Friday, January 22, 2021

A Few Home Improvements That Can Help Sell Your Home

When it comes to listing your home on the market to sell, there's a good chance that you'll have a rather large to-do list. When preparing your home for sale (and purchasing another) it's important to ensure that you perform regular maintenance as needed to help it sell. Studies show that homes sell faster and at a higher price when they look fresh and well kept. As the best mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson understands the wants of the buyer and sellers in these types of situations. So, we're here today to give you a few relatively easy tasks that can enhance the selling experience of your Lake home.

A Fresh Coat of Paint/Stain

Over the years a home's paint can become faded, nicked, scuffed and more. By restoring them to their glory with a fresh coat of paint or stain you can really impact the visual appeal of your home. Consider redoing the cabinets, walls, decks/patios for the best, blended results. Many people love the idea of a turnkey home and doing these simple and cost-effective renovations can really go a long way in drawing their attention and making them feel good about the home.

Updated Light Fixtures

Since you've now got a fresh coat of paint/stain throughout the home, showcase it with some great lighting fixtures! Having old and outdated lighting can really spotlight the years on your home. You'll want to ensure that you have clear, bright lights that highlight the great features around your home and make it feel vibrant and inviting. Here are a few styles of lighting fixtures to consider:

  • Mid-century modern
  • Vintage Edison-style bulbs
  • Soft gold finishing's
  • Large shades
  • Retro & industrial 


Curb appeal is essential when selling in today's home market. While adding a roof may not be within your immediate budget for sale, a little landscaping can go a long way to enhance the appearance of your home from the road. Plus, it will make the photos of your home even more enticing, making potential buyers stop and want to check out your home. Consider mulching flowerbeds, adding rock or stones, trimming shrubs, and ensuring that the yard is well manicured. 

Updated Flooring

Flooring gets a lot of wear and tear over the years. Replacing your flooring can be a great way to finish out your home renovations. It will go great with the fresh paint/stain and the new lighting will really make it shine. The labor required in this also gives you the opportunity to really identify any other maintenances that may be beneficial such as trim, baseboards, etc.

These typically inexpensive upgrades can be a great way to instantly increase the appearance of your home and therefore its appeal to potential buyers. So, now that you're more prepared to sell your current home, it's time to consider where you'll be living next - if you haven't already. Team Lasson is ready to help you finance your next home purchase with a mortgage at Lake of the Ozarks. There are many beautiful lake homes to choose from, and with the best mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks backing you, you can't lose! Contact us today to see how we can help make your dreams of owning a lake home a reality!

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.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

5 Considerations When Buying a Vacation Home at Lake of the Ozarks

While you dream of the warm Summer months on the distant horizon, you'll want to begin making preparations for your Summer vacation at Lake of the Ozarks. The resorts are immaculate, and Lake of the Ozarks hospitality is second-to-none. However, have you considered owning your own vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks? It may be more attainable than you think, and Team Lasson is here to help you every step of the way. Continue reading our blog for 5 things to consider when buying a vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks.

Plan Around Your Vacation Style

One of the first things to keep in mind is what kind of vacation you'd enjoy having the most. An energetic, on-the-move atmosphere, one more private and secluded or something in-between? The great thing about the Lake is that you can have it all. From cabins and ranch-style retreats with acreage to million-dollar lakefront homes with docks and cruisers. Lake of the Ozarks can be anything you make of it!

Your Lake Location

After you decide what type of vacation you'll be having at Lake of the Ozarks, you'll want to check out several of the cities around the Lake. All offer different advantages depending on what your priorities are. Here are a few of the cities around the Lake for you to choose from:

  • Lake Ozark
  • Osage Beach
  • Camdenton
  • Sunrise Beach
  • Gravois Mills
  • Laurie
  • Eldon
  • Versailles

Think of the Amenities

There are many Homeowners Associations around Lake of the Ozarks that offer amenities to make your time in the community more relaxing and enjoyable. From pools, gyms, and playgrounds to country club memberships, spas, and signature golf courses. Some of the amenities even include maintenance as an added or low-cost benefit. Amenities like this are great for vacation homes, so be sure to check them out when looking in each community.

Floor Plans & Room Sizes

This will depend a lot on the type of vacation you're planning on having. Will it be a private getaway as a couple or an elaborate hangout for friends and family? When house shopping, try to envision just how your vacationing lifestyle is going to play out in the home. This will have an impact on the style, size, and location of the home you want to buy.

Yard Functionality

Don't forget to keep the functionality of your yard in mind. You'll want to be sure that it fits with your vacation style as well. If you have any large future plans for the grounds, such as an in-ground pool. You'll need to consider that up front when looking for the perfect vacation home as expanding or changing these features later can take time.

If you've been vacationing here for years and are interested in buying a vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks, we'd love to help! Contact us today to get started getting pre-qualified for your mortgage at Lake of the Ozarks. Having this letter in hand will allow you to shop with confidence, plus it can give you an advantage when it comes to negotiations and being taken seriously as a buyer. Have any additional questions? Give us a call! Team Lasson is always here to help!

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, January 7, 2021

Expert Advice for First-time Home Buyers

When it comes to buying your first home at Lake of the Ozarks, you likely won't be in a position to do it with cash this time around. Therefore, you're going to need to secure a mortgage loan in order to make that first home purchase. Obtaining your first mortgage is exciting, but it can also come with its fair share of challenges if you're not prepared. As such, the best mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson is here with a little expert advice to help set you up for success.

Manage Debts Diligently

Efficiently handling your debts by making continued payments over the years or paying down a lump sum of debt can help keep your debt-to-income ratio low. Your lender will be looking at this ratio during the mortgage qualification process to determine qualifying ability. Ensuring you're handling debts such as student loans, car payments, credit cards, etc., will help you maintain a lower debt-to-income ratio.

Practice Good Credit Habits

Your credit score is a large determining factor in your mortgage qualification process. When you miss payments on debt obligations that you owe, you're negatively impacting your credit score. A good practice for maintaining good credit is to create a ledger for monthly debt obligations and ensure that they are met each month. This will allow you to qualify for better mortgage loan programs and rates.

Consider Refinancing/Consolidating Student Loans

One loan that may be near impossible to pay off before you're ready to purchase your first home comes from student loans. These large balances and payments combined with the commonly lower income of first-time homebuyers/fresh college graduates make it difficult to manage in a short amount of time. Refinancing or consolidating your student loans can be an effective way to reduce the payment amount, thus lowering your debt-to-income ratio. However, you'll have to decide whether you want to extend the length of time you're paying those debts vs. securing a mortgage loan.

Keep Good Records

There is a lot of documentation required during the mortgage loan process. So, keeping solid records of your financials such as tax returns, bank statements, brokerage accounts can help give you an advantage when it comes to document collection. You'll also find the documents useful when you're first meeting with your mortgage lender - and they'll be thankful you have them upfront too!

Save Cash for Upfront Costs

While there are loan options to finance a vast majority of a home purchase, you will still be liable to cover closing costs and applicable down payment at the closing table to finalize your mortgage loan. Closing costs can include but are not limited to, appraisals, home inspections, surveys, county/state transfer taxes, property taxes, and even homeowner's insurance premiums. So, while you're making that expense ledger for your debt obligations, be sure to allocate a little money aside to help save for these costs.

As a first-time homebuyer, you'll likely have many questions about the mortgage process. As your premier mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson is here to assist you with your home financing needs. We will work with you every step of the way to get you the best financing options to suit your home buying need. So, if you're considering buying your first home at Lake of the Ozarks, we would be happy to provide you the first-class service you deserve!

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.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

4 Home Buying Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Buying a home is an exciting endeavor, especially when you're buying a home at Lake of the Ozarks! However, amongst all the excitement to find and close on that new home, it's important to remain diligent to avoid common home buying mistakes. In this week's blog, your premier mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks is here to share a few of these common mishaps and how you can avoid them. Read on to learn more!

#1. Underestimating the Cost of Homeownership

The first and one of the largest errors many new home buyers make is underestimating the true cost of owning a home. When you pay your landlord rent, it could be including other fees that come from responsibilities the landlord also takes care of regarding the property. Responsibilities such as homeowner's insurance, real estate taxes, the cost of home maintenance and repairs, etc. When estimating your budget for homeownership, be thorough. Account for all required obligations, as well as building a reserve for the unknown factors of owning a home.

#2. Emptying Reserve Accounts

These accounts are relative to error number one, those unforeseen costs for repairs and maintenance are going to require some cash on hand. So, ensuring that you're not buying a home that is too costly, thus depleting your cash reserves, is an important step in the home buying process. While you may be able to afford the down payment and closing costs with your savings, leave a little bit left stored away for the inevitable "rainy day." 

#3. Not Utilizing Local Real Estate Agents

Know the area that you are buying in, or at least familiarize yourself with it. That is easier said than done when you try to tackle the challenge yourself. However, utilizing a local real estate agent can provide you with valuable insights into the neighborhoods your shopping in, as well as being an essential partner in finding, negotiating, and recommending other professionals throughout the home buying process. 

#4. Applying for Additional Credit During the Mortgage Process

Between the time you've applied for a mortgage loan, to the time that you close on your new home, it is vital that you refrain from applying for any new lines of credit. Doing so could potentially jeopardize the approval of your home loan at Lake of the Ozarks. Any adverse changes to your credit situation during the process could complicate your ability to obtain a mortgage or even disqualify you from obtaining one at all. So, leave the credit card, furniture, vehicle/boat loans on hold until after your closing. 

As the best mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson is here to help you every step of the way. It is my goal to ensure you have the utmost experience when financing a home at Lake of the Ozarks. I hope that you have found valuable information during your read, and if you have any mortgage questions, give me a call!

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.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

A New Home for the New Year!

 Now is the time of year when people make big changes for the year to come.  If you're looking to buy a home at Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson here is here to help! Whether you're interested in relocating into a new primary residence or capturing a vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks, our team of mortgage professionals would be happy to assist you with your home financing needs!

Mortgage Rates

2020 has been a phenomenal year for interest rates, hitting near record lows and remaining there. This means that you could potentially lock-in a stellar interest rate on the purchase of a new home! So, if you've been considering a new home for 2021, now's a great time to get pre-approved! 

Loan Options:

At First State Bank Mortgage, we provide a wide scope of mortgage products, offering both fixed and adjustable-rate products with varying terms. Here are some of the loan options we have available:

Conventional Loans

A conventional loan offers competitively priced rates on up to 97% of the value of the home. These rates are fixed over the term of the loan.

USDA Loans

Rural Housing loans are designed to make homeownership more affordable for borrowers in rural areas. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these programs are able to provide a qualified borrower with up to 100% financing with competitive rates and terms.

VA Loans

Qualified U.S. veterans can make use of this program, offering favorable terms, competitive interest rates, and without mortgage insurance premiums. A VA loan is a mortgage loan in the United States guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The program is for American veterans, military members currently serving in the U.S. military, reservists, and select surviving spouses and can be used to purchase single-family homes, condominiums, multi-unit properties, manufactured homes, and new construction. The VA does not originate loans but sets the rules for who may qualify, issues minimum guidelines and requirements under which mortgages may be offered, and financially guarantees loans that qualify under the program.

FHA Loans

This loan program offers low-down-payment options with competitive rates as well.FHA insured loans are a type of federal assistance. They have historically allowed lower-income Americans to borrow money to purchase a home that they would not otherwise be able to afford. Because this type of loan is more geared towards new house owners than real estate investors, FHA loans are different from conventional loans in the sense that the house must be owner-occupied for at least a year. Since loans with lower down-payments usually involve more risk to the lender, the home buyer must pay a two-part mortgage insurance that involves a one-time bulk payment and a monthly payment to compensate for the increased risk.

The Team That can Make it Happen!

Now that you know a little more about your options for financing a home at Lake of the Ozarks, we encourage you to reach out to Team Lasson with any mortgage inquiries! We're passionate about the Lake lifestyle and enjoy being able to share the experience with new neighbors. So, if you're interested in securing a mortgage at the Lake of the Ozarks, our Team is always here to help!

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.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Benefits of Buying a Home vs. Renting

 The long-standing question, "Is it better to buy a home or rent one?" We get asked this one quite often. While there is no definitive answer, as it depends on a variety of your situational factors, buying a home at Lake of the Ozarks certainly has its benefits. Team Lasson is here today to provide some insight into the benefits of homeownership that should be considered when deciding whether to buy or rent. Read on to learn more!

Building Equity

When you rent a home, you're essentially helping someone else pay their mortgage. However, when you own your own home, you are building equity. Owning your own home allows you the freedom to do as you please to the property, such as upgrades, remodels, and the like. You'll also be able to retain the value of these changes to the home over the years and even recoup some of the costs should you sell. The economic stability and equity established over the years are great benefits to own a home vs. renting, from a financial standpoint.

Tax Advantages

Homeownership also comes with some tax advantages. While things are ever-changing in the world of tax laws, there are substantial tax advantages to owning a home. Some advantages include deductions for property tax, mortgage interest, points, private mortgage insurance, and sale of the home. Yet another financially beneficial reason to own a home over renting.

Protection from Rising Rent

When you rent, you're always subject to rising rent, year after year. However, in some areas of the country, the cost of your monthly mortgage payment could be less than what you're paying in rent, even after taxes and insurance are added. When you purchase a home, you'll have the opportunity to lock in your interest rate, ensuring that your payment will not be changing through the life of the loan.

Low Fixed-Rate Mortgages

As mentioned above, low fixed-rate mortgages are available to qualified borrowers when they obtain a mortgage loan. Ensuring that you have a fixed rate allows you to have control over your budget and peace of mind knowing that your mortgage payments will not increase year after year.

We hope that you have found your read enjoyable and educational. If you've been on the fence about buying vs. renting, we encourage you to contact your premier mortgage professional at Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson. We offer a variety of homebuying programs that can assist first-time homebuyers in obtaining a mortgage, as well as other lower down payment programs for qualified borrowers. So, if you're ready to obtain a mortgage at Lake of the Ozarks, our team is readily available, just give us a call at (573) 746-7211 or visit our website We can't wait to help your dreams of homeownership become a reality!

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, December 11, 2020

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year… to Finance a Lake Home

The gift-giving season is in full swing, and what better gift to give yourself than a new home. There are many advantages to buying a home at Lake of the Ozarks this time of year. Tax incentives motivated sellers and low-interest rates are just a few of the advantages you'll find. So, if you're into the idea of obtaining a mortgage at Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson is ready to assist in any way possible. Read on to learn how we make this process as seamless and smooth as possible!

The Mortgage Process

The mortgage process can be a daunting task, even for experienced buyers. However, when you work with true mortgage professionals at Lake of the Ozarks, you will be carefully guided through the process. There are many steps involved in obtaining a mortgage, so we thought it fitting to shed a little light on each step. This way you know what to expect and what is going on at each stage of the game.


The interview stage is the initial step in the process. You will speak with your lender and discuss what you're looking for in a mortgage, discuss income and employment, assets/reserves, legal items, and property addresses (if applicable at the time). You'll be requested to fill out an application with said information, which can be completed on our website at Once the application has been completed, your file will move to the pre-qualification stage.


The pre-qualification stage involves verifying the information you submitted on your application with official documentation, such as pay stubs, tax returns, bank account/retirement statements. Your lender will pull a credit report to verify debts and various liabilities or risk factors to the loan. Once the analysis of the documentation and the loan has been prequalified, you'll move to the contract and ordering stage.

Sales Contract & Ordering

At this stage, the lender will typically ask for a copy of a signed sales contract and begin ordering title work, appraisal, and other third-party items needed for proper closing. You have the right as the buyer to choose your own title insurance and homeowners' insurance. At this step in the process, you will likely be awaiting reports from the third parties. Leaving this time open to collect other miscellaneous documents requested for the final underwriting stage.  


Throughout the process, you will be receiving loan disclosures. The loan estimates are non-binding documents for you to sign, acknowledging receipt and understanding of the loan terms. The closing disclosure will show what you can expect at the closing table with regard to fees related to your transaction and the final terms of your loan. The closing disclosures is required to be signed and received no less than 3 business days prior to closing.


Underwriting of the file will occur once proper required documentation has been received. As you submit the requested documentation and return the signed disclosures, the lender and their team will submit your file to an underwriter. The underwriter checks the loan file and documents to ensure that the loan is compliant with federal and state regulations, as well as being accurate. Once the underwriter approves the loan file submitted, you're ready for the closing table.


This is the stage we've all been waiting for, the BIG DAY. Here, you get to see the fruits of your labors as you sit down with your settlement agent, loan officer, and real estate agent to sign the final set of closing documents, funds are exchanged, and you are now a proud owner of a new home!

At Team Lasson, we understand the wants and needs of our clients. Therefore, we strive to educate and provide exceptional mortgage lending services at Lake of the Ozarks. We've had much success in our many years of mortgage lending, using our tried-and-true methods! We hope that, if you're in the market for a new home this holiday season, you'll consider using the best mortgage company at the Lake, Team Lasson.

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.