Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Tax Tips For Homeowners

Tax season is here, and if you are a homeowner, this can be an important time of year! It’s always important to touch base with your tax professional when you have questions about your taxes, but if you need to know what questions to ask or what to start thinking about, here are a few tax tips to keep in mind in as you get ready.


Start Looking Back and Planning Ahead

It’s time to start thinking about last year’s tax season in preparation for this year. You can dig out your 2018 tax return if you would like to review the detailed information of what you collected last year. There are things you will need to collect again this year regarding itemized deductions, business use of home or car and equipment depreciation. If you have questions about this, you can schedule an appointment with your tax professional or visit: https://www.irs.gov/.

Get Organized

Receipts, invoices, canceled checks, online bill pay or automatic deduction logs, mileage logs and other documents are needed to substantiate deductions. If applicable, you'll need to gather documentation for the following:

  • Charitable Gifts
  • Equipment Purchases
  • Memberships to Professional and Trade Organizations
  • Mileage for Business
  • Mileage for Volunteering
  • Office Supplies
  • Phone and Data Bills
  • Subscriptions to Professional and Trade Publications
  • Utility Bills (for Business Use of Home)


Start organizing your paperwork now so that when you need something specific you can find it.

Start Thinking Ahead for Next Year

If this year has you feeling frenzied, you can start an organization method to make next year easier. Start by creating a meaningful and easy-to-follow record system. Having one place to keep your documents can make it so much easier. Of course, that’s the easy part - the hard part is dutifully putting invoices, receipts, and other documentation in there as it comes in. You can utilize a file folder or box to make them easily accessible. Another option is to make use of electronic scanning and storage to help keep things in an easy to find location - but it could be a bit more time consuming if you don’t have a plan in place.

The Basics: Tax Benefits of Home Ownership In 2020

There are tax benefits available for people who buy or sell a home - and it can make it a great financial decision. There are various tax benefits put in place by the government to encourage consumers to purchase homes, which means that buying could be a great choice for you this year. There are two big areas where homeownership can really save money:

Interest Expense: Did you know that homeowners can deduct interest expenses on up to $750,000 of mortgage debt from their income taxes? Keep in mind that when you itemize these deductions, you forgo other deductions available - if you need the specifics, you can speak with your financial advisor or visit www.MortgageCalculator.org

Capital Appreciation: While the home increases in value during ownership, these gains are not taxed at the federal level. This means that homeowners can utilize exclusions in home appreciation when figuring capital gains.


Ready to Buy a Home in 2020?

If a plan for 2020 was to buy a vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks, this is where Team Lasson can help. We have been assisting homeowners for over 20 years, and we are proud to help homeowners at the Lake of the Ozarks make their purchase. Whether you are planning to buy a vacation home or a primary residence, we would like to help you get started. Visit our website to learn more about our company as well as fill out the application! 2020 is going to be a great year to make your real estate dreams come true, and Team Lasson is looking forward to helping!

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.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

2020 Mortgage Considerations

2019 was a great year for buying a home, but if you weren’t able to make your purchase, all hope is NOT lost! 2020 is continuing on with the great interest rates, and awesome reasons to buy a home at the Lake of the Ozarks. Team Lasson wants to help you get your vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks purchased and ready for you to enjoy as soon as possible, so here are a few things to keep in mind about mortgages in 2020, we think it’s pretty exciting!


Rates Are Still Low

If you were watching rates in 2019, you know that they were amazing. The good news is that rates are continuing to stay around the same low levels. There is no way to really predict exactly what the rates will do throughout the year, the only thing you can be sure of is what they are today and what you do about it.

The Home Search Could Be Hard

Realtor.com is predicting that in 2020, home inventory could reach a historic low as a steady flow of demand, especially for entry-level homes. If you’ve been considering purchasing a home at the Lake, NOW is the time to get started. Start by visiting our website at www.yourlakeloan.com and applying for your pre-approval, then find your real estate agent and start looking for your dream property. If there is going to be a shortage of homes and condominiums on the market this year, getting started early could be a huge advantage.

Get Prepared

The first and best thing you can do is to start getting prepared. This can include tracking your spending, saving up for the down payment, improving/maintaining your credit score, and getting pre-approved with Team Lasson. Start gathering documents like your tax returns, paychecks stubs, bank and asset statements, and W-2 information. If you want more information about preparing financially for your real estate purchase at the Lake of the Ozarks, you can check out our blog: New Year’s Resolutions that Help with Homebuying.


Now is a Great Time to Purchase

Mortgage rates have been at historic lows which makes it a great time to buy real estate. Team Lasson has enjoyed helping many homebuyers become homeowners over the past few months, and there’s still time to make that happen for you. If you have been hoping to buy a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, this really is a great season for it. With rates looking good, and a few more months before Summer starts, you can have the vacation home of your dreams just in time!

Visit our website (www.YourLakeLoan.com) to learn more about our business, as well as submit your application. We look forward to working with you!

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.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

New Year’s Resolutions that Help with Homebuying

2020 is here, and if you have been considering purchasing a new home at the Lake of the Ozarks we would love to assist. As people finalize their resolutions, set goals, and think about what they want to achieve in 2020, this is a great time to start planning for your vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for, start, walkthrough, and finish the mortgage process!


1. Evaluate Your Finances

If you considering a real estate purchase in 2020, the very first step is to take a look at your finances and start working with your mortgage lender at the Lake of the Ozarks. Take a look at what you earn, your expenses, and how much you have in savings. This can help you determine whether you are ready to buy a home or what you need to do to be ready.

2. Be Smart With Credit

Your credit score will be key when determining your interest rate. Taking the appropriate steps to improve your credit can make a huge difference when it comes to buying a home. Set up a meeting with your mortgage lender to discuss the different steps you can take to help with your credit score.

3. Keep Your Goal in Sight

Once you have evaluated your finances, you can see where there is room for improvement, or get the green light to pursue your purchase. If you are saving money for your downpayment, you can start by reducing optional expenses at the start of the year, and set up a monthly automatic deposit into your savings account.

4. Start the Pre-Approval Process

Even before starting the house-hunting process, the most important thing you can do is secure your pre-approval letter from your Lake of the Ozarks lender. The information in the application will allow us to determine the maximum amount you are qualified to borrow for a home loan. When you have your pre-approval letter prior to looking for a property, it can make the process smoother, faster, and it can be very helpful in competitive markets.

5. Organize Your Paperwork

There can be a lot of paperwork involved when buying a home, so it’s important to get organized as early as possible. When you are applying for your home loan, you’ll want to have copies of your tax returns, paycheck stubs, bank and asset statements and W-2 information. There may be additional documents that you will need, so having a system for organizing your paperwork can be key.

6. Build a Team You Trust

When you are purchasing a home, the team that you count on to help you through the process can make all of the difference. You can count on Team Lasson to help you navigate the home buying process! Our team has over 20 years of experience helping individuals purchase the home of their dreams, and we look forward to helping you through the process.


2020 Is Your Year!

Owning a home at the Lake of the Ozarks is a dream come true for so many homebuyers! If you have been thinking about making an investment in a vacation home, there is no time like the present! In fact, now is one of the best times to purchase a home! The market has been great for our homebuyers and we want you to be one of them. Visit our website to learn more about our mortgage company at the Lake of the Ozarks, and you can also fill out your pre-approval application as well (www.YourLakeLoan.com). Happy New Year from Team Lasson! We look forward to working with you this year!

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.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

5 Reasons to Buy a Lake Home

Owning a home at the Lake of the Ozarks is both a great way to have some fun vacations, as well as a wonderful investment. Now is a great time to purchase a Lake of the Ozarks home, and Team Lasson is here to help! If you're still on the fence about taking this next step, here are five reasons you should buy a home at the Lake of the Ozarks!


Outdoor Recreation

This is one of the biggest draws for people wanting to live at the Lake of the Ozarks. The Lake provides entertainment both on and off the water, but especially on the water. With hundreds of homes lining the shores of our lake, and with docks attached to those properties, you can quickly see what people love about our area! Of course, it’s not all just water-related activities that keep people’s interest while they stay here. Hiking, horseback riding, golfing, local events, camping, hunting, and more are additional draws as our beautiful Ozark hills provide a place to enjoy the great outdoors. On the water, cruising, coving, fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding are just a few of the ways people enjoy the water at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Relaxing Environment

There’s nothing quite like waking up on a beautiful summer weekend, fixing your favorite breakfast and beverages, and enjoying the atmosphere from your beautiful lakefront deck or watching the sunrise over the Ozark hills, listening to the birds chirping, watching deer graze down the hill, and listening to the squirrels twittering on the branches above are some of the beautiful relaxing ways to enjoy your home at the Lake of the Ozarks. Others may find social activities more relaxing, which could involve getting the boat out and hopping from one lakefront restaurant to the next, coving out with friends, and enjoying some fun in the sun. Still, others may enjoy a day out on the golf course and wrapping up the day with a few drinks at your favorite local spot. The ways to enjoy and relax at the Lake of the Ozarks are endless, which is why it’s such a popular vacation destination, and why SO many people want to own a home at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Privacy

The Lake of the Ozarks is home to celebrities, wealthy business people, and more - but you may not even know because this area is the perfect place for some privacy! Of course, others come down and enjoy a little fan appreciation, so you’ll see photos crop up occasionally, but for those seeking out a private lifestyle that is still filled with a vacation atmosphere and a hometown feel - the Lake of the Ozarks can meet those needs. If you’re looking for discretion in a home purchase at the Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson is here to assist.

Wildlife

We mentioned it above, but one beautiful reason to purchase a home at the Lake of the Ozarks is to get just a little closer to nature. The wildlife around here is majestic and perfectly at home in their Ozark hills. From whitetail deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, fish, and turtles, there are many ways to enjoy these creatures in their natural habitat. Whether this is from quietly immersing yourself in their world from your back deck to heading over to one of our two state parks to enjoy a hike and take in the scenery.

Entertaining

The Lake area offers many forms of entertainment! We have several venues that bring in TOP-NOTCH performers to the area. If you enjoy a good concert, we have several options for you, and if you want to enjoy a meal at the same time, many of our local restaurants bring in artists to perform as well.

Of course, this could also mean entertaining guests - which is another reason to purchase a home at the Lake. It’s the perfect place to bring friends or family for a weekend away, some time to catch up, and fun activities that you wouldn’t get to enjoy elsewhere.


Ready to Buy a Lake of the Ozarks Home?

Team Lasson is ready to help you purchase your home at the Lake of the Ozarks! If you’ve been dreaming about a lakefront home at the Lake of the Ozarks, this is an excellent time to purchase. Team Lasson has been helping homeowners for over 20 years secure their dream homes, and we want you to be the next. Visit our website to submit your application, we look forward to working with you!

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.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

3 Tips for Purchasing a Home During Winter

At the Lake of the Ozarks, our market booms during the Summer months. The real estate market is hopping and there is never a weekend without something fun happening. If you are planning on buying a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, Summer may have a big appeal, but there are also some huge advantages to making your purchase in the Winter. Here are a few tips to remember as you begin searching for your dream vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks, even during the Winter months.


There Can Be Plenty of Homes to Choose From

The fact is, competition for real estate is not as hectic during the winter months; this is true for many areas around the US and is applicable for the Lake of the Ozarks as well. This is partly because many homeowners don’t want to uproot their families during the school year. For others, moving in the Winter weather doesn’t sound appealing.

An interesting study showed that May, June, July, and August make up 40% of existing home sales, while January and February account for just less than 6%. This probably isn’t great news for those selling their homes, but it is wonderful news for those who are purchasing!

You Could Find a Great Price

Having less competition for the home of your dreams, means that you may even get a better deal. In many cases, if someone is selling their home in the Winter, it’s because they are motivated.

Perform the Winter Test

Out of all of the seasons, Winter is going to put significant stress on a home. This provides the perfect opportunity for you to evaluate the home under harder conditions. Things you can look for include:

  • Drafty windows
  • Weak insulation
  • Check the furnace
  • Driveway shoveling difficulty
  • Ice dams on the roof
  • Winter curb appeal


Purchasing a Lake of the Ozarks Home

If you are considering purchasing a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, it’s a great time to jump in. The first step is going to include getting your pre-approval from a mortgage lender at the Lake of the Ozarks. After we complete this process for you, you’ll know how much you can afford, and you can hit the real estate market with a distinct perspective on what price range you need to stay in.

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.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Types of Mortgages to Consider - Part 2

There are many different considerations that you will have when purchasing a home at the Lake of the Ozarks. From fixed to adjustable interest rates and even the mortgage terms, these decisions don’t just become easier because you have purchased a home already. Whether this is your first home or vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks, we have some more details to share about the types of mortgages available. If you haven’t seen part 1, you can check it out here: Types of Mortgages to Consider - Part 1.


Conventional vs. Unconventional Mortgages

Essentially, a conventional loan is a deal between you and your lender that will meet Fannie Mae’s underwriting guidelines. An unconventional loan breaks those guidelines and can include government-insured programs like FHA, VA, or USDA.

Conventional Loans

Pros can show up when you calculate interest rates and fees, your total cost is lower than an unconventional loan. Cons could be that the unconventional loans are backed by the government, so lenders may require a higher down payment on conventional loans. You will also have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) if your down payment is less than 20%.

FHA Loans

Pros can include that you can get a mortgage with as little as a 3.5% down payment. However, cons can mean that you are required to pay a mortgage insurance premium (MIP), which is similar to a PMI - except that it must be paid for the life of the loan.

VA Loans

With the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, it allows military veterans to buy a home with virtually no down payment or mortgage insurance. However, when you purchase a home with zero money down, and things change in the housing market, you may end up owing more than the market value of your home. VA loans also come with a funding fee, which can range anywhere from 00% to 3.3%. This will depend on your military status, down payment amount, and even whether it’s your first time financing a home.

USDA

The pros for a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan program are that it’s managed by the Rural Housing Service (RHS), and is great for people living in rural areas who also show a financial need. This loan can allow many to buy a home with no down payment. Cons include that there are additional fees associated with this loan program and some stricter inspection requirements.


Conforming vs. Non-Conforming Mortgages

Your mortgage will be either a conforming or non-conforming, based on how much money a lender will give you. A conforming loan will meet the standard underwriting guidelines for a specific mortgage program, while a non-conforming loan would exceed the size limits established by lender guidelines.

Conforming Loans

Pros would be that you’ll pay a lower interest rate compared to non-conforming loans. However, the cons can include buying a lower priced home to stay in the conforming loan amount range.

Jumbo Loans (Non-Conforming)

The pros of this type of loan are that they exceed the loan amount limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which means you can get a higher-priced home. However, the cons are that they require excellent credit and larger down payments, and they have higher interest rates than conforming loans.

Reverse Mortgages

With most mortgages, the longer you own your home, the more of your home you own. There is a different mortgage, and that’s a reverse mortgage.

Pros of this type of mortgage are that senior homeowners can supplement their limited income by borrowing against their home equity. They can then receive tax-free, monthly payments or a lump sum from the lender.

Cons for this type of mortgage are that you sell off your equity for cash. With a traditional mortgage, the amount you borrow and have to repay goes down over the life of the loan, but with a reverse mortgage, the amount you actually own goes down as your interest accumulates.

Lake of the Ozarks Home Loan

Team Lasson looks forward to helping you buy the home of your dreams at the Lake. From a primary residence to a vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks, we have done it all. Now is proving to be an AMAZING time to lock in your interest rate and get your mortgage or refinance finished up. If you have questions about this, we would love to chat with you! Start by visiting our website (www.YourLakeLoan.com) and filling out the application - we look forward to helping you buy the home of your dreams!


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.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Factors That Influence Interest Rates

Interest rates have been doing some amazing things over the last few months! Team Lasson has been assisting many in securing a home loan at the Lake of the Ozarks, and if you’ve been considering buying a home, there are many reasons why NOW is the time to get started! However, several factors can influence the interest rates above and beyond what is considered “standard.” Here are a few things to keep in mind as you move forward on your hunt for a vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks.


Credit Score

Your credit score is going to be one of the best indicators of how reliable you will be in paying off your loan. It will take into account your payment history, amounts owed, types and length of credit, and new credit inquiries. A good rule of thumb is that the higher the credit score, the better rate you’ll qualify for.

The Downpayment Amount

The larger the amount you choose to pay upfront on your home will not only decrease the amount of the loan but can also help you get a better interest rate. Mortgage lenders at the Lake of the Ozarks see less of a risk when you're more invested in the property.

The Type of Property

The type of property you're purchasing will also have an effect on the interest rates you're offered. A condominium unit or investment property will sometimes have a higher interest rate than a single family residence or primary/second home will.

The Loan Type & Term

Rates can vary depending on the type of loan that you choose, such as Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, etc. Also, the term of your loan can impact the rate. While 30-year mortgages are the most typical, choosing a 15-year mortgage could get you a lower rate. This would also lower your overall costs, but you would be making higher monthly payments.

Loan Amount & Home Price

The price of the home minus the amount of your down payment will determine the loan amount or the amount you will need to borrow. Typically, your rate will be higher if you're taking out a particularly small or a particularly high loan.

The Interest Rate Type

There are two basic types of interest rates: fixed and adjustable. Fixed rates never change throughout the life of the loan. Adjustable rates will start at a fixed rate for some time and then can increase or decrease depending on the market. You can typically get a better initial rate on adjustable-rate mortgages, however, you then risk the chance of it increasing significantly over the life of the loan.


Ready to Buy a Home?

Team Lasson is here to help with all of your mortgage needs. From buying a primary residence to a second home at the Lake of the Ozarks, we would consider it an honor to walk through the process with you. Now has proven to be an excellent time to buy a home, so if you’ve had a lakefront home at the Lake of the Ozarks on your bucket list NOW is the time to get started! Visit our website (www.YourLakeLoan.com) to submit your application - we look forward to assisting you!

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.