10 Fun and Quirky Things To Do To While At Home

  1. Complete a puzzle.

  2. Catch up the Netflix shows you’ve been wanting to watch.

  3. Knit or crochet.

  4. Put on a soap opera. Mute the sound. Create your own dialogue.

  5. Have your own wine tasting of whatever bottles you have at home.

  6. Write a book with your family.

  7. Have a Scrabble or Monopoly tournament.

  8. Rearrange your furniture.

  9. Learn a new style of dance via YouTube.

  10.  Make a Google photo album and share with friends and family.

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.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

Tips to Keep Your Kids Busy While Confined at Home

  • Play a board game with them, or teach them a new card game
  • Ask your kids to write a letter to grandparents, aunts, uncles and others who may be confined to their homes
  • Take a trip via your computer to a park, zoo or museum that has virtual tours available
  • Have dinner with extended family virtually – it’s fun for everyone to connect visually via teleconference, Facetime, Google Hangouts, etc.
  • Look in your own yard for signs of spring – look for birds, animals and other wildlife becoming more active with the warmer weather, and use your computer to learn more about each.
  • Bake together! It’s a great way to teach kids about measurements and following direction, plus you get a great treat at the end!
  • Make a fun video of all of you singing, telling a story or dancing to send to your family and friends to help brighten their days.
  • Have them use their imagination to build a castle, a fort or a vacation destination using furniture, pillows or cardboard.
  • Create a virtual play date with their friends so they can socialize virtually even if they can’t see each other in person. They could have lunch together, play a game or connect from their new home forts.
  • Go for a walk or bike ride. Even if you can’t leave home, you can still go outside as long as you remember to stay 6-10’ away from others you may run into.

It’s important to keep your kids engaged in activity, socializing with others outside the home and their minds challenged while confined at home to help keep them healthy and happy. It means you may have to lead them in activity and help them plan out their days to keep them from watching TV or playing video games all day. And best of all, staying home can result in some great quality family time together and give your kids memories that will last a lifetime.

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.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

Tips for Working Remote

As many of us transition to working at home during this health crisis, there’s a few best practices that can help make the transition successful and be productive.

  1. Create a workspace. It’s best to have a dedicated space in your home where you can focus and get things done. If you don’t already have a home office, here’s a few ideas that could work: Use a spare bedroom, formal dining room or living room, or basement. The key is to find a space that you don’t have to share, and will provide you with the quiet space you need. If you can’t find a quiet space, consider using noise-cancelling headphones or working when everyone else is in another room or asleep.
  2. Stick to your schedule. If you had a set schedule in the office, try to stick to it at home. By waking up at the same time you always did, planning a lunch break, and making time to stay in touch with other people, will provide continuity in your routine and make your transition to working at home easier.
  3. Stay professional. As much of our interactions will become virtual using video conferencing or other remote meeting methods, it’s important to be prepared:
    1. Dress appropriately (no PJs or ripped t-shirts or sweatshirts);
    2. Do your best to minimize background noise (or mute yourself when you aren’t speaking and leave your pets and kids in another room);
    3. Be mindful of what is behind you if you’re videoconferencing. Be sure you don’t have sensitive information, potentially offensive materials or photos, or a messy room visible.
  4. Focus on your health. Since you don’t need to commute, take advantage of the extra time to stay healthy! Catch up on sleep, build exercise into your day, or cook healthy meals from scratch.
  5. Don’t forget to connect with colleagues: Working from home can leave you feeling out of the loop and missing the worktime chats with your work friends. Don’t hesitate to call or video chat with your colleagues because it’s likely they’d like to hear from you too.

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.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

Home Maintenance: Springtime

home maintenance

Home maintenance is a sore spot for many homeowners. The amount of effort and money that goes into keeping a home in good condition can leave many homeowners feeling drained and unmotivated. If this is you, remember that owning a house as an investment.  Treating your house well can lead to a higher home value when you are ready to sell, which may result in more money in your pocket to purchase a more expensive home or to use towards renovating a new home. Taking the time to maintain your home now will also help prevent larger and more costly repairs in the future, saving you time, money, and frustration. And of course, if you maintain your home now, you can rest easy at night knowing your family is safe from any potential hazards.

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

While doing your spring cleaning, consider the following tips to get your home back into shape after the winter season.

Indoor:

Clean windows and door screens

Dust light fixtures

Replace Batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Inspect sink, shower, and bath caulking for deterioration

Vacuum lint from dryer vent

Change filter in the air conditioner and dehumidifier

Install screens on windows and doors

Clean kitchen and bathroom cabinets and throw away outdated food, medicine, and cosmetics

Outdoor:

Inspect roofing for missing, loose, or damaged shingles and leaks

Polish wood furniture

Refinish deck

Power wash windows and siding

Remove leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts

Have a professional inspect and pump the septic tank

Touch up peeling or damaged paint

Clean outdoor furniture and air out cushions

Service your lawn mower

Fertilize your lawn

Want these in a PDF form so you can cross off tasks as you go? Download a printable Indoor & Outdoor Checklist here. If you would rather have a checklist for the full year, you may download a printable Full Maintenance Checklist 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, Wisconsin, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2015. 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.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

14 Ways to Make Your Home Cozy and Inviting

14 Ways to Make Your Home Cozy and Inviting

Do you ever stumble upon a picture of a home that looks cozy and beautifully decorated and think, “I wish my home looked like that”? Good news! Creating an inviting home is simple when you break down each element that ties the look and feel together. Here are 14 ways you can create the warm and inviting home you’ve always wanted.

1. Spruce up your Bedding

Make sure to choose bedding that matches nicely with the room. Spring for more expensive sheets to make the beds cozier!

2. Add Throw Blankets

Find some nice, quality throw blankets that coordinate with your living area and bedroom. A nice throw blanket on the living room couch encourages guests to make themselves right at home. Keeping a throw on your bed can give it a nice decorative touch.

3. Try a Blanket Ladder or Basket

If you can’t decide what throw blanket to display, why not pick out your most stylish ones and find a nice woven basket or blanket ladder to put them on display. This will help to invite your guest to grab a blanket and stay a while!

4. Get yourself a Comfy Couch

Nothing says, “Welcome!” quite like a nice, comfortable couch. The couch is the staple of a living space, so choosing the right one will elevate the room.

5. Accentuate the Fireplace

If your house has a fireplace, highlight it by decorating the mantle area with things like vases, candles or other decorative pieces. Don’t try too hard to follow a set decorative plan for your mantle. Finding pieces that work with your style and coordinate with the room will help give your space some personality! Also, putting one big focal piece, such as a mirror or painting, in the area above the fireplace will help draw the eye and pull the room together

6. Make Room for Fresh Flowers

Fresh flowers make a great addition to the kitchen and/or bathroom! Visit your local grocery store or farmers market and pick out flowers that coordinate with the room you want them in along with a nice vase to put them in.

7. Use the Right Lighting

The right lighting can work wonders. If you’re having a cocktail party, you’ll want to give your room plenty of light. This invites your guests in from the outside and highlights your home’s features on the inside. When you are having a small get-together with close friends, dimmed lighting can create a cozy atmosphere.

8. Use Light Paint Colors

Light, vibrant paint colors can make any room look bright, warm and inviting. Dark colors tend to make rooms look smaller and don’t have a very homey appeal.

9. Create an Outdoor Hangout Spot

Take your living space outdoors! Comfortable chairs and a fire pit are a great addition to your outdoor space for fair weather seasons.

10. Let There be Candlelight

Having plenty of candles around your home gives it a sense of warmth. Put a couple candles in each room and people will feel a sense of comfort no matter where they are in your home. Plus, your home will smell great, too!

11. Hang Unique Mirrors

Placing a cool mirror above a dresser or table can give a room personality and reflect your style. Mirrors also give the illusion that a room is much larger than it really might be due to reflecting light.

12. Get Plenty of Comfortable Pillows

Pillows can be a great accent to a living area. Investing in ones that are comfortable and stylish takes it to a whole new level.

13. Incorporate a Large Area Rug

If your living area has hardwood floors, a large area rug will instantly warm up the space. People sometimes like to make the area rug a focal point and choose their accessories, pillows, and paint color based on the color and/or pattern of the rug.

14. Create Themed Photo Collages

Displaying pictures is a great way to let people know who or what is most important to you and also adds a personal touch to your home. Make a framed collage to add to an empty wall by choosing a bunch of pictures that have a common theme, like a family vacation or special event. You can buy collage frames pre-made or group individual frames together for added style.

These tips are sure to make your home as cozy and inviting as can be! If you’re currently sitting in a rental property dreaming of ways you will make your future home cozy and inviting, contact one of our loan experts today to see just how close you are to achieving that dream of homeownership!

Helpful Tips to Successfully Utilize your Tax Refund

Helpful Tips to Successfully Utilize your Tax Refund

Tax season is here and if you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ve got a generous refund check coming your way. While it may be tempting to treat yourself to a much-needed vacation or shopping spree with the extra money in your pocket, utilizing your tax return to help you get ahead or catch up on your finances may be a better decision for you and wallet.

If you do decide to take a more financially friendly route, we’ve got some tips for you below to help make the best use of your refund.

  1. Pay Down Debt

Our #1 tip for those wanting to utilize their tax refund for financial gain would be to pay down any debt you already have. If you’ve got multiple areas of debt, start with focusing on the debt that is causing you the most financial strain, like credit cards with high-interest rates. Even if you can’t pay your balance in full, making a large payment will feel great and help you make a leap toward a debt-free life.

  1. Build your Savings

If you don’t already have a savings account, now is a great time to begin building one by using your refund money as a solid foundation. If you do already have a savings account (or two) with a specific purpose in mind such as saving to buy a home, a car, or for your dream vacation, using your tax refund to make a substantial contribution toward that goal is always a good idea.

  1. Invest in Homeownership

Are you currently saving up to buy your first home? If so, why not utilize your tax refund to get ahead on your down payment? If you’ve already got your down payment covered, you can always put the money towards closing costs or for furnishing your new place. Already a homeowner? Why not look for ways to increase your home’s value like using the extra cash to complete a home improvement project or upgrade an old appliance.

  1. Create or Add to Your “Rainy Day” Fund

A “rainy day” fund is a reserved amount of money intentionally created and set aside for unplanned emergencies, life events, or disturbances in your regular income. If you do not already have one of these “rainy day” or emergency funds set aside, using your tax refund to create one is a great idea. While it may not be the most exciting place to invest your money, having this designated account set aside as cushion can help save you from financial distress caused by an unexpected life event in the future.

  1. Take the Vacation

Hey, as long as you are not in a state of financial distress, there’s no harm in taking that vacation! With as many travel saving sites as there are out there today, chances are, you’ll be able to find a great deal and enjoy the reward of a well-deserved getaway after a year of hard work.

Automating Your Home

Automating Your Home with Smart Technology

With the advancements that have been made in technology in just the past decade, there are many new ways to incorporate faster, more efficient, and cost-effective solutions to everyday tasks and problems. One big trend that we are seeing right now is home automation, or “smart homes.” With the help of technology, today you can make the functions in your home almost entirely automated or controllable from a smartphone or tablet.

What exactly are the benefits of home automation?

  • Those with home automation save an average of 20% on home insurance
  • You can save around 15% on your energy bill
  • Based on national averages, you could save around $1,352 each year by automating your home
  • Better security and peace of mind
  • Control over almost all functions in your home from one tablet or smartphone

What are the capabilities of a smart home?

Thermostat: You can have the ability to control your thermostat even when you are not home. By adjusting the temperature when you are not home, you save on heating and cooling costs.

Security: With a smart home, you won’t need to be paranoid about whether you remembered to lock the doors to your home. Your smart home system can tell you if your doors are locked or unlocked. Also, with some advanced systems, you can trigger lights and television sets to turn on while you are out of town to give the appearance that someone is home.

Lighting: Some smart home systems have an “all off” button to help easily turn off every light in your home at once. Sensors can also trigger lights to turn on when motion is detected outside of your home.

Television: You can combine all of your remotes into one by using your smart home app on your tablet or phone. You can even set a sequence to dim the lights, adjust the room temperature, and start a movie with one click of a button.

Communication: You can send messages room-to-room through the television or to visitors through a touch screen outside of your home. You can also get notified if there is a leak in your basement or even when the kids make it home from school.

There are many options and benefits to making your home smarter and even the smallest steps could save you a considerable amount of money in the long run. Here are some of the best smart home devices you can implement in your home.

http://www.businessinsider.com/best-smart-home-devices-2015-12

 

 

Sources

https://www.control4.com/blog

https://cleantechnica.com/2013/11/06/home-automation-benefits-infographic/

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 

 

 

Labor Day: History and Relaxation

shutterstock_266689532

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.