Hiring the Perfect Home Improvement Contractor 

Investing into your home is exciting, but choosing the right contractor can feel overwhelming. Fear not! This guide equips you with the knowledge to find a reliable partner for your renovation journey.

The Foundation: Qualifications & Experience

A solid foundation starts with a trustworthy contractor. Here’s how to ensure that:

  • Verify Credentials: Don’t rely on verbal assurances. Check if their licenses and insurance are valid and cover the specific work you need. Contact the issuing bodies for confirmation.
  • Experience is Key: Look for past projects that mirror your vision. Ask about their experience with similar renovations and request references. Check online reviews to see what previous clients have to say about their quality, communication, and work ethic.

Clear Communication & Cost Management

Open communication and transparent costs are essential for a smooth project:

  • Detailed Estimates: Obtain detailed estimates from several qualified contractors. These estimates should clearly outline the project scope, materials, labor costs, and a realistic timeline. Beware of significantly lower estimates as they might indicate inferior materials or shortcuts.
  • Understanding Warranties: Don’t be left in the dark about future repairs. Before signing any agreement, understand the expected lifespan of the work and the warranties offered on both materials and workmanship. What will be covered if an issue arises later?

Securing the Deal: A Strong Contract

A well-defined contract safeguards both you and the contractor:

  • Ironclad Contract: A detailed contract outlining the scope of work, timeline, payment schedule, and change order procedures is crucial. This ensures everyone is on the same page and minimizes misunderstandings. Consider having a lawyer review it for added peace of mind.
  • Realistic Timeline: Agree on a realistic timeline for the project and hold the contractor accountable. Discuss potential delays due to weather or unforeseen circumstances and how they will be communicated. Transparency is key.

By following these tips, you’ll likely find a reliable, trustworthy contractor to help with your home improvement needs. And remember – trust your gut. If something about a contractor raises red flags, walk away, and continue your search.

But before you begin your quest to find the right contractor, you’re going to need to assess your finances, and whether or not a home line of credit (HELOC), or a home equity loan is in your best interest. Did you know we offer a HELOC with no monthly fees?

Master Your Money with Podcasts!

At Sweet Home Federal Credit Union, we’re passionate about empowering you to reach your financial goals.  Whether you’re budgeting for a dream vacation, saving for retirement, or tackling student loans, knowledge is key. Podcasts are a fantastic way to learn about personal finance on the go, during your commute, workout, or while relaxing at home.

Here are some of our favorite financial podcasts, categorized to fit your specific needs:

Financial Fitness Boot Camp:

  • The Ramsey Show: No-nonsense host Dave Ramsey offers tough love and practical advice to help you get out of debt and build wealth.
  • BiggerPockets Money: Dive deep into personal finance, real estate investing, and achieving financial freedom with experts Scott Trench and Mindy Jensen.
  • Clark Howard Podcast: Consumer champion Clark Howard shares tips on saving money, navigating credit scores, and avoiding scams.

Investing 101:

  • We Study Billionaires: Learn the strategies and mindsets of successful investors by unpacking the decisions of the world’s wealthiest.
  • The Motley Fool Money: Stay informed on the latest market news and stock picks with the Motley Fool crew.
  • Invest Like the Best: Interviews with top investors offer valuable insights for building a strong portfolio.

Making Money Fun (and Informative):

  • So Money with Farnoosh Torabi: Engaging host Farnoosh Torabi tackles personal finance with a relatable and lighthearted approach.
  • Planet Money: National Public Radio’s award-winning podcast uses quirky storytelling to explain complex economic concepts with humor.
  • Afford Anything: Learn how to achieve financial freedom and travel the world with host Paula Pant.

Remember, this is just a starting point! There are countless fantastic financial podcasts out there.  Explore different shows, find hosts whose styles resonate with you, and enjoy the journey to financial wellness.

Peace of Mind, Guaranteed: Your Security is Our Priority at SHFCU

At Sweet Home Federal Credit Union, we understand the importance of safeguarding your financial information. That’s why we want to assure you that we will never send text messages requesting personal details, account numbers, or passwords.

In today’s digital world, phishing scams can appear surprisingly convincing. Rest assured, we prioritize clear communication and will always contact you through secure channels for any important information.

Here’s how we keep your information safe:

  • No Text Requests: We will never ask for sensitive information via text message.
  • Verified Communication: We prioritize secure channels for important updates or requests.
  • Your Control: You have the power to manage your account information directly through online banking or by contacting us at [phone number].

If you ever receive a text claiming to be from us and requesting personal details, know it’s a scam. Do not respond or click on any links.

For any questions or concerns, call us at (716) 691-9187. We’re here to help you navigate your finances with confidence. Together, let’s build a secure financial future for you and your loved ones.

Teach Your Children Well: Sweet Home FCU’s Mini Savers Program

Kindness, honesty, and gratitude – these are some of the values that parents teach their children from a very early age. But what about being financially responsible? Teaching your little ones about the value of money, and saving it, is so valuable, and it sets them up for success later in life. 

That’s where Sweet Home Federal Credit Union’s Mini Savers program comes in. It’s a fantastic way to get your child(ren) started on their savings journey.

What is the Mini Savers Program?

The Mini Savers program is a special savings account designed specifically for children in elementary school within the Sweet Home Central School District that helps teach the importance of saving, while making it fun! Enrolling your child in the Mini Savers program can yield some great benefits:

  • It teaches saving habits: By making regular deposits, your child learns the importance of saving for future goals.
  • Patience is built: your child(ren) watching their balance grow can motivate them to keep saving.
  • It builds a sense of accomplishment: By encouraging your child to set a savings goal, whether it’s a new toy, or a trip to the zoo, your child(ren) are elated when they reach that goal.

How can I get started?

The Mini Savers Program is offered at all of the elementary schools in the Sweet Home Central School District. To take part, parents must first complete a credit union membership application for the student (including a copy of the adult’s driver’s license) and make an initial deposit of at least $5. Participating students will receive a money pouch. Then, they’ll be able to make deposits to their accounts right at school!

Have questions? Contact us or call the credit union at 691-9187 today!

Set Sail or Hit the Road with Sweet Home Federal Credit Union’s RV & Boat Loans

Dreaming of exploring the open water or the great outdoors? Sweet Home Federal Credit Union can help turn your dream into reality with our competitive RV and boat loan options. 

Here’s why financing your recreational adventure through SHFCU will get your engines revving:

  • Competitive Rates & Terms: SHFCU is a member-owned institution, meaning we strive to offer lower rates and more favorable terms than traditional lenders. This translates to potentially significant savings over the life of your loan.
  • Local Expertise: Unlike big banks, SHFCU understands the unique needs of our community. Our loan officers can guide you through the financing process and answer any questions you may have about RV or boat ownership.
  • Streamlined Process: We value your time. SHFCU offers a user-friendly application process, allowing you to get pre-approved quickly and focus on the exciting part – choosing your perfect RV or boat.
  • Membership Advantage: Becoming a SHFCU member is easy and unlocks a world of financial benefits. Enjoy additional services like savings accounts, checking, and more, all under one roof.

Hit the open road or cruise into unforgettable memories with financing tailored to your adventure. Click here to see our rates, or contact us to learn more, and apply for your RV or boat loan!

equal housing lender
americas credit union