The First to Know Blog

A Guide To Buying Your First Home In Bucks County

August 22nd, 2018 Comments Off on A Guide To Buying Your First Home In Bucks County

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

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 Off on 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying A Home

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 Off on How to Plan for Early Retirement

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 Off on Saving for Retirement While Paying Down Debt

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 Off on 10 Tips to Get a Home Ready for Sale

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

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 Off on Organize Your Finances for the New Year

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 ]

6 Ways to Save More Money in the New Year

December 7th, 2017 Comments Off on 6 Ways to Save More Money in the New Year

Even if saving has never been your thing and money is tight, the coming of a new year is an opportunity to change old financial habits. Here are some ways to become a more efficient saver. 1. Budget Budgeting helps you organize your finances so you have money left over to save each month. It may seem laborious, but budgeting doesn’t have to be hard. Mobile apps cut a lot of the work and can help you track spending throughout the month. 2. Pay yourself first Firmly commit to making a savings deposit monthly, even if you can only afford [ read more ]

Figuring Out How Much to Allocate to Your 401(k)

November 16th, 2017 Comments Off on Figuring Out How Much to Allocate to Your 401(k)

When your employer offers a 401(k) plan, you have a great opportunity to save for retirement. You’ll want to contribute at least enough to get the full employer match, if your employer offers one. Beyond that, here are some ways to know how much to allocate to your plan. Decide how much you’ll need It helps to first decide how much money you think you’ll need to live on after retirement. You’ll also want to consider other sources of income you may receive, like Social Security benefits. (If you have a partner, it’s good to plan together, but you probably [ read more ]

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