December 04, 2017, 3:51 PM
As consumers in the age of the Internet, we are flooded with choices no matter what it is we seek to acquire. Need a new car loan and you have real world and online lenders; looking for clothing, shoes, electronics, and just about anything else, and you will find it online. This has even extended to mortgages and you can go to the Internet and find many online mortgage providers. Should you use them? That is the focus of this article.
What Experts Say About Real World and Online Lenders
Online mortgage providers appeared in the 1990s and have gone through periods of boom and decline. Are these somehow better than local lenders? If you look at sites like the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), they say that you will want to go for a loan where you are most comfortable and where you can get the best rates. They advocate that you always shop around as it "will help you get the best financing deal…You’ll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage. Shopping, comparing, and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars."
Pointing out that online mortgages are often convenient because they don't require normal bank hours and that they might extend a wider range of products, the FTC never formally advocates online over local lenders.
Face to Face Meetings Yield Better Results
In fact, experts do say that face to face meetings can be a much more comfortable approach to obtaining your mortgage, and that most real world banks have just as many or as competitive options where mortgages are concerned. Negotiating is far easier in a real world setting and that getting all of the important cost information is often best done when sitting down with your lender and reviewing the matter on a point by point basis. You can find out about rates, points, fees and all of the other details easier when dealing directly with the lender's agent.
Work With Local Lenders to Get the Right Loan
In other words, transparency, options, negotiation and finding the right loan for your needs may be much easier when you work directly with a representative at a local lending institution. At City Bank, or representatives are happy to work with you through every possible facet of finding a mortgage. From down payments and identifying the right sort of loan, to calculating monthly fees and closing costs, we have answers when you need them. To find out if which loans you qualify for and which are the best solutions to your home buying needs, get in touch with your local, real world lender.
October 26, 2017, 10:08 AM
Mortgage rates are still low, and there is no guarantee that we won't see some rate hikes from the Fed in the coming year. There are many reasons that someone might want to refinance their home, some more common or obscure than others.
One thing that all homeowners need to consider is that there are costs involved with refinancing a home. As long as you are going to be in the home for a sufficient period, your new loan could recoup those costs through savings. Here are just ten reasons why you may want to consider refinancing your mortgage.
Lower your interest rate. Obviously, if interest rates are lower than when you originally took out your loan, you will probably get a better deal refinancing. This may not be the only way to benefit from refinancing, however.
Shorten/extend your term. Some people want to pay off their mortgage faster, so refinancing with a shorter term mortgage, such as a 15-year fixed, is a good choice. Or life’s circumstances may have changed where you want to extend your term and slow down the amortization.
Lower your payment. If you are just looking to free up monthly cash flow, you can refinance and do this in several ways. You can lengthen your payoff term or choose an interest-only loan.
Convert your loan. When you refinance your mortgage, you can convert your current loan from a variable rate to a fixed rate loan or vice versa.
Cash out equity. If you have equity in your home, refinancing can allow you to take out that cash to use for any reason you see fit. If you want to remodel or pay off some debts, this could be the solution.
Combine first and second mortgages. A common reason for refinancing a mortgage is to combine a first and second mortgage into one loan with more favorable terms.
Drop your PMI. If your home increases in value enough, you may be able to drop your PMI. Refinancing could allow you to both drop PMI and get a more favorable rate.
Remove a person from a loan. If you are getting a divorce or just otherwise want to buy someone out that is listed on a loan, refinancing can help you accomplish this.
Access special programs. At times, the government will produce special programs allowing for the refinancing of certain loans. These are often time-sensitive. If you qualify for one of these programs and it's to your benefit, you should apply.
Your buyer profile has changed. Assuming your original loan was just after a bankruptcy or foreclosure, your credit may now be significantly improved which would qualify you for more favorable loan terms through refinancing.
Refinancing Your Mortgage with City Bank
If you're interested in refinancing your current mortgage, find out how City Bank's competitive loans can help you meet your goals. City Bank Mortgage is an independent community bank that offers a full line of mortgage products including FHA, VA, USDA, fixed rate, adjustable rate, construction loans, and jumbo mortgages. Complete an application now or contact us to discuss your mortgage needs.
October 12, 2017, 8:22 AM
Have you ever considered supporting a local business over a large national chain? This has become a popular trend in the past few years and for good reason. Your local retailers and entrepreneurs work hard to deliver something that is often unique and of higher quality than you would receive from a big-box retailer. Whether you are shopping for food, home goods, or financial services, here are just a few of the ways that you and your community benefit from your support of local entrepreneurs.
When you buy your food locally, you're not only helping local farmers but also doing something positive for your health. There are several health benefits of locally-raised food. For example, you can buy eggs and dairy that you know are fresh as well as fruits and vegetables that are proven to be free from chemicals. In contrast, the food that you find at a big-box store is virtually guaranteed to be treated with additives, refined sugars, and other chemicals.
Boost the Local Economy
When you shop at big-box stores and other national chains, you aren't helping the local economy the way that you would if you supported a local entrepreneur. This is a fact that was proven by a Chicago study, which determined that for $100 spent at a local business $68 remained in the local economy. In contrast, consumers who spend $100 at a chain only contribute $43 to the local economy. Also, when you give your business to a local entrepreneur, they tend to return the favor by supporting other local businesses.
Connect with Business Owners
Do you know each of the managers and employees of your area's national retailers? Most people don't. When you support local entrepreneurs, you will create a connection with those business owners and employees over time. Not only will you become invested in the success of that business, but those merchants will also get to know you and your family.
Better Customer Service
Want the best customer service each time you open your wallet? There's a good chance that you won't find a consistently positive experience with a big-box or national retailer. That personal connection that we just mentioned is going to ensure that you get the best buying experience possible as well as access to the business' primary decision-makers. When you know the business, and they know you, you will also receive more personalized service. By shopping locally, you let the business know your preferences, and they can quickly meet and even anticipate your needs.
Get Cash Back When You Dine & Shop Local
Towny is a new mobile app that promotes local shopping in the Lubbock area with exclusive offers from your favorite restaurants, stores, and more. City Bank customers have the opportunity to earn 10% back* at locally-owned business on repeat visits when you spend using a City Bank debit card by linking it to your Towny app profile. It's easy-to-use, innovative rewards are designed to empower local businesses and give 10% back to City Bank customers who frequent their favorite local businesses.
City Bank is your local banking solution throughout Texas and eastern New Mexico. Our goal is to provide personalized service to consumers and small businesses while also delivering the most competitive rates on loans and investment services. Contact us today at any of our convenient locations near you to find out how we can help you meet your personal or business financial goals.
*When you link your City Bank debit card to the Towny Rewards app, and use that card to make a purchase at a participating Towny business, you will earn 10% of that purchase in when you make a subsequent purchase at that same merchant, within a timeframe specified in the Towny app. Participating merchants fund all rewards and all disputes, merchandise returns, purchase cancellations and/ or fraudulent transactions are handled according to each individual merchant’s policies. Merchant participation may vary by market area. Cash rewards are variable and may change at any time upon proper notice being sent to your mobile app or displayed on the program’s website. Enrollment, limitations, availability, redemption timeframes, terms, conditions and other restrictions apply. Program details can be found at towny.com or by contacting a City Bank Customer Service Representative. Towny is a trademark of Roll Forward LLC, registered in the U.S.A. City Bank is independent of Roll Forward, LLC
September 08, 2017, 9:34 AM
First-time homebuyers have been sidelined from home ownership for a decade thanks to the housing market crash and the Great Recession. Yes, the housing market has rebounded in recent years, but it hasn't been the sort of bounce that holds appeal to this buyer class.
More Starter Homes Coming to Your Area?
Major builders are finally beginning to migrate away from their focus on luxury homes and take a look at giving consumers what they want, namely more affordable entry-level housing. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the share of first-time homebuyers dropped to 32 percent in 2015. This was a nearly three-decade low from an average of 40 percent. That figure was back up to 35 percent in 2016.
Our nation's housing recovery has shown a clear divide, with a soaring luxury market over the past several years that has beat out the affordable housing side of the equation. It's not just a lack of lower-cost housing that has depressed the market. Other factors that have contributed include slower wage growth, higher student debt obligations, and tougher lending standards. Fortunately, the tide is beginning to turn for one class of buyers - Millennials.
The Millennial First-Time Homebuyer
Millennials are generally defined by demographers as people born between 1980 and 2000. This group is increasingly either tired of living with their parents or throwing away money on rent and are ready to make a change.
There is a strong misconception that Millennials have an aversion to owning "things." This isn't the case at all. In fact, it's this group that is driving today's housing market. The National Association of Realtors 2017 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study reports that Millennials were the largest group of home buyers (34 percent) followed by baby boomers (30 percent).
The Housing Market Today
There has been a steady shift in 2017 towards homeownership over renting, which is a clear sign that first-time home buyers want to take advantage of mortgage rates while they remain affordable. The Census Bureau reports that 854,000 new-owner households were formed during the first quarter of 2017, more than double the 365,000 new-renter households reported during the same period.
The nation's major homebuilders and mortgage lenders are working diligently to address buyer sentiment in this next hot housing market. Arizona-based Taylor Morrison Home Corp. says that they are building more three-story townhomes and single-family homes on narrow lots. Fannie Mae reports that 42% of their mortgages so far in 2017 were for first-time homebuyers, up from a low of 31% in 2011.
Finance Your Starter Home at City Bank
If you've been looking for the best time to buy a home, don't wait much longer. Mortgages rates are on the rise but are still affordable for first-time homebuyers. City Bank offers a full line of mortgage options that are flexible and competitively priced. Apply online or contact us at (800) OUR-BANK to get started today!
September 01, 2017, 10:13 AM
Dear Friends, Family and Customers,
The impact Hurricane Harvey has had on our employees, customers, and neighbors is devastating. We applaud the volunteers and first responders working tirelessly to help those in need. Our thoughts and prayers remain with those in South Texas and neighboring communities.
Due to recent flooding, our Houston branch and our Beaumont mortgage location are temporarily closed. Our top priority has been the safety of employees, family, friends and customers. However, we are making every effort to restore these facilities to full operating status. Currently, we anticipate our Houston branch to reopen on Tuesday, September 5th. The reopening of our Beaumont mortgage location remains undetermined as we continue to monitor conditions. For updates on affected locations, please visit our Facebook or Twitter pages or this website.
In the meantime, City Bank is taking the necessary steps to meet the financial needs of our customers and businesses affected by the recent storm. If there are any circumstantial needs that we can assist with, please contact our Customer Care Center at 1-800-687-2265 Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. or Saturday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.. Some of the beneficial solutions we will offer to help affected customers include:
- Waiving late fees
- Waiving ATM fees
- Providing opportunities to defer payments
For customers with access to Online Banking or our Mobile App, these services remain unaffected.
Additionally, as we look to recover from Hurricane Harvey, join us as we contribute to reputable agencies assisting our communities. Together with City Bank's donation to the American Red Cross and Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established through the Texas Banker Foundation, we can aid in immediate assistance and the upcoming recovery process.
Cory T. Newsom
President and CEO
August 30, 2017, 7:39 AM
City Bank has temporarily closed its Houston branch and Beaumont mortgage location due to flooding in south Texas. City Bank is monitoring the situation with plans to reopen the affected locations after the situation can be more carefully assessed. Customers can monitor the status of these locations by calling 1-800-687-2265 or by checking for alerts posted on the City Bank Facebook news feed.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to our employees and those in our communities affected by the recent devastation as a result of Hurricane Harvey,” says Cory Newsom, President and CEO. “We have temporarily closed our Houston and Beaumont locations so that our employees and their families can take the necessary steps to seek safety.”
To help with immediate and ongoing rebuilding efforts, City Bank has donated $25,000 to the American Red Cross in addition to $10,000 to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established by the Texas Bankers Foundation. “Aiding and recovering from a tragedy such as this will take time and contributions from so many. I encourage others who can give to do so through the American Red Cross or other agencies providing relief for victims in south Texas,” added Newsom.
Additionally, City Bank is working closely with affected customers. Account holders and business owners are encouraged to contact City Bank to make necessary arrangements in regards to interrupted financial services due to Hurricane Harvey.