credit score

Reasons to live in Wisconsin

  1. Everyone in the country talks about how nice Midwesterners are - We feel so privileged to finance dream homes in such a positive and safe communities. Our clients are the sweetest, which makes our job so easy and so rewarding.

  2. We love our local farmers - there’s an abundance of local meat, cheese, and veggies. Homegrown seems to taste better.

  3. Cheese curds - ‘nuff said

  4. Motorcycles - Milwaukee is Home of Harley Davidson. The rural roads of Wisconsin are perfect for a relaxing afternoon cruise.

  5. Water park capital of the world - The Wisconsin Dells are world famous! Water parks, shopping, and casinos (all of which probably have cheese curds).

  6. Lake recreation - There’s ample opportunity to get out and play! Rent a canoe in the Summer time or try your hand at ice fishing in Winter. Where ever you are in Wisconsin, you aren’t too far away from a lake. Rumor has it, Wisco has more lakes than Minnesota.

  7. We like the fresh air - Temperature doesn’t stop us. We’re always outside. Spring time makes for a beautiful hike in the bluffs, and you betchya we’ll strap on our snow shoes for a good romp around the woods.

  8. We’re really passionate about sports - Seriously. I’d be willing to wager that you can’t find ONE neighborhood without a Packer themed exterior paint job.

  9. Unmarried? Madison offers the most rights and legal protection for unmarried couples out of any other city in America.

  10. The 400 State trail - Explore Wisconsin on a family or solo bike trek.

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11. We like to work, and WI has awesome career opportunities. Our unemployment rate is at 6%. Wisconsinites love to roll their sleeves up and work hard (and reward that solid days work with a local beer).

12. University of Wisconsin - A great school with 13 campuses across the state with a leading biotechnology program.

13. Fish Fry Fridays - It’s a thing.

14. Culver’s - It’s like fast food, but it’s made with local ingredients. Basically guilt-free, right? (They have cheese curds)

15. Door County - Looking for a relaxing getaway? Door county has great cabins, recreation, beautiful views, and relaxation for a reasonable cost.

16. We’re Americans Dairyland - and we have cheese curds.

Reducing Waste

What ways do you reduce waste around your home or office?

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.

small business, mortgage lender, equal housing lender, real estate, first time home buyer, house hunting, VA loans, conventional loans, fixed rate loans.


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.



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



White Pickett Fence

Still the American dream?

Source: Creative Commons

Source: Creative Commons

The stigma of being a millennial seems to be a hot topic. This generation has more options, more freedom, and can access almost any information or product with a few button clicks. As a result, they’re doing things a little differently than the generations that came before.

Nicholas Padiak (2017) of the Chicago Tribute quotes Brian McCabe when he shares,"The homeownership rate really starts to climb after the Second World War," McCabe said. "So it's in the 1950s and the 1960s that we go from being a country of 45 percent (homeownership) to a country of well over 60 percent." (2017). He goes on to quote realty broker, Greg Nagel, explaining, "[homeowning] represents probably the most risk-free investment opportunity to build wealth due to the tax advantages," such as the mortgage interest and property tax deductions. "It's very powerful," he said.”

Grandparents and parents of the millennial generation had rhyme and reason behind their white picket fences. The political and cultural climate incentivized homeownership.

So what has changed?

Source: Women's Health Magazine

Source: Women's Health Magazine

Millennials are waiting until later in life to settle down. This graph from Women’s Health Magazine suggests that the average marriage age went from 20 to 27. The reasons behind delayed weddings range from women being more likely to pursue education, couples wanting to pay down student loan debt, having more options in choosing a partner, etc.

It seems as though millennials still value homeownership. According to housing wire (2018), 75% of non-homeowners want to become homeowners. However, the political and cultural climate is less eager to suggest that you aren’t successful or stable until you own a home.

It just seems a little more intimidating when you have outstanding student loans, aren’t yet married, or don’t know much about the process of buying a home.


Imagine Home Lending offers several different loan programs because we want to find a loan that works for your budget. Homeownership is still a pillar of the American dream. “Life, liberty, and property”, right? If you’re apart of the 75% of non-homeowners that want to transition into being a homeowner, call us today!

Fall finances

 

Whether we like it or not, Summer is winding down and Fall is rolling in. Parents are getting back into the organized routine of the school year, which means the day to day function of the entire house is a little more streamlined. The kids shouldn’t be the only ones getting their ducks in a row, right?

Imagine Home Lending a few tips to get your finances in shape this fall. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the market for a new home or not, now is as good a time as any to get your fiscal matters in good order.

Determine a monthly budget. Start where you are. Identify the costs attributed to what you need, how much income you have, and how much you’re tucking away for savings. Then, determine your goal budget. Where can you remove excess spending? Do you have a monthly savings goal?

One tool we love is mint. Mint is an online money manager that tells you exactly where your money is coming from and exactly where your money is going. Mint makes it easy by auto important data from linked bank accounts. That information is translated for you into graphs and percentages that let you know how much money you're splurging on Starbucks every month.

It also offers helpful tools like protection against fraud by setting up alerts for unusual spending, credit report tracking, etc.

To get a clear picture of your current financial climate, have a system in place. It can be mint or you can go with an old-fashioned spreadsheet. It’s easy to let your spending go off the deep end with all the summertime fun in the sun. Let’s take the season change as an opportunity to see if our financial habits are aligned with our financial goals.

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Manage your auto-pays, and set up paperless if you haven’t already. Because honestly. Who checks snail mail anymore? When you do, what percentage of it goes straight to the recycling bin?

If I had a dollar for every time my bank or internet provider sent me an envelope that said Important, open upon receiving…. I’d be a much wealthier woman. It’s easy for bills to get overlooked when they come in snail mail. So let’s go paperless! Paperless allows you to view your bills in an email, which is something you’re more than likely checking more than once per day.

I’d also assume that you have a few auto-pay accounts set up already, but what about the less obvious ones? Service providers, like doctors, that you don’t see very often probably don’t have an auto-pay system set up. However, most health care professionals offer online portals that will send you electronic notification of any bills that are available to be paid. Check with your health care providers about paperless billing to save you an overdue collections account.

Check your debt to income ratio. How much are you making compared to your monthly expenditures and debts? The mantra here is, "check yourself before you wreck yourself."

Again, it’s easy to let spending get a little out of control when left unregulated. Sometimes just getting a look at the bigger picture is enough motivation to shape up.

Declutter documents. It’s always good to keep original copies of important documents. It may come in handy to scan them and create a digital copy for backup as well.

Take some time to organize, label, and store the documents that you want/need to keep physical copies of. Keep them somewhere safe, somewhere dry, and somewhere the dog can’t get to them.

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It’s bitter to admit Summer is ending. It’s even more unpleasant to realize how many weekends you have remaining until holiday shopping needs to be taken care of. Use this transitional season to get your finances organized. You don’t have to wait for new years to start a savings goal. You don’t have to wait until you’re applying for a mortgage to know what your credit score is.

What are your favorite tips and tricks to organizing your finances? Share it with us!

#fallfinances