New home, new furniture for contest winner

Fort Mill newcomer Kim Ward plans to start shopping for a house of her own this year. And the $1,000 she recently won in our Movin’ On Up” contest will give her a jumpstart on the furniture.

She is one of about 600 people who entered the two-month contest for people looking to upgrade their homes. The prize was $1,000 towards new furniture or home improvement – winner’s pick. Kim learned of the contest when she attended one of our “Know Your Dough” workshops on home-buying.

Ward hopes to build a four-bedroom home in the Fort Mill area. She looks forward to having an open floor plan with a nice size lot for her family – especially her son, Jhazz, 12, who just might get a new bedroom set with her winnings.

Family Trust was recommended to her by a friend and she’s been a member since September. She’s glad she joined – and says the $1,000 gift is a nice surprise/welcome.

“The workshops were very informative. Knowledge is power,” Ward said of our recent “Know Your Dough” workshops. She is excited about shopping but wants to take her time.

Planning to buy a home soon? Here are some helpful tips:

1. Start by brushing up your credit. Credit is a critical part of qualifying for a mortgage. It is recommended that you get copies of your credit report a few months before you start house shopping. Family Trust can help with our free credit review.

2. Aim for a home you really can afford. The rule of thumb is that you can buy a house that’s about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. Consider additional costs such as property taxes, insurance, utility bills, and applicable homeowner association dues. These calculators can help.

3. Buy in a district with good schools. Even if you don’t have school age children, it’s a good idea to purchase in a district with strong schools. It may be a top priority for your home’s next owner. It can help boost your property value.

4. Before house hunting, get pre-approved. Getting pre-approved will save you the heartbreak of looking at homes you can’t afford. Pre-approval (not prequalification) is based on your actual income, debt and credit history.

Contact our Mortgage Service Center at 803-367-4100, ext. 3014 or to speak with a mortgage consultant today. You can also apply online when you are ready.