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Category: Financing

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Home Improvement Financing Options for the Frugal

While most Americans likely cringe at the idea initially, financing a home improvement project can be exciting. You’ve saved up your extra cents and assuming you haven’t lost all sense during the design phase, you’re ready to make changes to your home. It’s possible you’ve been dreaming of your perfect abode your whole life – admiring features of those you’ve visited for celebrations and holidays, or mansions you saw on MTV cribs in the 90’s (https://www.mtv.com/shows/mtv-cribs) – but however you decide to remodel your home, it will take more than just a sharp eye.

FinancingAs we review financing options this week, there’s one option that’s always available, and often leads to better deals overall: paying by cash or check. The beauty of this option is that if you can afford it, you pay off your home upgrades quicker, without paying any interest on the purchase, and if you decide to go solar, you own the panels outright immediately. Buying solar is similar to buying a car, so if you finance the purchase, you can drive the car, take it wherever you want, paint it, or change the rims – however you’re still paying off the loan after you drive away from the dealership.

Solar panels operate in the same way, in that once you purchase and install them you’re able to start producing energy and exporting it to the grid immediately (or at least upon Permission to Operate, or PTO), however it will likely take you time to pay off the full loan amount. If you buy a car with cash however, you’re not stuck with interest payments that increase the loan amount – you simply get to drive away in a brand new car, making insurance payments and filling it up with gas and oil whenever needed.

Solar panels don’t require gas or insurance, however you might need service on them in the future if squirrels decide to chew through the wiring, for example.

Getting back to the question at hand however (how to finance your home improvement project if you don’t want to go with a finance company), unless you’re planning to win the lottery or becoming a millionaire soon with a get-rich-quick scheme, it’s important to know how to save money, and over the years I’ve learned a few good tricks for how to do just that:

One important thing to consider however, is that your home improvement purchases, including solar panels, vary greatly from a car purchase because you also want to think about increasing the equity of the home. Ideally, your home doesn’t depreciate in value over time, as a car would. So it’s even more important to make smart investments that will protect your investment when possible.

For example, new gutters may not look as nice as a new kitchen, however they will protect your foundation, particularly if you live in an area with a lot of rainfall (check out our previous blog on gutters, here: https://suntexllc.com/hate-rainy-days-in-texas-gotta-have-gutters/ and here: https://suntexllc.com/just-like-that-gutters-are-up/). Another example of a home-improvement equity investment is new windows or insulation – both can reduce your energy costs leading to energy savings year-round, but also protect your home from weather damage since they could keep your home drier and warmer in the winter months (and cooler in the summer).

Financing

If you still have enough left over to re-do your kitchen or bath, do it by all means! However if like most middle-class Americans you have to prioritize one project over the other, make sure your investment will protect your home, and bring you joy as well (since at the end of the day, this is really the most important factor in a home improvement project!). If you’ve saved up to do repairs or home improvements, you’ve already put in the hard work to get here, so it’s time to embrace your inner Donna (from Parks and Rec, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSjM5B3QNlw), and Treat Yo’ Self!

What home improvements have you been dreaming of, and what are your financing recommendations? Post your suggestions in the comments below, and be sure to check out the prior blogs from this week for more ideas!

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Is Sunlight Financial financially Smart?

Sunlight Financial

In a previous blog post I talked a little bit about the benefits of Sunlight Financial, a company that has grown significantly in just a few short years from being an idea, to being a publicly traded fortune-500 company (check it out here: https://suntexllc.com/big-news-from-our-own-back-yard/). However this week we’ll dig a little deeper and really explore what sets Sunlight Financial apart as a solar, and home improvement lender.

For starters, Sunlight Financial was founded in 2014 by insiders of the solar financing industry: Neil Auerbach and Wilson Chang (https://www.hudsonsustainable.com/sunlight-financial). According to Hudsonsustainable.com, “As the pioneer of solar PPA financing while leading Goldman Sachs’ renewable energy business over 15 years ago, Neil understood firsthand the complexity associated with leases and PPAs, particularly as applied to single family homes rather than large utility scale systems. Neil and Wilson envisioned that a simpler consumer loan, secured by the solar system, would be a far superior means of facilitating mass adoption of residential solar in the US, helping consumers to switch to solar to save money and reduce carbon emissions” (https://www.hudsonsustainable.com/sunlight-financial).

SunlightThis means that when you work with Sunlight Financial, you’re working with some of the founding fathers of the solar loan programs we see today. They’re well-versed in the subject, and know what they’re talking about when it comes to these types of financial packages, because they’ve got decades of industry experience!

Similar to GoodLeap (who we explored in yesterday’s blog post, here: https://suntexllc.com/loanpal-goodleap-and-everything-in-between/), Sunlight Financial is also publicly traded. This means that all those same benefits we discussed before – surpassing market barriers and finance-market scrutiny – apply to Sunlight Financial as well.

Additionally, Sunlight Financial was one of the first solar loan companies to include other types of home improvement projects as well, which shows their flexibility, as well as their general understanding of the market. Not to mention, and perhaps most importantly to our customer base, Sunlight Financial has made strides in the industry in assisting non-native English speakers – check out more information on that, here: https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2021/03/sunlight-financial-now-offering-residential-solar-loans-in-spanish/.

Financial

One key difference from Sunlight Financial is that while they have one of the easiest processes for both customers and installers to follow when installing and financing solar and other home improvement projects, they do have slightly higher requirements for acquiring said loan. For example, they’re looking for home owners with at least a 650 credit score before moving forward, so if you’re not quite there yet, this may not be the loan program for you. That said, if your credit score is 650 or above, they’re an excellent option and provide some really nice incentives, in addition to their easy-to-follow recipe for financing your home improvement project.

Because they’ve been doing this for a while, their method is like clock-work, and they have a very simple user-interface to help you out as well as you go through the process of installing your project – but don’t take my word for it, check out what Yahoo News had to say about them: https://www.yahoo.com/now/sunlight-financial-enhances-financing-solutions-123000896.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAABpURMX2rURPJIOylgbJe6XI_8jKVXGkq6pr5ztIfAFis4Lufdll9GaHWdr34gPlVU8zrvyI5qhGSW3zk4XNaMLlcMKss4uuyDpQYaHfux4sDCGBQzYExvXmth4zecr8ppTRFSDvKHssmcx2cHN2SJ9tcCenI6f7CI0IU-kVqent.

Is Sunlight Financial right for you? Call us today and find out!

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LoanPal to GoodLeap, and Everything In-between

LoanPal

One of the beautiful things about financing your solar project with a solar lender, versus a more traditional bank loan, is that they’re completely familiar with the process! You’re not answering too many questions from the onset about what this project is, how it will work, how long it will take, or the potential benefits to your home equity, because all of that is already baked into your solar loan. Well, thankfully there are plenty of options to choose from within that specific financial market, and each has their own competitive advantage over the other, based on your specific need.

GoodLeap

Today’s post will focus on the company formerly known as LoanPal, GoodLeap. Before we get into the details however, let’s explore this brand change a little more, so those of us familiar with the original name can start to familiarize ourselves with the new one. According to Bloomberg’s article published back in June, “Loanpal, one of America’s biggest solar-loan providers, has renamed itself GoodLeap as it expands further into the broader market for sustainable home upgrades” (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-06-02/solar-financier-loanpal-eyes-home-greening-market-with-new-name).

This seems fairly straightforward, and is actually on-point with several other solar loan providers who have made the same move in recent years. What this means, is that instead of looking for options to finance your solar project exclusively and then seeking other means of financing for smart home upgrades and other home improvement projects – such as geothermal heating and energy-saving window upgrades – you’re now able to bundle these projects together and tackle them all at once, with the exact same loan!

MoneyNow, what separates GoodLeap loans from the pack? Well, perhaps most importantly, these loans allow for a slightly lower credit score – just 600 to be precise. Of course, the higher credit score the better, however GoodLeap has taken the helm of helping home-owners with slightly below-par credit scores go solar (and finance other home improvement projects), even without perfect credit. It’s always important to note however that this could impact your interest rate, so be sure to pay close attention to that number when reviewing your home improvement financing options.

Another notable difference in GoodLeap, which is becoming more prevalent in the marketplace as other home improvement financiers look to diversify their funding, is that they are now public! Check out the following articles to learn more about this: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/goodleap-closes-800-million-investment-round-led-by-msd-partners-along-with-bdt-capital-partners-and-davidson-kempner-301398970.html and https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-08/solar-financier-loanpal-is-said-to-plan-ipo-as-soon-as-this-year?utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=socialflow-organic&utm_content=business&utm_medium=social&cmpid=socialflow-twitter-business. What does this mean for you? Well, it means you’re likely looking at a very strong partner, with a strong bottom line as well – meaning that you can trust your loan will likely not be lost or forgotten, should the bull market on solar change in the near future. Publicly traded companies are heavily regulated as well, so you’re dealing with a company that has faced heavy scrutiny and still out-performs competitors year over year.

What home improvement loan options are available to you? Find out today by giving us a call at the number at the top of this page! We’re happy to help you learn more about your financing options and which home improvement projects will save you money and energy costs. Call us today!

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Saving Money on Solar, For New Home buyers

Money

If you’re interested in renewable energy buying a home with a solar energy system in place can also be a good thing. However, home buyers should know a few important details about the solar panels prior to purchasing a home with solar installed.

Money

First, you should figure out whether the solar panels were purchased or leased. Even if the solar panels were purchased by the current homeowner, they may have been acquired with a loan.

As such, the seller is responsible for paying off any existing solar panel liens. Doing so means the new homeowner should receive full ownership of the panels at the time of closing. The editorial team at Money put different mortgage lenders to the test and laid out what they offer so you can start your home buying journey informed and ready to go.

 

Note: This article was written for SUNTEX by Raul writers from Money.com. Please reach out directly to SUNTEX if you have any questions regarding this article, or the blog post content.

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Let’s Talk Financing: The Positives and Negatives to Home Improvement Loans

FinancingWhen you’re looking into financing a solar, or any home improvement project – whether you go with an experienced solar financial partner like Loan Pal/GoodLeap or DIVIDEND, or a HELOC loan from your trusted bank, or as a gift from your rich Uncle – it’s important to feel confident in that institution so you know your investment is protected.

There are lots of options to choose from, but to help you with this decision, SUNTEX has partnered with a few of the best companies in the industry, including: LoanPal – now known as GoodLeapSunlight Financial, and Sunnova. This week, we’ll explore these options (and more) in a little greater detail.

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