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5 Tips for Buying a Vacation Home

August 10, 2016

Large wood and stone log home surrounded by a cloudy sky and a lake.

Whether you call them “camps”, “cottages”, or “lake houses”, vacation homes are often a bigger investment than our primary homes.

If you’re considering a vacation home, go in with both eyes open, and you’ll make a great investment of your money, time, and leisure. Here are 5 tips to keep in mind:

1. Visit first
Before you buy, visit the area a number of times. Reading or hearing about a great vacation spot isn’t enough. Before you commit to a long-term residence, make sure you’ll truly enjoy it.

2. Understand all your expenses
Learn the real price of owning your vacation home. In addition to the cost of the property, make sure you know the taxes, insurance, and other carrying costs. Even when you’re not there, you’ll still have to pay for water, gas, electrical, trash removal, landscaping, and other maintenance. Make sure you can afford the entire cost year round. Another common cost for vacation homes is a management fee. If you don’t plan to be there for a large part of the year, you can find a reliable local property manager to maintain your home.

3. Plan for work
Remember, this is a vacation home, which is still a home. It requires repair and upkeep the same as your primary residence, and you should budget time, effort, and costs during the season (especially at the start!) for maintenance.

4. Consider renting
If you won’t be there for large portions of the year, consider renting your home to other vacationers during those times. With rental managed by a reliable property manager, you can offset your monthly costs, and even pay off your vacation home early! Check out other local rentals, and find a good local agent or rental company, so you can set a reasonable rental price, as well as get an idea of how much of the season your home will be vacant. Also keep in mind that the most popular vacation times are when your rental will be in demand, and that could conflict with your own vacation plans.

5. Remember accessibility
How easy will it be for you to get to your new vacation home? Find a place that is close enough, and easy enough, to access easily year round. You’ll be much more likely to use it.

We can help you with a number of these considerations. Make an appointment to tell us your vacation dream!

Posted in: Blog, Posts

Dreaming of a New Home?

September 2, 2015


Are you at that point in your life where you’re tired of renting, and ready to step up and buy a home? Or maybe you’ve outgrown the home you’re in, and you’re ready to make a move to a new space. Either way, there’s a lot to consider: how much you can afford, how your ongoing expenses will change, how you can put together a new budget to make sure you’re comfortable once you buy, and finding a loan you can handle. Having all that information together is what we call being “home-ready”, and we can help you get there.

Before you even start shopping, make an appointment to see us, and together we’ll figure out how much you can afford, show you how you can budget for ongoing expenses, and even give you great tips for smart home shopping. And it turns out we have great mortgage rates, too!

Start on our mortgage page, where you’ll find links for helpful tips, rates, answers to common questions, and even a way to get your application started. Then give us and if you’re ready, you can start the application process right here.

Send us a request online, or call 315-735-8571 to make an appointment now, and then you get to enjoy the fun part: shopping for your new home!

Supporting dreamers everywhere. Membership requirements apply.

Posted in: Blog, Posts

Imagine Your Dream Home

April 5, 2014

We know your imagination has no limits, and with the right planning your daydreams can become a reality. Our affordable mortgage options can help get you in the home you’ve been dreaming of.



Mortgage Checklist

When you’re ready to get your mortgage here are a few things you should gather ahead of time to bring with you when you meet with a Mortgage Specialist.

For a personal mortgage, you’ll want to have handy your:

  • Most recent paystubs for the past 30 days
  • W2’s for the last 2 years
  • Most recent year tax return
  • Official bank statements for the last 2 months (all pages)

If you’re Self-employed/Corp/LLC, you’ll need:

  • Personal tax returns for the last 2 years
  • Business tax returns for the most recent last two years

If you’re in a contract, you’ll need:

  • The signed contract
  • Home disclosure statement
  • Listing sheet
  • Copy of your deposit check

If you’re in a refinance, you’ll need a copy of your:

  • Mortgage bill
  • Tax bills
  • Homeowners Insurance bill

How do we make mortgages easier?

Hear about how easy it is to work with us, straight from some of our Members.

Our Obvious First Choice – from Tanya and Jason Hamshar

A Mortgage from Start to Finish – from David and Jade Beauharnois




Posted in: Mortgages

Our Obvious First Choice

April 2, 2014


In the 6 years prior to purchasing our new home, we had been living in apartments. We had good and bad experiences with “apartment living” and decided it was time for a change. And so, when the time came to take the plunge and we needed to secure a mortgage loan, Tanya suggested, “First Source!” She has had wonderful personal experiences with First Source in the past and thus this was an obvious “first” choice!

This was my first house purchase, and working with First Source was excellent. During the whole process, I felt like we were working as a team towards a common goal. I was very impressed with the level of professionalism. During the home buying process, my questions and concerns were addressed in a very timely manner.

If I could say one thing about First Source, it is that the people that work there are extremely friendly and easy to work with. The result today is that Tanya and I own a beautiful house. If we had to do it all over again, we would definitely go to First Source.

Thanks First Source!

-Tanya and Jason Hamshar

Once you’ve imagined your dream home, see how you can make getting your mortgage easier, with affordable mortgage options at First Source, where we put you first!



Posted in: testimonial

A Mortgage from Start to Finish

April 1, 2014


At First Source, we put our highest premium on you, our Members. Our whole job is about supporting you in your dreams, no matter how big or small. We really value your feedback, so it’s especially rewarding and humbling when a Member takes the time to let us know they appreciated something we did for them. Here’s a wonderful note from a Member. And we’d love to hear from you—so please let us know if we did something well, or can do something better!

We came to First Source to get an idea of mortgage rates. Our end goal was to find a home that met both my wife and my expectations and needed minimal work. This is our first house so there was quite a bit to think about and consider. We ultimately chose First Source because of the low interest rates, but discovered they offer so much more in the way of customer service.

Before we took out a mortgage we decided to do a test run and opened a checking and savings account. That experience was good so we started the mortgage process.

When my wife and I were first looking for a home we sat down with Jasmine who walked us through the entire process from looking for a home to the process of what happens when we find a home. Even before we started looking, Jasmine laid out exactly how much we would need for a down payment and an estimate of closing costs. The process was quick and simple. With the help of Jasmine and staff we were kept informed the entire time and any questions or issues we had were addressed quickly and explained thoroughly.

The result today is that my wife and I are happy and in our first home and we now have several accounts open with First Source. First Source is a great local company with a very knowledgeable and helpful staff.

-David and Jade Beauharnois



Posted in: Mortgage





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