Made in Michigan Recipes Perfect for Days at the Lake

Enjoy this “Closing Thoughts” guest post from OSB’s Mortgage Lender, Kacie Eberenz (NMLS# 1458409). Looking for more mortgage loan advice to help you purchase real estate in Michigan’s Lenawee, Jackson and Washtenaw Counties? Visit our website [LINK TO MORTGAGE PAGE] then Contact Kacie today!

Summer’s almost here and the temperatures in southeast Michigan have already heated up! This means that for many of us it is time to head to the lake and enjoy time with family, friends, and of course some delicious food. There’s no better way to celebrate the season than with Michigan’s finest fare, so take note of some of our State’s most notable noshes to create your own menu for all of the lazy, hazy lake days ahead.

Grill some Michigan whitefish. Whether you catch your own, or buy some fresh Michigan whitefish at the grocery store, there’s nothing easier or tastier than this recipe that can be made on a grill and topped with a tangy tomato relish. You can also add a side of homegrown Michigan asparagus.

Make ahead pasties. Pasties are the ultimate handheld device for taking with you on lake adventures. Whether you are boating or taking a stroll to a picnic spot, you can make pasties like these ones from ATasteofHome.com ahead of time and then serve them cold for a delicious lunch at the lake.

Blueberries and cherries. Michigan is known for these fruits, so if your lake house is near a pick-your-own site, you can make an afternoon of blueberry or cherry picking, then enjoy them as part of your lakeside dining. Of course, you can also get them at your local grocery store, too, along with some whipped cream for a special touch.

No time to cook? If you are short on time…or the inclination to cook, consider ordering some deep dish “Detroit-style” pizza to feed your friends at the lake. Many local pizzerias offer delicious pan pizzas as well which can help you feed a hungry crowd after a fun day at the lake.

Pass around a fudge sampler. Nothing says “summer in Michigan” quite like sweet memories of Traverse City and other lake towns that you may have visited or are planning to visit this summer. If you are visiting friends at the lake or having them over to your place, finish off your meal with a platter of various flavors of Michigan fudge. This makes an easy and fun end to any meal at the lake.

Cool off with a Boston cooler. Don’t let the name fool you! These cold and creamy drinks were first conceived in Detroit and are a big hit with young and old lake lover’s alike! The recipe is simple: mix ginger ale and vanilla ice cream together for a delicious and cool beverage.

Long, lazy, hazy days at the lake are what summer in Michigan is all about! Try some of the foods above to create the perfect menu for your next lake get together. If you’re looking to purchase a Michigan lake property, be sure to contact OSB’s Mortgage Lender, Kacie Eberenz (NMLS# 1458409) at 517-592-1058 to get your mortgage pre-approval today.

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Quick Tips to Make Your Spring Cleaning Last Longer

Enjoy this “Closing Thoughts” guest post from OSB’s Mortgage Lender, Kacie Eberenz (NMLS# 1458409). Looking for more mortgage loan advice to help you purchase real estate in Michigan’s Lenawee, Jackson and Washtenaw Counties? Visit our website then Contact Kacie today!

The arrival of the spring season and warmer weather often brings with it a renewed desire to spruce up your home and give it a thorough cleaning. While you getting your home spic and span is your goal, spending more time than necessary mopping, sweeping or doing other cleaning chores is likely not something you want to do. These tips can help you spring clean your home quickly, and make the results of your efforts last longer.

Recruit help. Just like other chores, your spring cleaning will get done faster if you have other people to share the workload. Make a list of tasks for your partner or kids to help you with, then delegate. If you live alone, then consider trading off spring cleaning assistance with friends or neighbors.

Set a schedule—and a timer. Cleaning, like many other household tasks is likely to be more efficient when you set a time limit for it. Consider giving yourself (or your cleaning helpers) a set schedule for each cleaning task and set a timer to help enforce it. For example, a regular size bathroom could be cleaned in 10 minutes. A garage might take an hour. Once the time is up, take note of anything that still needs to be done, then move on!

Clear clutter first. Nothing will slow you down (or distract you!) more than having to clear clutter while you are spring cleaning. Instead, put papers, extra items and other miscellaneous “stuff” to one side or in a large box to sort later. Focus on getting the major cleaning done first, then sort clutter room by room—on a rainy spring afternoon for example.

Start with time-intensive tasks. When you approach each room or area on your cleaning list, consider what tasks take more time and do them first. For example, spray down the shower with cleaner to allow it to soak, then tackle other bathroom surfaces and towel folding, etc. If you need to air out rugs, take them out side when you first enter a room, do your cleaning, then bring them back in when your timer goes off to make your cleaning session complete.

Make tidying tasks a habit. Spring cleaning is somewhat of a seasonal ritual, however, it can be time consuming and tiring, so once it is done, commit to tidying as you go on a daily basis. A few minutes spent putting clutter in its place, wiping out the shower, sweeping the floor and other general cleaning means that next spring, more of your time can be spent enjoying the outdoors!

If you’re ready to tackle your home, use these tips to help you spring clean quickly and efficiently—and to make that “just cleaned” feeling last longer. If you’re cleaning in preparation for a new home search contact OSB’s Mortgage Lender, Kacie Eberenz (NMLS# 1458409) at 517-592-1058 to make your mortgage pre-approval process quick and easy, too.

OSB Helps Local Entrepreneur Accomplish Big Goals for His Small Businesses

While Jackson, Michigan entrepreneurs, John and Denise Burtka’s business, Grand River Brewery, may be “small” by the Small Business Administration’s size standards, the impact they have on the local economy is anything but. OSB is proud to have partnered with the Burtka’s to help them grow their businesses, making National Small Business Week the perfect time to learn more about how they have cultivated success here in Southeast Michigan.

OSB: Tell us a little bit about your business and how you got started.

 John Burtka (JB): Grand River Brewery, located in downtown Jackson, Michigan, was opened seven years ago. It serves as a gathering spot and event venue for families, friends, lovers, politicians, and entertainers. Our goal was to be a focal point for urban rebirth in Jackson by creating a modern incarnation of an old Public House. We started with an 85-year-old building that was empty and in a state of disrepair, transforming it to make Grand River Brewery is a truly unique space.

OSB: How does being part of the local business community influence you and your team?

 JB: Our local roots are really the anchors of our businesses and we see our focus on the local community as one of our greatest strengths. For example, Grand River Brewery employs over 58 full-time equivalent employees and seven of them live downtown in Jackson. They really are neighbors serving neighbors.

Plus, we are committed to using Michigan grown ingredients such as the hops in our beers and the grapes for our wines. We use only Michigan grown apples and cherries in our hard ciders. In addition at Grand River Brewery, we recycle our spent grain for bread in our restaurant and also to feed cattle at a local farm; as well as growing our own organic vegetables for our restaurant.

We love being part of our community! We contribute over $2.5 million per year in salaries, taxes, and purchases to the local economy.

OSB: What are you most proud of as a small business owner and what you have been able to accomplish?

JB: Our vision has been to grow our businesses and we have certainly been able to do that, thanks to our team and the support of our community. From a product perspective, our Monkey Mouth IPA also won the North American IPA at the New York International Beer Festival and our dancing Elephant Cider won silver at the world’s largest cider competition. Our wine has also been served at the White House.

OSB: Do you have any advice for other small business leaders?

JB: I don’t think that you can under estimate the value of having a good accountant and a financial lending partner. You also don’t want to skimp on bookkeeping. As your business develops you want to work with good financial information and facts to base your business decisions on.

OSB is here to help small businesses achieve big goals.

While many banks focus on solely the dollars and cents of a commercial loan transaction or a business checking account, OSB looks beyond the numbers to learn about the amazing people who have a real passion for building our community, like John and his team at Grand River Brewery and Cherry Creek Winery. OSB can help your business grow, too. Contact our commercial banking team today.

OSB Helps Ann Arbor, Michigan, Property Restoration Company Build on Their Success

Heidi Mitchell is a Partner at Prentice Partners of Ann Arbor, LLC (Prentice Partners). Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Prentince Partners acquires, renovates and leases multi-family residences in the city’s Lower Burns Park neighborhood. The company also acquires single family homes for the purpose of performing upscale renovations followed by resale in the same neighborhood. Currently, the company has two partners and two employees.

OSB recently asked Heidi about working with a community bank like OSB. Below she shares how it has helped Prentice Partners build on their success:

OSB: When did you first begin your relationship with OSB and how has working with OSB helped Prentice Partners achieve its goals?

Heidi: Our business associates referred Prentice Partners to OSB after we had completed our first two multi-family renovations. We were outgrowing the offerings of our first banking group and wanted a lending partner that could help us build on our early success and achieve our business objectives.

OSB has filled that role and more. They provide us with competitively structured portfolio lending for acquisitions and capital expenditures. The commercial lenders at OSB are skilled and reliable business partners who have provided expert guidance to us along the way. OSB has helped us to quadruple our portfolio net equity since we have started working together.

OSB: What do you think is the biggest difference between working with OSB versus a regional other commercial lending institutions?

Heidi: Our partners at OSB talked about and demonstrated that they conduct business based on the idea of value creation. This requires a level of understanding and service that other banks don’t offer. We evaluated other banking partners during this process but they all lacked the approach we were looking for. We have been very pleased with decision we made to bank with OSB. Overall, our experience with OSB has been outstanding

OSB: What would you tell other business owners who are looking for a commercial banking and lending relationship?

Heidi: Take the time to understand how your bank and lender is going to leverage your brand, your assets and your skill sets to help you achieve value. These returns will strengthen your foundation and open new avenues for meaningful growth.

While many banks focus on solely the dollars and cents of a commercial loan transaction, at OSB we look beyond the numbers to learn about the amazing people who have a real passion for building our community, like Heidi and her team at Prentice partners. OSB can help your business grow, too. Contact our commercial banking team today.

Four Easy Ways to Keep Your 2018 Budget and Savings Goals on Track

If you started 2018 with a goal of sticking to your budget so that you can save more, evaluating how you are doing a few weeks into the year is key to make sure you remain on track. Take a few moments now to consider if you are meeting the savings goals you set back in January. If you find that you are having trouble maintaining your financial discipline, the following tips can help you shore up your budget and increase the dollars flowing into your savings account:

1. Review your savings goals. Although it may have been a few weeks ago, think back to the reasons that fueled your savings resolutions. Maybe you need to save for a new car, a new home, your child’s college education, or you want to enjoy a debt-free vacation. Reconnecting with the “why” of your savings goals can help re-energize your focus on achieving them.

2. Automate your savings routine. One of the easiest ways to make sure you add to your savings each month is to set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account. OSB’s online banking tools—especially the mobile banking app—make this easy to do. Simply set up a recurring transfer each month so there are no excuses for not executing your savings plan.

3. Choose a bank account that helps you save. While having a handle on what you are spending is certainly helpful, so is having a bank account that also supports your savings. For example, OSB’s Advantage+ Checking Account pays you interest—money that can help your savings grow over the long term.

4. Take advantage of loyalty rewards and other savings programs. Spending less than you earn is the cornerstone of any successful savings strategy. One way to lower your monthly spending and keep your budget in check is to take advantage of money-saving reward and discount programs that can help lower the cost of necessary expenses. OSB’s Advantage and Advantage+ Checking Account holders can save with the following benefits:

  • $hopping RewardsAs a member of OSB’s Advantage and Advantage+ Checking accounts, you have access to our $hopping Rewards program, where you have access to exclusive offers and discounts at thousands of leading online retailers including these* and many more:

Home Depot

Target

Macy’s

Best Buy

Banana Republic

Rockport

Nine West

Once you complete the online registration for the $hopping Rewards program, you can simply shop at your favorite retailers online using the customized shopping portal and you will receive cash back. Your cash back rewards will be held in your $hopping Rewards account to use toward future purchases or they can be conveniently sent to you as a check. (Registration/Activation Required.  Available Online Only).  *Retailers are subject to change.

  • Cellular Phone Protection2 Covers the first three phones (four phones with Advantage Plus Checking accounts) listed on your cell phone bill that is paid through your Advantage or Advantage+ Checking Account you’ll receive up to $300 of replacement or repair costs ($400 with Advantage Plus Checking) if your cell phone is stolen or damaged, in the United States and abroad. There is a maximum of two claims per year.
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance2. As an account holder, there is no need to spend your hard-earned dollars on AD&D coverage. You will receive (at no additional cost) up to $10,000 24-hour Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance. (Coverage divides equally on joint accounts and reduces by 50% at age 70). Advantage+ Checking Account holders receive up to $20,000 24-hour Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance.
  • Health Discount Savings (This is NOT Insurance). Medical bills can add up! With savings on vision, prescriptions and dental services you can lower your health-related expenses. (Registration/activation is required.)  This is NOT insurance.
  • Don’t let your 2018 savings resolutions fall to the wayside! Recommit to your budget and your savings goals. A great way to keep more money in your bank account is by using the money-saving benefits offered with OSB’s Advantage or Advantage+ Checking Accounts. See full details on all the benefits of OSB’s Advantage or Advantage+ Checking Accounts on our website. Contact your local branch today to open an account and let us help you achieve your savings goals!

    2Special Insurance Program Notes:  The description herein is are summaries only and do not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the Benefits described.  Please refer to the actual Guide to Benefit and/or insurance documents for complete details of coverage and exclusions. Coverage is provided through the company named in the Guide to Benefit or the certificate of insurance.
    Insurance Products are not insured by FDIC or any Federal Government Agency; Not a deposit of or guaranteed by the bank or any bank affiliate.

Tips for More At-Home Storage Space

Enjoy this “Closing Thoughts” guest post from OSB’s Mortgage Lender, Kacie Eberenz (NMLS# 1458409). Looking for mortgage loan advice to help you purchase real estate in Michigan’s  Lenawee, Jackson and Washtenaw Counties? Contact Kacie today!

After the hectic holiday season, the beginning of the year provides the perfect opportunity to take stock of the changes you would like to make in different areas of your life. One place where many people focus is on their home, clearing away clutter so they can benefit from a more streamlined and organized living space. This is often when homeowners have to face the reality that they could use more storage space!

According to Realtor Magazine, not having enough storage space is the source of buyer’s remorse for 80 percent of homebuyers. If you feel the pain of insufficient storage space in your home, use the tips below to help you maximize the space you already have. If you are considering moving this year, keep these tips handy so you can quickly evaluate the homes you are considering in terms of the storage space you need.

1. Turn steps into storage. You may not think about it right away, but the space under your stairs can be opened to create a closet or to accommodate shelves. In a basement where staircases are often open anyway, adding some shelves or storage chests in this alcove can give you additional places to put toys, off-season clothing and sports equipment.

2. Install ready-made shelves. Whether you’re staying in your current home or moving elsewhere, using ready-made shelves in your closets, garage, hallways or basement is an easy way to exponentially expand the space you have to put your possessions.

3. Accessorize your bedroom. Headboard storage units, modular closet shelving, under-the-bed storage boxes and divided trays that you can slide into your dresser drawers all provide additional locations to stash clothes, books, jewelry and other items.

4. Clear up kitchen counter clutter. It’s so easy to let papers, dishes and other items pile up on kitchen counters, but allowing it to happen will ultimately leave less room for the things you really need to have on hand. Once you clear the counters, employ other space-saving strategies such as putting small appliances on shelves above the counter, using inside-the-cupboard hanging knife trays and hanging pots and pans from a ceiling-mounted rack that is within easy reach.

5. Make the garage a go-to storage space. Instead of trying to keep everything inside your house, consider storing seldom used items in your garage. Hanging items on walls, putting boxes on shelves and using overhead storage spaces can make the most of your home’s storage capacity.

When you first think of reorganizing your current home or buying your dream home, it’s likely that the practical matter of storage space is not the first issue that comes to mind. However, with recent statistics showing that the average home contains about 300,000 items, you’ll likely find these tips helpful for making sure you have a spot for all of your belongings. Another tip: If you are considering moving this year, reach out to Kacie Eberenz, OSB’s Mortgage Lender/Lead Personal Banker (#1458409) today!

OSB Helps to Protect Your Holiday Purchases (including Cell Phones!)

Are you considering making a significant purchase such as a new cell phone this holiday season? If so, you’ll want to know more about how you can protect your investments with OSB’s buyer’s Debit Advantage Buyer’s Protection ProgramTM and Extended Warranty2 program.

Plus, if you are buying a the cell phone, check out the details below about our Cellular Telephone Protection Program2 included with OSB’s Advantage Checking and Advantage+ Checking accounts.

Protect Purchases with OSB’s Debit Advantage Buyer’s ProtectionTM and Extended Warranty2

OSB’s Debit Advantage Buyer’s Protection gives you peace of mind by providing 90 days of coverage for the accidental breakage, fire or theft of items that are purchased entirely with an eligible Advantage Checking or Advantage+ Checking.

OSB’s Extended Warranty benefit extends a U.S.  manufacturer’s original written warranty up to one full year on most new retail purchases if the warranty is less than five years. (Item(s) must be purchased entirely with eligible account.)

Learn How the OSB Cellular Telephone Protection2 Program Works

If you are an Advantage Checking account holder, you are eligible to receive up to $300 of replacement or repair costs if your cell phone is stolen or damaged, in the U.S. and abroad. The Cellular Telephone Protection program covers the first three phones on a cellular telephone bill paid through your checking account. Your cellular telephone bill must be paid through this account. There is a maximum of two claims per year.

Cellular Telephone Protection increases to $400 and covers up to 4 phones for Advantage+ Checking account holders.   
OSB Gives You Peace of Mind While You Shop this Holiday Season

More than just a checking account, Advantage Checking or Advantage+ Checking accounts can help you reduce the risks associated with the theft, loss or breakage of your purchases, including new cell phones, all year long. Both of these accounts come with many other benefits, which are summarized here.

Visit your local OSB branch today to open your account and get peace of mind while you do your holiday shopping.

Some benefits require registration and activation. For complete details of this checking account, speak with an OSB representative.”
 Special Program Notes: The descriptions herein are summaries only and do not include all terms, conditions, and exclusions of the Benefits described. Please refer to the actual Guide to Benefit and/or insurance documents for complete details of coverage and exclusions.  
 2IDProtect service is a personal identity theft protection service available to personal checking account owners and their joint account owners. For revocable grantor trusts, the service is available only when a grantor is serving as a trustee and covers the grantor trustee(s). For all other fiduciary accounts, the service covers the beneficiary, who must be the primary member (Fiduciary is not covered). 
IDProtect included with Advantage Plus Checking is also available to account owners’ eligible family members. Family includes: Spouse, person qualifying as domestic partner, and children under 25 years of age and parent(s) who are residents of the same household. 
Advantage / Advantage Plus Checking accounts are not available to businesses, clubs, organizations and/or churches and their members, schools and their employees/students.
3Credit file monitoring may take several days to begin following activation.
 Insurance Products are not insured by FDIC or any Federal Government Agency; Not a deposit of or guaranteed by the bank or any bank affiliate.