Money for nothing? Well, it’s true. There is government money available for home improvement projects. It’s probably not for you, however.

“Should we apply for a government grant to pay for our home remodel”

Have you asked this question yourself? It does seem alluring, especially during slow economic times. It’s a question that I get on occasion and I’d like to do my best to answer it. This is my own interpretation based upon my experience in home building and remodeling … I think it will help you.

Not for the Average Home Owner

Most of the government programs are very restrictive. You must fall into certain categories and then be willing to wait for eons and jump through a lot of hoops to make something happen.

The idea behind most programs is to offer opportunities to those who might otherwise lack them. Often, qualifying centers around minorities, lower income, and special circumstances. Typically, you’ll know if you’re in that group. By far, most of the people I have worked with do not qualify and shouldn’t waste time trying.

Energy Related Stipends

The one exception that seems to occur with frequency relates to energy savings and efficiency. Grants and tax breaks (mostly tax breaks) can and do save people real dollars. Making your home more efficient by upgrading heating systems, insulation, windows and other changes often qualify.

In these cases, you’re not only getting the benefit of the “free or nearly free improvement”, but the annual savings of reduced energy bills.

Do You Want to Know More?

If your goal is to pursue the idea of home improvement grants, you might try making some calls. Your local/regional Fair Housing Resource Centers would be a good place to start. Also, try the Home Repair Loan and Grant Program, or U.S. Department of Agriculture. Certainly, Googling “home improvement grants” or any of these departments would help too.

Focus on Your Biggest Need

For most of us, forget it. Except for the energy savings tax breaks or rebates, it’s a waste of time, effort and emotion. Rather than try for grants that can be very restrictive at best and often get you nowhere, focus on what it is you really want to accomplish.

So, what is your home improvement goal? Decide, then go for it!

You can learn so much more about home building and remodeling online. One great option is to take advantage of a very informative yet simple to follow *free* e-course that you can find by clicking here You will also find other tips and tools, surveys, videos, and additional articles by Mel Inglima.

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