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Category Archives: First Time Homebuyers

A Lesson in Multitasking: Buying and Selling Your Home

No matter how many times you have done it, home buying can be stressful. Home selling, whether it is your first or fifth time, is another complex process. Doing both at the same time? Spoiler alert: it’s not always smooth sailing! For starters, it can be tough to line up your home sale and home purchase to happen on the exact same day. A few questions this can bring up: Will you need a temporary place for you and your belongings? Will you have to pay for (and do you qualify for?) two mortgages at once? Do you need your sale proceeds to use as your purchase down payment? When it comes to buying and selling at the same time, an… Read the full article.


Home Buying Tips for the Newly Engaged

    Did the love of your life recently pop The Question? Or maybe an engagement is just around the corner? This very exciting life step also comes with the unique challenge of navigating your finances together. Search the web and you’ll find an overwhelming list of articles on how to prepare for the big day, but planning for a bigger investment – your new home – doesn’t have to be complicated! Enjoy the happiness of starting your life together and let us simplify the steps to your home purchase. Communicate, communicate, communicate If you’re getting ready to share your life with someone, an honest discussion about finances is an important starting point. Some topics you may want to cover… Read the full article.


Saving as a Millennial Living with Your Parents

Don’t look now! The largest generation in the U.S. is quickly becoming adults and in the process, redefining adulthood. Millennials have adapted and endured in a post-recession economy, their social and global values have inspired change in the labor market, and now one-third of Millennials are living in a parent’s home. Eighteen to 34-year-olds living at home is the new normal; however it has not come without its challenges. Many are saddled with student loans, consumer debt, and a serious lack of savings – both emergency and retirement. The silver lining? Living at home provides some much desired financial breathing room, just when it’s needed most. So what can a young adult, who’s moving in with their folks, do to… Read the full article.


DIY Blogs Every Homeowner Should Bookmark

In our last blog we talked about the must have tools for any new homeowner. But what good are new tools without any know-how? DIY is a must for any savvy homeowner but everyone isn’t a trained carpenter or electrician. Luckily there are tons of DIY resources that can help spark some creativity and motivation to turn you into a money-saving DIYer. We decided to round up some of our favorite DIY blogs from around the blogosphere. Check them out, bookmark the ones you love, and let your DIY spirit run wild. Handy Guys Podcast This DIY resource is all about tackling that never ending “honey do” list. The Handy Guys cover DIY projects, home technology, tool reviews, and even… Read the full article.


Essential Tools for a New Homeowner

We all know someone who is “handy” around the house. The recipe to success this way is twofold.  First, you need the right tool for the right job. Second, you need a little courage. If you’re considering the purchase of your first home or in need of a great idea for a wedding gift, consider this list of essential tools for a new homeowner: Toolbox – Start small. You don’t need the heavy duty version on wheels just yet.  Consider a tool bag, or even a bucket with a belt that attaches around the top. But whatever you do, be sure to include an organizer for various size screws, nails and bolts. Hammers – Be sure to consider both a large and small version; The… Read the full article.


How to Spot a Good Real Estate Agent

Selling or buying a home can be a stressful and confusing process – not to mention you’re also preparing for a move. Having an expert to help navigate the process can make all the difference in helping you stay sane – enter the real estate agent. A real estate agent can help with various aspects of the home buying or selling process, but not all real estate agents are created equal. Furthermore, even the most experienced real estate agent might not be the best for your particular situation. It’s important to know what to look in your next real estate agent. Relationships matter – The relationship with your real estate agent is critical. If you don’t have a good feeling right… Read the full article.


I Want to Buy a Home, Now What?

  So you’ve made the decision to become a homeowner – that’s great! But do you know what your next move is? Don’t worry, most first time homebuyers have no clue what to do after they make the decision to buy a home. Great Midwest Bank is here to help. So what do you do? Do you look online for properties in your favorite neighborhood? Do you contact a realtor? Do you just call mom and dad and ask for advice? These are all good options that can get the ball rolling for you, but they might not be the best place to start. Sorry mom and dad! Let’s be honest, buying a home is a major financial decision and… Read the full article.


One-Click Mortgages?

  To be honest, it was a little difficult to watch football this past Sunday afternoon without seeing our boys in green and gold on the field. But the Super Bowl is must-see TV. Outside of the game, grading the commercials of course remain one of America’s traditions. Every year the big brands spend millions of dollars and create some of the year’s best spots. We saw a lot of great commercials last night, but one in particular caught our eye. You probably saw it too. It was a commercial for some kind of firecracker… or maybe it was bottle rocket. Whatever it was, it promised to forever change the way people apply for mortgages. It said something about getting… Read the full article.


Changes in Credit Scoring May Benefit Applicants

It’s no secret; your credit score is a major factor when being considered for a mortgage. Low credit scores can make you feel trapped, but changes to the credit scoring system may offer relief to those looking for a mortgage loan with a low score. Federal regulators and Congress are aiming to update the credit scoring system to be more inclusive of relevant financial information, such as rent, utilities, and even cell phone payments. Last month, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were ordered by federal overseers to finalize their plans for adopting “alternate or updated credit scores.” In addition, the Credit Score Competition Act was introduced to the House. This new piece of legislation seeks to make it easier for… Read the full article.


Seven Ways to Save on your Winter Energy Bill

Though lots of us appreciate the change of seasons in Wisconsin, winter often overstays its welcome. Between the crazy low temperatures, mountains of snow, slippery sidewalks, and ice covered cars, winter can take a toll on you and your home heating bills. Most of us know sealing leaks and adding insulation will make your home more efficient, but have you considered these other tips? Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow the warm sunlight to heat your home. Close those curtains at night to reduce the draft from the windows. Nearly 20% of your home’s energy use likely comes from heating water. Take shorter showers. Even a few minutes saved in the shower can impact your… Read the full article.


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