Friday, July 31, 2020

Tips for Building Your Credit Score

Your credit score will play a large role in getting your home loan, which means that paying attention to it and working to build it can be valuable. Your credit score will be used to determine your financial trustworthiness, and even if you aren’t thinking about buying a house right now, it can take time and planning to build it. Team Lasson has a few tips to help you make sure that you are working for the benefit of your credit score!


Watch Your Card Balances

One of the biggest things that you will want to watch is that you keep your credit card balances low. One of the major factors in determining your credit score is how much of that available credit you’re actually using. A good rule of thumb is the smaller the percentage the better, and an ideal percentage would be around 30% or lower. Another tip is to see if your credit card issuer will accept multiple payments throughout the month in order to get that statement balance down.

Consolidate Credit Card Debt

If you have multiple cards with small balances on each one, a good way that you can aim to improve your credit score is to get rid of those balances completely. An interesting factor that plays a role in determining your credit score is simply how many cards you have with balances.

Keep Your Credit Looking Strong

Two issues that can sink your credit or cause you to look risky are missing payments or suddenly paying less or charging more than you normally do. These actions can indicate risk in your accounts and could make it more challenging for your loan to go through. Essentially, you want every purchase to show that you are not going to be a risky investment and that you will pay the money back with timely payments.

Keep Accounts Open and Don’t Open New Ones

Did you know that closing unused credit cards will not raise your score? In fact, in most cases, it can cause your utilization rate to dramatically increase. On the other hand, you don’t want to open many new accounts while you are in the process of raising your credit score as this could reduce your utilization rate and backfire on you. Just keep a slow and steady pace and know that every step you take in the right direction will help get you there.

Pay Bills On Time

When planning to purchase a home at Lake of the Ozarks, you may be saving up money, but don’t let that savings spree delay your monthly expenses. It’s important to continue to pay your bills on time, as paying them after the due date can affect your credit score. Remember that even if you have a large sum of money in savings, a drop in your credit score due to not paying your bills on time could cause issues with your home purchase.


In general, building your credit score is about fixing errors in your credit history and then maintaining a consistent, good credit history from there on out. Raising your credit score will take patience and discipline, but it will all be worth it when you get to buy a dream home at Lake of the Ozarks. If you're thinking about applying for a home loan at Lake of the Ozarks anytime soon, contact me at 573-746-7211. As your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage lender, I'll work with you every step of the way!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 




Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065






**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.


Friday, July 24, 2020

Things to Do Before You Start Home Shopping

If you have been thinking about purchasing a home at Lake of the Ozarks, it can be tempting to start the process by scouring the MLS listings. Before you start daydreaming about the perfect home and choose the location you want your vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks to be - there are a few things you can do to give you a good start. Team Lasson is here to help, so we have a few tips to help you get started before you begin looking for a home.


Speak With a Mortgage Lender

One of the first things you may think to do when you are ready to purchase a home would be to speak with a real estate agent. While it will be vital to speak with a reputable real estate agent to buy a home, it’s not necessarily the first step in the process. When you speak with a mortgage lender first, you will get a good idea for how much you can afford in your monthly mortgage. We will start with a pre-approval for a mortgage loan, and you can apply for this by simply going to our website (www.YourLakeLoan.com)

Creating a Proper Budget

Your mortgage payment is not going to be the only expense when you purchase a vacation home. You will need to make a budget that will include taxes, insurance, homeowners association fees (if applicable), home maintenance, and repair expenses that could come up. When you make a plan ahead of time, it makes it easier to not be surprised by expenses that may come up or unexpected emergencies related to owning a vacation home.

Decide What You Want In Your Home

Before you start looking at homes and are beguiled by their charm and appeal, you can sit down and decide what you truly want. Do you want your vacation lake home to have an amazing view? Would you prefer a large kitchen or plenty of guest room space? Spend this initial time making a list of needs and a list of wants so that you can pick through homes accordingly once you start your search.

Save Money And Organize Your Assets

You may have already started setting aside money for a while now, and if you haven’t, this is the time to start. You will be able to get a loan to cover a large portion of the cost of the home, but you will still need cash for some upfront expenses like the downpayment, closing costs, escrow accounts, reserves, etc.

A good thing to keep in mind is that the more money you’re able to offer for a downpayment, the better terms you can get for your loan. Setting aside money now and having your finances in order can be a really important aspect of buying a home!

Time to Buy a Vacation Home at Lake Of The Ozarks

After you've done these steps, now you can talk to a real estate agent and start your home search. You, your mortgage lender and your real estate agent will all work together throughout the entire home buying process. There's a lot that goes into getting a home loan at Lake of the Ozarks and making that purchase. As the best mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks, I'm here to help you every step of the way. Give me a call at 573-746-7211 to get started on your pre-approval today!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 




Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065






**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.



Friday, July 17, 2020

Things to Know When Buying a Vacation Home in 2020

2020 has been quite the year for the real estate market. Homes are selling right and left and the interest rates are phenomenal, which means that if you have been considering purchasing a vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks, this is the time to get involved. Vacation homes at the Lake are considered an excellent investment, but with any investment, there are a few things you will want to know going into this purchase. Here are a few things that may be helpful as you navigate real estate buying at Lake of the Ozarks through 2020.

Consider Your Budget

This is the first and most important step in purchasing a new home - how much can you afford? The cost of the home is just the beginning, as you will also want to consider property taxes, insurance, utilities, and HOA fees. You will also want to plan for the additional items like furnishings, seasonal gear (dock and boating accessories, water toys, etc.), kayaks, and more.

One easy way to figure out how much home you can afford is by getting the process started with a pre-approval. You can visit our website at www.yourlakeloan.com, fill out the application, and when we have finished running the numbers, we will let you know the maximum amount you can spend on a new property.

Take Advantage of the Interest Rates

If you have been thinking about purchasing a home, there really is no time like the present. The reason you should make the consideration now is that the mortgage rates are exceptional. While this may not be a great reason to make a sudden decision to buy a home (but it is still a consideration!), it is a good reason to change your timeline if you have been considering it, but just were not sure when you wanted to take the leap. For all the people buying homes, we are also seeing a large surge in people refinancing their homes, so knowing what is happening in the interest rate world should play a role in your thought process when buying a vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks.

Consider Your Long-Term Goals

When you are planning on buying a home in 2020, it is important to think about long-term goals. Will you want a place to retreat to on the weekends, or are you looking for a place to get out and enjoy time with friends and family. Are you looking for an investment property? Or you are planning for a potential retirement home? Thinking about your future plans for the property will not only help you know what type of home to get and where, but can also help with the type of loan that you will choose as well. Investment properties can have different requirements, so if you are planning on going that route, it is better to know in advance.


2020 Is Your Year

If you have been dreaming about buying a home at Lake of the Ozarks, this could be the year for you. We invite you to visit our website and learn more about our mortgage division at Lake of the Ozarks, as well as fill out an application for a pre-approval. We look forward to working with you and helping you secure the home of your dreams a Missouri mortgage. Happy house hunting!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 




Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065






**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.





Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Tips to Help Speed Up the Mortgage Process

The mortgage process can often feel like a long and daunting event, but it doesn’t have to be. While there are always aspects of the mortgage process that can’t be controlled, there are so many things that you can set the pace for. Team Lasson wants to help you purchase your Lake of the Ozarks Vacation home, and we want to help you get everything in order as fast as possible. This real estate market has been busy, to say the least, so anything that you can do to help speed it up on your end is going to be very helpful.

Gather Your Documents

This is one of the first things you can do to get a head start and help speed up the mortgage process. Getting your loan approved will require a series of documents, and if you have them ready at a moment's notice, the pre-approval process will be much smoother and faster. Here are a few documents that you will want to dig out of your files.

Personal Information:
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Current driver’s license or photo ID
  • Current and previous addresses (two year history)
  • Names and information of any co-signers or co-borrowers

Income & Employment Information:
  • Most recent two years W-2
  • Current paycheck stub reflecting a year-to-date income of 30 days or more.
  • Present employer’s name, address, and phone number. Length of employment, position, and salary. If employed less than two years, please provide a previous employer’s name, address, and phone number to cover two consecutive years. Exact dates are required.
  • Last two months’ bank statements for all accounts. Please provide explanations of any deposits larger than a normal paycheck and please include all pages, even if blank.
  • If self-employed or paid any commission or have any business income, please provide complete copies of your federal tax returns along with all schedules and W-2s for the past two years. Include corporate or partnership returns, if applicable, for your business. Also, include a year-to-date Profit & Loss statement.
  • Verification of other income needed to qualify, such as retirement, rental, interest, or dividend income. If receiving Social Security or pension income, you will need to provide the current award letters.

Get Pre-Approved

This can speed up your mortgage process exponentially. When you have a pre-approval letter in your hand while house hunting, you are essentially saying “this is how much my lender is willing to lend me right now.” This means that your lender has reviewed your information and has decided that you would be approved based on some initial basic information about your financial status. You can apply for this pre-approval on our website (www.YourLakeLoan.com), and while we are a mortgage company based out of Lake of the Ozarks, we can assist you anywhere across the country with your next mortgage.

Finalize Negotiations Quickly

This will be done with your real estate agent, but it can really slow down the buying process if both parties aren’t communicating quickly. There will be a variety of negotiations that happen between the buyer and seller, and as you get these notifications from your agent, it’s important to respond quickly and not let these things sit around for too long. Properties are selling quickly these days, and it’s important to keep this process moving - there are plenty of other buyers ready to swoop in.

Schedule the Inspections

Your home will require a variety of inspections. If you schedule these well in advance of the closing date, you are giving yourself plenty of time to react to these inspections.

Avoid These Slow Downs

There are a few things you can do that will really slow down the mortgage process. If at all possible refrain from doing any of these things while purchasing a home:
  • Changing jobs
  • Applying for new credit cards
  • Changing bank accounts
  • Missing payments or bouncing checks
  • Transferring money within your accounts
  • Make large deposits
  • Co-sign on any new accounts
  • Pay off or close debts

Don’t Forget to Stay In Touch

When you are in the process of purchasing a home, one of the most important things you can do is stay in touch with your mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks. We want to help you close on this home as quickly as possible, but if there are delays in communication, this can slow things down.

If you are ready to buy a home at Lake of the Ozarks, we are ready to assist! This has been an amazing time to buy and refinance homes - and if you are looking for a good rate, it may be worth it to do it now. You can visit our website to submit an application or learn more about our company, we look forward to working with you, and helping you close as fast as possible!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 




Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065






**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.



Thursday, July 2, 2020

Upcoming Events at Lake of the Ozarks

As Summer is getting started, we are so excited to see events happening at Lake of the Ozarks. With the Fourth of July this weekend, there will be many different events to attend with fireworks and family fun, but that’s not all! July is full of fun things happening from live music to golf tournaments, and Team Lasson hopes to see you out and about as we support the Lake community through these amazing events.


4th of July Fireworks Displays & Celebrations
Check out this list brought to you by FunLake.com to see where you can find the best fireworks shows at Lake of the Ozarks!

Captain Ron's Bar & Grill
Date: Friday, July 3rd
Time: 9:30 pm - Dusk
Location: 82 Aloha Lane in Sunrise Beach
View by water at the 34.5 MM
Parking is limited; Arrive early.
Call for details: 573-374-5852

Boogie on the Barge
Date: Friday, July 3rd
Time: 9:45 pm - Dusk
Location: View by water at the 42.6 MM

City of Linn Creek
Date: Friday, July 3rd
Time: Dusk
Location: LOSA Soccer Fields
Call for details: 573-346-6200

Bear Bottom Resort
Date: Saturday, July 4th
Time: 9:45 pm
Location: 123 Bear Bottom Drive in Sunrise Beach
View by Water at the 38MM, Osage Arm
Parking is limited; Arrive early.
Call for details: 573-374-6905

The Lodge of Four Seasons
Date: Saturday, July 4th
Time: Fireworks display begins at Dusk
Location: 315 Four Seasons Drive in Lake Ozark
View by water at the 13 Mile Marker
Call for details: 573-365-3000

Margaritaville Lake Resort
Date: Saturday, July 4th
Time: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm, Fireworks at Dusk
Location: 494 Tan Tar A Drive in Osage Beach
Viewing by land on the Margaritaville property reserved for resort guests only.
View by water at the 26 Mile Marker
Call for details: 573-348-3131

Date: Saturday, July 4th
Time: 9:15 pm
Location: 1584 Susan Road, Lake Ozark, MO
View by water at the 2 Mile Marker
Call for details: 573-365-2081

City of Eldon Celebration
Date: Saturday, July 4th
Firecracker 5K Fun Run/Walk: 7:30 am
Aquatic Center Half Price Swim: 12 – 4 pm
Air Park Food Truck Village: 4 – 11 pm
Petting Zoo; Pony/Unicorn Rides: 4 – 6 pm
Patriotic Pet Contest: 6 pm
Art & Craft Vendors; Facepainting: 4 – 8 pm
Bounce House: 4 – 9 pm
Air Park Concert (PURE DRIVE): 7 – 9 pm
Fireworks Begin at Dusk; 9:30 – 10:30 pm
Phone: 573-392-2291

Playin Hooky Fireworks Cruise
Date: Saturday, July 4th
Time: 8:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Location: Mystic Marina & Resort in Gravois Mills
Reservation Required
Call for details: 573-434-2627

July Events at Lake of the Ozarks

Jul 03, 2020
Hours of Operation: 5 pm
Lake of the Ozarks Harley-Davidson
6482 Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach MO 65065

Jul 04, 2020 - Jul 05, 2020
Hours of Operation: 5:45 pm | 7:15 pm | 8:45 pm
Stark Caverns
125 Cave Drive
Eldon MO 65026
Phone: 573-723-1547

Jul 04, 2020
Hours of Operation: Pits Open at 3 PM, Grandstands Open at 5 PM, Hotlaps Start at 6:30 PM, and Racing to follow at 7 PM.
Lake Ozark Speedway
50 Twiggy Lane
Eldon MO 65026
Phone: 573-418-0565

Jul 05, 2020
Hours of Operation: 12 pm - 11 pm
Hippopotamus Swim Up Bar at Regalia Hotel
250 Racquet Club Dr
Lake Ozark MO 65049

Jul 10, 2020
Hours of Operation: 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Bagnell Dam Strip
1 Bagnell Dam Blvd
Lake Ozark MO 65049

Jul 11, 2020
Hours of Operation: 8:30 am
Whistle Bridge to Ha Ha Tonka
1491 Missouri D
Camdenton MO 65020

Jul 11, 2020
Hours of Operation: 8:30 am
Lower Spring Trail Parking Lot, Ha Ha Tonka State Park
1491 Missouri D
Camdenton MO 65020

Jul 11, 2020
Hours of Operation: 8 am
Surdyke's Port 20
5395 Spruce Lane
Osage Beach MO 65065

Jul 12, 2020
Hours of Operation: 1:00 pm Shotgun Start
Indian Rock Golf Club
100 Indian Lake Ave
Laurie Missouri 65037
Phone: 573-374-5500

Jul 18, 2020 - Jul 19, 2020
Dog Days Bar and Grill
1232 Jeffries Road
Osage Beach MO 65065

Jul 18, 2020
Hours of Operation: 6 pm
Camden County Museum
206 S Locust
Linn Creek MO 65052

Jul 21, 2020
Hours of Operation: 11 am
Shawnee Bluff Winery
2430 Bagnell Dam Blvd.
Lake Ozark MO 65049

Love Lake of the Ozarks?

If you enjoy your time with us through the month of July and realize that this is the place for you - Team Lasson is ready to help! We provide mortgages for those looking to buy a home at Lake of the Ozarks or anywhere around the country and we would love to work with you. Visit our website (www.YourLakeLoan.com) to learn more about our Lake of the Ozarks mortgage company and how we can serve you. You can also submit an application on our site and get the process started!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 




Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065






**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Are Vacation Homes a Good Investment?

If you haven’t been thinking about a second home or an investment property yet, this year has been bringing it to everyone’s attention. This brings a big question to the forefront, though, are vacation homes a good investment? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons a vacation home can be a great investment and a few things you will want to be aware of as you start to make these big decisions.

Investment Property vs. Vacation Property

One of the first things you need to figure out when deciding if a vacation home is a good investment is how the property will be used. An easy way to think about it is that a vacation property will primarily be used for your enjoyment. You can still rent it out occasionally should you want to, but there is a limit on how many nights it can be rented before it becomes an investment property. Investment properties are purchased with the intent to make money. You may still vacation in your investment property, but its primary function will be to provide a place for others to stay and for you to earn an income.

Once you decide what your intention with the vacation property at Lake of the Ozarks will be, you can now start to look at the advantages versus realistic expectations.

The Advantages of Owning a Vacation Home

If you have been to Lake of the Ozarks several times, you realize quickly what an amazing place it is, which may spark your interest in owning a vacation home here. Here are a few perks that come from owning a vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks!

You can write off a lot of your expenses - The specifics of what can be written off need to be discussed with your accountant or tax professional, but there are several items such as mortgage interest, mortgage insurance, depreciation, etc.)

You can make an extra income - if you use this property as an investment property, you can take advantage of the additional revenue stream that it can bring. This will depend on the time of year and location, obviously, but it can certainly be a lucrative step if you play your cards right.

You have a ready-made vacation destination - if you love vacationing at Lake of the Ozarks, it could be a really easy decision for you to get a vacation home here. You will easily have your own getaway spot, whether that is for personal vacations or as a place to host parties, friends, a family reunion, and more.

You have a potential retirement home - this is also a common reason and advantage to buying a home in a vacation destination. Not only will you have a nice little nest egg, but you will also have a place to retire to if you so wish. Vacation homes are considered a great long-term wealth investment, and even if you decided to sell the home later and use the cash to cover your retirement plans, you would be winning.

Realities to Be Aware Of

Obviously, with any new endeavor, there will be aspects of it that require more effort or could put you out a bit. Owning a second home, whether a vacation home or an investment property is going to require some additional time and resources from you - and you can’t determine that this is going to be a good investment without being aware of them.

Property management - One thing to consider when purchasing a second home, especially an investment property, is who will manage it. Either you will be making trips to the Lake after every guest to clean up and fix repairs, or you can hire a short-term rental property manager to care for your place. The average charge for a short-term rental property company is 15-40% which can eat through your extra income pretty quick.

You will have to find your own clients - unless, as mentioned above, you go through a property manager, you will have to market your vacation rental strategically on your own. This can include listing your home on the most popular platforms, making it look beautiful through staging, and even running occasional discounts.

You will need to afford the additional mortgage - it is said that if you can’t afford to pay the mortgage without the renters, you may not be ready for the investment. Having an additional mortgage on a Lake of the Ozarks home is going to be an additional responsibility. Not to mention all of the other costs and fees that are tied into owning an additional home.

Ready to Invest?

Whether you are aiming to make a good investment financially or emotionally - owning a vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks can be an awesome next step in your life. 2020 has been THE year for interest rates and home loans, so if you’ve been pondering the purchase, this is the year to make that investment and lock down an amazing rate.

If you still aren’t sure whether a vacation home is the right investment for you, it is said that 11% of the mega-wealthy consider real estate to be one of the top ways they made their fortunes. In fact, of all of the ways these ultra-rich individuals made their fortunes, real estate outpaced everything else 3 to 1. If you’re ready to make the investment, Team Lasson is ready to assist! Visit our website to submit an application and we will be in contact with you soon to get your pre-approval rolling.

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 




Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065






**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

How Much Vacation Home Can I Afford?

When purchasing a vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks, one of the first questions to ask yourself is how much can you afford to put into a second home. You already have a pretty good idea of the costs involved with your current home, but it’s important to not just look at the monthly mortgage payment. In addition to a monthly mortgage payment, you will also need to figure out the upfront home buying costs, the closing costs, and the regular homeownership expenses. Here is a quick overview of costs that come up through the start of your mortgage and how to prepare for these when you are purchasing your second home at Lake of the Ozarks.


Upfront Buying Costs

Your monthly mortgage payment is only one piece of the puzzle when you are figuring out how much you can afford to pay for a vacation home. A few of these are going to be the Inspection and Appraisal fees, the earnest money, and the down payment.

Earnest Money - this is your initial deposit on your home. It can be beneficial because if your offer is accepted, it can put weight behind your purchase. Also, if your offer is one of many bids, the earnest money put down could give you some advantages with the seller’s decision.

Down Payment - generally, the more you pay down, the better your mortgage rate can be. A 20% down payment is ideal, but down payments can be higher or lower than that depending on the loan program you qualify for and how much you have saved for the down payment.

Closing Costs

A good rule of thumb is that your final closing costs will typically range from 2-4% of the total loan amount. Here is a quick overview of what can be included in closing costs - depending on many factors:

  • Mortgage Origination Fees
  • Attorney's Fees
  • Inspections and Surveys
  • Title Insurance and Title Search
  • Recording Fees
  • Appraisal Fees

Expenses Associated with Homeownership

There can be many additional costs included with owning a home, some are obvious, some may get forgotten while you are working through your budget. It’s important to be informed on all of the costs of homeownership before committing, so let’s take a look at some of these:
  • Mortgage Insurance
  • Home Owner’s Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Repairs
  • Property Taxes
  • Home Owner Association Dues

Now is the Time to Buy

2020 has been a great year for both buying a home or refinancing your current real estate. If you have been thinking about buying a home, but you need to know how much you can afford to spend on one, let Team Lasson help! Visit our website, fill out an application, and we can get a preapproval ready for you. This will give you a good idea about how much you can afford to spend on a home. We look forward to assisting you through this exciting process and can’t wait to help you get the keys to your new vacation home through our mortgage services at Lake of the Ozarks.

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 




Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065

Direct: (573) 746-7211





**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.