Michigan First Mortgage Blog

What is Title Insurance?

By Barb Bartus, Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer

Buying or selling a home can be an exciting time. It can also be a bit confusing. Sometimes things feel like they are moving pretty fast, and sometimes some important things can go unexplained – like title insurance.

Title to a piece of property is evidence that the owner is in lawful possession of that property. In Michigan, the seller must convey marketable title to a purchaser.

Title insurance is a unique form of insurance. It protects the real estate owner and lenders against any property loss or damage they might experience because of liens, encumbrances, …

Breakdown of HOA Fees

By Dave Jansen, Lathrup Village Branch Manager

You just received your pre-approval letter from your lender and you’re ready to hit open houses and schedule appointments to walk through your next potential home. You find your dream home or condominium, you contact your lender and ask for estimated payments. The lender asks you a very important question that didn’t even cross your mind…“What are the Homeowners Association fees (HOA)?” If you’re purchasing for the first time you may not have heard of this, know what this means or what it entails. Homeowners Association fees are typically tied with high-end communities and …

House Projects to Work on in the Winter

By Jessica Smith, Mortgage Loan Officer

The winter season is long and cold, but for some, it is the perfect time to start projects, or enjoy winter activities. However you spend your time for the winter months, why not make the most of it by completing a DIY project or two?

When it’s too cold or snowy to go outside, the weekends provide the perfect opportunity to spend some time embracing and improving your indoor space. Deciding which potential home projects to complete before spring arrives may not come easy, but here are a few suggestions:

Bathroom: Re-grout your tile, paint your …

Moving Out of Your Parents’ House: The Costs and What to Expect

By Mike Bennett, Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer

Moving out of your parents’ home is another line item on the list of adult firsts. It is a rite of passage signifying independence and maturity, but sprinkled with a big dose of reality. Like any important decision, weigh the pros and cons before doing anything in haste. If you decide to move on, be prepared for what’s in store.


Depending on your financial situation, career path and life goals, determine if you want to rent or buy. If you think you are ready to buy a house or condo, you will need to qualify …

Are Mortgage Points Worth the Cost?

By Dave Jansen, Lathrup Village Branch Manager

Paying mortgage points to get a lower rate on a loan is almost always a losing proposition. Most homeowners don’t keep their mortgages long enough to do more than recoup the up-front cost of paying points. A point is 1% of your loan amount. If you take out a $250,000 mortgage, 1 point equals $2,500.

Before we go any further, let’s look at why you would buy mortgage points and how you can use them. Mortgage points are also called discount points, and are essentially “points” you can buy during the mortgage process to help …

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