7 Tips to Growing Your Own Produce

7 Tips to Growing Your Own Produce

April is National Gardening Month and what better way to get into the gardening spirit than planting your own veggie and herb garden? Growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs has many benefits:
Cost. Growing your own fruits, veggies, and herbs will help you save money at the grocery store.
Nutrition. Produce from a store can lack in nutrients because of the journey it had to take to get there. Growing your own produce means you will be eating it when it’s the freshest and at its full nutritional value.
Organic. Having your own garden means you have full control over the amount and type of pesticides used. If you’d like, you can make it completely organic (natural pesticides or completely pesticide-free), which makes your produce healthier.
Healthy children. When children are involved in the gardening process, it can make them feel excited to eat their fruits and veggies knowing they had a hand in growing them. This helps them build healthy eating habits while they’re young and ensures they are getting the nutrition they need for healthy growth.

These are just some of the benefits of growing your own produce. Here are some tips for starting/maintaining your garden.

1.) When laying down soil, give your plants a significant amount of space to grow in and absorb nutrients from. Create raised garden beds out of wood to ensure there is enough fertile soil to give your plants nutrients. A raised bed should be rich in organic matter like aged manure, compost, or vermicomposting. If the soil does not drain well, add perlite or sand.

Via: Balcony Garden Web

 

2.) Consider spiral or U-Shape gardening. These types of beds are great if you have limited space to plant your fruits, veggies, or herbs!

Via: recycledawblog.blogspot.com

Via: brittanystager.com

 

3.) If you are planting peas, build trellises (like these teepee-shaped structures) to make harvesting and maintaining your peas easier.

Via: lillbutton2.blogspot.com

 

4.) Lay sheets of newspaper around plants before putting down mulch. The newspaper will help ensure that weeds and grass can’t come up.

Via: The Common Milkweed

 

5.) When picking a spot to start your garden, choose a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.

Photo Via: Country living

 

6.) The sooner you start planting your garden the sooner you will have a garden full of vegetables and fruit. Spring is an optimal time for starting, but the weather isn’t always the best. Start by planting indoors and then transplant them to your garden when the weather improves. Use this growth calendar to help create your planting timeline.

Produce Growth Calendar

Photo Via: Grow a Good Life 

 

7.) The most efficient way of watering plants in the garden is by using soaker hoses and drip lines. These watering systems deliver water directly to where it is needed and allows time for roots to absorb water. Generally, one inch of water per week, including rainfall, is sufficient for most vegetables, depending on the type of soil, weather, and plant.

Via: ericarascon.com 

partial content via: Balcony Garden Web 

 

 

Announcing New Doctor Loans Program!

photo of male doctor with Doctor Loans text

New Doctor Loans Program!

We are excited to announce our new Doctor Loans program! It is no secret that doctors take on a lot of student loan debt to pay for medical school. If you are one of these everyday superheroes, you may be experiencing difficulty achieving your dream of homeownership as a result. Have no fear – Inlanta is here to help! We now have two loan options for qualified borrowers through our Doctor Loans program, designed with your unique needs in mind.

What kinds of doctors are eligible?

You must have one of the following designations in order to be eligible for this program:

  • Medical Resident
  • Medical Doctor (MD)
  • Doctor of Dental Science (DDS)
  • Doctor of Dental Medicine or Surgeon (DMD)
  • Doctor of Ophthalmology (MD)
  • Doctor of Optometry (OD)
  • Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM)
  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)

What do these options have in common?

Highlights of both Doctor Loan options:

  • Income-based repayment or other limited payment options may be used in qualification ratios
  • Student loan payments deferred greater than 12 months may be excluded from qualification ratios
  • If employment start date is within 60 days of closing, we may be able to use your new employment contract to qualify

Additional eligibility requirements:

  • Available for primary residences only (condos, PUD’s, or single-family residences)
  • Purchase or no cash-out (rate/term) refinances only
  • Minimum credit score varies by loan option, but typically the minimum credit score range is 680 to 720
  •  Mortgage insurance (MI) is required (consult your loan officer for MI options)

What are the differences between the two options?

Doctor Loan Option 1 Highlights

  • Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM’s) only
  • As low as 3% down payment on loans up to $650,0001
  • As low as 10% down payment on loans up to $850,0002
  • Must have 3 months in cash reserves
  • At least 3% of down payment must come from your own funds, but the rest may come from a gift

Option 1 Conditions: Maximum debt-to-income ratio is 43%. 14.649% APR calculated based on $200,000 loan with 3% down adjustable rate mortgage after 5 years, closing fees $1,185 plus 1/2 point. 24.558% APR calculated based on $200,000 loan with 5% down fixed for 30 years, closing fees $1,185.

Doctor Loan Option 2 Highlights

  • Fixed rate or ARM options
  • As low as 5% down payment on loans up to $636,1503
  • Minimum credit score of 680 is required (if excluding student loan deferments from qualification ratios, minimum credit score is 720)
  • Does not require specific amount of cash reserves
  • May allow gift funds to fully fund down payment

Option 2 Conditions: No maximum debt-to-income ratio. 3$636,150 loan amounts only available in certain High-Cost Areas of the country. All other areas have a maximum loan amount of $424,100. 4.666% APR calculated based on $200,000 loan with 5% down fixed for 30 years, closing fees $1,185.

Which option is right for you?

Your Inlanta Mortgage loan officer will be able to answer all of your questions. Every person’s financial situation is different and program terms & conditions are always subject to change. Your loan officer will take a look at your unique situation and best advise you on which program is right for you. Locate an Inlanta Mortgage loan officer nearest you.

Welcome New Branch Employees!

Welcome New Branch Employees!

Here at Inlanta we have been expanding on the branch level and are pleased to welcome new branches and employees to our growing family.

 

In the last quarter, we have welcomed three new branches in Ames, Iowa; Marshfield, Wisconsin; and Indianapolis, Indiana. At our new Ames, Iowa branch, we welcome Jayme & Jason Kupka, Branch Managers; Brianna Schwind, Processor; and Marianne Molina, Loan Officer Assistant. We also welcome Angela Faber as the Branch Manager at the new Marshfield, Wisconsin branch. Further, Inlanta welcomes back Chad Arnold, Branch Manager, and Kathie McElroy, Administrative Assistant, to our Indianapolis, Indiana branch.

 

Our current branches have also welcomed new employees. Lisa Durand joins the Lakewood Ranch, Florida team as a Loan Officer. Processor Kristen Ferris, Loan Officer Assistant Katie Bond, and Marketing Assistant Leah Kneisler join our Overland Park, Kansas branch. Karen Spriggs joins the Grand Rapids office, and Heather Darling joins our Kentwood Michigan office, both as a Loan Officer Assistants. Amanda Steuer, Processor, joins our Madison, Wisconsin office located on Marketplace Drive.

 

Inlanta continues to expand, now operating 17 offices in the state of Wisconsin alone. For more information on Inlanta branch partnerships, contact our Branch Development Team at 262-439-4260 or email partners@inlanta.com.

 

 

5 Ways to Love Your Home

5 Ways to Love Your Home

So, you’ve found your dream home – or at least the one with the potential to be your dream home. However, you may be feeling like something is “missing” or that your house just doesn’t feel like a home yet. Like any good relationship, the feelings you have about your home will ebb and flow, but you don’t have to abandon ship if you’re not feeling the love right now! We’ve put together a list of 5 ways you can put some love back into your home and fall in love with it all over again.

 

Make it personal.

Display photos of your favorite memories with family, friends, and/or your significant other. Paint an accent wall in your favorite color, or use that color in your accessories. Create an art gallery to display your kids’ artwork in a creative fashion. Showcase your Star Wars lightsaber collection (or any of your other favorite collectibles). Whatever makes you, you, give it its own special place in your home where you will see it regularly. Adding a personal touch goes a long way in making your home feel like your own.

 

Add natural beauty.

Buy a plant or flowers to add a touch of nature to your home.  Many living plants are air purifiers, bringing an actual breath of fresh air into your home. Don’t have a green thumb? These plants are low maintenance and air purifying (win-win)! Plants and flowers also boost your mood when you see them, which can be especially helpful during the cold and dreary winter months and you’re dreaming about spring & summer (Wisconsin, we’re looking at you!) Simply indulging in the occasional flower bouquet from your local grocery store can make you, and your home, feel special.

 

Create a Zen area.

Create an area in your home that is dedicated to peace and relaxation. Whether it’s a special reading nook for you to cozy up with your favorite book in or a space dedicated to meditation, prayer, or yoga, find a place in your home (or your garden) where you can retreat when you need time to re-connect with yourself and re-focus your mind.

 

Clean, de-clutter, and organize.

Seeing a mess can stress you out, so keeping your home clean, organized, and de-cluttered can help you enjoy your home more. Take some time to de-clutter and organize your house. Before you purchase any new items, find 10 items and either donate (if they’re in good condition) or throw them away (if they’re broken). Purchase some inexpensive storage containers at the Dollar Store or your local thrift shop. You can even turn cleaning and de-cluttering into a game: set a timer for 10 minutes and see how much you can de-clutter and organize before the timer runs out. If you live with someone, challenge each other to get the most cleaned and organized before the timer runs out – winner gets to decide what the reward is!

 

Have an attitude of gratitude.

It can be easy to focus on all of the areas that your home lacks – maybe it’s a fixer-upper and you haven’t been able to make those improvements yet (if you need financing, we can help). Or, perhaps it’s a little on the small side, needs more bathrooms, or the décor doesn’t reflect your style yet. While making sure your home fits your needs and tastes is important, you likely chose the home for a specific reason. Take time to remember the reasons you said “yes” to this home in the first place. If you look closely, you will find that there is plenty to be grateful for (like the fact that you own a house! Many people haven’t achieved that dream yet). Practice gratitude and give thanks for all that your house has been able to provide you. When you count your blessings instead of your shortcomings, you instantly feel happier and more satisfied.

 

 

Inlanta Mortgage- A Strong Culture and Top Mortgage Employer

January’s issue of National Mortgage Professional Magazine (NMP) was a big issue for Inlanta Mortgage. Not only was an article from our SVP of Business Development, Chad Gomoll, featured in NMP’s special focus on Mortgage Industry Employment, but Inlanta was also recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer for the third consecutive year!

We cannot thank our employees enough for contributing to the nomination. Inlanta’s culture is certainly unique and special in its own way. Here at Inlanta, we believe investing in our employees and providing them with a work environment they can thrive in is top priority. Inlanta Mortgage is a family-owned business – and we run it that way! Our culture is open, team-oriented, and guided by our code of ethics.

At Inlanta, we understand that we have the ability to positively impact everyone we touch and strive to improve the lives of those we serve and work with in our communities. Culture is important to us and, as Chad Gomoll discusses in his article in National Mortgage Professional Magazine, crucial to a company’s success.

“Since we spend an average of one-third of our lives at work, most people want to know that they are spending their time well and doing something meaningful. Most importantly, they want to have fun and enjoy coming to work every day. You want to make sure that the people who are in your company feel the same amount of passion as everyone else so you don’t lose that sense of comradery and that feeling that everyone is pulling for each other.”

Chad goes on to discuss the benefits of a positive culture and the upwards momentum it creates in the work place.

“When your employees feel supported and like they are all working towards a common goal, nothing will get dropped along the way. Whether they are an intern, mid-level operations staff, loan originator, or senior leadership, having a strong company culture means there is always someone your employees can relate to and depend on to help them out when the work seems overwhelming. When employees thrive in their environment, they feed off each other’s energy, are more motivated to succeed, and feel a bigger sense of pride in the accomplishments of the company as a whole.”

Read the rest of Chad’s article from National Mortgage Professional Magazine here.

What a Year! Inlanta’s Highlights of 2016

What a Year! Inlanta’s Highlights of 2016

2016 was an eventful year at Inlanta Mortgage. We accomplished a lot thanks to the amazing employees we have on our team, as well as our valued customers and business partners. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support over the last year. While we look forward to all of the exciting things 2017 has in store for us, we’d like to take a moment to count our many blessings and reflect on our accomplishments from this last year:

 

Awards

In February 2016, Inlanta was named a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Then in June, we were named a Top Workplace by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Thank you to our employees who voted for us to receive these designations – we could not have done it without you!

Several individuals were recognized for their achievements as well. Nicholas DelTorto (President/CEO), Cindy Laffey (branch partner in Overland Park, KS), and Jim Snyder (branch manager in Pewaukee, WI) were recognized as Mortgage Professional America’s (MPA) Hot 100. Cindy was also recognized as one of MPA’s Elite Women in Mortgage. Jeremy Page, branch manager at our Greenfield, WI branch, was named one of MPA’s Young Guns for a second consecutive year. We also had 4 members of our team recognized at the Wisconsin Mortgage Bankers Association’s (WMBA) Best in Business Awards. Corporate underwriters Andrea Puricelli and Trisha Mulder-Conwell were nominated as Best Underwriter for the Milwaukee Chapter and Northeast Chapter, respectively. Jim Snyder won Best Loan Originator for the Milwaukee Chapter, and Eric Johnson won Best Loan Originator for the Northeast Chapter. Congratulations again to all of our superstars!

 

New LOS

In February, we started the rollout of our new loan origination system, LendingQB. It took several months of preparation leading up to the transition, followed by weeks of training and long hours put in by our LOS Transition team. On top of that, we made this transition during Spring’s high buying season without losing the great service levels and experience our customers are accustomed to. We thank all of our employees for their efforts in making the transition as seamless as possible while keeping our customers our top priority.

 

New Corporate Headquarters

We moved! Our company is growing, and we were starting to outgrow our old space. In August, we moved from Brookfield, Wisconsin to our beautiful new building in Pewaukee, Wisconsin! While we didn’t move far, we now have a much nicer work environment with plenty of room to grow.

 

Philanthropy

We are always looking for ways to give back to our community. In honor of the many friends and colleagues who have cancer, have lost their battle to cancer, or know someone with cancer, we have made it our philanthropic mission to help find a cure. In July, a group of Inlanta employees participated in the Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer in Milwaukee. The group asked fellow Inlanta employees, family, and friends to donate to the cause and raised a total of $8,080. They then spent the day at the Henry Maier Festival Park to participate in the Walk/Run. In September, we held a raffle as part of our 12th Annual Sales Conference. We raised $10,440 for the Cancer Research Institute (CRI), an organization that provides funding for lifesaving immunotherapy research. This was the second year we raised money for CRI and we look forward to continuing our work with them.

Further, we wanted to help local families in need during the holidays. Our corporate office and Pewaukee branch participated in Inlanta’s first annual food drive competition. Each team competed to bring in the most food items to become the competition victors. The winning team, our Compliance & Quality Control departments, donated 438 items! In total, we collected 1,671 food items for the Pewaukee Food Pantry.

 

Thanks a Billion – $1 Billion in loan volume

We reached our goal of $1 billion in loan volume! We are so grateful to our employees who have worked hard this year to achieve this goal. We also want to thank all of our customers and business partners for being a part of this milestone. Thanks a Billion!

 

 

FHA and VA Increase Loan Limits for 2017

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FHA and VA increase loan limits for 2017

 

Last week, we announced the news that the FHFA increased conforming loan limits. As a result, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) have also increased the limits for FHA loans and VA loans, respectively.

FHA loan limits have increased from $271,050 to $275,665. These new loan limits apply to FHA-insured loans that have an application date of January 1, 2017 or later.
VA loan limits will follow the new limits set for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loans. The VA will use these limits to determine how much of the loan they will guaranty and how much an eligible veteran can borrow without requiring a down payment. Veterans should consult their loan officer for further details. You can also visit the Department of Veteran Affairs website for additional information about VA home loans.

A loan limits will follow the new limits set for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loans. The VA will use these limits to determine how much of the loan they will guaranty and how much an eligible veteran can borrow without requiring a down payment. Veterans should consult their loan officer for further details. You can also visit the Department of Veteran Affairs website for additional information about VA home loans.

If you are looking to buy a home in 2017, this is excellent news for you! With rising home prices and the market’s return to pre-recession growth, the loan limit increase signifies a growing market. Many homebuyers will now be able to afford larger homes or homes in more expensive areas with better loan terms. If you need help getting started on your home loan journey, check out our blog for more details on the home buying process, FHA loans, and VA loans.

 

 

Increase in Maximum Conforming Loan Limits

HomeInspection

Increase in Maximum Conforming Loan Limits

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently raised the conforming loan limit from $417,000 to $424,100, marking the first increase since the year 2006. In certain high-cost counties, the loan limit will increase from $625,500 to $636,150.

“The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) established the baseline loan limit of $417,000 and requires this limit to be adjusted each year to reflect the changes in the national average home price,” read a statement from FHFA. These changes and rising home prices indicate that the housing market has returned to pre-recession growth.

Best of all, these changes could help borrowers afford homes in more expensive areas or get more home for their money. Increasing the loan limit means that more homebuyers have the option of choosing a conventional loan over a jumbo loan which could result in more favorable loan terms.

These changes will only affect loans that close on or after January 1, 2017. However, since Inlanta Mortgage is a direct lender with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, we can start taking your loan applications or lock in your rate today! Contact your local Inlanta Mortgage representative for more details.

Edited: Original post was modified with updated and expanded information on 12/5/2016.

Refinancing Traps

shutterstock_112335221Refinancing Traps

Refinancing can be tricky, but a little preparation before starting the process goes a long way in avoiding mishaps along the way. Here are some common traps that many run into while refinancing their homes and ways you can avoid falling into the same traps.

 

The automatic payment trap

Did you know it can take up to two weeks to have automatic payments canceled? If your payments are made this way, be sure to turn it off before closing. You don’t want to pay for the same month twice!

The missed or late payment trap

Believe it or not, lots of people think they don’t have to keep making payments once they apply to refinance. Missing a payment could damage your credit and even preclude closing. Just be careful regarding your very last payment, as it should be made in time to assure it’s credited toward your payoff balance.

The tax escrow trap

The funds in any existing escrow account will typically be held until after the current loan is paid off. Since this money will not be available at closing, you need to be able to establish a new escrow account and/or pay any upcoming taxes from savings or the new loan proceeds.

The insufficient funds trap

The tax escrow trap can contribute to this, and so, too, can many other factors. For example, a low appraised value could limit your loan amount. As many loans are set up to cover all closing and escrow funds, it’s important to know that any necessary or unexpected adjustment could change the cash to close requirements accordingly.

 

We want you to be aware of these potential pitfalls before they have a chance to occur. Of course, we will work with you and on your behalf to prevent and avoid them.

 

Looking to start the refinance process? Find your local Inlanta loan officer here. Already going through the refinancing process? Reach out to your Inlanta representative whenever you have questions, and we’ll be happy to help.

 

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

 

10 Fall Decorating Ideas

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10 Fall Decorating Ideas

Fall is officially here and you know what that means—cooler air, warmer clothes, fun seasonal activities, football, and a change in scenery. For many, changes in scenery are not only outdoors, but also in their home. Fall decorations are all about warmth. Incorporating warm colors, such as reds and oranges, and warm aromas, such as pumpkin, apple, orange, cinnamon, and other spices, make for a cozy home during the autumn season.  Here are some décor ideas to help make your home feel like the perfect fall getaway!

 

Gourd and pine cone-filled porch lanterns

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When it comes to fall decorating it can be easy for some to forget the outdoors. This easy porch décor will surely help make the outside of your home reflect the warm nature of fall.

(via hometalk)

 

White pumpkins with fun messages

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Don’t feel like carving pumpkins this year? Try writing out messages onto pumpkins with paint pens to create an inviting feel anywhere in your home.

(via The Perfect Palette)

 

Vases with candles and fall foliage

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Candles are always a great way to make any space instantly feel warm and inviting. Incorporating a fall foliage mix in a big vase with a candle can be used virtually anywhere in your home. Try using one as a kitchen or dining centerpiece, or to spice up an empty side table!

(via listsy.co)

 

Unique white pumpkin fall basket

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This beautifully unique fall piece is a great way to incorporate a different color scheme to your fall décor. It would be perfect for a coffee table, side table, or fireplace mantle.

(via Whipper Berry)

 

Mason jar candle centerpiece with a tan runner

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This simple yet warm centerpiece is an easy DIY project that won’t break your wallet. Click the link to find out how to make it!

(via Addicted 2 DIY)

 

Simple rustic lantern centerpiece

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This simple autumn centerpiece is easy to put together and perfect for any occasion!

(via Serendipity Refined)

 

Fall foliage and candle centerpiece

de6adaab0d96a6cf85faf2894d3c07a5This elaborate autumn centerpiece is perfect for Thanksgiving or any other special get-together you may be having this fall!

(via Babble)

 

Simple white pumpkin mantle decor

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This arrangement is a simple way to spruce up your mantle for the fall season. It is festive but not too elaborate!

(via Dear Lillie the Blog)

 

Comforting fall aromas

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Give your home the perfect fall aroma with these 8 scent hacks!

(via Chasing Foxes)

 

Autumn wreaths

 

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Of course we can’t forget about autumn wreaths! This popular decoration piece has many different variations. From elaborate creations to simple elegance, these pieces are not only easy to find in stores, but they are easy and fun to make as well!

(via Laura Trevey) (via Etsy)

 

 

Bonus Tip:

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Since pumpkins are a staple in fall decorating, here are instructions on how to preserve pumpkins and other decorative gourds.

(via 365ish Days of Pinterest)

 

Check out our Pinterest page for other fun fall decorating ideas and more!

https://www.pinterest.com/inlantamortgage/

 

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.