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Top Five Holiday Tips

The holiday season is upon us! As much as we love the holidays, it is probably one of the most stressful times of the year. “Holiday Stress Index” conducted by Harris Interactive reported that 90% of respondents say they experience stress during the holiday season.  First State Bank would like to extend a helping hand.  Below are some of our favorite tips to help you navigate the holiday season.

1)      Make homemade gifts

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to create a personal gift for a family member or friend on your list.  Click on the link below for great directions on how to make some of these fun, thoughtful gifts.

http://www.bhg.com/christmas/gifts/

2)      Decide ahead of time how much you plan to spend on whom.

Write out a spending plan and budget before you start shopping. Having a set plan makes hectic Christmas shopping much simpler, and it also helps to keep you from overspending.

3)      Shop online

It’s never too late to find good deals online. Most websites will allow you to purchase a gift just days before Christmas and still have them shipped on time.  Many websites clearly list the dates you need to submit an order by to receive them before Christmas.

4)      Buy used when possible

This works well for small kids that don’t mind (or notice!) if their toy is new or used. Things like basketball hoops, bikes, books and movies can all be purchased used. This idea can also be helpful when buying electronics, decorations, and household items for adults on your Christmas list. Websites like EBay and Craigslist offer gently used items for sale.  

5)      Start a New Tradition

Create a tradition that eliminates the need to buy multiple gifts for each person on your list.  Draw names, organize a Secret Santa gift exchange, or play Rob Your Neighbor or White Elephant.  This works well for friends, co-workers, and your book club, but could also be used with your extended or immediate family, if everyone is on board.

For more ideas on how to save click on the link below.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/12/01/8-smart-ways-to-save-on-christmas/

Community Bank Expands into West St. Louis County

First State Bank of St. Charles will open a new branch at 17050 Baxter Road in Chesterfield next Monday, December 10, marking the first time the 145-year-old bank will operate a full-service retail branch outside of St. Charles County.

The new bank branch will offer personal banking, mortgage loans, mobile banking, investment services and a full line of deposit accounts, loans and online cash management tools for businesses. First State Bank of St. Charles reported total assets of $262,971,000 as of September 2012.

Bank president and CEO David Strautz expects the Chesterfield location to be a good fit for the bank's services and continued growth. “As an independent bank with a strong community focus, we are especially pleased to move into Chesterfield with its strong residential and business community,” he said.

“We believe our bank’s conservative business model and rich history are a perfect complement to the current strength of the Chesterfield community and to those who live and work in this area.  When this location became available, our directors and management team felt it was the right time to expand our services into West St. Louis County.”

Strautz will have an office at the new location and will be joined by Mark Prainito, senior vice president, and Millie Cain, vice president of business development.

Several grand opening specials are in place for the month of December.  Lobby hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, with expanded hours for drive-up lanes.

First State Bank Honored With #1 Ratings In Several Categories By Local Voters

First State Bank is pleased to announce the results of the 2012 “Best of St. Charles County” poll, in which First State Bank took top honors in several categories: BEST LENDER, BEST MORTGAGE COMPANY, and BEST FINANCIAL PLANNERS.

This is the third year in a row that First State Bank has been voted “Best Lender” and “Best Mortgage Company,” and the second year to be voted “Best Financial Planners” by local voters in the poll.

The results of the Suburban Journals’ “Best of St. Charles County” readers’ poll are calculated from votes by local residents.  Votes are submitted through both an online and paper ballot each fall.

Local Team, Congressman Luetkemeyer Join Together To Help Disabled Veteran Purchase the Perfect Home

Missouri disabled veteran Dillon Raube and his wife, Taylor, signed final papers Wednesday to complete a year-long process of purchasing their perfect family home in Linn Creek, Mo, surrounded by all those who helped make the loan possible – a local Realtor team, their mortgage banker and Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer himself.

For U.S. Navy veteran Dillon Raube and his young family, the process of finding the perfect home and obtaining financing had been an arduous one.  After being medically discharged from the Navy with a 100% service-connected disability and recovering from multiple surgeries, Dillon and his wife decided to move to Missouri to be closer to Raube’s own family.

The Raubes found the perfect home in Linn Creek, Mo.  The property provided all the necessary elements to accommodate Dillon’s needs – a single-story home with a level lot and paved road, and an outbuilding and attached apartment, an ideal living space for Dillon’s mother, who could reside close enough to assist him with his day-to-day tasks.

Three days before their scheduled closing date, the Raubes were notified that the loan was being denied on the basis of the property being “too unique.”  The Raubes were shocked and confused.  That’s when they decided, with the help of their real estate agent, Justin Farrell of John Farrell Real Estate Company, to reach out to their local Congressman’s office.  So Raube wrote a letter to Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer to ask for assistance.

“We are struggling to understand why [the loan] was denied…My family and I have worked diligently for the past year for this particular house,” said Raube in his letter to Congressman Luetkemeyer.   “This property is very special to our family.  We would appreciate any assistance you can provide.”

Raube’s impassioned letter, sent to Luetkemeyer’s office on September 26, two days before the original scheduled closing date, set into motion a series of actions by local professionals determined to secure a home for this brave veteran and his family.  Congressman Luetkemeyer and his caseworker, Lori Boyken, responded immediately and began to work with the VA on an inquiry into the loan and appraisal.

Shortly after, the Raube’s agent, Justin Farrell, and fellow agent Lynn Farrell approached local mortgage lender Michael Lasson of First State Bank Mortgage to see if he could work with the Raubes on their loan.  Lasson and his wife, Michelle, a Loan Specialist with First State Bank Mortgage, immediately went to work looking at the loan and property to see if the loan could be approved.

Within three weeks of writing the letter, Dillon and Taylor Raube closed on their loan to become proud homeowners.

“We couldn’t have closed this loan without the support of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Mortgage Partnership Finance® program,” said Michael Lasson of First State Bank Mortgage.  “We are incredibly pleased to assist one of our disabled veterans,” said Dick Swanson, president and CEO, FHLB Des Moines. “As a cooperative of community lenders, we are able to create solutions like the Mortgage Partnership Finance program  to assist members including First State Bank Mortgage so they can strengthen their communities.”

“There were many people who were instrumental in making the American Dream of home ownership happen for the Raubes,” commented agent Lynn Farrell.  “Congressman Luetkemeyer and his caseworker, Lori Boyken, were key figures in getting the appraisal approved.  They went above and beyond in their efforts.  Michael and Michelle Lasson and First State Bank did a fantastic professional job of making this all work for the Raubes.  And Justin [Farrell] has been working with them through all the challenges and never gave up.  This is truly an American success story for a very deserving veteran.”

Mortgage Lending Office Opens in Kansas City, Impacts Over 45 Jobs

FIRST STATE BANK MORTGAGE LAUNCHES TWO HOME LOAN OFFICES

First State Bank Mortgage is proud to announce their expansion into the Kansas City metropolitan area.  Their two new locations in Overland Park, KS, and Lee’s Summit, MO, will house an elite team of forty-seven mortgage loan officers, underwriters and processors from the Kansas City area.

First State Bank Mortgage, a division of First State Bank of St. Charles, Missouri, currently serves homebuyers throughout Missouri, through its established locations in St. Louis and Lake of the Ozarks.  The mortgage division will offer Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, Jumbo and other special financing programs for a variety of homebuyers, including first-time homebuyers and those looking to purchase a second home or vacation property.  The Kansas City team will be headed by Rita Rieke, regional retail production manager, and Linda Stewart, regional operations manager, both long-time mortgage professionals in the Kansas City area.

“We are excited about the opportunity to grow our mortgage operation and offer our extended portfolio of mortgage products and competitive rates to the greater Kansas City metropolitan area,” said David Strautz, President and CEO of First State Bank.  “We look forward to offering the same professional and responsive service to local residents here that we have been committed to providing in St. Louis for the past 145 years.”

Founded in 1867, First State Bank of St. Charles is one of the oldest independent community banks west of the Mississippi, and was voted the #1 lender and mortgage company in St. Charles County (Missouri) by area residents for the third year in a row.

First State Bank of St. Charles Announces Growth of Mortgage Division

One of the area’s oldest lenders is expanding their mortgage services in 2012, as they celebrate 145 years of business.

First State Bank of St. Charles is proud to announce the addition of several new residential loan officers and mortgage support individuals, as well as a brand-new West County mortgage office.  The new mortgage lending office, located on Chesterfield Grove Drive, also includes a Private Mortgage Banking Group.

“Our newest loan officers are well-known in the community and are among the highest-caliber lenders in the area,” said Daniel R. Simpson, Director of Mortgage at First State Bank. “Expanding into West County will allow customers more access to competitive rates and a full spectrum of home financing products.”

Founded in 1867, First State Bank of St. Charles is the oldest independent community bank in the St. Louis metropolitan area, and was voted #1 Lender in St. Charles County in a 2011 Suburban Journals reader’s poll.

“We are excited about the opportunity to grow our mortgage operation and offer a broader range of mortgage loan programs,” added Simpson.  “We look forward to continuing to build on the foundation of professional and responsive service that our customers have come to expect.”

First State Bank Mortgage is proud to announce the addition of these high-quality mortgage lenders:

CHESTERFIELD TEAM:

Millie Cain, Senior Private Mortgage Advisor, brings over 25 years of experience in banking, wealth management and real estate, and will lead the initiative on the new Private Mortgage Banking Group from the brand-new Chesterfield office.

Mark Cope, Senior Residential Mortgage Lender, brings a record of loan production excellence and over eight years of mortgage experience. Mark is a member of the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce.

Mary London, Senior Residential Mortgage Lender, brings over 15 years of lending experience, and over a decade of experience as a Realtor.  Mary is active in the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce.

Tina McWard, Senior Residential Mortgage Lender, brings over 12 years of experience in residential mortgage lending and banking.  Tina also brings sales and marketing experience from previous positions at global consumer goods companies.

Tom Mitchell, Residential Mortgage Lender, brings 24 years of experience in residential mortgage lending, and has consistently ranked in the top 5% of loan officers nationally, receiving top honors from financial institutions he has worked with in the past.

Trina Wright, Senior Residential Mortgage Lender, brings over 17 years of experience in the mortgage lending industry and will be housed out of the brand-new Chesterfield office.

ST. CHARLES TEAM:

Fred Elkins, Senior Residential Mortgage Lender, brings over 19 years of mortgage experience to the First State Bank Mortgage lending team.

Dion Fields, Senior Residential Mortgage Lender, was part of the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC)’s “Top Ten” loan production teams in 2010, and brings 14 years of experience in residential mortgage lending.

First State Bank Announces Private Mortgage Banking Group

MillieCain

First State Bank of St. Charles is proud to announce that Millie Cain has joined First State Bank to lead the initiative in their new Private Mortgage Banking Group.

Located in the bank’s brand-new West County office, the Private Mortgage Banking Group will provide flexible real estate options for affluent professionals and executives, and the high net worth individual or couple.

“It is our goal to provide unique financing strategies that take into careful consideration a client’s wealth management goals and current portfolio,” says David Strautz, CEO and president of First State Bank.

As Senior Private Mortgage Advisor, Cain is responsible for serving the financial needs of business executives, upper management and entrepreneurial professionals in the greater St. Louis marketplace.  Cain has over 25 years of experience in banking, wealth management, personal finance and real estate, and has served previously as senior vice president in private banking and wealth management for a St. Louis bank.

“No loan is too small or too large for full review and consideration,” says Cain.  “My emphasis is on relationship building and a high level of service that the more affluent professional and high net worth individual or couple have earned and come to expect.  My specialty will be in developing new solutions to meet their lending needs and in handling complex personal loan transactions.”

Cain is an active leader in many of the area’s charitable, non-profit and community organizations, including the St. Louis Crisis Nursery, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, St. Andrews Resources for Seniors, National Society of Arts and Letters and St. Louis Friends of Children’s Hospital.

The Private Mortgage Banking Group will be located in First State Bank’s Chesterfield lending office, located on Chesterfield Grove Drive, and is expected to be fully operational by late February 2012.

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer Holds Community Roundtable

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer Holds Community Roundtable

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer hosted a roundtable discussion with local financial institutions, community leaders and small business owners on Monday morning at First State Bank Mortgage. “Community development is critical to expanding our economy and creating jobs. This roundtable provided me with a unique opportunity to discuss the issue from a congressional perspective while also hearing first-hand about the important challenges facing the people of St. Charles County,” the Congressman said.

First State Bank of St. Charles President and CEO David P. Strautz presented the roundtable in partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. “To have these kinds of conversations is important because they become a driving force for economic and community development. We welcome the opportunity to work with Congressman Luetkemeyer in finding solutions that will benefit businesses and communities in St. Charles County.”

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines will be holding similar events across the five Midwestern states in its district to create awareness of local issues and promote civic dialog. “FHLB Des Moines shares the desire of Congressman Luetkemeyer to build stronger, sustainable neighborhoods in Missouri. We provide grants and low-cost loans to our member financial institutions to create affordable housing, support jobs and stimulate economic growth,” said Dan Clute, senior vice president, communications and external affairs, FHLB Des Moines.

Among the topics discussed were resources to stabilize neighborhoods, the continuing role of the Federal Home Loan Bank System in supporting housing finance, innovation and small business.

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