Tag Archives: home

10-Step Guide to Buying a House

http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/10-step-guide-to-buying-a-house/

  1. Are you ready to be a homeowner?
  2. Hire a Realtor®
  3. Get pre-approved
  4. Look at homes
  5. Choose a home
  6. Get funding
  7. Make an offer
  8. Get insurance
  9. Closing!!
  10. What’s next?!
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5 Lessons From First-Time Home Buyers

http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/5-lessons-from-first-time-homebuyers/

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  1. Mortgage meltdown — never count on your financing until it’s final/closed…
  2. Count your costs — keep track of your mounting costs and fees…
  3. Budget time & money for repairs — they’ll cost you, in more ways than one…
  4. Multiple visits are okay — don’t be shy if you want to re-visit the home…
  5. Learn (& love) thy neighbors — it can make or break your living situation…

Protect Your Family: Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure

•Carbon monoxide (CO) exposure incidents increase during the winter months and CO is often called the ‘silent killer’.

•CO is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that, when inhaled, combines with the blood and prevents it from absorbing oxygen, which can lead to illness or death.

•According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, municipal fire departments across the country respond to more than 60,000 CO incidents each year.

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Click on the link below to read more:
VIEW FULL ARTICLE LINK HERE
[via Lakeshore Weekly Newspaper]

5 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score

According to Realtor.com, these are the top 5 ways to boost your credit score, before applying for a loan.

When you are ready to buy a home, your lender will take a long look at your credit scores. Those numbers will play a big part in the terms the lender offers.

If you have bad credit, you may struggle to get approved at all. Even if you have fairly good credit, a few points could mean a difference of thousands of dollars of interest. Boosting your credit scores before you apply for a loan can help you get better rates, and there are a few ways to pull it off.

Check For Errors

A recent study by the Federal Trade Commission found one in five consumers had at least one error on a credit report. Some of those errors were big enough to damage the consumer’s credit score. The good news: The credit bureaus have to investigate and remove or correct any errors you find.

Order a copy of your credit reports from all three credit bureaus—Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. By law, you are entitled to a free copy every year through AnnualCreditReport.com. Once you have the credit reports in hand, comb through them and dispute any errors you find with the particular credit bureau. The credit bureau has 30 days to investigate and remove errors.

Pay Down Credit Card Debt

While any debt has an impact on your credit scores, credit card debt is weighted more heavily than revolving debts such as student loans or auto loans. Paying down your credit card debt can boost your credit scores. Most experts say you should aim to keep your credit card debt at no more than 10% to 30% of your available credit limit.

Ask For Forgiveness

Under the FICO model, bill payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score. Even one late payment is enough to drag down your scores, but you may be able get the black mark removed simply by asking your creditor. Known as a “goodwill deletion,” the creditor may be willing to remove the late payment information if you have an otherwise spotless history with the company. However, creditors aren’t usually willing to do this if you have a history of late payments.

Keep Your Old Accounts Open

If you are working on improving your credit scores before you apply for a mortgage, you may be tempted to cut up your old, unused credit cards and close the accounts. Don’t! That will backfire. The length of your credit history accounts for 15% of your credit score. By closing your oldest accounts, you are shortening your overall account length, which will only hurt your credit score. Instead, once you pay off a credit card, tuck it away in a drawer and keep the account open to keep building on your credit history’s length.

Pay On Time, Every Time

Once you have taken steps to lessen the damage of your past, do not let history repeat itself. Aim to pay all of your bills on time each month. Every timely payment you make will add to the positive history on your credit report. Over time, you will see your scores improve across the board.

5 Biggest Turn-Off’s For Homebuyers

According to RealtyTimes.com, these are the top 5 biggest turn-offs for homebuyers:


1. Overpricing For The Market

2. Smells

3. Clutter

4. Deferred Maintenance

5. Dark, Dated Décor

Moving Checklist | A Timeline For Your Upcoming Move

8 Weeks Out

Get organized: Set aside a folder or file where you can put all your move-related paperwork. Dedicate a notebook as your moving notebook for all your notes.
Start sorting: Decide what to keep, discard or donate. If you’re moving to a smaller place, be aggressive in your decision making.
Research moving companies: Go online to check for moving companies with positive reviews. Ask friends and family if they have any references for moving companies. Take a week or two to research ? you’re not in rush mode quite yet.

7 Weeks Out

Get supplies: Buy packing materials – boxes, tape, markers and bubble wrap.
Plan a garage sale: As you go through your possessions, you’ll find things you don’t want to move. It’s a perfect time to lighten your load. In the process, you’ll make a few bucks at the garage sale to spend on moving expenses.

6 Weeks Out

Notify schools: If you have kids, tell the staff at their schools of the impending move. Get copies of their school records and check into the enrollment process at the schools near your new residence.
Medical records: Check with your doctor to get copies of your family’s medical records.

5 Weeks Out

Book a moving company: Thanks to your research, you are ready to pick your movers. Pick a company you feel confident with and confirm the date, time, and details of your move.

4 Weeks Out

Start packing non-essentials: Begin boxing up the things you won’t need right away. Make sure to label the boxes.
Notify utilities: Start the process of closing out utility service at your current place and getting utilities set up at your new residence.
Notify your landlord: If you’re moving from a rental, let your landlord know. Find out when you can have your security deposit returned.

3 Weeks Out

Strategize your food situation: Use up food items that you don’t want to move. Plan ahead to have nothing left in your freezer by your move date. Same goes for your pantry – make a plan to consume anything that’s already open.
Pets and plants: Make arrangements to get your animals and plants to your new home.
Change your address: Complete a change of address form on the USPS website. Notify banks and credit cards of your new address.
Transfer insurance: If your current home is covered, check with your agent to transfer the policy to your new home.
Take care of your car: Have your car serviced, especially if you’re embarking on a long-distance move. Check with your car insurance company about transferring your policy.

2 Weeks Out

Pack with a vengeance: Now’s the time to start boxing up most everything left in your home. Again, make sure to label everything to ensure a smooth transition at your new place.
Coordinate your valuables: If you have jewelry, heirlooms or other valuable items, sequester them from the main move. You don’t want valuable items mixed up with your other packed items. Keep them in a safe place so you can transport them yourself.
Make a clean move: If your new place needs a thorough cleaning, make arrangements to have it scrubbed before you arrive.
At your disposal: Properly dispose of any items that can’t be moved such as cleaning materials, propane, or paint.

1 Week Out

Confirm and confirm again: Check in with your mover to confirm the time and date of the move.
Pack an essential kit: Prepare a suitcase with items you will need right away at your new place. Take it with you. Don’t load it on the truck.

1 Day Before

Keep important documents handy: Make sure to have any documents related to the move at the ready.
Defrost and clear: Clean out your empty fridge and freezer. Check your cupboards and pantry for any open food items.

Moving Day

Work with your movers: Help your movers by identifying fragile or large items right away. Be there when the movers load your items onto the truck. You’ll be responsible for verifying that they loaded everything, so it’s vital that you’re there to coordinate and answer questions. Sign the bill of lading when you’re satisfied that everything is accounted for.
One final sweep: Before the movers pull away, do a final check of your home to make sure nothing was left behind.

SOURCE: Realtor.com
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More Home Owners Carve Out Outdoor Entertainment Spaces

More Home Owners Carve Out Outdoor Entertainment Spaces.

Source: HouseLogic & Houzz