Success Story: LaTanya Jackson

Success Story: LaTanya Jackson

Credit improvement is no easy task. It takes time, effort, a pre-determined plan and a little help from a trusted advisor.

It’s hard work, but it’s worth it for those hoping to purchase their dream home.

“I began seriously working on my credit in January of 2018,” said LaTanya Jackson. “It took me a little over a year before I was ready to buy a house.”

Success Story: LaTanya JacksonWhen she was ready, her co-worker and friend, Nakia Cooper, suggested that she get in touch with Loan Officer Dave Lehner and his team at Michigan Mortgage.

“They welcomed me and my family in a way that made me feel like I was being taken care of from the very beginning,” LaTanya said. “Being a first-time homebuyer, they never made me feel bad about asking numerous questions.”

LaTanya enjoyed getting to know Dave and his team, but described her journey to homeownership as a “rollercoaster.”

“Oh boy – where do I start,” she said. “I would find a house and within 24 to 48 hours, it was off the market. Frustrated was an understatement. By the time I found ‘the one,’ I was at my wits end.”

LaTanya’s Realtor, Eric Sikkenga with Keller Williams Grand Rapids East, helped to smooth the ride.

“All I can say about my experience with him…FUN,” LaTanya said. “He did exactly what he said he would do. He got me into the home of my dreams!”

She calls that home “Heaven.”

LaTanya has yet to move in – she making a few must-have renovations beforehand – but she’s over the moon with joy.

“Even though it needs a few things, my home feels like a little piece of heaven,” she said.

We can’t imagine another move in LaTanya’s future, but if it is, Dave will be the first person she calls.

“Dave and his team exceeded my expectations,” she said. “They were so patient and understanding throughout the entire process.”

“Every email and call was given immediate attention. They made sure I was thoroughly informed about all of my options as a first-time homebuyer.”

We wish LaTanya and her family many happy memories in their new home!

Success Story: Dan Procko

Success Story: Dan Procko

When people hear the word “mortgage” they often think about the excitement of moving on from their current home and purchasing a new and improved dream home.

But sometimes, refinancing your current mortgage – and saving a ton of money along the way – can be equally as rewarding.

Dan Procko knows that first hand.

Success Story: Dan Procko“I purchased my home about five years ago when the market was hot and prices were much lower than they are today,” Dan said. “It was a bank foreclosure and needed some work, so shortly after the purchase I took out a home equity line of credit to make repairs and updates such as a new furnace, water heater, plumbing work, electrical and some cosmetic upgrades.”

“And now, a few years and a baby later, it’s time for another home improvement project,” he said. “I also wanted to consolidate some debt and refinance the HELOC into one mortgage payment.”

After receiving refinance incentives from his current lender, and analyzing the mortgage interest rates, Dan decided this summer was the right time to refinance.

“When the right time came, I had HomePoint Financial run a refinance scenario and, at the time, they offered me a no upfront appraisal fee incentive,” he said. “Then after running my credit and it was time to order the appraisal, they needed me to pay upfront and would not honor their incentive.”

“This prompted me to contact my realtor friend and she recommended Rob Garrison’s team at Michigan Mortgage.”

Dan reached out to Rob and his team via email. He received an immediate response that clearly laid out the steps and expectations related to refinancing.

“It was very simple,” he said. Rob and his team were quick to reply anytime Dan had questions. He was informed every step of the way.

“Michigan Mortgage was able to provide me a more competitive refinance estimate and consulted me about buying percentage points,” he said. “I felt comfortable moving forward with the credit check and ordering the appraisal.”

Dan’s comfort with Michigan Mortgage was reaffirmed when he met with the appraiser.

“First my realtor friend and now the appraiser has nothing but positive things to say about Michigan Mortgage,” he said. “The turn-around time was quick, the timeline provided was exceeded and the entire process could not have gone any smoother.”

As stated before, Dan’s refinance goal was to consolidate his existing mortgage and HELOC. When he officially closed in July, he accomplished so much more.

“I was also able to pay off a credit card, pay off my vehicle loan and have enough money to upgrade my electrical panel all while reducing my monthly bills by over $500 per month.”

A painless process, a lower interest rate and lots of money saved. What more could you ask for?

“The closing was quick and held right at the Michigan Mortgage location,” he said. “I was able to meet Rob and he introduced me to the team face-to-face, which I really appreciated in this online, email and texting world day and age.”

“I will recommend Michigan Mortgage and Rob Garrison to anyone looking to buy or refinance.”

Image showing a happy homeowner!

Success Story: Ashley Moran

Ashley Moran outgrew her Roosevelt Park home after five years of residence – it was time to move on to something new.

“There was no basement and I was running out of room for storage,” she said. “The backyard was huge; I had a hard time keeping up with the lawn work by myself.”

Her home sold without issue with the help of Nexes Realty professional Matt Johnson.

“Thankfully, my mom let me move back in for a few months until I was able to find my new home,” Ashley said. “I had been looking for a few months and May happened to be the lucky month when the right house came along!”

When she found the perfect home with lots of room for her “unhealthy shoe obsession,” she hit the ground running.

“Matt listens to his clients and finds exactly what they are looking for,” Ashley said. “I got a smaller yard, a walk-in closet and a kitchen with lots of cupboards. The house is only a few years old, so that’s a bonus!”

Unfortunately, on the lending side of the transaction, things didn’t go according to plan.

“My aunt and family friends referred me to Shawn Norden after I had some issues with another mortgage company,” Ashley said. “I called her in a panic because the mortgage company I was using was not the most trustworthy and my anxiety was through the roof.”

“Shawn had me send her my information and she had a majority of the work done on her end in 24 hours,” she said. “I was very pleased with how smoothly the process went.”

Shawn was able to relieve some of Ashley’s stresses and save her a little money along the way.

“Not only did Shawn lock me into a lower interest rate, but she saved me about $3,000 in closing costs,” Ashley said.

Now that she’s settled in, she’s taking the time to complete a few home-improvement projects and unpack her things. It’s been a busy few months, but she hopes the next few weeks will offer a little more free time to focus on her new home.

“I should start working on finishing the basement, but I don’t to spend my summer cooped up inside, so that will have to wait until later this year,” she said. “For now, I want to enjoy my beautiful deck in the backyard.”

“I’m so excited to have company over and grill out back there!”

Ashley hopes that this home is her forever home, but should she move again, Shawn and Matt will be at the top of her must-call list.

Image showing a family in front of their new home.

Success Story: Kaycie and Cody Cooper

Life doesn’t always go as planned. Bad things happen when we least expect it and surprises may be waiting for us around every turn.

For Kaycie and Cody Cooper, it was the latter. Life’s unexpected moments led them to their dream home in Hamilton when they weren’t even looking.

“We were living in a home that was a bit snug for our family of six, but the location was perfect and we were content,” Kaycie said. “While we knew we were not in our forever home, we figured we would stay put for another 3-5 years.”

According to the Cooper family, God had other plans.

The family that lived next door to the pair’s brother, sister-in-law and their children, experienced a life-changing event and needed to sell their home. This is where the unexpected moments began.

“When my sister-in-law caught wind of the possible sale, she contacted the owners and discovered that it was, in fact, true,” Kaycie said. “We got really excited because it was everything we could have wanted in our next home.”

“Although we were not necessarily ready for this process, we decided to jump in feet first and see where it led us,” Cody said.

The next few weeks went better than expected. The Coopers were able to sell their home very quickly. After one open house, six offers came pouring in.

“Doors just kept opening,” Cody said. “We were pleasantly surprised with how perfect everything worked out.”

When it came time for the not-so-exciting part of homeownership – the loan process – Kaycie relied on her sister-in-law for a recommendation.

“My sister-in-law suggested that we reach out to Amy,” she said. “They had just bought their home a year before and spoke rave reviews about Amy and her team at Michigan Mortgage. She said the process was ‘easy’ and that was exactly what we were looking for.”

The Cooper’s had a few specific expectations. They wanted to wrap things up quickly, wanted to work with someone who would walk them through the process with ease and wanted to make sure they were fully aware of what was happening, every paper they were signing and what to expect next.

“Amy did all of that and more,” Kaycie said. “I remember the first few conversations I had with Amy and how sweet and confident she was on the phone. She even let me bother her on the weekend! To me, that spoke volumes.”

“While I didn’t want to take away her time from her family, she understood that things come up and was willing to take a few minutes to answer my questions and steer me on the road moving forward,” Kaycie continued. “Since we were buying and selling at the same time, she was knowledgeable and willing to help with the entire process”

“I knew right away that I could trust her and that was something I really valued. I was always very surprised by how quickly she worked.”

“I felt very taken care of and felt like Amy truly cared,” she said. “When you are making a life decision as big as buying your dream home, this is very important. I feel like I couldn’t have been in better hands.”

Hamilton is a special place and the Copper’s had a truly special home-buying experience thanks to Amy and her team at Michigan Mortgage.

Not only did the new home had everything the couple wished for – a master closet, individual bedrooms for each of their four children, a fireplace, a big kitchen, a mud room and a pole barn for Cody – it had something no other home could offer.

“The added bonus is that we are right next to family,” Kaycie said. “Between the four of us, we have 10 children, all under the age of 14. These cousins are extremely excited to grow up together and will always have someone to play with.”

“We feel so fortunate and blessed to have been able to purchase our dream home even when we weren’t looking.”

Image showing a happy homeowner's new house!

Success Story: Amanda and Steve Rudat

Credit scores don’t appear overnight – it takes time, energy and commitment to grow and build your score.

Amanda and Steve Rudat know that first hand.

“2017 was a good year for us to buy, as we had been working on our credit and finally had the stability in our careers to purchase a home,” Steve said. “We were renting places and getting nothing back in return. We had the money saved up and faith that we could make the commitment.”

Katie Bultema with Greenridge Realty helped Amanda and Steve find the home that best fit their needs.

“We wanted to be able to stay in the area,” Amanda said. “It was also very important for us to make a smart purchase within our budget. We wanted a home that had space for entertaining and room for our dogs to play.”

The couple knew this home would not be their “forever” home, so they focused on properties that had good re-sale value or homes that could appeal to renters in the future.

“Katie was a pleasure to work with and we would recommend her to anyone looking for a Realtor,” Steve said.

Katie was the perfect Realtor for Amanda and Steve. When they set out to find the perfect Loan Officer, they were connected to Loan Officer Hayley Woodworth.

“The person we were last renting from in Montague had worked with Hayley and strongly recommended her,” Amanda said. “We had been friends for a long time and to hear him speak so highly of Hayley was a big interest to us.”

“After getting to meet with Hayley and speak to her, it was really a no-brainer,” she added. “It just felt like a good choice for us.”

“Hayley was everything we were hoping for,” Steve said. “Attentive, supportive and a real go-getter. I can’t think of one time where we were wondering what was going on, what our numbers would look like or if someone would call us back.”

“When you are making these kinds of purchases, it is so refreshing to have a person like Hayley in your corner. You feel like you made a friendship, not a transaction. I feel like she had our best interest at heart.”

Amanda echoed Steve’s thoughts.

“Hayley and the staff work very hard, they are pleasant to be around and make us feel special,” she said. “It feels like family and friendship based on the way the team took care of Steve and I. So responsive, so supportive and we loved that about them. Things that could wait until the next day, Hayley was taking care of at night with us on her cell phone.”

In 2017, Hayley exceeded the couple’s expectations. Earlier this year, when Amanda and Steve decided to purchase their second home, Hayley was the first lender they called.

“We called her up out of the blue and this woman got right to work on things again,” Steve said. “She remembered exactly who we were and she was so thrilled to hear that we were looking to buy again. In no time flat, Hayley had numbers for us to start looking over again so we could budget and plan for our new place.”

“As many times as we shifted gears on her, Hayley just rolled with us on it,” he continued. “We ran so many different scenarios, properties and numbers with her and it was always the same great smile, voice and service.”

“We truly believe Hayley enjoys seeing people succeed in their dreams and purchases and it shows in the way she supports her clients. We are so happy to have found her!”

Image showing a happy homeowner!

Success Story: Bianca and Paul Urban

In the mortgage business, we help our clients achieve a small portion of the “American Dream.”

Landing your dream job, home ownership, getting married, having children – memories that will last a life time.

For Bianca and Paul Urban, their dream began to take shape in 2016.

“I had been renting for about five years and Paul had purchased his first home a few years prior,” Bianca said. “We got engaged and started putting our lives together in the Spring of 2016 and together decided to put his home up for sale with the goal of purchasing a new home in early 2017.”

Bianca is a hairstylist in Holland and Paul is a truck driver out of Byron Center. Together, they decided that the Zeeland area was the perfect place to call home. Their goal was to be settled before tying the knot in 2017.

“Our Realtor is a good friend of ours – Nicole Kayser with Five Star,” Bianca said. “She set up our connection with Mark and the team at Michigan Mortgage.”

“Nicole was great! She was there to answer any questions and we are so grateful she led us to working with Mark. They made a great team and were in constant communication to help us reach our goal of home ownership.”

Bianca and Paul knew what to expect while working with Nicole, but weren’t sure about the financial side of things. This was their first big purchase as a couple, so they relied on Nicole’s recommendations.

“It was easy for us to trust Mark with Nicole’s recommendation and how personable he was,” Paul said. “His ability to help us find the best rates without having to shop around and apply at several different places was a bonus.”

“Working with Mark was honestly super easy and comfortable from the first meeting,” Bianca added. “It can feel awkward or intimidating when going over all your finances with someone and we never felt that way through this entire journey. Mark was there to answer any questions we had and was there at each step of the process.”

“He genuinely cares for his clients and wants to see them succeed.”

They found their dream home on the first day of their search, wrote an offer contingent on the sale of Paul’s home and it all worked out as planned.

“Our expectations were definitely met with our situation to sell and buy at the same time having Mark and Nicole guide us through the process,” Paul said.

“I always recommend getting in touch with Mark anytime I hear a friend of a client of mine in my chair start to think about buying or selling their home,” Bianca said. “For us, Mark has become more than a mortgage lender. He and his family are friends we are thankful to have!”

Image showing a family tree for the Fredricks Family.

Success Story: The Fredricks Family

As part of our “Success Story” series, we’d like to introduce you to the Fredricks Family, a group of parents, siblings, cousins and friends, that have trusted Michigan Mortgage to guide them home. This is their story.

At Michigan Mortgage, it’s a family affair. We employ husband and wife teams, cousins and life-long friends.

Often times, the families we work with are related too. It’s an honor and a privilege when multiple generations – like members of the Fredricks Family – put their trust in Michigan Mortgage.

It all started many, many years ago. In third grade, in fact. Long before Rob Garrison was a licensed Loan Officer, he spent his days on the playground with Brian Fredricks. A friendship was born and it has lasted for nearly half a century.

“My dad, Brian, originally recommended Rob to me,” said Zach Fredricks. Because Brian had closed a loan with Michigan Mortgage years ago, and the two have been friends for so long, Zach was convinced that Rob and his team were the right fit.

He made the right choice.

“Early in the process, Rob advised us on ways in which to improve our credit score and drop off hundreds of dollars a month in interest making our dream home affordable,” Zach said.

“There were several times Team Garrison saved the deal,” he continued. “During the appraisal, when calculating cash to close. It’s unlikely that we would have been able to make the home sale happen without their expertise.”

After Zach moved into his dream home, his cousin Conor met with Rob to begin the home-buying process for the first time.

“Being a first-time home buyer, I wanted to work with someone I could have an open discussion with about my goals and how to best achieve them,” Conor said. “I trusted Rob to guide me through the process and was always comfortable asking him even the simplest questions.”

“I was purchasing a house from a family friend without a Realtor, so I needed someone to fill in any areas that typically would be handled by an agent and knew Rob would be willing to work with me.”

“I mention Rob anytime I talk with friends or family looking to get into a new place,” Conor said. “At the very least he is a great person to talk to with open questions and he can educate you on parts of the process you may not be familiar with. He knows how to layout your options clearly and help you hit your financial goals.”

The family tree doesn’t stop there. Before Zach and Conor worked with Team Garrison in 2018, they worked with Maury and Karen Fredricks and their daughter, Sandi.

“We initially went to Rob because he is a friend of ours,” said Karen Fredricks. “We had a complex issue and wanted to deal with someone we trusted with our personal information.”

“Rob and his team have a turn key system that is fast and efficient,” Karen said. “He proved to get the job done when others couldn’t.”

“I really couldn’t believe how fast Rob and his team got our deal done, it was within weeks,” she said. “It seemed like everyone had a task to complete the process from start to finish and their response to questions and requests was second to none.”

Team Garrison always found a way for the Fredricks Family, and because of that, they would recommend Michigan Mortgage “a thousand time more” because “they are truly the best.”

Image showing a happy homeowner!

Success Story: David and Nicole Rosel

As part of our “Success Story” series, we’d like to introduce you to David and Nicole Rosel, one of the many families that have trusted Michigan Mortgage to guide them home. This is their story.

“We had been living in a condo for the past 5 years and although we liked it, we felt it was time for a change,” Nicole said. “The condo associations’ rules were exhausting and we needed more room for our growing family.”

When they started looking for their forever home, David and Nicole had one grandchild and two more on the way. A home with a nice-sized yard was No. 1 on their shopping list, something big enough for the playtime and entertaining, but nothing too difficult to manage.

With the help of Realtor Dave Dusenberry, David and Nicole found exactly what they were looking for.

“Dave Dusenberry and I have been friends for years,” David said. “He told me that Michigan Mortgage was fun to work with and he wasn’t lying.”

Michigan Mortgage was the only mortgage company David and Nicole spoke with.

“Dave Lehner and I hit it off from the start because we have very similar personalities,” David said. “We both like to joke around and have fun, but we get serious when we have to. That’s how it is with my brothers and I think Dave would fit right in with us.”

David and Nicole expected consistent communication throughout the mortgage process and information about better and current financing options available to them.

“Michigan Mortgage made the whole process easy and pain free,” Nicole said. “From the moment we sat down with Jill, it felt like we were dealing with family.”

“They exceeded our expectations,” she said. “Although we mainly dealt with Jill and Dave, the whole Michigan Mortgage team was professional and treated us like we were the most important people in the building.”

“People complain that customer service is a thing of the past, but that’s not the case at Michigan Mortgage.”

You know you’ve made friends with your client when you are invited to their housewarming party. It was an honor to attend!