Patricia Betro's Blog
When you want to buy a home, you know that good credit will be necessary. You may have heard some things about your credit score that just aren’t true. Read on to set the record straight on some of the most significant misconceptions about credit.
Checking Your Credit Only Gives You Knowledge
Checking your credit score or report will not lower your score. The only way checking a score is damaging to a credit score is in the form of credit inquiries. This is when a lender, employer, or other merchant checks your credit in order for you to either gain employment or open a new line of credit. You have the right to review your score without it being impacted.
You Shouldn’t Carry Balances
The best way to keep a high credit score is to use a credit card and pay the balance off in full each month. It’s a false belief that carrying a balance is an excellent way to increase your credit score. You need a low debt level to maintain a good credit score.
Your Age And Income Have Nothing To Do With Your Score
It’s natural that older people who have a longer credit history have a better shot a good credit score, but your age has nothing to do with your score. It all depends on when you established credit. Some people started their credit histories early because their parents opened accounts for them. Others needed to wait awhile before opening their first credit card account.
Your income also is not a factor in determining your credit score. It may be true that if you have a higher income, it’s easier to stay out of debt, but the amount of money you make has no direct impact on your score.
You Cannot Access Your Credit Score For Free
You have a legal right to obtain a free copy of your credit report once a year but, your credit score isn't included in this report. There are free services that are outside of your credit report that will give you your credit rating, but you need to search for them. It’s a good idea to check your credit report periodically, but you should also know your score especially if you're getting ready to make a big purchase such as buying a home.
Your Credit Matters More Than You Think
While you know your credit score matters when you head to get a home loan, you may not know just how many entities take your credit into account when you apply for them. Some things you may do where your credit score matters:
Apply for a job
Apply for a credit card
Rent an apartment
Sign up for phone and Internet services
Get other utilities in your home
Your credit history gives a picture to the world to let them know if you’re financially stressed. If you have gone through rough patches, there are always ways to bring your score up. If you had a judgment ruled against you in a lawsuit, for example, that would only appear on your credit report for a certain number of years. Lenders will often allow you to explain bumps in your credit report as well. Understanding credit is half the battle to a good score!
Many homebuyers face an interesting dilemma. On one hand, a broad array of houses is available nationwide, making it easy to find a great residence just about anywhere. Conversely, the housing market remains fierce, and a homebuyer who fails to submit the right offer at the right time may miss out on the opportunity to acquire his or her dream residence.
Ultimately, homebuyers must be ready to submit a fair offer on a house at any time. And even though you may be tempted to submit a proposal that exceeds a home seller's asking price to secure your ideal house, you should try to do everything you can to avoid overspending.
Lucky for you, we're here to teach you the ins and outs of making a reasonable offer on a home. Here are three tips to ensure you can avoid spending too much for a house.
1. Know What to Look for in Your Dream House
The definition of a "dream house" may vary from homebuyer to homebuyer. If you consider exactly what you'd like to find in your ideal home, you'll be able to browse the real estate market accordingly.
Although many great houses are readily available, it is important to keep in mind that no residence is perfect. As such, you should establish lists of must-haves and wants for your dream home and set realistic expectations. This will allow you to compare and contrast homes against your lists, find a residence that meets your expectations and remain calm, cool and collected as you prepare to submit an offer on a home.
2. Get a Mortgage in Advance
Homebuyers can get pre-approved for a mortgage and create a budget before they embark on a search for their dream home.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will require you to meet with banks and credit unions and assess all of the mortgage options at your disposal. In addition, lenders may be able to offer a variety of financing options based on your credit score, annual income and other economic factors.
With a mortgage in hand, you can explore the real estate market and find homes that fall within your price range. Therefore, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be better equipped to accelerate the homebuying process and avoid overspending on a house.
3. Choose the Right Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent may make or break your home search. And with the right real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble finding your dream home in any real estate market.
Your real estate agent is happy to provide tips to ensure you can submit a fair offer on any residence. That way, you can avoid the risk of overspending and improve your chances of acquiring your dream home at a reasonable price.
Hire a real estate agent who possesses comprehensive expertise and great people skills. By doing so, you can work with a real estate professional who can help you acquire your ideal home in no time at all.
Aside from locking our doors at night and parking cars in a safe place, most of us don’t think about security for more than a couple of minutes a day.
In many ways, the United States is a safer country than ever. Property crimes, such as burglary, robbery, and theft, have all plummeted in recent years. However, billions of dollars are still lost each year due to property crimes.
A type of theft that is on the rise in the United States in identity theft. We are all taught the dangers of identity theft, but are rarely given specifics on how to keep our data more secure.
In this article, we’ll cover basic security tips that will keep you, your family, your property, and your data more secure at home.
Securing your home
First, let’s start with the simple things. Check the exterior of your home. Do you have accessible windows, and are they kept locked? Similarly, are any of your doors glass? If so, thieves may easily break the glass and unlock the door from the outside. At night, keep your home safer by installing motion sensor lights around dimly lit areas.
Speaking of locks, make sure yours are high quality deadbolts. Also, keep track of all keys and don’t leave keys in careless places such as under doormats or flower pots.
Use the latest tech to your advantage
Smart home technology isn’t just good for clapping lights on and off. You can use smart home security systems to lock and unlock your doors from work, check security cameras, and protect you and your family from fire and carbon monoxide all from an app on your phone.
Buy a safe
Safes aren’t just for millionaires and they don’t just prevent burglaries. A good safe will keep things secure from fire and water hazards, as well. Items you’ll want to keep secure include important paperwork, passports, social security cards, copies of financial documents, jewelry, emergency cash, and hard drives or flash drives with photos and documents on them.
Keep your home safe while you’re away
One of the most important times to keep your house secure is when you’re not in it. An empty home is an easier target for those seeking to gain entry into your home. While you’re away, be sure to let a trusted neighbor know you’ll be gone. Have them take in your mail for you so it doesn’t look like the home is unoccupied. Before you leave, check that the windows are locked and that nothing has been left on in the house except for a light.
Protect your identity
To keep your information safe from prying hands hoping to turn a profit, here are some best practices to follow.
Shred documents with your personal information, don’t throw them out with your garbage
Don’t fall for phone or email scams; unless you entered something you probably didn’t win anything
Don’t let anyone enter your home unless you called them first
Be selective of the information you share on social media. Never post photos of your forms of identification, or tell others when your family will be away (a.k.a. Your home empty)
Always keep your smartphone locked with a passcode
Change your passwords to various websites frequently. Don’t use the same password for multiple sites, and make your passwords complex. Instead of words, use pass “phrases” or series of words.
Do you ever look at pictures of dream homes online and wonder what yours is missing? The answer probably lies in a cohesive design style. All homes are built around architectural and design principles. Whether you realize it or not, there are probably at least two or three interior design styles that would perfectly complement your home’s architecture, giving it that dream house” appearance that we all wish we could achieve.
In today’s post, I’m going to cover some of the top interior design styles, from time-tested classics to contemporary trends that are sure to stick around for decades to come.
Minimal, but not barren. Reserved, but not sterile. Mid-century modern, as the name suggests, began to take shape in the mid 1900s. You’ve probably seen mid-century decorations dozens of times, especially if you’re a fan of TV shows like Mad Men.
Mid-century furniture has some of the most creative, while still tasteful shapes and textures. Egg-shaped chairs and wide, minimal sofas are highlights of this style. However, one of the most defining features is the use of wood. Exposed wood in furniture, floors, walls, and ceilings give the home a warm and cozy feeling in spite of its modern decoration. It really is all about balance.
One of today’s most commonly used design trends, especially in urban areas, is the industrial home. Industrial homes use a great deal of white, stainless steel, and classic red brick to give the home a factory vibe.
While this may seem off-putting, once you see an industrial home you’ll immediately recognize the appeal. Industrial design appears clean well put-together. With the use one or two bold colors, it’s also easy to showcase fun decorations that are used sparingly throughout the home.
A more recent design trend, shabby chic, takes influence from a number of other trends over the years, combining them into something that is both cozy and clean.
Most people associate shabby chic with vintage items painted white and then stuck into a corner somewhere with fairy lights dangling off of it. And, while this style does leave room for fun lighting and getting creative with paint, it’s core really lies in repurposing items whose era has gone by and giving them new life.
Contemporary design is what we call the amalgamation of today’s design trends that have yet to be identified as a particular style. At one time, mid-century modern was contemporary. And, someday, today’s style will be given another name and its place in the interior design history books.
Contemporary design uses modern principles but take some artistic liberty. Curved lines, and patterns that may be seen as too noisy for modern design find a home in contemporary styles.
Similarly, furniture choices are geared more toward comfort than aesthetics, making contemporary a more livable alternative to modern styles.