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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Improve Your Credit Score

Improve Your Credit Score

Suggestions on what you can do right now

A credit score reflects credit payment patterns over time, with more emphasis on recent information. Ways to improve a credit score generally include the following:

· Pay your bills on time. Delinquent payments and collections can have a major negative impact.

· Keep balances low on credit cards and other "revolving credit." High outstanding debt can affect a credit score.

· Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed. Don’t open accounts just to have a better credit mix. It probably won’t improve your credit score.

· Pay off debt rather than moving it around. Also, don’t close unused cards as a short-term strategy to improve your credit score. Owing the same amount but having fewer open accounts may lower your credit score.

Know which items can improve credit scores the most

· Paying your bills on time is the single most important contributor to a good credit score. Even if the debt you owe is a small amount, it is crucial that you make payments on time.

· Minimize outstanding debt, avoid overextending yourself and refrain from applying for credit needlessly. Applications for credit show up as inquiries on your credit report, indicating to lenders that you may be taking on new debt. It may be to your advantage to use the credit you already have to prove your ongoing ability to manage credit responsibly.

· Pay your bills and wait. If you do have negative information on your credit report, such as late payments, a public record item (e.g., bankruptcy) or too many inquiries, you may want to pay your bills and wait. Time is your ally in improving your credit scores. There is no quick fix for bad credit scores.

One common question that many consumers have regarding their credit score involves understanding how very specific actions will affect it. However, it is impossible to provide a completely accurate assessment of how one specific action will affect a person’s credit score. For example, someone might ask if closing two of his or her revolving accounts would improve his or her credit score. While this question may appear to be easy to answer, there are many factors to consider. Simply closing two accounts not only lowers the number of open revolving accounts (which generally will improve credit scores), but it also decreases the total amount of available credit. That results in a higher utilization rate, also called the balance-to-limit ratio (which generally lowers scores).

How Long Does It Take to Rebuild a Credit Score?

Actually, you don’t rebuild the credit score. You rebuild your credit history, which then is reflected by your credit score. The length of time to rebuild your credit history after a negative change depends on the reasons behind the change. Most negative changes in credit scores are due to the addition of a negative element to your credit report, such as a delinquency or collection account. These new elements will continue to affect your credit scores until they reach a certain age. Delinquencies remain on your credit report for seven years. Most public record items remain on your credit report for seven years, although some bankruptcies may remain for 10 years and unpaid tax liens remain for 15 years. Inquiries remain on your report for two years.

If you have any questions regarding your credit score, please feel free to contact Steven L. Bechtolt, Vice President, Wisconsin Community Bank at or 608.328.4016

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Did you know you could be in your own home for as little as $456 based on a $85,000 loan at 5% for 30yrs. Yes you can today I have a nice 3br home that is your Rent Buster. Call 608-214-9844

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bad joke. Just poking fun at myself

Q. What does a Realtor call a phone call from a telemarketer in the winter?

A. A HOT prospect

Home buying costs going up

Since FHA’s reserve account has been under the required 2%, HUD has decided to start raising upfront mortgage insurance premiums (1.75%-2.25%), increasing down payment for lower credit scores, and reducing allowable seller concessions from 6% to 3%. These changes will take affect this spring, possible as early as April. What that means for a buyer is buying a house in months to come will cost more than today. FHA has taken up 30%-40% of the purchase market due to their low down payment and flexible credit criteria so this will impact A LOT of first time buyers.
Between the anticipated rate increases once the government steps out of the market and higher cost to get a low down payment loan…home financing will inevitably get more expensive. If you have been on the fence about buying a home, delaying this process any longer will cost you more long term. Call me today at 608-214-9844 Scott Larson Towne Square Realty
What is a Abstract? An abstract of title is a written history of all the recorded documents and proceedings related to a specific property. An attorney or title insurance company reviews an abstract of title to determine whether there are any title defects which must be cleared before a buyer can purchase a clear, marketable and insurable title.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pre-approval Letter
A pre-approval letter, is harder to obtain, but gets the tumbs up from sellers. The home buyer will go through the actual approval process including, but not limited to, credit checks, debt to income ratio surveys and verification of down payment. The pre-approval letter does state that the bank has made a preliminary approval of the loan and is willing to complete the loan process in order to finalize the sale. The pre-approval letter does not, however, lend a definitive answer as to whether the sale will go through. Before a final sale, the buyer will again have to go through a credit check and present the down payment.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pre-qualification Letter

A pre-qualification letter is one of the easiest documents to obtain from a lender. The prospective buyer will set an appointment with a bank. At the appointment, the loan officer will ask simple questions about income, debt and savings. The answers to these questions will render a quote, of sorts, as to how much the buyer can afford to spend. There will be no verification of income or credit worthiness checked during this appointment. The pre-qualification letter in no way binds the bank to a loan for a home sale. On the contrary, there are actually clauses within the letter than relieve the bank from any legal obligations. It is better to have a Pre-Approval letter. I will discuss this type of letter in my next blog.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Consider this when you hire a home inspector

Choosing a Home Inspector
Before you hire a home inspector there are several factors you should consider:
• Ask if they carry Errors & Omissions Insurance - this helps protect you in the event an inspector missed or misdiagnosed a component of the home that the inspector is required to inspect according to industry standards.
• Look for inspectors who offer General Liability Insurance as an added layer of protection for you and your client - An inspector who doesn't carry general liability insurance does not protect against property damage in the event the inspector damages your property before or after inspecting the home.
• Request training qualifications - Training is a key to a proper home inspection. Many inspectors may not have received formal training. Training limitations can lead to potential problems for you in the event something is not properly inspected.
• Seek out inspectors who meet industry and/or state standards - Hiring an inspector who does not adhere to industry or state standards could result in missing thousands of dollars in problems, costing you additional money, time, or aggravation.
• Identify inspectors who are impartial - Impartiality during the inspection process helps to avoid raising unnecessary alarm; the inspector should remain objective while communicating the inspection findings in a professional, non-threatening manner.

Monday, January 18, 2010

#4 Morgage Reduction Builds Equity

Each month, part of your monthly payment is applied to the principal balance of your loan, which reduces your obligation. The way amortization works, the principal portion of your principal and interest payment increases slightly every month. It is lowest on your first payment and highest on your last payment. On average, each $100,000 of a mortgage will reduce in balance the first year by about $500 in principal, bringing that balance at the end of your first 12 months to $99,500.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Reason #3 for home ownership
Consumers who carry credit card balances cannot deduct the interest paid, which can cost as much as 22%. Equity loan interest is often much less and it is deductible. For many home owners, it makes sense to pay off this kind of debt with a home equity loan. Consumers can borrow against a home's equity for a variety of reasons such as home improvement, college, medical or starting a new business.Not that more debt is a good thing , but being smart about debt is.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Home ownership is a excellent tax shelter and our tax rates favor homeowners. As long as your mortgage balance is smaller than the price of your home, mortgage interest is fully deductible on your tax return. Interest is the largest part of your mortgage payment.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pride of ownership is the number one reason why people seek to own their home. It means you can paint the walls any color you desire (even Orange), turn up the volume on your stereo, attach permanent fixtures like moose heads and decorate your home according to your own taste, sorry Martha Stewart. Home ownership gives you and your family a sense of stability and security. It's making an investment in your future by something we call home.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Home buyers tip. If you're short on cash for the closing costs and can't roll the closing costs into the mortgage, ask the seller in your offer if they're willing to pay all or part of the closing costs. The worst that can happen is that the sellers say no.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Start Getting Ready to Move by Canning the Clutter

Start Getting Ready to Move

Pack Up Personal Things … Can the Clutter

When you have cleaned your home to prepare it for selling, clutter is the next project you should undertake. As you walk through your home, immediately place personal things you wish to keep in moving boxes and label them. This accomplishes two things. One, it helps you stay ahead of all the packing you should do for your move. Second, it allows you to keep clutter at bay. Taking down alot of your personal item helps the buyer see the home as theirs not yours. One other crucial use for storage boxes is for quick hiding spots for clutter. If a prospective buyer wants to see your house at the last minute, temporarily cast the clutter into moving boxes and close the lids. Buyers will understand moving boxes around better than clutter

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Clean Home is a SOLD Home

House Selling Tip

Do Some Cleaning

With all the homes I've shown I would agree that no one will be impressed with a home that is not clean. Among the greatest (and most affordable) investments you can make is in a complete cleaning of your house. In addition to the normal mopping and dusting you do, clean the windows (inside and out), clean carpeting, wipe down walls and baseboards, clean fingerprint marks off inside and exterior doorways including the light switches, and sweep, sweep sweep. Clean out the fireplace, add candles ( light for showings) they make a warm statement. People are typically more willing to pay higher sums of money for houses that feel as though they have been well cared for.