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 www.yourlakeloan.com. 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 www.yourlakeloan.com. 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.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

5 Off-Season Vacation Home Buying Tips

If you've been weighing the options of purchasing a vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks, now is an amazing time to capitalize. During the offseason, you'll be met with numerous advantages that are typically found this time of year such as, motivated sellers/builders, tax incentives, as well as potentially reduced home prices. Today, Team Lasson is here to provide some essential tips for buying a second home at Lake of the Ozarks during the offseason.

Think Summer

When you're buying a vacation home, it's important to keep the Summer months (or the months that you plan to visit your second home) in mind. As you are purchasing it during the offseason, you may overlook certain items that will be vital for the Summer months that you are enjoying the property. Things such as the air conditioner, which will likely not be run much while you're away but will be essential during the Summer. Outdoor features of the home are also important. While you may not want to "chill" on the patio during the Winter months that you are buying the home, you'll love these spaces during the hot Summertime. Docks are another important aspect of lake life during the Summer months, so ensuring that you have a well-maintained boat dock with the property is critical during the Winter buying season. Imagine all the fun Summer experiences you'll want to enjoy when searching for your vacation home at the Lake.

Buy the View

While it can be enticing to focus on location to work, your favorite restaurant, or some other amenity that you'll be enjoying, we think buying for the view is even more important. Unlike your primary residence where these features will be more prominent throughout the year, you are going to your vacation home for one reason, to experience the joys of vacation. Buy a home with a view that "wows" you every time, rather than settling for an okay view because it's conveniently located. The best thing about a home at Lake of the Ozarks is that you can have the best of both worlds, a spectacular view in a prime location. 

Seasonal Pros vs. Cons

There are of course pros and cons to every season - base your decision off which time is best for your situation. In the Winter, the weather is much colder, and conditions could delay showings or make moving yourself a little more tedious. However, the Winter season also offers less competition for Lake real estate, offering better pricing incentives. As well as offering more availability for a professional moving company to assist you in the moving process. Each season holds its own unique benefits for buying real estate, don't be deterred just because of a particular season.

Tax Incentives

When you purchase real estate on or before December 31st, you can benefit by being able to deduct interest and property tax portions of your mortgage payment, any points on the mortgage, as well as interest costs from your taxes. These end-of-year tax benefits can offer you some extra power in negotiations as well as help you save some reserves financially.

Seasonal House-Sitting

One of the final tips to remember when considering buying a vacation home at the Lake during the offseason is to think of this, "Who will watch my home while we're away?" Since you'll be occupying your second home much less than the primary, it's important to factor in who will be around to keep up maintenance, house checks, and ensure that your home is in good condition, free of any criminal activity, and deferred maintenance that may arise during your absence. If you don't have a family member or friend in mind that you trust, the Lake has many local companies that would be honored to assist you in doing so. 

Team Lasson loves Lake of the Ozarks and enjoys assisting others in making their dreams of homeownership at the Lake come true. We hope that you have found these tips for buying Lake of the Ozarks real estate during the offseason valuable. If you're looking to purchase a second home at Lake of the Ozarks to experience the lake life for yourself, we'd be honored to assist you in obtaining your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage.

Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065

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

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Reasons We Are Thankful for Lake of the Ozarks

 At Team Lasson, we have ingrained ourselves in the Lake of the Ozarks community over the years by living, working, and prioritizing assisting others in realizing their dreams of homeownership in this amazing area. We thought, with Thanksgiving Day right around the corner, that it would be fitting to tell you why we are thankful for the Lake of the Ozarks and the community in which we live and serve.

Community Love

You'd be hard-pressed to find another community that circulates so much love and compassion for their fellow man. The community here is really what makes the biggest difference, with every individual coming together for the betterment of the community and the quality of life here at the Lake. No matter if the need is personal or business-related, the support system the community provides here at the Lake is second to none. We bolster our fellow neighbors and community members here and strive to create greatness for all who live here.

New Innovations

There's no shortage of fresh ideas when it comes to the Lake of the Ozarks community. The residents of the Lake are constantly working to provide new innovations to the Lake area such as new dining options, activities, lodging, and industry. All in efforts to continuously improve upon the great quality of life that we already have. It's an ever-changing market that adapts, overcomes, and creates opportunities for its citizens. Our community consists of people from all walks of life, giving us valuable insights from across the country and generations.

Fun Atmosphere

The vacation destination of the Midwest, Lake of the Ozarks is renowned for its exhilarating summer season, and we're thankful for it. The Lake is THE place to be during the summer months to experience some of the best recreational boating in the country. It's filled with top-notch boating events, live music, fine dining, signature golf courses, and much more! But let's not forget the winter months, just because the tourists leave for the season doesn't mean the fun stops. Lake of the Ozarks has great activities year-round including indoor go-karts, natural caves, and hiking trails, springs, an outdoor ice-skating rink, and many of the amazing restaurants are still open. Lake of the Ozarks is the place to be for year-round activity & scenic beauty.

Upcoming Lake Generation

The upcoming generations have a bright future at Lake of the Ozarks. The community focuses so much effort on providing them the resources and support that they need to thrive. From top-rated school systems and facilities to a multitude of extracurricular activities, there's no shortage of dedication to providing the next generation with the essentials they need to live at the Lake, as well as opportunities to grow and make a great impact in the community. We have several organizations that are dedicated to child advocacy, living resources, special needs, personal and financial support. The upcoming Lake generation has a bright future, and it all starts with the community.

Team Lasson is proud to call Lake of the Ozarks home, so much so that we are passionate about providing that experience to others who seek it. This is why we set out to provide mortgages at the Lake of the Ozarks, assisting others in realizing their goals of becoming a part of this fabulous community. We hope that you have enjoyed your read and found our Lake community to be as charming as we think it is. If you've considered buying a vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks, or even a primary residence, we would be proud to assist you in securing a mortgage here. Here's to all that help to make Lake of the Ozarks the thriving and loving community that it is. Thank you!

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, November 17, 2020

5 Winter Activities you can Experience at the Lake of the Ozarks

As we embrace the off-season at Lake of the Ozarks it can be hard to find something to keep residents and visitors entertained, or so was thought! While Lake of the Ozarks is a renowned vacation destination for the Summer recreation, it's also a wonderful place to live and vacation year-round. The Lake has many off-season activities that are fun for the whole family. If you own a home at Lake of the Ozarks and are seeking some fun during the Winter months, this week's blog has some enticing activities for you to consider.

Cave Spelunking

Caving is a fantastic way to spend some time during the Winter months at Lake of the Ozarks and with four of Missouri's most renowned open-to-the-public caves (three of which are open year-round) you'll have a grand selection. You may be worried about the temperature when considering caving during the Winter. Well, the caves in the Lake area remain near the upper-50s constantly!

Karting (miner mikes) 

Karting is a historical pastime at Lake of the Ozarks. We've had a robust go-kart scene for decades, and while they are fewer indoor kart tracks than previously, 2018 was an exciting year for the karting industry at the Lake. Miner Mikes added an addition called Buster's Garage. This state-of-the-art track boasts all the modern amenities that you could dream of for a go-kart course and has a selection of carts to satisfy adults and kids alike. 


When it comes to hiking in the Winter months at Lake of the Ozarks, there are two fabulous options that come to mind. The first being Ha Ha Tonka State Park, located in Camdenton. Ha Ha Tonka offers a slew of beautiful trails that range in difficulty and length, 316 wooden stairs that ascend to the historical castle ruins, and a gorgeous blue spring below. The Second being, Lake of the Ozarks State Park, located in Osage Beach and Kiser. Lake of the Ozarks State park also has a variety of trails ranging in length and difficulty. One great thing about hiking this time of year is that you don't have to worry about ticks or chiggers, the only downside is that it gets a little soggy this time of year, so a light jacket and boots are advised for any hiking excursions. 

Ice Skating

The premier hotel and resort, Old Kinderhook boasts an elaborate outdoor ice-skating rink during the Winter season. It's $13 to skate to your heart's desire, and that includes the skate rental! If you get cold or hungry while out on the ice there is a nearby snack shack for warm (or cold) drinks and treats, right next to some cozy firepits. 


The Winter months at Lake of the Ozarks are well-known for fishing, long as you can stand the cold that is. Bass and Catfish are biting and can provide plenty of excitement and a good fishing challenge during the offseason. In January, you can chase Blue Cats through deep channels. February is good for Bass fishing. And for those seeking a more unique fishing experience, the ancient Paddlefish season is mid-March. Then it's back to good ol' Crappie fishing in April. 

We hope that you have enjoyed your read and found some useful ideas for keeping entertained during the off-season. If you don't yet own a home at Lake of the Ozarks, now is a great time to consider buying. The real estate market is currently booming, there are motivated sellers, as well as phenomenal interest rates. Team Lasson would be proud to represent you and assist in securing your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage. For all your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage needs, there's 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.