Buying a home is often one of the biggest financial decisions you can make. The process of becoming a homeowner can take a great deal of patience and fiscal commitment, but in the end, it’s an incredibly rewarding milestone to achieve. However, it’s important to remember the total cost of buying a home encompasses more …

The Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

Buying a home is often one of the biggest financial decisions you can make. The process of becoming a homeowner can take a great deal of patience and fiscal commitment, but in the end, it’s an incredibly rewarding milestone to achieve. However, it’s important to remember the total cost of buying a home encompasses more than just your down payment and monthly mortgage. Below are some often overlooked and unexpected costs of buying a home.


Typical utilities include electricity, water, internet, heating, cooling, and waste management. Be sure to factor in utility costs when determining whether you can or can’t afford to purchase a home. If you want a better idea of what the costs will be for a home you’re interested in, request a copy of previous bills from the real estate agent.

Homeowners Insurance

Your home is far more than a roof to sleep under. In many cases, a home is one’s most valuable asset—an asset that most can’t afford to replace out-of-pocket in the event of disaster-related damage or total loss. Homeowners insurance helps protect your asset. Additionally, most lenders require that you have insurance on your home, as it safeguards them (as well as you) against financial loss. Make sure you add in the cost of protecting your home when putting together your monthly budget.

Property Taxes

Beyond your mortgage, down payment, and insurance, it’s important that you also remember to factor in property taxes. The cost of your taxes will vary depending upon where you live and the value of your home. The taxes will either be billed directly by your local taxation office or paid through your mortgage lender.   If paying directly, you’ll usually make two payments each year.  If paying through your lender, the cost will be added to your monthly mortgage payment. Make sure to budget for this ongoing, recurring cost, as you will always need to pay property taxes.

Maintenance and Repair

As a renter, your landlord was likely responsible for regular maintenance and repairs. If your furnace stopped working, you could call your landlord and they would coordinate making the repair at no extra cost to you. As a homeowner, though, it’s up to you to fund maintenance and repairs. According to the one percent rule, you should set aside one percent of your home’s value each year for home maintenance. If your home is valued at $200,000, you should be setting aside $2,000 to cover any repair costs.

When you’re ready to take that next step to buy your home, Compass is here to help you with the financing. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at 707-443-8662 x5.

Wheel and deal this Presidents’ Day

What comes to mind when you think of Presidents’ Day? Besides a welcome day off for some of us, Presidents’ Day is actually a great time to buy a car!

Dealers everywhere offer great sales on both new and used vehicles. You can score great deals on last year’s models and new inventory is on display. So it’s the perfect time to go car shopping!

Plus, you’ll get up to 1% cashback, up to $500, when you finance or refinance your auto with Compass. This is for a limited time and certain restrictions apply so click here for details.

Make your next car buying process easier with a pre-approval for an auto loan from Compass. With our online application, you can be pre-approved in minutes. Then use your pre-approval to land a great deal!

Poor or no credit? Here’s a way to fix it that you probably never thought of.

If you have poor or no credit, don’t feel bad. Because you’re not alone. According to Experian, a credit reporting agency, 68 million people in the US are in the same boat.

The good news is that since you’re a Compass Community Credit Union member, you already have an easy way to start building or rebuilding your credit score. It’s your Compass Savings account.

Simply take out a loan against the balance you have in your savings account. Make payments on the loan on time. And your credit score will start to reflect that in a positive way. Plus, you can use the money from the loan to help pay down any high interest credit card debt or catch up on other bills that you may not be paying on time.

But while taking out a loan against your Compass Savings Account is a really easy way to start improving your credit, it’s not the only step you can take. Here are a few other tips we recommend you try:

• Pay all your bills on time — including your utility and cell phone bills
• Pay off debt and keep balances low on credit cards
• Don’t close unused credit cards unless they charge you annual fees

Remember, having a good credit score can help you qualify for better interest rates and terms when borrowing money, buying a car, or applying for a mortgage. It’s also used by landlords when you apply to rent. And it might even influence your smartphone lease and your life or car insurance rates.

If you’d like to learn more about taking out a loan against your Compass Savings Account, stop by your local branch. A Compass representative will be happy to tell you more.

Don’t move—improve!

With the cost of real estate these days, moving can be prohibitively expensive. But does that mean you need to settle for an old kitchen, dated bathroom or too-few bedrooms?

Not at all! Rather than moving, more and more people are choosing to improve the home they currently own. And a CSFECU Home Equity Loan or Home Equity Line of Credit can help make that improvement a reality.

Our fixed term, fixed-rate Home Equity Loans have terms from 5 to 15 years, so whether the project is large or larger, you can be comfortable knowing exactly how much you’ll be paying each month in principal and interest. Perfect when you know exactly how much your project will cost.

A Home Equity Line of Credit is a versatile option, with variable rate and flexible draw amounts and timeframes, so you borrow just what you need at any given time and pay interest on only the outstanding balance.

CSFECU Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit are priced competitively, and come with the personal service you expect from us. Call or visit us today!

In short, a credit union is a cooperative financial institution where people work together to make everyone’s lives better. Everyone who has an account here is a member. And every member is an owner.

Rather than making profits to send to far-off shareholders, Compass CCU reinvests in our credit union. Which means we reinvest in YOU. That’s why we say that, at Compass Community Credit Union, we guide you to better banking.