Archive for November, 2013


November 17, 2013 Leave a comment

Credit scores range between 200 and 800, with scores above 620 considered desirable for obtaining a mortgage. The following factors affect your score:

1. Your payment history. Did you pay your credit card obligations on time? If they were late, then how late? Bankruptcy filing, liens, and collection activity also impact your history. 

2. How much you owe.  If you owe a great deal of money on numerous accounts, it can indicate that you are overextended. However, it’s a good thing if you have a good proportion of balances to total credit limits. 

3. The length of your credit history. In general, the longer you have had accounts opened, the better. The average consumer’s oldest obligation is 14 years old, indicating that he or she has been managing credit for some time, according to Fair Isaac Corp., and only one in 20 consumers have credit histories shorter than 2 years.

4. How much new credit you have. New credit, either installment payments or new credit cards, are considered more risky, even if you pay them promptly. 

5. The types of credit you use. Generally, it’s desirable to have more than one type of credit — installment loans, credit cards, and a mortgage, for example. 

For more on evaluating and understanding your credit score,

Categories: Finance Tags: ,

Tribute to Veterans Day!

November 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Tribute to Veterans Day!

Please don’t forget to salute and say “Thank you” to the brave veterans who fought …… to give us a safe and peaceful place to live in!
“Be kind to each other!” – Geeta Phadte

Categories: General Tags: , , ,

Is Being A Landlord: More Trouble Than It’s Worth?

November 9, 2013 Leave a comment

FOR RENTIt’s the way to make money … or so some people claim. On the surface, it seems likes like a surefire bet; in reality, it’s usually more headache than it’s worth. The challenges start early, and they almost always involve time and money.

Do You live too far away from the property? The farther you live away from your rental property, the harder it will be to monitor what is happening to it. Collecting rent, taking care of maintenance and eviction will all be made more difficult and costly if you live in another county – or state.

Do You understand cash flow? The purpose of renting is to make a profit from your property, or to at least break even on the mortgage, taxes and maintenance costs of ownership. You must be certain to charge enough rent to cover not only the fixed costs but also to allow for emergency repairs and unexpected expenses. If you do not charge the appropriate rent, you can have excellent tenants and still lose money.

Are You Lax about screening applicants? All would-be tenants are not equal. Choosing a tenant that is solvent, clean and respectful of your property and the lease agreement is key to having a pleasant landlord experience. You must be prepared to ask for employment information, renter’s history and references – and check them!

Do You Understand the legal side? Having a solid lease agreement will not only eliminate confusion about you and your tenant’s rights, but it can be a tool to help you recoup losses if the tenant and landlord relationship goes awry. There are many standard lease agreements available. You should either purchase and learn every item on it or have a customized lease form made by an attorney.

Do You think it is a no-hassle payday? If you think that you will hand a key to someone and begin receiving rent checks on the first of every month, you have not accepted the realities of renting. Tenants will need in-home repairs. They will need to be reminded to keep the yard clean. The home will need to be treated for termites. Heating and air conditioner filters will need to be changed. Being a landlord is a job, not a free paycheck.

Have considered maintenance and repair issues? If you are handy, you may elect to do your own repairs and maintenance. If your talents do not fall in this category, you will need to find reliable handymen, plumbers and appliance repairmen to assist you in keeping the rental in livable condition.

You are too soft hearted to enforce your own lease agreement? “But Mr. Landlord, we’ve had a hard time this month. Perhaps we can pay half now and the rest on payday?” If you have a hard time saying no to this or other situations, you may not be cut out for this profession. While it is not necessary to be heartless, you must be willing to protect your interests, lest your tenant’s money problems quickly become your own.

Have You Had Legal Problems with the Tenants? 1. Tenant Doesn’t Pay Rent,
2. Tenant Files Bankruptcy,
3. Tenant Violates The Lease,
4. Tenant Claims Uninhabitable Conditions,
5. Tenant Claims Mold Problems,
6. Tenant Sub Leases the property,
7. You have to Evict the Tenant in court’
8. Other Problems …….

Are you interested in selling your rental because of the issues stated above??? If so, now is an EXCELLENT time to do so, as my clients have recently experienced great success selling their homes at or near their asking price in a very short time after placing their homes on the market.

Finding an extra Space

November 7, 2013 Leave a comment

extra SpaceFinding extra space at home doesn’t always have to mean an expansion project.

Even if physical or financial constraints keep you from expanding your home’s living space it’s possible to give your home the appearance of looking larger with a few simple projects. An added benefit is that space will be freed up and you actually will have more room to move around without knocking down walls or building additions to the house. Here a few ideas:

Take it outside: The cheapest and easiest addition is utilizing your yard. Depending on its size, a backyard is a great spot for a deck or gazebo. Either spot can be a nice escape from the indoors and be utilized as places to eat, relax or have family talks.

Think clearly: Also depending on your location or yard size, a wall of windows can brighten a room and draw the eye out to the landscape or yard. If the line of vision is long, the room with the view will automatically appear to expand.

Double up: End tables and coffee tables that have room inside for storage will help with clutter and remove the need for extra storage bins or boxes.

Rise above: Putting shelves on your walls will add floor space and make the room look bigger. If you can’t or don’t want to pound nails into the wall, tall book shelves have similar effects on space, and you don’t even have to use them for books or solely in the living room or den. They also can be used in the kitchen as a form of cupboard space.

Team up: Just because you call a room a den or dining room doesn’t mean they can’t serve as office space or an extra bedroom if needed. A futon or sleeper sofa in the den is all it takes for extra sleeping space, and with electronics such as laptops and printers shrinking each year, you don’t need huge desks or tables to set up shop and work from home if necessary.

Finish the job: If you have an unfinished basement, attic or attached garage that’s basically being used for storage, finishing one of those interior spaces will free up a lot of room and give you a chance to get creative.

Built-in ideas: Whether you add window-seats or built-in bookshelves, small rooms will benefit. Unlike groupings of furniture that can appear mismatched or cluttered, built-ins make small rooms appear quaint, yet spacious.

Think big: The larger the tile, plank or pattern on a floor, the larger the room will look. And if you install tiles in a diagonal pattern, that appearance is enhanced. Seriously, they do studies on these things.

Hang it up: If your closet only has two walls for hanging clothes, hang a rod at head height for long clothing on one wall and on the other hang two rods – one above the other – for shorter clothing. That little move can free up a lot of space.

Ways to be green and save green in your new home

November 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Green_bulbA home is a big purchase and every new homeowner knows that every dollar counts. Here are some simple ideas that are both kind to the environment and your wallet.

1.Purchase a high-efficiency shower head. This cuts down on both water consumption and energy costs.

2.Upgrading your appliances? Consider energy-efficient appliances with the ‘Energy Star’ logo. According to the Energy Star site, Energy Star-qualified appliances use 10%-50% less energy and water than standard models. Remember to ask about discounts, especially when purchasing several appliances at once.

3.Get with the program. Set your thermostat to accommodate the schedule of your home. Lower the heat during the day when no one is at home and at night when occupants are sleeping. Also, try to maintain a moderate temperature, instead of cranking the heat or air conditioning to drastically change the temperature.

4.Utilize fans instead of air conditioning. Consider operating fans to circulate the summer air instead of opting for the more expensive and less environmentally friendly air conditioning.

5.Insulate and seal the gaps. Hidden gaps and cracks within a home lead to an abundant loss of heat in the winter and air conditioning in the warmer months. Caulk any leaks around windows and doors, in attics and around fireplaces. Proper insulation installation or roof replacement may be necessary.

6.Replace lights with LED or compact fluorescent bulbs. The cost is more upfront, but the lights use less energy and last longer.

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