Tag Archive for: Life Outside of Loans

Eryn

First 2022 Michigan Mortgage Service Scholarship Winner Announced

In conjunction with our #MMGivesBack and Service Rewards programs, we’ve 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 received dozens of applicants and examined each one closely. We learned about their goals and aspirations, the community service they completed and impacts they made in West Michigan and how they plan to give back to those that need it most.

We assembled a Scholarship Committee to select our 2022 winners. Two West Michigan graduates will receive $1,000 to further their education.

ErynAfter much consideration, Michigan Mortgage is pleased to announce Eryn Bouwhuis, a 2022 Spring Lake High School Graduate, as a winner of this year’s Michigan Mortgage Service Scholarship.

She said the following in her application.

“The word ‘service’ brings two other words to my mind which are: selflessness and sacrifice. The first word, selflessness, goes with the idea that in order to perform service you have to put other people’s needs first before yours. Service is the act of putting others in front of yourself. The second word, sacrifice, goes with the idea that service is the act of giving up one’s comfort for the benefit and needs of someone else. Service is done without any complaints, and it is done for the welfare of others. Service brings joy and happiness to others. I believe that service can truly change the lives of others, both the giver and the receiver. Even the smallest acts of service can go a long way. I believe that it is your duty to perform many acts of service throughout your whole lifetime.”

“I hope to work at a local hospital or somewhere close in order to give back to my local community of West Michigan. I believe that working as a nurse will serve as a way to give back to those in need. Another way I hope to impact our local community is by continuing to volunteer at local food pantries, food trucks, and blood drives. I have participated in some volunteer activities through my years on student council that I hope to continue with as I get older.”

Eryn plans to attend the University of South Carolina and major in Nursing. She may further my education by becoming a Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant.

“This scholarship will help alleviate some stress that comes with paying for college,” she said. With less stress, I will be able to concentrate fully on my studies.”

Congratulations, Eryn! You are so deserving of this recognition.

Success Story

Success Story: Casey & Kyle Patterson

The COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on all of us, Lenders and Real Estate Agents included. We stopped meeting with clients in person and relied on technology to get the job done.

West Michigan Real Estate Agent Casey Patterson called it “crazy, hysterical…comical, even?”

Success Story“I never would have thought, we as Realtors, would actually be able to collect unemployment and told to stay home,” he said. “There was a time when agents weren’t really allowed in homes during the early phases of COVID meaning, no showings or in-person viewings. I had multiple clients who were contemplating making offers on homes, when we COULD NOT go and see them in person. For me to recommend someone to purchase a home based on some MLS photos and cheesy marketing, is totally asinine.”

It wasn’t easy, but we worked through it, made changes, and focused on customer service to get the job done.

Casey and his partner Kyle saw that first-hand when they purchased a home at the tail end of the pandemic. Michigan Mortgage was their lender of choice.

“I’ve been working as a licensed Real Estate Agent in West Michigan for over five years now,” Casey said. “During my first couple of years in the business, I continuously worked with Lenders and banks, and it was almost always a different person or company, and nobody stood out or made a true impression on me. Eventually I came across Amy Hendrickson’s name on an offer I received for a listing with a client that she was representing the lender side. During the next few weeks, I was amazed at the speed of Amy’s team with, not only getting a loan closed far before it was expected to, but for her team’s reaction time with incoming problems or concerns, constant availability, even for the smallest and most redundant of questions.”

“We have used Michigan Mortgage for multiple of our personal home loans and I have yet to be frustrated or concerned at the level of help and support I receive from Michigan Mortgage,” he continued.

“We just purchased our dream home a few months ago, Michigan Mortgage exceeded our expectations on all ends of helping us sell our last home and placing us in the perfect position to buy our new home. I refer all of my new clients to Amy’s team, so I know they get the same level of support that we did.”

“I am very glad there are still lenders that are homey, warm, and actually care. I have done far too many deals with lenders will hardly answer a phone call.”

Now that Casey and Kyle are settled, they look forward to sitting outside on warm summer days and watching airplanes come and go from their backyard.

Thank you for putting your trust in us, Casey! We love working with you and Kyle.

Bluebird Cancer Retreats

Hometown Highlights: Bluebird Cancer Retreats

“You have cancer.”

These three little words will turn the lives of you and your family upside down.

Bluebird HennaMore than 56,000 Michiganders are estimated to be diagnosed with cancer per year. A single diagnosis impacts every aspect of someone’s life, financially and emotionally, effecting not just the patient but everyone around them.

“We are proud to be a part of the solution at Bluebird Cancer Retreats. Our mission is simple: to enhance the lives of those around us experiencing cancer.”

Bluebird was started over 20 years ago by a man named Bill Timm with a cancer diagnosis. His diagnosis led to hope, and hope led to a dream – a dream of sharing inspiration and support with West Michigan. Together with Pete Thuene, Bills dream turned reality.

Today Bluebird Cancer Retreats serves hundreds of participants every year, by utilizing thousands of volunteer hours. Bluebird partners with Bucs Pride, Kathys Krew, Bras for a Cause and many other generous individual donors and business’ throughout Michigan.

“We continue to expand our programming to include community cares baskets for the recently diagnosed, lift of love reclining lift chairs, family camp retreats and the holiday happiness project bringing joy during the holiday season. Not to mention our weekend healing retreats for adults.”

Bluebird will continue to be safe haven and outreach for cancer patients, survivors, caregivers,
and their families for years to come.

“We look to the future to bring our mission to more individuals experiencing cancer, expanding our technology systems, and building a network of virtual support and wellness.”

For more information on how you can be involved or donate please visit our website.

Success Story: Genelle & Kurt

Genelle and KurtTiming is everything.

Genelle and Kurt knew that firsthand when they purchased their new home a few months ago.

They reached out to Hayley and her team at Michigan Mortgage to get the home-buying process started.

“We had a great experience,” Genelle said. “I think the timing was perfect as far as pricing of our new home. We missed the big increase in values and the increase costs of lumber, too.”

According to Genelle and Kurt, our Holland team exceeded all expectations.

“I liked how quickly they followed up with us,” Genelle said. “They never made us feel rushed and always answered any questions we had.”

“I’m glad we had the opportunity to work together,” she said. “Everything went really well!”

Genelle and Kurt celebrated their first Christmas in their new home with their beautiful grandchildren. It was a magical day!

They are looking forward to completing a few landscaping projects this spring.

Thank you for trusting us to guide you home, Genelle and Kurt! We enjoyed working with you.

Success Story: Alex & Mista

When you buy a new home, you experience a whirlwind of emotions. When you buy a home during a national pandemic and an incredibly competitive market, that whirlwind becomes a roller coaster ride you can’t wait to get off of.

Alex and Mista know that firsthand.

Alex & Mista“We were so excited to start looking for homes,” Mista said. “I have always loved looking inside houses and envisioning the potential each home has or what I would do to make it my own!”

“Since we bought during a difficult market, I honestly didn’t expect the process to be as hard at first. We had a couple of homes we put offers on that got outbid. I didn’t expect the roller coaster of emotions that came with it. But once we found “the one” everything kept getting better and went so smoothly!”

Amy Hendrickson and her team at our Holland office exceeded all expectations.

“I heard about Michigan Mortgage from my Realtor, Aubree DeVisser,” Mista said. “I am a small business owner myself so loved the idea of going with someone who was local! Now I recommend Michigan Mortgage to anyone I know looking to buy.”

“When we put an offer in on our house, we were in the top five,” she said. “But what made our offer stick out even more, was the fact that we were using Amy with Michigan Mortgage.”

“The listing agent worked with Amy and her team in the past and knew that the transaction would go smoothly if they accepted our offer, because we were using Amy as our lender. So not only did Amy and her team help all of this go smoothly by great communication with not only us, both realtors, and our insurance agent, but she clearly has been great to work with by so many and has made an impact on not only her clients, but the other people in the field as well.”

Alex and Mista had nothing but great things to say about Amy and her team. Their positive feedback means so much to our team!

“Amy and her team were all very helpful,” she said. “I loved how they would send us what our monthly payment would be based on the house, area and our down payment. They really helped us decide what we could afford to put down and feel comfortable with.”

“They had great communication and were quick to respond. Which is important when there are deadlines and houses come and go as fast as they do.”

Alex and Mista are so excited to make their new home their own. They’ve started renovating and decorating and can’t wait to do more!

We can’t thank you enough for trusting Michigan Mortgage to guide you home.

Hometown Highlights: Wildflower Yoga Studio

“Yoga builds community and helps form a feeling of togetherness, which we need more than ever in these crazy times of isolation. I want people to be able to make friends here: to create, laugh, and have fun in a happy and uplifting environment,” said Owner and Founder, Sandi Boonenberg.

Wildflower Yoga was born when a void was created in downtown Grand Haven.

When the top floor of the Forum building that housed a yoga studio became available, Sandi and her mom Karen soon realized that our community needed a yoga studio and had a strong urge to save the sacred space and make it even better!

Sandi and her then fiancé devoted the next three months to renovating the space down to the studs and floorboards. To say that blood, sweat, and tears went into the renovation would be an understatement. Friends came in to help paint, lay floorboards and lend helping hands…Sandi picked up a sledgehammer for the first time in her life and got to work.

As word got out that a new, calming studio space was being developed, students and teachers alike began reaching out with excitement. Sandi envisioned a serene, calm space for yoga but her dream was to incorporate a workshop into the renovation as well. The workshop now serves as a space where creatives can share a special skill, host a book club, jewelry making, a bridal shower.

It is a beautiful light filled space that blends a boho chic vibe with an old loft style charm!

Classes

Wildflower currently offers 15 classes per week ranging from three different levels of difficulty, from restorative to sweaty vinyasa flow. There are themed events happening frequently as well, such as meditation and breathing workshops. The Wildflower website has updated classes and events.

Sandi invites anyone who is looking for good vibes, meditation, positive energy, and a love for yoga to give them a try.

A Thank You Letter

It’s been a wild ride, but one Rob Garrison and Dave Lehner will remember forever.

As we close out their 25th year in business, they wanted to take a few moments to say, “thank you!” to the many people that made their journey remarkable.

To Our Employees

Rob: When we started this 25 years ago, rates were 10 percent, applications were hand-written and we wore pagers! Some of you guys were here in those early, early days. To you I say thank you for hanging in there when we had no clue what we were doing. Thank you for your loyalty, patience, and confidence that we were on to something good. For the rest of you, thank you for committing your time and talents to help drive us into the future.

Dave: I would like to thank all our current and past employees from day one until now for trusting in us and believing in our vision of this company. Without your hard work and dedication, we would not be where we are at today. There has been a crazy ride over the years, a lot of ups and downs, smiles and tears but our staff is the best and has weathered thru all of it.

To Our Business Partners

Rob: We talk often about relationships and supporting local businesses. We are so grateful for those businesses, Realtors, title companies and appraisers that have supported us over the years and have become not only partners, but friends.

Dave: Twenty-five years ago, I had no idea the relationships I would form and all of the great people that would come into my life from this business. I have so many stories and friends from all involved: realtors, appraisers, inspectors, title companies, insurance people, clients, employees and so many more.

To the Community

Rob: One of our Core Values is Serving Hearts. Included in that mix is always giving back to our community. We love our schools, places of worship, restaurants, and places of recreation. For everything they give us, we are proud to give back to them.

Dave: I love my community and all the people in it! I love that we give back and help guide people home in this community and the surrounding areas. This is the best area in Michigan in my view and my heart is and always will be here.

To Our Families

Rob: A Specific thank you to Jill and Rhonda for guiding us and encouraging every day. We wouldn’t have been able to do this without you. We are blessed beyond measure!

Dave: My family raised me here and taught me values, work ethic and respect to all. Without the support of my family and wife, I would not have been able to do what we have done. They covered me and supported me through the hard times and good times.

To Each Other

Rob: Dave has been the best partner I could image.  So many partnerships fail for myriad of reasons. While we rumble through things quite often, we always remember that this is about clients, partners, and employees. With this philosophy in mind, often we land at the correct decision.

Dave: I am very thankful for Rob! Twenty-five years ago, we both had a vison/goal and together we went for it! Rob, you have been a great partner and together we worked to find common goals and I am so thankful for our friendship.

There are so many people we need to thank!

From the first Realtors that trusted us when we were brand new in the business, to the underwriters who took time to stop and help us figure out the rules, to all the people we leaned on in the business, to our trusty beepers, Nextel flip phone and fax machine.

We are so honored to know all of you and will always remember the journey!

Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts.

The Value of Business Partners

Relationships give meaning to our work.

“Relationships are everything in this business, over the years we have worked to grow our relationships with Realtors, title companies, insurance companies, builders, home inspectors and many other vendors,” Dave Lehner said.

We work together to help guide our clients home. It’s a joint venture.

“It’s all about client experience,” Rob Garrison added. “We want to work with the best so that our clients have the best possible experience possible. That is why we strive to work with the best appraisers, title companies and Real Estate Agents in the business.”

“We want to refer reliable, trustworthy people to our clients because we want them to have a great experience from beginning to end,” Dave said.

“Because clients remember how they FEEL about a transaction it is important that everyone involved is professional, fair, and provides great service,” Rob continued. “If everything goes great during the transaction but something gets tripped up with title or an appraisal or a home inspection it is a reflection on everyone, and the client doesn’t have that exceptional experience that we are hoping for them.”

Together, we aim to go above and beyond for our clients.

Our employees are an integral part of that. Without them, we couldn’t do what we do every day.

“We view our employees, clients, and Realtor partners as our highest priority,” Rob said. “While we always strive to provide the best possible service, it is the relationships that we build as a byproduct of that service that is most meaningful.”

We need to give special recognition to our Realtor partners as well.

“We work with so many great Realtors that go above and beyond to help the client,” Dave said. “They will work early, late and weekends to provide the service needed.”

“Realtors are an important part of who we are and the service we provide,” Rob added. “So many things in life are contentious and viewed as a zero-sum game. We believe that loan transactions can be a win, win for everyone. Realtors are so closely intertwined in the transaction that they can often dictate the tone, pace, and feel of how the transaction will go. Communication is key.  It’s important for us to be aligned with the real estate agents and keep them informed of where the financing stands.”

Our community is so special. We look forward to 25 more years of service!

Dave and Ronda

Married to Mortgages: Ronda Lehner’s Perspective

Dave Lehner has been in the mortgage business for 25 years. He started as a one-man team.

For the past 14 years, his wife, Ronda, has helped navigate every transaction. She’s the love of his life, his best friend, and the glue that holds Team Lehner together.

“When I started working with Dave all of those years ago, I was very unsure about being together Dave and Ronda24/7,” Ronda said. “He talked me into giving it a try and I’m so glad he did! Don’t get me wrong, it was an adjustment for the first couple of years, but we made it work and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”

“I love what I do and to do it next to my husband and best friend is truly the best,” she said.

For those of you who know Dave, you recognize his dedication and commitment to his clients. He works seven days a week and is always available via phone or email.

“Dave always wants to make sure he has happy clients,” Ronda said. “He has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know. He truly does what is best for his clients. He takes the time with them to make sure they are comfortable with the numbers and the loan process. He is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met…almost to a fault!”

Dave’s work ethic has allowed him to guide more than 5,000 families home. He celebrates at every closing and calls each client to congratulate them on their new purchase. Ronda is so proud to stand beside him through it all.

“To see Dave’s growth over the last 25 years is amazing to me,” she said. “I am so proud of the company that he and Rob have built together. Dave has so many memorable accomplishments, but one I will never forget is his willingness to get involved in the ‘Homes for Heroes’ program (now called Service Rewards and #MMGivesBack).”

“When Dave was approached to be part of this program, he didn’t hesitate. It’s true to Dave’s nature to ‘give back’ so to be involved in this program that gives back to those that give so much was never a question.”

Dave always has other peoples’ best interest at heart.

Rob and Jill Garrison

Married to Mortgages: Jill Garrison’s Perspective

Rob Garrison has been in the mortgage business for 25 years. His wife, Jill, has been by his side for every transaction, milestone, achievement, and celebration.

She truly is his biggest cheerleader.

Rob and Jill Garrison“Working together is one of the best parts of my life,” Jill said. “Rob has such a zest for life, for learning and improving and inspiring others to believe in themselves and their dreams. His growth mindset coupled with his ability to be so present is a gift to me, as it is to our family and our Michigan Mortgage team and our Realtor partners.”

“I love how much he himself gets inspired and excited about working with his amazing team. We both kind of think of ourselves as the Mom and Dad to these amazing humans that we get to work with and have fun with each day.”

At Michigan Mortgage, the work is never done. Rob works nights and weekends to help his clients achieve the American Dream. His cell phone is never far from his hip – he is happy to educate and serve at all times of the day.

We believe his communication and commitment to our mission has helped him guide more than 5,000 clients home.

Rob gets excited about every single client that he and his team have the privilege to serve,” Jill said. “Underlying each mortgage, he has a deep belief that having a home is a foundation that family and security is built on. I think his knowledge and integrity along with his willingness to go to bat and dig deep for each of his clients sets him apart and is the reason he has built such a wonderful, loyal following.”

Rob and Dave have built something really special here at Michigan Mortgage. Jill is the first to recognize the accomplishment and celebrate the achievement. She is so proud of her husband!

“I am proud of Rob for many things looking back on the 25 years he and Dave have been building Michigan Mortgage,” Jill said. “Rob has such a strong desire to make Michigan Mortgage a workplace that provides an incredibly supportive and empowering environment. Maybe more importantly, he is driven to make Michigan Mortgage a place that spills over into our employee’s lives…in a way that enhances their lives at home, with their families, and in the community.”

“I am probably most proud of the team that they have built over the years,” she said. “We seriously have the most amazing humans that come to work with such exuberance, commitment, and enthusiasm for what they do. They all work so hard, are committed to excellence, positivity and serving our clients so that they have an exceptional experience. So, the culture that they have built and continues to grow and cultivate is extraordinary and extra special.”