5 Great Ways to Give Back to Your Community

5 Great Ways to Give Back to Your Community

The holidays, especially Thanksgiving, are a time for us to pause and reflect on all of the good fortune life has bestowed upon us. We all have something we can be grateful for, and what better way to express our gratitude than to pay it forward to our communities. We’ve compiled 5 ways you can give back to your community.

  • Shop Local

Planning a shopping trip? Rather than buying your shopping at a big box store, support your local businesses and your community by taking your holiday shopping lists to your favorite local shops. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as Small Business Saturday, commemorates the annual shopping tradition made to support small businesses and celebrate communities everywhere. So, grab a friend or family member this Saturday and enjoy!

  • Become A Sponsor

Whether you have a student-athlete in your home or not, chances are you know someone who does. One great way to give back to your community that involves very little time and investment is to become a sponsor for a local sports team. Are the Arts more your scene? Sponsor your high school or community theatre’s upcoming production. Whatever you are passionate about, there are local organizations and events that need your financial support.

  • Volunteer

Volunteering in your local community is a great way to give back and feel great. While time and a little internet research will likely give you a variety of volunteer opportunities to choose from, you can narrow down your options by selecting a prospect that involves offering up your own set of skills, or, choose an organization that supports a specific cause you care about.

  • Get to Work

Help build a better community by rolling up your sleeves and putting yourself to work! If you are physically able, why not offer your time and energy to get involved in construction projects within your community. Try getting your hands dirty in a community garden, grabbing a hard hat to help build a home, or channeling your inner artist to help paint a mural.

  • Talk to Your Employer

Employee volunteerism is important to a lot of companies and organizations, so consider contacting your own HR department to find out ways your employer is involved with giving back to your local community. Some employers even offer incentives for giving back and volunteering on your own time.

 

 

Our Favorite Ways to Give Back

Here at Inlanta Mortgage, serving others and giving back to our local community is very important to us. In fact, Inlanta contributes to our communities year-round! Some of our favorite philanthropic charities that we give back to include the Cancer Research Institute, the Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer, the American Red Cross, the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation, the United Performing Arts Fund, the local Pewaukee Food Pantry, and more.

Inlanta just recently wrapped up our 2017 Hunger Games food drive to help support our local food pantry, collecting 2,984 items total to help fight hunger and feed our community! Inlanta is also planning to hold our second blood drive for the American Red Cross this December and is looking forward to planning other various philanthropic initiatives in 2018.

Preparing Financially for the Mortgage Process

Purchasing a home is exciting and adventurous. Home buyers, particularly first-time home buyers, typically don’t know a lot about the process of financing a home. To avoid making mistakes, you need to know what you should expect. It is important to consider the state of your credit, the additional costs besides just the down payment, and the important questions dealing with the future.

 

The Credit Aspect

Your credit score is one of the first things a lender will look at when you apply for a mortgage. To cut through all that confusion, here are five tips you can act on right now:

  • Check your credit reports for free once a year through the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Why all three? Because the information in each of the three bureaus’ reports can differ. If one or all of the reports include mistakes, your credit score may be negatively affected, and you may need to address the errors before going house shopping.
  • Be strategic with credit card use. The percentage of your credit limit that you use every month can affect your score. Make sure your balance doesn’t come too close to your limit.
  • The simplest and most important tip? Pay off your balance each month. To maintain a healthy score, pay off the balance before the due date. Anything after 30 days past the due date can spell very bad news for your score.
  • Be consistent. Good credit behavior over the long term will keep your score high.
  • Don’t take on more credit. If you apply for several different credit cards, you’re sending a message that you may have maxed out your other accounts

 

Save enough for the down payment and other additional fees

You should plan to make a down payment of 3.5% – 5% at the very least when you are determining affordability. It is important to consider that down payments are not the only costs associated with the purchase of a home. Your lender should be able to provide you with a breakdown of your costs that you will be paying upfront and on a monthly basis. Here are some basic tips to help you save for the costs associated with buying a home:

  • Start a budget: Making a budget allows you to see your expenses, how much money is coming in, and what is left over to save or pay off debts. When you have a savings goal it, helps prioritize your money by eliminating or cutting down on unnecessary expenses.
  • Automate: Once you have created a budget and figured out how much you can comfortably save each month or paycheck, set up a specific amount or percentage of your paycheck to go to savings automatically. For some, it helps to open up an entirely separate savings account for their home’s down payment and expenses. This method allows you to see how much you are saving specifically for the home buying process and keeps you from accidentally spending this money on something other than your new home.
  • Increase your income: If you are worried about cutting back expenses, or just want to save for your down payment faster, consider finding ways to increase your income. Some ideas include working overtime, getting a second job, or finding alternative ways to making money such as selling items online.
  • Save any unexpected money: When you get a large sum of money, such as a bonus or your tax refund, itis all too easy to take on the extra cash and purchase that one expensive thing you’ve had your eye on for months. Instead of going on a shopping spree, take that money and put it into your savings right away to help you achieve your dream of homeownership sooner.

 

Affordability now and in the future

Regardless of the level of income you have today, you need to figure out what the future may hold before you sign on the dotted line. For example, if you’re planning to have kids sometime down the road, how will these happy additions impact your family income? What effect will job changes have on your current income level? And have you planned for monthly payments into your rainy day savings account?

Everyone who looks to buy a home will have a payment amount that is affordable today, but in the face of your answers to the questions above, will that number still work for you down the road? These are some questions to consider as you think about homeownership.

 

Feel free to talk with a loan officer in your area to determine if homeownership is the right path for you!

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 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

Labor Day: History and Relaxation

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Labor Day: History and Relaxation

Labor Day, or originally referred to as “the workingmen’s holiday”, can first be traced back to a parade in New York City on Tuesday, September 5th, 1882. In a time where working conditions were far from great and employees were fed up, Congress could see tensions rising and moved forward with passing a piece of legislation that made the first Monday of every September a day to recognize workers. The holiday originally included street parades followed by a festival, as well as speeches from prominent speakers. The holiday has since changed in some ways, but the meaning behind it still remains to this day. It is a day to celebrate working men and women and give them a well-deserved break. So, take the time to relax this Labor Day weekend—you’ve earned it.

 

Need some ideas to unwind? Here are some relaxation tips you can take with you even after Labor Day is done.
1.) Find time in your off-peak times to take a break or vacation
If you know a certain time of year is busier for you, then do not choose that time of year to take off. Instead, consider scheduling time after your busy season to take a vacation.
2.) Disconnect every once in a while
Many people find it hard to disconnect in today’s world, but it can be very fulfilling and destressing to shut your electronics down and live in the moment.
3.) Get regular exercise
Exercise is a proven stress reliever. If you don’t necessarily like regular cardio or weights, try yoga! Yoga is a great way to relax and get a good workout at the same time. When people think of yoga, meditation is something else that can come to mind. Try meditation exercises when you are overly stressed.
4.) Get outside
Fresh air and sunshine are great ways to instantly make your stress melt away. Take a break during the day to sit outside and enjoy the warm weather!
5.) Try Aromatherapy
Believe it or not, some people can greatly reduce stress with aromatherapy. Invest in some essential oils. Try them with a diffuser or simply put some on your wrists. Lavender, rosemary, and clary sage are just three essential oils that are said to help relieve stress.

 

 

 

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.

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.

10 Ways to Protect Your Home while on Vacation

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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.

10 DIY Outdoor Projects to Spruce up Your Curb Appeal

diy-outdoor10 DIY Outdoor Projects to Spruce up Your Curb Appeal

 

People often make the mistake of thinking that creating an inviting outdoor environment is always extremely expensive and a lot of work. Even the littlest things can make the outside of your home more inviting. Here are some ideas to make your outdoor area a retreat.

 

  1. Create posts to hold hanging flowers or lamps.

This simple addition can be done many ways, but it can make a great difference. Good lighting and small decorative touches can instantly transform your outdoor area into a unique & inviting living space.

Pinterest: DIY Patio Area with Texas Lamp Posts

 

  1. Add a fire pit and bench to your outdoor seating area.

Cozying up next to a blazing fire in your own backyard fire pit can make those cool summer and fall nights even better. Skip the portable fire pit and plastic chairs that you have to put back in storage every winter, and trade up to this exceptional bonfire area that everyone is sure to love!

Pinterest: DIY Fire Pit and Benches Project

 

  1. Add black mulch and/or a stone path to spice up your outdoor curb appeal.

The contrast of this black mulch with some stone and plants really makes the landscaping around your house pop! Your house will surely stand out with this amazing addition.

Pinterest: Black Mulch and Stone Path

 

  1. Use reclaimed wood to add a walkway from your patio or driveway to your yard.

This is a simple yet inviting thing you can do that is sure to get noticed. Repurposing wood can help keep your costs down and is environmentally friendly, so you can feel good about making this upgrade to your outdoor space!

Pinterest: DIY Pallet Wood Garden Walkway

 

  1. Add rope lights to your outdoor space.

When it comes to creating a trendy, eye-catching backyard or outdoor area, simply adding unique lighting, such as rope lights, can have a great impact. Line your walkway with rope lights or add them to your deck railings to create a dynamic effect.

Pinterest: 3 Ways to use Rope Light Outdoors

 

  1. Plant an herb garden.

Doing this has two benefits: not only does it look great, but you also have fresh herbs to make a fantastic meal. Fresh herbs make all the difference when it comes to cooking. You can plant them in small pots and continue growing them inside in the winter, or you can pick the remaining herbs and dry them out.

Pinterest: Growing Herbs in Window Boxes

 

  1. Turn a Pallet into a flower planter.

Pallets have become a versatile material for many DIYers. If you need to spruce up your curb appeal, consider using them to create planters for your flowers. The pin below is one of our favorite ideas.

Pinterest: Pallet Planter for Butterflies

 

  1. Make your own outdoor furniture with just some pallets, paint, and cushions.

Outdoor furniture can be pretty pricy. Here is another creative way to use pallets to spruce up your curb appeal. Outdoor couches and sectionals provide a great seating area that is different from your average table and chairs.

Pinterest: DIY Pallet Sofa Ideas and Plans

 

  1. Create sensational tiki torches out of old wine bottles.

Tiki torches are an extremely popular outdoor staple. Instead of buying the standard torches from the store, kick it up a notch by creating your own. Use glass jars or bottles that reflect your personality to add a little more character to your torches.

Pinterest: DIY Wine Bottle Tiki Torches

 

  1. Use faux stone to make the exterior of your home more appealing.

Skip the expensive aesthetic projects on the outside of your home. Putting in real stone can be extremely expensive and more than likely cannot be done on your own. This fake stone looks just like the real thing and makes your home’s exterior look ten times better!

Pinterest: Faux Stone Exterior Update

 

It doesn’t take much to spruce up your curb appeal. Even on a small budget, a little time and ingenuity can transform your outdoor space into a place where you will love to spend your time. Like our suggestions and want more project ideas? Follow us on Pinterest!

 

 

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