Easy Mortgage Tips for Borrowers

The Spring housing market is really taking off, and I’d like to take this opportunity to pass along some helpful tips for mortgage borrowers from my guest blogger – Theresa Torino, one of our loan officers based in the Southbury branch:

Getting a Mortgage Can Be Easy
Understanding the process of obtaining a mortgage is a key factor in ensuring your experience is pleasurable and goes smoothly, and I’d like to share a few tips to help prepare you for the next, or the first time that you apply for a mortgage loan.

Credit – Understand your credit. It’s always a good idea to know what is being reported on your credit report. You can obtain a free credit report at annualcreditreport.com. This site will give you the opportunity to view your credit from the three major credit bureaus, Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian.  The report will not give you a score, but it will make you aware if there is anything suspicious on your credit.  Remember a better credit score may help you get a more favorable loan interest rate.

Keep an Eye on Rates – If you have not refinanced in the last few years, you may want to look into the possibility now while rates are still attractive. Or, if you are looking to buy a home, this Spring may be a good time to start shopping.  Newtown Savings Bank offers an automated rate watch service that will email you rates at the frequency you specify, or you can always call any of our loan officers and they would be happy to quote you the rates. We can also provide you with information about some of the alternative lower rate mortgage programs that are available such as FHA or CHFA, and help you determine if it makes sense for your specific transaction.

Be Prepared – Your loan officer can provide you with an advanced checklist list of documents needed for you mortgage application, which will reduce the processing time on your loan.  Some common documentation requests include full tax returns for the past two years, bank statements, recent pay stubs, and investment account statements.  Of course every situation is different, and there are times when more documentation may be needed to clarify or verify particular information.

Being prepared with the required documentation, understanding the variability in rates, and the maintaining good credit are all important when obtaining a mortgage. The more prepared you are the easier the process will be for both the consumer and the borrower.  As always, if you have questions regarding mortgage financing don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800.461.0672!

Theresa Torino
Mortgage Loan Officer

NMLS Registry Number-452774
Email: ttorino@nsbonline.com

Health is Wealth

At Newtown Savings Bank, many of our employees are making a commitment to improve their health and well-being. To the extent that we can, our Bank is doing our best to support them. We have a Health and Wellness Committee made up of dedicated employees who are always looking for creative ways to promote wellness and have fun.

I support this effort 100% and feel a little guilty that I’m not doing my part to improve my own personal well-being. Long hours, late dinners, poor nourishment choices, and not enough exercise are a recipe for disaster at my age.  You work a whole lifetime, then when you start thinking of the golden years and time to enjoy the fruits of your labor you’re not healthy enough to do the things you really want to do.  For me, that would be golfing and traveling. Also, I still love a good hike in the woods!

Formed in August of 2013, our Health and Wellness team’s goal is to encourage employees to have a healthy, well balanced lifestyle by providing them with activities and services.  Their first major initiative was organizing a fitness challenge with over 100 participants.  Since then, they have provided many opportunities for our employees to improve their health from biometric screenings to boot camp style exercise classes. The most recent healthy promotion was supporting the American Heart Association’s National Wear Red Day earlier this month. Over two thirds of our employees participated, and they raised $675!

So, wish us luck as we take a step forward in trying to improve our lives, and I’ll keep you updated on our progress.


The picture above is our Dolan Plaza branch staff – you can see all the “Wear Red” photos on our Facebook page.




New Year, New Faces

Happy Holidays!  We are finishing up a great year at Newtown Savings Bank and some of our talented staff are moving up to new positions.  There are a few changes in our branch leadership that I’m proud to communicate to you.

Sue LoRusso has transferred from our Sand Hill office to the Woodbury office, replacing Karen Tracy (who as previously announced has become our Vice President, Retail Banking Development Officer).  Sue joined the Bank in 2007 and worked in the Southford office prior to moving to Sand Hill in 2012. Sue is excited to be moving back closer to her business network in the northeast corner of our market. She has done an excellent job representing Retail Banking on the Sand Hill renovation and will be helping to lead the renovation of the Woodbury office tentatively planned for 2014.

Rebecca Brown has joined the Bank as the new manager of the Sand Hill office. Rebecca is a Newtown native and Danbury resident who previously worked at another bank as a Customer Service Manager. Rebecca worked in several branches as well as on a variety of Retail Banking projects including training.  She is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University and is licensed as a mortgage originator as well as a life insurance representative.

Katie Smith has accepted a position as manager of the Dolan Plaza branch.  Katie started her banking career in the Newtown office in 2002 as a teller, and her career path included positions of Head Teller, CSR, and Assistant Branch Manager.  Before moving back to the Main office as the Assistant Branch Manager, Katie served as interim manager of the Sand Hill office. This experience, along with her knowledge of the Bank and its products and her upbeat and energetic leadership style made her the candidate for this opening, and we are pleased that she has accepted our offer.

My Granddog Pictured Here


And on a final note, along with my Granddog Oscar (for those of you viewing this text-only, there’s a holiday picture of Oscar), I wish you a very Happy New Year.


Familiar Faces

While a few other Banks have a high turnover rate with Branch Managers, here at Newtown Savings Bank, we are proud to have dedicated Branch Managers serve you with very little turnover.  The one time I am happy to report changing Branch Managers is when talented people move up in our organization.  We have three Branch Managers moving up and, unfortunately for the rest of us, out of their current positions in the Branch.

In Trumbull, Brian Fonck will soon move his office to Newtown to become VP and Regional Manager.

Sarina Manibanseng will soon leave her office in Dolan Plaza, Bethel to fill a new position for us as VP in Retail Banking Administration assisting all 14 of our branch locations.

Karen Tracy is leaving her Woodbury office to become a VP of Retail Development.  Karen’s skills and expertise will be dedicated to developing and training all of our branch staff.

None of the three are leaving immediately.  We are currently in the process of selecting new talented Branch Managers for all three branches.

As happy as I am that these deserving individuals are continuing to develop their careers with us, I’m excited for the opportunities they will create for others. These changes create new opportunities for people and will help us grow and thrive. I know that many of you in Trumbull, Danbury, and Woodbury are going to miss Brian, Sarina, and Karen but they are moving to build a better Newtown Savings Bank for all of us.


“Dog Days” of Summer

One of the great aspects about living in Southern New England is that there are great getaways right in our own backyards. Opportunities to hike, bike, swim, golf or to pursue just about any other interest or activity are all around us. Some of my favorite times though, take place literally in the backyard.

Linda and I always look forward to having our recently-married sons and their wives over for dinner or a barbecue. Since there are no grandkids in the picture, yet the grandogs are welcome guests and share our enthusiasm for these gatherings. Harley, a Belgian Shepherd, never tires of having a Frisbee thrown to him. Is it possible to be proud of a dog? Harley can catch a Frisbee on the run and almost never misses. If the toss is particularly bad he will pick it up on a one hopper. Boy my Yankees could use him now. His boundless energy is matched by Oscar, a Yorkie Poo, who never fails to remind us that great spirits and athleticism come in all shapes and sizes.

A tradition we’re continuing this summer is our annual trip to Delaware’s Dewey Beach, where I’ll continue to catch up with family members, as well as some golf and reading. On my list are “The Black Box” by Michael Connelly and perhaps I’ll start Ken Follet’s trilogy.

I hope you too make time for whatever it is you and your family enjoy doing in the weeks ahead. The season may be short, but there’s a long list of ways to share the joys of summer all around us.