Bankers are optimistic about the economy

By Pat Maurer

Review Correspondent

The leaders at all three Clare banks are optimistic about 2013 as spring, and the construction and fix-up season arrives.

Firstbank Clare Community President Dan Timmins said, “I’m always optimistic about the economy, but this year we are already seeing more business from construction, home improvement and new home purchases than we have in the previous five years.”

Timmins said, “I think there are still some businesses struggling out there, but the signs are all good that things are looking better again.”
“It’s a good time for purchases,” he said. “Banks want to lend money right now and they are very competitive. The interest rates are low.” He said they are seeing more loan requests for big purchases like new cars, boats, RVs and motorcycles. “People are spending money again on big ticket items.”

He added, “Mortgage rates are also still very low and attractive. Most people have taken advantage of that and refinanced, but there are still some people out there that need to take advantage of the still low rates and refinance.”

Chemical Bank’s Community Bank President Rod Loomis agreed, saying “We are all anxious for the weather to break. It looks like the economy is off to a pretty good start. People are thinking about home improvement and the interest rates are still very low and very attractive. And, it’s still a good time to consider refinancing your home.”

He continued, “We don’t know what to predict for the future, but now is definitely a good time to take a look at your home mortgage rate if you haven’t done it already.”

Scott Moore Branch Manager of Isabella Bank in Clare since his January promotion, agreed that “It’s a great time to refinance your home. Rates are low on both 15 and 30 year mortgages and home equity lines of credit are a good option for people who are doing multiple projects over several years.”

“There are some encouraging signs this spring including  increased auto sales that make me believe consumers are now in a much better position to borrow. And, banks have the money to lend,” he said. “More people are willing to make a larger purchase now and downtown Clare is looking pretty good again.”

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