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Ready to create a relaxing backyard retreat with a new hot tub this year?
There’s no denying the appeal of a long, hot soak to ease away the stress of the day. The good news is that today’s hot tub models come at price points to match any budget, putting a hot tub within reach of just about anyone willing to consider financing options.
Hot tubs are a bit different from other home improvement and repair projects—such as upgrading a dysfunctional bathroom or replacing a leaky roof—because they are usually considered luxury additions that simply add to your enjoyment of your home.
There may be times, however, when a hot tub is more of a necessity than a pleasure purchase. For example, if you’re trying to sell your home, and installing a hot tub would add to its value and make it more attractive to potential buyers, you may want to consider financing one so you can make the improvements right away.
It’s always a good idea to save up cash for pleasure purchases if you can; you’ll avoid the interest and fees that go along with other types of hot tub financing. But if you’re ready to take the plunge and install your hot tub without cash on hand for the project, you do have several financing options.
Most homeowners are hesitant to tap into their home equity for hot tub financing, especially because it puts the home at risk if payments aren’t made on time according to the loan agreement. They also carry high application costs and may include a stiff penalty if you pay the loan off early.
If you lack sufficient equity in your house for a hot tub project, or if the thought of using your home as collateral for a “pleasure” project seems a little too risky, a personal home improvement loan is a great option for financing your hot tub.
Hot tub projects vary widely in cost, with the cheapest, inflatable models available for around $500, and the most expensive built-in models costing as much as $25,000 or more. If you are looking at one of the more expensive models, personal home improvement loans are often the most attractive option.
Keep in mind, however, that most lenders require a credit score of at least 640 to qualify for a personal loan. If your credit isn’t where you’d like it to be, interest rates may make your hot tub financing prohibitively expensive—if you qualify at all. If that’s your situation, you may want to wait until you’ve saved up the necessary cash or improved your credit score before you buy a hot tub.
Depending on the cost of your hot tub project—and how quickly you’ll be able to pay it off—a home improvement credit card may be a great option for hot tub financing. If you’re looking at a budget-priced hot tub, like an inflatable model or lower-end acrylic one, applying for a personal home improvement loan might be overkill. Many have a loan minimum of at least $2,000, which is more than you need for less expensive hot tubs. For these smaller purchases, a home improvement credit card offers you more flexibility and convenience.
The total cost of your project will be the main driver determining which type of hot tub financing is right for you—and there are a lot of factors that go into the cost of adding a hot tub to your backyard or deck.
Generally speaking, above-ground models are less expensive, but there are added expenses that affect your overall hot tub financing amount:
For the more durable above-ground models, expect to pay between $4,000 and $10,000 for a wooden hot tub, and between $5,000 and $20,000 for an acrylic one, depending on size and features.
Built-in hot tubs are the more expensive choice, because they require excavation and professional installation. The good news is that these become permanent features of your outdoor landscape and may even increase the value of your home, depending on where you live.
Although your hot tub dealer will likely factor in all the professional installation costs for a built-in hot tub in the quoted price, here are a few additional costs to keep in mind before you apply for hot tub financing:
Most built-in hot tub projects will cost a minimum of $15,000 and may go as high as $25,000 or more, depending on the size of the tub, the materials you use, and the surround you choose.
Unless you have a very healthy monthly cash flow and can pay off your balance quickly, a personal home improvement loan is usually a better choice than a home improvement credit card for a project of this size.
If you don’t have time to save up for your hot tub project—and the thought of risking your home for a backyard spa leaves you cold—Hearth can help you find the best personal home improvement loan or home improvement credit card to complete your project.
Ready to make your hot tub dream a reality? Hearth can help you make it happen.