No. of Recommendations: 1
Hi Christian,

Yeah... you'll get a lot more eyeballs, not to mention cross-varying opinions, at these two boards;

BOSAH (Buying or Selling a Home)

Building/Maintaining a Home

Having said that, let's have a whack here in the relative solitude of the Insurance board;

I am adding a deck with a 4 season room to my home. I have the cash to pay outright. I have heard that a home improvement loan, with low rate, and tax deductible interest would be a better long term strategy allowing me to instead invest my cash.
Maybe. *IF* you can get one, the answer is "probably."

I also know that refinancing my home (2 years into mortgage with more owed than home currently valued) is probably one of the best long term investments of all.
1) <pedantry> the act of refinacing isn't an investment </pedantry>
2) rates aren't substantially lower today than 2 years ago,
3) I'd *ass-u-me* that you probably haven't inadvertantly buried extra cash into the real estate equity over the past 2 years by sending additional working dollars to the mortgage company, right? If I am assuming correctly, then rebalancing your equity out of an over-accumulation in real estate won't be called for,
4) if you are underwater (more loan than asset value) your only refi possibility would be the HARP2 program (aka "Obama refi.") If you qualify, the rates are about 3/4% higher than standard rates... so, its less likely to be a benefit with 2 years under your belt.

Should I now use the cash (as an investment in my home) to potentially raise the value of my home and more likely make a refi possible?
1. Injecting cash into the existing equity of a home is not an investment,
2. Using cash to increase the value of a home is also not an investment*
(It would increase your lifestyle quality, but not give you any return nor yield.)

Thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Also - who can I turn to assist me in a professional capacity to help me with these decisions?

Aside from the anonymous opinions you'll get here (both good, bad, professional, amateur, and ugly,) you may get good support with an advisor who specializes in overall financial structuring, including real estate equity and loans.

Our firm does that, but I'm not responding to pitch us. That's what you want to look for.

Dave Donhoff
Leverage Planner
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