Click to learn about recent mortgage scams
man smiling at table using laptop

Mac Advisor

Spring 2017

Can’t find a home to purchase?
Maybe it’s time to remodel.

Being a buyer in today’s housing market is tough. There is very little inventory of homes for sale — many have offers well above asking price before the first open house. There is a growing pool of potential buyers all competing for the attention of a smaller number of homes. You’re likely to sell your home if you put it on the market, but where will you go? However, maybe you need more space for a growing family. Or perhaps your outdated kitchen is so inefficient that you’ve found yourself eating out every night. Buying your dream house with more bedrooms and a gourmet kitchen might solve your problems — or you could stay out of the difficult housing market altogether and remodel instead.

Benefits of remodeling

Remodeling can be a good way to get the space you need without the hassle of buying a new home. If you enjoy the location of your home, it’s an even bigger incentive to stay put and turn the house you already own into the house of your dreams. Another bonus to remodeling is that by bringing your home up to date or expanding the square footage, you can expect to recoup some of the costs if you do decide to sell.

Make changes without losing money

According to Remodeling magazine, the best midrange remodeling investments are:1
  • Addition of a wood deck (cost recovered: 85%)
  • Siding replacement (cost recovered: 83%)
  • Minor kitchen remodel (cost recovered: 83%)
  • Window replacement (cost recovered: 79% - 81%)
  • Bathroom remodel (cost recovered: 78%)
  • Major kitchen remodel (cost recovered: 78%)

By making these or other valuable improvements, you can get more mileage out of the place you already call home. Call us at (877) 820-2265 or visit us at macatawabank.com/homeequity to learn more about how a home equity loan or home equity line of credit could help finance your remodel.




5 Projects that lower your home’s value

Upgrading or renovating your house can bring great joy and functionality to your homeownership experience. Yet there are some projects that may lower your home’s value if you plan to sell within the next few years. Try to avoid these projects if a sale is in your near future:


1
Excessively decorating children’s rooms.
Yes, it may be a lot of fun to paint a mural wall in your child’s room, but if you’re planning to sell soon, the time and money spent will likely not be recouped. From a seller’s standpoint, it’s better to paint with more neutral colors.


2
Adding textured walls.
Textured walls can be difficult to sand down or remove, so consider avoiding them. If you do choose to texture a wall, try to choose one that can be easily converted back to a typical flat wall.


3
Installing a hot tub.
A hot tub is a great place to relax and unwind after your day, but many potential homebuyers are turned off by using someone else’s hot tub.


4
Overly difficult landscaping.
Many non-green thumbs may be intimidated by elaborately landscaped yards and walk away, no matter what the inside of your home looks like. Try to keep your yard neat and tidy, but not too difficult to maintain.


5
Converting extra bedrooms into non-bedrooms.
Really want that formal dining room? Before you convert the main-floor bedroom to accommodate, be careful not to change too much — and be sure not to touch the closet. In order for you to list the room as a bedroom in the future, the closet must stay intact.






4 Benefits of a mobile wallet


Maybe it’s new to you. Maybe the woman in front of you at the coffee shop used one. Maybe you’re leading the trend. Whether it’s Apple Pay®, Android Pay or another mobile wallet, app-based payment methods are here to stay. And for good reason! Using a near-field communication (NFC) chip in your smartphone, mobile wallets offer many advantages over traditional payment methods, including:


1
Extra layers of security.
Mobile wallets encrypt your credit and debit card information and many use a payment code entirely separate from your card number for making payments. In addition, you’re in control of your device at all times, and some even require a fingerprint scan when paying. These added protections can help to minimize the risk of card fraud.


2
Loyalty program tracking.
In addition to storing card information, most mobile wallets can also store your favorite loyalty cards, allowing you to continue earning points and score special deals. Forgetting your punch card can be a thing of the past.


3
Easy money management.
While online account management has made budgeting easier, with multiple cards and accounts it can be difficult to keep track of spending. Most mobile payment apps allow you to easily see recent spending on all of your connected cards, saving you time and the headache of logging in to multiple websites.


4
Increased payment speed.
Without the need to search through your wallet for the right card, paying can be faster than ever. Some merchants even allow you to skip the line entirely when using a mobile wallet app to pay for items you’ve ordered online or from your phone.






Mobile banking by the numbers





MOBILE BANKING
IS ON THE RISE

2013: 33%
2014: 39%
2015: 43%
Percentage of mobile phone owners with bank accounts who have used mobile banking in the past 12 months.


Arrows pointing at money icon
MOBILE PAYMENTS ARE STILL SLOW TO CATCH ON
24%
of people surveyed had used their smartphone to make a purchase in the 12 months before the survey.



Of those who made mobile purchases, the 3 most common transactions were:



1
Paying bills through a mobile phone web browser or app 65%



2
Purchasing a physical item or digital content remotely using a mobile phone 42%



3
Paying for something in a store using a mobile phone 33%
Hand holding phone that says: Mobile banking offers the convenience of 24/7 account access. But how has it changed the way we bank? These results from the Federal Reserve Board's Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2016 study tell the tale.
WHAT DO PEOPLE USE MOBILE BANKING FOR?

94%
Check their account balances


58%
Transfer money between accounts


56%
Receive alerts (low balances, payment reminders)


DOES GOING MOBILE MAKE YOU A SMARTER CONSUMER? YOU DECIDE
62% next to brain shaped pie chartNearly two-thirds of mobile banking users checked their account balance on their phone before making a large purchase.



50% of them decided not to purchase an item as a result of their account balance or credit limit.







!
When consumers received low-balance alerts, it caused them to:


Transfer money into the account with the low balance43%


Deposit money into the account36%
 


Reduce spending 32%


Arrows pointing to padlock icon

WHAT DO THOSE WHO USE MOBILE BANKING DO TO PROTECT THEMSELVES?


84%
Install updates
70%
Password protect the phone
58%
Customize privacy settings
Convenient Mobile Banking is available through the Macatawa Bank Personal Mobile Banking app. For more information regarding online and mobile security, visit macatawabank.com/info/about-us/safe-banking-tips. Protecting your money and your personal information online is a top priority at Macatawa Bank.




Money milestones for kids

A Harris Poll2 surveyed adults and teens about the appropriate age for “firsts” like getting an allowance, a cellphone, a first job, etc. Participants also shared how old they were for these first-time activities and responsibilities. Here’s a quick look at the average ages for financial milestones:


Receive an allowance - age 9.8


First cellphone - age 14.0


First job - age 15.5


First car - age 17.6




1National averages. Your costs and cost recouped will vary.
2Source: The Harris Poll #57, Sept. 1, 2016, www.theharrispoll.com/health-and-life/First-Time-for-Everything.html.

We're happy to help.

Looking for answers? Need some sound advice? Want to talk over your financial options? Fill out the form below and we'll be in touch.  * = Required field.

* required fields
Preferred form of contact *
What is your preferred method of contact?
Existing customer? *
Are you an currently a customer at Macatawa Bank?