In recognition of National Homeownership Month, Bank of Sullivan and the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) are reminding current and prospective homeowners of community bank resources that make financing easier and more affordable.

“For many Americans homeownership represents the keys to financial wealth creation and putting down roots in their community,” said Ron Haynie, ICBA senior vice president, mortgage finance policy. “As relationship lenders, your local community is here to provide guidance and support in what can be a protracted and complicated process to becoming a homeowner.”

ICBA and Bank of Sullivan offer the following tips for consumers considering purchasing a home of their own:

• How much can be borrowed and what loan products best match financial needs and budget considerations. A community banker will review the mortgage process along with available mortgage programs and loan features, so there aren’t any surprises.

• How mortgage rates, the loan amount, property taxes and insurance premiums affect monthly mortgage payments. This will help customers shop for a home that fits a budget and increase the prospects for success as an informed buyer.

• Buyer’s rights and obligations under your mortgage contract. Today’s consumers have more avenues than ever to homeownership. A community banker will help understand the fine print before you sign on the dotted line.

• Suitable government-sponsored programs. In addition to federal homeownership and home-buying assistance programs, there are many programs sponsored by the state, local government or other organizations that community banks can recommend to make homeownership more affordable.

• Additional resources to help create a budget and set financial targets. Many community banks offer homebuyer seminars and other helpful resources. Free online educational tools can also be found at www.hud.gov.

“For most people, buying a home is an investment in their future—an opportunity to establish roots, start a family, and build financial security,” said Tracy Watters, senior vice president mortgage center manager at the Bank of Sullivan. “As your trusted financial adviser, Bank of Sullivan can help you navigate the process and select the financing option that works best for you.

“Homeownership is an important step in supporting our future generations and strengthening our communities,” she added. “As a long-standing community bank, Bank of Sullivan is committed to helping our communities prosper; building relationships by providing the best financing options is one way that we can do that.”