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Category Archives: Home Loans

The What, Why, and How of GMB Portfolio Loans

  We have mentioned portfolio loans quite a few times over the last few months. If you’re not sure what exactly a portfolio loan is, no worries! We’ve got the all the information you need right here. What is a portfolio loan? What makes a portfolio loan different than most mortgage loans is that the loan is funded locally, with funds deposited by GMB account holders. The loan becomes part of the bank’s “portfolio.” We are not selling the loan or the servicing (monthly payment collection) to another bank or organization. We’re taking care of it all ourselves, right here in Wisconsin. Why a portfolio loan? Portfolio loans come with a number of advantages. Because the loan is funded by… Read the full article.


From Start to Finish: The GMB Home Loan Journey

  Got home loan questions? We’ve got answers. Our loan officers and loan decisions are local, which means our clients know exactly where they stand throughout the process. Let’s take a stroll from start to finish of getting a home loan with Great Midwest Bank. You’ll be well-versed in the journey before it even begins! Step 1: Submit an application for your loan pre-approval. This can be done online in as little as 20 minutes. Another option, since we’re right in your neighborhood, is to stop into or call one of our branches. Our local experts can pre-approve you in person or over the phone, hassle-free! Step 2: Shortly after, one of our Loan Officers will discuss your pre-approval with… Read the full article.


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.


Four Reasons to Refinance

When you think about refinancing your mortgage, we know what comes to mind: Mountains of paperwork. Confusing acronyms. What is APR? PMI? LTV?! Thankfully, we’re here to provide some relief from overwhelming terms and bring clarity to the process. As a start, let’s break down some common benefits of refinancing. Reduced monthly payments Looking to relieve financial stress? Refinancing into a lower interest rate can lower your payment. Additionally, if your current mortgage is on a 15 year or 20 year repayment period, for example, refinancing into a longer repayment period (30 years) can reduce monthly payments. Pay it off sooner This is a great option if you can afford the monthly increase that often comes with a shorter repayment… Read the full article.


How to Finance Your Home Improvements

  So you’ve made the decision to improve your home rather than move to a new one. What now? It’s time to start thinking about your financing options. At Great Midwest Bank, our loan options range from Home Equity Loans to Construction Loans, and we’re happy to help you find the best fit for your renovation needs! A Home Equity Loan is a simple, less costly when it comes to a minor remodel. Our local loan officers will either use a new appraisal cost or a tax assessment to determine the current fair market value of your home, rather than basing the loan amount on the value of the home after the remodeling project has been completed. In some cases,… Read the full article.


Why Move When You Can Improve?

  As time goes on, families grow, needs change, and the free space in your house seems to get smaller and smaller. Whether you are looking to increase the size of your home or just need a change of scenery, moving is not the only option available to homeowners. Construction or remodeling can make a significant difference in the appearance of and your equity in your home. No matter what your reasoning is for improving rather than moving, a community bank is the perfect place to go to get the ball rolling on your home renovation. Community banks offer something that big banks cannot: flexibility. Here are some tips for how you can get financial support from a local bank… Read the full article.


Five Points to Consider Before a Major Remodel

We’ve seen a steady increase in major home improvement projects that require financing. It’s a popular option for those that love their neighborhood but need room to expand. Great Midwest Bank is one of just a few local banks that specializes in major renovation loans. With our experience, we’re able to offer a few tips if you are considering a renovation: Start the process here. You’ll do yourself a favor by sitting down with one of our Loan Officers before you get the ball rolling too far down the road. From experience, we’ll likely have a “ballpark” idea of what your project will cost. Beyond that, we’ve seen a number of projects through to completion and can offer insight on… Read the full article.


How to Boost Curb-Appeal on a Tiny Budget

First impressions are everything. As we finally get to experience spring weather, here are a few inexpensive ways to improve the look of your home from the street: Driveways and Sidewalks: Go the extra mile and consider edging along your driveway and sidewalks if you have some. And a power washer – borrowed from a neighbor or rented from an improvement store – can do wonders to both driveways and sidewalks, especially those under trees. Siding and Windows: Use that power washer to clean your siding, especially the north-facing wall of your home that receives less sunlight. Next, focus on the windows. Clean them inside and out. Skip the expensive cleaner. Just use a mix of diluted detergent and vinegar… Read the full article.


What Exactly is a Jumbo Loan?

If you have spent anytime looking into home loans or mortgage rates, you most likely have heard mention of something called a “Jumbo Loan.” It’s easy to guess that a jumbo loan is a mortgage loan for a large amount of money; however, there are some details about Jumbo Loans to keep in mind if you are in the market to purchase or refinance a higher-end home. So what makes it a Jumbo Loan? The current “conforming” loan limit for a single-family (primary or second) home in Wisconsin is $417,000 and is set by Fannie Mae. When a mortgage goes beyond that amount, it enters the category of a Jumbo Loan. Like other mortgages, Jumbo Loans come in the form… Read the full article.


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