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Social Media Awareness for Parents

March 24, 2017

Keeping Kids Safe Online

As part of our community education series, we’re sponsoring a great program to educate parents on the basics of keeping our children safe online, especially on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and others.

Technology that was once the stuff of science fiction is now in our children’s hands. This presents both exciting new possibilities, and significant risks.

Did you know . . .
  • 85% of Oneida County students say they use “instant messenger services” (e.g. Facebook, Snapchat)
  • 41% of Oneida County students hide their online identity
  • 87% of Oneida County students have a personal email account
Become more educated, and more aware of the current technology landscape—and what you can do—through this program.

The talk is titled, “Social Media Awareness: What All Parents Need to Know”. 

Presented by: Jeremy D. Butler, Chief Program Officer, Safe Schools--Healthy Students
Date: March 29, 2017 
Where: James A. Meyers Performing Arts Center- New Hartford’s Bradley Elementary School*
Time: 6:30 to 8:00 PM
  • Learn more about what forms of technology young people are using, from social media sites, to various apps and games
  • Develop a framework necessary to keep children safe
  • Take part in an interactive discussion so all participants can learn and grow together
Hope to see you there!

*You do not have to have children in New Hartford Schools to attend; any parents/grandparents can attend.
 

Discover the Mohawk Valley Home Show

March 16, 2017

Live Smarter with New Services and Seminars

First Source is proud to support the Home Builders & Remodelers Association of Mohawk Valley in their initiatives year-round. They educate, train, and network, and bring together builders, contractors, interior designers, realtors, home owners, and others to learn and discuss all things home building in the Mohawk Valley. We are a financial resource for consumer and business loans, and are pleased to work with the Home Builders Association.

One of the organization’s major annual events is the Mohawk Valley Home Show. We sponsor this wonderful event, a showcase for area trends, products, services, resources, and demonstrations.

As part of our sponsorship this year, we are bringing other local organizations to the home show on April 1st and 2nd! We have sponsored the Utica Zoo, Red Cross, Williams Variety Shop, and Willson’s Nursery. We’re excited to share their unique offerings to homeowners. 

We will be at the show as well, and offering a variety of home loan options to finance whatever need you may have. If you’re in the buying stage, we can review the different types of mortgages we offer. If you’re in the renovating stage, we can talk about our remodeling loan options. Whatever your need, ask us for help!

We’ll be hosting financial seminars at the Show; on Saturday at 11:30am and 2:30pm, and on Sunday at 11:00am. You’ll learn about home financing options, and which fits your needs best. And just for fun, we’ll once again have Bill Pope at our booth to draw caricatures. He’ll be there Sunday from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

Financial Seminar Topics:

Mortgages

  • Conventional Mortgage
    This type of mortgage allows you to finance up to 95% of your purchase price (or appraised value). It sometimes has a shorter processing time, and same-day qualification if you are “credit qualified”. Flexible rates and terms are available. 
  • FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Mortgage
    An FHA Loan is perfect for first-time home buyers, shoppers who need a low down payment, or those with less than perfect credit. This type of loan allows the seller to contribute up to 6% toward closing costs and prepaid items. Flexible rates and terms are available. 
  • VA Mortgage
    This type of mortgage is available to Veterans and their surviving spouses, and is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The mortgage company works directly with the VA, since each loan is unique to a veteran’s individual situation. A VA Loan allows for 100% financing of the purchase price or appraised value, for owner-occupied properties with one to two units. The applicant must be an eligible veteran. Similar to the FHA Loan, the seller can contribute up to 6% toward closing costs and prepaid items. Flexible rates and terms are available.
  • Home Possible Mortgage
    Through our partnership with Homeowners Advantage, we offer this unique program. Home Possible allows low and moderate income borrowers to finance a home with low down payments, and flexible sources of funds. Members must qualify by income and other factors. 

Housing Project/Home Improvement Options

Home Equity Loans or Lines of Credit
Are you a homeowner?
Chances are you’ve built up some equity, which you can use to borrow against. Home Equity options are best used for financing larger initiatives, like major home improvements, weddings, tuition, or even debt consolidation. A loan versus a line of credit depends on when you need to access the money, and the purpose of the funds.

A Home Equity loan offers a one-time distribution of funds. Repayment of principle and interest begins immediately, and continues over a period of time selected by you. We offer a variety of terms to fit different needs.

A Home Equity Line Of Credit is a revolving line of credit with a maximum loan amount determined by the equity of your home. These funds can be available over a period of time. You can use them as you need. Interest-only monthly payments are required during the draw period. Additional principle payments are also accepted any time you wish to pay the line down.

Home Improvement Loan
This is a great alternative to our Home Equity loan options, when there is little or no equity available in your home. This program can also be an ideal solution for home improvement projects. Rather than end up with a retailer’s high interest credit card or payment plans, we offer a low, fixed-rate Home Improvement loan option. These funds must be used for items or services that are home improvement in nature. 

Home Energy Loan
If your home improvement or renovation is energy-efficient in nature, check out our Home Energy Loan. Often there are grants and tax rebates associated with these types of projects from the retailer as well.

Come to the show, explore all the area has to offer, and stop by our booth to learn more. See you there!

 

What is a Home Improvement Loan?

March 10, 2017

Live Smarter with the right financing

When is a Home Improvement Loan the Right Choice?
This loan program was created for those newer homeowners who have not yet built equity to use as collateral for a home equity loan, yet still want or need to do home improvements. It is also for those homeowners who are looking for shorter term loans with an immediate timeline for funding.

Home improvement loan proceeds are typically used for home repairs and renovations, such as a furnace, hot water heater, roofing or siding project, or kitchen or bathroom remodels. You decide!

Home Improvement Loan Options and Terms
Home improvement loans are funded within days of applying. Rates are fixed, and can be amortized from 1 to 10 years. If you’re approved, we can help you find a solution that fits your needs.

What About a Home Equity Loan?
A home equity loan is simply based on the value of your home less any outstanding mortgage balances. If there is equity, the home would be collateral, giving you more attractive terms, such as a lower interest rate, and longer repayment options up to 20 years. It does take time to fund a home equity loan, as an appraisal and other required tasks are necessary.

There are two types:

A Home Equity loan offers a one-time distribution of funds. Repayment of principle and interest begins immediately, over a period of time selected by you. We offer a variety of terms to fit different needs.

A Home Equity Line Of Credit (HELOC) is a revolving line of credit with a maximum loan amount determined by the equity of your home. These funds can be available over a period of time. You can use them as you need. Interest-only monthly payments are required during the draw period. Additional principle payments are also accepted any time you wish to pay the line down.

Applying
The application process is simple. We’ll review your credit when you apply, find where you can save, and review all your options. Let us handle the financing while you shop for your home project.

Contact us to set up an appointment today, and get started on your way to a better home!

Different Types of Mortgages

March 8, 2017

Live Smarter by knowing the types and differences

The most common mortgage loan types are Conventional, FHA, VA, and Home Possible. All have flexible rates and terms available, to include fixed or adjustable rate structures.

Conventional Loan
This type of mortgage allows you to finance up to 95% of the purchase price (or appraised value), can possibly have a shorter processing time, and same-day qualification if you are “credit qualified”. Flexible rates and terms are available.

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) Loan
An FHA Loan is a great choice for first-time home buyers, shoppers who need a low down payment, or those with less than perfect credit. This type of loan allows the seller to contribute up to 6% toward closing costs and prepaid items. Flexible rates and terms are available.

VA Loan
This type of mortgage is available to Veterans and their surviving spouses, and is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The mortgage company works directly with the VA, since each loan is unique to a veteran’s individual situation. A VA Loan allows for 100% financing of the purchase price or appraised value, for owner-occupied properties with one to two units. The applicant must be an eligible veteran. Similar to the FHA Loan, the seller can contribute up to 6% toward closing costs and prepaid items. Flexible rates and terms are available.

Home Possible
Through our partnership with Homeowners Advantage, we offer this unique program. Home Possible allows low and moderate income borrowers to finance a home with low down payments, and flexible sources of funds. Members must qualify by income and other factors.

The Mortgage Process

Preapproval
Before you shop for a home, it’s a good idea to find out how much you can afford to spend, an estimate of your closing costs and pre-paids, and your estimated monthly payment.

Our preapproval process is quick and easy. It can either be over the phone, or in person. Call us at 315-735-8571. We can “crunch the numbers” and help you find an affordable mortgage solution that meets your needs.

Once you are preapproved, we will give you a preapproval letter which you can use to make your purchase offer. This gives you negotiating power!

Buying Your Home
Once you chose the house you’d like to buy, you and your realtor will prepare a purchase contract. Once all parties agree on a purchase price and a contract is signed by all involved parties, you’ll complete a formal mortgage application. An application will be the start of the mortgage process, which will include the order of your appraisal, meeting all conditions, and more. We’ll help you every step of the way.

Commitment Letter
When your loan is approved, you will receive a commitment letter. At this stage, you will be required to buy an insurance policy on your new home. You will need to purchase this policy prior to your closing. Proof of this purchase is called an “insurance binder”, and will be necessary to provide before scheduling your closing.

Common Mortgage Questions

What is the difference between types of Mortgages?
There are many different types of Mortgages to choose from, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each. The best option for you will be based on a number of factors, including your experience with home-ownership, the amount you have saved for a down payment, the location and condition of the home, your credit score, and your income. The best way to find what’s right for you is by talking to one of our knowledgeable Originators.

How much money will I need to buy a home?
The amount of cash that is necessary depends on a number of items. Generally speaking, though, you will need to supply:

  • Earnest Money - The deposit that is required when you make an offer on the house
  • Down payment - A percentage of the cost of the home that is due at closing
  • Closing costs - Costs associated with processing the purchase or refinance of a house
  • Prepaid-Escrow set up for real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance.

Our friendly and helpful staff can prepare an estimate to meet your particular situation.

What is PMI?
In the event you do not have a 20% down payment, lenders will allow a smaller down payment, as low as 3%. Without a 20% down payment, borrowers are required to carry private mortgage insurance, also known as PMI. This premium will be added to your monthly payment (or you can choose to pay it up front).

What are “points” on a Mortgage?
A point is a fee that may be assessed at closing by the lender to obtain a more favorable interest rate. Each point is equal to 1% of the loan amount (e.g. two points on a $100,000 mortgage would equate to $2,000). Generally speaking, the longer you plan to remain in the property, the more advantageous it is to purchase points. There is no requirement to pay discount points.

We can answer other mortgage questions you may have, and make your mortgage process easier.



 

 

Tammy Finds Time for WERC

February 28, 2017

Tammy Cieslak, a First Source Financial Service Representative, finds it tremendously rewarding to make life easier for others. While at home, she and her spouse are ardent rescuers of cats and dogs. In her professional life, she has made it her mission to make life easier for working women.

Tammy has been a financial advisor for 13 years, and has been on the board of the Women’s Employment & Resource Center (WERC) since 2013. Through that work, she has become involved in one of their biggest fundraisers: Wine for WERC, an annual wine-tasting event that raises funds for the organization’s programs. 

I was involved initially as a business banker in a previous job, because I wanted to be involved in the community,” Tammy says. “As a professional woman, I chose this group to help other women in the area.”

In addition to being a board member, Tammy actually went through their job preparedness assistance program when she was between jobs and needed to update her résumé. She has been gainfully employed with First Source ever since, so she is a living success story for the organization.

What is WERC?

WERC is a non-profit organization geared toward helping women achieve their employment goals. They offer skilled training in Microsoft products, public speaking, interviewing, helping with self-esteem and confidence, and empowering women to get into—or back into—the workforce. WERC helps women become “job-ready”. Since WERC is also partialy funded by the state, many women are eligible for free services if they meet certain guidelines. Anyone who does not qualify can still use their services on a fee basis. All of WERC’s programs are tailored to an individual’s needs; they also offer a full 4-week program that encompasses all of the skills they teach.

Wine for WERC raises funds by securing sponsorships, selling tickets, and through raffles during the event. In addition to Tammy’s participation, First Source Federal Credit Union is a White Wine Sponsor at this year’s event, and is donating a Utica Comets VIP Experience raffle prize.

“I just love participating in WERC,” Tammy adds. “I have learned lot. It’s empowering and exciting to watch our success stories. She enjoys seeing women who go through the program gain confidence, learn to do the work on their own, and become gainfully employed. “It’s so important to give back whenever and wherever I can.”

Details

Wine for WERC 2017 will be on Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 5:30–7:30pm at Aqua Vino Restaurant, 16 Harbor Lock Road East, in Utica. The event features a wine tasting and pairing with heavy hors d’oeuvres, with wine experts on hand to discuss the pairings. The evening includes raffle prizes, and a mystery grand prize. Susan Nackley Mojave will be the event emcee. All proceeds stay in the Mohawk Valley and benefit the free programs and “WERCshops” at the Women’s Employment & Resource Center. 

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