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Category Archives: First Time Homebuyers

How to Buy in a Tight Real Estate Market

It’s no secret that the country has seen significant shifts in the housing market, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-pandemic, the market was gaining steam and mortgage apps were in development due to popular demand…and then buying and selling was essentially put on pause in spring of 2020. Once the market opened back up, there was high buyer demand, but a low supply of houses for sale. People have found themselves in steep bidding wars when they decide to pursue a home purchase. The Metro Milwaukee real estate market has been no different—it has remained highly competitive in 2022. Houses are often receiving multiple offers in the first few days on the market, many times well over… Read the full article.


How to Build Credit When You’re Just Starting Out

The American dream is a little bit different for everyone, but most people include homeownership as part of it. For those without established credit history, securing a home mortgage loan can seem like a daunting task. They tell you the only way to build credit is to get a loan and make regular payments on time, but how do you secure a loan with no credit? The whole thing seems cyclical, with no place to enter, and is enough to drive a person mad. We are here to tell you that it does not have to be this way. There exist non-traditional paths to building credit, and buying your first home is attainable. The Conventional Method of Building Credit Traditional… Read the full article.


What’s the Difference between Appraised Value vs. Assessed Value?

When preparing to sell or renovate your home, it’s essential to understand the current value of your property. Its worth now may be different than when you purchased the house. There are two ways to gauge your home’s value — appraised value and assessed value. While they may sound similar, they are very different and this article is meant to help you understand the differences. It is not uncommon for the two values to be different from one another, and as a homeowner you should understand why.  Why is Home Value Important? Understanding your home’s value gives you more control over insurance premiums and property taxes. Refinancing, home equity lines of credit, insurance premiums, and annual property taxes are all… Read the full article.


Five Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Here at Great Midwest Bank, we’re always excited to assist first-time home buyers during their search for the perfect place to call home. While the road to owning your first home can be a long and winding one, the pride you’ll feel when the papers are signed is worth the journey. The benefits to owning a home are countless – it’s a good investment that will allow you to build equity, a strong credit history and so much more. Your first home may be where you raise your family. Homeownership offers you several intangibles that can be difficult to recognize until you move in, meet the neighbors and embrace that sense of community. With over eight decades of experience, we… Read the full article.


Stuck in a Rental Rut: The Case for Homeownership

  Calling all renters! Stuck in the world of landlords and leases and looking for a way out? Or maybe you’ve enjoyed apartment living but it’s time to consider something more permanent? Whatever case of rental fever you have, we’ve got a cure! Here are just a few reasons why owning a home reaps more long-term benefits than renting: Make your space yours When you own a home, you have personal freedom with decor, improvements, pets, and more. You can paint over those yellow bathroom walls! You can redo the floors! You can have five dogs running around! You can store things in your basement or garage without having to pay extra, get permission from a landlord, or share space… 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

A marriage proposal is an exciting step to take in a relationship that changes many aspects of your life – a renewed commitment, new in-laws, and perhaps even a new house! If you and your partner are in the market to search for a new home, there are a few things to keep in mind before you begin. Navigating finances together presents a unique set of challenges in your relationship, but it can be easy to tackle if both parties remain open and honest throughout. Planning your big day may be stressful, but discussing finances and searching for a new home to start your new life in shouldn’t be. Enjoy the happiness of starting your life together and let us… 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.