Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Spruce Up Your Vacation Home For the Summer

Owning a second home at the Lake of the Ozarks is a great accomplishment and one that you should feel a great sense of pride in. You have a prime place to vacation, unwind, and plenty of activities to enjoy right in your backyard. Get the most out of your lake home experience by enhancing your vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks. Team Lasson is here to provide you with a few inexpensive home renovation ideas to help you spruce up your lake home for the busy summer months.

Create An Outdoor Living Space

As summer is just around the corner, we will look for any reason to be outside. Every lake home should have an outdoor area that is comfortable, stylish, and functional for enjoying the lake life. After all, you'll be spending plenty of time out on the water, and it can really enhance the appeal of your lakefront home. Pouring a small concrete patio, setting up a small pavilion, or using natural landscaping, benches, and stone pathways can add a great deal of eye appeal to your property. If you'd rather not DIY a project like this, you can always count on the contractors at the lake to come up with a collaborative design and complete the work for you. By doing this, you will be able to create your dream outdoor space!

Indoor & Outdoor Lighting

Replacing your old lighting fixtures can really enhance the entire home - inside and out! Adding solar lights to line a pathway leading to the water or other appealing areas around your property can do wonders. Plus, it creates a gorgeous view from the water as well. At the Lake of the Ozarks, you can make the most of your waterfront views by keeping the windows and sliding doors free of draperies. Consider highlighting your natural landscape, gardens, and shrubs to create an alluring atmosphere for your home.

Update the Kitchen

Summertime comes with bright colors, and fresh scents. As we tend to be outdoors during the summer months, it can be hard to make your kitchen a place that has a summertime feel. You do not have to do a complete overhaul of your kitchen to maximize its appeal in your lake home. Adding small DIY's such as updated cabinet fixtures, paint, and small home d├ęcor items can go a long way in revitalizing your kitchen area.

Add A Fresh Coat of Paint

Painting may not seem like it can make much of a difference, but adding on a fresh coat of paint or new color to a room can breathe new life into any space. Fresh paint is always a great and typically more inexpensive way to freshen up an area. It can be used to complement or contrast other features of your home to create one-of-a-kind spaces that are unique to your taste.

These typically inexpensive upgrades can be a great way to update your vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks. Team Lasson enjoys living the lake life and is proud to be able to share the experience with other homeowners. If you need additional cash for any home renovations, talk to us about refinancing your home at Lake of the Ozarks. If you are still in need of a lake home, we can help you purchase a vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks as well!

LIKE my Facebook PageFollow me on Twitter or Connect on LinkedIn

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, May 20, 2021

Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Lender

Buying a home can be a stressful experience for anyone. Having a prepared list of mortgage questions is a great way to begin finding the best home loan at the Lake of the Ozarks from your lender. Here are 10 essential questions to ask your mortgage lender at the Lake of the Ozarks before you sign on your home loan so that you can relax knowing you will be prepared for the road ahead.

1. How much can I borrow to buy a home?

When determining how much you can borrow, lenders may consider your income level compared with debt, your employment status, and your credit history. It is beneficial to talk to a mortgage lender about getting prequalified for a mortgage before you start shopping for your new home.

2. What types of mortgage loans do you offer?

There are two major categories of mortgage loans. Conventional loans and Government loans (i.e., FHA, VA, Rural Development, etc.) There are different requirements for each type of loan pertaining to down payment, credit score, credit history and debt ratio. It is important to ask your lender which type of loans they offer.

3. Do you offer mortgage points?

Mortgage points are sometimes called “discount points” and they are an optional fee you pay at closing to “buy down” a lower interest rate and save on the overall cost of the mortgage loan. Be sure to ask your lender when it makes sense to buy mortgage points, how much each point will lower your interest rate, and what the maximum number of points you can buy is.

4. How much money do I need to put down?

Your down payment can affect your interest rate, terms, and monthly payments. Finding out what is required for your loan will help you decide what is best for you.

5. What is my interest rate?

You may have already thought about this question, but you will get an idea of an interest rate that you can qualify for when talking to your lender. Your interest rate is determined by multiple factors, including your credit score, the location of your home purchase, the size of your down payment, and your loan type. You will also want to ask about the APR for the loan. The APR includes both the interest rate and the fees that the lender charges to originate the loan.

6. Do I need an escrow account?

An escrow account is a type of neutral savings account that holds onto money for prepaid property taxes and insurance premiums. Escrow accounts are usually established during closing and are often required for government-backed loans and optional for conventional loans. Ask your lender if you need an escrow account and what options are available to pay for shortages and whether you can get a refund If you overpay.

7. When can I lock in the interest rate?

Once you have considered a lender, you will eventually want to lock in your interest rate. Doing this will ensure that you are protected should the interest rates start to rise. Ask your lender when you can lock a particular rate and for how long. Keep in mind that lenders will usually offer lower interest rates for shorter-term locks and higher interest-rates for longer term locks.

8. What will the closing costs be?

Closing costs are fees that you will pay your lender and other third-party vendors to set up, process, underwrite and close your loan. Often times, typical closing costs will include appraisal fees, attorney fees, and title insurance.

9. Are there any prepayment penalties?

A mortgage prepayment penalty is a fee that some lenders charge when you pay all or part of your loan off early. Lenders might charge these fees to discourage borrowers from making extra payments on their loans, refinancing their loans at a lower rate, or selling their home before the loan is due.

10. Are you going to do a hard credit check on me today?

It is always a good idea to know when the lender is going to do a “hard” credit check, which is called a hard inquiry. By doing this, your payment history inquiry will show up on your credit report. Lenders need to do this before they can give you a firm interest rate quote.

Asking your lender a handful of questions ahead of time can help make the purchasing process smoother and less stressful for you. Make sure you are prepared with plenty of questions about income requirements, the types of loans you qualify for, and how much you have to save for a down payment and closing costs. Give Team Lasson a call today to discuss your mortgage loan!

LIKE my Facebook PageFollow me on Twitter or Connect on LinkedIn

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, May 13, 2021

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

When you own a home, the thought of having a mortgage for the better half of your life can be very daunting. Especially in times like we're experiencing now, having any kind of debt can leave you with uncertainty. Many people are looking at ways to cut down on their expenses and to chip away at their debts to ensure a more secure future, including paying off their mortgage early. There are some pros to paying off your mortgage early. Depending on your situation and reasoning, it could be a great financial step. Here are just a few things to consider before deciding whether to pay off your mortgage early

Benefits of Paying Off Early

Paying off a mortgage early means a large sum of money freed up each month. This can be a great opportunity for homeowners to put that extra cash towards a retirement fund. Eliminating a mortgage payment also means you’ll need less income to cover your daily expenses in retirement.

Early payoff can also result in paying less in interest during the life of the loan. Additionally, it can provide homeowners with an asset that could be leveraged when needed. If you've got equity in your home, that could be used to open a home equity line of credit to cover any emergency expenses that might arise.

Risks to Consider

While there are benefits to early payoff, there are also some risks to consider. Paying off a large sum toward your mortgage could deplete any emergency reserves you might have saved up and leave you cash poor. This means, you may be forced to take out a loan to cover any unexpected expenses that could arise. 

Another thing to consider is that paying off your mortgage eliminates the option to take a tax deduction on the interest you paid on the loan, resulting in a higher annual tax bill. You could also miss out on investing in other savings avenues that are experiencing high growth. 

You may also be required to pay a prepayment penalty. The amount of a potential prepayment penalty varies by lender but could range from 2 to 5 percent of the total loan balance, which can get expensive.

Talk to a Trusted Mortgage Lender First

As you consider whether or not paying off your mortgage loan early is right for you, be sure to talk to a trusted lender who knows the business, and can guide you down the right path. The pros and cons of this decision should not be taken lightly, as your decision affects your financial future. If you've got questions about your mortgage loan, we're here to help. Give Team Lasson a call today to discuss your financial future and how the life of your mortgage can affect it. Let me share with you some ideas on how you can combine strategies to potentially pay off your mortgage faster and more efficiently put your money to work for you.

 LIKE my Facebook PageFollow me on Twitter or Connect on LinkedIn

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, May 5, 2021

How is My Mortgage Rate Calculated?

 Have you been thinking about obtaining a mortgage at Lake of the Ozarks? If so, you've likely done your homework on mortgages and what's important when obtaining one. One of the most important things for many homeowners is their interest rate. But how are they determined? Well, this week's blog, I am going to inform you of the factors that are considered when it comes to mortgage rates. Continue reading to learn more!

Interest Rate Factors That You Control

There are several factors when mortgage rates are calculated that you as the borrower can control. Those factors are:

Credit Score

To put it simply, the higher your credit score, the more competitive your rate will be. Typically, borrower with scores at 740 or higher receive the prime rates. Tapering off as your score lessens. Certain loan products, such as fixed rate mortgages are only available to borrowers with scores above 620.

Loan-to-Value Ratio

Your loan-to-value ratio is also a factor in your mortgage rate.  This ratio measures the mortgage amount to the price or value of the home. For example, a $100,000 home that you plan to put $20,000 down on would have an LTV of 80%. If your LTV is above 80%, the lender is taking additional risk lending on the property and as such may increase the mortgage rate, especially if you have a subpar credit score. Loans with an LTV above 80% could also require private mortgage insurance as well. 

Type of Loan

The type of loan you're obtaining will also have a direct impact on the interest rates available. For instance, a purchase of a primary and second home may vary, as well as mortgages on manufactured homes, investment property, and condos. Cash-out refinances may also have varying rates as opposed to a purchase loan. 

Mortgage Rate Factors Out of Your Control

Just as there are factors that you can control that effect your mortgage rate, there are also factors beyond your ability to control.


Mortgages rates typically fall when the economy is slowing down, inflation is falling, and the unemployment rate is rising. This helps to stimulate the mortgage industry by offering great rate incentives. Rates tend to rise when the economy is trending for fast growth, higher inflation, and a low unemployment rate.


When inflation is on the rise, rates often trend  upwards to help mitigate the loss of the dollar losing value. Helping lenders continue to function regularly while still providing essential services to their community.

Job Growth

Job growth affects the mortgage industry, as it assists people during recessions to lower their payments and maintain good standing with their mortgage. As the employment rates begin to rise, so to do the mortgage rates.

Economical Indicators/Forecasts

Other factors that influence mortgage rates include retail sales, home sales, housing starts and development, corporate earnings, and stock prices. 

The Federal Reserve

While the Federal Reserve doesn't set mortgage rates, they do raise and cut short-term interest rates based on sweeping shifts in the economy. Mortgage rates rise and fall based on those same economic factors, so it's likely that they will follow a similar trend.

I hope that you've found this week's blog informative in helping to understand the factors that influence mortgage rates and are able to confidently shop for a competitive rate. If you own a home or are looking to buy a home at Lake of the Ozarks, interest rates are still very low. I would be happy to discuss your options for obtaining a mortgage at Lake of the Ozarks and help you close on a purchase or refinance a home here.

 LIKE my Facebook PageFollow me on Twitter or Connect on LinkedIn

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.