Make Time to Enjoy These Local Autumn Activities

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.

Advertisements

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