SoFi Blog

Tips and news—
for your financial moves.

ladder and paint can

10 Things I Learned When Buying My First Home

My partner and I had been in the house not more than five minutes before I turned to our real estate agent and said this—practically yelled it.

The house was a tall, two-story affair that was almost 100-years old. I’d seen the French doors and old growth timber floors online, but they looked better in person. So, I turned to our agent and made my proclamation.

I thought she’d turn to me and yell “Sold!”, we’d high five and be able to move in the next day. But, as I’d learn over the next few weeks, buying your first house is never as easy as saying “we’ll take it.”

There’s a lot of home buying advice out there, and everyone who’s been through the process learns something different. Here are the 10 things I learned when buying my first home.

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30th birthday cupcake

8 Financial Goals to Hit Before Turning 30

Our 20s can be such a wonderful time to learn about ourselves, bond with friends, and earn our first “real” paychecks. That said, our 20s do not come and go without their fair set of challenges. If you’re like most 20-somethings, you have plenty of mistakes under your belt—financial and otherwise.

And though it may not always seem so, that’s a good thing. Luckily, mistakes and missteps are often followed by learning and expansion.

Early in adulthood, trial and error is usually the name of the game when putting together a financial education. And while that’s great as an introduction to learning about money, there comes a time when everyone must be proactive with their money. Your mid to late 20s might be a great time for this.

While it is possible to create some guidelines on what to achieve by 30, keep in mind that everyone’s goals are going to be a little bit different because everyone’s personal financial situation is different.

For example, someone who has student loans will likely have financial goals that are different from someone who doesn’t. Therefore, you could pull from this list what makes sense for you, and amend as needed. (And none of this should be considered financial advice.)

Here are eight financial goals you might reach for before you turn 30.

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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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womens jeans

The Company Chat: A Look at Levi’s Pair of IPO’s

On March 21, the floor of the New York Stock Exchange was full of traders wearing denim jackets and blue jeans. No, it wasn’t casual Friday (in fact, it was a Thursday). The occasion for breaking their strict dress code? Levi Strauss, the iconic jeans maker, was going public after a 30-year hiatus from the markets.

In a season of roller coaster initial public offerings (IPOs) for upstarts, like Lyft and Uber, the 165 year-old brand had a more streamlined debut. Levi Strauss shares soared 30% in the first day of trading, increasing from $17 to more than $22 per share.

(The company’s bankers had initially advised Levi to price its shares even lower, between $14 and $16, apparently underestimating Wall Street’s demand.) The company’s valuation surged from $6.6 billion to $8.7 billion as a result.

In all, the company offered 36.7 million shares , raising $623.3 million, in the offering. Fittingly, it is trading under the ticker symbol “LEVI.” As of mid-June 2019 , the share price was at $21.49 with a market capitalization of $8.4 billion.

The Levi’s brand has stood the test of time (who doesn’t love a pair of 501 jeans?). Here’s a bit of background about this company’s colorful history and why it went public, then private—then public again.

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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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