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.

Strategies to Make Your Home Key to Your Success in 2018

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!

The old saying, “Home is where the heart is,” still holds true for many of us; but did you know that with the following organizational strategies, your home can also be key to your success? Whether you are looking to buy a new home, or maybe refinance or spruce up an existing one, these tips from Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing can help you create an environment to support greater success in the year ahead:

Tackle categories instead of rooms in your home. One of Kondo’s key strategies is to tidy things up by category instead of room by room. For example, start with your clothes, then move on to books, then photographs, etc. Doing so will allow you to have a feeling of accomplishment by getting one area done at a time—a strategy that you can use to tackle work projects and the items on your resolution or goal lists, too.

Respect your possessions. While it may seem a little odd at first, Kondo encourages people to consider how their physical items feel about how they are stored in their homes. For example, do clothes crammed into a messy closet look happy? Likely not—so use this “personalization” of your clothes and any other items to set things right, to weed out what you don’t need and to bring harmony to your environment.

Let go of the past. Just like hesitating to leave an old home for a new one, hesitating to part with sentimental “stuff” will only hold you back from the future.  As Kondo says in her book, nostalgia is not your friend when it comes to creating an environment that supports your success. Be selective in what physical memories you keep and get rid of those that don’t truly stir positive emotions.

Seek joy from your surroundings. According to Kondo, you should focus on keeping only the things that give you joy or are truly necessary. In short, when you organize your possessions you should discard anything that you don’t absolutely need or love. The same theory can be applied to the people, places and work that you do when you focus on creating more success in your life and career.

Applying Kondo’s strategies for organizing your home can help to make it key to your success. It will also help to create mental clarity about what you need to do to achieve your objectives. If buying a new home is one of your goals in 2018, an OSB mortgage can help clear the way to make it a reality. Contact Kacie Eberenz, Mortgage Lender/Lead Personal Banker (#1458409) at 517-592-3205. today to get your mortgage approval process started.

Use OSB’s $hopping Rewards Benefits to Make the Most of 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Savings

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner and if you’re an OSB Advantage Checking or Advantage+ Checking account holder, this year you may be able to stack your savings even higher to score lower prices using your $hopping RewardsTM benefits.

As a member of OSB’s $hopping Rewards program, 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

Use OSB $hopping rewards for more 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday savings.

Once you complete the online registration for the $hopping Rewards program, all you need to do is shop 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.

While you are making your 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping plans, be sure to add registering online for $hopping Rewards to your list of must-dos. If you are not already an OSB Advantage Checking or Advantage+ Checking account holder, don’t delay opening your account! Visit your local OSB branch today to get your account in time to use the $hopping Rewards for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping.

Additional tips for shopping 2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

In addition to using your $hopping Rewards to get the best deals, use these tips to make sure that your Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargain hunting is successful:

  • Create a holiday shopping plan prior to making purchases by researching deals in advance.
  • Screen all direct mail and email offers against your shopping list, so you buy only things you really need.
  • Be sure to check social media for exclusive deals, too.
  • Enlist a buddy if you need moral support to avoid unnecessary purchases.

If you are like many southeastern Michigan shoppers, you are planning to kick-off your holiday gift buying this Thanksgiving. Be sure to use your OSB $hopping Rewards to maximize your savings. If you have questions about OSB Advantage Checking or Advantage+ Checking accounts and the $hopping Rewards program please contact your local OSB branch.

Make Time to Enjoy These Local Autumn Activities

As your local mortgage lender, OSB can help you secure the southeastern Michigan mortgage loans in Lenawee,  Jackson and Washtenaw counties. To help you make optimal decisions about your mortgage options, we’re featuring  this “Closing Thoughts” guest post from OSB’s Mortgage Lender, Kacie Eberenz (NMLS# 1458409).

Fall is one of the best times to get outdoors for some quality time with family and friends and there’s an abundance of fun fall activities in our local area to enjoy. From walking through rustling leaves on a nature trail, to finding treasures at craft shows and downtown shops, to cheering on young athletes at school sporting events, the fall season in southeastern Michigan has something for everyone.

Although the weather has been warm recently, the sure signs of fall are appearing! The leaves are changing color—and a new crop of delicious apples is coming into season, which means that apple picking, another favorite fall family activity is ready to enjoy at local orchards in Jackson County, Lenawee County and  Washtenaw County. If you’re ready to celebrate this year’s harvest season, here are a few of the area’s local farms and orchards you may want to visit:

In Jackson County—Meckley’s Flavor Fruit Farm was established more than 60 years ago. It is located at 11025 S. Jackson Road in Cement City, Michigan. This full “farm experience” truly has something for everyone, including an orchard, cider mill, farm tours, a bakery, plus a cidery and wine cellar. There’s even special live music events throughout the season.

In Lenawee County—Carpenter Farms in Adrian, Michigan is a place that’s perfect for making family memories. The working farm offers lots of fun activities during the fall season including a corn maze, hayrides and pumpkins, a petting farm and more. Plus, you can take a great family snapshot in their beautiful fall photo-staging display.

In Washtenaw County—Part farm, part orchard, part county fair—a trip to Wiard’s Orchard in Ypsilanti, Michigan adds up to a ton of family fun! Located at 5565 Merritt Road, you can plan to spend a full afternoon at Wiard’s to enjoy lunch and take in all of the amusements such as games, slides, the corn maize, tractor rides, pony rides, paintball and a trip through the haunted woods. Not to mention, you’ll want to spend time picking apples and pumpkins in the u-pick area and paying a trip to the country store featuring baked goods and more.

These favorite fall destinations are just a sampling of the outings that you and your family can enjoy in our local community. By exploring all of the fall activities and events in Jackson County, Lenawee County and  Washtenaw County you’ll make the most of one of the most beautiful times of year in southeast Michigan.

Go from Panic to Peace of Mind with these Professional “Post-Mortgage” Tips

OSB COmmunity Bank mortgage promotion 2017 flyer

Mortgage season is definitely here, with the real estate market in full swing and interest rates poised to rise, making it the perfect time to refinance an existing loan. To help you make optimal decisions about your mortgage options, we’re featuring  this “Closing Thoughts” guest post from OSB’s Mortgage Lender, Kacie Eberenz (NMLS# 1458409).

Once you have found the perfect home, secured the mortgage loan that you need and have sold your existing property, real moments of panic can set in when you realize how much you have to do as you take possession of your new house. The list can seem endless: packing, unpacking, coordinating movers, changing your address, setting up utilities, and getting your new home move-in ready. This transition phase is overwhelming for many people, but you can restore your peace of mind if you use the following tips to simplify the process:

Clear your calendar. Trying to pack, coordinate appointments for utility hook-ups and deliveries, plus accommodating meals and daily living activities when your home is in moving mode is stressful enough. If you can, take some time off work or at least make the weekends obligation-free so you can accomplish what you need to get done.

Clear your closets. In addition to freeing time to get ready for your move, you should free yourself (and your new home) of unnecessary items. Before you even start putting anything in a packing box, make the tough choices about letting go of the possessions you no longer need. If you move extra stuff to your new place, it will not only add to the physical congestion there, but also make you feel more stressed about finding a place for it.

To divest of your unwanted items, consider having a garage sale, taking items to  consignment shops or donating them. Some moving companies will help you drop off unwanted items at non-profit organizations that can use them—be sure to ask your movers!

Have a packing plan. Make sure you think about the layout of your new house when packing boxes, putting items that you want to go in the same room together. Labeling boxes according to the rooms they need to go to and/or the names of items in them will save you valuable time when unpacking.

Pack a box of essentials. One of the first things to pack is a box with all of the “urgent” things you’ll need at your new home as soon as you arrive such as toilet paper, paper towels, a note pad and pen, cleaning supplies, snacks and drinks. This will save you time and the hassle of searching through boxes or having to run to the store in the midst of moving in.

Time moving-related appointments right. Once you’re ready to move, you’ll realize how many appointments there are to schedule! There’s cable and/or internet services, appliance deliveries and more, so try to consolidate as many of these appointments to a single day as possible so you only have to wait at home for a specific period, rather than at multiple times on multiple days. Also, consider scheduling them before your actual move-in date to make the day you move a little less hectic.

Enlist help when you need it. It’s very hard, if not impossible, to manage a move alone. You can ask friends and neighbors to pitch in when they can, but even this may not completely relieve the stress, since you’ll have to plan for them and direct them, too.

One of the best ways to make sure everything gets done efficiently is to use professional home concierge services. These services, where a professional comes to your home and takes on the tasks of moving preparation for you can save you significant time and frustration. Plus, you’ll be amazed at the difference a professional touch can make when organizing your closets, cupboards—and even your garage!

Let OSB help you simplify the moving process with a special offer. At OSB we want to make every part of the mortgage process easy for you—and we want to help you avoid any panic over other things related to moving, too. That’s why when you establish a new mortgage or refinance an existing loan at OSB now through December 31, 2017, we’ll provide you with a complimentary hour of services from Brooklyn’s own Simplified Living Concierge Services to help you get settled more easily in your new home. See details of the offer above and be sure to contact me if you need assistance with your home financing needs.

Simple Steps You Can Take for a Smoother Mortgage Experience

Mortgage season is definitely here, with the real estate market in full swing and interest rates poised to rise, making it the perfect time to refinance an existing loan. To help you make optimal decisions about your mortgage options, we’re featuring  this “Closing Thoughts” guest post from OSB’s Mortgage Lender, Kacie Eberenz (NMLS# 1458409).

If you think that applying for a mortgage loan is right up there with getting a root canal—you’re not alone. Many home buyers, and homeowners looking to refinance, find the mortgage application process frustrating—or even painful. At OSB, we strive to make your mortgage experience as simple as possible (see the infographic below for a complete picture of our mortgage process). In addition, taking the steps below can make your mortgage experience even smoother:

Step 1: Choose the right lender. If you’re not working with the right lender, securing a mortgage loan can be a painful process. It’s important to be comfortable with your lender. For example, if you want to have someone to guide you through the process and be able to answer your questions in a timely manner, an online mortgage option is probably not for you.

At OSB, we work to streamline your mortgage application and make getting a mortgage as easy as possible with personalized service to help you feel as comfortable and confident as possible.

Step 2: Provide your financial information promptly. Buying or refinancing your home requires that you provide significant amounts of financial and personal information to your lender. From bank statements to pay stubs your lender should let you know exactly what they need from you in order to process your mortgage application. To avoid delays, make sure you provide the specific items requested in a timely manner.

Step 3: Tackle your taxes. You will need to provide current tax returns as part of the mortgage application process and you must have your taxes filed for the past two years. If you have any delinquent tax payments or unfiled taxes, you’ll need to ensure that they are taken care of so the processing of your mortgage application can proceed.

Step 4: Manage your account balances and credit. Your bank balances and credit score will be evaluated by your lender as part of the mortgage loan decision so it is wise to make sure they are in good order.

Tip: When it comes to your bank account, it’s best not to make large deposits during your loan application, as it may affect your loan decision. In addition, avoid taking on any new debt during the loan process (e.g. Hold off on buying new furniture and appliances until after your mortgage closes.), since all of your debt will influence your debt-to-loan ratio which is a critical aspect of any mortgage loan application.

Let OSB help you smooth out the mortgage application process. Applying for a mortgage shouldn’t be a burden. OSB is dedicated to making your loan process simple and streamlined—and these tips can help you take the right steps to make your mortgage experience even smoother! Need help with a mortgage loan? Contact me at 517.592.1058 and we’ll get started!

mortgage path to the american dream




Behind Every Successful Business Loan is a Great Customer Relationship

In celebration of National Small Business Week,our commercial lending team is sharing how OSB helps local small business owners find flexible financing so they can take advantage of new growth opportunities. John Spiedel, Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at OSB shares his thoughts below.

“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.

True community bankers are intensely focused on their community, but they also recognize that a community is defined by people—not just by lines on a map. A perfect example of this philosophy in action is the relationship that OSB has formed with a mid-1980’s University of Michigan alumna who lives in California and has an extremely successful consulting business there. Even though she lives far away, she has always stayed connected to her hometown, Ann Arbor, including making investments in student rental properties in the city.

Recently, this customer decided to purchase additional student rental properties in Ann Arbor, but none of the other “local” banks wanted to lend to someone living outside of Michigan. She was referred to OSB by another local business owner (who has since become our customer as well). Instead of dismissing her request on a geographic basis, we looked deeper, taking the time to learn about her goals and to understand her keen business sense and conservative, disciplined nature. We also noted that she flew in each month to visit each of her Michigan investments in person. She was hardly an absentee owner, which made her an even better potential customer.

By working to understand not only the financial situation but the person behind the numbers as well, we saw that this scenario held not only manageable risk, but a great potential customer relationship. Her investments in property renovations have been carried out by local workers using materials bought locally. This customer’s satisfaction with OSB’s small business loans and our way of doing business is evident in her willingness to recommend us to her many other Ann Arbor business contacts. This is proof that behind every successful business loan is a great customer relationship.”