For financing landscaping, you could turn to a personal loan, home equity loan, or HELOC. A personal loan for landscaping is typically unsecured, while the latter are secured by your home and may come with lower interest.
Updating the landscaping around your home can turn your backyard into haven for you and your family, and it could potentially increase the value of your home. Unfortunately, landscaping projects can also be expensive, and you may need to borrow money to pay for it.
This guide will show you how to find the right landscaping financing for your situation, and how to determine how much you’ll need to apply for.
In this guide:
- Average cost to landscape a backyard
- Best landscaping loans
- What about builder financing?
- 4 questions to ask before taking out a loan for landscaping
on LightStream’s secure website
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- Whole-project funding, with no fees, no home equity requirements
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Average cost to landscape a backyard
Landscaping projects typically cost around $50 to $100 per hour or $4 to $12 per square foot, according to HomeGuide. But your costs could vary widely depending on a variety of factors. These include:
- The amount of hardscaping you’re doing.
- Which materials you choose.
- The plants you choose.
- Whether your project requires permits.
- Whether you’re hiring out labor or doing it yourself.
- Your location.
A landscaping project with a swimming pool, paver patio, or outdoor kitchen, for example, will cost more than a simpler project that just involves putting in some plants and mulch.
Best landscaping loans
The list below details three methods for financing a landscaping project. You can click on each one to jump down to our top picks for lenders offering that type of financing.
3 Methods of landscaping financing
- Home equity loans: These are loans for a fixed amount, with the amount you can borrow based on your home’s equity. They are an ideal choice if you know how much your project will cost and want to borrow a large amount at a low interest rate.
- Home equity lines of credit: These give you access to a revolving line of credit, with your credit limit based on the amount of equity in your home. They are likely the best choice if you want to work on a project over a few years and need access to an ongoing source of money, but you don’t know exactly how much you need.
- Personal loans: These loans are unsecured, and the amount you can borrow is based on your credit and other factors. Personal loans are ideal if you need to borrow a smaller amount, want to receive funding in a lump sum, and you can’t or don’t want to put your home equity at risk.
Home equity loans
When you borrow for landscaping using a home equity loan, the amount of money you’re eligible to borrow will be determined based on how much equity you have in your home. This equity will act as collateral to secure your loan and reduce risk to your lender.
- Lower interest rates than you’d qualify for with an unsecured personal loan.
- You’ll know how much you’re borrowing up front, which provides certainty for your budget.
- You may be able to claim a tax deduction for interest you pay, depending on the size of your mortgage and whether you itemize deductions.
- Potentially higher upfront costs than a personal loan.
- You’ll be eligible only if you have enough equity in your home.
- Approval may take longer than for an unsecured loan.
- You put your home on the line.
Here are two highly rated home equity loan lenders.
TD Bank offers loans to residents of Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Potential borrowers can apply online or at their local branch.
- LendEDU rating: 5.00 / 5.00
- Loan amounts: tdbank-homeeq-153-amountlow to tdbank-homeeq-153-amounthigh
- Term lengths: tdbank-homeeq-153-termrange
- APRs: tdbank-homeeq-153-alllow to tdbank-homeeq-153-allhigh
- Fees: tdbank-homeeq-153-origfee origination fee
Home equity loans from Spring EQ are available in 33 states and Washington, D.C. Homeowners can apply online.
- LendEDU rating: 4.72 / 5.00
- Loan amounts: springeq-homeeq-154-amountlow to springeq-homeeq-154-amounthigh
- Term lengths: springeq-homeeq-154-termrange
- APRs: Starting at springeq-homeeq-154-alllow
- Fees: springeq-homeeq-154-origfee origination fee
- Full review: Spring EQ Home Equity Review
Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
A HELOC works similarly to a credit card, but is secured by your home. You’ll get a revolving line of credit with the credit limit based on your home equity. You can borrow as much as you need up to your credit limit and then borrow once you’ve paid back that balance.
- Interest could be tax deductible if you meet requirements.
- You can borrow only what you need, which makes this type of loan more useful for ongoing projects.
- Interest rates are usually lower than rates on personal loans.
- The rate could be higher than on a home equity loan.
- Rates are often variable, which means your rate and monthly payment could rise.
- Your home is at risk if you can’t pay back what you owe.
- You need to be disciplined about your budget to avoid borrowing more than you need.
Here are two highly rated lenders for home equity lines of credit.
M&T Bank has branches in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia. It offers a product called the M&T CHOICEquity line of credit.
- LendEDU rating: 5.00 / 5.00
- Loan amounts: mtbank-homeeq-603-amountlow to mtbank-homeeq-603-amounthigh
- Term lengths: Up to mtbank-homeeq-603-termlengthhigh_y
- APRs: mtbank-homeeq-603-alllow to mtbank-homeeq-603-allhigh
- Fees: No application, closing cost, or annual fees
Figure is a technology-driven online lender that offers home-sale leasebacks and home equity lines of credit. Figure’s HELOCs are available in 39 states.
- LendEDU rating: 4.56/ 5.00
- Loan amounts: figure-homeeq-600-amountlow to figure-homeeq-600-amounthigh
- Term lengths: figure-homeeq-600-termlengthrange_y
- APRs: figure-homeeq-600-alllow to figure-homeeq-600-allhigh
- Fees: figure-homeeq-600-origfee origination fee
- Full review: Figure Home Equity Loan Review
A personal loan could be best for your landscaping project if you don’t have a lot of equity in your home, your project is low cost, or you don’t want to put your home at risk. Some lenders market personal loans for landscaping specifically as home improvement loans or similar.
Many personal loans come with higher interest rates than home equity financing, because they are unsecured. These loans are typically better for people with good credit who can qualify for competitive rates.
- Borrowers can get funding in as little as one business day.
- Most personal loans are unsecured, so your home won’t be at risk if you can’t keep up with payments.
- Personal loans usually come with lower minimum loan amounts than home equity loans or lines of credit.
- Most personal loans come with lower upfront fees than home equity products.
- Personal loans can be used for nearly any purpose.
- Interest rates may be higher than with secured forms of debt, especially for borrowers with fair or poor credit.
- Interest payments will not be tax-deductible.
These two are among our top picks for personal loan lenders.
LightStream is a division of SunTrust Bank. It’s an online personal loan lender with unsecured loans you can use to cover home improvement and landscaping costs. Borrowers need good or excellent credit to qualify.
- LendEDU rating: 5.00 / 5.00
- Minimum credit score: lightstream-perl-43-mincreditscore
- Loan amounts: lightstream-perl-43-amountlow to lightstream-perl-43-amounthigh
- Term lengths: lightstream-perl-43-termlengthrange_m
- APRs: lightstream-perl-43-alllow to lightstream-perl-43-allhigh
- Fees: No annual, application, origination, or prepayment fees
- Full review: LightStream Personal Loan Review
Marcus loans are made by Goldman Sachs. These loans are open to borrowers who have fair credit, although rates will be a little bit higher than for good credit borrowers.
- LendEDU rating: 5.00 / 5.00
- Loan amounts: marcus-perl-56-amountlow to marcus-perl-56-amounthigh
- Term lengths: marcus-perl-56-termlengthrange_m
- APRs: marcus-perl-56-alllow to marcus-perl-56-allhigh
- Fees: No application, origination, prepayment, or late payment fees
- Full review: Marcus Personal Loan Review
What about builder financing?
In some cases, you can finance your landscaping project through the landscaping company you contract with. This can be convenient, but it also puts more power in the hands of the contractor to control your costs.
Compare the rates and terms of contractor financing with the terms you could qualify for with other financing options to make sure you get the best deal.
Many contractors don’t actually provide financing themselves but just refer you to a preferred lender. If that’s the case, you lose the convenience associated with financing directly with the contractor.
4 questions to ask before taking out a loan for landscaping
Before you borrow for any landscaping project, answer these four questions.
1. What’s your budget?
While you may not want to spare any expense to create the yard of your dreams, be reasonable about what you spend so you can afford to pay off the bills.
Consider the total project costs, including any interest you’ll pay throughout the repayment term, to ensure everything works within your budget. Make a budget before you start to avoid taking on a bigger project than you can afford.
2. What’s your credit score?
If you don’t have good credit, you’ll likely be charged higher rates for a landscaping loan. This can make the project more expensive than it should be.
In this situation, you may want to take a couple of months to boost your credit score before applying for a loan if the project can wait. This could help you qualify for the lowest rate and save money over time.
3. What are your goals for the landscaping project?
There’s nothing wrong with remodeling your backyard simply for your family’s enjoyment. But if you’re on a tight budget, some landscaping projects could justify spending more than others.
For example, if you’re grading your lawn away from your home’s foundation to prevent flooding, spending on this project could actually save you money over time. You’ll want to spend what you need to do things right the first time.
Likewise, if your landscaping project improves your home’s curb appeal and you plan to sell soon, incurring higher costs can also make sense. You could sell more quickly, and you may be able to recoup the cost if the improvements get you a higher sale price.
But if you simply want a new yard and don’t have the ability to pay for it, think carefully before taking out a loan.
4. Will one project lead to another?
If you have a clear idea of your goals, hopefully, you’ll know the scope of the project going in. But, even in the best situations, one landscaping project has a way of leading to another. Watch out for never-ending projects that drain your budget.
Make decisions upfront about the scope of the project and the amount you want to spend, so you can choose the right form of landscaping financing and stick to a budget.
Author: Christy Rakoczy
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