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GMB Blog

Guide to financing your home renovations

You’ve made your house a home over the years. It holds lots of memories, and you wouldn’t dream of moving out. However, maybe your family has grown or they need more room to pursue the new hobbies and passions they discovered during the pandemic of 2020. Doesn’t a larger kitchen sound appetizing? Or how about turning your basement into the rec room you’ve always wanted? Or maybe there are multiple smaller projects you’d like to tackle to give your home a fresh makeover and to meet your family’s changing needs. Whatever home improvements you’re thinking about making, a home renovation loan can be just the solution you need.  Remember, your home is an investment. When you make improvements like updating… 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.


Home equity loan vs. line of credit?
Here’s what you need to know

A home equity loan and home equity line of credit both give you the option to borrow against the value of your home. Applying for these loans is common and usually is a smart way to pull out cash when you need it. Let’s go over what the terms mean and the differences between a home equity loan and line of credit and whether they’re the right fit for you. If you’ve built up equity in your home (when your home is worth more than the balance on your mortgage), it’s reasonable for you to use a part of that value for home improvement projects, education expenses or to pay for unexpected costs. Two popular options available to you are… Read the full article.


Four Smart Reasons to Refinance Your Home Mortgage

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a homeowner doing your research on refinancing a home mortgage. It’s been the topic of many news stories of late. So, should you be considering it too? There are many situations in which refinancing your mortgage may be right for you. We’ll go over four smart reasons to refinance your home mortgage but first let’s define what refinancing a mortgage means.  Start your mortgage refinance today What is refinancing a mortgage? When you refinance your current home mortgage, you’re basically swapping out your old loan for a new one. However, there are two main types of refinances: Rate-and-term refinance The remaining balance on your current mortgage is transformed into a new loan that has… Read the full article.


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.


Why Community Banking Matters

Great Midwest Bank takes considerable pride in being a family-run, community-owned bank. Now more than ever, we understand what our customers and communities are going through so we’d like to take this time explain why community banking matters. At community banks like Great Midwest Bank, decisions are made based on the specific needs of you, our customer. Community banking means we’re not driven by fees and answering to stakeholders. At the end of the day, what’s in your best interest is most often what’s in ours. Having a great relationship with our customers is only one of the many benefits of choosing to bank with a community bank. Great Midwest Bank loves spreading the word about community banking. So for… Read the full article.


What is Common Sense Lending?

At Great Midwest Bank, we use the phrase “common sense lending” a lot. Maybe you’ve heard it before but what does it mean? Common sense lending is the method of looking beyond mainstream lending criteria to consider all circumstances individually.  In other words, common sense lending means we take the time to get to know you and your situation, not just your credit score and income history. Why? Because those two numbers alone don’t tell the whole story about you. Instead, we go one step further with a more personal approach. Let’s take a closer look at how GMB’s common sense lending philosophy can help you. No computers, no algorithms. Just a human and common sense. Every loan application submitted… 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.