A Year-Round Guide to Home Maintenance: Monthly Tips for a Happy and Healthy Home

Owning a home comes with the responsibility of regular maintenance to ensure its longevity and comfort. Rather than tackling all tasks at once, a more effective approach is to break them down into manageable monthly segments. Let’s explore a year-round guide to home maintenance, with a different tip for each month tailored to the season, weather, and specific needs of your home.

January – Winter Warm-Up:

As winter chills linger, focus on your heating system. Change or clean your furnace filter to improve efficiency and reduce energy costs. Check for any drafts around windows and doors, sealing them to keep the warmth in and the cold out.

February – Love Your Gutters:

With winter storms in full swing, inspect and clean your gutters. Remove any debris and ensure downspouts are clear. This prevents water damage by allowing proper drainage, especially as spring showers approach.

March – Spring into Landscaping:

As spring blooms, turn your attention to the outdoors. Trim overgrown branches, clean up debris, and fertilize your lawn. Check your irrigation system for any leaks or issues, preparing your garden for the growing season.

April – Rainy Day Preparations:

April showers bring May flowers, but they can also reveal any leaks in your home. Inspect your roof for damage, paying attention to shingles and flashing. Ensure your sump pump is working well to prevent basement flooding during heavy rain.

May – Windows to the World:

With the arrival of warmer weather, it’s time to focus on your windows. Clean both the interior and exterior, and inspect for any cracks or gaps. Replace weather stripping if necessary to keep your home energy-efficient.

June – Summer Cool Down:

Before the summer heat peaks, service your air conditioning unit. Clean or replace filters, check the refrigerant levels, and clear any debris around the condenser unit. A well-maintained AC system ensures a comfortable living space during hot days.

July – Deck and Patio TLC:

Take advantage of the summer weather to inspect and clean your outdoor spaces. Check for any loose boards or nails on your deck, power wash patios, and seal wooden surfaces. This not only enhances the appearance but also extends their lifespan.

August – Plumbing Check:

Give your plumbing some attention before fall arrives. Inspect for leaks under sinks, around toilets, and in the basement. Ensure that your water heater is functioning properly and flush out any sediment that may have accumulated.

September – Fall Fireplace Prep:

As temperatures begin to drop, it’s time to prepare your fireplace. Schedule a professional chimney sweep to remove any creosote buildup. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re working efficiently.

October – Insulate for Winter:

Before winter sets in, inspect your home’s insulation. Add weather stripping to doors and windows, and consider adding insulation to your attic if needed. This helps keep your home warm and energy-efficient during the colder months.

November – Outdoor Cleanup:

As leaves fall, clear them from gutters and drains. Trim any branches that could pose a threat during winter storms. Store outdoor furniture and garden tools properly to prevent damage.

December – Winter Wonderland:

Embrace the holiday season by focusing on safety. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and inspect fire extinguishers. Ensure that pathways are clear of ice and snow to prevent accidents.

By breaking down home maintenance tasks into monthly routines, you can keep your home in top shape throughout the year. From preparing for seasonal changes to addressing specific areas of your home, this guide ensures a happy and healthy living space for you and your family.

Thanksgiving Gratitude: A Heartfelt Message from Your Mortgage Lender

As the Thanksgiving season approaches, it’s a time to reflect on the many blessings in our lives. At the heart of this gratitude often lies our homes – the place where we find warmth, security, and love. We want to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity to help those families find and finance their dream homes. 

The Blessing of Homeownership 

Homeownership is not just a financial investment; it’s a journey that leads to a sense of belonging, stability, and pride. Having a place to call home, where you can create cherished memories, celebrate family gatherings, and build traditions, is an invaluable gift. We are grateful to be a part of your journey towards homeownership and the happiness it brings. 

Home: Where Thanksgiving Memories Are Made 

During Thanksgiving, our homes transform into welcoming havens, where we come together with family and friends to give thanks for our blessings. It’s where we gather around the table, share stories, and enjoy a delicious feast. It’s where we remember moments from Thanksgiving past and create new memories that will be treasured for generations to come. 

The Power of Gratitude 

Gratitude is an integral part of Thanksgiving, reminding us to count our blessings and express our appreciation. Your home, be it a cozy apartment, a suburban house, or a countryside retreat, is one of the greatest blessings in your life, and it’s worthy of our gratitude. 

Our Commitment to Your Homeownership Journey 

At First Home Mortgage, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your homeownership dreams. We understand that your home is not just a physical space; it’s a place where your life unfolds, where you make memories, and where you find comfort. Our mission is to provide you with the support and guidance needed to make that dream a reality, ensuring that you and your family have a place to be thankful for, now and in the years to come. 

As we celebrate this Thanksgiving season, we encourage you to reflect on the gift of homeownership, appreciate the cherished moments you’ve created, and look forward to the memories you’ll make in the future. Your home is a treasure, and we are grateful for your trust in us to help you secure it. 

Wishing you and your loved ones a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude and warmth. 

If you have any questions or are considering taking the next step in your homeownership journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to assist you every step of the way. Your dream home might be closer than you think. 

Preparing Your Home for Winter: Essential Steps for a Cozy Season

As the third week of November rolls around, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about preparing your home for the colder months ahead. Winter can be unpredictable, and the last thing you want is to be caught off guard by the dropping temperatures and adverse weather conditions. To help you get ready for the season, here are some crucial tasks you should consider, along with valuable tips to ensure your home stays warm and cozy throughout winter. 

Service the Furnace: Begin by scheduling a professional inspection for your furnace. A well-maintained furnace will not only keep your home warm but also operate efficiently, saving you money on heating bills. Don’t forget to replace the filters to ensure clean, warm air circulation. 

Insulate Pipes: freezing pipes can lead to costly damage. Protect your plumbing by wrapping exposed pipes with insulating foam or fiberglass. Pay special attention to pipes in unheated areas like attics, crawl spaces, and garages. 

Weatherstrip Doors and Windows: Keep the cold air out and the warm air in by using weatherstripping to seal any gaps around doors and windows. This simple step can make a significant difference in energy efficiency, reducing your heating costs. 

Reverse Ceiling Fans: Many people forget that ceiling fans can help in the winter too. By reversing the direction of your fan blades, you can push warm air down into the room, making it feel cozier and more comfortable. 

Clean Gutters and Downspouts: Clear your gutters of leaves and debris to ensure that rain and melting snow can flow freely away from your home. Clogged gutters can lead to ice dams and potential water damage, which can be both costly and inconvenient to fix. 

Trim Trees and Shrubs: Overgrown branches can become a hazard in  wintery conditions, potentially causing damage to your home. Trim back any branches that could pose a risk during the winter months. 

Check the Roof: Inspect your roof for any damaged or missing shingles. A well-maintained roof is essential to keep your home dry and protected from leaks during winter rains and snow. Address any necessary repairs promptly. 

Insulate Attics and Walls: Ensure your home is well-insulated to prevent drafts and maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. Add extra insulation to attics, basements, and exterior walls if needed, as this will keep your home warmer and more energy-efficient. 

Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Safety should be a top priority during the winter season. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace batteries if necessary. This ensures that your family is protected in case of emergencies. 

By following these essential winter preparations, you’ll create a more comfortable and energy-efficient living environment in your home. Plus, taking these steps now can save you both time and money by preventing potential damage and reducing your energy bills. Stay warm and enjoy a cozy winter in your well-prepared home! 

Safeguarding Your Home: A Comprehensive Guide to Emergency Preparedness

As we navigate through hurricane season and witness recent incidents like the Maui fires, the importance of emergency preparedness cannot be understated. Your home is more than just a physical structure it’s your sanctuary. In this blog, we’ll delve into practical steps to safeguard your home and loved ones during emergencies.

Risk Assessment: Start by identifying the potential risks in your area. Research the types of emergencies that are most likely to occur, such as hurricanes, floods, wildfires, or earthquakes. Understanding these risks will help you tailor your preparations accordingly.

Develop a Family Emergency Plan: Gather your family to create a clear and comprehensive emergency plan. Outline evacuation routes, designate meeting points, and discuss communication protocols. Ensure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities during an emergency.

Assemble a Customized Emergency Kit: A well-thought-out emergency kit is essential. Customize it based on your family’s needs and potential risks. Include non-perishable food, water, a first aid kit, medications, personal hygiene items, a flashlight, batteries, a multi-tool, and any special items for infants, elderly family members, or pets.

Strengthen Your Home’s Defenses: Fortify your home against potential threats. Reinforce windows and doors, secure loose objects in the yard, and consider installing storm shutters or fire-resistant roofing materials. Regularly inspect and maintain your home’s structural integrity.

Safeguard Important Documents Digitally: While physical copies are important, digitize crucial documents and store them securely in cloud storage. This ensures that even if your physical copies are lost, you can access vital information from anywhere with an internet connection. This includes having copies of logins and passwords if you do not have them memorized.

Review and Update Insurance Coverage: Regularly review your homeowner’s insurance policy to confirm it covers various types of disasters. Depending on your location, consider additional coverage for flood, earthquake, or wildfire damage. Keep a copy of your policy in your emergency kit.

Stay Informed: Stay connected to local news and weather updates. Utilize smartphone apps, weather radios, and community alert systems to receive timely information about impending emergencies.

Practice Regular Drills: Hold emergency drills with your family to ensure everyone knows what to do in different scenarios. Practicing evacuations, using emergency equipment, and communication procedures can make a significant difference during a real emergency.

Create a Communication Tree: Establish a network of neighbors, friends, and family members who can support each other during emergencies. Share contact information and check in on each other’s well-being when disaster strikes.

Foster Resilience and Adaptability: Prepare mentally for emergencies by discussing potential scenarios with your family. Foster a sense of resilience and adaptability, knowing that being prepared can make a challenging situation more manageable.

Emergency preparedness is a responsibility that empowers you to protect your home and loved ones during unforeseen events. By customizing your approach, developing a clear plan, and investing time in proactive measures, you can significantly reduce risks and navigate emergencies with confidence. Remember, a little preparation today can go a long way in securing your tomorrow.  


Embracing the Last Days of Summer: Maximize Your Garden and Backyard

As the end of summer approaches, it’s the perfect time to soak in the last warm rays of sunshine and make the most of your garden and backyard. Whether you’re an avid gardener or simply love spending time outdoors, there are plenty of ways to enhance your outdoor space and create unforgettable memories. In this blog, we’ll explore tips on how to take advantage of your backyard before the sun sets on the summer season.

Revive Your Garden with Late-Blooming Flowers

As summer transitions into autumn, there are still plenty of vibrant flowers that can add a burst of color to your garden. Plant late-blooming varieties such as dahlias, chrysanthemums, and asters to keep your garden looking lively and beautiful well into the fall season. Don’t forget to water and fertilize your plants regularly to ensure they thrive during these final warm days.

Create an Outdoor Dining Space

Take advantage of the pleasant weather by creating an inviting outdoor dining area. Whether you have a patio, deck, or spacious backyard, consider investing in comfortable outdoor furniture and a dining set. Host a delightful end-of-summer dinner party or enjoy a cozy family barbecue with your loved ones amidst the natural beauty of your garden.

Install Outdoor Lighting

Extend your enjoyment of the garden and backyard into the evening hours by installing outdoor lighting. String lights, solar-powered lanterns, and LED garden spotlights can create a magical ambiance, making your outdoor space perfect for relaxing, reading, or stargazing. Well-placed lighting also enhances safety and allows you to navigate your garden with ease during the night. This can be a great transition to help utilize your outdoor space even into the fall months!

Start a Late-Summer Vegetable Garden

Even as summer comes to a close, you can still grow some vegetables and herbs to enjoy during the autumn months. Consider planting cool-season crops like kale, spinach, lettuce, and radishes. With proper care and protection from colder temperatures, these plants will yield a fresh and nutritious harvest well into fall.

As the end of summer approaches, your garden and backyard offer a wonderful opportunity to make lasting memories with family and friends. So, seize the moment and maximize your garden and backyard to savor the last days of summer!

Raising Your Home’s Curb Appeal: The Makeover That Makes the Right First Impression

While it’s true that homebuying demand remains strong and housing prices have been trending higher for the last few years, some experts believe we’re headed for a buyer’s market before long. Whether that turns out to be true is up for debate, but no matter what market conditions look like, certain opportunities will always remain for sellers to raise their asking price and attract more offers. We’re talking about curb appeal – and if you’re planning to sell your house now or in the future, it may be worth considering if it’s time your home got a little glow-up.

What is curb appeal?

First impressions can mean everything to prospective homebuyers. Curb appeal is a broad term for the overall attractiveness of a property when viewed from the outside. A home’s curb appeal will likely influence a prospective buyer from the moment they first approach the home, potentially impacting the amount of their offer – or their decision to walk away.

In a recent report by the National Association of Realtors®, 92% of Realtors suggested sellers improve curb appeal prior to listing a home for sale. In this article, we’ll cover some of the basics that you might want to consider before listing your own home.

A note before beginning

The elements that contribute to a home’s curb appeal range from large to small. Before starting any major projects, you should set some expectations and consider the expenses, time commitments, and risks that may be involved. As with any investment, there are no guarantees on your return. If you’re working with a real estate agent to list your home, consider consulting with them for additional insight on what your best moves might be.

Raising your home’s curb appeal

Once you’re ready to take a critical look at your home for ways to boost curb appeal, here are some great places to start:

Landscaping. A study by Virginia Tech found that homes with good landscaping and curb appeal sold for 5.5% to 12.7% more than homes with average or poor landscaping. Luckily, this is one of the easiest and most cost effective improvements a homeowner can make. A well cared-for lawn that’s free of weeds, along with some neatly trimmed trees, shrubs, or other greenery, can make a home look clean and attractive from the outside, while suggesting that the inside is equally well maintained. Removing dead or overgrown trees can revitalize a home and give it a better view from the street.

Clean and declutter. It may sound obvious, but often we get used to the status quo and “look past” clutter that accumulates – like the seasonal decorations that are overdue for taking down, kids’ toys scattered across the lawn, or seasonal yardwork that we’re behind on. Luckily, a little bit of cleanup, organization, and some pressure washing of your porch, deck, walls and windows can go a long way. Utilize your garage (if you have one) to store vehicles, tools, and toys to keep things looking tidy. Once things are in order, keep them that way with a diligent clean-up and maintenance schedule.

Front-of-house refresh. You’ve got a beautiful home – why not show it off? Make your house appear more welcome and inviting with the right steps. Restore or repaint your walkway, porch and any gates or railings to remove rust and chipped paint, creating a fresher, cleaner look. Consider repainting your front door – maybe even using a bolder color – for an eye-catching look. Repair or replace any old or broken porch lights, door knobs, or mailbox features. Some simple outdoor furniture, plants, and decor can also add style and character at relatively little expense.

Renovations and repairs. Obviously, major elements of the home’s exterior like a distressed roof, cracked windows, and other structural issues are easily noticeable and will have a big impact on curb appeal. Unfortunately, these are often some of the biggest and most expensive improvement projects that a homeowner will encounter. A good compromise may be to start small: fix crooked or damaged gutters, touch up paint on window shutters, fill cracks in the sidewalk or driveway, and replace damaged siding. Then, you can reassess and decide on any bigger issues that need to be addressed.

Don’t stop at the exterior

Finally, although we’ve been focusing on your home’s exterior in this article, many of the same ideas can be carried over into the exterior. Most buyers will see photos of the exterior and interior of the home on sites like Zillow or Trulia long before they see it in person. Here are a few quick, easy, and affordable DIY makeover moves to help with the inside of your home:

  1. Start with easy touch-ups. Replace cracked or broken switch plate covers and ventilation registers, fill holes in the wall, recaulk sinks, tubs, and showers, etc.
  2. Find the right lighting. Create a cozier atmosphere with ambient light. Pay attention to light temperature and bulb wattage to set a tone that makes guests feel welcome.
  3. Go green. It doesn’t take much to add a little greenery to your space. A few houseplants can add color and vibrancy to your home for relatively little cost or maintenance.

Remember – when it comes to curb appeal, a little work can go a long way! Get your best shot at a successful sale with these curb appeal tips to make your listing stand out above the rest.

Buying a Home When You Have Student Loans: Don’t Let Debt Be a Dealbreaker

Congratulations to all the college graduates out there as we kick off another graduation season! Whether you’re a recent grad, still in school, or you finished years ago, chances are high that you’re carrying some student loan debt. According to the Education Data Initiative, over 43 million Americans have student loan debt, with the average debt per borrower coming in at over $37,000 for federal student loans and nearly $55,000 for private loans.

If you’re hoping to buy a house soon, having that much debt hanging over you can feel like a real barrier to entering the market. Thankfully, there are a variety of options to consider that can help bring your homeownership dreams within reach. Here are some tips, strategies, and resources to help you navigate the homebuying process while carrying student loan debt.

Determine Your Financial Health

Just like any homebuyer, your first step should always be to assess your financial situation to gain a better understanding of what you can afford and what your buying strategy should look like. Start by reviewing your credit score, making a plan to address any credit issues , and calculating your monthly income and debt obligations.

Explore Mortgage Loan Programs for Borrowers with Student Loan Debt

Many first-time buyers are surprised to learn that there are a variety of mortgage loan assistance programs that can greatly benefit them – and some of those programs are designed specifically for borrowers with student loan debt. These programs offer a range of advantages, including lower interest rates, reduced down payment amounts, debt forgiveness, and more.

In our home state of Maryland, for instance, the Maryland SmartBuy Program is offered by the Department of Housing and Community Development. Through the program, qualifying homebuyers can receive up to 15% of the home purchase price to pay off student debt in the form of a 0% interest deferred loan with no monthly payments, forgivable over five years.

Terms for programs like this one may seem a bit complicated, and figuring out the best route for your unique circumstances can be a challenge. If you’re ready to start exploring your options, it’s never a bad idea to speak with an experienced loan officer. who can help you determine your eligibility and the potential benefits of programs like these.

Reevaluate Your Student Loan Repayment Plan

When you took out your student loans, you entered into an agreement about how and when those loans would be repaid. Like with most types of loans, you likely still have some options at your disposal for refinancing, restructuring, or otherwise modifying your student debt. You may want to investigate some of the following strategies:

  • Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans cap your monthly payments relevant to your earned income. While altering your repayment terms may actually add to the long-term cost of the loan, the reduced monthly payment obligations could potentially help improve your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, helping you to secure a mortgage that works for you.
  • Lengthening the term of your loan is another way you may be able to reduce your monthly payments, thereby improving your DTI ratio. Keep in mind however that this, too, often increases long-term costs by stretching your borrowing over a longer period.
  • Consolidating your loans (if you have several of them) may open new options for you to refinance your total overall debt at a lower rate, choose a new loan servicer, or receive more favorable terms.

Keep in mind that all of the options listed above are highly specific and may come with tradeoffs. Before making any changes to your payment plans or loan details, be sure to consult with a financial advisor and consider all the relevant implications.

Buying a home while dealing with student loan debt may be challenging, but it’s far from impossible. With the right planning and guidance, you can find the best options available to you and begin the search for the home you’ve been dreaming of.

If you’re ready to hit the housing market but you don’t know where to start, get in touch with one of our loan officers to see how you can take advantage of the right programs and strategies to help you succeed.

Save Some Green With Eco-Friendly Tips For Your Home This Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day, and our annual reminder that our first and only true home is this big blue beautiful planet we call Earth. If you’re looking for ways to live more sustainably and make your home more environmentally friendly, you’re in luck! These three tips can help you do your part to save the planet – while saving yourself a little green with your home finances.

Upgrade Your Efficiencies

Energy bills are a significant monthly expense for most homeowners, and residential energy use is a major contributor to environmental issues. Upgrading your energy efficiency is one of the best things you can do to reduce your environmental impact and lower your utility bills, but the time and investment needed for some of these upgrades can be high.

Good news – you don’t have to do it all on your own! Many utility providers offer free energy audits, rebate programs, and discounted prices for energy efficient upgrades and appliances. Start by checking the websites of your electric and gas providers to find offers you can take advantage of. Additionally, you can research your eligibility for certain federal income tax credits related to energy efficiency.

Once you’ve explored these promotions and incentive programs, do an inventory of your home for energy efficiency opportunities and consider some of the low-cost upgrades that can help reduce your energy consumption:

  1. Upgrade to Energy Star®-certified appliances
  2. Install and program a smart thermostat
  3. Swap old bulbs for LED lighting
  4. Install low-flow faucets and showerheads
  5. Add insulation and weatherstripping to doors and windows

Organize, Upcycle, Sell

Spring is the perfect time of year for a little bit of cleaning, organizing, and refreshing. Why not motivate yourself to get your home in order by focusing on the environmental and financial benefits?

Most of us accumulate so much stuff that we end up underutilizing what we already have and buying more unnecessarily. This can add up over time to be an expensive habit, but giving things you already own a second life can be extremely fulfilling. Here are a few ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle things already in your home:

  1. Before investing in a new spring wardrobe, take a look at what you already have. Good quality clothing can often be tailored, mended, and otherwise refreshed to extend its life.
  2. For clothing, furniture, books and children’s toys that are no longer useful to you, consider selling them online or at a local resale shop. If you’re not confident in their resale value, donate to a local charity or nonprofit – donations may even qualify for a tax deduction!
  3. For odds and ends you aren’t sure about, search online for inspiration. There are countless creative ideas on Etsy, Pinterest, and elsewhere for transforming household items like bottles, bags, and more into something useful, decorative, or fun. Even better – some of these DIY projects double as inexpensive family-friendly activities!

Look to Your Lawn

If you’ve got an outdoor space (or even if you don’t), there are plenty of environmentally friendly, frugal things you can do to make a positive impact. Here are a few you may want to consider this spring:

  1. Planting native trees and flowers helps your local ecosystem and reduces your energy usage. These plants provide food and habitat for local wildlife, promote biodiversity, and require fewer pesticides and fertilizer. Trees improve air quality, help regulate temperature, and can combat erosion and pollution.
  2. Composting is a great way to reduce food waste, which lessens the amount of organic material that ends up in landfills and cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions. Even better – with proper composting techniques, you can create rich, healthy soil for your lawn and garden, if you have one.
  3. Cut back on your water usage with the right lawncare and garden techniques. Rain barrels (if permitted in your area) can significantly lower your water bill and conserve clean drinking water. Replacing traditional lawns with drought-resistant plants and hardscaping can make a huge difference on the amount of water, fertilizer, and pesticides your yard requires, saving you time and money while lowering your environmental impact.


Earth Day is a great time for encouraging friends, family and neighbors to look for ways to help the environment and live more sustainably. Whether you’re sprucing up your home for another season or looking to buy, sell, or refinance, First Home Mortgage is here for you. Contact one of our loan officers today to see how we can help support your homeownership goals.

Happy Earth Day!

A Simple Guide to Spring Cleaning: Five Tips for a Healthier, Happier Home

Spring is finally here, and it’s the perfect time to freshen up your home with a good cleaning and decluttering. While it may seem daunting, following some simple house cleaning tips can make the process much more manageable:

Plan it out

Before you start cleaning, make a plan. Decide which areas you want to tackle first and what tasks are most important. Creating a checklist can help you stay organized and focused on what needs to be done. Consider tasks that are often overlooked, such as changing your air filter, wiping down the walls, and machine washing your curtains.


One of the most helpful things you can do when spring cleaning is declutter. Take some time to go through every room and get rid of anything you no longer need or want. Consider donating or selling items that are in good condition and throwing away or recycling anything that is broken or unusable. This can help create more space and make your home feel more organized.

Deep clean

Once you’ve decluttered, it’s time to deep clean. This includes dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and wiping down surfaces. Don’t forget to clean the areas that are often overlooked, such as baseboards, light fixtures, and appliances. Giving your home a good deep clean can help get rid of any dirt or grime that has built up over the winter months.

Wash windows

Let the sunshine in by washing your windows inside and out. Use a squeegee and a window cleaning solution to get streak-free windows. Don’t forget to clean your window sills and frames as well. This can help brighten up your living space and make it feel more open and welcoming to guests.


Once everything is clean, it’s time to organize. Use storage solutions to keep everything in its place, and label items for easy access. This can help keep your home looking tidy and make it easier to find things when you need them, while making the most of your space.

By following these simple spring house cleaning tips, you can have a fresh and organized home in no time, helping you reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. So, put on some music, grab your cleaning supplies, and get ready to give your home the TLC it deserves!

Whether you’re getting your house in order for a spring seller’s market or a first time homebuyer looking to make a purchase, First Home Mortgage is here to help! Reach out to one of our qualified loan officers today to learn more.

4 Financial Topics to Discuss Before You Get Married

Money is a touchy subject in many households. Getting married will certainly affect you and your partner financially. Whether you decide to combine your finances or not, having open and honest conversations about money early on is crucial. Studies have shown that 1 out of 3 adults admit that money is the source of conflict in their marriage, making money one of the leading causes of divorce. This doesn’t have to be the case! Taking the appropriate steps before walking down the aisle can save a lot of hardships in the future. Here are 4 financial topics to discuss with your partner:


Discussing income is a great place to start financial planning together. Your salaries may look different and come in different forms. Whether hourly, salary, or commission-based, discuss the details and share any expectations you may have for future bonuses or raises. When income from both sides is laid out it is easier to see what you will be working with each month.


Revealing debts can be awkward and sometimes shameful for some people. Whether you’ve gotten yourself into credit card debt or maybe you have student loans, don’t keep it from your partner. Keeping debts hidden will only result in future issues. Laying it out in the open also allows for collaboration. You and your partner can now work on a plan together to alleviate unwanted debts instead of just one of you carrying the burden.

Bank Accounts

Each of you may have multiple bank accounts used for multiple purposes. Whether you decide to combine your finances or not, revealing your bank accounts to each other leaves less room for secrets. Some couples choose to keep financing separate but have one joint account for household expenses and savings which could be a good compromise if there is a difference of opinions. Will you each split bills equally? Will each contribute a certain percentage of their income? Will everything go into one account and money pulled out as needed? These are important questions to ask. Discuss your expectations with each other and work on finding the best situation for your needs.


Budgeting is probably one of the most difficult aspects of financial harmony. Each person’s priorities and spending habits could greatly differ making it hard to find a good balance. Start by laying out all of your necessary bills for each month, i.e. mortgage payment, utilities, Wi-Fi, groceries, etc.  Once these are established, look at the remaining income for the month and determine the amounts that can be allowed for entertainment. This will look different for everyone, maybe you like to eat out at restaurants multiple times a month or maybe your partner has a gym membership to upkeep, whatever your lifestyle entails write it down and budget for it. The more detailed you can be the better. Don’t forget to budget for savings and emergency expenses as well!


Financial planning as a couple doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult. Use each other’s strengths and weaknesses to develop a system that works best for your household. If buying a home together is the next step in your relationship, reach out to us today to learn more and get started! For more resources, visit www.firsthome.com/resources.

Connect With Us

  How Can We Help?