In the New Year, many of us are setting resolutions to save money, or be friendlier to the environment. One great way to do both is to cut down on your energy usage. But with temperatures dropping below freezing, it can be hard to cut down on your usage without feeling the effects. In honor of National Cut your Energy Costs day, here are a few low hassle ways to cut down [...]
Instead of piling on the ambitions from the get-go, why not try this New Year’s Resolution Monthly Challenge? Try to develop one good habit per month for the entire year, and see how it helps move your business forward! January- Get organized: Take the time to organize files and documents in your office and at home. Digitize as much as possible. Don’t forget to clean up and organize documents and files on your [...]
When you’re searching for a mortgage, it can be difficult to know where to start. As a modern-day consumer, you’re probably starting your search online, and you’ve researched various options and companies for your home loan. While there will be several factors lead to your decision—the most important factor should be the level of customer service provided throughout the mortgage process, says Laura Cooper, President of Towne First Mortgage in Richmond, Virginia. [...]
Buying a home should be an exciting milestone! But if you’re a first-time homebuyer, or even if you’ve bought a home in the past, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the entire process. That’s why we sat down with loan officer Chace Cooper, to give you a break down on exactly what happens throughout each step of the homebuying process. “Obtaining a mortgage is a sophisticated process,” Chace said. “The earlier you [...]
The Fourth of July is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start preparing for a day full of festivities! Independence Day is a day to celebrate all the freedoms we are afforded as Americans. No matter how you decide to celebrate this year, we hope you enjoy a day filled with fireworks, family, friends, and food! In honor of the holiday, we put together a few of our [...]
School’s almost out for summer, which means it’s time for some fun in the sun! No matter where you live, it’s always exciting to get out there and experience something new! So, whether you’re taking a road trip or enjoying a staycaction, here’s a resource list to help you plan your summer fun! Here's a list of some local's favorites in Hampton Roads: When What June 1-3 Patriotic Festival: A Celebration [...]
As the weather continues to heat up, so does the housing market—which means if you’re a real estate or mortgage professional, you’re gearing up for a busy season of helping clients buy, sell and finance homes. The challenge of serving the needs of your clients while continuing to market and grow your pipeline can be overwhelming, but we’ve got some tips that can help you “Light Your Business On Fire.” Nick Russo [...]
Preparing to qualify for a home loan is like preparing for a playoff game. During the season, you work to improve your credit score, save enough for a down payment, gather and organize all the necessary documents and search for homes within your budget. Once you’ve finally been approved, you might think the season is over and victory is yours! But, before you can take home the championship, there are still a [...]
You’ve seen it on HGTV shows like Property Brothers or Fixer Upper—experts take an outdated home and make it into the buyer’s dream home—all at a fraction of what it costs to buy new. But is it possible to live out your HGTV dreams in reality? “Absolutely,” says Chris Busching, renovation loan specialist with TowneBank Mortgage in Virginia Beach, who has over two decades of experience specializing in renovation loans. “With an [...]
It’s everyone’s favorite time of year, full of parties, gifts, LOTS of food and, of course time spent with family and friends. As you prepare to host your loved ones this year, don’t panic! We’ve got a secret weapon. Here to help you transform any size space on a budget is Design Consultant Lorraine Carter with Summit Construction. Lorraine can make any room look like it’s straight from your Pinterest board dreams. [...]
Hurricanes are a major source of concern—not only for the health and wellbeing of your family and friends—but for your home as well. With heavy winds and long periods of rain, hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to your home. There are, however, preparations that can be made upfront that can save money and heartache in the long run. We spoke with Towne Insurance Agent Chandler Fulton, who gave us some great insight [...]
What’s on your to-do list this summer?? If you have a home improvement project in the works, it could actually pay off in the long run. “Doing needed (or desired) renovations in your home can help bring its value up,” said Chris Busching, National Renovation Manager for TowneBank Mortgage. “If your kitchen that has appliances and cabinets from the 80’s is being compared to a kitchen that has been upgraded in the last [...]
So, you’re thinking about finally investing in that beach house up for sale in your favorite resort town. But will it be your vacation home? Or will you use it as a rental property? Maybe you’re planning on doing a little of both. Either way, purchasing a property can always be seen as a good long-term investment, whether you plan on generating rental income or not. However, mortgage lenders and the IRS [...]
There are lots of perks to being your own boss. Freedom to create your own schedule, finding new challenges and opportunities and, of course, the satisfaction of watching your business grow. In fact, more than 50% of millennials say they are interested in entrepreneurship, and more than a quarter of millennials are already self-employed, according to the U.S. Chamber Foundation. But if you’re an entrepreneur looking to secure a mortgage, things can [...]
Last week, the marketing team at TowneBank Mortgage hosted an epic BBQ. From sliders, and snacks, to yard games and ice cold drinks, our party had all the ingredients for the perfect backyard bash. But, this was no ordinary cookout! Our event doubled as a creative networking event, focused on educating our sales people on the importance of video, social media, and content marketing in their marketing plans. Below are 5 [...]
In most cases, your parents know best. But when it comes to buying a house and your down payment, you may not want to follow every word of advice (sorry, dad). It's one of the questions most frequently asked by clients, and apparently, our parents are to blame! In many cases, putting 20% down is an old rule of thumb in real estate. People know they need to save money to buy [...]
It’s time to set the record straight. If you’re going through the mortgage process, there’s a chance you’re trusting google with answers to questions like, “How much should I put down on my home?” or “Do I need to hire a home inspector?” But you can’t always trust what the internet has to say, so we called Loan Officer Kenny Fryman in Richmond, VA and his partners to give us the facts [...]
So, you’re ready to stop making your landlord rich and start building equity through homeownership. But are you ready for the responsibility that comes with owning a home? Despite what you’ve heard, buying isn’t just a financial decision. There are many factors, including your professional and personal situation that should impact your decision. We sat down with TowneBank Loan Officer Dex Auer for his advice on how to decide when it’s time [...]
There’s more to achieving green grass than just giving it a bit of water every now and then. Why not make this the year that you have a plush, green lawn that all your neighbors will envy! A green lawn can do wonders for your home’s curb appeal and can make spending time in your yard much more enjoyable. Follow these instructions for a nice, green lawn: Seed your lawn with a [...]
With so many different forms of cyber crimes and criminals, it's hard to protect yourself online. Each time you log on, you're exposing yourself to identity theft, financial fraud, information privacy and forgery, and more. Each time we use the internet, we make choices that affect our cyber security. The first step to protecting yourself from cyber-attacks is realizing that it can happen to you. Keep these 10 cyber security tips in mind [...]
A Homeowner Association (HOA) is a private association created by a real estate developer to market, manage and sell homes and lots in planned developments. These can include, houses, townhouses, and condominiums. If you buy a house in the subdivision or condominium, you are generally obligated to become a member of the homeowner association and pay monthly or annual fees. The HOA manages the common areas and amenities and enforces the rules [...]
If your credit is down the drain, you might feel desperate to repair it. The marketplace is saturated with companies that promise to repair your credit. If you're looking for credit repair help, be aware that not all parties promising to repair your credit are legitimate. Make sure you recognize credit repair schemes before you become a victim. Be suspicious if a company: Insists that you pay upfront before services are provided to [...]
Ever wonder why we spring clean? Spring cleaning is a tradition rooted in thousands of years of history. Many civilizations would take advantage of the spring’s light and warmth, using this time to clean all the soot that piled up during the long, cold winter. Although the majority of us don’t heat our homes with fire, it's still commonplace to take advantage of the warm weather and give your home a deep [...]
Did you know going green can actually save you money? There are simple steps you can take to help you save, all while protecting the Earth.
If you have bad credit, you might feel like doors are constantly being closed on you. It could lead to difficulty being approved for an apartment, paying higher insurance premiums, being denied a job, or being denied for a loan. Credit scores reflect your payment patterns over time and almost all major lenders use them. Your credit indicates to people how trustworthy you are, and indicates to lenders how likely you are [...]
It’s March, which means it's credit education month! While most of us know what a credit score is, a lot of consumers do not fully understand what factors impact your credit score. Credit scores reflect your payment patterns and credit history over time and almost all major lenders use them. So why is your credit score so important? Your credit indicates to lenders how likely you are to pay back your loan. [...]
Most homeowners spend weeks, if not months, preparing their home to sell. From repainting walls, fixing leaky plumbing, to waxing floors, it can be a lot of hard work. Should staging your home be part of that process? Staging your home might not always make it sell for more money, but it will likely help it sell faster and for the home’s market value. Hiring a professional to stage your home could [...]
Serious homebuyers should consider starting the homebuyer process in the office of a loan officer rather than a real estate agent. Potential home buyers benefit in a variety of ways by obtaining a letter of pre-approval before finding a home, including a feeling of confidence when you’re ready to bid on your dream home.
Don’t have the time and money for major renovations? Try some of these mini but mighty home improvement projects. They might not cost a lot, but they’ll make a major difference in the look and feel of your house!
Buying your first home can be an overwhelming process. These eight tips from our mortgage professionals will help take the stress out of home buying and make it an enjoyable experience.
It’s not mandatory to hire a home inspector before purchasing a home, but neglecting to do so could blindside you to issues in the house that are undetectable to the untrained eye. When you’re touring a home, you’re most likely going to notice that the walls need a fresh coat of paint and that the appliances could use an update. But you might not realize that there’s an issue with the electrical wiring throughout the house—one that could start a dangerous fire if left unfixed.
Nowhere to watch the big game? Need a space where you can relax and chill out after a long day at work? It might be time to think about creating your very own “man cave.”
Having people over for the Big Game this Sunday? No matter who you’re rooting for, you’ll be sure to win your guests over with these delicious, football inspired treats!
Before you list your house on the market, it is important to prepare your home to be viewed by potential buyers. Thankfully for you, this doesn’t mean renovating your kitchen and adding a pool. Just a few minor fixes can go a long way in wooing potential buyers. Getting your house in tip-top shape will ensure that it sells quickly and for the best price possible.
There’s no doubt about it—moving isn’t a fun process. It requires you to box up your life, only to unpack it in a new location. For those of us who are more unorganized than others, it can require days sorting through forgotten belongings.
Saving enough for a down payment is the hardest obstacle to overcome while trying to achieve the dream of homeownership. If you’re aiming to save for a down payment, try using these 9 tricks.
Everyone has a room in their house that’s a little too small for their liking. It’s easy for a tiny room to feel cramped, cluttered, and unorganized. But a small space doesn’t mean you have to feel like the walls are caving in on you. Here are some tips on how to make your small space feel bigger, brighter and more functional.
It’s that time again. Trees are bare, and temperatures are dropping below freezing. In the new year, many of us are setting resolutions to save more money. Here are a few low-investment ideas to help keep your house warm, and save you money on your monthly heating bill. 1. Bundle up. If you’re serious about saving money, this should be the first step. Instead of cranking up the heat, put on a winter [...]