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GMB Blog

Meet our Southridge loan officer, Mary Ann Scheel

NMLS #296822 Email Mary Ann Quick facts: About 25 years total with GMB Took time off to be a mom Started out working in savings and moved into loans after about seven years Showing GMB some love: What I love best about working with GMB is the customer service that we provide to our customers. I can, with confidence, tell my new borrowers that we will take care of their accounts, and we have always delivered that same kind of customer care.   Simply Mary Ann Community involvement: I am involved in the Greendale community and am on committees at the high school. My son is a junior there, so I spend some time there enjoying sports and clubs that he is involved in…. Read the full article.


Meet our Brookfield loan officer, John Hugo

NMLS #707767 Email John Quick facts: Oshkosh native Graduated from UW-Oshkosh with majors in Political Science and History Mortgage loan officer for 25 years Three years with GMB Three words that describe John: Honest, knowledgeable, and available. How do you serve and build relationships with GMB clients? I let all my customers know I am always accessible on my cell, seven days a week. I like explaining how we distinguish ourselves from our competitors. For example, getting an appraisal and having it approved the next day, without conditions. Other banks say they service their loans but it is often out of state. We service local and answer the phone when you call. Showing GMB some love: After 25 years in the mortgage business,… 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.


26 years of dedicated service, 1 heartfelt goodbye

Cyndie Higgins, a Milwaukee native and loan officer at Great Midwest Bank’s Bayside location, is retiring from Great Midwest Bank after 26 years of service. Where it all began Higgins re-entered the workforce as a teller with Great Midwest Bank in 1988 after spending 12 years as a stay-at-home mom. The job was perfect – something she felt qualified for that was also close to home. “I found an ad in the Milwaukee Journal for a teller position with Great Midwest Bank located on South 27th Street,” Higgins said. “I phoned and made an appointment with Ms. Arlene Schramkowski, the H.R. person at Great Midwest. She was so friendly and welcoming as she described the bank and my duties; I… 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.


Tips for Finding Your Perfect Lot

Purchasing the right lot to fit your new home construction project is no small task.  Consider these tips as you shop for the right piece of land. You’ve done your shopping around and have decided to build a new home.  While the home design and builder are certainly important, you’ll also need to dedicate time and effort in picking the right lot.  There are a number of factors that go into lot selection, and we’ve seen borrowers make the mistake of buying a lot without any consideration of the following. Location may seem obvious to some.  But making a list of important factors can be helpful.  Do you appreciate privacy, or would you rather get to know your neighbors?  How… Read the full article.


Final Tips for a Successful Renovation

We have shared a lot of tips over the last few months to help you navigate the Renovation Journey with common sense financing options. To round out your renovation, we’re here with a few more tips to get you through it without a hitch. Plan realistically Set yourself up for success before your Renovation Journey even gets underway by planning realistically. This is where our tips on planning will come in handy! Talk to your expert Great Midwest Bank loan officer about your home renovation financing options. We can help you plan a renovation that is within your budget. Expect the unexpected From experience, we know that there’s often bumps in the road when renovating. From unforeseen structural issues to… Read the full article.


For Hire: Renovation Journey Expert!

  Now that you have made it through the planning process, you’re ready to kick off demo and get those renovations underway! If you missed our Renovation Journey – Planning blog, check it out here. Now it’s time to hire the right contractor, which can be a make-or-break for your renovation. Your loan submission often requires a contract, plans and specifications, depending on the scope of your renovations.  Below are some helpful tips to guide you through the process so it feels less like blind dating and more like a healthy commitment. Speed dating, sort of. Finding the one perfect contractor begins with sorting through your options. Word of mouth (ask your Loan Officer!) and even Facebook can be particularly… Read the full article.


Maximizing Your Renovation Budget for Every Room

At Great Midwest Bank, we do our absolute best to make a difference for our customers. Financing your home renovation or construction project is one of those priorities, and we also want to be a resource for helping you make wise budget decisions and getting the best return on your investment. Prior to embarking on your Renovation Journey or the construction of a new home, we can offer the following helpful tips on the flow and feel of the rooms in your home to maximize your budget. Main living areas The flow The living room is often the central part of any home. If the living area isn’t already the central part of your home, there are still renovations that… Read the full article.