Michael L. Louden

NMLS# 400921

Branch Manager, Producing

Michael L. Louden
Branch Manager, Producing

NMLS# 400921
State Lic: CO # 100039010; MN # MN-MLO-400921; WI # 400921 ;
235 1st Ave E
Shakopee, MN 55379
Branch: (952) 777-2205
Mobile: (612) 578-8874
Fax: (952) 674-3838

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It’s all about service at Academy Mortgage, and our company has been meeting the needs of homebuyers across the United States since 1988. I joined Academy because of its strong reputation for integrity-based mortgage lending, its unwavering commitment to responsible lending practices, and for its broad portfolio of mortgage solutions and tools.

Since joining Academy, I have helped many individuals and families attain the dream of homeownership. Whether you want to buy a new home or refinance an existing mortgage, I will provide a customized solution for you at competitive rates. No brokering, no middleman, no hassle, no surprises.

Academy is a direct lender, which means that my Branch and Regional Offices are equipped to complete the entire loan process in-house—all loan processing, underwriting, closings, and funding are handled locally. As a result, we have a proven track record of closing loans as quickly and efficiently as possible.

I will be in control of your loan file from start to finish, and I will be up-to-date on the status of your loan at all times. I understand the importance of maintaining continuous communication throughout the loan process and commit to providing you accurate, timely, and honest mortgage advice.

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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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

NMLS# 400921

State Lic: CO: 100039010; MN: MN-MLO-400921; WI: 400921 ;

Corp Lic: CO: 3113; MN: MN-MO-40125689; WI: 3113BA and 3113BR;


10 Common Home Buyer Mistakes

10 Common Home Buyer Mistakes Frank Addessi FEB 16, 2017 Life is full of milestones, from birthdays and anniversaries, to graduations and career advancement. Many of life’s major events happen as the result of hard work, and most are cause for celebration. There are some, however, that are fraught with anxiety. Buying a home, especially a first home, is number one on that list. Find out now: How much should I put down? Even though first time home buyers suffer from nervousness that can cause problems, veterans are not immune to home buying mistakes which can be avoided. Unlike other major events in life that require decision making based on a set of complex factors where through experience over time we become more proficient. Home buying doesn’t happen often enough to rely on personal experience to guide us. Mistake 1 – Ignorance is Not Bliss The first mistake home buyers make is assuming that they are supposed to know and understand everything about the process. This is not to say that ignorance of procedures and protocols should stop you from buying or that not knowing everything thing there is to know guarantees there will be problems. Fixing this problem requires that it exists in the first place. Many home buyers feel that expressing ignorance to a realtor, banker or seller makes them look like an amateur and therefore prone to being taken advantage of. Nothing could be further from the truth. While most people you will deal with are honest, unscrupulous vendors and sellers count on your pride as a means to take advantage of you. Mistake 2 – Eyes Wide Shut Pride and greed are the source of this mistake which is buying more house than you can afford or need. As much as the subprime mortgage crisis was the result of loose lending practices it also depended on buyers willing to delude themselves that they would be able to afford more house than they actually could. Falling victim to this mistake is not nearly as uncommon as you might think and it happens for two very good reasons. We all feel we deserve the biggest and the best and that is normal. Realtor’s are salespeople and they earn their living on commissions, the bigger the sale the bigger the commission. Add one part buyer pride in wanting the biggest and best and the realtor’s desire for the largest possible pay day and you have a recipe for disaster. Avoiding this mistake is as easy doing your homework and budgeting for what you can afford. Stick to your guns and don’t let either the realtor or yourself convince you that you are best served by buying more home than you can afford. Remind yourself and your realtor that if in a few years your circumstances change you can always sell and buy something larger. Mistake 3 – Denial is More Than a River in Africa Finding the perfect home is hard. Finding the perfect home and negotiating a great price is even difficult. Both pale in comparison to finding a great house and negotiating outstanding terms only to be turned down by the bank. Failing to qualify for a mortgage can be costly to more than your ego. It can result in the loss of deposits and other expenses that can run into the thousands. Fixing this mistake can serve two masters, streamlining the buying process and keeping you on budget. Realtors and sellers love mortgage pre-qualification because it signals to them that you are a serious buyer which can also go a long way to improving your negotiating position. Mistake 4 – Money Pit or Pothole Whether they’ve seen the 1986 Tom Hanks movie The Money Pit or not many homebuyers are terrified of being transformed into Walter Fielding, Hanks character who is duped into buying what he thinks is a great deal on a house only to find out that the real reason it is some attractively priced is because it is disrepair. Confusing a moneypit with a home in need of minor repairs, potholes, is not uncommon. Overestimating the cost of repairs can be as big a mistake as underestimating. Finding a ready to move in home is not always possible or the best deal which is why as part of the buying process finding a reputable contractor can be as important as getting the right banker and realtor. Mistake 5 – The Grass is Always Greener No-one is perfect. We don’t expect perfection from ourselves or others. In fact when it comes to people we like a little imperfection it gives us character. Well the same is true for homes. When shopping for perfect house don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the possible. No house, unless you have an unlimited budget and time and are building from the ground up is perfect, period. Mistake 6 – The Eye of the Beholder As far as my wife is concerned I am the most handsome man in the world. The reality, I’m afraid is somewhat different. My point is that beauty is a matter of personal preference and I may love the paisley wallpaper in my master bathroom and it make give you motion sickness. Wallpaper, paint, carpet, really anything that is not structural in a home can be removed and replaced with something that is more pleasing to your personal aesthetic. Just be sure to factor the cost of revisions into your purchasing budget. Mistake 7 – For Richer or Poorer While buying a home is not a lifetime commitment it is a long term promise with very real potential consequences for an untimely ending of the relationship. Buying a home is not a once and done proposition and the costs of home ownership are greater than the mortgage and property taxes. Don’t make the assumption that because the bank thinks you can afford the home that you can. Failing to factor in all you ongoing expenses is a sure fire way to wind up in foreclosure. Anticipate as many expenses as possible when determining your budget, including heating and cooling, repairs and upkeep, improvements and don’t forget things like commuting. After all a house in the country may be less expensive than the city or suburb but it will be significantly more expensive to commute. Mistake 8 – Surprise! You’re expecting triplets! The neighbors just sold to Walmart and they’re putting up a shopping center right next door. Where did all this traffic come from? Surprises come in a variety of forms, some are our own doing, like children and some are not. When shopping for a home you may not be able to anticipate everything but you should never be shy about asking questions. Talk to prospective neighbors, and municipal officials about zoning and planning, drive around the neighborhood and ever widening circles to get a feel for the surrounding area. Visit at different times of day and if possible different times of the year. The bottom line is the more you ask and research the less likely you are to be surprised. Mistake 9 – Blind Faith As I mentioned earlier, most of the people you will deal with during your home buying experience will be decent, honest individuals who can be trusted. In a perfect world, we all could just assume that because realtor A did a great job with your brother-in-law and Banker B got your best friend an amazing interest rate doesn’t mean that the same will hold true for you. In international diplomacy the term Trust But Verify means that while one party would like to believe that information being provided is accurate they would still like to see it with their own eyes. The same holds true for buying a home. Trust your banker, realtor, the seller but verify as much as possible independently. Mistake 10 – Make a Wish Birthday wishes and wish lists are fantasies. They are hopes and desires and wonderful dreams to be held dearly. But they are dreams and not all dreams can or do come true. The final mistake home buyers make is wishing. Whether it is trying to find a home with every single item on their wish list checked or wishing that they’ll be able to afford monthly expenses that exceed their monthly income, wishes should be limited. The final and biggest mistake is wishing because it covers a range of possibilities but it the danger of it can be summed up in one word, reality. When all is said and done you will have to live with the reality of your decisions and no amount of wishing is going to change that. Photo Credit: ©iStock.com/MartinPrescott, ©iStock.com/milosradinovic, ©iStock.com/digitalskillet ×

5 questions to ask yourself before buying a home

Exploring the idea of buying a house can be an exciting, nerve-wracking and uncertain time. Late night browsing on housing websites, trying to figure out which neighborhood to live in and what your priorities are can be as overwhelming as it is thrilling. To help you out in this life adventure, here are five questions to ask yourself before you apply for a mortgage and start packing:

1. Is the mortgage realistic?

Are you really in a place to buy a five-bedroom home with a pool? Sure, the listing price may have dropped a few thousand dollars in the past month, but be realistic when setting a budget and remember that any purchase is never a good deal if you can't afford it. When considering conventional mortgage rates and your long-term future, don't just try to picture yourself paying that amount for the rest of the year. Instead, picture yourself paying that mortgage every month for the next five to 10 years. Are you able to pay a sizable mortgage this year because you had a strong quarter with high commission earnings or a raise? Do you expect your income to increase or remain the same for the foreseeable future?

If you're stretching your budget, you can calculate some small sacrifices and adjustments to see whether a mortgage is feasible. When you consider eating at home more frequently and traveling less, however, also factor in how this will affect your quality of life. Most people could stand to tuck more money into their savings accounts or put it toward a mortgage, but if you love your weekly nights out and yearly tropical vacations, decide what's really important and whether the extra bedroom is worth it.

2. What will the commute be like?

Whether you're moving across the country for a new job or relocating to the suburbs for a bit more space, be sure to take into account your daily commute. Again, it's all about quality of life - an extra 10-15 minutes for better schools and a backyard is probably worth it, but if you're looking to increase your commute by 30 minutes or more each way, remember that this will affect your daily life in a tangible way. An extra hour each day, for example, adds up to about 250 hours per year.

There's no wrong answer here - if you're fine with a longer commute and have options such as express commuter trains or live in an area with less traffic than average, a few extra miles won't matter as much. Decide what you're comfortable with and how a longer commute may positively affect your budget or negatively affect your daily life and adjust accordingly.

3. Will you want to stay long-term?

Opting for a starter home as a first-time buyer is a great option to enter the housing market without breaking the bank, but that doesn't mean you have to settle. For instance, a smaller ranch home may be the perfect option if it's in a desirable area that you can picture yourself staying in for a few years.

Make sure you pay special attention to your surroundings. If you're moving from the city to the suburbs and enjoy the hustle and bustle of an urban area, you may want to move to a location with a thriving downtown area complete with walkable streets and access to coffee shops and restaurants. You're not bound to staying in a home for decades, but the moving and buying process is significant enough that you should try to imagine whether you'll be happy in a house and neighborhood for at least a few years.

4. Have you included extra costs?

It may not be as fun as looking for your dream home, but the devil is in the details, so make sure you're calculating the extra costs such as water bills, electricity, gas and home repairs. If you're a first-time buyer, you may not be accustomed to undertaking your own plumbing repairs (goodbye, landlord), so take note of any property changes you'll need to make upon moving.

What's more, according to U.S. News & World Report, homeowners will spend between 1% and 4% of a home's value on maintenance costs each year. That can add up to thousands each year. A little planning and budgeting can go along way, so keep these expenses in mind.

5. What's the future of your family?

Are you planning to have kids? Do you predict you may become a caretaker for an aging parent over the next couple of years? A home is a long-term investment, which means you should always keep the future in mind when deciding on buying a property. If you're a new parent, you should ask yourself whether you plan to have more children in the future. If so, should you get a house with an extra bedroom, or do you plan to move when your children are still young enough to comfortably share a room? Do you imagine your kids playing in a spacious backyard, or are nearby parks plenty for your family?

Or, if you've arranged to take care of a parent in the next few years, you may want to find a home with a first-floor bedroom with an easily accessible bathroom for someone with mobility issues. For that matter, if you're looking for a home to live in well into your retirement years, the same applies - what will your life look like in the coming years, and how will your living space fit into those plans?

There are many things to think through when buying a home, including these kinds of practicalities and long-term thinking. By taking your time while planning the next several years of your life and looking for a home that's worth the effort, you'll be able to enter the homebuying market with your eyes open, ready to find a home that's the perfect fit for your life.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2016 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.


3 common concerns sellers have about FHA borrowers

For first-time homebuyers entering the real estate market, an FHA loan is an attractive option for an affordable residential mortgage for a number of reasons including lower credit score and down payment requirements.

The same features that make the FHA loan program so attractive for buyers doesn't always seem so great from the seller's perspective. When sellers learn that an offer is made from an FHA borrower, some get nervous. However, the reality is that many FHA borrowers are just as qualified and reliable borrowers as conventional mortgage borrowers. In fact, according to mortgage origination software company Ellie Mae, 70% of FHA loan applications from the previous 90 days were closed in Sept. 2017, only slightly below the conventional loan closing rate of 71.8%.

Here are some concerns sellers have about FHA loans and the truth behind them:

Concern No. 1: FHA borrowers have bad credit

FHA loans are available to those even with credit scores in the 500s or with no credit history at all. While this is good news for prospective homebuyers, sellers may worry that people with such low credit will encounter problems in the underwriting process, FHA Handbook explained. A poor credit score is generally regarded as a sign that someone is a more risky borrower.

If a seller accepts an offer from a buyer who then gets turned down for a loan during the underwriting process, the seller will have to try again to find a qualified buyer. Many times, a seller would rather the first buyer work out and move on with the sale.

FHA Handbook pointed out this shouldn't be a major concern for sellers; many FHA borrowers successfully obtain their loan in the end and are able to make the purchase.

Concern No. 2: The FHA requires a home inspection

An appraisal is needed for almost all home sales. The appraisal process simply means that an expert reviews key information and determines how much the property is worth. An FHA appraisal is a little bit more involved: In addition to determining the value of the property, an FHA appraisal also includes an inspection to make sure the home is compliant with the Department of Housing and Urban Development's minimum health and safety standards, according to FHA Handbook.

If a seller has, for example, an air conditioner that's broken and doesn't have the funds to repair or replace it, the home won't pass the FHA appraisal. If this happens, the seller must:

  1. Pay for a new air conditioner or for the appliance to be repaired.
  2. Schedule for a second inspection, and perhaps pay for it as well.

Sellers aren't keen on this extended appraisal process, nor are they excited to spend more money on the sale of their homes. Some think it'd be easier to simply say "no" to the FHA offer in favor of a buyer with a conventional mortgage.

Concern No. 3: FHA borrowers can't afford home upgrades or a large down payment

The low down payment is a big draw for people seeking out an affordable home mortgage. However, sellers worry about buyers who appear to be strapped for cash. Sellers wonder whether the buyer will expect the seller to make extensive home repairs as a condition of the sale. Additionally, if the home inspection turns up a problem with the home that the buyer can't afford to remedy after moving in, the seller might ponder whether the buyer will back out as a result.

Another concern is the appraisal showing that the home is overvalued, Bankrate explained. A buyer who doesn't have a lot of cash may want to negotiate a lower sale price when this is the case - something most sellers don't want to do. However, this may not be an issue if the buyer is willing to make the same down payment regardless of price or is willing to accept the original sale price of the home.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2016 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.