To pay with credit, cash, HELOC or other?

Tanisha A. Sykes

Donald Olhausen Jr., a 34-year-old real estate flipper in San Diego, did a major home remodeling project on his 2,200-square-foot Mediterranean-style home in 2018.

“We completely renovated the kitchen and bathrooms, replaced carpet, upgraded electrical and plumbing fixtures, and did carpentry work on the interior and exterior of the house,” says Olhausen. “We also added sod and new fencing to the front yard to help with curb appeal.”

The project was quite an undertaking, but more than worth it for Olhausen and his wife, Gabrielle, 25. To pay for the renovation, Olhausen, who was sole owner of the home at the time, borrowed $25,000 from his future father-in-law.

“It was risky because I had only known him less than a year, and he was going out on a limb for me,” he says. “It was definitely worth it because the house looks beautiful.” Olhausen has since repaid his father-in-law in full.

►Home project guide? What projects should you tackle first?

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