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
mike.louden@academymortgage.com

Academy's My Mortgage App

Welcome!

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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ARTICLES

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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;

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How to find the perfect real estate agent

Making a home purchase is a big decision and a huge financial commitment. With the stakes so high, it's nice to have someone in your court to help you find a suitable home and advise you on making a good offer - this person, of course, is your real estate agent.

Finding a real estate agent that you like to work with and has your best interests in mind is the first step many people take in their house-hunting journey. But it takes more than just finding the first agent a Google search comes up with; it's important to know that the agent is experienced in finding the type of home you're looking for and is someone you can get along with.

Ask the right questions

Before looking at homes and reviewing residential mortgage options, interview a handful of agents to choose the right person to hire. Ask them:

If an agent is new to the industry or new to your area, he or she may not have the industry knowledge to find your ideal spot. This is one reason it's important to inquire about how the agent plans to find you homes to tour.

Some agents simply review the multiple listing service and quickly search for homes in your price range and preferred neighborhoods. Sometimes, this simple step is enough to find your ideal home; other times, a little more legwork is necessary. A dedicated and experienced agent will know how to seek out homes that aren't on the market yet or how to issue a direct mail campaign for their client, NerdWallet explained.

Look at their backgrounds

There are certain licenses and certifications that real estate agents either must or may want to pursue. Find out which qualifications your potential agents have.

First off, they should be licensed by the state you're looking for a house in. You can usually find this information online, Bankrate noted. Additionally, you may be able to find about any complaints filed against the agent through the regulatory body that licensed him or her. This information is good to know before moving forward with this person.

Next, find out what additional certifications the person pursued. An important one is a National Association of Realtors membership - this means the person knows, understands and adheres to a code of ethics with their clients. Other distinctions might include:

Agents may list these designations on their website or in acronyms on their business cards. Or, you can simply ask about additional training they've completed.

Make it official

Once you've determined who the best agent for you is, it's time to move forward with that person. Agents typically want their clients to be exclusive to them. Real estate agents make their money on the buying or selling of a home; if your agent helps you find a home but you wind up closing the deal with another agent, that person did a lot of work for no payout.

To protect themselves from getting swindled by inconsiderate or uninformed buyers, many agents require clients to sign a buyer's agent agreement. If you sign this form, legally you can't go with another agent unannounced. But, if you find that you and the agent aren't a good fit, you can terminate the contract and move on with someone else, Realtor.com reported.

If you haven't signed a contract but have met with the agent on several occasions, that person might assume (whether correctly or incorrectly) that you are exclusively working with him or her. This could simply be a rookie mistake on the agent's part, so you might want to step up and get clarification.

"Once you've found this special agent, you should sign a buyer's agent agreement to make it official," Rosanne Nitti, a california-based Realtor with RMN Investments & Realty Services. "This means you can both move forward with confidence - which is important when you're embarking on something as huge as buying a home."

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.

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3 sources of down payment funds that aren't your savings

Thousands of Americans make the move to homeownership every month. But buying a home isn't always simple. In fact, it can often become confusing and stressful.

What is making the buying journey difficult for consumers?

For many, saving up for the down payment is the most challenging hurdle to overcome, as cited by 13 percent of people who participated in a survey by the National Association of Realtors.

And, though it's become more widely known that the "standard" 20 percent down payment isn't always necessary, many still struggle to save up.

But, did you know there are more ways to come up with the funds for a down payment than simply through savings?

Here are some perfectly sound yet commonly overlooked means to funding your home purchase:

1. Explore a zero-down mortgage program

For the average conventional mortgage, borrowers who put less than 20 percent down are charged an added fee called Private Mortgage Insurance. However, the conforming mortgage isn't the only financing path consumers can take.

Several programs that are backed by the government allow qualifying borrowers to take out a mortgage without making any down payment at all.

VA loans are for active-duty service members, veterans and spouses of those who fit these two distinctions. Eligibility rules are based on date and duration of service, and not everyone qualifies. However, it's worth checking out; no down payment is required, and neither is paying PMI.

USDA loans are granted to buyers looking in a qualifying area - often rural or suburban locations - and under a certain income limit. The actual limit varies state by state, county by county. Like VA loans, there's no required down payment or PMI.

FHA loans aren't zero-down mortgages, but the down payment can be very low if your credit score is above a certain threshold. If your score is higher than 580, you're only required to put down 3.5%.

2. Save gift money for a home

If you've recently gotten married or had a baby, you perhaps received financial gifts from family and friends. Though commonly believed to be off-limits for home purchases, this cash is actually perfectly fine to help fund your down payment.

Though considered a wedding-planning faux pas for many years, stating your preference for a cash gift is becoming more widely accepted today, according to The Knot. You'll still want to set up a traditional registry for those guests who really would rather pick out a gift and you should steer away from naming specific amounts, but it's unlikely that many of your guests will truly be offended at your request.

3. Sell something

More than one-third of respondents to NAR's survey for its 2016 profile of home buyers and sellers said their down payment came from the sale of a primary residence. If you're already a homeowner, it's pretty common to use the proceeds from selling the home as a down payment on your next purchase.

But what about those first-time buyers who don't have a house to sell yet?

Take a look at your other assets, Money Talks News suggested.

Do you have an extra car? What about a motorcycle? Too many flat-screen TVs, or simply an attic full of stuff? Maybe one of these items isn't worth much, but a whole attic-full might be.

Is a lack of savings keeping you from realizing your dreams of homeownership? Don't let your goals become delayed because of a shortage of cash. There are plenty of options to obtain the funds for down payment.

To learn more about how to become a homeowner this year, reach out to Academy Mortgage.

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.

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Tips for first-time homebuyers

Buying a home for the first time can be an incredibly exciting but also stressful time for those hoping to enter the housing market. A house may be the largest purchase made in a person's lifetime, so it's important that the process go smoothly to prevent unnecessary worry or financial strain.

Here a few things shoppers should know when looking for their first home.

a key with a keychain of a house is being handed from on person's hand to another with an actual house in the backgroundKnowing what you want ahead of time can be greatly beneficial when looking for a home for the first time.

Consider what you want first

It's important to determine what kind of living space works best for you and your family. Do you need a home with bountiful yard space and a two-car garage? Or would a condo in multi-unit building suit your needs? What does the ideal residential neighborhood look like to you? Are there certain home amenities you could not live without? These are all considerations you must take into account before beginning any other phase of the home buying process.

Perform a credit check

Your credit score can affect the kinds of mortgage loans you can be approved for and what your interest rates and loan terms will be once you are approved. USA Today noted that you should check for and subsequently dispute any errors found in your credit report. You should also try to pay off any outstanding debts which could be lowering your score even further.

Lenders often run an inquiry into your credit history when opening a new credit account of any kind, which could adversely affect your score temporarily. To prevent this happening during mortgage applications, do not open any new credit accounts.

Financing and down payments

Determine the total cost of any prospective homes you look at – considering the property taxes, closing costs, insurance, maintenance costs and other factors. This can help guide you in assessing your budget for a potential down payment and your monthly house payment, according to Investopedia.

Weighing your mortgage options is another huge step in the home buying processes. Would a fixed conventional mortgage work best based on your income? Could an adjustable rate mortgage benefit you the most early on?

Down payments also do not have to be at the traditional 20%. Some lenders allow for less but this could result in higher overall costs and paying for private mortgage insurance, according to USA Today.

There may also be tax credits and lending programs for first-time homebuyers, veterans and residents of certain municipalities you can use to your advantage to help lower interest rates and down payment amounts.

Home inspection

Once your loans are approved and you find your dream home, a thorough inspection of the residence still needs to be conducted to ensure it's safe and up to your standards. Hire a professional to inspect the property. If any abnormalities are discovered that were not previously discussed, you generally have the option to rescind your offer or have your deposit refunded.

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.

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