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Category Archives: #GreatTips

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… 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.


Construction Tips to Make Your Dream Home a Reality

  Building a new home can seem intimidating. It’s a process that calls for an entire team to help you plan, build, and finance your project. However, with proper preparation and guidance, soon you’ll be walking through your beautiful, brand-new front door!   Hire local Not sure where to start? Look right in front of you: your community! Local builders, local designers, and local lenders often take a more personalized approach. When it comes to one of the biggest investments of your life, you should interview several professionals and choose the ones you feel you can trust. With local builders and designers, you can scout examples of their work quality in person. Having a local lender, your Construction Loan will be… 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.


Simple DIY Ideas to Freshen Up Your Home

  Small home improvements can have a big impact! Whether you’re getting ready to sell or just want to enjoy an updated space, here are some simple and creative ideas to freshen up your home this spring. To make the biggest impact on the look and feel of any room, simply paint the walls. A new wall color creates a whole new atmosphere, and sticking with solid, neutral, lighter colors makes a space feel larger. Bonus: if and when you sell, lighter neutral tones will appeal to more buyers! Another easy way to enhance a space is to replace old light fixtures. Update hanging lights and wall sconces to bring a new energy to your dining room, foyer, kitchen, and… 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 Cutting Corners Won’t Get You to Your Destination Faster

  Have you started looking for your dream home without seeking a mortgage pre-approval? Many buyers believe they can begin searching for houses now and worry about obtaining a letter of pre-approval later. It’s time to shed some light on the importance of seeking pre-approval before the home search begins! A best practice for the first step of the pre-approval process is to meet with a few different banks to discuss mortgage lender options.The pre-approval process should ALWAYS include submission of your pertinent documents – pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns if necessary.  I’m still shocked that some Lenders will still issue a pre-approval based on a phone call and quick check of credit.  Insist that the loan officer you are working… 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.


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