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The Klyn Family

Success Story: The Klyn Family

At Michigan Mortgage, we strive to make life-long connections with our clients.

We commit to educating and advising long after the loan is closed and hope to reconnect with each family we serve at our annual customer appreciation events.

The Klyn FamilyThe Klyn family is no different. Loan Officer Amy Hendrickson and her team look forward to working with them every time they call.

“Amy treats you in such a way that you feel valued and want to be one of her clients for life,” David Klyn said. “We know that we are in good hands with Amy, and she is going to help us navigate through what can be a stressful time. Her thoroughness and attention to detail helps to calm our nerves and reduce stress.”

The Klyn family called Amy for the first time in 2019. Earlier this year, they purchased a new home via Michigan Mortgage and the Pro Snap app. They asked questions about another possible purchase and Amy answered all of them even though they opted against the transaction.

“Amy and her team are on top of responding to emails/phone calls and answering all of our questions,” David said. “I typically have a number of questions and Amy is always more than willing to answer these questions no matter how simple or dumb they are.  She is also willing to go over multiple scenarios based on different buying and selling options.”

This is one of the many reasons the Klyn family put their trust in Michigan Mortgage.

What do they like most about working with Amy and her team?

“Two reasons come to mind,” David said. “She is upfront and honest in everything she does.”

“Number two. Amy and her team have great service, treat you like family, and cover all the details.”

Our team is here to guide you every step of the way! And we appreciate the Klyn family for putting their trust in us each and every time they’re interested in making a real estate transaction.

Thomas Siuda

Success Story: Thomas Siuda

Change is hard – change following a national pandemic is even harder.

Thomas and his children set out to purchase a new home earlier this year following his divorce. COVID-19 and low interest rates made it more difficult than expected.

Inventory was extremely low and offers faced unprecedented competition, but Dave Lehner and his team at Michigan Mortgage were ready to help guide Thomas as soon as he found the right home.

“I made offers on four homes during my search,” Thomas said. “I missed out on each one, but that was in no way a reflection of Dave and his team. In each of these offers I made, I had estimates of what my closing costs and monthly payments would be.”

Thomas SiudaAfter four rejected offers, an offer was accepted, and Dave and his team went to work.

“The purchase itself was very simple due to the expert advice and team that I was working with,” Thomas said. “I had no hiccups along the way.”

“Right from the start, Jill was great to work with and set the tone for the entire process,” he said. “Everyone that I came in contact with from Dave’s team was friendly, easy to work with and was truly happy that my three kids and I found a home that we love.”

“Everyone from Dave to Jill to the entire team was welcoming, helpful and made my experience truly seamless.  It was simple and easy to follow what I needed to do and when.”

With the help of Pro Snap, most of the work was done via cell phone. Thomas applied via the app, securely scanned and uploaded the necessary documents and communicated with Team Lehner whenever needed.

“I enjoyed the whole experience from beginning to end,” Thomas said. “I was actually a little sad when I closed. I knew I would miss the communication with the team at Michigan Mortgage, but I did receive congratulations from everyone on our home.”

Thank you for trusting us to guide you home, Thomas! We enjoyed working with you.

The Grimm Family

Success Story: Thom & Tiffany Grimm

When it comes time to purchase a new home or refinance your current mortgage, there are hundreds of lenders available and ready to serve you.

Talking about income, credit score and debt is challenging, and may be even more difficult if you have a personal relationship with the lender.

The Grimm FamilyThom and Tiffany Grimm had no concerns when they called Dave Lehner and his team.

“Our family has known Dave for several years,” Thom said. “We have always entrusted the entire Michigan Mortgage team as they work with us and give us the most professional work.”

Earlier this year, Thom and Tiffany capitalized on low interest rates and refinanced a home loan they closed on in 2016. Dave and his team worked on that mortgage as well.

“There are lots of financing options available in West Michigan,” Dave said. “I am very thankful for those that have trusted my team and I to guide them home.”

Anytime a friend (or a new customer) reaches out to Michigan Mortgage, we count our blessings.

“We will continue to use Michigan Mortgage in any future transactions,” Thom said. “We wouldn’t think of using any other Mortgage Company.”

At Michigan Mortgage, our goal is to provide the best possible mortgage experience in a fun and friendly environment. When we’re able to do that with long-time friends and family members, the end result is that much sweeter.

“When friends and family reach out to me, it shows that they trust in me for advice and to take care of them,” Dave said. “When they do call, I let them know upfront that our relationship or friendship comes first. That is more important than business.”

“But I do promise to take care of them,” he said.

He appreciates their friendship and their willingness to put their trust in him.

“I want everyone to have a positive experience working with Michigan Mortgage,” Dave said. “My team works hard on every file because we take pride in what we do.”

“Our experience using Michigan Mortgage has been extremely enjoyable,” Tiffany said. “Working with Dave and the staff has been simple and easy. Dave is friendly, approachable, and understanding throughout the entire process.”

“They always exceed our expectations,” she continued. “They put us at ease making the process seamless and effortless on our end.”

We are so thankful that the Grimm family trusted us to guide them home (again)!

Impact Report

Impacting Our Local Community

Rob Garrison said it best.

“2020 was quite the year. Between a global pandemic, rioting in our cities and a contentious Presidential election, we know that everyone was tired and frustrated and perhaps ready for 2020 to be over. The uncertainty that the pandemic has placed on so many families is disheartening. We are saddened by the medical, financial and personal suffering that so many have endured in 2020. In that vein, we at Michigan Mortgage have doubled our efforts to make the most impact in areas that we can control: our clients, our employees and the community.”

As we work our way through 2021, we wanted to take a moment to pause and look back on all of the good that happened last year.

Impact ReportHere are a few of our favorite highlights. If you’d like to learn more about 2020 community involvement, click here and flip through our Impact Report.

#MMGivesBack – Honoring Our Local Educators

Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we launched #MMGivesBack – Honoring Our Local Educators to give back to those that give so much to our local community. Three times in 2020, we recognized a West Michigan educator that went above and beyond in the classroom and donated $1,000 to their school.

We surprised the following teachers, delivered a gift basket and thanked them for their dedication to their students.

Rosanne Willard, Oakridge Elementary in Muskegon
Tammie Thompson, Griffin Elementary in Grand Haven
Julie Anderson, Beach Elementary in Fruitport

Each woman (and their school) was deserving of our Outstanding Teacher Award and $1,000 donation!

As part of #MMGivesBack, educators that financed their mortgage – purchase or refinance – with a Michigan Mortgage Loan Officer received $100 worth of school supplies and we donated $50 worth of school supplies to another teacher on their behalf. In total, we donated supplies to 75 classrooms in more than 20 West Michigan school districts.

Michigan Mortgage Service Scholarship

In conjunction with our #MMGivesBack and Service Rewards programs, we launched the Michigan Mortgage Service Scholarship in hopes of recognizing High School Seniors with dreams of pursuing a career in service.

Careers Include:

  • Military
  • Teachers & Educators
  • Government & Politics
  • Police
  • Firefighters
  • First Responders
  • Doctors & Nurses

We will award two $1,000 scholarships to West Michigan Seniors in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Dancing with the Local Stars

Our very own Dave Lehner competed in the 2020 Dancing with the Local Stars event in Muskegon. This event was pre-pandemic and one of the last times our community was able to gather for a great cause.

Dave and his team spent hours practicing their routine and gave a flawless performance. We were so happy to be in the audience cheering him on!

Standup for the Cure

This is one of our favorite local events and we were disappointed to miss a fun-filled day at the beach, but our employees stood up and participated at their own homes. Some hiked and explored outdoors while others kayaked, swam and played basketball in their backyards.

Shawn Norden, one of our fabulous Loan Officers, worked hard to raise awareness and get people involved in the 2020 fundraiser. We are always excited to support her and the local food bank and food programs in our area.

“While 2020 was challenging in many ways, it has taught us many lessons that will affect our business for years to come,” Rob said.

Thank you for taking this wild ride with us!

Success Story: Chris & Jenn VanHekken

2020 was a year unlike any other – it was a year that we will remember for the rest of our lives.

Most will remember the negative impacts COVID-19 had on our communities, but some, like Chris and Jenn VanHekken, will remember it as a year of changes.

“A year ago, we weren’t planning on moving, but once COVID hit, our lifestyle changed, and we realized that making a move closer to family was the best choice for us,” Chris said. “That, combined with the fast-moving market and amazingly low interest rates, helped us recognize that it was time for us to put our house on the market and go for it.”

Chris, Jenn and their two children lived in the same home for 18 years. The thought of moving seemed intimidating. We were in the middle of a global pandemic and Jenn is self-employed. The couple questioned whether or not they’d even be approved to purchase a home.

“It felt daunting to think about, until we called Hayley,” Jenn said. “She was so calm and helpful about the whole thing, and she had answers to the questions we didn’t even know we needed to ask.”

“We had a pre-approval amount right away, and every time we looked at a new house and had a question about what it would look like to be able to finance it, Hayley was there to answer our questions.”

In the middle of the process, the couple encountered a few “unexpected hiccups” and wasn’t sure if they would be able to finalize the new mortgage.

“While we were panicking, Hayley and her team worked tirelessly behind the scenes to shift and make adjustments for us,” Chris said. “In the end, we ended up with an even better rate than we could have imagined.”

For the VanHekken family, 2020 helped them put their priorities in order. They celebrated the purchase of a new home in a new community thanks to Hayley and her team.

“It has been the very best decision that we could have made for our family, but we definitely could not have done it without Michigan Mortgage,” Chris said. “From the knowledge that they have about the market, to the compassionate way that they worked with us through the difficult moments, and the joy that they shared with us when we finally closed, Michigan Mortgage was there with us every step of the way and truly helped us move into our absolute dream home.”

“From day one they had our best interest at heart and walked us through the process as if it were their own,” he said.

“We are so grateful for Hayley, her team, and the entire Michigan Mortgage family for helping us through the process,” Jenn said. “We would not be where we are without them!”

It was truly an honor to help guide this family home. We wish them many happy memories in their new community!

Celebrating 25 Years in the Mortgage Business

2021 is a big year for all of us at Michigan Mortgage, but even more so for our fearless leaders, Dave Lehner and Rob Garrison.

For Dave and Rob, 2021 celebrates their 25th year working together in the mortgage business. That’s a huge feat! And it’s one that we are so incredibly proud of.

To celebrate this honor, we sat down with Dave and Rob to talk all things mortgage. We talked about what has (and has not) changed and why our commitment to our customers is still the most important thing. Enjoy!

Michigan Mortgage: You’ve been a Mortgage Loan Officer for 25 years. How has the business changed?

Rob: The biggest change I’ve noticed is the accessibility of financing for more people at more consistent and transparent fees. When we started 25 years ago, it was the Wild West. Lenders were charging outrageous fees and rates for people that had less than perfect credit or low down payments. Government regulation and accessibility to more programs has allowed more people to realize the American dream with more consistent, transparent and more reasonable terms.

Dave: The business is much faster paced, but we also have more technology, systems, and programs to help our clients and staff. With our new Pro Snap App people can apply on their cell or computer and we can work through the process almost entirely paperless. Fifteen years ago, this would never have been possible, let alone 25 years ago. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the education and communication that we give our clients so they understand their options and what programs are available to them.

MM: By the sounds of it, the industry has changed for the better. More people are able to achieve the American Dream using a much more efficient process. Technology is key here. Tell me about the technology you used in 1994 and how it compares to the technology available to you in 2021.

Rob: The biggest change in the last 25 years has been with technology. Back in the day, everything was hand written and wet signed. We collected all documentation, made photo copies, snail mailed everything to an underwriter and received an approval back by fax. Today, most everything can be handled with an app or computer. While there has been some personal touch lost, the convenience for clients is undeniable.

Dave: Technology is a huge factor in today’s business. We have systems in place which give us notices on rate updates so we can lock rates before they go up. We have Pro Snap so clients can just click to sign their loan documents from their cell phones or laptop instead of printing or coming into the office to sign.  We have office computer systems to help the staff process the loan faster and to be more efficient. The only technology I had when I started in my basement was a pager, cell phone, computer, printer and a fax machine. I would have to print all the loan documents, meet the client at the Realtor’s office to have them sign, then go to Staples to make a copy and overnight them to the underwriter and wait 3 to 5 days to get a faxed approval.

MM: Wow. It sounds like so much has changed! Let’s close with this. What’s the most important or most memorable thing you’ve learned over the past 25 years?

Rob: The mortgage business is about serving people with trustworthy reliable advice and execution. Consumers want a fair deal, great communication and an easy process. They want to be able to trust the lender they are working; trust that the lender has their best interest in mind and trust that the lender is capable and competent in what they are doing. Systems and processes are extremely important to deliver the service levels that clients expect but it is still about relationships with people.

Dave: This is a high pressure, fast paced business. I have dealt with a lot of people over the years between Realtors, buyers, sellers, appraisers, title companies, inspectors and many other individuals that are related to the real estate industry. There are so many different personalities, deadlines, and pressures to make the contract close date and it takes all of us working together to help the clients achieve their goals of home ownership. One thing I know for sure is that I’m the same kind and humble person who loves working with my clients and staff every day.

We plan to celebrate our 25th Anniversary all year long, so stay tuned for more content (and even a few flashback photos) to commemorate Dave and Rob’s journey in the business. Cheers!

Success Story: Rock and Jacki Stoltzfus

2008 was a tough year. Our economy was in turmoil and homeowners struggled to stay afloat. Families across the U.S. – Michigan included – witnessed a housing crunch.

Success Story: Rock and Jacki Stoltzfus

Rock and Jacki Stoltzfus are no exception.

“We had a pretty tough experience with a home in 2008,” Rock said. “A home we had been in for only two years.”

“With the loss of a job that I had since 1995 and an extended illness for my wife Jacki, we eventually lost that home in 2011. Since then, we’ve rented. We didn’t want to try and purchase a home again and we weren’t even sure if we’d qualify.”

That all changed in 2019.

“I contacted our friend and realtor who quickly put us in contact with Dave and the team,” Rock said. “In just a matter of a day or two we found out we were good to go and we immediately began the process of getting pre-approved and looking for a home.”

Rock and Jacki worked with Licia Ackerberg. Things moved fast and efficiently.

“We have known Licia for years and she quickly got us on the right track,” Jacki said. “We found our new home the first weekend we looked.”

According to the couple, Dave and his team at Michigan Mortgage exceeded all expectations. They explained the process clearly and handled their unique situation with great expertise.

“Our experience with Dave and the team was fantastic,” they said. “Just the right mix of encouragement and letting us know what documents and other information was needed from us. They kept us informed every step of the way.”

“We never felt pressured and felt like their goal was to help us get what we wanted,” Rock said. “We were told ahead of time what to expect and so there were no surprises.”

The couple moved into their new home the weekend before Christmas with the help of their grown children. They celebrated Christmas together that same weekend.

“All around, this has been a great experience,” Rock and Jacki said.

We wish them a happy and healthy 2020 in their new home!

Success Story: The Villegas Family

Success Story: The Villegas Family

Things don’t always go as planned – the Villegas family knows that first hand.

The family, originally from Miami, encountered a few rough patches in 2017 and needed a fresh start. Family members encouraged them to get away from the expensive Florida city and move to Holland.

Success Story: The Villegas Family“We prepared our Miami home and decided to keep it to rent it out,” said Rey Villegas. “In April of 2018, we moved to Michigan and adjusted quickly from the big city to a small town.”

“We loved it!”

The family opted to rent for the remainder of 2018 and part of 2019 to save money before purchasing their Michigan dream home.

“We started looking for our home in May,” Rey said. “Our lease was coming to an end at our apartment and we made the promise to ourselves that we’d have a home after being in Michigan for one year.”

“We were looking for a home that was fairly new – no renovations needed – with very open space, a deck and a lake view.”

Shortly after beginning their search, they found their dream home in Riley Ridge and contacted the listing agent, Luke Bouman with At Home Realty.

“Working with Luke’s team was great,” Rey said. “We worked with Mary Van Vels and she was amazing. She was so understanding and very honest with us. They exceeded our expectations!”

The Villegas Family relied on their bank for financing. After receiving their pre-approval letter, the bank informed them that they weren’t qualified to purchase this specific home in Riley Ridge. Mary suggested they get in touch with Michigan Mortgage Loan Officer Amy Hendrickson for a second look.

“Amy gave my parent’s credit a second glance and was able to get us approved,” Rey said.

The family proceeded with financing with Amy and compared their experience to that of working with Mary – Amy went above and beyond and exceeded expectations.

“Amy was with us every step of the way,” Rey said. “We loved her attitude; she’s a very happy, positive person. We would recommend her to anyone!”

Now that the family is moved into their new Riley Ridge dream home, they’re looking forward to celebrating the four seasons in Michigan.

“We’re looking forward to summer nights by the bonfire roasting marshmallows, sitting on our deck in the winter drinking hot chocolate and hot apple cider in the fall,” Rey said.

“We are extremely happy!”

Success Story: A Holland Couple Looking for Their Forever Condo

Success Story: A Holland Couple Looking for Their Forever Condo

Good things come to those who wait. Sometimes the wait is short and sweet – sometimes the wait can last roughly two years.

A Holland couple looking for their forever condo experienced the latter.

Success Story: A Holland Couple Looking for Their Forever Condo“We wanted to purchase a condo but wanted one we felt was well built, in a nice area and within our price range,” the couple said. “Some of our must haves were storage, a sunroom, and outdoor space.”

“Many condo’s that we looked at were very nice but had little storage space.”

The couple asked to speak on the condition of anonymity because of their involvement in the local community.

The search took longer than expected, but the wait was worth it when they found the perfect place to call home.

Shortly after, the search continued. This time, though, they were searching for a reliable mortgage lender.

“We were introduced through our Realtor to Hayley after we were pre-approved through another financial institution and later told they could not finance us because the condominium by-laws would not pass their condominium underwriting,” the couple said.

“This lender told us at different points that he was almost ready to close. Needless to say, we were extremely disappointed.”

The couple relied on their Realtor, Joannie Bouman of Coldwell Banker, for a recommendation.

“Joannie told us about Hayley and was confident that she could assist us,” they said. “Hayley was given the information regarding the condominium by-laws and stated that the by-laws had a clause that would make this loan unsaleable. Hayley took our application and told us she would contact investors to look at this loan.”

Both Hayley and Joannie exceeded the couple’s expectations.

“Hayley kept us informed throughout the process and we felt encouraged,” they said. “She was so accommodating.”

“We were given a gift at closing and we felt that we should be giving her a gift.”

“Joannie was so helpful in deciding the asking price and also taking us through the process of selling our current home.”

After closing, the couple took the time to update the condo and turn their new house into a home. They moved in at the end of July and look forward to settling into their new lifestyle.

“We would highly recommend Hayley for your mortgage needs,” the couple said. “Thank you, Hayley, for a job well done!”

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!