Jason Ball

NMLS# 134370

Mortgage Loan Officer

Jason Ball
Mortgage Loan Officer

NMLS# 134370
State Lic: MI # 134370 ;
1901 S Euclid Ave
Suite 2 & 6
Bay City, MI 48706
Branch: (989) 671-2701
Fax: (989) 671-2757
Mobile: (989) 928-4854

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We are proud to be one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country. We achieved this distinction by continually providing exceptional customer service and by following responsible lending practices, especially in today’s rapidly changing economy.Adam Kessler, CEO, Academy Mortgage
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Owning a home is more than just putting a roof over your head...it's perhaps the biggest financial decision you will make in life. You want to work with someone who sincerely cares about your needs, goals, and dreams.

My mission in this business is to help people 'Build, Nurture, and Protect' their financial well-being. We will go over all of your options and talk about the benefits and any disadvantages of each. Whether you are purchasing or refinancing, we will put a plan together to help achieve those needs, goals, and dreams.

My success solely revolves around your success. I look forward to helping you achieve that.

I invite you to put us to the test. Let me show you how simple and easy securing a mortgage can be.


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NMLS# 134370

State Lic: MI: 134370 ;

Corp Lic: MI: FR0018875;


Debunked: 5 down payment myths you probably still believe

More than 200 million Americans live in homes they own themselves, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Still, despite the large percentage of the population that has successfully gone through the homebuying process, it remains a mystery to many citizens. For those considering a home purchase this year, myths about what is necessary to buy a home may keep them from joining the 64 percent of the country who live in owner-occupied houses.

Here are 5 down payment myths you probably still believe, but shouldn't:

Myth No. 5: I need a 20% down payment.

Many people have heard that a 20% down payment - at minimum - is required to obtain a residential mortgage. This myth became popular because it's generally recommended that most people have a 20% down payment ready when they wish to buy a home. However, that doesn't mean it's necessary. In fact, the typical down payment today is between 5 and 10%, according to SmartAsset.

Myth No. 4: My down payment has to be all my own money.

For many people, the most challenging aspect of buying a home is saving for the down payment, according to the National Association of Realtors. While the majority of people use their own money for the down payment, this is hardly required. Freddie Mac pointed out that there are several options for those saving up for a home, including:

Myth No. 3: Down payment assistance programs are only for first-timers.

Down payment assistance programs can be a wonderful help to first-time homebuyers who are new to the world of real estate. But, as any second-time homebuyer may tell you, it's not always smooth sailing on your second go-round.

This is particularly true for those who haven't gone through the homebuying process in several years. And, considering the average time spent in a home is a decade, it seems safe to say that most home sellers are out of practice when it comes to navigating a home purchase.

Because of this, the definition of "first-time homebuyer" is a bit more complicated than one might assume. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a first-time homebuyer is someone who:

Beyond these many definitions, it's important to note that not all down payment assistance programs specify that they're only available to first-timers.

Myth No. 2: Programs are only available in big cities.

Down payment and homebuyer assistance programs are available in every corner of the country. Every homebuyer, whether they're living in a big, bustling city like Los Angeles or New York City, or in a tiny, rural community, has access to a program that can simplify the homebuying journey. To find one for you, begin by browsing through the state housing agency loans available through Academy Mortgage.

Myth No. 1: Down payments are always required.

Not every home purchase is secured with a down payment. Crazy as it sounds (especially if you believed you needed as much as 20%), some homes can be bought with no cash down. Here are two popular 100% financing options you can look into:

VA Loans

If you or your spouse is a veteran, an active-duty service member or a part of a reserve program, you could qualify for a VA loan, and may not be required to make a down payment upfront.

USDA Loans

Also called farmers' or rural loans, the U.S. Department of Agriculture backs these loans which encourage buyers to make a home purchase in qualifying areas of the country. While their name suggests that it only applies to far-away plains, it actually encompasses some surprisingly suburban areas. While you won't find a qualifying home in the center of a major metropolitan area, you'll likely find one within driving distance. Check out the USDA website to explore eligible areas.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.


3 home improvement projects to consider this summer

Now that summer has officially arrived, many homeowners will begin seeking out updates to make to their houses.

But not all home improvement projects were created equally. First, you'll want to choose something that'll improve your comfort or enjoyment in the home. Next, it's important that the project be feasibly completed with quality while still being within your budget. Finally, it's always a good idea to choose an upgrade that'll benefit the home's value.

Here are three popular options among homeowners this summer:

Build a deck

Summer is all about being outdoors with friends and family. Whether you're hosting a big gathering or just relaxing in your backyard, a deck can provide the perfect spot to grill or chill out. There are plenty of decking material options, but many consumers opt for wood. A wood deck has visual appeal, plus it's more cost-effective than composite options, FortuneBuilders reported.

The typical wooden deck project costs around $11,000, according to Remodeling. However, the average homeowner will recoup around 71.5 percent of that.

Though wooden decks might be more popular for aesthetics and upfront costs, composite decks tend to be more long-lasting and require less maintenance. These will cost closer to $17,000 upfront, though they'll likely get around $11,000 back in the sale of the home.

Upgrade your yard

Adding some dimension or color to your yard is another way to make outdoor get-togethers more appealing. Landscaping is one of the most popular home improvement project requests, FortuneBuilders noted. Plus, curb appeal is one of the best things you can do for your home's value - it is the first thing future buyers will see, after all.

Bushes, trees and flower gardens are all great additions. Plus, if you choose the right plants and the right location, you can improve your home's energy efficiency, according to the Department of Energy. To maximize this benefit, plant trees in strategic locations to provide shade to your home. If you plan to install several in your yard, orient them so they direct wind toward your home for greater cooling potential.

The cost of landscaping depends on the size and scope of the project. But, FortuneBuilders recommended estimating the price to be around $3,000; it could add around 28 percent to the home.

Clear away drafts with new windows

Summer is the perfect time to address those drafty windows that kept you cold all winter long. But new windows aren't just good for energy efficiency; dual-pane windows will also block more noise from the outdoors.

New windows can be pricey, but they're often well worth it. A wood frame window replacement generally costs around $18,759, and homeowners may get as much as $13,691 back in the sale. This option is generally chosen for aesthetics. The biggest downside is the upkeep - making sure the wood doesn't warp, and repainting when it begins to peel.

To avoid the maintenance and for a lower price, other homeowners go with vinyl frames. Replacing windows with this choice costs about $15,000. At the time of sale, homeowners may get around $11,000 back for these windows.

Financing home improvement projects this summer

Making updates to a house is often just a part of being a homeowner. However, there's no denying that while these upgrades are often fun and exciting, they can be a bit expensive. For this reason, many people seek out renovation loans to help space their payments out over time.

Academy Mortgage has several renovation loan options for homeowners looking to vamp up the property they purchase or refinance this summer. Ask about Fannie Mae's HomeStyle loan, which caters to homeowners planning on making structural updates or minor repairs to their houses this summer. Or, if you're ready to take on a larger project, consider the FHA 203(k) full loan. For this, a borrower should plan to spend $5,000 or more on structural changes or minor repairs. Rates are currently low, making this summer a prime opportunity for people to make home upgrades with a refinance and renovation loan.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.


How to beat the competition this homebuying season

The housing market is a competitive one, requiring prospective buyers to be on top of their finances and paperwork. Indecision or a failure to present certain documentation can mean the difference between getting the house of their dreams or having to continue their search elsewhere. Here are five ways people can beat the competition this season:

1. Get pre-approved

Unless you're a member of the small population of Americans who own their homes outright, you'll need a conventional mortgage. Once you find the home you want, things will move fairly fast. To lean into this process and improve your chances of closing on your desired property, potential homeowners should get pre-approved for a loan, Time magazine recommended. This, along with other necessary paperwork, will demonstrate that you are able to repay the money you're borrowing and will make sellers feel more comfortable choosing your bid.

2. Be present

It's common for prospective homebuyers to send in their offers via email or over the phone. While these are sometimes the only routes possible for certain people, presenting your bid in person could be beneficial to your success, according to Inman. The ability to see the buyer in the flesh and learn a little more about him or her could convince seller or agents that you're the right fit.

3. Introduce an escalation clause

Nervous other prospective buyers will outbid you? Others could be just as hungry for the same property, but you may not be able to meet their price - or they may not be able to match yours. An escalation clause enables you to play this cat-and-mouse game while also ensuring you don't push past your final limit. This effort will increase your bid incrementally above others on the table to a certain, pre-established ceiling. Just don't forget to set your budget and stick to it, Realtor.com warned.

An escalation clause will raise your bid incrementally.An escalation clause will raise your bid incrementally.

4. Find the right team

No matter whether you're a first-time homebuyer or have completed the process in the past, you're going to need all the help you can get. It's important to complete your own research and determine which housing factors are must-haves, but working with savvy professionals in the housing market can help answer all of your most particular questions along the way. An agent or a mortgage broker can make the bidding and homebuying process that much easier and can work their magic with the seller's team as well, according to Business Insider.

5. Don't let pending contracts scare you

It happens more often than you would think. A prospective buyer's bid on a home is accepted and a contract is being drawn up, only to have the person back out before he or she signs on the dotted line. If your dream home is already in the near-final stages for someone else, don't let that deter you. Place a backup offer anyway, according to U.S. News and World Report. It could work out in your favor and place you in the top spot if the initial bidder makes a different choice. 

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.