RenoFi Loan Requirement Checklist

Renovating your home? Here's everything you need to know about preparing to apply for a RenoFi Loan.

We’ve created a helpful checklist for you to help you gather all items you need to apply for a RenoFi Loan with one of our lending partners, so you can get started on those home improvements and make your dream home a reality.

Download the guide

Take a look at the full checklist guide above, which covers an explanation on why your lender will need each item, where to get it, and what it should include.

Or, check out the short list below (it’s the same as the downloadable checklist, just without the details):

    Items Specific to RenoFi Renovation Home Equity Loans:

  1. Itemized breakdown of all materials: Provided in an organized and legible format. Examples may include:

    • Square footage of the space to be renovated
    • Square footage of each flooring to be installed
    • Linear square footage of roofing to be repaired/replaced
    • Level/Grade of countertops to be installed
    • Brand and specs of the new HVAC unit to be installed

    Itemized breakdown of labor: This can be grouped with the breakdown of materials, but should be as detailed as possible. What will you need to supply versus what your contractor will provide. Will seeding and grading be included if the landscaping is damaged by certain renovations? Who is obtaining the required permits? Etc.

    • Architect/Engineer Plans (if applicable): Specifically for more complex renovations, involving multiple rooms or structural/foundation changes; or for any project where the local building code requires engineering/architectural plans be provided. However, RenoFi reserves the right to require plans and specs for review on a case-by-case basis. See an Example

    • Drawings: Drawings of the renovation with dimensions from your contractor will help RenoFi’s team determine whether the scope of work, as well as the itemized breakdown of materials and labor, is commensurate with the plan. See an Example

  2. To make sure your contract has everything you need right from the get-go, ask your GC to include the following:

    • Contact Information: The contractor company name, phone number, website, and email, but also the direct contact info of whoever is managing the renovation. It should always be clear who to call with any questions you have throughout the process.
    • Change Order Procedures: Find out exactly what your general contractor constitutes as a change order, and what happens if something out of scope is required during the renovation.
    • Clear Construction Timelines: Not only the projected completion date, but what can be expected daily. What days of the week will the contractor or subcontractors be working? What time will construction start and stop each day?
    • Payment by Progress Breakdown: Request a clear and fair payment breakdown based on the project’s progress. The complexity and size of your renovation can impact this structure, but RenoFi recommends: 1) No more than 15% upfront, 2) Ideally, no one payment is more than 20% of the overall budget to ensure there is enough granularity in the payment schedule, and 3) Try to hold back at least 10% for the punch list at the end.
    • Guarantee or Warranty: Your contractor should have a warranty on their work. And it should tell you how long you are covered for, what the contractor agrees to fix if something breaks, and in what timeframe the contractor will return to take care of it.

    The Contract

  3. Why Some Homeowners Don’t Qualify for a RenoFi Loan

    why you might not qualify for a renofi loan

    Will your RenoFi Loan application be approved by a lender? Here’s are some of the most common reasons homeowners are unable to qualify for a RenoFi Loan, as told to us by lenders offering RenoFi Loans.

    • Your FICO score is too low.
    • Your Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio is too high.
    • Your renovation is for an investment property or titled in an LLC.
    • Your property is in Texas.
    • You’re renovating a second home.

    To learn more, read the full top 10 list of most common reasons why homeowners don’t qualify.

    Ready to get started?

    Four Simple Steps to Your Renovation with RenoFi

    1. Get Pre-Qualified

    If you’ve read the above article and want to get started, the very first thing you’ll do is have a chat with our dedicated licensed RenoFi Advisor. With an understanding of your specific financial situation and renovation goals, the advisor will let you know which loan options you qualify for and which are the best fit for you.

    Our advisor is happy to answer all your questions, so schedule your call today!

    2. Prepare to Apply

    Now that you’re pre-qualified, you are ready to dig in more. The next steps will require you to select your contractor, finalize your renovation plan, get your home appraised and gather your financial documents.

    Contractor and Renovation Plans: Before making your decision, note that your contractor must be licensed and insured in the state you reside. You’ll need them to provide a detailed estimate with as much line item information as possible, as well as a formal contract to proceed. These items will not only be required to apply, but they’ll help you get a comprehensive understanding of the project’s budget in full.

    Appraisal: Your lender will require an “as-completed” appraisal of your home as part of your loan application. RenoFi will coordinate this special type of appraisal, which determines your home’s after renovation value. Read more about this step here.

    Financial Documents: In order to prepare your application, you will also need to gather a few financial documents as well, such as proof of income and homeowner’s insurance, which you’ll find within the downloadable checklist guide.

    3. Get Matched with a Lender

    RenoFi is not a lender. But we do make finding one easy. We know you could spend weeks contacting countless lenders for quotes to compare, so instead, we utilize our unique partnerships with the best local credit unions to match homeowners with the right lender for them. It’s our goal to find the best lender for your specific situation with the lowest rates and fees, so you can apply directly with them. This way, you’ll save you a lot of valuable time and continue to save money for years to come.

    4. Start Renovating!

    This is the fun part. And since you’re working with RenoFi, you can enjoy the process knowing you financed it all the smartest way possible.

    If you’re ready to get started, so are we. Contact us today to get you one step closer to a home you love!

    Find a Lender


    Other information you may be interested in...

    • What do I Need from my Contractor to Apply for a RenoFi Loan? - Just like no two contractors are exactly the same, neither are their contracts or proposals. But in order for us to help put you on the best path to a home you love, there are a few submission requirements necessary in every contract and every proposal/detailed estimate from your contractor that you should know.
    • Top 10 Reasons Homeowners Can’t Qualify for a RenoFi Loan - Will your RenoFi Loan application be approved by a lender? Here’s a list of the most common reasons homeowners are unable to qualify for a RenoFi Loan, as told to us by lenders offering RenoFi Loans. Did you recently discover that a RenoFi Loan is the best way to fund your renovation? That’s great! Let’s break down the top 10 reasons why your renovation project may not qualify for a RenoFi Loan from a lender.
    • Introducing RenoFi Renovation Loans - RenoFi was started in early 2018 because of the belief that we could make a difference in millions of homeowners’ lives by empowering them to transform their homes into spaces they love with a smart and affordable financing solution. Today we are announcing that we raised our Series A of $6.4M.
    • How Do Lenders Set Rates for RenoFi Loans? - Here’s a little background on the different factors that will dictate your rate for a RenoFi loan. There are four main components that lenders will use to determine your rate.
    • What if My Contractor Refuses to Work with a Construction Loan? - Did you know contractors actually hate construction loans? Since these loans will typically cost your contractor more time and money, it’s hard to blame them. But when your contractor actually refuses to work with a construction loan completely, then what do you do?
    • Other posts about Applying for a Loan
    • Other posts about Loans