When this writer spotted an air conditioning truck at her neighbor’s house, she couldn’t help get a little curious – air conditioning in December? I know I want a White Christmas, but come on.
So, armed with a plate of mitten cookies and old fashioned neighborly nosiness, I went to investigate.
As it turns out, air conditioning installation companies are frankly, a little bored this time of year. So when Jack Frost visits, they’re ready to hand out incentives more readily than if you called during the sweltering months of July. My neighbor decided to test this theory. Fed up with the feeling of having to “survive summer,” she also found herself in a bind this past year when she couldn’t open the windows due to the heavy smoke of forest fires to our east.
She watched as her once fairly cool home rose in sweltering temperatures and her children cried from the discomfort. “I felt like crying myself,” she said. But air conditioning doesn’t just come easily, especially when you’re already paying a large mortgage and potentially other big bills. Her financial solution? “We made room in the budget for a HELOC payment,” Daphne said. Daphne’s logic is sensible: She and her partner applied for a home equity line of credit (HELOC), which is a loan that uses your home’s equity as collateral.
“A HELOC is a great choice when renovating,” agrees BECU Consumer Lending Strategist Randy Schultz. “A lot of people have the equity needed to be able to accomplish the projects they want and need to get done. It lets people avoid touching saving or college accounts. And, it can be a smart way to borrow money: the interest rate is lower because the loan is secured by your home.”
It was like Cyber Monday all over again for Daphne and her family. As I listened, Daphne ticked through all the ways they saved: one, they got a lower interest rate by picking a HELOC. Two, they went through a credit union and got a lower rate. Three, they bought a fancy touchscreen home system during Black Friday, an upgrade they normally would have skipped, and four, because it was installed during the winter months, got an upgraded air-conditioning unit.
“We’re excited,” said Daphne. “This is the first time I am looking forward to the temperatures going above 80!”
I’m excited, too. Just imagine all the rosé Daphne and I will drink in her air-conditioned house this summer.
All BECU programs are subject to change without notice. Loans are subject to credit approval and other underwriting criteria.