Your Local Michigan Mortgage Specialists

TOP 3 Reasons to Stop Renting & Buy Your Own Home

September 10th, 2019 by Inlanta Staff

Is it time to leave renting behind and purchase a home to call your own?

There are many advantages to becoming a homeowner in 2019.  We are sure you have seen the news, interest rates have dropped to all-time lows once again, making homeownership more affordable than many rising rent payments.  When considering buying a home you want to evaluate your current circumstance and stage in life.  Buying a home is not always right for each  situation.  Below are the Top 3 Reasons to Buy Your Own Home:

  1. Privacy: If you are renting you know all too well what it is like to share ceilings, walls or floors with others!  You may even want to have a party where you don’t have to worry about how loud the music is, where everyone will park or even if you have enough space for all your guests.  Better yet, you can look forward to relaxing in your living room, with your feet up after a long day in complete silence if you choose.  These are just a few of the privacy benefits of homeownership.
  2. Savings & Investment: The cost of renting in Michigan continues to increase and in many situations, monthly payments are lower when purchasing a home!  There are a variety of mortgage products with various down payment options that can provide cost savings every month.  Additionally, the principal and interest payments on a fixed-rate mortgage do not fluctuate the way that rent payments do with inflation.  Every month you make a payment equity builds on your long-term investment; your home.
  3. Personalization: Owning your home allows you to put your design stamp on it.  Paint your walls any color of your choosing, add wallpaper, remodel the kitchen, knock out a wall for a more “open concept”, put in a garden, add landscaping, your imagination is the limit*!  As you update your home, many of your projects also provide additional value, helping to grow your investment.  As a renter, many complexes don’t even allow you to paint or hang your own curtain rods.

If you are trying to decide if purchasing a home is right for you now or in the future reach out to us for a personal review or send us a quick message.

Want to learn more about purchasing a home in a relaxed, fun environment?  Join us for our upcoming FREE Homeowners Class!





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The Best Way to Use Your Tax Refund

February 26th, 2019 by Inlanta Staff

A Down Payment on a New Home is the Best Option for your Tax Refund!

The tax season is well underway.  If you are receiving a refund, have you planned what you are going to do with it?  Utilizing your tax refund towards the purchase of a new home is a great long-term investment.  Typically, there is a minimum down payment of 3.5-5% on the purchase of a primary residence. The thought of this large down payment is one of the biggest challenges for home buyers to overcome.

One benefit of tax season is being able to utilize your IRS or State tax refund for a down payment. In some cases a refund is also helpful to pay off outstanding debts or credit cards to improve credit or qualify for a larger mortgage.  The most important step is start a conversation, where we can review your situation to know the best way for you use your refund and get you closer to a new home.

Mortgage Payments Can be Less Than Renting & You are Building Your Equity/Net Worth

Get started with the home buying process before Spring Market.  The competition, sales prices and interest rates increase throughout the year and can effect how much you are able to afford.


Why Paying PMI Maybe in Your Best Interest as a First Time Home Buyer

September 26th, 2018 by Inlanta Staff

One of the biggest hurdles that First Time Home Buyers face is saving up for the down payment.  There are many misconceptions that home buyers need to have at least 20% down; which can add years to the buying process for the funds to accumulate.  When a home is purchased with less than 20% down there is required PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) that is added to the monthly mortgage payment.

Paying PMI may be in the best interest of many first time home buyers due to the rising interest rate and home price environment we are currently facing.  Additionally, as a new home owner they can begin to build equity immediately instead of waiting for years to have the 20% down payment saved up.

Take a look at the graphic below for the recent Home Price Expectation Survey, which shows an example of a home owner who purchased in January that would gain nearly $50,000 in equity over the course of five years based on the home price appreciation alone.

So what does all this mean?

As a first time home buyer, you should start a conversation now about all your mortgage financing options instead of waiting.  Our Inlanta Team can easily layout these options and put together a plan for what is best for your individual situation.  You may end up deciding to purchase right away or take some time to better prepare.

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5 Questions to Ask your Bank BEFORE applying for a mortgage

September 9th, 2018 by Ima Admin

Make sure to ask your bank these 5 questions before applying for a mortgage.  We know the many great services they offer, but we specialize ONLY in mortgages, which gives you an upper hand.

#1: Will I be pre-approved or pre-qualified?

As we’ve stated in this previous article, being pre-approved and pre-qualified are two different things and the latter doesn’t have any value when the rubber hits the road. The purpose of a pre-qualification is to give a general idea of what to expect, but nothing is concrete until the more in-depth analysis of the pre-approval process. At Inlanta, we do a lot of the legwork during this step to give you more buying power when it comes time to make an offer.

#2: What does your loan process look like from beginning to end?

Since we are doing an in-depth analysis of your financials upfront the loan process moves smoother and quicker.  With your income and assets evaluated from the beginning we are able to streamline the mortgage process and get your loan into our processor right away and on to underwriting.  During the underwriting stage you will most likely be requested for a few clarifying documents to complete the process.  The underwriter may also request some updates to the appraisal report and purchase agreement.  This is done just to make sure everything matches exactly.

You are looking for a mortgage loan process that is smooth and flows cohesively.  Many times the person you originally speak to has no control on what the process looks like or what is happening.  That can be frustrating for all involved.

Learn More About Inlanta’s Loan Process

#3: How long does it take to close my loan?

This is a much bigger question than it appears.  We will start of with the standard answer; most mortgage transactions take 30-45 days.  There are an overwhelming number of variables that can cut this time frame down to 10 days but also as many that could extend the loan to more than 45 days.

Generally speaking, Inlanta closes mortgage transactions in 20 days.  The reason why we are able to close faster is because of our upfront work to truly pre-approve our clients as well as Inlanta’s commitment to work off of your purchase contract date.  We will try to do what is needed to get you to the closing table on your agreed upon date.  This does take your cooperation to provide all the documentation and paperwork that is requested by the deadlines given to keep everything on track.

#4: Do you use an appraisal management company?

This seems like a small detail in the grand scheme of things, but it’s an important question to ask.  All appraisals are not created equal.  An appraisal management company is a third party who has a large number of appraisers signed up to work for them as contractors to insure they are not unduly influenced by the mortgage lender.  These appraisers have to do more appraisals to earn the same amount of money and many times will accept orders outside of their area of familiarity.

There is an additional option to have a separate internal appraisal desk that manages the ordering of appraisals to ensure the appraisers are local and complete a thorough report. The biggest benefit of using a local appraiser rather than an outsourced one is that he or she will have first-hand knowledge about the area and neighborhood.  Additionally, the appraisers can be vetted more thoroughly.

If you want to get a better idea on what an appraisal management company is and how it came about; read this from NAR:  NAR Issue Brief: Appraisal Management Company Q&A

#5: How and when will I be communicated with?

You will be communicated with every step of the way. The mortgage process is complicated, but having all parties involved work together as a team will keep it from being difficult. Keeping everyone in the loop, whether it’s by phone, email, or text, is key to achieving this, and rest assured that Inlanta Mortgage Grand Rapids will do our part to make sure everyone involved is on the same page.


Already have a pre-approval?  Take a minute to check your quote.

Do You Have the Best Mortgage Quote?

August 28th, 2018 by Inlanta Staff

Check Your Current Mortgage Quote

Get a custom review of your current mortgage quote to ensure you are in the best mortgage for your individual situation.  Mortgage quotes are not all created equal.  It is important to take into account your goals today as well as in the future.  Check your current mortgage quote now!

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3 Tips for Choosing the Right REALTOR and Best Mortgage Lender

August 16th, 2018 by Inlanta Staff

Purchasing a home is one of the largest financial decisions of most people’s lives.  When the right REALTOR and Best Mortgage Lender are chosen the process becomes much smoother and you experience a “dream team”.  This team will be one you can trust with not only your financial information but more importantly, they will educate and guide you through the ins and outs of the home buying process.

The mission of the Inlanta Mortgage is to be the Best Mortgage Lender that you trust to not only take care of your home financing but also your family, friends, and community.  Our Ada, MI team prides themselves on being well connected with many REALTORs across Michigan to provide seamless service to all involved.

When choosing your “Dream Team” consider the following 3 Tips:

  1. Experience is invaluable, but not everything.  You want to have a team that works with you as much as for you.  Choose a team that is real and that you can relate to.  You will be spending quite a bit of time with your REALTOR and your Mortgage Lender must be relatable with your best interest at heart.
  2. Passion will make the difference.  Passion for not only real estate, but also you as their client can be the difference between your transaction being successful or not.  You want your REALTOR to tell you honestly what their professional opinion is with your long-term goals top of mind.  Furthermore, you want a Mortgage Lender that will go out of their way to assist in getting your offer accepted and communicate consistently with all parties.  You want to hear the passion in their voices!
  3.  Support makes for a seamless process.  Everyone will tell you that there is nothing simple about buying a home.  Once you find the perfect house and get your offer accepted, it will feel like the mortgage company wants everything short of a blood test 🙂 But, if you are working with a REALTOR and Mortgage Lender who have adequate support and knowledge the process can move along without anyone missing a beat.  In the best situation, each member is focused on what they do best and control of your transaction is in the hands of your Loan Originator to ensure you close on time without issues.

Let us Help You Put Together Your Dream Team.  Who can we connect you with?

REALTOR to Purchase a HomeREALTOR to Sell my HomeInsurance AgentFinancial Advisor


Tax Time Down Payment

February 5th, 2018 by Inlanta Staff

Should you be using your Tax Refund for your Down Payment on a new Home?

In preparation for purchasing a home saving for the down payment can be the most challenging piece to the puzzle. Typically there is some sort of down payment or out of pocket expense for the home buyer. The average down payment is 3.5% – 5% of the purchase price of the home.  This makes tax time the perfect opportunity to maximize available funds for the down payment on a new home.

An IRS tax refund is a great, acceptable source for a down payment on a new home.  Even a small refund may be enough to provide you with an ideal amount toward a down payment.  The first step would be to begin the mortgage pre-approval process by either applying online, downloading our phone app to apply or simply give us a call: (616) 918-6564.  You can begin with the pre-approval right away, even before your tax return has been filed.

Being pre-approved will give you the insight to how much home you can afford as well as how much of a down payment will be required based on the best mortgage product for you.  There is not a “one-size fits all” solution, your personal situation must be taken in to account to be provided with the most suitable options.

Yes, NOW is the best time to use your Tax Refund towards a Down Payment.

Monthly mortgage payments can cost less than renting an apartment or house and your payments, as well as any improvements to the home, are building your equity, not your landlord’s.  More importantly, it is ideal to purchase a home now because there is less competition, sellers are motivated to sell, interest rates are still low (though interest rates are projected to increase throughout the year) and you can close quickly, before the spring market.

Inlanta Mortgage – #1 Independent Mortgage Broker in WI

January 18th, 2018 by Ima Admin

number 1 mortgage lender grand rapids mi depicted by charts and world

The Inlanta Grand Rapids Mortgage team is proud to share the news that its parent company, Inlanta Mortgage WI, has been named the #1 Independent Mortgage broker in Wisconsin, where the company is headquartered.

“Our team is delighted to celebrate Inlanta’s 25th Anniversary with the news that our parent company closed the highest number of loans in its home state,” said Grand Rapids Inlanta Mortgage branch manager Jonathan Arnold. “The news comes amidst our local growth in the Grand Rapids market as a premier independent mortgage company. It’s my personal mission to become the go-to lender for Michiganders.”

As an independent mortgage banker, Inlanta offers a larger variety of loan options such as VA, USDA, and FHA, than is typically offered by most lenders. The Grand Rapids Inlanta team is also able to serve the entire state of Michigan, including underserved rural markets whereas many lenders only focus on the larger loan amounts in bigger metro areas.

About Inlanta Mortgage

Headquartered in Pewaukee, WI, Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993. The company has grown to over 40 branches in 20 states and over 250 employees. Inlanta Mortgage’s mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Their team of dedicated mortgage professionals is committed to delivering an exceptional experience using honest and ethical lending practices.
Inlanta Mortgage was named a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Top Workplace in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Inlanta has been consistently recognized as one of the “50 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For” by Mortgage Executive Magazine and one of the country’s “Top Mortgage Employers” by National Mortgage Professional.

Grand Rapids Mortgage Branch

Locally, Inlanta branch manager Jonathan Arnold has been recognized as a “Rising Star” by the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association and was named top producer of all Inlanta branches for the third year in a row last year. Arnold’s teammate, Katrina Cole, was also acknowledged as a “40 Under 40” to watch by the MMLA, for which she serves as President of the West Chapter. Arnold is regularly called upon to share his expertise in the Grand Rapids residential real estate market for investors and homeowners who want to navigate the burgeoning real estate market.

For a jump on the spring market, download this Grand Rapids Real Estate Buyers Guide:

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Free Mortgage Calculators and Affordability Calculator with New Inlanta “IMhome” App

November 28th, 2017 by Ima Admin

Inlanta Mortgage Grand Rapids is happy to say “there’s an app for that!” with the release of its robust “IMhome” app, which features mortgage calculators and homebuyer guide information. Are you a first-time home buyer wondering what kind of mortgage payment you can afford? Maybe you’re in the market to refinance your home, and want to run some scenarios. Or you’re ready to move up to your dream home and would like to see what’s involved in getting a Jumbo mortgage.

You can run scenarios for different types of mortgages, and save your calculations. The app, brought to you by Grand Rapid’s leading Mortgage company, will also allow you to upload documents if you decide to apply for a home loan, and will keep your communications organized with it’s simple, easy-to-use interface.

Features of the IMhome Mortgage App

Take a moment to scroll through these screen shots to see the different mortgage calculators available:

  • FHA Mortgage Calculator
  • VA Mortgage Calculator
  • USDA Mortgage Calculator
  • Conventional Mortgage Calculator
  • Jumbo Mortgage Calculator
  • Affordability Calculator
  • Amortization Schedule

In addition, you’ll have quick links at your finger tips for:

  • Homebuyers Guides
  • Loan Application
  • Loan Status Updates every step of the way
  • Scan and upload documents securely
  • Easy Access to call or text your loan originator
  • Plus News, Guides and a Glossary of mortgage terms

How to Install Inlanta’s IMhome Mortgage App

Check out this quick video tutorial to help you get started.

5 Reasons You Should Purchase Your Home Over the Holidays

November 13th, 2017 by Inlanta Staff

1. Less Competition

The holidays are a busy time and combine that with the ever-changing cool Michigan weather and you will find less Real Estate transactions taking place.  The advantage of fewer people shopping for a home is less competition and multiple offer situations.  For an upper hand make sure to get a copy of Inlanta’s 5 Secrets to Winning in a Tight Real Estate Market.


2. Sellers Are Motivated

People who are selling their home during the holidays tend to be more motivated.  If the home has been on the market for some time prior to the holidays they may be even more eager to sell.  Use this urgency to your advantage to negotiate a fair offer with the sellers.

3. Interest Rates

Interest Rates remain low making owning your dream home more affordable than rent! Interest rates fluctuate daily and long-term projections are mixed, so it is best to take advantage of these rates now. To give you an idea, on average a one percentage point increase in interest rates can reduce your overall purchasing power by eleven percent.  Make sure you know all your mortgage options and how to choose the best mortgage.

4. Streamline Closings

With the end of the year in sight, everyone is looking to get things wrapped up quickly. There are fewer transactions during the holidays leaving a perfect window of opportunity to close on your purchase as soon as possible.  The mortgage process does not have to be complicated; take a look at our 10 Step Guide to the Mortgage Process.

5. Potential Tax Advantages

At this time if you itemize your taxes you may be able to deduct points, property tax, and mortgage interest. This advantage varies depending upon any other deductions you may have for the year. As you may know, there are many discussions on tax changes that may be coming, so we always advise that you consult with a tax professional to know how a home purchase can benefit you.

So what does all this really mean to you?

If you are looking to purchase a home over the holidays the homes that are for sale have motivated sellers, there are fewer buyers to compete with, interest rates are still great and you should be able to close your loan quickly; potentially with tax advantages.  So what are you waiting for?  Get Started Today