You just closed on your first house. You’re standing in your completely empty living room, imagining the possibilities. After years of renting boring apartments in beige, eggshell, cream or oyster, you’re ready to go whole-hog and do every room in a variation of your...
Five years ago, private mortgage insurance (MI) helped me and my husband buy the perfect house sooner than we otherwise could have. We put 10% down, said goodbye to our dingy apartment and moved into a little yellow bungalow. Like all lenders, ours required mortgage...
Right now the number of homes for sale across the country is low, especially “starter” homes in a first-time homebuyer’s price range. That means as a first-time homebuyer, you’re not only looking for a home you actually like, but you’re also looking to beat out all...
I’ve spent many, many hours of my life outside in sub-zero temperatures, scraping snow off my frozen car and trying to dig it out of plowed-in parking spaces. In college I actually kept a shovel in my trunk during winter, because no matter where I lived, I always had...
I still have a closet stocked with supplies from my flat-broke, jewelry-making college days —boxes full of beads and stones, spools of cord and wire, bracelet and necklace clasps, even packaging complete with tissue paper I’d stamped my name on. My master plan at the...
Smart homes A smart home is the new frontier: a combination of convenience, comfort and security taking place in every room of your house — and in your pocket. Unlike a smart phone, a smart home isn’t something that you necessarily buy or upgrade all at once....
I cried at my mortgage closing over something as simple as homeowners insurance. Granted, purchasing a home is one of the most important financial decisions you can make, so you gotta understand how it could provoke some anxiety, especially if you don’t know what to...
Cheap, easy Thanksgiving decor ideas that actually look good are hard to come by. That’s why this super cute idea for Tasty Turkey Table Toppers is perfect for you. You can make dozens of them for about $10. The original idea came from my mom’s swim aerobics...
You won’t officially be a homeowner for another 30 days, give or take, so hold your horses. Because guess what? Your lender will check your credit again just before your closing date, prior to granting you the funds. Your lender might also need additional information...
Homebuyer Education Videos
Buying Your First Home With a Low-Down-Payment Mortgage
Recent college grads (and newlyweds) Kat and Jake didn’t let down payment or student loan debt get in the way of purchasing their first home.
As with so many other good dreams, that’s pretty much how people become homeowners. That’s what we’re here for, to walk with you through the maze, regardless of where you are.
So dig in, make comments, ask questions. We will work hard to anticipate and find answers for the information you need to find, afford and love a home of your own.
Who we are
HomeDiggidy is brought to you by the Millennial staff of writers and designers at MGIC (although we do allow a few Baby Boomers and GenXers to contribute now and then). We created this website because we know that buying a home for the first time can be a scary process. Our research- and experience-driven original content offers peer insights on everything from the advantages of low-down-payment mortgage loans to the importance of maintaining a good credit score. Our company has been involved in the mortgage process for more than 60 years now — so we’re in a great position to guide you.
Shelley Sines is the editor of HomeDiggidy. She’s also a Libra and Milwaukee native who has worked at MGIC since graduating from college in 2007. She and her husband are proud, exhausted parents of 2 adorable and unruly toddlers. Besides spending time with her family, she loves being outdoors, eating guacamole and watching football. Other stuff she likes (in no particular order): turtles, dictionaries, yoga, curry, Harry Potter, olive oil, peonies, camping, wine, graph paper.
Emily Whaling has an eye for color (pink, in particular), shape and space. Good thing because she is our website’s graphic designer. She came to MGIC in 2005 with a hatbox for a portfolio; we glommed on to her and haven’t let her go.
Robin Wetherbee has been writing for MGIC about mortgage insurance and homeownership since 1989. She and her handsome husband reside in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood. They share their freshly empty nest, which she calls her “Miracle on 34th Street” house (if you’ve seen the 1947 movie, you’ll know exactly what she means) with their big-old black cat, Max Rayfield Gilhooly.
Zak Stoiber is a marketing specialist at MGIC, writing being his specialty, and an avid reader of books, some of which do not contain pictures. He currently resides in an apartment with his two roommates and is an aspiring homeowner, though he refuses to move out until he has enough material for his autobiographical urban rom-com.
Gretchen has spent about 20 years in marketing, with 11 of those being at MGIC. She lives in Milwaukee’s hipster Bay View neighborhood in a 1919 home with her 2 kitties, Sylver (a sweet fluff-bucket) and Henry (another obnoxious red-head ). Gretchen enjoys playing music, photography, garlic, history, volunteering, speaking Spanish, sarcasm, killing zombies and faking it on the accordion.
Liz Keuler recently landed at MGIC after 10 years of meandering through radio, nonprofits and the corporate world. She and her husband live in a charming 100-year-old bungalow on Milwaukee’s East Side. Her interests include old Ernst Lubitsch films, new action movies, 60s girl pop, Regency romance novels, word games, sewing and shallots.
Gunnar Raasch is a recent college graduate with almost no experience in or knowledge of the housing market. His internship at MGIC, however, has surrounded him with a wealth of incredibly knowledgeable co-workers who are helpful in showing him the ropes. He’s also a slightly below average hockey defenseman and a slightly above average Tetris player who moved back in with his parents. Though he plans on renting for the next few years, he hopes to be as prepared as possible when he one day enters the realm of home-buying.
Tracy Weckwerth is a Digital Marketing professional at MGIC and is new to the mortgage industry. With a background in writing, editing and communications, she prides herself in having a thirst for news. Growing up in the suburbs of Milwaukee has given her an appreciation for the Midwest and four seasons. She is a big music fan and frequent visitor of concerts around the country – especially the West coast. Blink-182, Boston Terriers and Blue Pens are just some of her favorite things. Also you never know what random fun facts she’ll throw at you.
Laura Kapp is the creative director of the writing and design team at MGIC. Her messy desk proves the saying, “Creative minds are rarely tidy.” She lives in a late- Fifties ranch-style home with her husband, Andy, and their 2 dogs: Molly and Dublin. A cat, Gracie, allows them all to live with her (on most days).
Margaret Crowley is our website’s Big Head, in addition to manager of MGIC’s marketing and customer experience. She was just 22 with twins when she bought her first house. After a long stint of living in the burbs, she recently became a resident of Milwaukee’s Lower East Side with the purchase of a 140-year-old Victorian, complete with its own ghost whose moans resemble that of a tall, hirsute biped in a movie whose name rhymes with “car wars.” (Her husband says it’s the furnace turning off, but Margaret knows better.)