Service First Blog

Down Payments: What New Homebuyers Should Know

Posted by:  Service First
2016-12-29 07:37:52

Many first-time homebuyers are unfamiliar with the home buying process, including down payments.    Here are a few things you should know about down payments.   What is a Down Payment? A down payment is an initial payment made when buying a home. A down payment is...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


With Christmas around the corner, what better way to treat yourself than to purchase your dream home? Check out these three tips on purchasing a home during the holidays. Hire a Real Estate Agent  There are many real estate agents around you, but only a...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


In Their Own Words: A Customer Testimonial

Posted by:  Service First
2016-12-20 14:03:59

We love receiving feedback from our customers! Check out this awesome testimonial given to Branch One team members, Diane Davalos, Sr. Loan Officer; and Mari Arniz, Processor.    I wanted to reach out to express how pleased I was with Diane and Mari servicing my loan approval...[read more...]

Categories:   testimonials


When Should You Refinance Your Home?

Posted by:  Service First
2016-12-14 10:08:59

The decision to refinance your home may seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. There a few things you should take into consideration when exploring your refinancing options. Here are 3 key factors to consider when making the decision to refinance your home. Timing: Refinancing can...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Increase in Maximum Conforming Loan Limits in 2017

Posted by:  Service First
2016-12-02 10:26:32

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently announced an increase in the maximum conforming loan limits in 2017 for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mortgages. In most of the country, the 2017 maximum loan limit for one-unit properties will be $424,100, an increase from $417,000. In areas whe...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


  Carlos Garza promoted to branch manager for the company’s office in Laredo, Texas.   Service First Mortgage, a leading Texas-based mortgage lender, continues to demonstrate its culture of promoting from within through the recent promotion of Carlos Garza to branch manage...[read more...]

Categories:   company news


Millennials are Driving the Housing Market

Posted by:  Service First
2016-11-23 07:55:07

Skyrocketing rents are driving millennials to steadily increase their presence in the housing market by buying instead of renting. At today’s average rental rates, the price of renting an apartment or a condo cost about the same as purchasing a home, from a month-by-month perspective. Pu...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


We are honored to be voted as #19 among Midsize Companies for the Top 100 Places to Work in 2016 by the Dallas Morning News. Every spring, the newspaper solicits nominations for the Top 100 Places to Work. Anyone can nominate a company and at least 35 percent of a firm’s employees must fill...[read more...]

Categories:   press


5 Security Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Posted by:  Service First
2016-11-17 13:19:35

With all of the excitement most homebuyers experience after purchasing a home, you may forget about the important security measures you should take to secure your new home. Here are five security tips for first-time homebuyers. Install a home security system. There are many benefits of p...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Preparing for Homeownership

Posted by:  Service First
2016-11-11 09:49:33

Understanding the costs associated with purchasing a home are important to consider before making that final decision. It is important that you fully understand the process of transitioning from renting to becoming a homebuyer. Here are a few tips that will help you determine if you’re r...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Customer Testimonial

Posted by:  Service First
2016-11-04 16:06:28

We love receiving feedback from our customers! Check out this awesome testimonial given to Ronna Smith, Loan Officer with our Branch One office.  Hi Ronna, We are so happy to finally be in our home. You made home buying a little less stressful and guided us along the way. Thank you so muc...[read more...]

Categories:   testimonials


A growing mortgage lending company plans to move its North Texas headquarters to McKinney's Craig Ranch after finalizing its real estate deal for about 25,000 square feet. Richardson-based Service First Mortgage has signed a deal for 25,000 square feet of office space at McKinney Corporate Ce...[read more...]

Categories:   press


Helpful Tips to Prepare Your Home for Fall

Posted by:  Service First
2016-10-12 07:43:50

Fall is finally here. Is your home prepared for the unpredictable weather conditions that may come your way? Here are a few tips that will help you prepare for the upcoming weather. Clean out the gutters and check your roof. Cleaning out the gutter is no fun, but this should be done every year...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Top 3 Reasons to Buy a Home this Fall

Posted by:  Service First
2016-10-07 07:12:46

If you’re shopping for a home this fall, you may enjoy benefits that summer or spring buyers missed out on. Check them out below. Lower home prices According to data from RealtyTrac, home shoppers enjoy the most bargains during the month of October. During the month of October, home buyers...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Why Homeowners Should Invest in Energy Efficiency

Posted by:  Service First
2016-09-28 09:48:31

You have probably heard that going green with your home will help you save money. Although lowering your electric and gas bills is the biggest benefit of increasing your home’s energy efficiency, it’s not the only reason. There are several other benefits, including: Potentially rai...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Did you know windows can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,000 per window to replace? That’s a costly repair that most home buyers would like to avoid, if possible. To help you determine if the home you’re considering will need new windows in the future, look for these tell-tale signs: ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


If you’re an international home buyer looking for your next Texas real estate investment, you’re not alone. According to the latest Texas International Home Buyers Report released by the Texas Association of Realtors, international home buyers added over $10 billion to the Texas econo...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


Top 5 Mistakes New Home Buyers Make

Posted by:  Service First
2016-09-07 13:46:48

Buying a home is an exciting and stressful time in every new home buyer’s life. With so many options to choose from when selecting a home, many buyers may make mistakes such as overlooking major structural issues in favor of cosmetic upgrades. Common mistakes made by new home buyers include...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Six Things Every New Home Owner Must Do

Posted by:  Service First
2016-08-31 10:16:16

For new home owners, it’s a good idea to avoid future issues by doing these six things when you move into your new home. Change the locks and make spare keys. If you are a new home owner, it’s a wise decision to change the locks on your doors when you move into the house. It may seem ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Texas Cities Rank in Top 5 Largest Starter Homes

Posted by:  Service First
2016-08-24 08:57:17

As you search for your first home you may wonder where in the country you can get the most for your money. According to new data released by Trulia, it’s time to consider Texas. Texas cities Austin and Houston rank in the Top 5 metro areas across the country for largest starter homes availa...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


The Pros & Cons of Buying a House in College

Posted by:  Service First
2016-08-17 07:51:21

As summer comes to an end and the new semester approaches, you may be asking yourself, “Is now the time to buy a house?” With rent prices soaring, it’s no surprise that some college-bound students have considered purchasing a home rather than continuing to pay skyrocketing rent....[read more...]

Categories:   tips


If you’re planning to retire within the next five to 10 years, you may be surprised to learn that now may be the best time for you to purchase your retirement home. Buying the home while you’re still working full-time is easier, particularly if you plan to get a mortgage. Not convi...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Top 3 Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage

Posted by:  Service First
2016-08-03 12:53:47

Can’t decide if refinancing is the right option for you? With historically low interest rates, now is a great time to buy or refinance. If you’re still on the fence about refinancing, consider these top three reasons: Lower your rate. Refinancing to receive a lower rate may save...[read more...]

Categories:  


Tips to Attract Millennial Home Buyers

Posted by:  Service First
2016-07-27 12:07:32

Rising rent and historically low interest rates are just a few of the many reasons why experts are predicting an increase in homebuyers in the real estate marketplace this year. Older millennials, or those between the ages of 25 and 34, are projected to represent as much as one-third of home purc...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Hispanic Homeownership Rates on the Rise

Posted by:  Service First
2016-07-20 09:37:16

A recent study by the Hispanic Wealth Project finds significant growth in homeownership among Hispanics since 2000. Second-generation Hispanics have reached a 50 percent homeownership rate. In 2015, the Hispanic homeownership growth rate accounted for 69 percent of the total net growth. This m...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


Summer Home Staging Tips

Posted by:  Service First
2016-07-13 09:38:27

Are you selling your home this summer? Staging may help you sell your home faster and for a higher price. Home staging is the act of preparing a home for sale in the real estate marketplace. The goal of staging is to make the home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers – this m...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Tips for a Smooth Home Inspection

Posted by:  Service First
2016-07-06 12:43:48

A home inspection can help to identify components of a home that are significantly deficient, unsafe or near the end of their life. Inspectors will identify major issues such as cracks in the foundation, a roof in need of repairs, or smaller issues such as electrical outlets that do not work. ...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


Tips to Cut Summer Air Conditioning Costs

Posted by:  Service First
2016-06-29 08:51:33

If you’ve been outside lately, you know the summer heat is upon us. Keeping your family cool is important and an air conditioner (AC) can do just that. Use the following tips to keep your summer AC costs low while staying cool: Use fans. Ceiling fans make it possible for you to set the A...[read more...]

Categories:   tips


If you’re a homeowner in Texas, chances are your house has positive equity. According to new data released by CoreLogic, Texas has the highest percentage of homes with positive equity, at 98.1 percent. Across the country, equity for homeowners has almost doubled to 6.9 trillion from only...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


Mortgage Rates Drop after Disappointing Job Report

Posted by:  Service First
2016-06-16 07:49:35

The recent employment report had a major impact on mortgage rates. The report showed that the economy had only added 38,000 jobs in May, a big disappointment. As a result, mortgage rates fell for the first time in four weeks, to an average of 3.60 percent, down from 3.66 percent the week prior. ...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


Home Sales at Highest Pace in a Decade

Posted by:  Service First
2016-06-08 08:34:57

Are you in the market for a new home? You’re not alone. Despite a low inventory of homes available and rising home prices, existing-home sales are at their highest rate since 2006, according to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Although low inv...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


How to Decide Whether to Rent or Buy a Home

Posted by:  Service First
2016-06-03 09:37:03

Can't decide whether you should rent or purchase a home? Consider the following three key factors when making this life-changing decision. Your Housing Market All housing markets are not created equal. If it’s more affordable to buy a house than to rent in the area where you live &ndas...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


How Renovation Loans Can Help You Buy a Home

Posted by:  Service First
2016-05-20 13:54:52

Since the inventory of available homes in the market is low, homebuyers are starting to become more creative when it comes to finding their dream home. One of those creative solutions involves renovation loans. With a renovation loan, a homebuyer may choose to purchase a house that they can trans...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


What are you going to do with your tax refund? Before you purchase that new phone or TV, consider investing your tax refund in your journey to homeownership. According to Freddie Mac, here are three ways your tax refund can help you become a homeowner: Down payment - Save your tax refund fo...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


According to an analysis completed by Realtor.com, the Dallas-Fort Worth area ranked #3 in the Top 20 Hottest Housing Markets in America for February. The analysis takes into account growing demand, inventory, and home prices. In addition to ranking 3rd, housing inventory is moving six days fa...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


According to an article from the Dallas Morning News, millennial homebuyers now account for 36 percent of U.S. home purchases. Forty-four percent of these buyers are purchasing homes in the suburbs; despite the popular notion that many millennials prefer urban neighborhoods. As a result of thi...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


What to Do Before You Unpack in Your New Home

Posted by:  Service First
2016-02-11 06:59:22

Congratulations! You’re a homeowner. What’s next? Unpacking. We know the excitement of moving into a new home can be quickly overridden by the overwhelming task of unpacking. Where should you start? Our friends at Zillow.com share the following tips as you prepare to unpack and mak...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


5 Real Estate Trends in 2016

Posted by:  Service First
2016-02-02 08:04:34

According to a recent article from the Daily Real Estate News, the following five trends will dominate the real estate market this year: Generational buying will increase. This includes millennials who will enter the market as first-time homebuyers as well as GenXers who are already homeowners...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


First-time Homebuyers Return to Housing Market

Posted by:  Service First
2016-01-21 12:48:23

Are you a prospective first-time homebuyer interested in purchasing a home? You’re not alone. According to a recent study by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) International Center on Housing Risk, first-time homebuyers accounted for 56.7 percent of primary owner-occupied home purchase...[read more...]

Categories:  


A recent Home Value Forecast (HVF) released by Zillow ranks Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) as the 3rd hottest housing market in the country in 2016. According to Zillow, the DFW area is ideal for job growth, holding strong with a 4 percent unemployment rate and solid income growth. Median home values...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news


Need another reason to love Texas? How about the strong housing market? According to a report from the Texas Association of Realtors, Texas was the No. 2 state for gains in out-of-state residents, with more than 538,000 Americans relocating to Texas as a result of the state’s business-frien...[read more...]

Categories:   industry news