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What to Look for When Buying a House—A Checklist

If you’re looking for a new home, you likely have a list of non-negotiable requirements like location, number of bedrooms, and whether or not you’ll need a garage. You probably also have an even longer list of extras you hope you’ll be able to score, like wood flooring, an open layout, and perhaps a pool.

When you’re out looking at properties, however, it can be easy to overlook some major issues that could come back to haunt you later, or that can render the house ineligible for the financing you are pre-approved for due to the home having health or safety issues that cannot be cured before loan closing.

With that in mind, we’re providing some tips on “what to look for when buying a house” (or “what to look for when buying an old house”) checklist.

Roof

Although you may never see your house from above and shingles are certainly not as exciting as a great layout, your roof is what you depend on to keep protected from sun, rain, and snow. Roof damage can quickly turn your dreams of homeownership into a nightmare.

Check for obviously cracked or missing shingles, and, since the roof is hard to see from the ground, you may want to invest in a professional roof evaluation to determine how many years the roof has before it needs to be replaced.

You can also avoid future problems by checking gutters and drainage to make sure that water and snow won’t cause roof damage after you move in.

Temperature

Did you button up your coat while walking through the open house? Don’t assume that the home is cold because it isn’t occupied—a cold or warm house can indicate problems with heating and cooling systems.

Heaters and air conditioners are expensive to replace and can really screw up your homeowner plans. Take time to peek in utility closets and ask the realtor when the heating and cooling were last replaced to avoid unexpected temperature surprises and repair costs.

Insulation

Another cause of a cold house could be an insulation problem. Even if the house you’re touring seems perfectly temperate, you should still ask about insulation. Insulation technology has changed a lot over time, and buying a home with outdated insulation might mean that you’re not able to sufficiently control your home’s interior temperature.

Poor insulation is not only bad for your wallet, but also bad for the environment, as you will need to use more energy to heat and cool your place. If you’re concerned about insulation issues, hire a professional to do an energy-use audit and determine how energy efficient the home actually is.

Smell

Although the realtor might claim that they just baked cookies to make the house feel like a home, the truth is that that delicious sugary chocolate smell could be covering up something more sinister.

Take a serious sniff in each room to check for things like mold, water damage, or plumbing issues. Musty, sour, or stinky smells can be a sign of a major problem. Can you only smell fresh paint? Ask the realtor if the new color is covering up any old mold or possible water damaged walls or ceilings.

Not sure how much house you can afford?
Use our Home Affordability Calculator
to get an estimate.


Structural Problems

There’s no denying the character and charm of older homes, but you’ll want to know what to look for when buying one. First and foremost, keep an eye out for structural problems. Although all houses settle over time, which can lead to small cracks and minor tilting, anything more significant is cause for concern.

Look in the corners of rooms for tilting walls or big cracks and test the levelness of the floor by dropping a marble or tennis ball and see if it rolls to one side. Uneven floors and other major structural issues are hard to repair and may continue to deteriorate over time. In addition, these types of structural issues can render the home ineligible for certain types of financing. Lenders do not generally close loans on homes that have health or safety issues outstanding.

DIY Fixes

Touring a house with a recently re-tiled kitchen? Take a close look to see if it seems professionally done. DIY jobs, while fun for the owners, can indicate that other, bigger repairs were not done by a licensed professional. Why is that a cause for concern?

While a DIY tiled floor may last just fine, the same might not be true for DIY electrical work or unpermitted additions not completed in a workmanlike manner. The realtor should be able to tell you a history of the house, including whether major upgrades or repairs were done by the owners themselves or by a professional. Permitting information can also be found on the county website.

Nearby Water

Although a babbling brook in your new backyard might be pretty, it could cause major problems down the line. In fact, any groundwater could be a cause for concern, whether it is a big puddle in the yard or a small pond.

All it takes is one major rainfall or a springtime snow-melt to turn your water feature into a flood. Floods, even minor ones, can cause serious structural damage and create health and safety issues like toxic mold.

Staying on Top of the Process

Whether you’re a first time home buyer or a home buying pro, you’ll want to be careful and comprehensive when buying a house. Keeping your eye out for these potential problems can save you from falling in love with the wrong house. It may also be a good idea to hire a home and roof inspector so that you can know from a professional standpoint what kind of condition the home you want to purchase is in.

Ready to find your dream home? Check out a mortgage with SoFi today!


External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
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Terms, conditions, and state restrictions apply. Not all products are available in all states. See SoFi.com/eligibility for more information.

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How Much House Can You Afford When Paying Off Student Loans?

While getting a college education and buying a home are both parts of the American Dream, they can come with a hefty price tag. And for many of us, that most likely means taking on substantial debt.

If you hold student loans when you start thinking about buying a house, you’re in good company. Americans collectively now hold almost $1.5 trillion in student loan debt , a number that has grown steadily in recent years.

On average, 70% of undergraduates leave school with an average of around $37,000 in student loans. When interest kicks in, that amount can balloon quickly.

When you’re ready to start house shopping, you may wonder, “Do student loans affect getting a mortgage?” Could they hold you back from getting approved for a house loan or obtaining acceptable terms, or do lenders look at student loans kindly because it’s “good” debt, as opposed to something like a credit card balance?

It’s true that college graduates who have student debt are less likely to own a home than their counterparts who left school debt-free. And those with higher student loan balances are also less likely to be homeowners than peers with lower amounts of debt.

But the good news is that student debt doesn’t have to hold you back from your dreams of becoming a homeowner. Here’s what you need to know about buying a house when you have student loans.

Getting a Mortgage When You Have Student Loans

When a lender is considering offering you a mortgage, they want to feel confident that you will pay them back on time. A key factor is whether they think you can afford the payment with everything else on your plate. To assess this, a lender will consider your debt-to-income ratio, or how high your total monthly debt payments are, relative to your income.

For the debt component, the institution will look at all your liabilities, from car loans, to credit card payments, to, of course, student loans. In the case of student loans, banks know that you’re likely to be responsible for that debt forever, since it usually can’t be discharged in a bankruptcy and it’s not secured to an asset that a lender can recover. Many industry professionals say that your debt-to-income ratio should ideally be below 36%, with 43% the maximum . If you have a high student loan payment or a relatively low income, that can affect your debt-to-income ratio and your chances of qualifying for a mortgage.

For example, here’s a hypothetical situation: Let’s say you earn an annual salary of $30,000, making your gross monthly income $2,500. Let’s assume you owe $275 per month on a car loan and have a credit card balance with a $100 monthly minimum payment.

And let’s say you have student loans with a minimum payment of $550 a month. All your debt payments add up to $925 a month. So your debt-to-income ratio is $925/$2,500 = 0.37, or 37%. That’s at the limit that some conventional lenders allow. So you can see how having a high student loan payment can affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage.

Another way that student loans can affect your chances of buying a home is if you have a history of missed payments. If you don’t make your minimum student loan payments each month, that gets recorded in your credit history.

When you fail to make payments consistently, your loans can become delinquent or go into default . Skipping payments is a red flag to your potential mortgage lender: Since you haven’t met your obligations on other loans in the past, they may fear you’re at risk of failing to pay a new one as well.

Estimate How Much House You Can Afford

Taking into account the debt-to-income ratio you just learned about, use this home affordability calculator to get a general idea of how much you can afford. This tool helps estimate the cost of purchasing a home and the monthly payment.

Improving Your Chances of Qualifying for a Mortgage

Your student loan debt is just one part of the picture. Lenders look at many other aspects of your financial situation to assess your trustworthiness as a borrower. By focusing on improving these factors, you may be able to increase your chances of getting a mortgage.

One of the most important things to address is your credit score, since this is a key measure lenders use to evaluate how risky it would be to lend to you. Your credit score is determined by many factors, including whether you’ve missed payments on bills in the past, how much debt you have relative to your credit limits, the length of your credit history, and whether you’ve declared bankruptcy.

If your credit score is below 650 or 700, you may want to work on improving it. Starting by consistently making your minimum payments, paying off debt, or responsibly opening a new credit line may help.

If keeping up with payments has been challenging in the past, setting up automatic payments through the lender or your bank can help you stay on track without having to memorize due dates. In the case of a bankruptcy, you’ll typically have to wait 10 years for it to disappear from your record.

Another opportunity to improve your mortgage application is to strengthen your work history. Your employment matters to a lender because, if you’re at risk of losing your job, your ability to pay back the loan could change as well.

Gaps in employment, frequent job changes, or lack of work experience can all be red flags for a financial institution. If employment history is a weakness in your application, perhaps you can focus on finding a more stable role than you’ve had in the past. This could also be a matter of waiting until you’ve been in a new job for a couple of years before applying for a mortgage.

A third way to improve your prospects is to save more money for your down payment. If you have enough to put at least 20% down on a home, your student loans may become less of a factor for the lender.

You can save for a down payment by putting funds in an interest-bearing savings account or CD, asking for wedding guests to contribute to a “house fund,” earning more income, or even asking a family member for a gift or loan.

Another key area you could focus on is your debt-to-income ratio. Tackling some of your debts—whether student loans, credit card balances, or a car loan—could help lower that ratio. Another strategy is to increase your income, perhaps by asking for a raise, getting a new job, or taking on a side hustle.

Improving your debt-to-income ratio can make you more attractive to mortgage lenders because they will feel more confident that you can afford your new loan.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


How Student Loan Refinancing May Help

Another way to potentially improve your debt-to-income ratio is to look into student loan refinancing. When you refinance your student loans with a private lender, you replace your existing loans—whether federal, private, or a mix of the two—with a new one that comes with fresh terms.

Refinancing can help borrowers obtain a lower interest rate than they previously had, which may translate to meaningful savings over the life of the loan. You may also be able to lower your monthly payments through refinancing, which can reduce your debt-to-income ratio.

Refinancing isn’t for everyone, since you can lose benefits associated with federal loans, such as access to deferment, forbearance, loan forgiveness, and income-based repayment plans.

But for many borrowers, especially those with a solid credit and employment history, it can be an effective way to reduce debt more quickly and improve the chances of getting a mortgage.

Don’t Let Student Loans Hold You Back

With Americans holding more student loan debt than ever before, it makes sense that this financial burden could pose a hurdle for some would-be homeowners. But student loans and mortgage applications aren’t mutually exclusive, and paying for your education doesn’t have to cost you your dream.

If you’ve been making payments on time and your debt is manageable relative to your income, your loans might not be an issue at all. If your loans do become a factor, you can take steps to get them under control, potentially improving your chances of qualifying for a mortgage.

Looking to get a handle on your student loans before applying for a mortgage? Refinancing your loans with SoFi may help you toward achieving your dream of homeownership.


The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website on credit.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.
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How to Buy Another House When You Already Have a Mortgage

Are you sick of pouring money into summer rentals or booking vacation houses online, sight unseen? If you’ve already got the mortgage on your primary residence set and within your budget, you may be ready to invest in a second home. Here are some ideas on how to get an additional mortgage loan to potentially purchase another home.

Considering All the Costs

If you already own a house, you understand that the costs of home ownership go beyond mortgage payments. Remember that you’ll now have a second set of costs, including taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and the cost of travel to the second location.

You may also face some expenses with a vacation property that you wouldn’t face with a primary residence. For example, a house on the beach might need flood insurance to protect it against hurricanes.

All of these costs factor in on top of a second mortgage payment. Before you dive into owning a second home, consider whether or not you can afford the additional costs.

Determining if You Want a Vacation Home or Rental Property

Before beginning to shop for a mortgage, you’ll need to decide whether you want to potentially earn rental income on the property. The answer to this question will determine the type of mortgage you qualify for.

However, if you need rental income in order to qualify for the additional home purchase, you may need to identify a renter and have a fully executed lease among other documents to show the lender the source of additional income. Keep in mind that the lender may only use a certain percentage (likely 75%) of the lease amount as a credit towards your qualifying income.

To qualify for a rental property loan, lenders will likely require a higher down payment, typically at least 20% or more. Non-owner occupied loans allow you to use the home when it’s not rented.

First-time homebuyers can
prequalify for a SoFi mortgage loan,
with as little as 3% down.


Factors to Qualify for a Mortgage

If you’re ready to buy a home, and you’ve decided what type of property you’re looking for, you’ll want to consider many of the same factors needed to secure a first mortgage. Utilizing a home affordability calculator can be important when understanding how much home you can afford.

Credit report and FICO® score: Your credit report is essentially a report card that shows lenders how responsible you are about managing your debt, including your first mortgage. It shows whether you make payments on time and whether you’ve missed payments or defaulted on debt in the past.

Your FICO score is a number that reflects your consumer credit risk. Make sure that you keep your credit score healthy by making on-time payments. Also check your credit report to make sure everything has been reported correctly. Mistakes can drag your score down, so it’s important to alert the credit reporting bureaus immediately if you find incorrect information.

Debt-to-income ratio: Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is a measure of how much debt you carry each month compared to your monthly income. If you have $2,000 a month in debt payments and make $6,000 a month in income, your DTI is $2,000/$6,000, or 33%. If your DTI is too high, lenders are less likely to give you a mortgage, or you may not be able to secure a mortgage with favorable terms. The DTI required by your lender can vary based on factors such as your credit score, type of home, and the size of your down payment.

One way to get your DTI low is by paying off old debts and avoiding taking on new ones. You may also consider refinancing loans you already have, including the mortgage on your first house, to take advantage of potentially lower interest rates. A lower interest rate could mean paying less over the life of the loan, which could help you lower your DTI sooner than you thought.

If you are purchasing a rental property, and you can provide a fully executed lease agreement and other supporting documentation the lender may require, it is likely that the lender will credit you with 75% of the monthly lease amount towards your qualifying income.

Down payment: Required down payments on second homes are typically higher than on primary residences. For a second home purchase, lenders may require a down payment of at least 10% or more. If you put less than 20% down, you may be required to have private mortgage insurance (PMI), which protects the lender if you stop making payments.

The more you can pay upfront with a down payment, the more favorable your mortgage terms are likely to be. Your interest rate and monthly payments may be lower, and if your DTI or credit score is less than ideal, a higher down payment could potentially help you compensate for these factors.

Though making a large down payment can be a financial boon, you may want to make sure that you don’t deplete your savings so much that you no longer have extra cash to cover other expenses like closing costs .

Income and assets: Your lender will typically want to see that you have two years worth of steady and ongoing income to qualify for a mortgage. They also may want to see recent statements from any monetary assets you have such as a checking account, savings account, CD, IRA, 401(k), etc. For well-qualified borrowers, lenders will want to see reserve funds. Amount of required reserves will vary from lender to lender and loan program to loan program, but each month of reserves is equal to one month’s worth of payments on your first and additional mortgage. One month of mortgage payments is defined as principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and other miscellaneous costs (such as flood insurance or HOA dues).

Estimate How Much You Can Afford

This home affordability calculator helps estimate the cost of purchasing a home and what your monthly payment would be – including closing costs, insurance, and property tax.

Shopping Around

It’s usually a good idea to shop around. As you search for an additional mortgage, consider checking out multiple lenders to make sure you’re getting the best deal for you on interest rates, terms, and fees.

Learn more about qualifying for a SoFi mortgage.


The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi Mortgages are not available in all states. Products and terms may vary from those advertised on this site. See SoFi.com/eligibility-criteria#eligibility-mortgage for details.
FICO® is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation
No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
website
on credit.
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Avoiding Loan Origination Fees

In theory, getting a loan should be as simple as filling out an online application—but that’s not always the case. There are a number of factors to consider and information you’ll need to understand before deciding on a loan.

First off, you’ll want to know your credit score and find out what type of interest rates and terms you can qualify for. You’ll need to figure out how much money you can afford to borrow. And if you’re taking out a mortgage, there are also additional home-buying costs to consider—like appraisals, inspections, and closing costs.

One thing you should always look out for—regardless of the type of loan you are applying for—is lender origination fees.

While many lenders charge origination fees, what they call those fees and the amount they charge can vary quite a bit. Before you settle on a lender, here are some things you need to know about origination fees, so you can make the best borrowing decision for your financial situation.

What are Origination Fees?

An origination fee is a fee the lender charges for a new loan. It’s a one-time fee charged at the time the loan closes. The fee covers the costs the lender incurs for processing and closing your loan.

How much a lender charges and what the fee is called varies based on the type of loan and the lender. A traditional origination fee is usually calculated as a percentage of the loan amount—and that percentage depends on the type of loan.

There are a variety of other origination fees that lenders may charge which are a flat amount rather than a percentage of the loan amount. Other fees that lenders may charge to originate a loan could be called processing, underwriting, administration, or document preparation fees.

Mortgage Loan Origination Fees

When you apply for a mortgage loan, there are a variety of costs associated with closing the deal on your new home. These will include lender fees and other third party fees. Lender origination fees are typically paid by the borrower as part of these closing costs and have to be paid, along with closing costs and down payment, at the time the loan closes.

Mortgage lenders are required to give you a Loan Estimate within three days of your application so you can compare loan costs, terms, and APRs with other lenders’ offers. You’ll typically be provided with a Loan Estimate form. On average, mortgage origination fees are about about 0.5% to 1% of the total loan amount —but with additional fees, your closing costs could be 2% to 5% of the total loan.

Personal Loan Origination Fees

When you take out a personal loan, the lender may charge an origination fee in one of two ways. Some lenders take the origination fee out of the distributed loan amount. That means if you were approved for a $10,000 personal loan with a 5% origination fee of $500, then you would receive $9,500.

Other lenders may charge an origination fee by adding the fee to the loan amount. This means that a 5% fee on a $10,000 would bring you to a $10,500 loan. If this is the case, your monthly payment will be a little bit higher. Be sure you find out which way your lender expects origination fees to be paid, so you can plan accordingly.

Origination fees for personal loans can range from 1% to 8% of the loan amount depending on your credit score and the length of the loan. The origination fee typically depends on the amount of the loan you’re requesting, the loan terms (repayment period and interest rate), your credit score and financial history, if you have a cosigner, and potentially what you’re using the personal loan for.

Some lenders, like SoFi, don’t charge origination fees on personal loans, so it can be worth shopping around. If the lender lets you pre-qualify without a hard credit check, then you can compare the loan estimates, including the APR and any fees.

Another thing to consider when comparing your personal loan options is your alternatives to a personal loan. For example, if you’re going to use a personal loan to pay for medical expenses or pay off credit card debt, then consider comparing costs. What would it cost you (in interest) to pay your debt down on the credit card instead of using a personal loan? What would a personal loan with an origination fee cost you? You’ll probably want to do your due diligence just to ensure you’re getting the right deal for you.

Avoiding Origination Fees

As with many things, origination fees may be negotiable. The more you understand about the type of loan you want and the terms of the loan, the better prepared you will be to have this conversation with your lender.

While you are researching your loan options, be sure to compare what you’ll be paying overall—including the terms of the loan, the interest rate, and any fees—to figure out which lender matches your needs.

One way to effectively compare and contrast different loan options is to take a look at each loan’s APR. This is the loan’s annual percentage rate and it provides a more comprehensive look at the cost over the life of the loan. It factors in the fees and costs associated with the loan, in addition to the loan’s interest rate. The Truth in Lending Act requires that all lenders disclose an APR for all types of loans, including personal loans and mortgages.

It’s important to evaluate all of your options—including the mortgages and personal loans that SoFi offers. You can start your application for both types of loans online, and you’ll be able to find out what rate you could qualify for in just minutes.

When you take out a loan at SoFi, you become a SoFi member and are eligible for even more benefits, like community events and career services.

Ready to get started with the home-buying process? Check out SoFi Mortgages, which come with no hidden fees.


The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
SoFi Mortgages are not available in all states. Products and terms may vary from those advertised on this site. See SoFi.com/eligibility-criteria#eligibility-mortgage for details.
This article provides general background information only and is not intended to serve as legal or tax advice or as a substitute for legal counsel. You should consult your own attorney and/or tax advisor if you have a question requiring legal or tax advice
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Budgeting for the Cost to Build a Deck

It’s the stuff the American dream is made of—nights grilling outside with the fireflies, daytime birthday celebrations, and casual happy-hour cocktails with the neighbors. If you have the backyard for it, a deck can be great for aesthetic reasons, for making the outdoors feel more homey, and from a purely practical standpoint, making it so guests and furniture don’t sink into the dirt.

But as useful as they are, the cost to build a deck can add up fast. From the deck installation to the cost of raw materials, a deck can set you back tens of thousands of dollars.

For starters, the average cost to build a wooden deck is around $10,950 —and that’s the low end of the spectrum. The average composite deck price, which is made with recycled wood fibers and plastic, is around $17,668.

Keep in mind that these estimates are based on a 240-square-foot deck. Other estimates put the national average at $7,000 for a 200- to 500-square-foot deck.

The prices vary widely depending on a few factors, like where you live, if you need to hire outside labor, the materials you use, the size of your deck, and the level of professionalism you want with your design and finish. But there are some ways you can work to keep costs low while still keeping quality high.

First off, although you might want to keep the cost to build a deck down, it’s important that you build it the right way. It’s a structure that requires a foundation, just like a house.

For the foundation— consider pressure-treated joists, account for sloping of the backyard, and ponder the long-term aging of the materials in your climate.

Consider the 50/50 Rule When Accounting for Labor

In short—if you don’t know a lot about construction, building a deck yourself might not be the right place for a DIY home-improvement project. But if you are handy and know how to build structures that last over time, building a deck yourself can be an inexpensive option.

If you’re following the 50/50 rule, plan in your budget that for every dollar you spend on materials, expect to spend a dollar on installation. If the cost of labor is too high for you, consider building a smaller deck now and then expanding in a few years.

Getting Acquainted with Permitting Rules

Another word to the wise—if you do decide to go the DIY route, most towns and cities require permits for additional structures like decks. Carpenters and project managers usually are well-versed in this process, especially when it comes to the specifics of an application. Make sure that if you are doing the project yourself, you know enough to follow local buildings codes.

If you are semi-handy, but just not enough for the whole project, consider hiring someone to take care of the nitty-gritty plans, application process, and foundation design, while you can take care of the easier labor.

Comparison Shopping

Carpentry is similar to plumbing or automotive repair in that if you aren’t an expert, it can be hard to gauge the price. It can be helpful to ask for bids from a few local contractors in order to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

However, for a long-term investment in your home, going with the cheapest option might not be the best strategy overall. Although there are ways to keep prices lower, you don’t want to sacrifice quality for price. After all, this is something that you and your family will be using for years.

When price shopping for a contractor, they should be able to provide photos of previous projects or specific references. If you go for the cheapest bid, or even the most expensive, you will know what you’re paying for.

Expanding Your Deck

If your deck project is an expansion, it might be easier to do some parts of the construction yourself. The foundation and initial parts require a greater dose of construction know-how, so if those are already complete, an expansion can be simpler. There are numerous resources online, from YouTube videos to blogs, that can help with your deck or patio expansion.

Deciding on the Materials

If you’re starting from scratch, one of the first questions you have to answer is: What material do you want to use to build your deck? Although composite deck prices are higher than natural decks made of wood, they require less maintenance over time and therefore, in the long run, may cost you less.

Another factor to consider is the climate. Do you get a lot of snow in the winter? Is it very humid in the summer? You may have to use different materials depending on the weather.

Going for a No-Frills Design

After materials and labor, the actual design will end up costing you. If you want something on the lower end of the spectrum, keep the corners square and overall layout small. Although you can’t do much about the slope of your yard (which could add more in construction costs) you can use a simple design to help keep costs down.

Covering Costs With a Personal Loan

While decks bring comfort and enjoyment, the cost of building a deck can be significant. If you’re tempted to put it all on a credit card, but you might consider using a personal loan instead. These home improvement loans may have a lower interest rate, which can mean a lower cost in the long run. Whatever materials or payment plan you decide on, enjoy your time in the great outdoors while making your dream deck a reality.

Considering a new deck this year? Learn whether a SoFi personal loan could help you finance your summer home improvement project.


The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
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