11 Tips for Back-To-School Success

shutterstock_26724165811 Tips for Back-To-School Success

It is that time of year again! Time to bust out the new backpacks, get your school supplies together, and begin a brand new school year. If you are looking for ways to start the year off right, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when heading back to school!

1.) Always get a good night’s sleep

In addition to going to bed at a decent time (7-8 hours of sleep is recommended), your environment plays a key role in the quality of your sleep. Choose a blanket that keeps you warm so that you are less likely to wake up in the middle of the night from being cold. You will also want to make sure you are sleeping in total darkness. Turn off screens when you lay down to go to bed. Looking at your phone or watching TV keeps your mind stimulated which can keep you awake longer.

2.) Plan an exciting breakfast

This way you will be more motivated to get up in the morning knowing you won’t have a boring breakfast!

3.) Put your alarm across the room

By putting your alarm across the room, the chances of you hitting snooze and going back to bed are significantly less. Once you are out of bed,  you likely won’t be going back to sleep.

4.) Set your schedule as your lock screen

Instead of digging through your phone or pulling out a printed sheet of paper, setting your schedule as your lock screen gives you easy access to where you are supposed to be and when. This can be especially helpful for the first week or so of school.

5.) Make a Post-It note calendar of weekly to do’s

When you complete each task, you can take the Post-It off of your calendar. This provides a sense of accomplishment since your list is getting smaller. This tip can be useful for work or school!

6.) Use colorful pens and highlighters when taking notes

Using colorful pens and highlighters can help you stay more organized when writing notes or reading. Anything highlighted or written in the same color pertain to one another, making it easy to distinguish subject matter when looking back at your materials.

7.) Set study/ homework goals and treat yourself when you reach them

Treating yourself when you reach a goal can be very effective when studying. Your treat could be anything from your favorite candy or snack to playing your favorite game, or even just some time to browse social media. Choose something that you enjoy to keep yourself motivated.

8.) When studying, create a schedule with study times and break times

Set your phone alarms to indicate when to study and when to take a break. Taking breaks while studying can ultimately help you study longer since you are not overloading your brain with information non-stop.

9.) Get regular exercise

Regular exercise is proven to give you more energy throughout the day and increase brain function. Even small amounts each day can make a difference.

10.) Re-Write Notes

When you get home, re-write your notes from that day to help increase the chances of you remembering the content. Go over those same notes a week later and highlight key points for even further memory retention.

11.) Use Google Scholar

Skip the regular old Google search and use Google Scholar to find more accurate and relevant information if you are doing research for a project or paper. On this search engine, you can also keep track of your citations as you go.

 

So, if you are looking to start the year off on the right foot, think about adding some of these tips to your routine!

 

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty, and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

ABOUT INLANTA MORTGAGE

Headquartered in Pewaukee, Wis., Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993. The company has grown to 35 branches in 16 states and over 240 employees. Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs.

In 2016, Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third consecutive year. Inlanta has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award.

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Inlanta Mortgage continues to expand its branch network and encourages ethical lending professionals to learn more about our support platform and discover how an Inlanta branch partnership with Inlanta Mortgage is essential to long-term success.

Locate an Inlanta Mortgage loan officer at www.inlanta.com/locations. For current employment opportunities, visit www.inlanta.com/join-our-team/employment-opportunities. Learn more about Inlanta Mortgage branch partnership opportunities at www.inlantapartners.com, call 262-439-4260, or email partners@inlanta.com.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

Inlanta fights cancer at the Lombardi Walk

Inlanta employees at Lombardi Walk/Run

Inlanta fights cancer at the Lombardi Walk

On Saturday, July 23rd, a group of Inlanta employees participated in the Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This annual fundraiser aids in cancer research and allows the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation and Aurora Cancer Care to provide better treatments to those in need.

Sporting their Team Inlanta shirts, our team of 24 – consisting of Inlanta employees and their families and friends – endured the sweltering heat to participate in the event as a show of support for Joe Ramis, Inlanta’s senior vice president of loan production, who is currently going through cancer treatments. Our team reported having a great day with their colleagues supporting an incredible cause. Liz Labodda from Accounting, who is an avid runner, even took home the first place medal for runners in her age group!

Over the past few years, Inlanta has seen many of those we care about affected by this terrible disease, both employees and their loved ones. As a company, we have made it our philanthropic mission to help find a cure for cancer and show support for our Inlanta family members. We accomplish this by participating in events like the Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer and hosting our own internal fundraisers to raise money for cancer research.

Team Inlanta had a goal of raising $3,000 to help tackle cancer. With a company match, our employees were able to raise $8,080 for the Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer, pushing Inlanta to the #5 fundraising team for the event. We are grateful to work with so many kindhearted and giving individuals, and we hope that our contributions will bring cancer researchers one step closer to finding a cure.

Learn more about the Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer here.

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty, and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

ABOUT INLANTA MORTGAGE

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993. The company has grown to 35 branches in 16 states and over 240 employees. Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs.

In 2016, Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third consecutive year. Inlanta has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award.

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Inlanta Mortgage continues to expand its branch network and encourages ethical lending professionals to learn more about our support platform and discover how an Inlanta branch partnership with Inlanta Mortgage is essential to long-term success.

Locate an Inlanta Mortgage loan officer at www.inlanta.com/locations. For current employment opportunities, visit www.inlanta.com/join-our-team/employment-opportunities. Learn more about Inlanta Mortgage branch partnership opportunities at www.inlantapartners.com, call 262-439-4260, or email partners@inlanta.com.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

10 Ways to Protect Your Home while on Vacation

homesecurity

10 Ways to Protect Your Home while on Vacation

From booking travel arrangements to packing, a lot of preparation goes into planning a vacation. One thing many people overlook, though, is preparing their home for what may happen after they leave. When you go out of town, especially for an extended period of time, ensuring your home is safe from possible intruders or other incidents should be a priority. Aside from checking that all of your doors and windows are locked, there are many other precautions you can take to protect your home. Here are some tips to help keep your home safe while you’re away.

 

1. Give friends spare keys

Give a set of keys to a trusted friend or relative in case of an emergency. If you have any spare keys outside under a flower pot, door mat, or any other hiding spot, move them inside while you’re away.

 

2. Don’t advertise your vacation on social media

When you advertise your vacation on social media, your home becomes a target. You may think there is no need to worry since you are just sharing the information with friends. However, your friends are not the only ones that can see your posts on social media. Posts can reach friends of friends or even complete strangers if you do not have the proper privacy settings. These people may not be so trustworthy. Save the sharing until you are back from vacation.

 

3. Set lamps and radios on timers to avoid looking vacant

A home that is noticeably dark for multiple days is a clue that you and/or your family are on vacation. Give the illusion that someone is home by putting lamps and radios on programmable timers.

 

4. Have a friend check on your house frequently

Since you have already given someone spare keys in case of emergency, have the same friend come over to check on your home frequently while you are away. Ask them to check for signs of home or property damage or signs of a break-in. Have them care for any pets that are still in the home. Request that they bring in the mail if you do not suspend your mail service. By having someone maintain a presence at your home, it will help give the appearance that you are home.

 

5. Turn down the heat or turn up the air

Setting your thermostat at a lower temperature during the winter, or a higher temperature during the summer can significantly reduce your heating and cooling costs while you are away. You can even use this trick while you are at work every day to save money on your monthly energy bill!

 

6. Advertise home security with signs

If you have a security system, post signs outside to signify your home is protected. Burglars are less likely to approach a home if they know there is a risk of setting off an alarm.

 

7. Stow valuables in a safe place

Hide valuable items in a safe place. Be cautious about using a small safe; it could be a target if it is small enough for the thief to walk off with. Consider getting a safe deposit box at your bank to store your valuables.

 

8. Unplug and switch off electronics

Reduce the chances of an electrical fire by turning off and unplugging non-essential electronics. Many electronics will still use energy even if they are turned off. Therefore, you will also save money on energy costs by unplugging your electronics.

 

9. Cover garage windows

If you have windows in your garage, invest in some curtains to cover them. If someone can clearly see there is a missing car or two from the garage, it could increase the chances of a break-in.

 

10. Park an extra car in your driveway

Parking an extra car in your driveway lets people know that someone is home. Whether they think it is just a visitor or the resident’s car, if there is one parked out in the driveway, it can be a red flag for a burglar.

 

You should spend your vacation relaxing and enjoying time with your family, not stressing out about your home security. Give yourself peace of mind while you’re away by taking these precautions before you leave.

 

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty, and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

ABOUT INLANTA MORTGAGE

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993. The company has grown to 35 branches in 16 states and over 240 employees. Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2016. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Inlanta Mortgage continues to expand its branch network and encourages ethical lending professionals to learn more about our support platform and discover how an Inlanta branch partnership with Inlanta Mortgage is essential to long-term success.

Locate an Inlanta Mortgage loan officer at www.inlanta.com/locations. For current employment opportunities, visit www.inlanta.com/join-our-team/employment-opportunities. Learn more about Inlanta Mortgage branch partnership opportunities at www.inlantapartners.com, call 262-439-4260, or email partners@inlanta.com.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

FHA & VA Loan Programs

fha_vaFHA & VA Loan Programs

With mortgage rates still low, now is a great time to buy! There are many different loan options out there today that make buying a home achievable, and it is important to understand your options throughout the home buying process. Continuing our discussion on government loans from last week (see our USDA Q&A with Inlanta Branch Manager Laura Leonhard), we want to take some time to discuss your options with FHA & VA loan programs.

 

FHA Mortgage Loans

The FHA, or Federal Housing Administration, offers a low down payment option that can help low income or first time homebuyers purchase a home. Since the Federal Housing Administration insures your mortgage, individual lenders may be more willing to give you loan terms that make it easier for you to qualify. To qualify, you must have proof of steady employment and clear CAIVRS, which is the government’s Credit Alert Interactive Verification Reporting system, to qualify. CAIVRS is a database of those who have defaulted on government loans, owe back taxes, or have other federal debt. If you are on this list, you will not be able to receive the loan unless you can get your report cleared.

Compared to other loan programs, FHA has lower credit score requirements. It does, however, require a minimum score of 580 to qualify for a low down payment. If you are concerned about your credit score, consult your loan officer to find out if you might still qualify. These loans can also have a lower down payment requirement than a conventional loan. Conventional guidelines call for two months of asset reserves at closing, meaning two months of mortgage payments, including taxes and property insurance. FHA has no reserve requirements which means less money spent at the closing table.

Not only can closing costs be paid for by the seller, but the down payment of an FHA loan can also be gifted to the homebuyer. This has become a trend for buyers who are getting married and prefer that their gifts go towards a down payment on a home rather than a wedding registry. If you are getting a gift for your down payment, make sure you document it by getting a gift letter from the person you receive the gift from and be able to document any large deposits to your bank account. This will be required when your application is looked at by an underwriter.

It is important to note that FHA loans can only be used towards the purchase of a primary residence, so if you are looking to purchase a second home or vacation home, you will need to look at other programs. In addition to FHA purchase loans, other FHA options include streamlined and cash-out refinancing, as well as FHA 203k rehabilitation loans, which allow you to combine renovations and the purchase of your home into one loan.

 

VA Loans

If you have served our country, you may qualify for a VA loan. These loans are available for active, non-active, and retired Army, Air Force, Marine, Navy, National Guard, and Coast Guard vets who meet the established service requirements. To qualify, the veteran must have served on active duty and have a discharge other than dishonorable after a minimum of 90 days of service during wartime or a minimum or 181 continuous days during peacetime. There is a two-year requirement if the veteran enlisted and began service after September 7, 1980 or was an officer and began service after October 16, 1981. There is six-year requirement for National Guards and reservists with certain criteria and there are specific rules concerning the eligibility of surviving spouses.

VA loans offer many great benefits to veterans that are worth looking into eligibility for. These benefits include:

  • No Down Payment
  • No monthly mortgage insurance (PMI)
  • Gift Funds are acceptable for closing costs
  • No Cash reserves requirement
  • A variety of terms or loan types available
  • Available for purchase and refinance
  • Reduced costs for disabled veterans
  • Seller can pay closing costs
  • Seller pays for any required repairs
  • No pre-payment penalty

Both of these programs can offer many great benefits to qualified borrowers. If you think one of these programs would be a good match for you, contact one of your local Inlanta Mortgage loan officers to get pre-approved today!

 

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty, and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

ABOUT INLANTA MORTGAGE

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993. The company has grown to 35 branches in 16 states and over 240 employees. Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2016. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Inlanta Mortgage continues to expand its branch network and encourages ethical lending professionals to learn more about our support platform and discover how an Inlanta branch partnership with Inlanta Mortgage is essential to long-term success.

Locate an Inlanta Mortgage loan officer at www.inlanta.com/locations. For current employment opportunities, visit www.inlanta.com/join-our-team/employment-opportunities. Learn more about Inlanta Mortgage branch partnership opportunities at www.inlantapartners.com, call 262-439-4260, or email partners@inlanta.com.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

USDA Rural Development

usda

USDA Rural Development

 

Achieving the dream of home-ownership could be more attainable than you have anticipated. If you are concerned about the affordability of purchasing a home, it is important to know you have options when it comes to loan programs. One popular government loan is USDA Rural Development.

The program was originally created to boost the development of land in more rural areas of
the country. Back when it was created, the USDA program’s sole purpose was to make rural living more achievable so that people who live in major cities could live within their means in the country, and ultimately help boost the economy in these areas as well. The program has grown significantly and is now able to help lower income families or individuals purchase homes in rural areas. We asked our very own Laura Leonhard, who is the #3 USDA lender in the nation, some common questions about this program. Here is what she had to say about USDA financing:

 

Q: What makes USDA different from other loan programs?

LL: USDA offers 100% financing. They also add in closing costs and any prepaid items. Another great bonus is that home repairs can be added to the loan as long as the appraised value comes in high enough.

 

Q: What are the benefits of going with USDA Loans?

LL: Many of the features that make USDA different are benefits of this loan program. Also, no money down, which is huge for some people. There is also reduced mortgage insurance premiums.

 

Q: What are the downfalls?

LL: The guarantee fee is a downfall to the USDA loan program, but that will be reduced this coming September!

 

Q: Is this program a good choice for first-time home buyers?

LL: Absolutely. With the no money down and many other great benefits, this would be perfect for first-time home buyers who may not have a lot of combined household income.

 

Q: What documentation is required when applying for USDA loans?

LL: The documentation requirements are the same as any other loan, unless there is a tougher credit situation. Then, there might be additional documentation required that will be disclosed by your loan officer.

 

Q: How do I know if I am eligible for USDA?

LL: A pre-approval will tell you if you are eligible for a USDA loan. You, as well as the location of the home you plan to buy, must be USDA eligible to qualify for this loan.  This loan program does have income limits for the county the home is located in as well as the number of people in the household.

 

Q: Do USDA loans exclusively go towards the purchase of a home?

LL: No, it can also go towards refinancing. However, you can only refinance with a USDA loan if your original home loan was also USDA.

 

Now that you know a little more about the USDA program, contact a loan officer near you to see if you, your family, and the house you want to purchase qualify. Let us help you make your dream of homeownership a reality!

 

 

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty, and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

ABOUT INLANTA MORTGAGE

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993. The company has grown to 35 branches in 16 states and over 240 employees. Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2016. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Inlanta Mortgage continues to expand its branch network and encourages ethical lending professionals to learn more about our support platform and discover how an Inlanta branch partnership with Inlanta Mortgage is essential to long-term success.

Locate an Inlanta Mortgage loan officer at www.inlanta.com/locations. For current employment opportunities, visit www.inlanta.com/join-our-team/employment-opportunities. Learn more about Inlanta Mortgage branch partnership opportunities at www.inlantapartners.com, call 262-439-4260, or email partners@inlanta.com.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.