01 Jul

Open the Door to a Remodel Plan that Pays Off

Trying to sell or thinking about it?

Home prices may be up in your neighborhood — more reason to invest in your home to get the best price if you’re planning to sell. Despite what conventional wisdom says, most of the home improvement projects with the greatest return on investment are not so glamorous. Did you know a new front door ranks at the top of the list? According to a recent report from Remodeling magazine, sellers recoup 66 cents of every $1 they spend on the average remodeling project.

Before you splurge, consider these three upgrades and fixes. They won’t break the bank, but could pay off and help you clinch a deal if you’re serious about selling:

1. Create space. Knock out a non-structural wall, or remove that kitchen island. Anything that opens space and creates a sense of flow is advantageous.

2. Prune and landscape. Tangled trees and unkempt bushes can obscure views and darken interiors.

3. Address the basics. Insulate the attic, repair plumbing leaks or replace rusty rain gutters. These fixes can go a long way toward boosting value.

If improving resale value and recovering remodeling costs are important to you, consult with a real estate agent first, then make it happen with a home equity loan from Navigator Credit Union. Learn more here. 


If you’re considering a home improvement project to boost the quality and appeal of your home, here are some ideas that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.*

Entry door replacement: 96.6%
Deck addition (wood): 87.4%
Attic bedroom: 84.3%
Garage door replacement: 83.7%
Minor kitchen remodel: 82.7%

* Source: Remodeling magazine 2014 Cost vs. Value report, www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2014/

09 Apr

Hoping to Sell? How to Make Your Home “The One”

Are you trying to sell your home or thinking about selling it? It’s a tough real estate market out there for homeowners these days. In fact, a survey by Trulia.com and RealtyTrac suggests that Americans won’t see a housing market recovery until 2014.*

Although it’s a challenging time to put your home on the market, there are steps you can take to help change your “for sale” sign to “sold.” The key is to pay attention to every detail buyers will have their eyes and hands on. Try these tips from the National Association of Realtors® to make your home stand out among the competition.

Spruce Up the Curb Appeal

You don’t have a second chance to make a first impression, so it’s important to ensure the exterior is in excellent shape.

  • Keep the lawn cut and watered.
  • Trim hedges, weed lawns and flower gardens, prune trees.
  • Check the driveway and walkways for cracks or crumbling.
  • Fix peeling paint around doors and windows.
  • Clean and align gutters.
  • Repair loose shingles, siding and caulking.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to the door.
  • Keep the garage door closed.
  • Make sure front and back yards are free of clutter (bikes, toys, lawn ornaments).

Set the Stage Inside

A clean, well-polished interior appeals to buyers. Set up an inviting atmosphere (often referred to as “staging”) so buyers can picture themselves living in your home.

  • Put away personal items (including photos, trophies, children’s artwork).
  • Store furniture you don’t use off site to make rooms appear larger and brighter.
  • Consider hiring a professional cleaning service to make every room spotless.
  • Clean pet areas and make sure your guard dog is away during showings.
  • Organize cabinets and closets – buyers will peek inside.
  • Repair cracks, holes or damage to walls, wallpaper, paint and tiles.
  • Replace broken windows, woodwork and doorknobs.
  • Paint walls a neutral color.
  • Fix dripping faucets and showerheads.
  • Consider baking bread or cookies before a showing – the sense of smell is powerful!

Your One Source for Home Loans

Selling a home and buying a new one requires smart money management. Navigator’s welcome mat is always out – call us, stop by or click to learn about our home loans. You can check loan rates and apply for a mortgage online.

* Source: Trulia.com press release, May 18, 2011.
09 Apr

Hey Baby Boomers! We’re Here for You

At Navigator Credit Union, we make it our mission to serve your financial needs at every age and stage of life. If you belong to the baby boom generation (those born from 1946 to 1964), then you’re in good company.

While every credit union’s membership is different, research suggests that more than 40% of credit union members are baby boomers.* It’s fitting that many baby boomers have made credit unions their financial home, because this generation has a history of seeking alternatives to traditional ideas and institutions (such as big banking).

Credit union membership is appealing and empowering, because credit unions work for people – not for profits – and members have a say in how the credit union is run.

Financial Solutions Off the Beaten Path

Baby boomers’ financial plans may include borrowing, saving and investing – but not necessarily in that order. They may manage multiple goals with creative and unconventional financial planning, from saving for retirement and paying for college tuition to refinancing a mortgage or taking a new career path. Navigator is tuned in to your unique goals, and we’re ready with a lineup of products and services that are flexible to fit your needs.

Loans from credit unions – for your lifestyle. We offer competitive rates on home mortgages, auto loans, home equity loans and personal loans to help you get where you need to be. Our refinancing options can help you pay off a first or second home or vehicle faster, and/or lower your monthly payments so you can focus on other financial goals.

Best savings plan – for the unexpected. Our savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market accounts help keep your emergency funds afloat. Building up emergency savings is particularly important if you juggle multiple responsibilities – perhaps caring for aging parents or providing financial support to adult children.

Insurance – for your changing needs. Our insurance representatives can review your homeowners, auto and life insurance coverage in light of the moving pieces in your life – teenage drivers, home improvements, divorce/remarriage, empty nest, etc.

Investing – ask a financial advisor. Our financial advisors can help you plan your portfolio for a brighter future, whether that means supporting a comfortable retirement or continuing to work. And even though retirement is a top goal for many baby boomers, we understand that this generation won’t be retiring to the proverbial rocking chair anytime soon!

Banking online or at a branch. You don’t have to be 20-something to keep up with online and mobile banking services. In fact, online banking is becoming uniformly popular across all age groups, according to a survey of Internet users.** When you want the convenience of fast, friendly in-branch service or access to free ATMs, Navigator has you covered. Call 228-475-7300 to learn more about what we have to offer, or visit www.navigatorcu.org.

* Source: Credit Union Times, Dec. 1, 2010.
** Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, Generations Online in 2010.