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 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.

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.

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

 

 

 

OSB’s SBA Financing Helps Small Businesses Adjust to Market Changes

Michelle Brasseur, an OSB Community Bank Senior Commercial Lender, tells how the flexibility of  SBA loans can provide financing relief to small businesses.

“There are so many fantastic advantages for businesses who access SBA financing solutions through a local community bank. Early in my lending career SBA was the primary loan product that I worked with, but for the past 18 years I would say that SBA, and specifically SBA 7A, is one of the loan products that I would consider when structuring loans for clients.

This year I discovered an amazing servicing opportunity that was truly a lifesaver for one of our clients at OSB Community Bank. As a family owned business in an industry that has been experiencing declining sales and margins, this client was facing financial challenges. The stress of these conditions was showing on the client’s income statement and balance sheet. When our client requested additional financing, we had to explain that what they really needed to do was reduce expenses to align with the reduction in their current and projected sales. We encouraged them to work with their accountant to see what expenses they could reduce.

Soon after, the client came back to me with solutions to significantly reduce their expenses, showing their commitment to making the changes necessary for their survival. As a result, the bank felt comfortable looking at what financing options we could offer to them. After doing some research, I discovered that you can extend the maturity of any SBA loan up to 10 years. Doing this allowed us to provide payment relief to our client, whose business continues to do well today.”

Reinvesting in Our Community, One Organization at a Time

OSB’s President & CEO, Rick Northrup shares what’s at the heart of OSB’s passion for helping small businesses grow.

As a community bank, OSB understands what makes our neighborhoods, villages, and towns unique. We focus on lending to the small businesses and organizations that make us who we are.

A recent example illustrates this:

A charter school in our community was looking to grow and move into a new facility.  The school had been operating in a rental building and the administration wanted to own a building in order to control the school’s future and growth. Although the school and staff had been in operation locally for many years, the only financing available to them was from large, out-of-town financial institutions, which was expensive with very disadvantageous terms. The school could not afford this type of financing without inhibiting its growth. In fact, the school would have had serious financial struggles under the terms, placing its long-term success in jeopardy.

At OSB, we looked at the situation and found that the school’s students had very high academic results; the school’s staffing was strong and experienced; and the school also had committed parents. The building that the charter school wanted to purchase was an old elementary school, which would allow the school to double in size. At the time, the school was serving over 140 students, representing over 100 local families. The school and its plans made sense to us.

The team at OSB got to work, examining the school’s track record, business plan, staff, and education philosophy.  We also investigated the school’s collateral, learning about the potential for reestablishing a school there for the long-term, and understanding its value. When all was said and done, OSB offered a package of term loans and line of credit financing that allowed the school to meet its goals, without placing its financial future in jeopardy.

Since purchasing the building, the charter school has grown and is on track to double its size, as planned.  For the current academic year the school is serving over 200 students and 150 families. Soon the school expects to serve 300 students.

This is how OSB Community Bank reinvests in our community, making things better for all of us who share this little corner of the world—one organization at a time.

OSB’s Flexible Financing Creates Opportunity for Small Businesses

Ted Schork, Vice President, Commercial Banking at OSB shares how our community banking philosophy has helped one local business succeed.

“A key benefit of community banking for small businesses is our willingness and ability to be flexible in the financing solutions we offer. I was recently reminded of this when OSB had the opportunity to serve one of our long-term, residential mortgage clients who also operates a small, family-owned business which has been part of our community for more than twenty years.

The business is co-owned by a father and his son and daughter-in-law. It provides excavating, logging and trucking services. Earlier this year, one of the company’s main customers indicated that two of its other subcontractors would no longer be providing trucking services due to their retirement. This customer needed to find another subcontractor to take on the additional work and contracts. They offered this opportunity to our client.

To be able to capitalize on this opportunity, the client needed to purchase another semi-truck, a trailer and logging equipment for their business. They approached our commercial lending team with their financing needs and the desire to keep as much of their current cash position as possible for working capital. Typically, a loan requires using a good portion of cash as equity or a down payment. Instead, OSB worked with this client to utilize the equity in their other vehicles and equipment to structure a loan that met their needs.

Creativity and flexibility in OSB’s approach to commercial lending helped to create a “win-win” situation and the ability to honor our commitment of serving our clients for the long haul.”