The journey to becoming a first time owner is an exciting and personal process. With questions ranging from price, commodities, to neighborhoods and more, the task of finding your ideal property can seem daunting as you begin the search. At Raccoon Valley Bank we want to help you make the most of your home buying experience with our guided route to home ownership. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the view as we take you step by step through the first time home buying process.
- Assess your personal finances. Take a good hard look at your current sources of income, in addition to the underlying expenses you have each month. Determine if your funds can support the cost of a monthly mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, and all the other associated costs of home ownership.
- Mortgage Pre-Approval. Once you’ve decided to make the jump into home ownership it’s time to determine what your ideal purchase price will look like. Work with your mortgage lender to decide on the best price range for you and your family. After determining your financing needs together, the bank will evaluate your credit history award you with a pre-approval letter for the amount they will agree to finance.
- Find “The House.” Here comes the fun part – house hunting! Pair up with a reputable realtor from the area to look at houses that do not exceed the approved purchase price. You may look at six homes, or thirteen, but once you find the right property you’ll know it’s the one!
- Get an approved offer. After touring the property and checking for any major repairs, speak with your realtor about putting in an offer on the house at price within your budget. The seller may counter with a different price point, and negotiations for the offer can be discussed with your realtor. When you and the seller have agreed to a purchase price and a finalized offer is signed you officially have an accepted offer to purchase your future home!
- Speak with your mortgage lender. Now that you’ve found your new place, your mortgage lender can gather accurate tax information and further specifics for your mortgage financing. Reach out to confirm the terms of the loan prior to closing to help ensure a smooth transition.
- Home Inspection. Since you and the buyer now have an accepted agreement it’s time to fully inspect the property you intent on buying. Speak with your realtor for recommended home inspectors in the area, and set up a time when both you and the realtor can be present. The home inspector will detail notes about the property concerning safety hazards and other important repairs that be taken care of at the sellers expense.
- Additional Negotiations as Needed. Once the home inspection is complete speak to your realtor to negotiate any changes within the accepted offer.
- Close the offer. After all the paperwork is finalized, and you complete the final walk through of the home, it’s finally time receive your mortgage financing and close the home offer.
- The House is yours. All your hard work has paid off and you are now a home owner! Celebrate this monumental achievement by inviting family and friends over for a moving or house warming party!
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful cottage in the country, new construction in the city, or a happy hideaway in the suburbs, Raccoon Valley Bank can help you with all your financing needs. Stop by the bank or give us a call at (515) 993-4581 and get started on your home buying journey today!
Creating a structured savings plan is one thing that can set apart the financial dreamers from the financial doers! By setting strict guidelines to your goal, and ensuring the correct follow through with a backed up savings plan, you can be certain of your success in accomplishing your future achievement! One of the biggest obstacles in these plans is the unforeseen, and there is a way to manage even that. Using a well-rounded emergency fund can ensure that you don’t dip into saved funds for unexpected costs such as auto repairs, or medical emergencies. Want to get started setting up your emergency fund today? Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to financial success!
- Open a dedicated savings account.
- Deposit Funds each month without withdrawing anything.
- Start by saving $1000.
– Next save 3 months’ worth of income and expenses.
– Finally maintain 6 months’ worth of income and expenses.
The reason you have this fund is simple, to prepare for the unprepareable. Whether it’s an unanticipated job loss, a costly home repair, or other unplanned expenses, your emergency fund can help you stay afloat when the waters get rough.
The main objective of this account is to have it work for you and your needs! By specifically determining what you define as an emergency (job loss, vet bills, auto repairs) and what doesn’t (last minute birthday gift, broken TV, new clothes) you can generate a structured list to know when you feel safe using those funds, and when perhaps its best to leave them untouched. The idea of the emergency fund is to have it when you need it. By gaining access easily via checkbook or debit card, you can make use the account more quickly when the unexpected strikes.
By generating your own emergency fund you can continue to save for milestones and pay bills, without worrying about the what if’s that lie along the road to the future. Get started with your emergency account today at Raccoon Valley Bank, we’ll help you get to your next savings goal!
Whether it’s skiing in the mountains, scuba diving among the reefs, or exploring history throughout famous museums, your ideal vacation can be anything you make it. Wherever you dream of traveling to, price is sure to be a factor in your decision. Make the trip of your dreams into a reality with these smart saving tricks to help fund your travels wherever they may lead.
- Open a dedicated savings account. To keep your goal clearly in sight and prevent overspending, establish a dedicated savings account for family vacations. You can use these funds throughout the vacation planning stages to book hotels and tickets. During your trip, easily track your designated spending while preventing unneeded dips into a primary savings account.
- Trust the change jar. The nickels and dimes that collect at the bottom of your pockets may seem insignificant, but a mere $1.25 saved every day in spare change adds up to just under $500 in only one year. Establish a large lidded container for your trip funds, for gas or gifts. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for loose change both at home and during your work day.
- Designate a pantry week. In the months leading up to your vacation, pick one week each month to skip the grocery store and eat out of personal food storage. By eating meals such as spaghetti, soup, or rice, you’ll par down the grocery bill while consuming pre-purchased food before it goes bad.
- Repurpose gift cards. Instead of letting that plastic currency go to waste speak with friends and family members to see if any of them are interested in a trade. If there is no trade to be had, selling the gift card for slightly less than the card’s value may create a better incentive for buyers while still allowing you to receive the best benefit.
- Save energy. Cut down on your monthly utility bill by creating a list of action items to save on energy costs. Running the dishwasher for extreme loads only, switching to cold instead of hot water for laundry, setting a time limit for showers, and only turning on essential lights can lower your utility bill piece by piece. Take the difference saved and funnel it into your travel savings account.
At Raccoon Valley Bank, we love seeing you accomplish your financial goals and enjoy all of the incredible places they can take you. If a vacation is on your horizon, make an appointment with one of our financial advisors today and learn how to make the most of your savings.
You’ve decluttered your closets, rearranged the furniture, and thrown open the windows, and yet – you know your spring cleaning can go even deeper. With just a couple of simple tools you already have around your house, you can take your cleaning to the next level. Get your spring cleaning on with these easy hacks courtesy of Raccoon Valley Bank.
- Dust blinds in a jiffy. To remove a winter’s build-up of dust and grime that’s settled on horizontal blinds, roll an old tube sock over your hand and spray it with a blast of vinegar before running it over the surface.
- Get streak-free windows. Clean smudged windows inside and out with an even mixture of vinegar, water, and dish soap. After scrubbing with a soft cloth, buff and remove streaks in a final once-over with a wadded piece of newspaper.
- Banish hard water build-up. To prevent unsightly water streaks on glass shower doors, rub a teaspoon of lemon oil over the surface twice a month and watch drops roll right off.
- Remove scratches naturally. To repair dinged or scratched wooden furniture, remove a walnut from its shell and rub it along the scratch. After rubbing the nut’s oils into the wood with your finger, let it sit for five minutes and buff it over with a soft cloth.
- De-gunk kitchen cabinets. Remove oil splatters and grime accumulation on kitchen cabinets with a simple scrub of one part vegetable oil to two parts baking soda. Scrub with an old tooth brush to reach extra-fine lines that make cabinetry look dark and dull.
- Sterilize Toys. By throwing fabric toys in a mesh laundry bag, you can disinfect and shine armfuls of plush toys in just one spin through the washing machine. Try this same trick in your dishwasher with those tough plastic toys!
- Remove pet hair. Grossed out by pet hair in the carpet the vacuum can’t seem to pick up? Run a window squeegee over your carpet by hand – the rubberized edge will pull up and collect hair in one easy-to-grab clump.
- Revamp your garbage disposal. Fill an ice cube tray with a mixture that’s eight parts water and one part vinegar, and drop a sliver of lemon rind in each slot. Drop a few frozen cubes down the drain to clean, deodorize, and sharpen your garbage disposal in one fell swoop.
- Rid grout of scum. With ¾ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup bleach, create a paste that you can apply between mildewed tile on showers and oven backsplashes. After 10 minutes, gently scrub off with a toothbrush and a damp rag to reveal clean and clear grout.
- Sanitize everything. From windows to tubs, hit areas in need of deep disinfectant easily by screwing a spray bottle head onto a bottle of hydrogen peroxide for an instant, even spray. Hydrogen peroxide is the perfect remedy to get tough stains out.
Is your spending plan in need of some spring cleaning? Our financial experts can help you clean up your expenses and make the most of your budget. Give us a call at (515) 993-4581 and learn how today!