I’m looking into various methods of borrowing some money to have our kitchen updated. From some of the stuff I’ve looked at online, it appears that Maryland is one of only a handful of states that require a free credit report to be issued upon request by law, which is pretty nice. (The national law thing they just passed doesn’t take effect for my side of the country until September.) Step one of the process is going to be cleaning up the credit reports. Step two will be paying somebody $7 for a credit score, so I can then estimate out what a monthly payment will be.
I’m still on the fence as to what approach makes more sense—a home equity loan or a line of credit. The loan is a fixed-rate, immediate payment deal, while the line of credit is a long-term, variable rate bag of money that can be spent willy-nilly, and then after 10 or 15 years comes due. Trouble is, I don’t want to suffer through a hike of 15% interest rates on $20K down the line- personally, I’d rather pay for something fixed that I can bank on.
Next is a call to the accountant to make sure that we can actually use this as a deduction (I’m not sure, but the convoluted way we file taxes makes me think that we deduct.)
Then, I have to shop around for some lending institutions to see who’s got the best rate and who will play ball with us fairly. BoA is basically out—they have enough of my money as it is. I have to dig out the info on our initial lender tonight and see if I can go through them again.
After signing away our firstborn children, we can then sit down with the kitchen people and actually rehab something. This would be HUGE for the Lockardugans, because our current kitchen flooring consists of flattened Dell computer boxes. And that’s an improvement.
All of this makes me very nervous-I hate bankers about as much as I hate going to the doctors’, because of the legal complexities involved. Too many stories of “hidden fees” and “legal fineprint” worry the shit out of me. I don’t want to sign away something we’ve worked too hard and too for, and I especially don’t like signing over a chunk of our house. I’ve spent some time looking for tips about the process online so that I don’t steer us into a bad corner, but my fears of screwing it up sometimes paralyze me into inaction. So this exercise is more about staring down the big bad monster than it is about running and hiding (or merely doing nothing at all.)
On deck for the next Big Adult Move is life insurance, and concurrently, a will of some kind. If I get hit by a bus, I want my wife to get the house, not the State of Maryland. Again, the specter of Large Legal Documents makes me shiver in dread, but I’ve been putting it off for too long now (I was thinking about this as Jen and I flew over the dark Atlantic on our way back from Ireland, and quickly turned my attention back to the showing of In Good Company. A brief sidenote: American Airlines shows the same films BOTH WAYS across the Atlantic. Thanks for that, shitheads) and it needs to be done.