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Money Matters Blog

Monday, March 24, 2014

6 Reasons to Build Your New Home

There are lots of deals on previously owned homes currently, making it easy for home buyers to overlook the benefits of building a new home. Here are 6 reasons to consider building, instead of buying, your new home:

Customization – If you as a buyer can dream it, a contractor can build it. A new home can be built exactly the way you like. Rooms can be situated in the order you want, making it your home.

Location – As with customizing the rooms and features, you can also pick your perfect location with new home construction. Building allows you to avoid the hassle of finding your ideal home in your ideal neighborhood.

Green appliances and building techniques – Newer built homes consume half as much energy as older built homes. The environment, your wallet and your health will all benefit from a new home with new appliances. 

Fewer repairs – Repairs to hardwoods, carpet, siding, roofing, electrical and much more can really add up when you buy an existing home. New homes come with everything new, so you won’t find these surprise repairs after you move in. 

Fire safety – Better electrical wiring and fire-resistant drywall products are two examples of newer construction techniques and materials. A new home built with fire-resistance in mind will decrease the likelihood of an electrical fire threatening your home.

Resale value – Newer homes have a longer life expectancy than homes built before 1980. This means they usually have a higher appraisal and more favorable resale
value than older homes.

Community Financial is here to help fit building a new home into your budget. You’ll enjoy peace of mind with Community Financial’s Construction Loans. Our mortgage specialists will help determine the best option for your unique financial situation.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Get the 4-1-1 on a Health Savings Account from Community Financial

A Health Savings Account, or a HSA is like an IRA that’s set up just for your medical needs and allows you to prepare for and manage healthcare costs for now and in the future. They were created in 2003 so that individuals who were insured by high-deductible health plans could have a tax-deferred savings account for medical expenses.

If you’re wondering about the high out-of-pocket expenses you might run into if you enroll in a HSA-qualified health plan, you’ll be put at ease knowing a HSA from Community Financial is a great asset to build a safety net for costs due to catastrophic medical expenses or an unexpected trip to a doctor or hospital.

There are many tax advantages that come along with opening a HSA. With a HSA from Community Financial, you can fund your account through tax-deductible contributions. All interest earned on the funds you’ve saved is tax-deferred as well. The distributions you make from your HSA are tax-free when spent on qualified medical expenses. Community Financial will even provide you with a debit card to make paying medical expenses from your HSA easier.

Unlike a Flexible Spending Account, money you don't use in your HSA during a calendar year will remain until the next, and continue to accrue interest until you use it. There’s no need to worry at the end of the year to spend what's left in your account.

As always, we recommend you check with your tax advisor to make sure a Health Savings Account is right for you.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Beat the Winter Blues with Activities Close to Home

The winter of 2014 is sure to go down in the record books for snowfall and cold temperatures. We Michiganders take pride in being hardy, but this winter is resulting in an epidemic of cabin fever. What are some things you can do to fight the winter blues? We’ve put a list together of fun activities, close to home, to make the best it!

Think spring!  Think Tiger’s baseball. Beginning this week, selected Detroit Tiger’s spring training games are being broadcast on radio and television. And, as hard as it is to believe, Detroit Tiger’s Opening Day is March 31! Our Tigers will take on the Kansas City Royals. We know lots of fans will be watching from the stands that day, but watching from home under a blanket with some hot cocoa will be nice too with the weather predicting 40 degrees that day!

Plan a neighborhood game night. Planning a game night is a great way to reconnect with neighbors or have a good time with old friends or family. The key to success is a variety of game options when your guests arrive. You can even invite your guests to bring a game of their own. Some game night favorites include Yahtzee, Jenga, Cranium, and a nice deck or two of cards.

Take a trip to the ice rink. With temperatures not warm enough to thaw, area ice rinks are still open for fun! Our northern Michigan members can enjoy the new Atlanta ice rink that opened recently, while southeastern Michigan members can find their closest ice rink here.

Plan your spring garden. Now is a good time to start planning what you w It may also be a good time to start seedlings for transplanting when the ground thaws. You can also plan to plant on a budget by learning some tips with this article.
ant to do for your spring garden! With the extra planning time this winter, you can go to the greenhouse with a complete plan of what you want to plant this spring and summer. Some stores are selling bulbs in water that you can start nurturing now for future planting.

Monday, March 3, 2014

6 Home Trends for Your Home Improvement Project

Believe it or not, spring is right around the corner and with a new season, comes new ideas!  If you’re looking to build a new home, add an addition or revamp your existing home’s bedroom, kitchen or bath, here’s what’s trending in 2014.

  • There’s a new neutral in town – gray. Home designers are saying that gray has taken beige’s spot in the home for 2014.
  • Metal backsplashes, in kitchens especially, are increasingly popular. While tile is still the most popular backsplash material, stainless steel has been moving up the list because of its sleek look.
  • Factory engineered quartz is overtaking granite as the most sought after countertop material.
  • Darker wood have been popular in recent years, but 2014 is different. Light and honey toned woods such as walnut, oak, and cherry are making a comeback.
  • The open concept home continues to be a popular layout. Home designers have noticed that having a kitchen that flows seamlessly into other rooms has been a must have on everyone’s list.
  • While “going green” may not be as trendy as it was in recent years, homeowners in 2014 are still opting for appliances with readily apparent energy and financial savings. 
Whether your existing home needs a little TLC or if you just want a makeover, a "No Equity" Home Improvement Loan can help. With a Community Financial home improvement loan, your interest rate will be lower than a credit card and you’ll have set monthly payments that will help you pay off your loan faster – all while increasing your home’s value.
For more information, visit