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The best home renovation apps to inspire upgrades

The best home renovation apps to inspire upgrades

The right loan can help you renovate your home, but before you get to that point, take a moment for yourself and work out what you’ll do differently with these handy apps.

Even if you love where you live, there are times when a change can do some good. In your life, it could just be a new hairstyle or wardrobe, but at home, the results can be bigger.

The home renovation is a great way to breathe new life into a home, especially if you’re feeling like where you’re living is getting a little stale.

You’ll need some finances to make it happen, but before you get to that point, it’s worth focusing on what sort of renovation you want to undertake. Will it be simple, or supremely complex? Do you have the time or money for something more than a coat of paint?

A great place to start with home loan renovations is a home loan renovation app, because if you have a recent phone or tablet, you probably have the tools to see what can be done. All you need is a bit of time, some vision, and an app or two.



Price: Free

Scrapbooking ideas generally starts online, and that’s what Pinterest is for, allowing you to pick the ideas up from the online mega-mall that is the internet and place them in an album.

Find pictures online of your dream house and of all the ways you think you could change your home – enough for you to kickstart that renovation dream, share them with friends and family, or maybe even that interior designer you’re friends with.

Find Pinterest on Android or iPhone and iPad.


Price: Free

Need a bit of inspiration from professional designers, decorators, and architects before you pick up the tools? Maybe you need to find a professional to help you make it happen?

Houzz brings the inspiration together with the places to make those ideas into a reality, letting you browse from a marketplace of furniture and interior design options, and creating what is basically your own look-book of room ideas.

Find Houzz on Android or iPhone and iPad.


Price: Free

Knowing how much room you have to work with is more helpful with an architectural plan, but unless you have one sitting around, you may not find it so easy. Fortunately, there’s an app for that.

Magicplan uses the power of your phone’s camera to map out your home, providing an architectural layout and assembling it with your phone or tablet, almost like magic.

Find Magicplan on Android or iPhone and iPad.

IKEA Place

Price: Free

With a few ideas down, you might have the urge to replace some furniture. After all, a little furniture can change the look and feel of a place dramatically, though it can take some planning to find what works best.

Fortunately, that little supercomputer you call a “phone” has some experience in this area, and can assist with a simulation of furniture before you buy it.

The “IKEA Place” app is one example of an app that can let you try before you buy, throwing in a virtual 3D version of IKEA furniture items into your home before needing to drive out and assemble something new with the obligatory Allen Key.

Find IKEA Place on Android or iPhone and iPad.

Home Harmony

Price: Free

Furniture is one side of a renovation, but walls and floors is the other one, and it’s an area that can be hard to imagine. Apps can help though, even if the results may not be as cool as watching your favourite Swedish furniture shop materialise a sofa in your home before your very eyes.

The occasionally buggy (at least in our play) Home Harmony can let you paint walls and try out new floors inside of an app, giving you an idea as to what a renovation could look like in your own home.

Find Home Harmony on iPhone and iPad.


Finding a loan to get a renovation started

With your ideas ready to go, a home renovation isn’t far away, and you just need to put those dreams into reality, starting with the right type of loan.

Regardless of the type of loan, you’ll end up paying money over time. Fortunately, finding the best loan can be as simple as checking out this site, with RateCity providing the resources needed to find renovation loans.

If your home renovation is about the walls, the decoration, and the furniture, you may want to consider a personal loan for your needs. A browse through RateCity’s Personal Loan Marketplace could provide what you’re after, delivering the resources needed to start those home renovation plans as soon as possible.

Customers who already have a home loan may have an offset account, and if so, they may find the ability to draw from that account to pay for some renovations. Alternatively, if your home renovation is likely to be a little bigger and may need the work of some hard-hatted individuals, you may want to consider a construction loan.

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Fact Checked -

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Mark Bristow before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.



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Learn more about personal loans

Can I merge my personal loan with my home loan?

Yes, you can refinance your home loan and, in the process, merge or consolidate your personal loan and home loan. By doing so, you can lower the number of debts you have, and you may also reduce the total interest you have to pay.

However, you should consult a financial advisor or a mortgage broker to confirm that you are decreasing your total outstanding debt, including interest payments. The repayment term for a home loan can be much longer than that for a personal loan, and by merging the two, you could be repaying a higher amount over the full term.

What is credit history?

Your credit history covers everything to do with applying for loans. It includes the number of loans you’ve applied for, the amounts you’ve borrowed and your record of meeting repayment schedules.

Where can I get a personal loan?

The Australian personal loans market contains dozens of lenders offering several hundred different products. Personal loans are available through a range of institutions, including:

There are three main ways to access personal loans. You can go through a comparison website, such as RateCity. You can use a finance broker. Or you can directly contact the lender.

What is a secured bad credit personal loan?

A bad credit personal loan is 'secured' when the borrower offers up an asset, such as a car or jewellery, as collateral or security. If the borrower fails to repay the loan, the lender can then seize the asset to recoup its losses.

How do you get a bad credit personal loan?

You can get a bad credit personal loan by applying directly to a lender, by going through a mortgage broker or by using a comparison website like RateCity.

Can I include my spouse’s income on a personal loan?

If you apply for a joint personal loan with your spouse, you can include their income on the application. If approved, they then become jointly liable for the loan.

Both you and your spouse need to meet the eligibility criteria, such as income, age, and residency requirements, as stipulated by the lender. A joint loan could increase your chance of approval for a higher amount, as both borrowers’ incomes are assessed when determining borrowing capacity. 

What do single mothers need to apply for a personal loan?

Like other personal loan applicants, single mothers will likely need to provide a few documents to any potential lender, such as personal identification, bank statements (savings, loans, credit cards), proof of address, and proof of income (payslips, tax returns).

Can unemployed single parents get personal loans?

It can be more difficult for unemployed borrowers to successfully apply for a personal loan. Most lenders require borrowers to have a regular income available to cover the cost of loan repayments.

If you’re self-employed, or if less than half of your income comes from Centrelink, you may not be eligible for some personal loan options. Consider contacting the lender before applying.

How long will I have bad credit?

Most negative events that appear on a person’s credit file will stay in their credit history for up to seven years.

You may be able to improve your credit score by correcting errors in your credit report, clearing outstanding debts, and maintaining good financial habits over time.

Is a personal loan a variable or fixed-rate loan?

Depending on the personal loan lender, you may be able to choose between a fixed and a variable interest rate. But, there are a few distinct differences between the two, so it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons before deciding on what’s right for you.

A fixed interest rate loan gets you the convenience of knowing exactly how much you need to repay each fortnight or month. On the other hand, you generally won’t be able to make lump sum or advanced payments to close your personal loan early - or at least not without a penalty.

With a variable interest rate personal loan, you may be able to get a longer loan repayment term, with the option of paying off the loan early. You typically won’t need to pay any additional charges for an early full repayment either. The potential disadvantage with an interest rate that can change is that your repayment is not entirely predictable, as it can fluctuate with the market. However, you’ll likely have more options as more lenders offer a variable interest rate personal loan.

What do single parents need for a personal loan application?

Much like applying for other personal loans, applying for personal loans for single parents will likely require the following:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of income
  • Details of assets (e.g. car, home)
  • Details of liabilities (e.g. credit cards, other loans)
  • Loan amount
  • Loan term

Should I get a fixed or variable personal loan?

Fixed personal loans keep your interest rate the same for the full loan term, while interest rates on variable personal loans may be raised or lowered during your loan term.

A fixed rate personal loan keeps your repayments consistent, which can help keep your budgeting consistent. You won't have to worry about higher repayments if your rates were to rise. However, on a fixed loan you’ll also potentially miss out on more affordable repayments if variable rates were to fall.

Can I get a bad credit personal loan with a guarantor?

Some lenders will consider personal loan applications from a borrower with bad credit if the borrower has a family member with good credit willing to guarantee the loan (a guarantor).

If the borrower fails to pay back their personal loan, it will be their guarantor’s responsibility to cover the repayments.

What documentation is needed for a self-employed personal loan?

Personal loans may require a borrower to provide proof of identity, proof of residence, details of any other outstanding loans (including credit cards), details of assets they own (e.g. savings, car, property), and proof of income.

While borrowers in full-time or part-time employment can often provide payslips and similar documents to prove their income, self-employed borrowers may need to provide other documents, such as bank statements or tax returns, to demonstrate that their income can cover a loan’s repayments.