4 Things I Wish I Knew before Buying My First Home

by Sara Seeger 2. April 2015

Shopping for Homes

Purchasing a home is a big deal. Many times, a house is the most costly and valuable asset an individual can own. Many people understand that taking out a home mortgage means taking on a huge amount of debt, but what happens after you sign the papers?

As someone who purchased a house two years ago, I wish I would have thought about these four things before I took the plunge.

Work, Work, Work

Owning a home is a lot of work. If something breaks, you don’t have a landlord, maintenance team, or parent to fix the problem. You don’t have a landscaper to cut your grass and trim the bushes outside. You are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the outside and inside of your house. Some people enjoy these activities, but not everyone does. That’s why it is important to know that owning a home is a lot of work.


When purchasing a home, it is important to know that things can break, and it’s up to you to fix them. A few months after moving into my house I discovered an issue with my air conditioner and water heater, with both items needing to be completely replaced. Luckily, I received some money back at closing which gave me some extra cash to have these two items replaced, but no one expects to purchase a home and have to make repairs immediately. It is wise to not max yourself out on your home loan and also to have some sort of repository for extra "home" money that you can dedicate to any home repairs or maintenance.


Buying a home is one of the biggest financial responsibilities a person can take on. A house is not like an apartment; you can’t easily move to a new one if you dislike your neighbors or community. Selling a home you purchased right away can be expensive. You may lose money on the house, or if people aren’t buying it could sit on the market for a while. When buying a home, think in the long-term and plan to own it for several years. Purchase enough house for you (with maybe a little extra), but don’t over-indulge.

Talk to Your Potential Neighbors

Looks can be deceiving. A beautiful house situated in a quaint neighborhood may look pleasantly appealing, but can turn into a disaster once you move in. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow this advice when I purchased my home two years ago. If I did, I may have figured out the potential issues of the neighborhood, for instance the barking dogs at all hours of the night and the neighborhood pest problem, ahead of time.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

Best Loans for First Time Homebuyers

Importance of a Home Inspection

3 Ways to Get Government Help with Buying a Home

They've Left but Are They Gone?

by Elizabeth Sherman 25. March 2015

My friend, whom I worked with for several years, recently announced she was leaving our company for greener pastures. She really hadn’t been looking, but an opportunity presented itself and it was too good to pass up. While with our company she had access to multiple systems as part of her job. This included banking information, customer databases and back office applications.

Replacing her was difficult enough; however, the real work began after she left when we had to remove her name and access from all of those systems and applications.

An employee leaving is common. Remembering to remove them completely from everything they had access to while in your employ – not so much. In this modern era of technology and security consciousness, it is imperative that you do everything possible to protect your business information. This includes your banking information as well.

When a user with access to banking information leaves your company, remember to contact your bank and have that user’s access deleted. This will eliminate any chance of that employee logging in and seeing information they shouldn’t.

Additionally, DO NOT pass on that log in information to another employee or a new hire. Thinking this may be the easiest route will in fact increase your security risk because now two employees have access to your banking information, and one of them doesn’t even work for the company anymore.

In most business online banking platforms, there is no limit to the number of users, so don’t think that you can’t delete users, change users, or add 1,000 users if that’s what you need to do.

Always remember, you are the first line of defense regarding fraudulent activity. By logging into your bank’s website each day, you can monitor transactions and see if anything is amiss.

Finally, access to your account information is at your discretion. We are here to make it happen for you.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

The Life of the Business

It's 11:00 p.m. Do You Know where Your Money Is?

It's Fraud Season: Protect Yourself

Money Power Day: Inspiring Financial Literacy for All

by Charlie Maykrantz 24. March 2015

Money Power Day

On Saturday, March 21st, my colleague, Autumn Wallace, and I attended the 10th annual Money Power Day which was held in Baltimore City at Poly-Western High School. The event was free to all who attended with the purpose of helping people boost their financial well-being and to inspire those of all ages and income levels. The theme of the day was about the importance of financial literacy and how it can change your life.

Approximately 40 exhibitors including financial institutions, non-profit agencies and government organizations provided financial services, information and education that the attendees could use to achieve their financial goals. There was a free tax service preparation for those who had not yet filed their income taxes. Workshops were available to help people learn the steps to buying a home, obtaining a mortgage, starting a business and dealing with student loan and credit card debt.

There was a Credit Café where individuals could obtain a free credit report and receive one-on-one counseling; a Financial Planning Zone for free one-on-one consultation with a certified financial planner; a College Access Zone that provided consultations from college aid specialists and counselors on how youth and adults can obtain higher education; a Small Business Zone that provided tips from entrepreneur experts on how to start a business; and a Youth Zone that provided financially focused activities for a wide range of youths.

We were also joined by local politicians including the U.S. Representative from Maryland’s 7th congressional district, Congressman Elijah Eugene Cummings, newly elected Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, Boyd Rutherford and the honorable Mayor of Baltimore City, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. In their speech to the audience, all three spoke of credit awareness and how important the day was in helping people understand how to control their future.

It was a fun day had by all, and we were delighted to be there to help the attendees achieve their financial goals. We look forward to the 2016 Money Power Day with great anticipation.

© 2008- 1st Mariner Bank