Financing Your Walk-in Tub Installation
A walk-in tub is an excellent investment in the health and safety of those in your home, as well as a possible boon to home prices if you ever choose to sell your property. While walk-in tubs are more affordable than you might think, they still come with a hefty price tag compared to a standard bathtub. Fortunately, financing options are available for those who want to make the most of their golden years and keep their independence for longer with a walk-in tub.
Learn the Costs of Walk-In Tubs
There are two parts to the cost of walk-in tubs: The tub itself, and the installation of that tub.
A walk-in tub, prior to installation, can run you between $2,000 and $10,000, depending upon the type of walk-in tub and its features. For instance, a simple soaking tub might be at the lower end of that range, while a bariatric tub with extra jets or aromatherapy options can hit the upper level of that range.
Installation costs depend upon how extensive the work will be to install the tub. In this case, the more work it takes, the more the labor will cost. Most walk-in tubs will fit easily into the usual dimensions of a typical tub. This means you can use the existing space in your bathroom and simply replace the tub with a walk-in style.
However, a tub on the second floor of a home might need extra bracing underneath. The jets on the tub might require additional plumbing. These factors can drive up installation costs. We recommend comparing popular walk-in tub brands to get a better idea of what to expect to pay for your tub.
Take a Good Look at Your Finances
Many homeowners can’t pay for serious upgrades like a walk-in tub outright, so they need to choose from a variety of financing options. Before you meet with your installer to discuss financing options for the walk-in tub of your choice, make sure you have the following on hand:
- Home mortgage and/or home equity documents. Many people use home equity loans as a way to pay for improvements to the home. Documentation about your mortgage, especially something that shows how much equity you might have in the home, can be very helpful.
- Financial records. Gather together bank statements, credit card statements, investment information, and any other financial records that can affect your credit or your monetary flow.
- Information on liquid assets. How much cash do you have on hand, and how much can you move between accounts if necessary? This might include savings and investment accounts.
- Credit reports. Pull those credits reports from the three reporting bureaus to ensure everything is accurate before you consider any financing options.
- Credit score. Your credit score is directly impacted by the information on your credit report. Remember, a better credit score often means better loan terms.
If you have any questions about the financial information, including how to make sense of it or how to use it to your advantage during loan negotiations, talk to a financial advisor.
Financing Options for Walk-In Tubs
There are a variety of options for financing your walk-in tub. Talk with your installer about what they will accept, and your financial advisor about what might be best for you. Some options include:
Financing the walk-in tub out-of-pocket
Self-financing is a great option if you can swing it, because that leaves you with no interest on a loan. It might even get you a lower price from the manufacturer or installer. This does require you to have a good buffer of cash in savings that you can use to pay for the tub and installation.
Home Equity Loan (HELOC)
A home equity loan is money you can take out against the equity you hold in your home. The equity is the difference between what you currently owe on your home and the appraised value. This works either as a loan, which can be deposited into a bank account, or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Many homeowners choose to use their home equity when they are making improvements to their home.
Though a personal loan will likely have a higher rate of interest than a home equity loan, it can work well if you don’t have enough equity in your home or your mortgage is somehow encumbered. This can be found through your local bank or credit union, or through a variety of lenders who specialize in personal loans.
This can be a high-cost option, but there are ways to save when using a credit card to finance your walk-in tub. The best way to do this is to open up a card that has an introductory APR of 0% for 18 months or so. That allows you the time to pay off the cost of the walk-in tub without accruing interest.
Compare Several Walk-In Tub Quotes
When choosing your best walk-in tub financing option, it pays to first figure out exactly what your bottom line will be. It’s important to ask for quotes based on the same walk-in tub model, so you know what the base price is and can compare the quotes accordingly.
Modernize can help connect you with local contractors. Getting quotes from at least three is ideal. If you happen to have more qualified contractors in the area, perhaps get a few more.
You want to get a firm idea of the general cost. If you are looking at the same walk-in tub, then comparison becomes easier, as you can look at labor cost, materials costs, and the like with a much more discerning eye. Keep in mind that the prices might vary widely based on warranties offered, completion times, and whether or not the contractor will get the permits (if needed) for you.
Look at your finances
Do the quotes fit into your financial view? Look at the financial situation and figure out whether you can make it work. Will you be able to get that HELOC or home equity loan? Will a personal loan give you the cash you need to make this happen?
Then consider whether the contractors offer installment plans, or if you can negotiate for a lower price. If you are still a little too far off with finances, you might want to consider a different walk-in tub make and model as a compromise. It might not have the bells and whistles you want, but it will provide the safety and security you need.
Talk to your contractor and finalize your choice
When you’re ready, talk with your preferred local contractor and figure out what paperwork needs to be completed in order to move forward with the project. Talk with your bank, if that’s your chosen route, to figure out how to get that home equity line of credit moving for you. And of course, come back here to Modernize to get solid advice along the way. Be sure to keep our contractor checklist handy to help make your move to a walk-in tub easier.
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