10 Ways to Give Back this Thanksgiving

Nov 15
Category | General

During this season of thankfulness, many of us want to show gratitude and give back. Whether your donation is time or money, you can make a difference in your community. Here are 10 ideas of ways to give back:


1. Many grocery stores have programs that allow you to buy a turkey or an entire Thanksgiving dinner to donate to a family in need. You can also donate many non-perishable Thanksgiving staples, such as canned green beans or cranberries, to your local food pantry.

2. This season also marks a drop in temperature in many parts of our country, which can be dangerous for people who are currently homeless. Go through your closets and storage areas to find gently worn shoes/boots, sweaters, coats, and other winter gear to donate to a local shelter. Also, consider contributing bulk packs of new socks, as this is an oft needed but forgotten donation.

3. Make time to volunteer at a soup kitchen. Whether it is on Thanksgiving Day or not, helping prepare and serve healthy meals is a great way to help those in your community who would otherwise be hungry.

4. Donate blood and help save a life! Go to the American Red Cross website to find out where and when in your community you can donate.

5. Don’t forget about helping the pets in your community! Contact your local shelter to see if you can spend a couple hours volunteering with their cats and dogs.

6. Run in a charity 5k or 10k race. What better way to start your Thanksgiving Day than a brisk run! See if your city or town is having a “turkey trot” or other road race to raise money for a local cause.

7. Invite someone to join your family Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe a coworker whose family lives out of state, or an elderly neighbor. Your meal will taste even better knowing that you have shared it with someone in need!

8. Help clean up your town or city. Show your appreciation for the place you call home by spending a couple hours picking up litter in public spaces or clearing leaves and fallen branches off walkways.

9. Send thank-you or thinking-of-you notes to your loved ones you haven’t seen in a while. Who doesn’t love receiving snail mail that isn’t bills or ads!

10. If you don’t have the time to donate, consider making a reoccurring, online contribution to a cause near and dear to your heart.

We often post about knowing when the time is right to buy your first home. Deciding between renting and buying can be a daunting task for many. So, if you know that the time is right for you to buy, you may now be feeling the pressure to choose whether to buy a ‘starter home’ or a ‘forever home’.

Possibly, this analogy could help: think of the first car that you purchased by yourself. Did you choose a compact sedan with good gas mileage, perfect for weekend trips and parallel parking in new cities? Or did you opt for a larger, safe SUV that can seat five with room to spare, complete with a maintenance package to keep it in great condition for many years to come? Both options are great choices, it just depends on what you are looking for, and what you are planning for your future.

You can think of a starter home as a jumping off point in homeownership. When you buy a starter home, you probably don't intend to live there for more than a few years. However, with a forever home, you'll likely plan on living there for many years - maybe even for the rest of your life! When comparing the two options, have in mind how much time you intend to live in the home, and how that fits into your goals.

Reasons to Choose a Starter Home

  • Potentially More Affordable Than a Forever Home

Condos and small houses are a favorite starter home among first-time homebuyers. A smaller house is likely to fit your budget better, and if you're single or have a small family, a one to two-bedroom home may be all you need anyway.

  • Desire to Start Investing in Your Future

You can think of a mortgage payment as an investment in your future, and with every payment, you own more and more of the house.

  • Improve Your Investment Without Commitment

If you want to help increase the value of your starter home, consider making some upgrades. The key to home improvements in starter homes is to focus on those with a reasonable return on investment. Before you gut the bathroom for a complete remodel, consider making less drastic upgrades like replacing the tile and sink. Another thing to consider when making upgrades is to choose designs and materials that will appeal to most homebuyers. You'll want to save those personal touches for your forever home!

Reasons to Choose a Forever Home

  • Have or Plan to Have a Family

Space for a growing family is one of the most common reasons to buy a forever home. A condo for a 3-person family might be okay for a while, but eventually, you'll want more space in case you add to your family. With your forever home, you can have a yard for kids to play in and a dining room large enough to entertain in.

  • You're Ready to Set Roots

It's comforting to know that you won't be moving any time soon. You can settle in, make lasting friendships with your neighbors, upgrade your home just the way you like it knowing that this is your home to do with as you please.


If you’re still not sure if you should buy a starter home or forever home, that's okay! The most important thing is that you get pre-approved for a home loan first. With Norcom’s JumpStart Pre-Approval Program with Rate Assurance, you will be able to lock your rate in, and have 90 days to decide on the right home for you to buy.

Tips for Giving a Presentation

Oct 31
Category | General

For many students and professionals alike, the thought of public speaking results in sweaty palms and shaky knees. How does one overcome this fear and deliver a fantastic presentation?

First and foremost, practicing is of upmost importance. Make sure to rehearse your PowerPoint presentation or note cards several times, especially taking time to read through them aloud. You never know which word or phrase might get you tongue tied, and practicing beforehand could help prevent a mid-speech stutter.

So, if your job requires you to give presentations or talks, but you’re not a fan of public speaking, here are 5 tips that could help you:


1. The day of your presentation, don’t over caffeinate! People might mistake coffee jitters for nerves while you're speaking. Instead, opt for a glass of water to keep your speaking voice clear.


2. If you know that there will be time for a Q&A after your presentation, prepare the answers to potential audience questions. Try delivering the presentation for a spouse or friend, taking note of any confusions they may have. This can help you manage your composure, even if you are asked a tricky question.


3. If you’re not sure where to look while speaking, focus on a friendly face in the audience. You don’t want to be looking at your note cards, or even worse, your shoes, during your whole speech! Instead, before your presentation begins, scan the audience for someone who appears to be both attentive and receptive. That way, when you look up while speaking, you can look toward them for reassurance.


4. Remember to breath. If you are rushing and just can’t seem to get your words out, try taking a full inhale and exhale after each statement. You might feel that this will make your speech take longer, but in fact, it will help the audience understand you more clearly. This may even lead to fewer questions at the end!


5. Be yourself. If you have a funny anecdote to begin your presentation, share it! People will be more likely to connect with you and pay attention to you if they feel that they know you a little.

Boo! A Halloween Mortgage Blog

Oct 25
Category | General

From all of us at Norcom Mortgage, stay safe and warm this Halloween!

  • Trick! Or treat? You’ve found the house of your dreams! Or is it? Make sure to get your home inspected thoroughly so there are no surprises down the road. 

  • Are you not getting many trick or treaters? Think of your home’s curb appeal! Remember to rake leaves, or dare we say shovel snow, off the walkways. Then be sure to stock up on your candy supply! 

  • Don’t let the ghosts in through a drafty chimney - a renovation loan can help to seal the gaps and keep them out. 

  • Need a last-minute costume? Boxes from your recent move will make a great robot! 

  • If your plans for Halloween are curling up on the couch in your new home and watching Hocus Pocus, make sure your cable subscription has been transferred to your new address. 

  • Do you want to adopt a black cat, but your rental doesn’t allow it? A new house is a great pet-friendly option! 

  • Don’t give your credit score a fright! Remember, no major purchases while you are in the midst of the loan process. 

  • Make sure your dream home isn’t a haunted house! Ask if your appraiser is a certified ghost hunter. 

  • A cash-out refinance allowed you to remodel your kitchen, just in time to cook up bubbling potions and spooky treats. 

  • You finally got the cleared-to-close call from your loan officer. Time to break out your best celebration dance moves to everyone's favorite song – The Monster Mash!

Catering to the 2018 Borrower

Oct 18
Category | General

In today’s world of mobile delivery apps that will bring dinner right to your door, or e-readers that allow you to digitally carry around hundreds of books at a time, consumers demand more digital experiences. Therefore, companies must continue to improve upon their technologies and customer experiences. 


So, what does this mean for the mortgage industry? In a recent National Housing Survey by Fannie Mae, when asked how to make the mortgage process easier, 27% of borrowers responded that they would like to see a reduction in paperwork.


At Norcom Mortgage, responding to our borrowers needs and wants, while working within a highly regulated industry, is key. We want to improve each of our borrowers’ customer experiences, which is why we have rolled out our electronic closing platform, dubbed Swift Sign. Offering this digital solution will streamline the closing process, saving both time and paper.


Mike Dimech, SVP Operations Manager, stated, “Norcom Mortgage is excited and proud to be the first CT-based lender to offer electronic closings to our customers. By maintaining a true, 100% digital loan process, our borrowers will see drastic improvements over the traditional paper mortgage process while Norcom will further develop our internal efficiencies. We look forward to growing our partnership with Pavaso while enhancing the customer experience for our borrowers.”


As Dimech mentioned, Norcom has partnered with Pavaso, a Texas-based company that provides an all-in-one digital mortgage closing solution; a platform that improves communication and efficiency. This partnership will further solidify Norcom’s mission to provide lending solutions tailored to meet the needs of a 2018 borrower.



For more information on the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey, click here:

For more information on Norcom’s partnership with Pavaso, click here:

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