Branch Closings: Hurricane Dorian

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On the BETTER side of life

These simple improvements could mean the difference between a quick sale and months on the market.
key in front door
Appearance matters when it comes to purchasing a house. Not only do prospective buyers want an attractive space to call home, they also want to get the most for their money. If your house is dirty, or the exterior needs work, that could communicate to prospective buyers that they are not getting the value for the price. By simply cleaning, organizing, and depersonalizing your home, you improve your chances for selling your home sooner.

Here are our tips for prepping your home for sale:

Update your landscaping: Prospective buyers care about curb appeal, and your yard offers a dramatic first impression of your home when people come to tour. Be sure to mow the grass, trim the hedges, weed, and plant new flowers. Prospective buyers would rather maintain a beautiful yard than start from ...

Don’t wait for the roof to spring a leak before you think about replacing it.replacing_roof

With the recent number of severe storms we’ve had with damaging winds and hail, you may have noticed that your roof is a little worse for wear, and wondering if it is time for a new roof. After all, roofs aren’t exactly cheap, but remain necessary, unless you enjoy sleeping under the stars. To help make your decision a little easier, here are our seven signs that it may be time to replace the roof.

Start with the Attic: A sure sign that it may be time to call a roofer is if you see sunlight through the ceiling of your attic, or you find water damage caused by rain leaks.

Review your Records: How long has it been since the roof was last replaced? Consider the time that has passed since the last replacement, ...

Learn more about how social media can drive sales while also improving customer experience.
social_media
Social Media is not only a great way to stay connected with friends and family, but it can also be used as an inexpensive tool for your business to build relationships with your customer base, as well as drive sales.  When used correctly, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can increase brand awareness, and drive traffic to your website, as well as encourage customers to visit your business to purchase your product or service.  Below are our suggestions for how to best elevate your business within the community, increase conversions, and strengthen customer loyalty through your social media presence.

Create quality content your audience will value.

When using social media to market and build a client base, it is important to create quality content that users can consume and interact with. This can come in the ...

Get a beautiful dress for a fraction of the cost with these money saving tricks.
wedding_dress
Weddings have become increasingly expensive over the years, with some couples spending as much on their big day as you would a brand new car.  One of the most important features of a wedding is the bride’s wedding gown, which can cost thousands of dollars, easily inflating your budget.  However, if you are looking to reduce costs without losing quality, and maybe have a little extra cash for the honeymoon, here are six tips to save money on your bridal gown.


  1. Buy Gently Used - I know what you’re thinking, it’s bad luck to wear a used wedding gown. However, many women choose to make space in their closets by taking their gowns to consignment shops. Others brides will buy multiple dresses until they can make up their mind on which one to wear, and ...

Avoid buyer’s remorse and debt on major purchases with these helpful tips.
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With it being tax season, many of our customers have a little extra money in their pocket from their state and federal tax returns. Often, people will use their tax returns for major purchases, such as a down payment on a new car, or projects like installing new counter-tops in their kitchen. However, before you run out and spend your hard earned money on a big purchase, here are five questions you should ask yourself to ensure you are spending your money wisely.


  1. How will it affect people in my life? Major purchases, such as a new vehicle or home renovations, affect multiple people. When you are considering making a sizable purchase, it is important to talk to the other members of you family that will be affected. For example, before you agree to purchase that brand new ...

Spring is here and most South Carolinians are beginning their love affair with cooking outdoors, eating outdoors and just plain being outdoors!

There's no better place to enjoy those things than on your own backyard deck.

Depending on its size and design, a deck can be a good do-it-yourself project. If you and your buddies are handy, you might even be able to build one over a weekend. Some home improvement stores will provide you with design help, recommend materials, and volunteer advice if you hit a snag. There are even online guides to show you how to build a deck step by step.

But maybe you'd prefer to bring in a pro so you can kick back and just observe the deck building process. What should you ask before you hire that pro?

First Reliance Bank Deck Building TipsNo matter how you plan to move forward with your deck project, there are some important ...

When you see an RV rolling down Interstate 95 or heading toward the coast, do you take a long hard look and imagine yourself inside?

Are you tired of vacationing in hotel rooms, facing the hassle of air travel and paying the cost of it all? Maybe you've already cut vacation costs by squeezing the family into your pop-up camper, but feel ready to move up to a more luxurious option.

First Reliance Bank RVIt might be a good time to get an RV. Over 8 million households enjoy the cost-savings and freedom that comes with owning an RV. In fact, more and more families are buying RVs every year, according to a recent survey of consumers by the University of Michigan.

It's easy to see why. An RV is a very cost-effective way to travel — especially for families of four or more. A recent study by travel firm PKF Consulting revealed ...

Thinking of starting your own business? Here are our recommendations for making that dream a reality with a small business loan.small_business_loan

Few things are as gratifying, (or challenging) as leaving the relative safety of working for someone else to start your own small business. After all, every decision you make, from who you hire, to where you’re located, has the potential to make or break your business. It’s a nerve wracking endeavor that not everyone is cut out for, but for those who have the drive and do their homework, it can be tremendously rewarding. So if you are up to the challenge, the first obstacle you must overcome is financing the start of your business.

Unless you have already accumulated a little nest egg for your small business venture, you will likely need to get a small business loan. This a place where people mess up, either getting more ...

officeWhen starting a business, one of the first decisions you must make is to lease space for your office, store, or restaurant, or purchase a property. Each comes with its share of benefits and disadvantages, but with a little planning, you can make an informed choice that helps your business succeed in the long run. Here are our tips when it comes to choosing to lease or buy your business property.

Leasing vs. Buying

Here are a few things to consider regarding leasing vs. buying your business space:

Leasing Property


  • Doesn’t require a down payment, excluding a deposit

  • Certain upgrade and renovations, such as complying with code, will be paid for by your landlord.

  • Generally are not responsible for building repairs and preventative maintenance.

  • Option to transition to a larger space as your business grows.


Buying Property

  • Usually must provide a down payment of 10% -- 25%.

  • Eligible for tax ...

Free yourself from the toil of a 9 to 5 job with these helpful tips.small_business

Do you ever dream of the freedom and flexibility of self-employment as you “punch the clock” each work day? With a little initiative and ingenuity, you can drop your day job for something more rewarding and become a self-sufficient professional who only answers to you. Read below for some helpful tips for making the transition from employee to successful entrepreneur.

No guts, no glory: This may not come as a surprise, but in order to invoke change in your life, you must be willing to make changes and step out of your comfort zone. Put yourself out there, and rather than fear the possibility of failure, accept it as a normal step on the path to success.

Whether you’re considering relocating to a new city for more opportunities, or starting a business, you are guaranteed ...