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Just because summer is nearly over, doesn’t mean your home improvement projects need to come to a halt along with those lazy pool days and barbecues.


One effective method to choosing a home improvement project is to conduct a perimeter walk of their homes and take note of any exterior problems, including landscaping fixes, driveway repairs, new paint, etc. Some projects you can DIY and other larger renovations and repairs will require that you hire a professional.


Landscaping fixes generally can be done by the homeowner; trim back your trees, fix any broken fences and clean up those flower beds for fall. If it’s a larger project, be sure to do your research before calling in a professional. A certified contractor can make driveway repairs and a quality housepainter can freshen up your home’s outdoor appearance.


Another end of summer project to tackle is checking and testing window seals, as the days of ceiling-fan and air-conditioning use eventually will lead to turning up the heat.


Out back, pool decks, boat docks and pathways should be inspected for damage, such as mildew, rotting wood and cracks. All are relatively easy to fix and will improve the look of the back-yard vista, making it more appealing for potential buyers if you decide to sell your home in the future.


Once you’ve selected your project, it’s time to examine your budget. If you are tackling a larger renovation you may be thinking, how will I afford this?  We’ve told you again and again over the past few weeks why now is the time you need to refi. With mortgage rates at historic lows, it’s the perfect time to slice your monthly mortgage payment.


And, in case you need any other reason, try this one on for size: cash-out refinancing to fund your home improvement projects.


You can refinance your mortgage and pull cash out of your equity to pay for home improvements or upgrades. But make sure you consider all the pros and cons before signing on the dotted line.