Monday, February 12, 2018

6 Items to Remove Before Hosting an Open House

You're ready to sell your home and this weekend is the first Open House. You've cleaned and cleaned and cleaned some more. Wall paint has been touched up and windows are sparkling. All rooms are neat and any embarrassing things like dirty laundry have been discreetly tucked away. 

You're ready to go, right? Not so fast!

Most real estate agents (and seasoned home sellers) would add that there are a few other preparations you must do to make sure you're ready for your open house. 

Remember, you are getting your home ready for outsiders which means that there are some key items you'll want to hide away to not only improve your chances of selling your home but also to save you from a headache later. Check out the infographic below:

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Bad Credit? Let's Fix it!

Fact: Poor credit history and a bad credit score can have a serious impact on your life. No one wants bad credit but sometimes mistakes happen. Sometimes factors like medical bills, job loss and tragedy influence our financial profile in ways we never could have predicted. Bad credit can happen to anyone.
photo credit: Wikipedia Commons

Factors that Damage Credit

First let’s clarify what can lower your credit score and damage your credit profile.
  • Excessive Debt: If your credit cards are maxed and you have several loans, your debt profile is probably contributing to your low score
  • Late Payments: The credit bureaus note any 30, 60, 90 & 120 day payment lates. It is essential that you pay your bills on time.
  • Dormant Credit: A dormant credit card is an account that has infrequent or no use. In some cases, if an account has no activity for a period of time, issuers may close the account which revokes future charging privileges. Dormant accounts may not have additional debt but they also don’t help your credit score.
  • Collections: If you fail to make a payment or pay off your account – the creditor may send your account to collections. This severely affects your score. Make sure to work closely with your mortgage or credit professional regarding paying off collections. Note: Collections on federal loans such as student loans will prevent you from getting financing from most (if not all) lenders.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Credit Management During the Holidays

Holiday shopping is fun (and stressful) at best but if planned well, it will not affect your credit score.
Below are some important reminders when spending during the holiday season:

Tip #1 

Don't sign up for new credit unless the savings is substantial. Many stores promote 0% interest on a purchase if you sign up for their credit card. This application will result in a credit inquiry which can affect your score negatively – do not add new credit unless the savings is substantial.

Tip #2 

Do not put all your purchases on one credit card – Unless you plan to pay off the balance when the payment is due, charging more than 35% of the total credit allowed, can lower your credit score significantly.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Does Home Refinancing Make Sense for You?

photo credit: deposit photos
Refinancing a home mortgage is a big decision. Your situation and needs change so should your mortgage. Current market conditions have brought low rates and increasing home values so the time to evaluate your options is here.

If you have an FHA mortgage, which you entered into before January 2015, then you may want to take advantage of a new reduction in the mortgage insurance premium. This has opened the door to refinancing your mortgage using a streamline option which can allow a reduction with no appraisal or income qualification. Some restriction apply but the reduction can save you money on your monthly payment.

How do you decide if refinancing makes sense for you? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you in an adjustable rate mortgage?
  • Do you have mortgage insurance added to your monthly payment?
  • Are the current mortgage rates at least .75 to 1% lower than your current rate?
  • Do you need cash out for other financial opportunities or to pay debt?
  • Does the cost of refinancing divided by the monthly payment savings equate to a reasonable term for recapturing your fees?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How Does a Home Appraisal Work?

During most real estate transactions, it will be necessary to have a home appraisal completed. This formal process of evaluation is the most effective, un-biased way to determine the current value of a home for everyone involved in the transaction. While the concept might not seem confusing, there are several misconceptions that can make the process seem complicated. Understanding what the appraiser does and how their evaluation plays a role in your financing can make the transaction easier.

Home values fluctuate because of a variety of factors including supply, demand and regional influences. A home appraisal determines the current market value of a property on the date the inspection is completed. Since this value will be used by the lender to determine the loan amount, an approved, reputable appraiser must be hired to complete the evaluation. It is important to note that the formal appraisal report is filed with a national bureau when financing is being used from FHA, FNMA and Freddie Mac. The report and the property value is registered with the national database and kept on file for six months. This keeps buyers and sellers from “shopping around” for a different value.