Mortgage Tip Monday

In the first installment of our blog series, Mortgage Tip Monday, we want to let you in on a secret.

Starting or sprucing up your garden can skyrocket the value of your home. According to an article in the Washington Post, improving landscaping around your home has a 150% return on investment.

We’ve all heard that curb appeal can either make someone fall in love with a home or drive right past that for sale sign. When you invest your time and dollars well on lawn care, it’s been consistently proven to produce an astounding difference for your home value.

If you are like me and don’t have a green thumb, don’t worry. We have budget friendly ways for you to take advantage of this value amplifying practice.

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  1. Weed control. Get your hands dirty and pull some weeds! You don’t have to be an expert landscaper to give your yard a more polished look.

  2. The grass should look greener on your side of the fence. A healthy, well trimmed lawn can do a lot for the overall aesthetics of your home’s exterior. Don’t have time or patience for lawn maintenance? Hire a local landscaping company or a neighborhood kid looking to earn some pocket cash.

  3. Plant. Invite a friend over who has experience with their own gardening if you don’t have a knack for it. Find plants that are easily maintained and place their labels in the soil to better keep track of how frequently they need care.

  4. Begin a community vegetable garden! Not only does this make your entire neighborhood feel more inviting, it’s an interesting conversation piece. It’s an avenue for the next homeowner to meet their new neighbors.

  5. Plant a tree. Who doesn’t love a beautiful shady tree? Planting it with your family will attach your legacy to the home. As an added bonus. they’re a lot less high maintenance than flower gardens. Just plant and watch it grow.

Fostering a welcoming appearance to your home’s exterior is a fun, relatively inexpensive, and wildly effective way to improve your home’s value. Even if you aren’t planning to sell anytime soon, a well established garden is a great way to make your house feel more like your home. It just may be the easiest DIY project you’ve ever taken on.

When in doubt, manage your debt.


So you’ve decided you want to buy a new home in the near future, but you aren’t sure you’ll be able to get approved. Lenders use things like employment history, annual income, and credit scores to determine whether you’re eligible for a loan or not.

We’ve compiled a list of things you can do to monitor, manage, and improve your credit scores. Keep in mind, increasing your credit score is much like weight loss: there is no magic pill. It requires consistency and patience.

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Where do we start?

Do you know what your credit score is? There are free online services, such as Credit Karma, that allow you to monitor your credit. Contrary to popular belief, keeping an eye on your credit score won’t result in any damage to your credit. In fact, it can keep you well informed about your overall financial health and security.


Well, it’s looking a little lower than I thought it would….

Don’t panic. Just like certain actions reduce credit score, certain actions can improve your credit score.


What’s the game plan?

  1. Set up auto pays. Make paying bills on time as hassle free as possible. Schedule reminders on your calendar when bills are due to withdraw from your account, so you have a good idea of where your bank balance is.

  2. Budget. In order for auto pay to function well, one first needs to make sure there’s always enough money in the bank to cover the auto drafts. Some people schedule all bills to come out on the same day, some people opt to spread it out. Consider what will work best for you, and make a plan.

If you can show consistent payment history, you may rack up some points on your credit score.


Let’s discuss debt to income ratio (DTI):

Another thing lenders have to consider when qualifying you for a loan is your debt to income ratio. DTI compares expense and earnings; how much of your income goes to paying off debts? A lower debt to income ratio shows lenders that you’ll have funds available to pay your mortgage on time every month.

To calculate your DTI:

Calculate monthly debts - car loans, credit cards, student loans, child support, etc.

Gross monthly income - income per month before tax deductions


Take your monthly debts and divide them by gross monthly income = DTI%

(Don’t forget to move the decimal over)



To work towards lowering DTI% percentage:

  1. Budget for an increased payment or extra payment towards your debt.

  2. Consider setting up auto pays for these debt accounts (further solidifying a consistent payment history).

  3. Avoid opening new lines of credit or making any large purchases.

  4. Focus on keeping lower balances on all debt accounts.

  5. Pay down credit cards with higher interest rates first.



These tips will help you monitor and manage your credit scores. However, if you find that your score is in need of some real repair, don’t be afraid to give Imagine Home Lending a call. We work closely with credit repair professionals who can get you on the path towards home ownership.



Congratulations On Closing!

Imagine Home Lending - Chris Claeys and the entire Imagine team thanks you for trusting us to finance your dream home.

Imagine Home Lending is grateful to be your local lending partner. 
NMLS#134666

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Congratulations On Closing!

Another day, another dream home financed! Congratulations on closing, and a special thanks to Linda Thompson, Holly Bowe Coldwell Banker Brenizer, Realtors, and Andraya Albrecht from Property Shoppe Realty LLC.

Enjoy 2019 in your new home Dakota!

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Realtors That Rock - Tyneal Beckius

We’re so excited to highlight a realtor that rocks, Tyneal Beckius! Tyneal serves clients in the Fargo and Moorhead areas of North Dakota and Minnesota.

Realtor, wife, mother, leader, Krabbenhoft realty team, Homes for heroes, home buying, first time home buying, USDA, FHA, conventional loan, credit score, mortgage professional, mortgage lender, loan officer, house loan,

Her bio reads, “I work specifically with buyer's to help you find your dream home. I work diligently to get you exactly where you want to be. It's my life's mission to help people! I am passionate about the Homes for Heroes program that we participate in that can be utilized my current and former medical professionals, law enforcement, firefighters, teachers, and military!”

Homes for Heroes Savings. Tyneal Beckius clients saving $875 in closing costs! Homes for heroes is available to police, firefighters, military, veterans, teachers, and healthcare professionals.

As a fellow partner of Homes for Heroes, we love that Tyneal is so passionate about working with public and civil servants. We got together with Tyneal for an interview so you can get to know her better!


We asked Tyneal what got her interested in becoming a realtor. She responded,I initially went in to real estate because I have a passion for working with and helping people. Buying and/or selling real estate is one of the biggest investments a person can make in their life and I love being there every step of the way.”

We couldn’t agree more. A home is the largest investment a person can make, and we both strive to make it a smooth process for the buyer!

Tyneal Beckius. Realtor, wife, mother, leader, krabbenhoft real estate team. Mortgage professional, lender, first time home buyer, refinance, USDA, VA loans, Conventional, 0% down, home loan.


Though it’s a bit of an unfair question as it asked her to play favorites, we inquired about a time when working with a client felt particularly rewarding. She gracefully explains, “Every transaction that I have been a part of feels rewarding in its own way. That may sound insanely cheesy but it's true. Every transaction is unique and every single closing brings an immense amount of joy for myself and my clients. It feels especially rewarding if we overcame obstacles and were able to remain strong. I also take a lot of pride in being able to offer my clients the Homes for Heroes reward. Not every agent has that ability and it fills my heart knowing that I can give back to those who work or worked in Military, Law Enforcement, Teaching, Healthcare, and Firefighting.”

It is very rewarding to get to know your clients’ stories, backgrounds, goals, and dreams as you work together through the home buying process. Your realtor will inevitably end up on your speed dial. Buyers and realtors work closely together over the course of about two months, so it’s important to choose one that is willing to work hard for your best interest.

For the grand finale, we asked a question every buyer is dying to know the answer to. If she could offer one piece of advice to current house hunters, what would it be?

“It would be to enjoy the process and let your realtor do the dirty work!”

Thank you Tyneal for taking the time to talk with us. Thank you for being passionate about finding our community’s military, police, firefighters, teachers, and healthcare professionals their dream home!

To connect with Tyneal:

www.tyneal.FMhomesearch.com

(218)779-9151

tynealbeckius@gmail.com



Rising house prices

Conventional loan limits are rising in efforts to accommodate the rising price of housing. The demand for housing has risen beyond housing availability.

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So what does this mean for potential home buyers?

It means that as soon as a house hits the market, it probably won’t stay on for more than a few days. This is where pre-qualification and pre-approval gives you the upper hand.

If a seller has multiple offers on the table, they’re likely to select a buyer who is pre-qualified or pre-approved. They buyers know that this seller is serious, they’ve thought about financing, and have found a lending partner who is willing to work with them.


It takes less than five minutes to apply for pre-qualification! Just click Apply Now!


Operation Gratitude

Imagine Home Lending is a proud partner of Operation Gratitude. Being sweet to our military is so important to us.

Imagine Home Lending is a proud partner of Operation Gratitude. Being sweet to our military is so important to us.

This year, Imagine Home Lending is a drop off location for your extra Halloween candy!

Here’s how operation gratitude works: your kids go trick or treating, allow them to indulge a bit in their collections, then any day before November 8th, drop off their leftovers at the Onalaska branch of Imagine Home Lending.

We’re located at

1037 Riders Club Road,

Onalaska, WI, 54650.

We’re just behind the Onalaska Menards.

We’re always looking for ways to give back to our service members. Imagine Home Lending offers programs for active and retired military such as Homes For Heroes and VA Loans that offer special rebates, discounts and rates for military. We believe that service deserves it’s rewards.

Help us send a little sweetness to our service members this Halloween. Drop off anytime during our business hours. Monday-Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm.

Imagine Home Lending wants to wish you a safe Halloween!

Realtors That Rock

Realtors that we love having on our team:

Dustin Monsebroten

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We want to take some time to thank a Realtor that rocks!

Dustin Monsebroten is a Keller Williams Realtor out of Fargo, North Dakota. His clients and co-workers describe him as fun, relatable, knowledgeable, patient, helpful, and responsive. He’s a guy that gets the job done, and will make you laugh during the process.



We asked him why he loves being a Realtor; he explained, “What I love about being a realtor in Fargo is being plugged into the community, networking with like-minded business professionals, and helping people achieve the American Dream: homeownership! I love what I do and have a lot of fun with my clients.”



He works closely with Brady Pederson, Regional Manager of our Fargo branch, so we asked Dustin to explain why it’s important to work with a quality lender. Dustin shares, “Choosing a great lender is every bit as important as having an experienced realtor..I tell all my clients, those are the 2 most important links to a smooth transaction. I pride myself on Education & Communication through the process of buying a home, and strongly recommend that my buyers use a lender that will do the same. I've been extremely impressed with Imagine Home Lending and would recommend them to anyone looking at buying a home...More importantly, my clients that used them would as well.”


We’re so happy to have great team members that work with us to help our clients’ dreams come true. You rock, Dustin!

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Looking for your next home?

Contact Dustin at

701-595-1961

dustinm@kw.com
















Winter is coming

Whether this will be the first winter in your new home or you’re hoping to save some pennies on your energy bill in your apartment to put towards your down payment, we have a few tips and tricks to show you how to make your home more energy efficient as the temperatures begin to drop.

Imagine home lending energy efficiency tips



Heat the spaces you spend the most time in. Set the thermostat to 62-68 degrees, and use space heaters in rooms that get the most traffic. We simply suggest that you use space heaters with auto shut off safety features when they’re knocked over. You can even go all out and get space heaters that look like fireplaces. Only heating the spaces that you’re most likely to occupy can shave a few dollars and cents of your monthly bill this winter.



Humidity. Warm air can be a little dry during the winter. Adding moisture to the air helps forced heat stick linger a little longer. Buy a humidifier, and set it on a timer.



Check your water heater. Set your water heater to 120 degrees. It’ll keep you from scalding you in the shower if you accidentally turn the dial a little too far, and cut down energy costs.



Check your furnace. Check your furnace filters monthly, and replace as needed.



Sunlight. Winter can bring about a lack of Vitamin D, so opening the curtains when the sun is shining can perk up your mood. Of equal importance, having south facing curtains open during the day will bring natural heat into the home. Just make sure you close them when the sun goes down in order to keep that warm air in.



More on curtains. Insulated curtains are worth the few extra dollars, and they come in an array of colors and patterns that will suit almost any room’s decor.



Check with your local energy co-op. Our local energy cooperative offers efficiency incentives programs. They give clients discounts for buying new energy efficient appliances, recycling old ones, for switching to LED lighting, for high efficiency water heaters, geothermal HVAC, and for having energy audits performed on your home. Most energy companies offer discount programs for sprucing up your home with energy upgrades. Visit your energy provider’s website for more information.  



Do you have any energy saving tips to share?

Find us on social media or email to tell us how you prepare when winter is coming.



Meet our new loan officer

Alyssa Shaefer - Onalaska, Wisconsin Mortgage Loan Officer

We’d like to welcome a new member to the team!

Alyssa Schaefer is the newest addition to the Imagine Home Lending team. We asked her a few questions to allow you to get to know her better!

When asked her favorite part about working in the mortgage industry her response was, “I love helping people! It is an amazing feeling helping someone get into their dream home.”

Her favorite part about Wisconsin is “the many different seasons that we have. I am a very outdoorsy person, and Wisconsin is a great place for me to be able to do the things I love such as hunting, horseback riding, snowboarding, motorcycle riding, and camping!”

Finally, we wanted to know what she’s most looking forward to being a new asset to a local business and she explained, “I am looking forward to helping Imagine Home Lending grow and show people why they should in-trust us with their purchase or refinance of their home!”

Imagine Home Lending is excited to have Alyssa join our team. She’s an active member in the La Crosse community. She’s involved with the La Crosse Area Realtors Association, the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce, Young Professionals, Women’s Alliance, and Women Empowering Women. As a local business, community involvement is something that we value greatly and we’re happy to have team members who share the same vision.

We encourage you to give her a warm welcome! If there’s any way she can assist you in financing or refinancing your home, give her a call today! 
608-779-3100