Credit Score

Written by on September 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Protect Your Future Ability To Purchase A Home

© iStockphotoNo matter what your financial situation, trying to stay in your home and pay your mortgage is your best option when considering the effect alternative options would have on your credit score and future home purchasing possibilities. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac define foreclosure as, “Any 120 day mortgage late within the last 24 months, any notice of default or settlement on a real estate secured trade line (short sale), any deed-in-lieu or forbearance agreements.”

Simply put, whether you are 120 days late on your mortgage, short selling your home or being foreclosed upon, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac define all these events as “foreclosure.” And, a foreclosure will result in significant damage to your credit; depending on your credit score, down payment and your previous home-loss situation, you will have to wait two to seven years before you could qualify for a mortgage to purchase another home.

So, before you abandon your mortgage — if you’re thinking about doing so — be sure to consult with your lender or loan servicer. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also has a program, “Keep Your Home. Know Your Loan,” in place to assist homeowners before they fall behind on mortgage payments. See for details.…

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Shop Around

Written by on September 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Compare Mortgages To Save

© iStockphotoWhen you’re in the market to buy a home, it’s important to compare lenders to find the best rate and terms for your mortgage. According to a recent survey by Harris Interactive and LendingTree, 40% of home buyers obtain only one mortgage loan quote before making their decision on a lender. Understandably, without much comparison shopping, only about a quarter (28%) of those surveyed feel they got the best rate and terms.

Mortgage shopping can be frustrating and complex — especially if you haven’t done it recently. But when you are considering a financial commitment for the next few decades (15 to 30 years for most loans), you owe it to yourself to find the right loan package that fits your needs the best. Give us a call for lender recommendations. We’re always here to help!…

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Selling Tip

Written by on September 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Beyond Staging:

© Getty ImagesBe Sure To Tell Your Home’s Unique Story

Staging has been around for quite some time. It helps home sellers arrange each room in their home to look inviting, desirable and picture-perfect for new buyers. Buyers are drawn in by the vignettes created in each room — comfortable seating areas, room to entertain, spa-like looks in a bath, delightfully calming bedrooms, relaxing outside spaces — and easily picture themselves living in that home.

Taking staging a bit deeper, you can create “house stories” about your home to offer a glimpse into its unique, historic or personal past. Your home doesn’t need to be star-quality or high-end, but the stories you share can create a sense of intrigue that brings buyers in — and ultimately sells your home.

Buyers are often interested by the background and roots of a home. Highlight the important aspects of your home and tie them into the house story. If a notable person or family lived there once upon a time, be sure to let buyers know. The same goes for its history being close to points of interest such a train stations, museums, old buildings, etc. Perhaps an important event took place at your home or on your street long, long ago.

If you built your house for a specific reason at a certain time, share those tidbits too. Tell the story of who lived in your home and where they are today…or where they are going. We’ll help you market your home — physical features and story together — to get it sold!…

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6 Fast Facts

Written by on September 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Credit Score Know-How


  1. © iStockphotoChecking your credit report will not affect your credit score. Using allows you one free report every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus.
  2. Once you are 30 days late paying a bill, your credit score can drop, sometimes a significant 60 to 110 points.
  3. Opening new credit accounts can lower your credit score, so consider doing so carefully.
  4. Getting access to your actual FICO credit score — or at least the one that credit reporting agencies show lenders — will cost you a fee, usually $7.95 to $15.95.
  5. The higher the balances on your credit cards, the lower your credit score will be.
  6. Monitor your credit reports regularly for signs of fraud by keeping track of the total number and types of accounts you have open, their balances and your personal information on each report.

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Pre-Loved Resale Homes

Written by on June 30, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Why Resale Homes Stand Out In Today’s Market

© HemeraConsumers love “new” — it’s why that word is so universally used in marketing campaigns. When it comes to homes, though, new isn’t usually a home buyer’s first choice. Whether you call them existing, resale, used, classic, previously owned or pre-loved, non-new homes today comprise more than 90% of home sales nationwide — for some very good reasons.

Of course, whether to purchase a resale or a new home is a personal preference. If you’re thinking about buying a home in today’s market (or selling yours), consider some of the advantages of resale homes (the term most often used in the real estate industry) you may not have considered.

Cost Savings
Resale homes generally are less expensive than comparable new homes. The median sales price nationwide for existing homes sold in December 2010 was just $168,800, compared with $197,000 for new homes.

One reason: Resale sellers have more bargaining room than builders, who have to make a return on the costs they shelled out for land, building materials and labor. (In fact, if a builder can’t foresee the required return on a proposed project, they’ll simply wait until market conditions improve.)

In addition, today’s bargains are mostly found in resale homes — short sales, foreclosures, tax sales, fix-ups, divorce sales, estate sales, etc. Builders, on the other hand, are more likely to upgrade features rather than drop sales prices to get their homes sold. (Their profit margins are often pretty narrow to begin with.)

A third consideration: Older homes in older communities often do not have homeowners associations that require you pay dues — as some newer home communities do.…

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