Archives for March 2008

Credit Scoring and Repairing

When people mention the word ‘credit score’ the subject often brings on fear and anxiety, and for good reason. With the exception of recognizing that the best score wins, the average home buyer knows very little about the whole credit scoring process. Borrowers who have credit that is not so great (sub-prime) and who are eager to move into A-Paper territory often find themselves at a loss when trying to find ways to upgrade their credit history. Now more than ever it is possible for people to improve less-than-perfect credit scores and obtain a loan for the home they truly want.

The first step in the process is making sure that to acquire a current copy of their credit report. Congress recently amended the Fair Credit Reporting Act so that consumers may now receive one free credit report annually. There are three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. Since entries can vary across bureaus try to request a free report from each of the three companies. (www.annualcreditreport.com (http://www NULL.annualcreditreport NULL.com/))

It’s also important to know just what a good credit score is. Most A-Paper scores generally begin around 680. Don’t despair if it comes up shy, there is always room for improvement. Increasing your score just 5 points can save a significant amount of money. For example, if your score is 698 and you increase it to 703, then you could save yourself thousands of dollars over time as a result of a slight improvement to your loan’s interest rate.

According to the various affiliates, while credit repair is necessary for some, it’s not the only way to increase your credit score. Even if you have stellar credit, you can enhance your score through these steps:

  • Evenly distribute credit card debt to change the ratio of debt to available credit. Let’s say you have a credit score of 665. If you have debt on only one card, and four additional credit cards with zero balances, evenly distributing the debt of the first card could move you closer, and possibly into, that ideal bracket.
  • Keep your existing accounts open and active. The average consumer is usually anxious to close credit card accounts that have zero balances, but doing this can cause them to lose the benefits of a long-term credit history and increase their ratio of debt-to-available credit.
  • Keep credit inquiries to a minimum. Each inquiry into your credit history can impact your score anywhere from 2-50 points. When it comes to mortgage and auto loans, even though you’re only looking for one loan, multiple lenders may request your credit report. To compensate for this, the score counts multiple auto or mortgage inquiries in any 14-day period as just one inquiry, so try and stay within that time frame.

Remember, credit scores don’t change over night. Improving them requires time and diligent effort, so it’s a good idea to get the ball rolling at least three to six months prior to submitting an application for home financing.

FHA & Down Payment Assistance Update..More people can qualify

FHA and Down Payment Assistance Update :

The California Federal Judge has ruled in favor of the Down Payment Assistance Programs. This is definitely Great news especiallay since Hud has been trying to have the Down Payment Assistance programs ruled against by the Federal Judge, however, the Judge has ruled against Hud and for the Down Payment Assistance programs. Hud has now been stopped from ruling against the DPA’s permanently, Safe at last!.

Another issue that is good for buyers and was approved is the FHA Loan amount has now increased to $271,050.00 for Harris and surrounding counties. This will give buyers more options when deciding on which loan option to take FHA, VA, or Conventional.

Sellers: How can I help you? Why you need a Realtor.

For Sellers

Selling your home shouldn’t be a stressful ordeal. Making the smart move of choosing a REALTOR® is your first step to ensuring that your investment in your home pays off. My services and experience allow you to focus on your move while I manage your home sale from our initial consultation to the closing deal, and beyond. I pride myself on repeat business and hope you’ll come to understand why.

As Your Agent, I Will:

* Complete a comparative market analysis that will compare your home’s value to that of your neighbors.
* Compile a comprehensive plan detailing all the efforts I will employ to sell your home, including Internet and local media.
* Present your home to as many qualified buyers as possible getting your home maximum exposure.
* Help you stage your home and generate curb appeal to ensure you get the highest price.
* Assist with obtaining offers and help you in negotiating the best deal as smoothly as possible.
* Help you find your next home and answer all of your questions about the local market area, including schools, neighborhoods, the local economy, and more.

Recent Home Sales

What are homes selling for on your street? Feel free to contact me to find out what neighborhood homes are selling for, free of charge, or to receive a more detailed analysis of the value of your home.

Getting the Highest Price for Your Home

Curb appeal is key and could make a difference whether people stop and take a flyer, or drive right by. Here are a few tips to increase the curb appeal of your home. Staging your home is important. Many buyers will stay in your home longer if it’s staged appropriately. I have compiled some ideas to present your home in the most effective manner.

Closing Costs to Expect:

* Title insurance fees depend on the sales price of the home.
* Broker’s commission is a full-service fee and will cost anywhere between 5% to 7%.
* Local property transfer tax, country transfer tax, state transfer tax, and state capital gains tax are the charges that you’ll pay for the privilege of selling your home. Credit to the buyer of unpaid real estate taxes for the prior or current year are variable and depend on when you close and when your taxes are due.
* FHA fees and costs are all fees are now negotiable between an FHA buyer and seller.
* Home inspections fees are in some circumstances paid for by the seller and include pest, radon and other inspections.
* Miscellaneous fees can accrue from correcting problems noticed during the home inspection.

Find out how much your closing costs could be. contact me.

Buyers: How can I help you? Why you need a Realtor.

For Buyers

Buying a home is an exciting time in one’s life. Making the smart move of choosing a REALTOR® is your first step to ensuring that your new home and community meets your needs. My services and experience range from financial aid to helping you find the home that best suits you and your family. For your convenience, I also provide listings by email. I pride myself on repeat business and hope you’ll come to understand why.

As Your Agent, I Will:

* Assure that you see all the properties in the area that meet your criteria.
* Guide you through the entire home buying process, from finding homes to look at, to getting the best financing.
* Make sure you don’t pay too much for your new home and help you avoid costly mistakes.
* Answer all of your questions about the local market area, including schools, neighborhoods, the local economy, and more.

Before You Start Looking For Your New Home:

* Check your credit rating. Straighten out any errors before its too late.
* Determine a comfortable monthly budget for your new purchase, including down payment and monthly payment.
* Find a loan program that meets your needs and get pre-qualified (preferably pre-approved).
* Choose a REALTOR® that you trust and who understands your needs.
* Determine what neighborhood best matches your needs.
* Identify important features you need your new home to have.

Closing Costs to Expect:

* Lender fees include charges for loan processing, underwriting, preparation and establishing an escrow account.
* Third-party fees include charges for insurance, title search, and other inspections such as termites.
* Government fees include deed recording and state & local mortgage taxes.
* Escrow and interest fees include homeowner’s insurance, loan interest, real estate taxes, and occasionally private mortgage insurance.

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