RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

6 Ways to Finance a Renovation

June 26, 2015 2:09 am

(BPT) - If you're planning to take on a home improvement project, you're in good company. A recent report by the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University predicts that the home improvement industry is expected to post record-level spending this year. As you prepare for your renovation, it’s important to review your financing options based on the size of the project, your intended repayment plan and whether you plan to use a contractor or do it yourself. Some financing options to consider:

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
- A HELOC can provide ongoing access to funds using the equity in your home, which typically results in lower interest rates than unsecured credit. This type of credit may also provide you potential tax benefits. Consult your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of interest.

Mortgages with Built-In Renovation Financing
- These loans help homeowners complete renovations with a loan amount that is based on an appraiser's estimate of what the property value will be with completed improvements. This is also an option for aspiring homeowners who purchase properties that need repair. Whether a home purchase or a refinance, this option finances the renovations and mortgage in one loan.

Cash-Out Refinance Mortgages - A cash-out refinance replaces your current mortgage with a new and larger mortgage that pays off your current balance and allows you to use the equity in your home to provide additional funds for other purposes.

Credit Card - Credit cards can be used for large or small purchases and may earn rewards, which can add up to significant benefits when you're making big home improvement purchases. However, credit cards often have higher interest rates than other loan or credit options, which should be taken into consideration.

Personal Loans and Lines of Credit - These personal credit options typically offer quick credit decisions and access to funds in a day. Lines of credit provide ongoing access to funds.

Savings - If you have a do-it-yourself project or a small renovation, accessing your savings might be an option. By paying cash, there is faster access to funds and nothing to repay.

Your bank may not be the best source for what color to paint your room or which walls to move, but it can help you identify your financial options. Each option has its associated benefits and considerations, and your bank can provide valuable information to help you make informed decisions about which options are right for you.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


How to Spot a Section 8 Scam

June 26, 2015 2:09 am

According to a recent report by the Better Business Bureau, homebuyers seeking affordable housing are becoming increasingly susceptible to “Section 8 scams” aimed at collecting personal information and fees from unsuspecting house hunters. These scams often take the form of a fake website that offers a voucher waiting list or lists supposed Section 8 rental properties.

If the site asks for your personal information, especially your Social Security number, do not submit it. If the site requests a registration fee, do not provide bank information or any other details that could comprise your finances. If the site asks for a wire transfer or prepaid card for first month’s rent, do not remit any funds.

Keep in mind these scam sites may rank high in search engine results or display an Equal Housing Opportunity logo. Don’t fall for it.

If you are interested in Section 8 housing, register for a housing choice voucher program through your local housing authority. You can find your local authority’s contact information by visiting If you are confronted with a scam site, you may file a complaint with HUD or the Federal Trade Commission at


Published with permission from RISMedia.