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Congratulations on Closing!

Congratulations to Pam and Oscar for closing yesterday! They trusted Imagine Home Lending handle another home loan! We appreciate your return business so much! Imagine Home Lending - Doug Milkowski teamed up with Liz Todd- Realtor, KPR Brokers and Heidi Milkowski to ensure a smooth closing for these two!

Congratulations and many thanks!
Imagine Home Lending
NMLS#134666

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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.

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Here in Onalaska, we’re expecting temperatures in the balmy 30’s next week.

This Winter’s recent snow storms, polar vortexes, and negative temperatures has us ready for spring. Looking for ways to feel productive and shake off the cabin fever? Get outside and perform your Spring Home Maintenance Checklist.

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  1. Prevent mosquitoes - As the ice melts, your property may be left with reservoirs of standing water. These reservoirs serve as ideal breeding grounds for disease carrying insects. Perform a 360 degree walk around of your land, identify any standing water, and property discard it.

  2. Visually inspect your roof - Heavy snow build up and wind can cause a ruckus for our roofs. When the ice melts, perform a 360 degree walk around and look for any missing shingles or other obvious exposures on the roof. If there’s still snow piled high on your roof, it’s time to use the snow rake!

  3. Clean out the gutters - regular gutter maintenance prevents clogging, prevents rot, and prevents critters from getting into your attic space.

  4. Check for damaged cement - Take a peak at any foundation, driveways, or pathways on your property and look for any obvious cracks or damage.

  5. Give your home’s exterior a face lift - if the outside of your home is looking a little dull after winter.

  6. Clean out the chimney - Perform an exterior visual inspection of your chimney. Look for obvious cracks or damage. Call in a chimney sweep to remove the build up in efforts to reduce any fire hazards.

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All right home owners, we hope this Spring Home Maintenance Checklist has helped! Your home is one of the biggest investments you can make, and regular seasonal maintenance can assist you in protecting that investment. Our homes take quite the beating during winter months here in the Midwest, so it’s time for a little TLC!

Explore La Crosse!

Whether you’ve settled down and purchased your home or are currently renting in the beautiful driftless region, chances are we spend far more time at work than at play.

It’s chilly outside; here’s a list of ways you can shake off the cabin fever and connect with your community!

Treat yourself or your valentine to a steak dinner at Fayze’s. Their Thursday special includes a 6 oz sirloin, two sides, and homemade bread for $9.99!

Bundle up and head over to Norskedalen Nature and heritage center for a snowshoe hike! Explore the beautiful trails by candlelight. Bring your own snow shoes, or rent them when you arrive.

Learn to decorate cake pops that look like unicorns! Unleash your creativity and enjoy some sweets. Great activity for kids or adults.

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Participate in a Mississippi River tradition: Friday Fish Fry! We suggest Blue Moon Restaurant in Onalaska. You can never go wrong by kicking your weekend off with a local fish fry.

Take a little trip up north for a Golden Eagle Viewing Field Trip. Perhaps you’ll spot a bald and golden eagle! This is a great way for older children and/or adults to spend the day learning about the beautiful natural habitats in the driftless region.

Settle down with a Sunday morning brunch at Creekside!

Though the whether outside is still frightful, don’t be shy! Get out there and experience the benefits of living in Coulee region.

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!


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

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