Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates: Announcements, Branch Availability, and Government Relief Programs. Due to high call volume from stimulus funds posting, we are experiencing longer wait times. Check our Mobile Banking app or Online Banking for account updates. Check the status of your payment by using the IRS Get My Payment Tool. (Routing #: 263078934)

All branches will be closed in observance of Independence Day on Saturday, July 4, 2020.

To comply with CDC guidelines and the City of Jacksonville emergency executive proclamation to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are now requiring facemasks to be worn while inside the branches.  Exceptions include children under age 2 and people with respiratory issues.  Masks are available upon request.

Blog


How to Choose a Checking Account for Teens

By: Community First Credit Union

Posted on 6/15/2020 3:34:01 PM

It’s never too early to start learning how to be financially fit, and for teens, that means opening a checking account with their parents. We’ve created this handy infographic to help teens and their parents figure out how to open a teen’s first checking account.

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Mortgage Forbearance - A Great Option to Consider With COVID-19

By: Susan Verbeck, Chief Lending Officer

Posted on 6/1/2020 3:34:01 PM

Many Americans have suffered financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments, there are options for you. Because of the CARES Act, you can potentially apply for mortgage forbearance.

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5 Ways to Boost Your Financial Health Amidst COVID-19

By: Kenyon Sutton, Financial Wellness Officer

Posted on 5/7/2020 3:34:01 PM

The coronavirus pandemic has shifted all our lives in many ways, but how has it impacted your financial health? By taking the steps outlined in this blog, you can preserve and even boost your financial fitness during this uncertain time.

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Use These Tips to Avoid Coronavirus Scams

By: Stephanie Mintz, CFE Fraud Prevention & BSA Analyst

Posted on 4/3/2020 3:34:01 PM

You might have already used mobile payments, or maybe you’ve just heard about them. We’ve put together a breakdown to help you understand exactly what mobile payments are, how you can use them, and whether or not they’re actually safe.​

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Infographic: 8 Smart Money Moves To Make Now

By: Community First Credit Union

Posted on 4/3/2020 3:34:01 PM

The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, also known as the coronavirus, has changed our lives in many ways. If you are concerned about you or your loved ones’ financial wellbeing, we’re here to help. Here’s what you can do right now:

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8 smart money moves to make in uncertain times

By: Community First Credit Union

Posted on 4/3/2020 3:34:01 PM

The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, also known as the coronavirus, has changed our lives in many ways. If you are concerned about you or your loved ones’ financial wellbeing, we’re here to help. Here’s what you can do right now:

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“No Closing Costs" What Does it Actually Mean?

By: Janet Smith, Vice President of Mortgage Operations

Posted on 3/11/2020 3:34:01 PM

When banks or credit unions offer No Closing Cost loans, is it too good to be true? Can you really buy a house without paying any closing costs? Let’s take a closer look at what “no closing costs” really means, and how to decide if it’s the right choice for you.

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How to Avoid Tax Identity Theft Scams

By: Ryan Fuhriman, Director of Fraud Prevention

Posted on 1/24/2020 3:34:01 PM

When it comes to taxes, everyone wants the same thing – to get a big refund and not owe anything to the IRS. But tax identity theft scams could stand in the way of that for you. Here’s what you need to know:

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Long-Term Care Insurance: How Does It Work?

By: Community First Credit Union

Posted on 1/13/2020 3:34:01 PM

Whether you've had a long-term care insurance (LTCI) policy for years or you're thinking of buying one, it's critical to understand exactly what set of conditions will trigger coverage. This information is the bread and butter of any LTCI policy. In addition, you should know how to file a claim, preferably before you're on the verge of needing care.

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How to Score Some Extra Cash This Tax Season

By: Chris Culpepper VP Branches, Operational Service & Special Accounts

Posted on 1/1/2020 3:34:01 PM

Who doesn’t love more money? When it comes to your taxes, all it takes is a little extra planning and attention to maximize your refund and get more money from your tax return.

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The 3 Most Important Things to Look for in Business Banking

By: Michele Godfrey-Watson, Assistant Vice President Commercial Services

Posted on 12/27/2019 3:34:01 PM

When it comes to business banking, there is a lot of competition out there between financial institutions vying for your business. On the one hand, that’s a good thing because it means you have no shortage of options and benefits. But on the other hand, it can mean a lot of overwhelming choices. Here are the top three things to look for when choosing where to do your business banking:

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Do You Have a Debt Hangover From The Holidays?

By: Kiana Wright, Vice President of Consumer Lending

Posted on 12/13/2019 3:34:01 PM

It’s easy to get caught up in the giving spirit of the holidays. Between the amazing sales that you just can’t pass up and the temptation to buy the perfect gift for everyone on your list, debt can quickly start adding up. If that’s you, then you might be suffering from a holiday debt hangover. Here are our tips for the holiday debt hangover cure.

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Understanding Overdraft Protection

By: Susan Verbeck, Chief Lending Officer

Posted on 11/28/2019 3:34:01 PM

If you’ve ever spent more than the amount of money you have in your account, then you’re probably familiar with overdraft protection. But did you know there are steps you can take to protect yourself from overdrafts?

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Mobile Payments 101

By: Debora Tennison, Director of Electronic Services

Posted on 11/14/2019 3:34:01 PM

You might have already used mobile payments, or maybe you’ve just heard about them. We’ve put together a breakdown to help you understand exactly what mobile payments are, how you can use them, and whether or not they’re actually safe.​

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Understanding IRAs

By: Ken Millhone, CFS* Investment Services Program Manager

Posted on 10/28/2019 12:00:00 AM

An individual retirement arrangement (IRA) is a personal savings plan that offers specific tax benefits. IRAs are one of the most powerful retirement savings tools available to you. Even if you're contributing to a 401(k) or other plan at work, you might also consider investing in an IRA.

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5 Ways to Prepare for Your Child’s College Education

By: Jasmine Marshall, Member Service Representative

Posted on 10/9/2019 12:00:00 PM

The thought of financially preparing for your child’s college education may seem daunting. In fact, you may find yourself pushing this important task aside, especially if your child is relatively young. Don’t fret! Preparation for college can begin at this very moment, and it may be easier than you think.

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How to Get a Credit Union Car Loan

By: Kiana Wright, Vice President, Consumer Lending

Posted on 10/3/2019 12:00:00 PM

Financing a car can be stressful, but getting a credit union car loan can alleviate some of the stress and save you money. Here’s what you need to know about credit union car loans and how you can get one.

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Life Insurance: Do You Need It?

By: Ken Millhone, CFS* Investment Services Program Manager

Posted on 9/25/2019 11:00:00 AM

At some point in your life, you'll probably be faced with the question of whether you need life insurance. Life insurance is a way to protect your loved ones financially after you die and your income stops. The answer to whether you need life insurance depends on your personal and financial circumstances.

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3 Factors That Affect Auto Loan Rates

By: Kiana Wright, Vice President of Consumer Lending

Posted on 9/4/2019 3:34:01 PM

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to buying a car, but don’t forget about the auto loan rate. Just a couple percentage points can be a difference of thousands of dollars. Here’s what an auto loan rate is and the factors that influence how high or low it will be:

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How to Improve Your Credit Score

By: Kiana Wright, Vice President, Consumer Lending

Posted on 8/30/2019 9:30:00 AM

Your credit score is one of the most important barometers of your financial health. By improving your credit score, you open yourself up to lower interest rates, more opportunities to invest and make big purchases, and a better chance at completing your financial goals.

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How to Select a Checking Account

By: Chelsea Stefanelli, Deposit Compliance and Specialized Services Manager

Posted on 8/23/2019 11:00:00 AM

A checking account is a basic component of your financial life, but choosing a checking account can feel like anything but a basic task. Here’s how to weigh the options and choose the best checking account for you.

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How Much Should I Have Saved for Retirement? A Breakdown by Age

By: Ken Millhone, Investment Services Program Manager

Posted on 8/19/2019 4:30:00 PM

When it comes to saving for retirement, it’s never too early or too late to start. Here’s our retirement savings goal guide to help you determine how much money to save for retirement through every stage of your life.

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A Beginner's Guide to Personal Loans

By: Doug Sypolt, Director of Consumer Loan Operations

Posted on 7/31/2019 5:00:00 PM

A personal loan is a strategic financial tool you can use in a number of financial situations. If you’re a beginner to the world of personal loans, here’s a breakdown of what you need to know.

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How to Improve Your Credit With a Shared Secured Loan

By: Kiana Wright, Vice President of Consumer Lending

Posted on 7/10/2019 3:34:01 PM

If you’re working hard to improve your credit or build credit for the first time, consider taking out a special type of loan called a Shared Secured Loan. Here’s how these unique loans work.

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Is it Better to Rent or Buy a Home?

By: Janet Smith, Assistant Vice President of Mortgage Operations

Posted on 6/26/2019 5:00:00 PM

If you’re like the average first-time home buyer, you’ve probably been renting for years. How do you know when it’s time to stop renting and start the home buying process? Is it always better to rent than buy?

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When Should I Refinance My Mortgage?

By: Steve Swenson, Mortgage Loan Originator

Posted on 6/19/2019 5:00:00 PM

Refinancing your mortgage can help you save money, but there are a few things to consider first. Here’s how to know when it’s the right time to refinance your mortgage.

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10 Steps to Prepare for Hurricane Season

By: Tim Simpson, Chief Information Officer

Posted on 5/30/2019 5:00:00 PM

Hurricane season officially starts June 1st. When it comes to preparation, the time is now. Here are 10 steps you can take to prepare for the worst.

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How to Get Financially Fit

By: Kenyon Sutton, Financial Wellness Officer

Posted on 4/25/2019 1:30:00 PM

Do you know how to get your finances in shape? Here’s our list of actions you can take and tools you can use to become financially fit.

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Opening Your Child’s First Credit Union Account

By: Jennifer DiGregorio, Project and Process Improvement Specialist

Posted on 3/28/2019 3:00:00 PM

Sometimes, the best way to learn is through experience. You can try to teach your children about money by explaining the concepts to them, but often, they won’t really understand until they save and spend.

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Get Ready to Buy Your First House

By: Justin DeValerio, Mortgage Loan Originator

Posted on 2/27/2019 6:00:00 PM

Thinking of buying your first home? You’re not alone, and we’re here to help you get through the home buying process as smoothly as possible.

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How a Credit Union Can Help You Alleviate Financial Stress

By: Susan Verbeck, Chief Lending Officer

Posted on 1/30/2019 5:00:00 PM

Many people may find themselves going through a financial hardship at some point in their lives, but for credit union members, those hard times are getting a little easier.

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Are You Using Online Banking? Here’s Why You Should.

By: April Payne, Digital Banking Manager

Posted on 12/31/2018 3:00:00 PM

Online banking is the easiest, safest, and most convenient way to manage your money. In this article, we’re going to look at all the features of Community First Online Banking and how you can use it to easily manage your accounts.

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Is Your Account Protected From Fraud?

By: Stephanie Mintz, CFE, Fraud Prevention & BSA Analyst

Posted on 11/20/2018 5:00:00 PM

Here’s how you can protect your money and account information from getting into the wrong hands.

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Find out if a Debt Consolidation Loan is right for you

By: Kiana Wright, Assistant Vice President of Consumer Lending

Posted on 10/24/2018 3:00:00 PM

Debt consolidation provides many people with cost-savings, but it also can offer stress relief and an opportunity for improved financial health. Here’s how debt consolidation can work for you.

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How to Save $1000 by Christmas

By: Brenda Cornwell, Accounting Manager

Posted on 9/28/2018 12:00:00 PM

Are you looking to save a lot of money quickly? Get ahead of the holiday season and start saving up now. Here’s how you can save $1,000 by Christmas.

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Why You Should Open a CD in Your 20s & 30s

By: Sam Inman, Chief Financial Officer

Posted on 8/31/2018 5:30:00 PM

Whether you’re brand new to investing or looking for a safe way to earn interest, CDs are a great investment option.

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Is Homeownership Right for You?

By: Eric Krall, Mortgage Sales Manager

Posted on 7/20/2018 2:06:06 PM

With mortgage rates trending up, it may be the right time to give further thought to the question, "Is homeownership right for me?" How do you know if you’re ready?

While homeownership is an exciting milestone in your life, it’s important to educate yourself on the financial implications of buying 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.

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Are You Financially Ready for Hurricane Season?

By: Janet Smith, Director of Mortgage Operations

Posted on 6/21/2018 9:00:00 AM

Hurricane season is here, which means the time to get ready is now. While emergency preparedness can feel overwhelming, we’ve made it easy to know exactly what you need to do – from safety planning to financial readiness.

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How Millennials Can Make the American Dream a Reality in 2018

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 6/15/2017 12:00:00 PM

Lack of millennial buyers is one of the trends that is causing homeownership in the United States to dip to an all-time low, but there are many reasons millennials are hesitating to purchase.

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8 Ways to Streamline Your Life Using Your Checking Account

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 3/29/2017 12:00:00 PM

Setting up your checking account for the first time? Here are some tips on the most effective way to use it, presented by Community First Credit Union.

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Easy Ways to Save Money for an Emergency Fund

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 2/2/2017 12:00:00 PM

Getting an emergency fund started might seem daunting, but there are easy ways to make it happen.

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5 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund to Establish Financial Confidence

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 1/10/2017 12:00:00 PM

Turn your extra cash into financial confidence with your tax refund this year.

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What is a Credit Score?

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 10/10/2016 2:18:34 PM

Really understanding what your credit score means and how it can affect your life is one of the keys to getting your finances on track.

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Tips to avoid identity theft

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 9/2/2016 12:00:00 PM

You can minimize your risk of becoming a victim of fraud. Learn more in this blog from Community First.

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What is a Digital Wallet?

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 7/8/2016 12:00:00 PM

A digital wallet is a convenient way to carry your debit or credit card information on your mobile device. Learn more in this blog from Community First.

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Easy Ways to Eliminate Credit Card Debt

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 5/9/2016 2:16:35 PM

Here are some easy steps you can take to improve your financial future and make credit card debt a thing of the past.

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Time & Money Savings Tips from our Mortgage Experts

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 4/7/2016 12:00:00 PM

These insights from the mortgage loan officers at Community First can help save you time and money when you are ready to purchase a home.

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Learn How to Calculate Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 3/30/2016 12:00:00 PM

Get a better understanding of your finances by calculating your debt-to-income ratio. Learn more in this blog from Community First.

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Community First Credit Union Members Save up to $15 on TurboTax

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 2/8/2016 2:14:05 PM

As a Community First member, you can save up to $15 on TurboTax federal products. Learn more about how you can save through Love My Credit Union Rewards.

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Reduce Your Student Loan Debt This Year

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 1/19/2016 12:00:00 PM

With college tuition costs soaring, more students are finding themselves in significant debt upon graduating. It's important to develop a plan of attack early to help reduce and manage debt.

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How Do I Plan for Retirement?

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 1/3/2016 2:19:04 PM

Retirement can sneak up on you. You are busy with other things in life that demand your attention, such as work, school, raising children and pursuing your other life goals. Before you know it, retirement time has arrived.

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5 Myths About Your Credit Score

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 6/1/2015 12:00:00 PM

If you're hoping to improve your credit score, learning exactly how the system works is the first step. Understanding the truth about what impacts your credit score will help you plan to reach your goals. In this infographic, Community First Credit Union dispels five popular myths about credit ratings.

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How to Budget for Monthly Household Spending

By: Hirabayashi

Posted on 11/12/2014 12:00:00 PM

Whether you have lived on your own for a long time, or you are just starting out in your first place, having a budget in place is essential. A budget ensures that all the necessities are paid for on time. Plus, it gives you money for additional things like entertainment, vacations and other fun stuff. If you don't already have a budget in place, here's how to get started.

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Is a Credit Union Right for Me?

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 11/11/2014 12:00:00 PM

Credit unions and banks may provide the same services, but there are a few important distinctions between the two types of financial institutions. A credit union may actually be a better choice than a bank, depending on the situation.

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How Credit Card Usage Affects Your Credit Score

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 11/10/2014 12:00:00 PM

Credit cards can be a great way to improve your credit score. However, you must be careful and manage your credit card use, so you don't get caught in an endless cycle of debt. This debt can pile up until it is nearly impossible to dig your way out of. The following tips will help you manage your credit card use and increase your credit score.

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The Pitfalls of Payday Lending

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 11/9/2014 12:00:00 PM

If you are considering a payday loan, you need to read the following information before you follow through with your loan application.

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Adjustable Rate versus Fixed Rate Mortgages

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 11/9/2014 12:00:00 PM

Choosing the right type of mortgage is vital to getting what you want out of your home purchase, however, many people have difficulty understanding the types of mortgages available and what makes them different.

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The Value of a Good Credit Score

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 11/8/2014 12:00:00 PM

A good credit score can help you in many areas of your life, while a bad credit score can hinder you in many areas. It is important to check your credit report annually so you know what is being reported.

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How to Prepare to Buy Your First Home

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 11/8/2014 12:00:00 PM

If you are looking to purchase your first home, it's not as easy as finding a home for sale, writing a check and moving in. There are many things you should do to prepare yourself and your finances so that you can purchase the home of your dreams when the time is right.

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Should I Finance My Car Loan with a Dealership or My Bank?

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 11/7/2014 12:00:00 PM

When you purchase a vehicle, you have a couple of options. You can purchase the car with cash, but with the current state of the economy, many buyers are unable to do this. You can also finance your vehicle. You can obtain financing through the dealership or the financial institution that you do all of your personal banking with. Before you choose who to procure a loan from, you should know all of the pros and cons for each type of financing. This will help you make a wise choice for both your pocketbook and your credit score.

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Benefits of a HELOC

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 11/5/2014 12:00:00 PM

A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a great way to obtain cash for your needs, whether you are looking to do some work on your home, or you want to consolidate some other debt, such as credit cards, medical expenses or other major expenses. This type of lending has declined in recent years, but lenders are once again seeing an increase in HELOC applications from lenders. If you own your home and are looking to restructure your finances, a HELOC can be a great option. Here is what you need to know if you are considering a HELOC.

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How Much Home Can I Afford?

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 11/4/2014 12:00:00 PM

Buying a home is just a small part of the American dream. Many people feel more complete once they own their own house, as it is a tangible reward for years of hard work. If you are looking to buy a new home, whether it is your first home or you are a veteran home buyer, you have a lot of research and planning ahead of you. One of the most important things to determine is exactly how much home you are able to afford on your budget. Here are a few tips to help you calculate just how much you can spend on a new home.

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First Time Home Buying Tips

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 10/30/2014 12:00:00 PM

The home buying process can be overwhelming for most buyers, whether you are new to the home buying game, or you've been around the block a few times. If you are preparing to purchase your first home, there are some things you should keep in mind to help reduce your stress and make the process a little easier on you and your family.

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