Service First Blog

Archive for the 'tips' Category

Editorial: ‘Twas The Month Before Christmas

Posted by:  Michael Chalker
2017-11-09 07:47:32

Editorial: 'Twas The Month Before Christmas? Last month, I mentioned some of the true pressures that are causing the rates to go higher.  Yet again, there have been some actions in the market that will have a continued effect on rates. The 10-year bond yield hit its highest point s...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Editorial: Interest Rate Rises On The Horizon

Posted by:  Michael Chalker
2017-09-11 07:57:50

Editorial: Interest Rate Rises On The Horizon Interest rates WILL be going UP, and you better get off your duff, off the couch, and start doing something about it quickly.   Just a moment -- Before you get too worried, this isn’t meant to flood your mind with images of dread. Rathe...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


What to Expect During Your Closing

Posted by:  Service First
2017-07-19 10:22:07

You’ve found the perfect house, started window shopping for furniture, and have begun to think about which decorations will turn your house into a home. Now only one thing stands between you and move-in: Closing Day. During closing, the property ownership is officially transferred from ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Types of Home Loan Programs

Posted by:  Service First
2017-07-19 09:07:32

At Service First, we provide different types of mortgage loans that will meet your individual needs whether you are looking to purchase or refinance a home. Check out the list below to learn more about the different loan options you can choose from during the home buying process. Our loan team of...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


5 Things First Time Home Buyers Should Know

Posted by:  Service First
2017-06-28 14:45:18

Buying a home is the most important financial decision to make. It is important to learn the home buying process before making any rash decisions. After researching and learning more about the process, you should understand more about the real estate market and the current mortgage market. Here are ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


New Home Buyer Tips: Types of Government Loans

Posted by:  Service First
2017-06-14 15:06:20

Are you looking to purchase a government loan for your new home this summer but not sure, which government loan program to choose? At Service First, we provide various government loan options to choose from that will fit your budget and needs. Check out this list below! FHA (Federal Housing Admin...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Finding the Right Lender

Posted by:  Service First
2017-06-07 14:57:16

In order to purchase your new home, you will need a lender you can trust. It’s important to take your time, do research, compare interest rates between different lenders. By using the following steps below, will help you find a good mortgage lender that will help you purchase your dream home. ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


New Homeowner Tips: Steps to Buying a Home

Posted by:  Service First
2017-05-31 11:05:06

As you prepare for your next huge investment, first time home buyers should take the necessary steps to make sure their transition from renter to homeowner goes smoothly. Use these 5 tips prior to apply for a mortgage. Check your credit score and resolve any errors.  Checking your cred...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


How Long Does It Take To Buy A Home?

Posted by:  Service First
2017-05-24 15:21:53

How Long Does It Take to Buy A Home? Many people tend to underestimate the time frame of purchasing a home. There are a couple of components to buying a home, which takes preparation time. Everyone wants to be able to find a home and close within a short time frame, but in reality the home buying...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Tips on Getting Approved for Your Dream Home

Posted by:  Service First
2017-05-10 10:53:43

The approval process on your dream home can seem a bit dreadful. Whether you are in the process of getting pre-qualified for a home loan or waiting on the “You’re Approved” email; the waiting period can seem daunting. First-time homebuyer should be aware of the necessary steps t...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


A Checklist for New Home Buyers

Posted by:  Service First
2017-05-03 12:13:52

It's home buying season, and it's time to get fully prepared for the home buying process. As a home buyer, you should understand the process of buying a home and knowing how much house you can afford.  Buying a home is a huge investment and you want to make sure you are making th...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Financial Tips for Married Couples

Posted by:  Service First
2017-04-19 15:35:39

Having a marriage in which both spouses are able to be upfront and honest about their expectations and goals is the first step to a monetary marital bliss.  So what next?  Understanding your spouse’s financial perspective can help build a strong financial foundation for your fa...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Credit Card Habits to Start Now

Posted by:  Service First
2017-04-12 12:19:33

Many consumers tend to develop bad credit card habits after receiving their first credit card. It is important to stay on top of your finances and be responsible when making monthly payments. Check out these beneficial tips on practicing healthy credit card habits. Autopay Many banks provide ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Tips for Living Alone in Your New Home

Posted by:  Service First
2017-03-22 15:49:45

Are you currently living alone or interested in purchasing a home for yourself? Living alone can be a bit scary at first, but it doesn't have to be. We've listed 4 helpful tips on how to live alone while maintaining your peace of mind. Security System Alternatives Burglars look for sig...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Homebuyer Tips: Preparing For Moving Day

Posted by:  Service First
2017-03-15 07:37:50

You’ve finally signed the final paperwork to close on your dream home. Now that you’ve officially become a homeowner, it’s time to start thinking about the moving process. Are you financially prepared for moving costs and fees? As you prepare for your move, consider these three ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


"I was very honored to host over 40 realtors at our Service First Mortgage corporate office training room to teach a continuing education class for Realtors. We had a great turnout for the class which was entitled Facebook Secrets for Agent Success. This class is a basic Facebook class for real...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Paying Too Much for Property Tax?

Posted by:  Service First
2017-02-28 07:55:10

Are you tired of paying too much for property taxes? Here are a few tips to help you check for errors in your home’s assessment, which could save you money. Typical Errors: When inspecting a property, you should have a document to record information you see around the home. It should inc...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


8 Homeowner Tax Write-offs

Posted by:  Service First
2017-02-22 09:44:10

Are you aware of the tax deductibles you may qualify for as a homeowner?  We’ve listed eight tax write-offs you can take advantage of while filing your taxes this year. Mortgage Interest Payments: As a homeowner, you may be eligible to deduct some of the mortgage interest payments, ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Looking forward to your tax refund? Here are four ways to reinvest in your home using your tax refund.  Paying Down Debts While the prices of homes increase and interest rates remain low, it is best to apply a portion of your tax return to pay down other debts. Your currents debts could c...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


If you’re in your 20s, balancing your finances before turning 30 may seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! You can begin to develop healthy financial habits now by following these three simple steps: Plan for future growth to generate income. Instead of spending your whole...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Helpful Tips on Snagging an Extra Tax Break

Posted by:  Service First
2017-02-10 09:24:44

Tax season is finally here! Many homeowners may know what to look for when it comes to tax breaks, but some may not. We’ve listed four deductions that you may qualify for when filing your taxes. Deduction Points If you bought a house last year, you will be eligible to deduct points you&r...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Is your closing date coming up? Now is a good time to ensure you have the following five items in order prior to closing:  Be Aware of Your Mortgage Rate Expiration Date It’s important for you to know that your mortgage rate isn’t set in stone. Your initial “lock-in&...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


3 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Posted by:  Service First
2017-01-23 15:28:27

For most people, a home is the largest purchase you will ever make. That’s why preparing for this important step in your life is so important. Use these three tips prior to applying for a mortgage: Check your credit score and resolve any errors. Lenders use your credit history and credit sc...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


3 Common Mistakes New Home Buyers Tend to Make

Posted by:  Service First
2017-01-23 13:56:27

Being a first-time homebuyer can be very exciting. No more renting! No more loss of equity! However, with that excitement might come mistakes. Here are three mistakes homebuyers tend to make and how you can avoid them:  Not Seeking the Advice of a Mortgage Professional When entering ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


4 Phrases to Avoid during a Home Tour

Posted by:  Service First
2017-01-18 12:47:24

If you’re in the market for a new home, you’re most likely going on many home tours with your real estate agent. During these tours, it’s important to avoid using certain phrases that may be overheard by others such as sellers, neighbors or listing agents. Here are four things y...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Advantages of Buying a House with Cash

Posted by:  Service First
2017-01-18 08:16:56

There are many advantages that some homebuyers may overlook when purchasing a home with cash. Check out some of these secrets all cash buyers should be aware of during the home buying process. No More Mortgage Payments Paying with cash means no more mortgage payments! Paying your mortgage in ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Down Payments: What New Homebuyers Should Know

Posted by:  Service First
2016-12-29 07:37:52

Many first-time homebuyers are unfamiliar with the home buying process, including down payments.    Here are a few things you should know about down payments.   What is a Down Payment? A down payment is an initial payment made when buying a home. A down payment is...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


With Christmas around the corner, what better way to treat yourself than to purchase your dream home? Check out these three tips on purchasing a home during the holidays. Hire a Real Estate Agent  There are many real estate agents around you, but only a...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


When Should You Refinance Your Home?

Posted by:  Service First
2016-12-14 10:08:59

The decision to refinance your home may seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. There a few things you should take into consideration when exploring your refinancing options. Here are 3 key factors to consider when making the decision to refinance your home. Timing: Refinancing can...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


5 Security Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Posted by:  Service First
2016-11-17 13:19:35

With all of the excitement most homebuyers experience after purchasing a home, you may forget about the important security measures you should take to secure your new home. Here are five security tips for first-time homebuyers. Install a home security system. There are many benefits of p...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Preparing for Homeownership

Posted by:  Service First
2016-11-11 09:49:33

Understanding the costs associated with purchasing a home are important to consider before making that final decision. It is important that you fully understand the process of transitioning from renting to becoming a homebuyer. Here are a few tips that will help you determine if you’re r...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Helpful Tips to Prepare Your Home for Fall

Posted by:  Service First
2016-10-12 07:43:50

Fall is finally here. Is your home prepared for the unpredictable weather conditions that may come your way? Here are a few tips that will help you prepare for the upcoming weather. Clean out the gutters and check your roof. Cleaning out the gutter is no fun, but this should be done every year...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Top 3 Reasons to Buy a Home this Fall

Posted by:  Service First
2016-10-07 07:12:46

If you’re shopping for a home this fall, you may enjoy benefits that summer or spring buyers missed out on. Check them out below. Lower home prices According to data from RealtyTrac, home shoppers enjoy the most bargains during the month of October. During the month of October, home buyers...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Why Homeowners Should Invest in Energy Efficiency

Posted by:  Service First
2016-09-28 09:48:31

You have probably heard that going green with your home will help you save money. Although lowering your electric and gas bills is the biggest benefit of increasing your home’s energy efficiency, it’s not the only reason. There are several other benefits, including: Potentially rai...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Did you know windows can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000 per window to replace? That’s a costly repair that most home buyers would like to avoid, if possible. To help you determine if the home you’re considering will need new windows in the future, look for these tell-tale signs: ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Top 5 Mistakes New Home Buyers Make

Posted by:  Service First
2016-09-07 13:46:48

Buying a home is an exciting and stressful time in every new home buyer’s life. With so many options to choose from when selecting a home, many buyers may make mistakes such as overlooking major structural issues in favor of cosmetic upgrades. Common mistakes made by new home buyers include...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Six Things Every New Home Owner Must Do

Posted by:  Service First
2016-08-31 10:16:16

For new home owners, it’s a good idea to avoid future issues by doing these six things when you move into your new home. Change the locks and make spare keys. If you are a new home owner, it’s a wise decision to change the locks on your doors when you move into the house. It may seem ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


The Pros & Cons of Buying a House in College

Posted by:  Service First
2016-08-17 07:51:21

As summer comes to an end and the new semester approaches, you may be asking yourself, “Is now the time to buy a house?” With rent prices soaring, it’s no surprise that some college-bound students have considered purchasing a home rather than continuing to pay skyrocketing rent....[read more...]

Categories:   tips


If you’re planning to retire within the next five to 10 years, you may be surprised to learn that now may be the best time for you to purchase your retirement home. Buying the home while you’re still working full-time is easier, particularly if you plan to get a mortgage. Not convi...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Tips to Attract Millennial Home Buyers

Posted by:  Service First
2016-07-27 12:07:32

Rising rent and historically low interest rates are just a few of the many reasons why experts are predicting an increase in homebuyers in the real estate marketplace this year. Older millennials, or those between the ages of 25 and 34, are projected to represent as much as one-third of home purc...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Summer Home Staging Tips

Posted by:  Service First
2016-07-13 09:38:27

Are you selling your home this summer? Staging may help you sell your home faster and for a higher price. Home staging is the act of preparing a home for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make the home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers – this m...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Tips for a Smooth Home Inspection

Posted by:  Service First
2016-07-06 12:43:48

A home inspection can help to identify components of a home that are significantly deficient, unsafe or near the end of their life. Inspectors will identify major issues such as cracks in the foundation, a roof in need of repairs, or smaller issues such as electrical outlets that do not work. ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Tips to Cut Summer Air Conditioning Costs

Posted by:  Service First
2016-06-29 08:51:33

If you’ve been outside lately, you know the summer heat is upon us. Keeping your family cool is important and an air conditioner (AC) can do just that. Use the following tips to keep your summer AC costs low while staying cool: Use fans. Ceiling fans make it possible for you to set the A...[read more...]

Categories:   tips