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ICBA: Community Banks Are An Educational Resource for Prospective Homebuyers

Housing is a Buy for the Long Term

Washington, D.C. (June 22, 2009)—As National Homeownership Month draws to a close, the nearly 5,000 members of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) urge prospective homebuyers to learn as much as possible about the home-buying process before they even begin looking for a home of their own. A good place to start is with their local community bank.

“A home is one of the biggest purchases that anyone will ever make,” said R. Michael Menzies, ICBA chairman and president and CEO of Easton Bank and Trust Co., Easton, Md. “Recent events in the mortgage marketplace and the overall economy are clear reminders that homeownership should not be entered into lightly, and while buying a home is still likely a good investment for the long run, it’s a decision that’s based on a multitude of both personal and financial factors. Doing research can help customers make smart decisions that fit their lifestyle and budget. Community bankers can help their customers understand the process.”

ICBA suggests that prospective homebuyers look into special home-buying seminars that may be offered by their local community bank. Customers can work with their local community bank to determine their financing options and needs, including down payment, monthly payment requirements and different loan options.

Also, ICBA suggests the following financial literacy Web sites as further resources:

“We community bankers are not only interested in helping a homebuyer purchase a home, it’s also critically important to make sure they find a mortgage that fits their budget and financial needs. After all, these buyers are part of our communities—communities we are all proud to call home,” Menzies said. “Whether customers are first-time homebuyers, want to refinance their mortgage or want to move to a new home, the first step is to check in with their knowledgeable, local community banker, who can arm them with the information they need to make a solid homeownership decision.”

For more information, visit www.icba.org. To find a community bank near you, visit the ICBA community bank locator.