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The Basics: Cash-Out Refinances vs. Home Equity Loans

As a homeowner, you have two powerful tools thanks to all the equity you may have in your property: cash-out refinances and home equity loans. Understanding the nuances of each can empower you to make informed financial decisions and maximize the potential of your home's equity.  

Home equity is a homeowner's interest in their property, representing the portion of the home's value that they own outright. It's calculated by subtracting the outstanding mortgage balance from the home's current market value. As you repay your mortgage or as your home appreciates, your equity grows, becoming a valuable resource for financing major expenses, investments or even debt consolidation. 

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Accessing Your Tax Documents for the 2024 Tax Season

Looking to access your tax documents for this year? If you’ve opted to receive 1098 and 1099 statements electronically, your 2023 Year-End Statement can now be accessed via the Documents section of your account. 

Your 1098 statement, or Mortgage Interest Statement, is used for reporting the amount of interest and related expenses you paid on your mortgage within the tax year. The 1099 statement is used to report different sources of income throughout the tax year. With these two statements, you can be well prepared for tax season in April!

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Your Year-End Statement and Going Paperless

It’s that time of year again! If you’ve opted to receive 1098 and 1099 statements electronically, your 2023 year-end statement can be accessed via the Documents section of your account in late January. If you’ve enrolled in paperless delivery, you will be notified via email once it’s available. If you have not elected to receive your statements electronically, your statements will be mailed no later than January 31, 2024.

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Seven Ways to Make Your Home Less Spooky this Season

Fall and winter are just around the corner, and that means it's time to start thinking about getting your home ready for the colder months. With Halloween approaching you might think ghosts and witches are the spookiest visitors around, but higher energy bills and home maintenance issues in the fall and winter can be plenty spooky too! Don't worry, we've got you covered with seven tips to keep your home cozy and comfortable this season.

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Minimizing the Impact of Property Tax Increases

Property taxes play a significant role in your escrow account balance, and in turn, impact your monthly mortgage payments. Along with increases in home insurance rates, homeowners face property tax increases that can impact their escrow accounts and finances. As local tax rates and property assessments fluctuate, your property tax liability can increase over time. However, there are strategies you can employ to minimize these increases and preserve your financial stability. By taking advantage of available exemptions, budgeting and planning, homeowners can look to maximize their savings and create a more affordable homeownership experience.

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