a realtor. If your mortgage is paid off, or nearly so, putting your home on the market at a low, low price may be a good idea. There are always people looking for home projects to ‘flip’ – and your house may be the perfect one! Some potential homeowners may look at your home and then ask to qualify for an FHA 203K loan – a mortgage that covers the cost of the home and the cost of fixing it up to make it livable. After you sell, get yourself an affordable apartment where the landlord handles repairs.

There are additional options available to you that an attorney who is experienced with real property matters can help you through. Things like loan modification (to allow you to afford the repairs), bankruptcy and foreclosure are real options to homeowners in trouble. They don’t have the stigma that was associated with them in years past. For some people, they’re the long-awaited answer to all of their money problems. If you’re living in a money pit and need help tunneling out, call the team who can help today.

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3 Responses to My Home Needs Repairs I Can’t Afford!

  1. Pingback: Can I Sue My NJ Landlord? | Veitengruber Law

  2. Pingback: Force-Placed Insurance: Who Pays? | Veitengruber Law

  3. Roof needs repair but i dont make eought money to get it replace what can i do

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