Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Join us for a Quack-Tastic Weekend at Lake of the Ozarks!

Things are getting quacky at the Lake of the Ozarks this weekend! Join us down below the dam on Saturday, August 1st for a family-fun event at the Lake of the Ozarks. Bring your family, bring your friends and come on out for the 7th Annual Great Bagnell Dam Duck Drop!

Duck Drop 

Celebrating its 7th year, the Great Bagnell Dam Duck Drop will be better than ever in 2015! The helicopter will arrive at Noon and the ducks will fly. The first 8 ducks to cross the finish line will win prizes, including the grand prize of $5,000 cash! Other prizes include:

  • 1st Place - $5,000 Cash 
  • 2nd Place - $1,000 Cash 
  • 3rd Place - $500 Hy-Vee Grocery Card 
  • 4th Place - $250 Paul's Supermarket Card
  • 5th Place - $250 Rental from Glencove Marina
  • 6th Place - $50 Panera Bread Gift Card
  • 7th Place - $50 Panera Bread Gift Card
  • 8th Place - $50 Andy's Frozen Custard Gift Card 
You don't have to be present to win, so get your Duck Drop tickets today!

Family Fun Zone

Fun for children of all ages, the Fun Zone will feature games, a dunking booth, bounce houses, martial arts and dance demonstrations, food and lots of prizes and goodies! The Fun Zone opens at 10 am Saturday morning and wrist bands are $5 per child. You can walk right to the Duck Drop viewing area from the Fun Zone. After the Duck Drop, head back to the Fun Zone to wait for the announcement of the winners!

Golf Tournament

Your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage lender is a proud Golf Hole Sponsor for this year's 3rd Annual Duck Drop Golf Tournament! On Friday, July 31, a 4-person scramble will take place at the Cove Golf Course, with a ladies flight this year. Registration and a hot breakfast is at 7 am, with an 8:30 am shotgun start. Entry fee is $125 per player. There will be an awards party afterwards at Savannah Grille. For more information or to sign up, visit: www.greatdamduckdrop.com/duck-drop-golf-tournament.html!

All funds raised from the Duck Drop events remain local and are distributed to non-profit organizations via the Ozark Coast Kiwanis Organization. Please come out and support your community or if you're coming from out of town, come see why the Lake area is such a great place to live. As a second homeowner at the Lake of the Ozarks, you could be a part of this wonderful community. Contact me at 573-746-7211 for information on a Lake of the Ozarks mortgage loan and be on your way to owning the Lake home of your dreams!

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

Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender
NMLS #: 493712

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049

Direct:  (573) 746-7211

Email:  mlasson@fsbfinancial.com

**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 23, 2015

Mortgage Jargon: 31 Commonly Used Terms

Each industry seems to have their own foreign language, terms that mean nothing to those who are not used to hearing it all the time. With the terminology used in discussing mortgages, such as appraisals, escrow, points and settlement costs, most people can easily become confused. When it comes to getting a mortgage loan at the Lake of the Ozarks, it's important to understand the meanings of all those mortgage terms. The decisions you make on your mortgage will affect you for years, so you want to make sure you know what you're doing. Here are some commonly used mortgage terms for you to brush up on before going in to apply for a Lake of the Ozarks home loan:

1. Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) - a mortgage that has a fixed rate of interest for only a set period of time, typically one, three or five years. During the initial period the interest rate is lower, and after that period it will adjust based on an index. The rate thereafter will adjust at set intervals.

2. Annual Percentage Rate - the rate of interest that will be paid back to the mortgage lender. The rate can either be a fixed rate or adjustable rate.

3. Amortization - a schedule on how the loan is intended to be repaid. For example, a typical amortization schedule for a 15 year loan will include the amount borrowed, interest rate paid and term. The result will be a month breakdown of how much interest you pay and how much is paid on the amount borrowed.

4. Appraisal - a written report by a qualified appraiser estimating the value of a property based on physical inspection and comparable houses that have been sold in recent times.

5. Balloon Mortgage - a loan that offers lower monthly payments for a specific period of time, which usually is anywhere from 3 years to 10 years. After that, a borrower must pay off the principal balance in a lump sum, or balloon payment.

6. Balloon Payment - a lump sum payment that is larger than the other, periodic payments. It pays off the remaining balance of a loan.

7. Bi-Weekly Mortgage - a type of mortgage in which you pay half of your normal payment every 2 weeks; this is the equivalent of 13 regular payments, which in turn will reduce the amount of interest you pay and pay off the loan earlier.

8. Closing Costs - expenses incurred by buyers and sellers when transferring ownership of property. Closing costs normally include an origination fee, attorney's fee, taxes, escrow payments, title insurance and sometimes discount points.

9. Collateral - property pledged as security to a debt. If the borrower fails to repay the loan, the lender may gain ownership of the collateral and sell it to recover the money.

10. Construction Mortgage - when a person is having a home built, they will typically have a construction mortgage. With a construction mortgage, the lender will advance money based on the construction schedule of the builder. When the home is finished, the mortgage will convert into a permanent mortgage.

11. Debt-to-Income Ratio - one of the numbers used to determine if the borrower will be able to repay the loan. The lender compares monthly expenses, including the new mortgage, to monthly income. The income figure is divided into the expense figure, and the result is displayed as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the riskier the loan is for the lender.

12. Down Payment - the amount of a property's purchase price that the buyer pays in cash and does not finance with a mortgage. Generally, lenders require a specific down payment in order to qualify for the mortgage. You can often lower your mortgage payment or afford a more expensive house by putting more money down.

13. Equity - the difference between the value of the home and the mortgage loan is called equity. Over time, as the value of the home increases and the amount of the loan decreases, the equity of the home generally increases.

14. Escrow - at the closing of the mortgage, the borrowers are generally required to set aside a percentage of the yearly taxes to be held by the lender. On a monthly basis, the lender will also collect additional money to be used to pay the taxes on the home. This escrow account is maintained by the lender who is responsible for sending the tax bills on a regular basis.

15. Fixed-Rate Mortgage - a mortgage where the interest rate and the term of the loan is negotiated and set for the life of the loan.

16. Foreclosure - the legal process by which a homeowner in default on a mortgage is deprived of interest in the property. This usually involves a forced sale of the property at public auction with the proceeds of the sale being applied to the mortgage debt.

17. Good Faith Estimate - an estimate by the lender of the closing costs that are from the mortgage. It is not an exact amount, however, it is a way for lenders to inform buyers of what is needed from them at the time of closing of the loan.

18. Homeowners Insurance - an insurance policy that includes hazard coverage, covering loss or damage to property, as well as coverage for personal liability and theft.

19. Interest-Only Mortgage - An adjustable-rate mortgage that allows borrowers to pay only the interest for a specified period of time. Interest-only mortgages are considered risky.

20. Jumbo Mortgage - A mortgage that exceeds the conforming limit. The single-family limit changes annually. Rates on jumbo mortgages tend be 1/8 to 1/4 of a percentage point higher than comparable conforming mortgages.

21. Loan-to-Value Ratio - this calculation is done by dividing the amount of the mortgage by the value of the home. Lenders will generally require the LTV ratio to be at least 80% in order to qualify for a mortgage.

22. Margin - the amount of percentage points, or spread, added to the index to come up with the rate your adjustable-rate mortgage will charge after each adjustment.

23. Origination Fee - when applying for a mortgage loan, borrowers are often required to pay an origination fee to the lender. This fee may include an application fee, appraisal fee, fees for all the follow-up work and other costs associated with the loan.

24. Points - are percentage points of the loan amount. Often in order to get a lower interest rate, lenders will allow borrowers to "buy down" the rate by paying points.

25. Pre-Payment Penalty - a fee charged to borrowers who pay a loan off faster than the prescribed payment schedule. Make sure to talk to your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage lender to see if prepayment penalties are allowed where you live and, if so, how large they can be.

26. Principal - the term used to describe the amount of money that is borrowed for the mortgage. The principal amount that is owed will go down when borrowers make regular payments.

27. Private Mortgage Insurance - a monthly premium that ensures the lender that until the borrower reaches 80% LTV, they are covered from default. When the loan-to-value (LTV) is higher than 80% lenders will generally not be able to do the transaction without the borrower purchasing PMI.

28. Settlement Costs - prior to closing, the attorneys involved in the mortgage closing will meet to determine the final costs that are associated with the loan. These settlement costs are given to all parties so that they will be prepared to pay the closing costs that have been agreed upon.

29. Title Insurance - insurance on the property that ensures the home is free and clear of any liens which could jeopardize the mortgage. Since the lender is using the home as collateral for the mortgage transaction, this title insurance is important and required.

30. Truth in Lending - a federal mandate that all lenders must follow. There are several important parts to the Truth In Lending regulations including proper disclosure of rates, how to advertise mortgage loans and many other aspects of the lending process. These regulations were put into place to protect consumers from potential fraud.

31. Two-Step Mortgage - a home loan that features a fixed rate and payment for an initial period, followed by one adjustment, then a fixed rate and payment for the remainder of the loan term.

While it is important to be familiar with these terms, there's no need to worry. As your mortgage lender at the Lake of the Ozarks, I will make sure you understand everything about the mortgage process and that you're making the best decisions for your situation. Contact me at 573-746-7211 about a new home loan today!

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

Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender
NMLS #: 493712

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049

Direct:  (573) 746-7211

Email:  mlasson@fsbfinancial.com

**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 15, 2015

Adjustable Rate Mortgages Explained

When it comes to choosing the right loan for your new home at the Lake of the Ozarks, there are many different options. From government loans to privately funded, fixed-rate to adjustable rate, you have a lot of things to consider. Which one is right for you? Read on about adjustable rate mortgages and talk to your mortgage lender at the Lake of the Ozarks to see what options you have for your specific situation.

What is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage? 

An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) is when the rate of interest is adjusted periodically to reflect market conditions. Your monthly payments can then move up and down as those interest rates fluctuate. Most ARMs have an initial fixed-rate period, followed by a longer period where the rate changes at preset intervals. The interest rates charged during the initial period are typically much lower compared to fixed-rate mortgages.

When Does it Make Sense for an Adjustable Rate? 

Most homeowners that choose an adjustable rate mortgage base their decision on the fact that the initial interest rate is lower than a comparable fixed-rate mortgage. This can make your monthly payments on the same house much lower to start with. Once the fixed-rate period ends, there's the possibility of your interest rate going even lower, so your monthly payments could decrease. However, it could go the other way too and your monthly payments could increase. Interest rates are unpredictable, so you can't predict what you're payments are going to be after your initial fixed-rate period is up. If the home you're purchasing is simply a short-term investment or if you don't plan on owning it for longer than 5 years, an adjustable rate mortgage makes more sense than a fixed-rate.

Types of Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Adjustable rate mortgages come in many different forms, ranging from 1-month ARMs to 10-year ARMs. Obviously each comes with its own risks, so be careful when comparing the different Lake of the Ozarks mortgage options:
  • 1-month ARM: First adjustment after one month, then adjusts monthly
  • 6-month ARM: First adjustment after six months, then adjusts every six months
  • 1-year ARM: First adjustment after one year, then adjusts annually
  • 3/1 ARM: First adjustment after three years, then adjusts annually
  • 5/1 ARM: First adjustment after five years, then adjusts annually
  • 5/5 ARM: First adjustment after five years, then adjusts every five years
  • 5/6 ARM: First adjustment after five years, then adjusts every six months
  • 7/1 ARM: First adjustment after seven years, then adjusts annually
  • 10/1 ARM: First adjustment after 10 years, then adjusts annually
  • 15/15 ARM: First and only adjustment after 15 years

                  Talk to your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage lender today to see if an adjustable rate mortgage is right for you! We'll discuss your specific situation, your plans for the house and how much you can afford in a payment. When it comes to your financing needs, I'm here to help you with the details every step of the way! Give me a call at 573-746-7211 to discuss your options for a home loan at the Lake of the Ozarks!

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

                  Michael Lasson
                  Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender
                  NMLS #: 493712

                  2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
                  PO Box 1449
                  Lake Ozark, MO 65049

                  Direct:  (573) 746-7211

                  Email:  mlasson@fsbfinancial.com

                  **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 9, 2015

                  How Much House Can You Actually Afford?

                  Home affordability is about much more than just how much you can borrow. Your income, credit history, down payment and your employment and residence history all play a part in how much you can borrow, but the amount you can borrow may actually exceed the amount you can comfortably afford. There are many factors that go into determining how much house you can afford. In addition to your monthly Lake of the Ozarks mortgage payments, you'll need to consider the up-front costs of buying a house, the closing costs and any ongoing homeownership expenses.

                  Personal Considerations

                  1. Up-Front Home Buying Costs

                  While your monthly mortgage payment may seem like the best way to determine how much house you can afford, there are other expenses that need to be considered. There are several up-front costs that you will have to pay before you even start making your monthly mortgage payments. These expenses include:
                  • Mortgage Application Fees - "origination" or "service" fees, which can either be flat fees or can range from 1-2% of the total purchase price. You will also have appraisal, underwriting and credit reporting fees, but those are often worked into the closing costs. 
                  • Earnest Money - is an initial deposit to be paid to the seller if your offer is accepted, to put weight behind your intention to buy. If your offer is among multiple bids, the earnest money you put down may influence the seller's decision in your favor. 
                  • Down Payment - Often times, you can get a better mortgage rate by paying a higher down payment. While a 15-20% down payment is ideal, down payments can range anywhere from 0-20% or more of the total cost of the home.

                  2. Closing Costs

                  Final closing cost will typically range from 2-4% of the total loan amount. Occasionally, the closing costs can be rolled into the mortgage loan amount, meaning you can pay them off as you make your monthly mortgage payments. Closing costs can often be estimated by the lender up-front and can include:
                  • Mortgage Application Fees 
                  • Mortgage Points
                  • Attorney's Fees
                  • Inspections and Surveys
                  • Title Insurance and Title Search 
                  • Escrow Deposit 
                  • City Recording Fees

                  3. Homeownership Expenses

                  The monthly costs in owning your own home well exceed the amount you're going to be paying on your mortgage. It is important to be informed on all the costs of homeownership before committing to a purchase. Make sure you're taking all these extra costs into account when asking yourself, "How much house can I afford?" These expenses can include:
                  • Mortgage Insurance
                  • Home Insurance
                  • Utilities 
                  • Repairs
                  • Property Taxes

                  Lender Considerations

                  1. Debt-to-Income Ratio

                  The first factor that a lender is going to look at to determine how much house you can afford is your debt-to-income ratio. This measurement is used to ensure that you make enough money to not only cover your new mortgage payment, but also all the other monthly debts you're already paying, such as credit card payments, car payments and student loan payments. Generally most lenders don't want this calculation to exceed 36%. 

                  2. Credit Score

                  One of the most important factors in securing a home loan at the Lake of the Ozarks is your credit. Your credit score is based on payment history, overall level of debt, length of credit history and types of credit, and applications for new credit. If your credit score falls within an undesirable range or includes unfavorable marks, a lender will be less likely to approve your loan. If you do get approved, you'll likely pay a higher interest rate, resulting in a higher monthly mortgage payment. 

                  3. Down Payment Requirements

                  In most cases, purchasing a home requires that you have some cash on hand. How much you will need depends on the type of loan you are getting and can range anywhere from 3.5-20%. The more you put down up-front, the better interest rate you can expect to get. Keep in mind that your down payment doesn't include the closing costs, so you'll need to consider those when deciding how much you can afford to put down.

                  If you are considering purchasing a new home at the Lake of the Ozarks in the near future, now is the time to start thinking about how much you can afford. First consider all the expenses involved for yourself; consider using an online mortgage calculator. Then come to your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage lender with any questions that you may have. Together we can make an informed decision on how much you can afford with your new home purchase!

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

                  Michael Lasson
                  Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender
                  NMLS #: 493712

                  2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
                  PO Box 1449
                  Lake Ozark, MO 65049

                  Direct:  (573) 746-7211

                  Email:  mlasson@fsbfinancial.com

                  **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, 2015

                  15 Fireworks Fun Facts for The 4th of July

                  The 4th of July is a holiday designed to celebrate our country's independence. It's also a day for family fun, BBQs and of course fireworks! Americans have been setting off fireworks to celebrate independence since 1777, at least. So in honor of the upcoming holiday, here are some fun facts about fireworks that you may not know!

                  Fireworks Fun Facts 

                  1. The earliest documented evidence of fireworks dates back to AD700 in China. Gunpowder was put into a bamboo shoot and thrown into fire, producing a large blast and the first fireworks.

                  2. Marco Polo brought fireworks to Europe in 1295, sparking the spread of the invention around the world.

                  3. China is the leading manufacturer of fireworks, producing about 90% of the world's fireworks.

                  4. The earliest known use of the word "fireworks" in English was in 1562.

                  5. The record for the most fireworks launched in 30 seconds is 125,801.

                  6. The Walt Disney Company is said to be the world's largest consumer of fireworks, spending well over $1 Million a year on them.

                  7. Dreaming of fireworks is interpreted to symbolize creativity, enthusiasm and talent. It also means that you like to be the center of attention and are showing off to others.

                  8.Different metals are used to create each of the colors you see in fireworks: blue is copper, green is barium, orange is calcium, yellow is sodium, white is aluminum & titanium, and red is lithium salts and strontium salt.

                  9. The hardest color to create in fireworks is blue. It's done with copper oxidizers, but the temperature of the reaction has to be just right.

                  10. Orange is the easiest color of fireworks to create, which is why up until the Middle Ages, fireworks were only orange and white.

                  11. People who make fireworks are only allowed to wear cotton clothing, as synthetic fibers cause static electricity that could set off the fireworks.

                  12. Currently, the largest fireworks display in North America is "Thunder Over Louisville" which kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival each year since 1990.

                  13. The Guinness World Record for the largest fireworks display is held by the Dubai Government in Palm Jumeirah Island and the World Islands in Dubai, UAE. It took place on December 31, 2013 and consisted of 479,651 fireworks!

                  14. The sound a firework makes is dependent upon the different chemical combinations; for example, aluminum flakes make hissing noises, while flash powder is responsible for the big, loud booms!

                  15. The largest firework rocket was 13 kg and was produced and launched in Portugal in 2010.

                  Fireworks at Lake of the Ozarks

                  Friday, July 3
                  Captain Ron's - 4th of July Fireworks from 8:30-9:30 PM (View by water at the 34.5 MM)
                  Old Kinderhook - 4th of July Fun Fest starts at 5 PM, Fireworks begin at dusk.
                  Windermere - Freedom Celebration All Day, with Fireworks at 9 PM

                  Saturday, July 4 
                  Bear Bottom Resort - Fireworks at 9:45 PM (View by water at the 38 MM)
                  Celebration Cruises - View The Lodge's Fireworks aboard the Celebration from 7-9 PM
                  Eldon City Park - Fireworks display begins at dusk.
                  Sonlight Christian Fellowship - Freedom Fest starts at 6 PM, Fireworks at 9:15 PM
                  Lake Valley Country Club - Fireworks display begins at dusk.
                  Mother Nature's Riverfront Retreat - Live Entertainment at 7 PM, Fireworks begin at dusk.
                  Playin' Hooky Fireworks Cruise - Departs from Millstone Marina from 8:30-10 PM
                  Point Randall Resort - Fireworks at 9 PM
                  The Lodge of Four Seasons - BBQ and Carnival starts at 6 PM - 10 PM (View by water at the 13 MM)
                  Tan-Tar-A Resort - Fireworks from 8:30-9:30 PM (View by water at the 26 MM)
                  Tropic Island Cruise - View Tan-Tar-A's Fireworks aboard the Tropic Island from 8:30-9:30 PM

                  Sunday, July 5 
                  Bear Bottom Resort - Fireworks at 9:45 PM (View by water at the 38 MM)

                  Happy 4th of July from your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage lender! Enjoy the fireworks displays over our beautiful Lake. Remember that you could enjoy them every year when you purchase a new home at the Lake of the Ozarks! Contact me at 573-746-7211 for all your financing needs!

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

                  Michael Lasson
                  Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender
                  NMLS #: 493712

                  2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
                  PO Box 1449
                  Lake Ozark, MO 65049

                  Direct:  (573) 746-7211

                  Email:  mlasson@fsbfinancial.com

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