10 Fall Decorating Ideas

Fall is here and you know what that means—cooler air, warmer clothes, fun seasonal activities and a change in scenery. For many, changes in scenery are not only reflected outdoors but inside the home as well.

Fall decorations are all about warmth. Incorporating warm colors such as reds and oranges along with warm aromas such as pumpkin, apple, orange and cinnamon make for a cozy home during the autumn season. 

Here are some of our top decor ideas to help make your home feel like the perfect fall getaway!

Gourd and Pine Cone-Filled Lanterns

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This easy porch decor idea 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 a great way to make any space instantly feel warm and inviting. Incorporate a fall foliage mix in a big vase with a fall-scented candle to be used virtually anywhere in your home. Try placing one as a kitchen or dining centerpiece or use 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 decor. It would be perfect for a coffee table, side table or fireplace mantle. via Whipper Berry

Mason Jar Candle Centerpiece with Table 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 season! 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 Wreathscapture-2

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

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

Click here to check out our Pinterest page for other fun fall decorating ideas and more!

Fall is a great time of year to purchase or refinance your home! If you’d like to take advantage of low rates this season, contact your local Inlanta Mortgage loan advisor today!

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Fall is finally HERE!

While pumpkin spiced treats, hayrides and cozy sweaters make it a favorite time of year for many, the long awaited cooler temps also make it a great time to take care of some fall home maintenance tasks around the home.

Check these tasks off your list now so you can enjoy the cozy season ahead knowing your home is prepped and ready to take on winter.

Here is your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist:

INDOOR

  • Clean and store summer gear
  • Have furnace properly inspected
  • Remove any window air conditioners
  • Insulate exposed pipes as needed
  • Check accuracy of thermostat, clean and replace as needed
  • Seal/reseal doors and windows as needed
  • Deep clean your kitchen and appliances
  • Assess your home’s energy efficiency
  • Inspect and clean your chimney
  • Check your detectors and replace batteries as needed

OUTDOOR

  • Rake and remove leaves
  • Prune trees and shrubs
  • Clean gutters and rainspouts
  • Inspect roof and exterior of home
  • Clear and inspect your driveway, walkways, deck and railings to ensure winter safety  
  • Close or install storm windows
  • Store outdoor furniture and cushions inside
  • Remove hoses from spigots; drain and store indoors
  • Have chimneys and flues inspected and cleaned
  • Fertilize, reseed and water your lawn

We hope your fall is filled with joy, abundance and warmth. Enjoy!

How Much Is My Home Worth?

How Much Is My Home Worth?

Recent news of a positive spring market for home buyers probably has you wondering – what is my home worth and is it time put it on the market?

If you’re like most, you don’t know where to begin to determine your home’s value, so here’s some tips to help you get started:

1.      1. Use Online Evaluation Tools

Today when we have questions, we turn first to Google. A Google search of “what is my home worth?” pulls up a multitude of online home evaluation tools that combine things like public records, property transfers, tax assessments, local listing prices, etc. to offer an estimated price for your home. You can find these tools on popular real estate hubs like Zillow or Redfin, however, the predicted price is just that – a prediction – so make sure to check into steps 2 & 3 below before taking the answer as final.

2.      2. Chat with your Real Estate Agent

Working with a licensed real estate professional is important when determining your home’s worth. They will have the inside scoop on past home sale prices and comparable listings in your nearby neighborhoods. They’ll also be the ones who will put in the time, effort and research necessary to find out exactly how much your home will go for. They also know what’s selling currently, and can help you identify simple things to make your house more appealing.

3.      3. Chat with your Mortgage Pro

Don’t count your mortgage pro out of the process just yet! They can provide you with the latest scoop on current market trends and mortgage rates, and can also connect you with trusted real estate professionals as well as skilled appraisers.

 

Why Is Knowing My Home Value Important?

Knowing exactly what your home’s worth can benefit you even if you’re not planning to sell your home anytime soon. You may find that your home value has increased giving you the chance to refinance your mortgage and utilize the cash to upgrade your home, help pay off debts or meet other financial goals. Contact your local Inlanta Mortgage loan officer today to find out how best to determine the value of your home, then get prequalified for your next home, or learn about your refinancing options!

 

 

Home Resolutions to Make in 2019

Home Resolutions to Make in 2019

Resolutions are a great way to set yourself up for success in the New Year. While you may already have committed to some for yourself, your family, or your business, setting resolutions for your home will help keep your space well-kept and cared for.

Here are some homeowner resolutions you can make in 2019:

  1. Create a Home Maintenance Schedule

Caring for a home is a big responsibility that requires time and attention all year long. That’s why it’s best to get ahead of your home’s needs by creating an annual home maintenance schedule. If you’re wondering where to start, check out our Home Maintenance Checklist to help keep your home in great shape.

 

  1. Update One Outdated Feature

We all have features of our homes that we’d like to hit the refresh button on. Maybe it’s your outdated bathroom, popcorn ceilings, or outdated kitchen cabinets and laminate countertops. Whatever is giving you a headache, choose one to check off your list in 2019.

 

  1. Take Some Time to De-Clutter

Clutter can bring chaos. Start the New Year off by clearing your space to help get you cleaned and organized. Here are some top tips from decluttering experts via The Huffington Post to help get you started.

 

  1. Accomplish a DIY Project

You don’t have to be an expert or hire one to make improvements around your home. DIY, or “do it yourself,” projects are great for saving you money and upgrading your home for less. Check out our Pinterest page for some DIY home improvement ideas you can tackle in 2019.

 

  1. Make Extra Mortgage Payments

Resolving to put a little extra money toward your mortgage in the New Year can make a big impact on paying off your mortgage that much sooner, saving you money on interest. Talk to your Inlanta Loan Officer today to see if making extra mortgage payments could benefit you!

 

We hope your new year is filled with joy, success, and a happy home!

Budget-Friendly DIY Projects for New Homeowners

Budget-Friendly DIY Projects for New Homeowners

Investing a little time, effort, and cash into your home can make a big difference in improving the way your home looks and feels. If you’re looking for a few quick and easy ways to upgrade your space, these budget-friendly projects can be done in almost no time at all without the help of hired professionals.

Dress Up Your Front Door

You’d be surprised what a fresh coat of paint, some new hardware, and additional outdoor lighting can do to really wow your visitors at your entryway. Try adding a bright new welcome mat, a couple plants, a front door wreath, or new house numbers for an extra special touch. This project can be done in a quick weekend and make all the difference. For front door inspiration, click here to visit our Pinterest page.

Spruce Up Your Walls

It’s no secret – adding a fresh coat of paint is one of the quickest, easiest, and most budget-friendly ways to completely transform the look of a room. Whether you choose to paint a single wall or an entire room, new paint can hide old scuff marks and make your home feel brand new. If painting isn’t your thing or you’d like to try something different, installing an accent wall is a trendy way to upgrade your space without picking up a paintbrush. For instructions on how to complete an easy DIY shiplap wall – click here.

Add/Upgrade a Ceiling Fan

An old ceiling fan can be an eyesore in any home. Upgrading your current fan or installing a new one can help improve the look of your home as well as increase your home’s resale value. While this DIY project may be a little pricier up front, it’s important to keep in mind that it can actually help you save money on your energy bill in the long run as ceiling fans help to circulate cool air in the summer and disperse heat in the winter. While there is electrical work involved, it is possible to install a new ceiling fan on your own as long as you take the proper safety measures and follow instructions. Check out this how-to video from the Home Depot or this article from DIY network before you get started.

Kitchen Cabinet Refresh

Are your kitchen cabinets old and outdated? While you may be dreaming of installing brand-new, gorgeous, HGTV worthy cabinets, the expense to replace them is less than dreamy. The good news is, if you’re up for the challenge and won’t mind a little chaos in your space for a short time, painting the kitchen cabinets on your own is possible and can make a big difference in transforming the way your kitchen looks. Here are 25 Tips for Painting Kitchen Cabinets from DIY Network to help get you started on the right track.

Plant a Flower Garden

Instantly boost your home’s curb appeal in a quick and easy way by planting some flowers and shrubs. A well-maintained garden can keep your outdoor space looking fresh and beautiful as long as it’s regularly tended to. Missing that green thumb and unsure of where to start? Begin by weeding your planting space and removing any debris, then check out this article on How To Plant Flowers from The Home Depot.

We hope these budget-friendly DIY projects will help you make your house a home!

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 

 

 

Announcing New Doctor Loans Program!

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New Doctor Loans Program!

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

What kinds of doctors are eligible?

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

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

What do these options have in common?

Highlights of both Doctor Loan options:

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

Additional eligibility requirements:

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

What are the differences between the two options?

Doctor Loan Option 1 Highlights

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

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

Doctor Loan Option 2 Highlights

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

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

Which option is right for you?

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

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.

 

 

Is an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Right for you?

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Is an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage right for you?

 

When you shop for a mortgage, whether it’s for a new home or a refinance, you’ll soon hear about adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). For some, an adjustable-rate mortgage is an automatic no. If that is the case, it is usually for one of three reasons:

  • They’re uncomfortable with any risk;
  • They’re unaware of just how an ARM works;
  • They can predict the future with relative certainty.

While ARMs definitely have their advantages, make sure you understand them before getting into one.

 

How ARMs work

All ARMs start out as fixed-rate mortgages for the first 3, 5, 7, or 10 years. An ARM will appear like this, where the first number in the terms “3/1,” “5/1”, or “7/1” denotes the number of years that the rate will be fixed. Usually the lower the number is, the lower the initial rate. During the fixed period, there is no risk and typically a healthy savings. The second number shows how many years before the rates can be adjusted once that fixed period has expired.

After this fixed period, the rate can fluctuate. The rate itself is made up of both fixed- and variable-rate components. The variable component will be based on some index such as Treasury bonds. This is added to the fixed-rate component set by the lender when you determine your starting rate.

Your decision to obtain an ARM should be based on how long you plan to live in this home. Having reasonable expectations for future sale or refinancing is all it can take to make an ARM worth considering. If you believe that you could be living there for a long time, you may want to consider opting for a fixed-rate mortgage. The reason? If you have an ARM and have to refinance at some time in the future when rates are higher, you might find yourself in a fixed-rate mortgage with a much higher rate.

 

Inside Information

Lenders give you a discounted rate up front because they know the rate will float with the market later on. If you sell your home or refinance again prior to that happening, it’s their loss. You have the advantage here because you control the timing of your next step.

 

Managed Risk

One way to prepare for the possibility of a higher rate and payment later is to pay extra principal each month to reduce your balance faster. If the rate ultimately adjusts up, your balance will be lower and the payment change will be less as a result. As well, you would already be accustomed to paying more.

 

The Bottom Line

A fixed-rate loan provides the certainty that it will never change. An ARM provides a guaranteed savings but for a limited period of time. The best way to decide is to balance your expectations for using any particular loan with the peace of mind that can come from being assured of stability, even if your timeframe changes.

 

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.