Refinance Your Mortgage to Save Big Bucks

Refinance your fixed-rate home loan to a shorter term and see big benefits. Say you have 26 years left on a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage at 6.5% and you refinance to a 15 year fixed-rate loan at 4%. Your monthly payment will drop only about $40—but over the loan term, you’ll be ahead more than $175,000. Or you might choose another option that reduces your monthly payment more, freeing up cash for daily needs. Talk to a loan specialist at Hopewell Federal Credit Union today to review your alternatives.

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Move or Remodel: Hopewell Federal Credit Union Can Help

Solving the move-or-remodel dilemma starts by answering hard questions about money, social relations, life stage, and the future. It’s hard to find unbiased advice, says Dan Fritschen, who runs the website remodelormove.com. “The industry doesn’t make it easy to talk to experts and get real numbers. A good real estate agent should be able to discuss both moving and remodeling, but it’s difficult to get someone to talk through the options.”

The financial decision starts with a comparison of the total cost of moving and remodeling. Most sales start with some expenses for sprucing up the old place.

Experts ballpark moving costs at about 15% of the price of the new home, but this varies widely. Selling the house yourself can save the real estate agent’s commission.

Don’t get trapped by choosing the most expensive remodel. Cutting options without cutting corners will bring the best value.

After remodeling, you may need to wait many years to recover your expense. Each neighborhood has a ceiling price that will limit your sales price, no matter how fancy your remodel.

Hopewell Federal offers a HELOC product with rates as low as 3.25%APR*.  You can picture your dreams within reach.

The ideal solution for each family must reflect its values and requirements. Surprisingly, “The financial side is harder for people to digest” than the emotional side, Fritschen says. “I push, tell people they need to be cognizant of both.”

The biggest mistake, he concludes, “is not fully understanding and considering all your needs.”

Hopewell Federal can help regardless of your decision. If you’re looking to remodel your home, or move to a new one, we can get the ball rolling. Stop by or call us today at 740.522.8311.

 *Credit restrictions apply.  HELOC is available up to 90% of appraised value of home. Minimum loan amount = $5000.  No annual fee applies.  No closing costs.  The HELOC rate is based on prime rate and subject to change.  A mortgage will be placed on the home for the line of credit limit.  Federally Insured by NCUA.

Car Buyers’ Worst Mistakes

How much money do you think educated car buyers can save over uneducated buyers when buying the same car? Would $5,000 get your attention?

* Showing enthusiasm. If you act excited, the sellers know they have a unique product you want. The price goes up instantly. Keep that enthusiasm in check until you’ve driven home. Sneer a little if you like the car.

* Buying in a hurry. If you buy on your first visit to a dealership, you don’t have time to compare. Take your time. Be willing to walk away. The price at most dealerships falls quickly if you move slowly.

* Giving deposits before the dealer approves your offer on a vehicle. Feel free to give a deposit, if you really want a vehicle. But don’t give it until the boss has said “yes.” Some dealerships use deposits to keep you there while they try to convince you to pay more. And you can’t leave if they have your deposit—money, a credit card, a driver’s license, or your kids.

* Being switched to leasing without doing your homework. Because dealerships make a much larger profit if they lease rather than sell, even the best dealership may try to “switch” you. They’ll try to convince you leasing is cheaper than buying. In most instances, it isn’t. If you want to lease, fine. Just don’t do it on the spur of the moment.

* Trading in your old car without knowing its value in advance. A dealership has the right to give you the least you will take for your old car. But you have a right to get the most your car is worth. To know that value, simply clean it up, and try to sell it to several used car departments. The highest amount you’re offered for it is your car’s real value right now. Don’t accept less than that in trade.

* Financing automatically at the dealership. The dealership may be the cheapest place to finance, but not always. To find out, simply bring a copy of the filled-out dealer contract to Hopewell Federal Credit Union and compare contracts. If the dealership won’t give you a copy, they’re probably telling you they’re not really the cheapest.

Big mistakes, big bucks out the window. We like to help you preserve your money—that’s what credit unions are all about. Avoid these mistakes, and put that money to work rather than throwing it away.

Summertime Tips to Cool Off Your Home

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Stockbyte/Thinkstock ©

Warm weather days are officially upon us.  Though we have all been patiently waiting for the break in the weather after the long and cold winter, it does present some new challenges.  High energy bills and homes too hot to handle can occur as the temperature rises.  With that in mind, think about these tips to cool off your home.

— Open windows and use portable and ceiling fans.
— Make sure ceiling fans are set for summer (the air should blow downward).
— Place a box fan in front of your window air conditioner to circulate cool air throughout the house.
— Keep TVs and lamps away from your thermostat; the heat from these appliances can cause the air conditioner to run longer.
— Use a programmable thermostat to adjust the air conditioning while you are asleep or at work.
— Stick to white shades, drapes, and blinds for windows to reflect heat away from your home.
— During the day, close curtains on windows facing south and west.
— Give your air conditioning unit some shade by planting trees or shrubs, but make sure they don’t block the unit’s airflow.
— Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use a fifth of the energy and heat of incandescent bulbs.
— Turn off computers and computer monitors when not in use.
— Lower the thermostat on your water heater (115° is usually comfortable).
— Caulk and weatherstrip to keep cool air inside your home.

The first time you shop for an auto

The first time you shop for an auto loan can be time-consuming and a little confusing. But, once you know these car-buying basics, you’ll save money on financing your first car or your 10th:

1. Evaluate your financial situation. If your credit history is spotty, clean it up for at least six months before applying for a loan.

2. Compare annual percentage rates (APRs). Some lenders will give you a rate break if you automate payments from your checking account.

3. Consider buying used. The average cost of a used car is less than half of a new one.

4. Get insurance quotes. Most lenders require collision and comprehensive insurance on new and used vehicles.

5. Realize the less you borrow, the more you save in loan interest.

6. Pay off the loan as quickly as possible and you could save hundreds of dollars in interest charges.

7. Ask a Hopewell Federal Credit Union loan officer to preapprove your loan so you can bargain for a dealer discount based on a cash sale.

8. Understand the loan contract. A loan officer can help you evaluate a loan agreement.

9. Make purchasing the vehicle, financing the vehicle, and trading the vehicle three separate transactions.

Call Hopewell Federal Credit Union today at 740.522.8311 for all of your vehicle loan needs.

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