Learn About Home Buying, Improvement, and Insurance at this Seminar in March 2014

sold-homeThere are a lot of uncertainties that arise when it comes to buying, selling or renovating a home: if the market is right, how to choose a realtor, how much to budget for, home insurance, and improvement project costs, are just a few of them. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to gain insight on the best way to move forward with your home buying/selling process.

At our upcoming consumer seminar, attendees will learn:

  • How to go about buying a new home and the best way to sell your current home.
  • How to figure out how much house you can afford.
  • Budgeting tips for home improvement projects.
  • Features and benefits of home insurance.
  • And so much more!

Join us on Wednesday, March 19th at 6:00pm for our “Home Buying, Improvement, and Insurance” Seminar, presented by the experts at First Financial and Liberty Mutual Insurance. The event will be held at our Toms River branch at 1360 Route 9 South (Corner of Routes 9 & 571), Toms River. Space is limited, so make sure you sign up today!

Register Now!
*Please note that this seminar is free of charge for First Financial members to attend. The seminar is open to non-members of the credit union to register and attend, however a $15 fee payable by check or cash will be collected at the seminar and credit union membership will be confirmed for all in attendance at the seminar. Should a non-member wish to become a First Financial member after attending the seminar, $5 will fund their membership deposit and be kept in their base savings account upon membership opening, and the other $10 will go to the First Financial Foundation for scholarships and classroom grants.

6 Must-Have Safety Items for Every Home

home-safety-challenge-logo1It’s shocking but true: according to a 2011 Columbia University survey, respondents not only failed to have a plan for home emergencies but they also didn’t have basic items, like flashlights and water, set aside. Yet house fires, power outages, and extreme weather are all real threats for many Americans. We don’t always think about what we need to do to prepare for emergencies until it’s too late. To make sure you’re prepared with an emergency response plan, take inventory of your home and be sure you have these necessary supplies to keep your loved ones safe and sound in the face of common home hazards:

1. Risk detectors.
Risk detectors should be installed to alert for both smoke and carbon monoxide. Interconnected detectors are a good idea, so if one is triggered on the first floor, you’ll hear the alarm upstairs. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) advises changing batteries every six months and sounding the alert monthly to test it and so that everyone will recognize it. Many detectors themselves also lose their sensitivity over time, and should therefore be replaced every decade, or as directed by a marked expiration date.

2. Fire extinguishers.
Store multi-purpose A-B-C extinguishers in accessible locations in case a small, contained fire breaks out. More importantly, the USFA stresses that you take the time to learn how to use them, and especially where to aim at the base of the flames. Keep an eye on the extinguishers’ expiration dates and pressure gauges and replace as indicated.

3. A first aid kit.
A first aid kit will include basic wound-dressing supplies and the like, but you should add extra essential medications required by any family members. The American Red Cross has guidelines on the items to include and quantities based on how large your family is. Restock as supplies are used or expire, and include emergency phone numbers where you store the kit to be prepared. It’s also smart for at least one adult in the house get first aid- and CPR-certified through a respected agency such as the Red Cross, American Heart Association, or your local fire or police department.

4. Battery-powered flashlights and a radio.
In case of a power outage, make sure you have battery-powered light sources (at least one for every member of the family) and a way to get updates from news sources and government officials. Keep extra batteries on hand as well, or consider crank-powered wind-up devices.

5. Food and water supplies.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that you have enough bottled water (one gallon per person per day) and canned or other nonperishable food items for all household members for at least three days. If you have pets make sure to keep a supply of their food as well. Keep your stash in a cool, dry place, and check it every six months (when you change your smoke detector batteries) to replace anything that’s expired. And don’t forget to include a manual can opener with your supplies.

6. An emergency game plan.
While not technically a supply, its essential that all family members know what to do if you need to leave your home because of fire, flood, or other emergency. But, more than half of U.S. households lack an emergency preparedness plan. Plan an escape route with a meeting spot outdoors, and discuss with family and friends where you will go in the event of an evacuation. You should also make sure everyone in the family is knowledgeable about where your home emergency supplies are stored.

For more information and how Liberty Mutual Insurance may be able to help you save on your auto and home insurance, feel free to contact our Liberty Mutual representative, Dan Ressegiue or visit our webpage:

Daniel RessegiueAgentDanielRessegiue

303 West Main Street | Suite 100
Freehold, NJ 07728
732-308-3868 Ext. 50950
Daniel.Ressegiue@LibertyMutual.com
www.LibertyMutual.com/DanRessegiue

Daniel graduated from The Pennsylvania State University majoring in Psychology and business and is currently finishing an MBA at Monmouth University. During his tenure at Liberty Mutual, he has been awarded many awards including National Rookie of the year special recognition, 5 Time “Pacesetter,” Pursuit of Excellence and is a Liberty Lamplighters Club inductee. During his spare time, he enjoys staying active playing soccer, racquetball and partaking in long distance running competitions.  He is also a member of Jersey Shore Runners Club, Penn State Alumni Association, as well as SCORE, a nonprofit entity dedicated to the mentoring of small business owners.*First Financial Federal Credit Union Client #38361

Article Source: Liberty Mutual Insurance

Costs to Consider: 4 Unexpected Home Owner Expenses

House of MoneyAfter several years of a slow housing market, buying is picking up. Housing prices have dropped significantly during the recent slowdown, and mortgage rates remain at historic lows, meaning that purchasing a house is more affordable than it has been in years.
However, if you’re wondering, “Should I buy or rent?”, it’s important to realize that your housing costs will go beyond your monthly mortgage payment. As a renter, you don’t need to worry about anything beyond your monthly rent, but owning a home comes with a wide range of financial obligations. As a homeowner, you’ll be responsible for several costs.Things to Consider when Buying a House

  1. Property Taxes – As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying annual taxes on the property you own. Often, these taxes are bundled into your monthly mortgage payment and held in an escrow account, and the mortgage company pays them for you each year. If you choose to pay taxes this way, be prepared for your mortgage payment to be a little higher each month to cover taxes.
  2. Home Insurance – As a renter, you may have purchased renters insurance to cover the cost of your belongings inside the home, but as a homeowner, you must pay to insure your entire home from fire or other damages. If you live near water, you may be required to pay extra for flood insurance. This expense is also frequently included in your monthly mortgage payment and held in escrow until annual premiums are due.
  3. Ongoing Maintenance – When a homeowner wakes up to a broken water heater and a cold shower, you can’t call the landlord or the maintenance department for help. You must find a plumber, pay the bill, and purchase a new water heater or parts or whatever is needed. As a homeowner, it’s important to have a cash fund available for emergencies – you never know when you may need to fix a leaky faucet, a broken lawn mower or buy a new dishwasher.
  4. Utility Bills – Some landlords cover water and sewer bills, and others include cable or Internet access with a lease agreement. As a homeowner, you won’t benefit from any such perks; you’ll be responsible for paying all the monthly bills, including some that you might not even think of as a new homeowner:
    • Electricity
    • Gas or oil
    • Water
    • Sewer
    • Trash pickup
    • Landscaping and/or snow removal
If you are financially prepared for the costs associated with owning a home, it may be the best choice, as it will allow you to build equity that you can benefit from for years to come.
For more information and how Liberty Mutual Insurance may be able to help you save on your homeowners insurance, feel free to contact our Liberty Mutual representative, Dan Ressegiue or visit our webpage:

AgentDanielRessegiueDaniel Ressegiue

303 West Main Street | Suite 100
Freehold, NJ 07728
732-308-3868 Ext. 50950
Daniel.Ressegiue@LibertyMutual.com
www.LibertyMutual.com/DanRessegiue

Daniel graduated from The Pennsylvania State University majoring in Psychology and business and is currently finishing an MBA at Monmouth University. During his tenure at Liberty Mutual, he has been awarded many awards including National Rookie of the year special recognition, 5 Time “Pacesetter,” Pursuit of Excellence and is a Liberty Lamplighters Club inductee. During his spare time, he enjoys staying active playing soccer, racquetball and partaking in long distance running competitions.  He is also a member of Jersey Shore Runners Club, Penn State Alumni Association, as well as SCORE, a nonprofit entity dedicated to the mentoring of small business owners.*First Financial Federal Credit Union Client #38361

Article Source: Liberty Mutual Insurance