The First to Know Blog

Cybersecurity Tips for Your Business in Bucks County

October 19th, 2018 Comments (0)

Major data breaches by large corporations make frequent headlines, causing concerned consumers to wonder about the security of their online interactions. The ensuing concerns are painful for all involved–customers face identity theft concerns and companies face the fallout for breaking their customers’ trust. Since most stories that make the news involve multinational companies, small businesses can be lulled into a false sense of comfort. Unfortunately, the reality for small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) is sobering. According to the U.S. Congress Small Business Committee, 71% of cyber-attacks occurred at organizations with less than 100 employees. Small businesses are frequently under-resourced with [ read more ]

A Guide to Building or Improving a Home in Bucks County

September 18th, 2018 Comments (0)

With a great variety of rural, suburban, and small-town municipalities to choose from, Bucks County has something to offer every type of home construction plan. And as a reliably desirable place to live for families and young professionals, you can count on a home improvement project to increase the value of your home. The First is Bucks County’s oldest locally-owned bank, helping generations of residents realize their dreams of homeownership. If that includes building your own home or improving the house you live in, we can help with a home construction loan. Keep reading to learn everything you need to [ read more ]

A Guide To Buying Your First Home In Bucks County

August 22nd, 2018 Comments (0)

Whether you’re a single person, newly married couple, or young family looking to put down roots, the process of buying a first home can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. That’s why we created this guide to buying your first house in Bucks County. From answering the not-so-simple question of how much you can afford, to mapping out your budget as a homeowner, we’ll walk you through the process of moving from home browser to homeowner. When you’re ready to start, our First-Time Homebuyer Program offers localized expertise and assistance to buyers just like you. How Much House Can You Afford? [ read more ]

Bucks County Relocation Guide: What You Need to Know for a Successful Move

August 1st, 2018 Comments (0)

Here at The First, we think Bucks County is a great place to call home. How do we know for sure? We’ve been banking here for more than 150 years, getting to know local residents and businesses. So whether you’re relocating to Bucks for a job opportunity, or just looking for a nice place to raise a family, we’ve compiled all you need to know about the various regions (upper, central, lower) and their main towns, as well as average home prices, cost of living, and more. We hope you find our Bucks County relocation guide helpful, and we can’t [ read more ]

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying A Home

March 22nd, 2018 Comments (0)

As winter melts into spring, you’ll likely start to see “For-Sale” signs popping up in your neighborhood. Buying a home can be an exciting milestone in your life, and it’s important to educate yourself on the financial implications of homeownership before you make an offer. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a current owner looking to sell or refinance, there are a few key questions that should help guide your decision: 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying A Home 1. What are the pros and cons of owning vs. renting? Owning a home is a long-term commitment. Recent studies show [ read more ]

How to Plan for Early Retirement

March 1st, 2018 Comments (0)

If you want to retire early, your investment strategy may need to be a little different from a person who plans to keep working well into his or her 60s and beyond. That’s because with many retirement savings plans, including 401(k)s and IRAs, you could be charged a tax penalty if you withdraw money before age 59½. You also generally won’t be eligible to start receiving partial Social Security benefits until age 62, or full benefits a few years later. If you plan to leave work earlier than that, you may need to tweak your investment efforts. Here’s a look [ read more ]

Saving for Retirement While Paying Down Debt

February 15th, 2018 Comments (0)

When faced with two big financial priorities, such as paying off old debt and saving for retirement, it can be easier to focus on just one. For people repaying student loans for themselves or their children, for example, 38% weren’t able to put money away for retirement, according to a 2015 survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and NerdWallet. But there are ways you can contribute to retirement savings even while paying off student or other debt. Neglecting either one can be a losing proposition. If you focus just on repaying debts, you can lose out on potential [ read more ]

10 Tips to Get a Home Ready for Sale

January 25th, 2018 Comments (0)

Preparing to sell your home can be difficult. You have to create enough ambiance so that buyers can envision themselves living there but make sure it’s not so cluttered that all they see is you. Make some changes inside and out to get top dollar for your abode. Do a drive by. If a person sees trash on the lawn or overgrown weeds, they won’t be enticed to come inside. Boost your home’s curb appeal by planting a few colorful flowers at the entrance and mow the lawn. Declutter. Most people are familiar with the deceptive clean-up strategy of stuffing [ read more ]

The Benefits of a Mortgage Preapproval — and How to Get One

January 11th, 2018 Comments (0)

Unless you were recently selected as the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft or released a hit album, you probably won’t pay for your new house in cash. Like millions of Americans, you’ll take out a mortgage. Before you begin your housing search, try to get a mortgage preapproval, which is usually good for up to 90 days. After reviewing and verifying some of your financial information, lenders will tell you how much money they’d be willing to let you borrow. Getting preapproved can speed up the sale process and demonstrates to sellers that you’re serious about buying. Here’s [ read more ]

Organize Your Finances for the New Year

December 21st, 2017 Comments (0)

A new year brings a chance to start fresh with just about anything. If your midnight toast includes a resolution to improve your financial health, here’s how to make it happen. Get on a budget To get ahead, it’s important to know where you stand and to create a plan with realistic goals such as a comfortable retirement, education and home ownership. Budgeting may sound old-school, but it’s still one of the best ways to accomplish this. Start by totaling your income and subtracting your monthly expenses for a quick financial snapshot. Then set goals, reduce unnecessary spending and, if [ read more ]

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