• 10 Reasons to Refinance Your Home Mortgage

    October 26, 2017, 10:08 AM
    Mortgage Refinancing

    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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. 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.

    9. 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.

    10. 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.
  • Here is How You and Your Community Benefit When You Support Local Entrepreneurs

    October 12, 2017, 8:22 AM
    Small Business Owner

    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.

    Improved Health

    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

     
  • Starter Homes Filling the Gap in the Next Hot Housing Market

    September 08, 2017, 9:34 AM

    Millennial-First-Time-Homebuyer

    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!

  • Standing Strong: An Important Announcement Regarding Hurricane Harvey

    September 01, 2017, 10:13 AM
    LUBBOCK, Texas

    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
    City Bank

  • Hurricane Harvey Affects Houston/Beaumont Locations; Donates To Disaster Relief

    August 30, 2017, 7:39 AM
    LUBBOCK, TEXAS

    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.

  • What is the 50/30/20 Rule of Thumb for Budgeting

    August 10, 2017, 10:03 AM

    Budgets are about paying your monthly bills on time, with the goal of giving you more power over your spending. The best way to give you that control is for you to be able to figure out exactly what you are spending your money on each month. This can allow you to better proportion your spending and align your financial activity with your savings goals.

    Enter the 50/30/20 rule of thumb, also referred to as the 50/30/20 budget. This budget is a proportional guideline that you can apply to your budgeting system. These guides, which can be tweaked to suit your unique situation, can help you simplify the budgeting process so that you are gaining financial ground each month rather than finding yourself in the red. Here are the four steps involved in using the 50/30/20 budget.
    Step 1: Figure Out Your After-Tax Income Before you can create a budget, you need to know how much money you have to spend each month. This is equal to your take home pay, or after-tax income. If you have a salaried position with a steady paycheck, this should be an easy find. If you are hourly or self-employed figure out your average take home pay each month. Items that you should add back in for all of these include retirement contributions, health care, and other benefit deductions. Step 2: 50% of Your Income Pays for Needs Now that you have an after-tax income figure to work with, you can create an accurate budget. No more than 50% of your after-tax pay should go towards your "needs." This includes such things as housing, food, health care, utilities, and car insurance. Other "needs" include minimum payments on any outstanding debts. This "needs" category is fairly strict as it includes only items for basic subsistence and survival. Some of the things that you think you "need" are actually "wants." Step 3: 30% of Your Income Pays for Your "Wants" Devoting 30% of your budget to "wants" may sound attractive, until you realize how much is omitted from the "needs" category. For example, cable TV and smartphone plans are "wants," not "needs." Some gourmet foods are also "wants," as are visits to the hair salon and brand new clothing. Plan your budget wisely, however, and you'll be able to fit a few of these items in comfortably. Step 4: 20% of Your Income Goes Towards Savings and Debt Repayment Last, you should devote 20% of your monthly budget to saving money and debt repayment. Everyone should have an emergency fund and begin saving for retirement as early as possible. It's also a good idea to put extra money each month towards debt repayment beyond just the minimum monthly payments that were allocated for in your "needs" bucket.

    Establishing good budgeting and saving habits is a skill that will provide you and your family with a lifetime of benefits. This percentage-based system can be applied to just about any living or salary situation, but feel free to adjust it so that your budget makes the most sense for you.

    Open a City Bank Savings Account today.

    Reach your financial goals faster when you make the decision to bank with City Bank. Please call 1-800-OUR-BANK or stop by your local City Bank branch location for current interest rates or to open a savings account today. 

     

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