Tiffany Pesonen's Blog
If you have seen your latest credit score and feel like you’re less than financially fit, don’t fret. There’s plenty of reasons why people end up with bad credit. There’s also plenty of things that you can do to amend and work with your bad credit.
Mortgage lenders look at a variety of factors when it comes to your credit and determining if you’re ready for a home loan. These include:
- Age of credit
- Payment history
- Amount of credit debt
If you have opened new accounts frequently or ran up credit card balances without paying them down, these behaviors could negatively affect your credit score.
Changing Your Habits
Just changing one of these bad habits can help your credit score in a positive way. This also means that a bad credit score doesn’t equal not being able to get a home loan. Your home loan may just come at a higher price.
What If You’re Turned Down For A Loan?
You can ask your lender why you’re unable to get a loan. Some possible reasons that you’re getting rejected:
- Missed credit card payments
- Failure to pay a loan
- Overdue taxes
- Seeking a loan outside of what you can afford
- Legal judgements
- Collection agencies
If you have defaulted on a loan, missed payments or filed for bankruptcy, chances are that you’ll have trouble securing a home loan. Other factors that can affect your credit score include negative legal judgements that have affected your credit, or having a collection agency after you.
How To Fix It
If you have bad credit, it’s not the end of the world. It’s possible that lenders can give you a loan if your credit score isn’t too low. You could, however, face higher interest rates as a penalty for a low credit score. This is due to the fact that you’re more likely to default on a loan based on your risk factors.
You can improve your credit score by:
Keeping existing accounts open
Refraining from opening new accounts
Trying not to approach too many lenders to find the right interest rate. Every time you get a credit check, it affects your score.
Finding A Loan
Signs of bad credit can take awhile to disappear from your credit report. Sometimes, you have the opportunity to explain to lenders what these factors are in detail so you can secure the loan. There are even mortgage companies that assist you through the loan process to give you a boost in getting the loan.
FHA loans are a great program option especially for people with bad credit. These loans offer low down payment options and have lower credit score standards. FHA loans have been helping people to secure their first homes since 1934.
If you have bad credit, the dream of home ownership is still possible. If you’re early in the process, get to work and keep that credit score up so that when you head out to apply for a loan, you’ll be able to secure it.
Where are you going?Depending on your destination and the type of pet you have, it might be possible to bring your animal friend along. Pet friendly hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and rental homes are all ways that allow you to keep you and your pet together during vacation. If you don't have the money to spend on expensive hotels, you could try out campgrounds or staying with a friend or relative in the area. There are also websites designed for couch-surfing that sometimes allow pets.
What's your pet's personality?We hold pets to a pretty high social standard. If someone scooped you up and took you to a strange place away from your family for a week you might be a little nervous, right? Your pet is no different. Depending on your pet's comfort level, boarding could be an option. However, it's a good idea to test this out for just a night before going away on a long vacation. Similarly, you could try having your pet stay at a friend or relative's house for a sleepover to gauge their reaction. Training and conditioning could be all it takes to help your pet feel comfortable away from you or your home while you're on vacation.
Calling in a sitterA less expensive option to boarding your pet is to have a pet sitter stay at your home while you're away. Odds are you might have a teenager or college aged relative who wouldn't mind having your home to themselves for a week to get away from their parents and siblings. If you aren't lucky enough to have a relative who's up to the job, you can almost definitely find someone on pet sitter websites or on Craigslist. People who work from home, or college students are often happy to stay at your place and watch your pets for a small fee. They get free TV and WiFi for a week, and you get the assurance that your pet and home is being taken care of; everyone wins. If you're worried about leaving your pet with a stranger, don't worry--we understand. Fortunately, most sites come with references and testimonials and you can always meet your pet sitter in person before handing them the keys to your home.
For a home seller, hosting an open house can be a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, an open house provides an opportunity to showcase your residence to large groups of prospective homebuyers. Conversely, hosting an open house also requires lots of preparation, and getting ready for an open house may prove to be overwhelming, time-consuming and costly.
Lucky for you, we're here to help host an unforgettable open house.
Now, let's take a look at three factors that a home seller needs to consider before an open house.
1. The Current Condition of Your Home
Although you might believe that your home is currently open house-ready, it may need some work. Fortunately, there are many ways to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of your residence and plan your open house accordingly.
For example, a home appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable. This appraisal enables a home inspector to review your residence both inside and out. Then, he or she can offer home improvement recommendations so that you can upgrade your residence as needed.
Take a home appraisal report seriously. By doing so, a home seller can transform an ordinary residence into one that matches or exceeds homebuyers' expectations during an open house.
2. The Home's Interior or Exterior
Homebuyers are drawn to residences that feature dazzling gardens, clutter-free interiors and other stunning features. Thus, a home seller who dedicates the necessary time and resources to bolster a house's interior and exterior can increase the likelihood of hosting a successful open house.
To improve a home's interior, a home seller can scrub the floors, clean the walls and ceilings and perform assorted home interior maintenance and improvements. In addition, a home seller should depersonalize and declutter a home's interior as much as possible.
Comparatively, to enhance a house's exterior, a home seller should mow the front lawn, clear debris and dust from exterior walkways and ensure the house looks great to passers-by. With simple home exterior improvements, a home seller can boost a house's curb appeal and help a home stand out from other available residences.
3. Your Real Estate Agent
Let's face it – prepping for an open house can be stressful. However, a real estate agent can help a home seller get ready for the best- and worst-case scenarios.
A real estate agent will help a home seller prepare his or her residence for an open house. Next, he or she will promote the open house to potential homebuyers and collect feedback from them throughout the event.
After an open house reaches its conclusion, a real estate agent will offer honest, unbiased insights into the event. He or she also will keep you up to date about any potential home offers and ensure you can make informed home selling decisions.
Take the guesswork out of preparing for an open house. Consider the aforementioned factors, and you can get your residence ready for an open house in no time at all.
It’s no secret that the best time to finance a home is when mortgage interest rates are low. You could save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your mortgage if you finance at the right time. With interest rates still being low, some wonder why more people aren’t refinancing their homes, especially if doing so would save them $100 or more a month on their mortgage payments.
Although low interest rates are a primary reason to consider refinancing a home, it’s not the only reason. Other reasons to consider refinancing include:
- Ready to adjust length of the loan – Refinancing your home could allow you to extend the number of years that you have to pay for your house, potentially lowering your monthly installments. Just be careful that you don’t end up paying higher interest rates in the long term. Of course,you could also shorten the length of your loan. Generally, this option will find you paying less interest over the lifetime of your loan.
- Moving to a fixed rate mortgage – Adjustable rate mortgages may start out low, but they don’t always remain low. Even with a fixed rate mortgage, you could spend more on your house each month due to an increase in home owner association fees or property taxes.
- Improved credit scores – Stronger credit scores could help you to get a better adjustable rate mortgage.
If you’ve had your mortgage for several years, you may have paid on a good deal of the principal. Refinancing and starting with a new loan could backfire, causing you to pay more interest. If you have a lot of equity in your home but you’re struggling to stay current on your monthly mortgage payments, consider renting out a room at your house.
You could also work a part-time job, even if you work a remote job from home, until you become current in your payments. A few months of work change could save you money and headaches down the road if you only need $200 or less each month to make your mortgage. Other alternatives would be to become more energy efficient and to create and stick to a budget. Think short and long term gains.
Depending on your existing mortgage, you may or may not be charged a fee to refinance your home. Some mortgages charge a prepayment fee to refinance. Simply because you’re paying the loan off early, you could be assessed the fee. Definitely check with your lender to see if such a clause is in your mortgage contract.
Take your time shopping around for a better mortgage. Regardless of the lender that you refinance your home through, you may pay refinancing fees. Some lenders may also require you to pay for another home inspection, application fee,origination fee and closing costs. Factor in all charges and fees that you will incur if you refinance your home before you sign on the dotted line.
If your home no longer meets your family’s needs, moving to a new house might be a better option than refinancing. Another time when you might not want to refinance your home is if your kids are getting ready to start college and you’ll be taking on student loans.
For many families, the kitchen is the most important room in the house. With the exception of homes that have narrow galley kitchens, this living space is often thought of as the nerve center or heart of a home.
The kitchen is typically the focal point of everything from meal preparation and consumption to holiday parties and social gatherings . It's usually the first place families congregate in the morning and often the last place they see each other before going to bed. Choosing a kitchen that's a good match for your lifestyle and decorating tastes can have a major impact on your satisfaction with a new home.
Starting out your home search with a clear idea of what your ideal kitchen should look like will increase the likelihood of bringing that image into reality. Perusing kitchen design stores, websites, and magazines is often a good starting point for developing a clear mental picture of what you want There are dozens of features and characteristics to keep in mind when searching for the ideal house, but the most important ones can be boiled down to three categories:
Space: If you entertain a lot or have a big (or growing) family, a spacious kitchen is probably the best match for your needs. The same thing holds true if you want an eat-in kitchen or if you tend to have more than one person preparing meals at the same time. Without enough space to accommodate your family's habits and lifestyle needs, the kitchen can quickly become cramped quarters. Another vital aspect of kitchen space is cabinetry and storage. For most people, the ideal kitchen would include plenty of cabinets, shelves, drawers, and closets that would provide storage space for dishes, non-perishable food items, kitchen implements, pots and pans, and cookbooks. Last, but not least, having a sufficient amount of counter space and food preparation area can often make the difference between a great kitchen and a marginal one.
Design: When it comes to modern kitchen design, the choices are mind boggling and virtually limitless! Some of the more basic decisions, however, typically revolve around questions like cabinet color, countertop material, flooring, lighting, color choices, backsplash patterns, and the desirability of a kitchen island.
Functionality: Some kitchens are more functional than others, but a lot depends on the size of your family, the amount of time you and your spouse spend cooking and preparing food, and how often you entertain. The configuration of a kitchen should -- and usually does -- enable the "chef" to move around efficiently and quickly between various food preparation areas, including the refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave, sink, and counter areas. If you happen to do a lot of cooking, baking, and entertaining, a kitchen with a double oven may be the best option for your needs. A larger-than-standard refrigerator may also be a better fit for your lifestyle.
While there's never a one-size-fits-all approach to choosing the right kitchen design, forming a clear vision of what you want is always a good starting point for getting it!