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GMB Blog

5 Ways to Save on Your Home Renovation Project

Many homeowners take the renovation plunge at some point. Some people buy fixer-uppers and immediately get to work on making updates. Others may decide later on to finally tackle a few nice-to-have features — making their home dreams a reality. Renovating your living space is exciting, but there are lots of considerations along the way. It’s much more than just determining what you want the end result to be. We’ll explore one of the big questions: How do you execute your vision in a cost-friendly way — without cutting corners? Form a Budget… and Stick to It! First thing’s first: establish how much you want to spend on this project and keep true to the budget. It’s easy to get… Read the full article.


Should I Buy a Condo?

Many people purchase a condominium (or condo) as a relatively affordable, low-maintenance alternative to the traditional single-family home. As with all major investments, there are a few key considerations to understand before committing to a condo. Condo Living Considerations Condo life often can feel somewhere between that of homeownership and living in an apartment.Much like living in an apartment, your condo unit will likely be connected to one or more neighbors – you may live above or below someone, or share a wall. Think about the ramifications of living in an upper versus a lower unit. You also might have easy-going neighbors or you might have difficult ones. Either way, living in a condo will require the same sort of... Read the full article.

Digital Banking Options at the Click of a Finger

At Great Midwest Bank we think of ourselves as a modern bank with old-school charm. We have about 90 years of experience as a community bank and have listened to our customers’ needs throughout those years. The day-to-day lives of our first customers in 1935 were fairly different from what they are today. However, we believe the core banking needs of our customers are similar to what they were then: reliable service, people to talk to for assistance and a variety of banking options to fit our customers’ various needs. Customers’ banking wants and needs today are not completely the same as back then, though. [Why Community Banking Matters] Evolving Banking Needs The things people look for in a bank… Read the full article.


Common Questions About New Home Construction Loans (Part 2)

If you’re building your own home, you probably have a lot of questions. We explored a lot of our most commonly asked home construction questions in Part 1. Guess what — you had a lot more questions, so we have lots more answers! There is so much to consider before beginning your home construction project. There’s the fun stuff like finding the right plot of land to build your home on, designing the perfect floorplan for you and your family, and choosing all the design elements that make your home uniquely you. Then there are the less fun things like figuring out loan costs, lot financing and insurance policies. While you might consider these aspects of your project boring, these… Read the full article.


CRA Loan Officers: Simply Empowering the Local Community

CRA loan officers specifically focus on making sure low-to-moderate income communities have proper and fair access to home mortgage loans.


Only Your Local Bank…

At Great Midwest Bank, we keep it Simply Local. The GMB team — from the bank tellers, to our loan officers, to our president — are Wisconsin residents. We live and work in the same places as you and understand where you are coming from — because we’re from there too! A friendly Wisconsinite behind the counter at our branch locations is only the beginning, though! There are lots of things local banks like Great Midwest Bank can do for you that bigger banks cannot. Let’s take a look at the difference a local community bank can make for you and your finances. Investment in our Community At Great Midwest Bank, we aren’t just your local bank. We’re your friends,… Read the full article.


The How, Who, When and Where of Portfolio Loans

Portfolio Loans are one of Great Midwest Bank’s best kept non-secrets.  A Portfolio Loan may be another option for those who don’t fit the conventional loan “box.” A Portfolio Loan is a home loan that stays in a lender’s investment portfolio for the full duration of the loan — part of our common sense approach to lending. Approval for a Portfolio Loan is not guaranteed, but we will explore every possible solution for you after an in-depth financial evaluation during the application process.  We’ve previously covered what Portfolio Loans are and why they’re used — so let’s explore the how, who, when and where! How do Portfolio Loans work? When you establish a conventional mortgage loan with a lender, your… Read the full article.


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

When you are searching for a new home, it can be easy to run into the “Goldilocks problem.” One house is in an amazing location, but it’s too small. Another home checks all your boxes, but you don’t want to maintain the pool that comes with it. If you have been struggling to find a house that’s just right for you and your family, you may opt to build your own. Starting the journey toward constructing a new home can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. There is a lot to figure out, like finding the picture-perfect neighborhood to build in, planning how you want your home laid out, choosing who is going to construct it, and making… Read the full article.


Comparing Loans: Renovation Loan vs Construction Loan

Renovating your current home or building a new home can be life-changing. Home projects of any scale are both incredibly exciting and question-provoking — especially when determining how to pay for them. Every project is unique and has different nuances to think about when setting up financing. If you are feeling lost when it comes to all the different types of loans, Great Midwest Bank will help you navigate your options. We’ll go over the basics of Home Renovation Loans versus New Home Construction Loans, different types of loans in each category, and use case considerations. However, if you have a unique situation, our knowledgeable loan officers are happy to answer your individual questions. Home Renovation Loans When you have… Read the full article.


The What and Why of Portfolio Loans

Have you heard of Portfolio Loans? If not, don’t worry — you are not alone! The term sounds a little like something off of Wall Street, rather than your neighborhood streets.  It might surprise you to learn Portfolio Loans are actually an accessible mortgage loan product that we offer here at Great Midwest Bank to qualified borrowers. These loans can be a helpful route for people in a variety of unique situations. Approval for a Portfolio Loan is not guaranteed, but we will outline all your options after an in-depth financial evaluation during the application process.  If you’re not sure what a Portfolio Loan is or why a person might use one, you’ve come to the right place! Be sure… Read the full article.