fixed rate loan

Keeping Your Home Insurance Company Happy

Make Your Home Insurance Company Happier

Make Your Home Disaster Resistant

Homeowners insurance is something a buyer has to secure before the sale of the home can be completed. Mortgage lenders will require what is referred to as a binder. The binder spells out the address of the home being insured, the authorized users on the policy, and every detail of what the insurance policy covers.

Lenders may require you to include specific coverage on your homeowners policy. For example, if a home is located in a floodplain your lender will require flood insurance.

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The most common homeowners insurance policies will cover fire, windstorm, hail, smoke, explosion, vehicle collision, and theft. The common homeowners policies don’t extend coverage to flood, earthquakes, power failure, neglect, or intentional damage.

Though states don’t require homeowners insurance, most mortgage lenders do. Your lender wants to protect their investment. Even if you’re in an area where you aren’t likely to experience a tornado, it’s still unwise to take chances on a property that you’ve invested so much into.

Just like health insurance, we all hope we don’t need to use it. However, we can rest easy knowing that if ever an accident were to occur it won’t completely wreck out financial circumstances or financial future. Just like health insurance, homeowners insurance can seem like a costly monthly expense.

Fret not, future homeowner. Imagine Home Lending has a few tricks and tips on how to keep your home insurance company happy (read: earn discounts on your home insurance policy).

Loyalty Perks: A lot of insurance companies offer discounts to customers that choose to use multiple services. Using the same company for home, auto, and life insurance could save you some big bucks!

Benefits of Being A First Time Homeowner: Some companies choose to extend a congratulatory discount to those who are purchasing their first home.

Choose your deductible wisely: If you live in an area where hurricanes, heavy wind, or hailstorm are a matter of “when” more than a matter of “if”, than it may be wise to choose a lower deductible with a higher monthly premium.

However, if you live in an area with low risk of natural disaster or crime, one could choose to pay a higher deductible with a lower monthly payment.

If the homeowner never ends up actually having to pay the deductible (let’s cross our fingers that they don’t!), then a lower monthly payment will save the homeowner money.

Safety First: Most insurance companies offer discounts if the homeowner purchases a home security system. Typically, the insurance company will affiliate with one specific home security company, so you may only be able to receive a discount if you choose to do business with their affiliate security company.

As well, updating any smoke detectors, CO2 detectors, and fire extinguishers may earn the homeowner some brownie points in the form of discounts!

Automatic and Virtual: Auto-pay and Paperless Billing are excellent, easy, effort-free ways to receive discounts. Ask about programs or rewards like these when you’re cost-comparing.

Tobacco Free Home: Cigarette smoking increases the risk for property damage due to fire. Any sort of fire prevention measures will usually qualify you for policy discounts. If you have a smoke-free home, ask about these rewards.

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The last tip we have to offer is to make sure you listen as they explain the extent of coverage that each company is quoting you. After a few attempts at getting quotes, or being coll-called, it’s easy to get complacent. However, the fine print really does matter under these circumstances. If you have any questions about insuring your home, your realtor or lender are great resources to turn towards!


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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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!