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!
When you think of all the things that go into getting your house ready to go on the market, you may want to throw your hands up and run away. Do not despair, there is hope. You will free up a lot of your time when you ask for help from your real estate professional. The support may come in the form of a quick walk-through of your home and property so you can note where to put your time and effort. From the front to the back and even into the dreaded bathroom cupboards you will need to scrub and organize all the places a buyer will want to look.
Neat and tidy curb appeal
Often, the initial impression people get of your home is the online picture. Because of this, you will want your entryway and front yard looking clean and inviting. You will often hear the advice to depersonalize your yard and home. Doing so allows the potential buyer to see themselves living in that space. It may seem sterile and generic to you, but it really will help you get your house sold. Keep the front porch area simple with a small seating area or colorful flowering planters to greet potential buyers. Keep away from lawn ornaments or too many flower pots and planters this will look cluttered and make the area seem small and cramped.
Every closet, every drawer
If you are still living in the house while it is on the market keeping it clean will be a struggle. So, to combat this, a good old fashion de-cluttering is in order. Storing away items not in season or rarely used is in order. Take advantage of some of your garage space and get a jump on packing those boxes to move. Remember this is just temporary, and a clean-looking space welcomes the buyer and communicates you cared for the property well. Remember when people are looking, they may open cupboards and drawers so organized them and repair anything that needs attention. A sticky drawer or loose cupboard door is a turnoff to buyers.
The quick start list
A few quick and easy ideas to start you in the right directions are:
- Shampoo all the carpet areas
- Wash all the windows inside and out, plus screens
- Pressure wash the siding, brick, decks, walkways, driveways, and garage doors
- Keep the lawn and edging trimmed and weeds pulled
- Wipe down all the interior walls and cabinets
- Dust everywhere
Take any suggestions your real estate professional gives you seriously. It may even be worth paying someone to come in and do a few larger projects to get your place in top condition. Call your local realtor for a market analysis of your home today.
The last thing you want to experience after purchasing a new home is "buyer's remorse!" With that in mind, it pays to look at all angles when house shopping. Although emotions and first impressions are going to play a big role in your home-buying decisions, a thoughtful analysis of the pros and cons of every home that appeals to you will help ensure you're making the best decision for you and your family.
While your real estate agent will help you find houses for sale that have the necessary number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage, you'll need to make sure they're fully aware of your "wish list," your desired lifestyle, and your personal preferences. Here a few examples:
Commuting distance: Unless you've found your dream home that's absolutely perfect in every way (if such a thing exists), a long commute to work, every day, could dampen your enthusiasm about an otherwise great house. Since everyone has a difference tolerance for long commutes, there's no hard-and-fast rule for that facet of home buying. Having a comfortable vehicle, listening to books on tape, or streaming your favorite music or radio programs can help make a long commute more acceptable -- even enjoyable. If you take a train to work, every day, you also have the option of catching up on your reading, preparing for meetings, or even meditating. So while a long commute does not have to be a "deal breaker," it is an important factor worth pondering.
Privacy level: This is another aspect of home ownership that's based on personal preferences. However, if you realize -- after the fact -- that you don't have enough privacy from neighbors or passersby, then you might end up feeling less-than-satisfied with your new home. Fortunately, you can compensate for lack of privacy by installing fences or planting privacy hedges, but the best laid plans are generally formulated before you make a purchase offer. If you consider privacy to be a high priority, always take notice of a house's distance from neighbors and streets.
Leaky basements: Although there are solutions for wet basements, there's a lot of expense and inconvenience associated with having to implement them. Excessive moisture can not only damage stored furniture, books, and other belongings, but it's also a fertile breeding ground for mold and mildew. A qualified home inspector will generally point out issues like that, but it's much better to notice them before you get to that advanced stage in the home-buying process.
An experienced real estate agent who represents your interests can provide valuable guidance and help you notice potential "red flags" that could adversely affect your future enjoyment of a home. A buyers' agent can offer you the expertise, professional insights, and objective point of view you might not otherwise have.
33 Mason St, Somerville, MA 02144
One of the toughest choices to make when selling a home can be choosing a bidder. Often because sellers don’t expect this to be a difficult decision! It seems like it would be straightforward. You might think you should accept the first offer or maybe you’re in the camp of accepting the highest bid. And while both of these choices are valid there are other factors to take into consideration. Factors that can make selling your home even easier and relatively hassle-free.
One of the biggest fears people have and one that really throws a wrench in the process is potential buyers backing out of a deal or asking for pricey repairs. And for this reason, I suggest looking closely at all of your bids to review the concessions and contingencies each contract contains as well as the type of financing each buyer will be utilizing.
For example, one thing to look for is earnest money. This is money in an escrow account either held by the real estate agent or the buyer and seller and shows the buyer’s commitment to their bid. It gives the buyer more time to sort out their financing but is also seen as a guard against the buyer walking away mid-agreement.
What is the stability of a buyer's financing? What institution is it coming from? Do a search online to learn more information about each buyer’s finance provider. A buyer may pay in cash, offering a larger down-payment or be pre-approved for a loan.
Sometimes buyers will also include a contingency in their contract to not begin payment until they have sold their own home. If this is something you are not comfortable with this bid might belong in your “No” pile despite a higher bid or down payment.
Are they asking you to cover any expenses? They may ask for the attorney review fee to be waived, inspection fees to be covered or costly repairs to be made before closing. Again, are you okay with covering these costs? Do the math to see if these requests bring down the value of the bid. Depending on how much of an investment they are asking for you to make this could create a less enticing bid.
Sometimes, choosing a bid is less about the numbers and more about convenience. If you are in the middle of shopping for a new home yourself, bidders who offer flexibility on the move in/out date could move to the top of your “Yes” list. Sometimes buyers want to keep furniture or appliances from a home, which could make moving a much lighter load.
If your head is spinning from all of these different factors to take into consideration when choosing a bid, that’s okay! This is why working with a real estate agent is so beneficial. Look to your agent for advice when weighing out the benefits of each bid and on making the final decision.