Free Home Renovation?

I have a home and it is in need of great repair. I don't have the money to pay for renovation and I would like to know if there is a free program on TV that I can enter or a company that will do it for free? I have 12 grandchildren and I would like for them to continue enjoying it with me. Some live with me. Will explain in great length. Thanks.

By Julia from Easley, SC

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Where I live the Home Builder's Association, along with donations from businesses, and volunteers from the different home building companies do repairs on a certain number of homes, early every summer. This year it was one or two days last week, etc. They do things like build ramps, do some repairs. You either have to be a senior citizen or disabled and I think there are income guidelines in order to qualify. Upkeep of a home, is why I prefer to live in an apartment, that way with my very limited income, I don't have to worry about repairs. Besides home repairs, there is having to replace water heaters, furnace, etc. Plus if you have trouble with your stove or refrigerator you have to worry about the repairs. Whereas in an apartment the landlord has those problems.

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Call your city/town and see if they have any programs available or advice of who to get in contact with if they don't. I once went through a city program and was able to get all new windows and new roof for a very, very, very small fraction of what it would have cost otherwise and only had to make tiny payments to the city each month for what I was ultimately charged.

I ditto redhatterb on apartment living now ;-) Don't want the headache of a house anymore ;-)

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There is Habitat for Humanity, HUD grants and loans. Those are if you live in the refurbished home for 10 years the loan is forgiven. It is a federal one that has been out there for years meant to help lower income and elderly persons.

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I have never heard that Habitat for Humanity doesn't repair homes, they build new ones and you have to put in several hours of sweat equity on the home too. You also have to have spotless credit to qualify for these homes. Habitat homes depend on income qualifications. As far as the grants go for home repairs, each state gets so many a year and when they are gone, they are gone for the year. That also applies to things like assistive living devices that people might need to remain in their homes. I also think these grants are for people who qualify income wise, and maybe even age and disability wise. All a person can do is check into these programs, maybe to find out what is available in your area check with the department of social services. They should be able to tell you what places to check for help. Also be aware that too many repairs will increase the value of your home for property taxes. I know somebody that received a $10,000 grant for new windows and doors and repair to part of her roof that had been damaged by a storm. Her property taxes went up by a quite a bit, and now all she does is complain about being taxed to death, but her house is completely paid for, so all she has is the taxes, and utilities.

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See if there is a "Council for Aging" in your area, they will do repairs sometimes for elderly homeowners. Also your local church might want to take on the project to help out the neighborhood. Good luck.

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Another thought I had is the reverse mortgage programs banks give to the elderly. You can receive money each month like you paid out for your mortgage, only you receive it. If you die before the balance is paid out then your family will receive it upon the sale. This would give you some money each month for repairs to be done in a timely manner and your home would retain its value for a future sale.

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Hi - just wanted to make a comment about Habitat for Humanity. There are many misconceptions about this program. I do not believe it is a federal program as it is different in different areas.

You do have to have a regular job or regular income and there is a lot of volunteer time involved (a lot of hours) that the family has to do. You do have to show that you are living in subsidized or substandard housing and have a low income.

Houses are not paid for in 10 years as some have said but this could have been true at one time.

Habitat info is available on the Internet and they have seminars to inform people of how to apply.

Can be a good thing is you qualify but you have NO choice of where your house will be (other than the city) and most of their land is donated and most work is done by volunteers with supervision.

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Don't let property taxes possibly being raised because of the improvements scare you. Every state and city have different property tax laws. When I had the improvements done that I spoke of earlier here my property taxes only went up about 3% a year (which was the standard) because the city law where my house was had a yearly cap and because I had owned the home for so long I was Homesteaded and the city could not raise my taxes above the basic increase no matter what the current property values.

It is something to check in to and keep in mind as redhatterb suggested though.

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Hi Juia,

You say you have 12 grandchildren, some of whom actually live with you. Would your children be able to help you with these home repairs? My husband and I are very lucky to have four children who all have skills and abilities or capabilities that we no longer have, and they are quite willing to help us do anything. Sometimes all we have to do is ask.

Our home is "their home", and they are as interested in keeping it as nice as possible since they will all benefit from the sale of it after Papa and I no longer need an earthly home. But you do sometimes have to ask. They might know a lot, but I was never able to teach my four to be mind-readers.

I think many people are hesitant to ask their children for anything at all and this ends up hurting them in more ways than one. If they cannot help you for one reason or another, that's another matter, but we taught our 3 daughters and one son that charity begins at home and those words are to taken literally.

We have always helped them in every way possible, and vice versa, even the girls' husbands and our son's wife fit into that picture very well. That's just what families do and what it means to be a family.

I would like to see this country go back to being a "family oriented" civilization. It would take a big strain off all of us in the long run. We would not need such a big government with agencies for this or that and every little thing.

In addition to immediate family members, most folks have what we call an "extended family" which is a network of close friends who can be called upon when help is needed. We just need to remember that to "have a friend, we must be a friend". This is the way our country survived during the Second World War, and it would be wonderful to see those values come back into American lives.

I wish you the best Julia in Easley, SC

Julia in Boca Raton, FL

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I live in a two family. My landlord is a disabled senior citizen who is on a very low fixed income. She has no funds to restore her house and lives by herself with no children. She struggles day by day unfortunately the house is in desperate need of repair especially the roof there are lots of birds at the moment nesting all in the roof and its rotting away.

There are leaks when it rains and I've spoken to her on occasion about fix this problem, but unfortunately she really can't afford to do so the house is adorable but the outside needs paint or even venal siding. Is there anything thing that could be done to help this wonderful women? Thank you. Fall River, MA 

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My husband and I are caring for our 2 grandkids and the DFS just came and took them to foster care due to the fact that we can't afford repairs and remodling on our house. My husband is not in good health and the house is over 100 years old.

By Shannon

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You might also check with your city of county offices. Sometimes they have home rehabilitative programs.

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Read More Answers...

My home was damaged in a house fire; I had no insurance on it. My mother is dying and I can't work a job because I'm taking care of her in her last days. She's 89 years of age and I hate having to keep moving her from place to place. I really need some help in fixing up my home.

By Mary

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I always find it interesting that those who's advice is more pragmatic and less friendly than helpful don't sign their names when they post. Perhaps these folks don't belong to a church? Not everyone does. And yes, there is free home repair. Suggesting HUD is 3 years minimum, and most likely this lovely lady will have no further need for a home by then.

I would come over with a hammer and nails if I knew where you lived, but short of that, here is a link from Google that I simply put in "free help after a fire" and got this one that I think might help.

If the local paper or news station can help, I would make my plight public, that is when things get done and people step up to help. I wish you all the best of luck and you have my condolences as to your mom. No one should leave this world without a roof over their heads and someone to care for thing she needs and the other she has. You, bless you for that.

Sandi/Poor But Proud

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I need to know if there are still places that renovate or use a person's home to do renovation for free? Or just a room or 2 for free?



Free Home Renovation?

Here's an idea for you. Post a note on bulletin boards in grocery stores in your area that says you will allow a 'brand new' firm with no references to renovate your {bedroom} at no cost to you, except supplies, and in return you will allow them to use it for free publicity -- photos, etc, and you will provide them with a shining reference. It is worth a try. My husband and I are starting a small business and we are considering doing someone's room for free, for the reference. (10/01/2004)

By evilpassion

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