The following are Credit tips that I share with clients to help improve their personal credit scores. Knowing where you stand with your credit months to years before your home search will save you weeks to months during your home search. Raising your credit score will help you get approved for a mortgage loan and could save you thousands of dollars with a lower interest rate. Some of the credit tips I suggest are:
1. Check your credit report- Credit Karma is free and the worst thing is not knowing what your credit score is and what outstanding items appear on your credit report. But keep the credit inquiries to a minimum. Each pull by you or a Creditor does impact the score.
2. Setup payment reminders- Every account has “account alerts” so you will never forget that odd payment due date in the middle of the month.
3. Reduce the amount of debt you owe- One of the key elements that credit scoring models use is usage percentage. You should never owe more than 30% of your credit limit at any time. If you owe $8000 on a $10000 debt limit you have reached an 80% usage percentage and your score will suffer even if you pay on time.
4. Pay your bills on time- delinquent payments if only a few days late and collections can have a major impact.
5. If you have missed payments- get current and stay current- If you miss a January payment and make it in February than that payment was for January. Then the next payment in March was really for February. They will report you 30 days late every month. I have seen reports that show 10 months of 30 day lates. If you look at the report it was late once, and the borrower made payments but never caught up. This is called a rolling 30 day late. Call the creditor and get caught up.
6. Call the creditor- If you are having trouble making timely payments CALL the creditor and let them know the situation. Many times the creditor will work with you regarding the scenario and may never report you late or perhaps take a lesser payment.
7. Pay off Rather than moving it around- The most effective way to improve your credit score
When a Client needed to pre-qualify for their loan they completed the online application at www.robsuling.com and Rob pulled credit and there was a block on their Transunion report and he was only able to access Equifax and Experian. This is not uncommon…so he called to say, I only got two scores….right now I have to use the lower of the two I pulled which is a 702. If I can pull the third score and it is higher, it might save you some money. So the Client decided to have the block removed and try for the higher score.
Credit score of 780 on a $300k loan with 20% down is 4.125% with no points
Credit score of 700 on a $300k loan with 20% down is 4.375% with no points
So…a $44/mo difference or $16,148 over the course of 30 yrs.
The borrower said, “that’s good…because I pulled 775 on Transunion from Credit Karma, I removed the block…go ahead.”
So Rob re-pulled credit…… and pulled a 707 with Transunion
So Rob called the borrower back and said, I just re-pulled credit and got a 707…
So the borrower went back and after spending hours on the phone with Transunion, discovered that an old creditor had miss-reported a transaction and showed it as delinquent. So he said he would dispute the issue….
Now that causes a problem for the mortgage. Mortgage companies use the application they take plus the credit report pulled and we input that into either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae’s Automated underwriting engine. If the system reads the “dispute” language from the credit report, it thinks the info is inaccurate and shoots out an “error msg”. Most banks need an approval from the credit engine to approve the loan.
The bottom line was that he was being quoted a score from Credit Karma that was inaccurate. So the moral of the story is if you have a client that wants to get pre-qualified, starting things early is always the best idea. In this case, the borrower was able to go back and remedy the credit error, get documentation, and TWO of the three scores that were reflecting the error shot up 80 points. $16k back in his pocket with a little up front homework!
Questions about your situation? Feel free to contact Dennis Bell, Realtor – Relocation Consultant BHHS PenFed Realty 703.928.4428, email@example.com and Rob Suling, VP Presidential Bank Mortgage, a Division of Presidential Bank, FSB, Cell: 703.966.9960.
Lately, I have seen a lot of Realtors fishing for home sellers’ through Ads like: I have buyers who want to buy a home in your neighborhood this month….if you’re thinking of selling, please contact me 555-FISH. Hmmm, this guy already has a buyer and I was thinking of selling. I wondered how successful could this be? Turns out in my neighborhood, our top agents represent both parties 10% and 17% of the time over a 2 year period. I guess if you build enough trust people can forget about real protection. The AD could read I am looking for someone ready to sell but I can only provide one buyer, competition is over-rated, but I don’t think as many would call.
In Real Estate the most common legal arrangement is for a listing agent from one company to represent the seller and a buyer’s agent from another company to represent the buyer in a transaction. A separate agent is looking out for each best interest. Some times the price is accepted, separately, by Buyer and Seller in the presence of the same agent. In situations where the price is agreed upon, separately to the same agent, and both parties agree to engage the same Realtor a Dual agency exists. In a Dual agency relationship, the Dual agents’ fiduciary duties to her clients are much more limited. They can no longer be an advocate for either party because each client has opposite goals. The agents’ job is now to shepherd the Transaction through to Closing. Yet many overlook this loss of safe representation because:
Buyer: They want to be in a specific neighborhood and are afraid of the price escalation that comes with competition. They show up first and without a Realtor. They may even solicit home-owners before the sale and end up with the seller agent.
Seller: The home is very difficult to show and they have buyer interest expressed before the sale, a quick sale is needed or wanted.
Agent: With price and condition agreed upon by buyer and seller it is just paperwork to take care of till Closing and more income from one property.
BUT, most problems are not uncovered until financing review for buyers and home inspection of sellers home. When your seller or buyer ask “what’s going on” the Realtor is limited in what they can tell you. This relationship may not help you make the best decision moving forward. When there is a problem who represents you?
Realtor Magazine (NAR) recommends that both parties retain attorneys to advise them regarding the purchase agreement, contingencies, price, earnest money, or other negotiated issues. This can be a win-win for all parties involved since the client will be adequately represented and the attorneys’ participation will take pressure and liability off of the Realtor.
Be smart. Be represented. Reach out to a relocation expert who seeks to represent only you.
Dennis Bell 703-928-4428 firstname.lastname@example.org
What is it?
Love your environment as part of you, and it will embrace you with universal peace in return. This is Feng Shui in its purity.
Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) is not superstition, religion or magic. Literally meaning “wind and water,” it is steeped in a philosophy based on the benefits to be gained from creating harmony and balance around us. Originally devised in China, Feng Shui was a system to protect people from climactic and environmental conditions, such as harsh winds and untamed waters.
The fundamental principle of Feng Shui is similar to notions of modern physics: all things contain their own energy. From people to structures to plants, everything has a life force called Chi … and it’s possible to tap into this energy to affect and change our lives.
The Chi or energy of one’s environment should be balanced so it can flow freely and effortlessly, like fresh air. (Visualize water flowing through your home to get the image.) Chi enters and leaves rooms through windows and doors; it should never become stuck, stagnant, depleted or too concentrated. To change the energies in your living space, rearrange furniture and accessories so your flow is meandering and leisurely. This will produce more auspicious energies than if the flow is straight and fast.
In addition to rearranging your furniture and accessories to change the flow of Chi in your home, you can improve your Feng Shui with the use of a tool called a Ba-Gua. As far back as Confucius, the Chinese linked a moral order of five virtues -- humanity, righteousness, decorum, wisdom, and good faith -- with the natural order, as symbolized by the five elements -- wood, metal, fire, water and earth. Each of these virtues is represented by an element and associated with a life aspiration (such as career or family), a color and a compass direction, as mapped on the Ba-Gua. Use the Ba-Gua to improve different aspects of your life.
For example, let’s say the life aspiration you want to improve is your career. The virtue you want to focus on is wisdom, the color to use is black, the element is water and the direction is north. One solution to energize your career aspiration would be to place an aquarium with black and gold fish (eight gold and one black is an auspicious combination) in the north sector of your living room or home office.
To use the Ba-Gua, first determine the orientation of your home, using a compass if necessary. Then click here for a Ba-Gua you can print out. Superimpose the Ba-Gua’s eight trigrams on your home, room, garden or office and look for clues about the interrelationship of what is happening in your life as it relates to your environment.
Once you know where each sector lies in relation to your own home, you can change your life aspirations by applying an appropriate element and color in the right location, or removing an element or color that’s in the wrong location. The elements can be represented physically or symbolically … red drapery or a triangle-shaped object can add the fire element to your living space just as strongly as a stove does.
How can you tell if you are suffering from bad Feng Shui?
One clue is a string of bad luck. Be sensitive to things going wrong, especially in patterns. If you’re trying to attain a goal but keep getting blocked, look at how you’re treating the nooks and corners in your living space: they may be causing obstacles to your energy flow.
Look for "poison arrows" that may be harming your home by sending out "killing breath" and blocking good Chi. These include exposed beams and open bookshelves. Soften these harmful edges by placing a plant in front of them, sandpapering the edges to "blunt" the blade, or arranging your books to sit flush with the edge so the blades disappear.
for good Feng Shui: The best ways to improve Feng Shui in your home include removing clutter, rearranging furniture, adding or removing decorative features and the use of “cures” such as plants, water, wind chimes, color and crystals.
The front entrance is where Chi enters your home. It should be well-defined, clear of clutter, bright and open.
Remove mirrors opposite your entryway door. The mirror will reflect beneficial Chi -- and prosperity -- out of your home before it has a chance to enter.
Occasional insomnia might be the result of unbalanced energy in your bedroom. Try the following suggestions, but if your room design doesn’t permit perfect Feng Shui, be creative. Experiment with variations and modifications of these ideas to find what works for you.
Place your headboard against a wall to ground your power.
The heart of family life, the living room is where you kick-back, relax and enjoy. The energy flow of this all-important room is essential for good Feng Shui.The living room should be clutter free and not over-furnished.
The energy of the chef is imparted into the food so it’s important to create a balanced environment. Placing your stove next to or directly opposite your sink or refrigerator will cause a clash between the fire and water elements. Leave space between them and place your stove in the south, rotating your use of each burner to encourage the flow of prosperity.
Place portraits of food or a large mirror in your dining area to promote abundance.
Spiky leaves generate "poison arrows." Choose round leafed varieties instead. Plants are cures for protruding corners and exposed beams that are believed to give off bad energy.
At last you can give the men in your home a good reason to keep the toilet cover closed -- doing so prevents Chi being unnecessarily flushed away.
Fix and repair windows. They are the eyes of the Chi and affect one’s clarity, so replace broken glass panes and clean the windows. Chi flows through windows even when they’re closed.
If you have long corridors or cramped spaces in your home, paint them white and keep them well lit to ensure your Chi does not become stagnant.
Adequate natural lighting, as well as artificial lighting is important. You can enhance light further with mirrors to boost the energy in the home, increase opportunities and broaden possibilities.
Mirrors are referred to as the aspirin of Feng Shui. They can correct many problems, but they must be used properly. When placed badly, mirrors can cause problems, especially in the bedroom.
A carpet should blend with all the elements of the room, but the ruling element (ie: wood if the room is in the north) should help you choose the color and pattern. A rug can activate healthy energy flow into and through your living space by highlighting specific parts of a room.
Anything made of crystal is good as it acts as a prism and brings in more good Chi.
Wind chimes are excellent Feng Shui tools. Use six or eight rods to enhance good luck, and five rods (preferably made of metal) to "push down" bad energy.
To attract influential people into your life, place a wind chime with six or eight metal rods in the north-west of your living room.
Use colors to create balance. Every color has a unique vibrational frequency and the five elements are each represented by color, as shown on the Ba Gua. For example, if you want to relax, green -- associated with the element wood and life aspiration for health and family -- is the most soothing color and a great choice for bedrooms. If you have white walls you can balance out your colors with rugs, pictures, chairs, etc. Avoid too much of any one color.
Place a fish tank in the north sector of your living room or home office to energize the career aspiration which is governed by water. Place one in the south-east sector to activate the wealth area. The best fish to use are arrowana or goldfish: eight gold and one black or two gold and one black are auspicious combinations.