With the start of a New Year comes a new opportunity to set financial goals for yourself. Many New Year’s resolutions relate to exercise, work-life balance, or being less connected to technology. We are also encouraging you to take on these five Financial Resolutions for 2018. No matter how much you are currently saving, you can always be saving more. In fact, there is a great phrase to remind you of this financial resolution for 2018. Think ABS – Always Be Saving. This financial resolution is at the top of the list for a reason: it should be top of mind! Work towards this by having a portion of your paycheck automatically deposited to a savings account (preferably one… Read the full article.
At Great Midwest Bank, we value Main Street over Wall Street. What exactly does that mean? We’re glad you asked! Simply put, we operate for our depositors. And they are best served when we put our customers and colleagues above all else – just like we have been doing since 1935, when we first started in downtown Milwaukee on the corner of Jefferson and Wells. Over the past 82 years, we have expanded to nine branch locations around the greater Milwaukee area, Madison, and Chilton. We service most of our loans locally and use local deposits to help fund those loans. That means when you have an account with Great Midwest Bank, you know exactly how that money is… Read the full article.
We are big fans of fall here in Wisconsin. The changing leaves, the crisp and (mostly) sunny weather, and, of course, football season. However, we also know what is coming right around the corner, our guest that always overstays its welcome: winter. The bitter cold weather, tough driving conditions, ice covered cars, slippery sidewalks, and snow (lots and lots of snow) can take a toll on Wisconsinites, and winter can also take a toll on your home heating bills. We’re here with some simple tips you can start putting to action now to prepare your home for winter and make your home more efficient in the cold weather, so you can lower your energy bill! Buy a smart thermostat. These… Read the full article.
You loved our Simple DIY Ideas to Freshen Up Your Home in the spring, so we’re back in the cooler weather with even more projects that will make a big impact in your home. We’ll be keeping it simple again, with updates you can make to your home in as little as one day without having to bribe your friends with beer and pizza in order to get them done. Last time, we talked about other DIY projects like painting the walls, replacing old light fixtures, adding storage spaces, installing a backsplash in the kitchen, updating drawer knobs and cabinet handles, landscaping to boost your curb appeal, and taking nice pictures of your home. What else could we… Read the full article.
Is now a good time to get into – or back into – the housing market? “Yes!” It’s a simple answer to a complex question, and that’s why we’re here to help. Whether buying, selling, or building, now is a great time to dive into the strong Wisconsin housing market. Below you’ll find recent housing trends that prove 2017 is the time to get moving… literally! Increasing home prices In 2016, existing home sales and home prices both rose steadily. In fact, from November 2015 to November 2016, Wisconsin home sales were up 19% and median prices rose 8.3%. With this trend only expected to continue, why wait to start the search for your first – or next –… Read the full article.
Your credit score is not the only factor lenders consider when you’re applying for a mortgage. Your debt to income ratio (DTI) also plays a major role in the credit decision. Though your DTI does not directly impact your credit score, it is a strong indicator of your financial health and credit worthiness. What is a Debt to Income Ratio? Your DTI is exactly what it sounds like – it’s your total monthly debt divided by your total monthly income (gross income before taxes and other withholding). The debt side of the ratio factors in: – Your proposed monthly housing payment (including 1/12th of annual insurance and real estate taxes) – Credit cards (minimum monthly) – Car loans – Student loans… Read the full article.
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.
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.
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.
Memorial Day is know as the unofficial start to summer – for us, Memorial Day is a time to remember and honor our nation’s veterans. This year we’re proud to support the local Stars and Stripes Honor Flight! The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight honors our local Wisconsin veterans by flying them to Washington D.C. for a day of remembering and visiting the war memorials. The veterans have the chance to share their stories and connect with fellow veterans. Upon returning back to Milwaukee, they are greeted with a massive standing ovation. Check out the Bill Michaels Show for coverage of the Memorial Day Honor Flights! The Stars and Stripes Honor Flight is on of the best ways to show… Read the full article.