Let’s face it: home improvement projects are personal. That kitchen remodel isn’t just because you’ve got a thing for quartzite - it’s about creating a place to connect with and nourish your family. And the insulation and double-paned windows you’re putting in aren’t just about saving money on your energy bills - it’s about building a more sustainable world, starting at home.

(Although that insulation is definitely about saving money, too.)

The way we pay for those home improvements is a very personal choice, too. Some homeowners may want to pay cash or use their credit cards, but many will choose between a variety of home improvement financing options - and that choice usually comes down to home equity loans, home equity lines of credit (HELOC), or personal home improvement loans.

Mosaic’s home improvement loans are a streamlined, modern version of a traditional personal home improvement loan. And, while the right financing choice comes down to your specific circumstances, Mosaic’s home improvement loans have some distinct advantages over other alternatives - particularly for recent or first-time homebuyers, as well as homeowners that want to save on their energy bills and be part of a better future for our planet.

A Need for Speed

Waiting is never fun, but some home improvements really need to happen fast - say, an HVAC replacement in the middle of summer. Fixer-uppers are another particularly relevant case; after all, you’ve already spent a lot of time and energy just closing on the house, so you probably want to start turning it into a home ASAP.

Unfortunately, HELOCs and home equity loans are sometimes called second mortgages for good reason - applying for them is a lot like applying for a mortgage in terms of both paperwork and timeline. You know the drill: digging up and printing out your income tax returns, pay stubs, investment records, and more, followed by a lengthy and uncertain approval process that can take weeks or even months before you get a decision.

Mosaic loans, by contrast, move at the speed of inspiration (or necessity, as the case may be). Our streamlined, fully online financing platform has already made us the leading provider of home solar loans, and we’ve brought the same user-friendly experience to our home improvement loans. So, just like our solar loans, our home improvement loans can be approved in minutes.

Low Equity? No Problem.

HELOC and home equity loans, as their names imply, allow you to borrow against the equity you’ve accumulated in your home. Which basically means: how much of your mortgage have you paid off, and how much of your home’s value do you actually own?

For most recent and first-time homebuyers, that might not be very much - at least, not compared to the scale of your home improvement aspirations. Most new homeowners will have at least 20% equity in their home (from their mortgage downpayment), and most lenders require 85% or higher CLTV (combined loan-to-value) for a HELOC or home equity loan. In this case, only about 5% of the home’s value can be accessed for home improvement financing.

That might be enough in some cases - but it might not be in others, particularly if you’ve got some major fixing-upping to do. This is a particularly relevant dilemma for millennials: while they’re the fastest-growing group of homebuyers, they’re also very early in the process of paying off their mortgage and building up equity. Not only that, but millennials are more likely to buy fixer-uppers that need a lot of work early on.

Unlike home equity loans, Mosaic loans are personal loans that aren’t based on how much of your mortgage you’ve paid off - they’re based on your ability to pay going forwards, as represented by your credit score. They can also be combined with home equity financing to increase your overall budget. It all adds up to bigger home improvement dreams: if you’re good for the payments, you can get fast financing from Mosaic. It’s that simple.

The Trust Factor

Mosaic didn’t become the leading home solar lender based solely on the speed of our online platform. We succeeded because of the power of our vision of 100% clean energy for all - and because of our powerful network of over 125 solar installer partners nationwide, who each deliver an installation experience that’s just as smooth as our lending experience.

We’ve adopted the same approach for our home improvement loans. We carefully vet all of our home improvement contractor partners to ensure that a Mosaic loan isn’t just about financing - it’s about a home improvement process you can trust from start to finish. That includes a strict payment management process that ensures your contractor only gets paid when the job is done right

Not only that, but many of the contractors in our growing network have expertise in making your home more energy-efficient as well as more beautiful, so that your home improvements can help pay for themselves.

For some homeowners, this might not be so important: perhaps you’ve already got a favorite  home improvement contractor that you’ve been working with for decades, who knows all the ins and outs of energy efficiency and who you can trust to do the job right the first time for a fair price.

(And if you do, tell them they can sign up to offer Mosaic loans themselves - we’re always looking to help good businesses grow.)

But for recent homeowners and first-time buyers, the extra layer of trust provided by the Mosaic network and loan management process can be the difference between a hands-off, no-worries renovation - or weeks of stress as you wonder whether you’ve put your dream home in the wrong hands. And, by adding value to your home through energy efficiency, you can trust that your new investment is a smart one for your bottom line and for the future of the planet.

A Better Home Improvement Partner

We believe that building a better world can truly start at home. According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, one fifth of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from residential buildings, and energy efficiency upgrades can reduce that pollution as well as the $2,200 the average family spends on energy every year.

But we also know that building your dream home isn’t just about sustainability. It’s about creating a joyful, soulful place where you and your family can truly be (and become) yourselves.

That’s why we’re so excited to offer the fast, secure, and trusted Mosaic lending experience to all of your home improvement dream projects, from top to bottom - literally, from your roof to the basement, and everything in-between! So whether you’re looking to boost your energy efficiency or just boost the farmhouse-chic quotient of your dining room, we’ve got you covered.

Click here to learn more about Mosaic home improvement loans, and start building your better future.