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homediggidy : tips and information for first-time homebuyers

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It starts with a tiny spark of an inkling that grows into a possibility, a probability and finally an actuality.

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.

We are not your typical homeownership experts, but we are a blend of long-time homeowners and new homeowners. We are renters just starting to entertain the idea of thinking about homeownership. Some of us live with our parents — a galaxy far, far away from owning our own home — but want to start laying down a good base to be ready later.

So our content is driven by personal experience and from research. We hope to help you save a few steps, to avoid pitfalls and get to the prize as soon as you’re ready to.

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.

the team


Rebecca Arnell is a Web Producer at Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation helping Ann out with MGIC’s customer-facing websites since 2013. She lives in an old 1929 home (looking to upgrade soon!) with her husband and their greyhound, Lilly. She enjoys pancakes and wine, just not together.


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 its the furnace turning off, but Margaret knows better.)


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).


Ann Navin manages our site along with MGIC’s websites and web team. We routinely test her beautiful mind with crazy ideas, and she routinely and thoughtfully figures out a way to make them happen. She owns a 1928 bungalow-style duplex situated in the heart of Milwaukee’s Washington Heights neighborhood. She shares her upper flat with a couple of quirky cats, Midnight and Kitty Kitty (the cat so nice she named it twice!) and rents her lower to an even quirkier tenant. Since you just never know where life is going to take you, Ann makes sure she enjoys the ride.


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.


Shelley Sines is a marketing copywriter, Libra and native Milwaukeean who has worked at MGIC since graduating from college in 2007. She and her husband are proud, exhausted parents of two adorable and unruly toddlers. Besides spending time with her family, she loves being outdoors, eating guacamole and watching football. She used to dislike jeggings, but now she definitely gets them.


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.


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.


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.


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.