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Category Archives: #GreatTips

Teaching Children about Money: Ages 4-13

Teaching children about money and how it works can be fun in addition to being valuable. It’s up to you to decide when to begin teaching your children about money, but it’s also important to be prepared should they start asking questions about money. After all, if you don’t teach your young children about finances, who will? The following money tips will help get you prepared so you feel confident teaching smart financial habits. You don’t need to be a financial expert Keep it simple and fun at first. One of the easiest you can do to get started is just count pennies and other coins with your child at the kitchen table. Then help them put the coins in… Read the full article.


4 Reasons to Use A Piggy Bank

One of the easiest ways we learn how to save money at a young age is with a piggy bank or some other container to collect our coins and money. So, in an effort to further encourage all of our customers to teach children about money, we wanted to highlight one of the simplest, most convenient ways to save: using a piggy bank. Most of us at some point in our childhood received a piggy bank. Maybe some of us still use our first piggy banks. It’s one of the most effective ways for parents to teach their children the value of saving money rather than spending it. More importantly, the piggy bank is also a good reminder for parents… Read the full article.


How to Boost Curb-Appeal on a Tiny Budget

First impressions are so important to most people looking for their new home. While you might not be in the market to sell your home yet, now is a great time to make some simple improvements and enhancements around your house to keep it looking beautiful. Then, if you ever do list your house for sale, you’ll have less to worry about. Sprucing up the outside of your house and making it more attractive is very doable, even with a tiny budget. It may take a few weekends of putting in a bit of sweat equity but it can really boost your home’s curb-appeal. We pulled together a bunch of great ideas for you that are inexpensive ways to improve… Read the full article.


11 Questions to Ask If You’re Thinking “For Sale By Owner”

When the time comes to sell your home, there are plenty of questions on your mind, especially if you’re thinking about going the For Sale By Owner route. How much is my home worth? What’s a fair selling price? Should I list my home with a Realtor? Can I even sell my home myself? If you find yourself leaning towards listing the house yourself, here are 11 questions to answer when listing your home as For Sale By Owner (FSBO). Can you price your home competitively as a For Sale By Owner? It sounds like an easy one for most homeowners but with little or no experience in real estate or the housing market, homeowners like yourself may not be sure… Read the full article.


Should you buy or build your new home?

To build or not to build? That is the question. If you’re in the market for a new home, you’ve probably started thinking about whether you’d like to buy an existing home or dive into a new home construction project. This decision includes multiple factors, including convenience, cost, and customizable features, and how important each of those may be. While both the buy & build options have their pros and cons, there’s no denying that obtaining a brand new (or new-to-you) home in any capacity is an exciting step! The good news:  Our experienced loan officers have helped hundreds of borrowers through the same decision process and are equipped to answer any questions you may have about financing your purchase… Read the full article.


3 Ways to Finance Your Home Renovation

Home improvement isn’t just a successful TV show from the 90s. It’s also a great option for those who love their homes but want to make some upgrades! Making renovations to a few key features in your current home can make it feel brand new without the hassle of a full move. But once you’ve made the decision to renovate your current home, what comes next? Thinking about financing options is a great place to begin your home renovation journey. At Great Midwest Bank, our loan options range from Home Equity Loans to Construction Loans, and experienced loan officers are happy to help you find the best fit for your renovation needs! Here are three financing options for your home… Read the full article.


3 Ways to Prepare to Buy in a Tight Real Estate Market

The Metro Milwaukee real estate market will likely remain competitive as we start the New Year.  In 2018, for the most part, a property in reasonably good condition often received multiple offers, sometimes over asking price, and usually in the first few days on the market.  2019 may well bring similar circumstances, so we recently sat down with Katie Wakefield of Firefly Real Estate to gain some perspective on three ways buyers can best prepare themselves. 1. Shop Local Some of the best Real Estate agents focus on a particular market or two.  If you’ve targeted a specific municipality or neighborhood, team up with a local expert. 2. Face-2-Face Though so much communication today is electronic – and efficient – the… Read the full article.


Construction questions? We’re here to help! (Part 2)

There is much to consider before beginning a construction project, such as loan costs, lot financing, and insurance policies. We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions to help!   Is an Appraisal necessary? How is “value” determined? Yes, an appraisal is necessary. Since the home is not yet built, the appraiser will consider the construction contract, plans, and specifications and then searches to include a number of comparable sales within the area during the last six to twelve months. Under most circumstances, “Value” for the sake of financing, is the lower of total costs or the appraisal amount.   What can I expect for payments during the initial Construction period? Interest on the outstanding principal balance. You can… Read the full article.


Construction questions? We’re here to help! (Part 1)

Starting a new construction project can be both exciting and overwhelming at the same time. To make things a little less daunting for you, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions in regards to our products as well as closing on construction loans.   What Construction Products does Great Midwest Bank offer? We offer a variety of Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs). These products include a “One-Time Closing” provision with a construction period of up to a year. The rate is locked for the initial term.   What does a “One-Time Closing” mean? We combine your construction loan and permanent mortgage into one loan. You have one closing and only pay one set of costs. Once construction is complete… Read the full article.


4 ways to prepare your home for the upcoming Wisconsin winter

Wisconsinites across the state continue to live in America’s Dairyland because we love seasons; the fresh air and budding flowers in the spring, the hot, lazy days spent lounging near the water in the summer, the pumpkin-spiced everything and changing leaves in the fall, and of course, the frigid temperatures and massive piles of snow in the winter.   That’s right, we willingly endure an excruciatingly brutal winter every single year because it’s worth it to get to live in the beautiful state of Wisconsin. And even though we’re prepared to put ourselves through the torment, our homes aren’t always ready for the bitter cold months ahead. The good news, however, is that there are steps you can take to… Read the full article.