Wednesday, March 25, 2020

4 Reasons to Work with a Local Real Estate Agent

The home buying process is going to be filled with questions, concerns, complexities, and a really rewarding finish! If you have bought a home before, you may have experienced the work that is involved, but you also know the relief and excitement that comes from signing the mortgage paperwork, getting your keys, and walking through the front door of your new home. All of the challenges can be made so much easier when you have a team of experts behind you, which is why we suggest hiring a local real estate agent when purchasing a home at the Lake of the Ozarks. Team Lasson is here to help you navigate the mortgage process, but we have some incredible real estate partners at the Lake that can help you navigate your property search, which is why we have listed several reasons you should work with a local agent!


#1. They Know the Market

Choosing a local real estate agent can be a huge asset because they will be doing more than pulling data and looking at maps. They know about the local market and can answer your questions about locations, pricing, and home types. They can also tell you about what happens in the Lake of the Ozarks real estate market, and what has happened over the last several weeks, months, and even years.


#2. They Have the Network

Marketing plays a huge role in a real estate agent's career, but it also can be the make or break difference for your real estate transaction. Real estate agents make it a priority to network with other real estate agents, or with complimentary businesses, like our mortgage company at the Lake of the Ozarks. A local real estate agent will know who you can trust to get the job done when you encounter different situations during your purchasing process.

#3. They Know the Community

The Lake area is a wonderful community filled with exceptional people, businesses, and schools. By hiring a local real estate agent, you are not just fueling the local economy, but you are investing in an expert who can guide you to an area that fits your needs and wants based on their knowledge of the area.

#4. They Are Invested In You

Hiring a local agent to assist you with your real estate purchase is essentially like working with a neighbor. They are going to have a vested interest in your purchase because they are growing the community by helping you find a home here. That same neighborly attitude is going to be what causes them to help out in any way possible. We have many homebuyers at the Lake of the Ozarks who come from different cities and even different states. This means that local agents may need to get creative when it comes to helping with a home purchase, from video conferencing a walkthrough to utilizing digital signing methods so that your real estate purchase can continue progressing even when you are out of town.


We Are Ready to Welcome You!

Whether you are purchasing a vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks, planning to move to the lake area full time, or refinancing a home, Team Lasson is ready to help you with your mortgage needs. We have been helping home buyers for over 20 years, and we are proud to be a part of the Lake community. If you are ready to buy a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, there is still time to make your purchase before the exciting Summer season hits. You can visit our website to learn more about our company or to get started by submitting your application (www.YourLakeLoan.com). If you don’t have a real estate agent yet, feel free to reach out - we have some amazing agents in the area and would love to share a list of our real estate partners for you to research.

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.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Understanding Why Mortgage Rates Fluctuate

At this point, mortgages across the nation have everyone speculating. While we can’t predict what is going to happen over the next several weeks and months, we can take some time to explain mortgage rates. When you are applying for a mortgage at the Lake of the Ozarks, the first question that comes to mind is what rates are available to you. However, mortgage rates are ever-changing, so it’s important to know what makes them move up or down. You can count on Team Lasson to help explain why these mortgage rates fluctuate.


How Are Mortgage Rates Determined?

While there are a variety of different factors that affect mortgage rates, the movement of the 10-year Treasury note yield is said to be the best indicator of whether mortgage rates will rise or fall. Mortgages are typically packaged as 30-year products; however, most mortgages are paid off or refinanced within 10 years. The 10-year Treasury note yield is the rate of return that you receive when you invest in this 10-year note. Essentially, you're loaning money to the U.S. government and they're paying you to do so. The yield is important because as mentioned above, it is the benchmark that guides other interest rates, with the exception of adjustable-rate mortgage which follows the federal funds rate. However, even the Federal Reserve watches the 10-year treasury note yield before making its decision to change the federal funds rate. Due to the fact that the 10-year Treasury note is sold at an auction, it indicates the confidence that investors have in economic growth.

The Cause of Rates Rising or Falling

Mortgage rates fluctuate over time as a result of the interaction of the supply and demand for money in the economy. When the economy is growing, the demand for money increases and therefore, interest rates move upward. When economic growth slows or stops, interest rates move back down. One key factor is inflation. Inflation increases prices and deteriorates spending power in the economy, which in turn slows growth. For future homeowners, this means increased interest rates, making home-buying more expensive. Economic activity is measured across the nation and reported to the Federal Reserve Board. They then take that information to determine whether they want to try to increase interest rates to control growth or decrease rates to spark growth and encourage borrowing. While the federal reserve doesn't directly set the interest rates, they can indirectly influence them by increasing or decreasing the money supply. In addition to regular monitoring by the feds, the financial markets establish benchmarks to understand where interest rates may be headed.

What’s Happening On the Mortgage Front Now?

Mortgage rates have plummeted since the beginning of the year to the lowest average in fifty years. This is all as a result of market movements in response to the coronavirus. The Federal Reserve is adjusting short-term interest rates, but mortgage rates are fluctuating based on long-term bond rates. The current lows have already caused a boom in refinancing activity, and the demand among home-buyers remains high, even amidst the short supply of homes for sale.

What does this mean for you? It means that if you have been considering buying or selling a home, the market is at a really interesting point.


Home Mortgages at the Lake of the Ozarks

Amidst all of the uncertainty, if you have been considering purchasing a home at the Lake of the Ozarks or refinancing your current loan, we would be glad to talk to you about your options. Our office is based out of Osage Beach, MO, but we can provide you with assistance no matter what state you live in. Check out our website (www.YourLakeLoan.com) to learn more about our business as well as submit your application.

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, March 11, 2020

Financial Spring Cleaning for Credit Education Month

Now is a great time to start some Spring cleaning - and while this can easily apply to your vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks, the real cleaning we are talking about is in your finances. March is Credit Education Month, and a wonderful time to talk about credit and how you can always be improving your score.

Team Lasson is helping so many people buy the home of their dreams, and if you want to buy real estate in 2020, we want to help you as well. Here are a few ways you can start improving your score and getting ready for your next mortgage.


1. Be Aware Of Your Score

No matter what your credit goals are in the coming months, you have to know what your score is so that you know what you need to do to improve it. There are several ways you can request a copy of your credit report, so make sure you take advantage of the opportunity. In fact, many places offer it for free, so do some research and get started. You will want to make sure that you check for errors that could be negatively impacting your score.

2. Keep Up On Your Payments

This is of utmost importance - you need to pay your bills on or before the due date. A late payment can knock a few points off of your score - and that is before it goes to collections. Late payments can also stay on your credit report for a while, so it is important to avoid paying late.

3. Build Your Score Wisely

The value of having a good credit score is that it can give a lender a snapshot into how you will handle a line of credit. If you have no credit history, there are ways to start building your score through smaller loans and making your payments on time. With some diligence, you can have a positive credit history to show future lenders!

4. Manage Your Credit Responsibly

When considering your credit lifestyle, less is actually more. You can cancel credit accounts and get new ones, but this can cause a negative impact on your credit score and take a lot of time to repair. You may even want to start limiting your credit. When limiting your credit, you may want to avoid applying for new accounts, transferring balances, or concentrating all of your credit-card balances onto a single card - these actions can lower your credit score.


Considering Buying a Vacation Home?

If you have been dreaming about a relaxing vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks, this may be the perfect time to buy a vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks! Team Lasson can help walk you through the mortgage steps and make the best choices for your credit accounts and finances. If you are ready to get started, visit our website (www.YourLakeLoan.com) to submit your application. We will review it and can then discuss the best plan of action based on your finances at the time. We love helping people secure their dream homes, and we cannot wait to assist you on the journey of a lifetime!

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, March 4, 2020

How Millennials are Impacting the Home Market in 2020

The housing market has been doing some really interesting things over the last several months, and Team Lasson is interested to see how it continues on in 2020. One very intriguing aspect is the role that Millennials are playing in the home buying arena. Millennials are projected to fuel the housing market in 2020, while still overcoming the high debt and financing restraints that once held them back - even down to taking out more than half of the new mortgages in the U.S.! Here are a few interesting things to know about these Millennials and how they are affecting the housing market in 2020.


Get to Know These Millennials

Millennials are those born between 1981 and 1996 which puts them between 24 and 39 years old. This covers a wide range of home needs, as some will be just starting out in their very first home, and others are looking for vacation homes at the Lake of the Ozarks as they prepare for the next season with high schoolers and college-age kids.

In fact, a recent Zillow analysis showed that 21.9% of millennials still live at home with their parents instead of buying a home of their own. This is roughly 14 million young adults, but many of them may begin looking for homes in the near future which can push housing forward for those first-time buyers.

Millennials and Downpayments

Studies are showing that saving the traditional standard 20% has been challenging for this generation due specifically to student loan debt, but also due to increases in the cost of living, and a lack of savings. This means that millennials have a much smaller amount saved for down payment, and are agreeing to take on private mortgage insurance in order to put less down. Another pattern that is showing up is that they are asking family for financial help. Many studies show that millennials are three times more likely to ask for help with their down payment from family members - primarily parents and grandparents.

Millennials and Timing

This generation is the one that grew up after the financial crises, and this impacts the housing market because they are a little slower to start families and get settled. As these millennials are coming of age and beginning to find their footing, a large portion of them will be turning 30 (roughly 4.8 million of them!), and this is the “peak home-buying age.”

On the flip side, the older members of the generation have begun to spread out into the larger, more expensive luxury markets where they search out quality of life and amenities. This means that the Lake of the Ozarks could be a great landing spot for those millennials who are ready to settle down in an area with a “small-town feel” but still take advantage of the Lake of the Ozarks lifestyle. Of course, another alternative is that the older Millennials may be ready to take on a vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks. Many buyers tend to start looking for vacation destinations to call their own as their children get older. It can provide a safe place to land for a Summer full of vacations with your teenagers and their friends, or even as a place for your college students to come to hang out during breaks. 2020 could be the perfect year for millennials to buy a vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks!


The 2020 Takeaway

Millennials of all ages will help keep overall buyer demand flourishing in 2020. Last year, the potential buyer pool was growing nationwide due to the aging millennials population. This is due to a combination of low-interest rates and rising rent costs. 2020 could be the ideal year for the millennials to buy their home, and Team Lasson is here to help. We help customers around the entire United States purchase their home, and with being based at the Lake, we love to help our local community purchase the home of their dreams. If you are ready to get started, visit our website (www.YourLakeLoan.com) to fill out an application. From there we can help you gather up appropriate paperwork and figure out the best home price for your budget.

We look forward to working with you, and helping you make years of memories in a lake home through your mortgage at the 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.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

6 Reasons to Refinance in 2020

When done correctly, refinancing can save you a lot of money and could be the best financial step for you to take. Have you ever considered refinancing your home? If you have not considered it, 2020 may just be the year that you need to think about it, and see if it is the right option for you! Your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage lender is here to help, so we have 6 reasons why refinancing may be the best step for you.


#1. It Can Lower Your Interest Rate

Did you know that if you can lower your interest rate by at least 1% (or 0.5% on higher loan amounts), you should consider refinancing? Interest rates are incredibly low right now, and the chances that you can get a better rate by refinancing now are much better than in previous years. This is a huge asset because you could end up saving a lot of money in interest paid throughout your loan.

#2. Switch Your Loan Type

There are many different loan types available for homes, some are better for certain people than others. If you currently have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), you may want to switch to a fixed-rate mortgage (FRM). This can allow you to lock in a low rate for a long time! It might also be feasible to drop from a 30-year mortgage to a 20 or 15 year. With the lower rates, you could have close to the same payment you currently have but shorten the term of the loan. This is something you can discuss with your mortgage lender at the Lake of the Ozarks!

#3. Be Aware of Balloon Payments

Some mortgages have a large payment due at the end of the loan term - usually, 5-7 years, called a “balloon payment.” This type of mortgage is a short-term loan that is set up like a long-term loan for the first few years. You may need to refinance your loan to avoid paying this large expense.

#4. Stop Paying Private Mortgage Insurance

When more than 80% of the home's sale price is borrowed, sometimes the borrower is required to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). If the home's value has increased, you can use this amount to refinance and stop paying that PMI.

#5. Cash Out Home Equity

Home equity is often used as a way to finance a remodeling project, college tuition, car purchase or a vacation. If your home's value has increased, you can refinance to cash out that extra amount. You would actually be refinancing your mortgage for more than you currently owe on it and then pocketing the difference.

#6. Consolidate Debts

If you have a lot of high-interest debts, you may be able to save money by consolidating those debts into a mortgage. Auto loans, credit cards, second mortgages, and other debts can all be included in your refinance.



Do you have more questions about refinancing a Lake of the Ozarks home? Team Lasson would be glad to answer your questions! You can start by filling out an application on our website (www.YourLakeLoan.com) so that we have an idea of your financial position. We look forward to helping you decide if refinancing is the right choice for 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.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The Rise in House Prices & What it Can Mean For You

In 2019, home prices rose at a rate of 3.3%, which is a drop of 1.7% from 2018’s 5% increase. The price increase went down, but the home prices still rose. This can be a bonus for sellers who bought their homes before the prices started rising, but it can make things harder for buyers if they cannot afford the homes on the market. This temporary imbalance can mean that determined buyers have to figure out how to save enough to make their monthly mortgage payment affordable. Whether you are buying or selling, the current home prices can have a huge impact on your financial journey, so we are going to break it down and learn why.


For Buyers

If you are planning on buying a home in 2020, it will be important for you to sit down and analyze the best price for your budget. You can work through this process by submitting a home loan application on our website and letting our team of mortgage lenders at the Lake of the Ozarks assist you - or you can figure the rough estimates on your own.

This is especially essential when you are purchasing a vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks as you will now be paying for two mortgages. Some experts suggest that you do not want to pay more than 25% of your take-home pay on a mortgage, but after you analyze your finances you can make an informed decision. The best news is that while home prices may be on the rise, home loan rates are better than they have been in years! If you find a home you love, this is a great time to secure your loan.

For Sellers

From a seller's perspective, higher home prices can mean it is a great time to sell your home. Because you want to get the best possible price out of your home, it is important to work with a real estate agent who is experienced in the Lake area as well as has experience selling homes like yours. They can use a competitive market analysis to find out what similar homes are selling for in your area and help you with your listing price.

For Homeowners

If you own a home, you may be curious about how the value of your home is doing. As the prices of homes are going up, is your home value appreciating as well? If you bought your home eight to ten years ago, there is a strong chance that you have a very nice profit tied up in your home! In fact, some studies show that people who had owned their home for four to seven years, were getting $52,000-68,900 more than they purchased them for, if they sold them last year!


The Housing Market at the Lake of the Ozarks

We have been saying this for a few months now, but if you are considering purchasing a home, NOW is the time to get it done! Home interest rates have been at incredible lows, and we do not want you to miss them. Team Lasson is ready to help you work through the home loan process. Visit our website to learn more about our mortgage company at the Lake of the Ozarks, or to fill out your application and get started! We cannot wait to see you get the home of your dreams just in time for Summer!

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, February 13, 2020

Spring and Summer Home Projects for Your Vacation Home

It may not always feel like it, but Spring is in the air…the groundhog said so! As you prepare for the Spring months, there are a few things you can do to get your Lake Home ready for all of the warm weather adventures. Add these things to your to-do list over the next few weeks, and it may even make the last of Winter go faster!


Clean Up Your Outdoor Furniture

Start with the Cushions
It should not come as a surprise that your indoor/outdoor cushions and pillows will take a beating. Now is a great time to give them a good once over and make sure that they are still in good condition. You may also want to remove the covers and wash them before Spring. If they are in really rough shape, it may be a good time to replace them altogether.

Wipe Down the Frames
Between dust and dirt, your outdoor furniture can get pretty dirty, especially through the Winter months. Before you are ready to kick back on your patio with an ice-cold beverage, you will want to wipe down all of the furniture. This will help keep your furniture looking it’s best and will also help you find any repairs or replacements that need to be made!

Wash Outdoor Rugs
An outdoor rug will last a lot longer when you vacuum it periodically. You can also hose it off and let it dry out thoroughly. It may be an outdoor rug, but it still needs a good washing every once in a while.

Pressure Wash Your Patio

You never realize how dirty your patio and sidewalks get until you take a pressure washer to them! In fact, this can be a very gratifying task, as you quickly watch the grime disappear with the wave of a wand (literally!). If you do not have a pressure washer, you can either borrow one from a friend, rent one or hire a local company to complete this task for you. In just a short amount of time, you can remove YEARS of dirt, and your sidewalks and patio will SHINE.

Update Your Front Door

Sometimes changing the color of your front door can be just what your home needs to feel bright and new. The Summer sun and heat can really deteriorate a wood door, causing warping and cracking on its surface. Re-painting the door can help seal and protect it from the elements, but it can also provide the perfect facelift.

Get Your Grill Ready! 

There is something sentimental about firing up the grill for the first time of the season. If you cook on your grill frequently, you will want to do a deep clean twice a year to keep it in top condition. A simple scrub-down of the cooking grates, burner protectors, and cook box can really make it shine.

Check for Damaged Screens

Have you looked your window screens over lately? Just a small tear can let in dozens of mosquitoes and flies, and make a negative impact on your patio parties. Fix the problem by repairing those screens now! It is surprisingly easy to repair the screen material, you can find directions online, and the supplies at any hardware store.

Switch Your Ceiling Fan Directions

Most ceiling fans are designed so that you can switch the direction that the blades spin. There is generally a switch you can flip at the base of the fan. In the Summer you want your blades to rotate counterclockwise. This helps moves the air down creating a great breeze.


Ready for Summer Already?

We are right there with you! Summer cannot get here fast enough, but in the meantime, now is a great time to make sure your vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks is ready for you. If you do not own a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, now is the time to begin your search, and possibly even have your Lake vacation home before Summer starts! If you are looking for a mortgage lender at the Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson would be honored to assist. Visit our website (www.YourLakeLoan.com) to learn more about our company and to also fill out your application. We look forward to helping you buy a home at the 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.