SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

backyard patio exterior

Financing The Ultimate Backyard Remodel

The last cold snap has finally passed and you can finally go outside without a full-on puffy jacket cocooning you ankle to shoulder. Soon enough it will be summer a.k.a. backyard season.

But what if your backyard is looking a little grim? A backyard remodel can help turn even the dingiest cement patio into your own personal oasis—where you can sit back and relax by your own personal pond, or live out your Masterchef dreams with an outdoor artisan pizza oven that bakes the crispest crusts on the block.

A backyard remodel is also a great way to bring an outdated home into the modern era without worrying about removing walls or making structural changes to the interior of your home. Adding modern landscaping can take a 70’s home from drab to fab faster than you can say “lawn flamingo.”

And depending on the extent of the remodel, updating your backyard could also be cheaper than interior home renovations. A backyard remodel could also potentially increase the value of your home, which means that putting some work into your yard now might help maximize the amount you can sell the home for later.

Here’s what you need to know about backyard remodeling before you start peeping new raised flower beds for behind the pool.

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couple with RV trailer

5 Reasons an RV Is Ideal for Summer Travel

In a perfect world, going on vacation wouldn’t mean sacrificing all the comforts of home. It would be possible to experience new places without ever feeling like you’ve left anything behind. House sharing and interesting new vacation rentals have come close to solving this problem, but there might be an even better solution.

Driving around the country this summer in a recreational vehicle (RV) might just be the way to hit the road. With loads of options from small vintage-inspired teardrop trailers all the way up to rolling mini-mansions, you’ll probably find something that fits your needs in an RV for summer travel.

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Having a Pet While in College

Imagine having a furry friend by your side as you navigate your classes and new relationships in college. Sounds comforting, doesn’t it? While this is a nice idea, having a pet is a lot of work, and there are several things to consider before getting a dog in college: Can you be a full time student and also take care of a dog? Will you have enough time? Can you afford it?

That being said, if you’re committed, the benefits of having a dog in college, especially the mental health benefits, may outweigh the cons.

There are, of course, other pets to consider besides dogs—cats, iguanas, ferrets—each with their own considerations, but we will focus on canines. Here is what you need to know to help you decide if having a dog in college is right for you.

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Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

You can see it now. You’re enjoying a leisurely brunch in the sun-soaked breakfast nook in your brand new home. It’s completely perfect, but just a daydream until you buy the house. Envisioning your life as a homeowner is exciting, full of promise and anticipation.

Finding your next home and discovering all the blissful possibilities of having more room, the perfect kitchen, or a new lifestyle suited exactly to your personal taste is an exciting endeavor. But such a quest may also bring with it a host of stressful challenges, not the least of which are the hidden costs of buying a home.

But fear not, you can do it. Even if you’ve never owned a home before—with a determined mindset and some thorough preparation, you can face down those hurdles associated with buying a home and make your way to the finish line. One key to achieving your goal is to do your homework.

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8 Things Every First-Year Law Student Needs to Know

Law school isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes hard work, dedication, passion, and commitment. After undergrad classes and hours spent studying for the LSAT you may think you’re ready for what lies ahead, but law school is an experience unto itself.

Most likely, you’re at a new school and, in addition to a rigorous course schedule and academic challenges, you’re faced with making new friends and settling into a new life. Before you embark on your first year of law school, here are eight things you should know.

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