Helping you make the right move.

Current Real Estate Market


I am asked each day "how's the real estate market".  The answer is always the same steady and consistent.  Yes, there are times where it's a buyer's or seller's market and there times when some properties are sitting still and not moving.  2016 has been steady, never slowing just moving forward.  I am seeing homes priced under $250,000 moving fast with multiple offers and homes in the upper $300,000 + taking a bit longer to sell.  I am working with lots of new home buyers and empty nesters looking for their retirement home.  You ask "is this the right time to sell?", my answer will always be yes.  We are seeing a shortage of properties available for buyers so now is a good time.  Want to know more about your area and what your home is worth, call me, message me or text me.  I'm always available!
 
Friends, thank you for the referrals! I am blessed that you trust me enough to send your friends and family to me.
 
 

TIPS ON IMPROVING YOUR CREDIT


Do you know your credit score? Did you know you need a 620 or higher to get a mortgage loan? Are you credit challenged like many Americans? If so, Here are a few tips to help improve your credit score.

Tips on Helping People Improve Their... Credit Scores

• Those with tarnished credit should obtain secured credit cards. Many banks offer secured credit cards where the consumer gives them $500 and they provide a credit card with a $500 credit line. If paid timely, this will help re-establish the consumer’s credit and credit score.

• Never go to consumer counseling services when you are applying for home mortgage loans or if you wish to have a good credit score. This action alerts the credit bureaus that you are unable to pay your bills and may have an effect on your credit score much like a bankruptcy would.

• Demand that negative credit more than seven years old be removed from your credit report. The only item that should be on your credit for more than 7 years is a chapter 7 bankruptcy.

• To obtain good credit scores one must have a lengthy credit history. This explains why older people generally have higher credit scores than younger people. It is important for young people to establish credit as soon as possible and commit to paying timely. All they have to do is to obtain good credit scores is pay the minimum payment as agreed. Credit bureaus are now accepting alternative credit information, such as letters from landlords, telephone companies, power companies and others, so that people who have few credit histories on their credit report can begin building good credit scores. (This category represents 15% of the credit score.)

• Your credit score does not go down when you check your own credit or a bank does a credit scan on you, to determine if they want to offer you a credit card or other loans.

• In cases where relatives are willing to provide gifts to help with a home purchase, a relative can give a large gift that can be used to wipe out debts and improve credit scores. Most relatives know that they can give gifts for the down payment or closing costs to purchase homes, but few know that they can improve their relative’s credit scores and ability to qualify. Present estate gift laws allow relatives to give $13,000 per year to as many people as they want. A couple can give $26,000 tax free and one couple could give another couple up to $52,000 per year. These gifts could be used to wipe out some or all of the debts. A reduction of all debts would lower the available credit used, increasing the credit scores and lowering the debt ratios. The majority of home buyers rejected for loans are rejected because they are over-indebted. Caution: If relatives wish to give gifts to reduce debts, thus improving credit scores, the debts should be paid off at least 30-45 days prior to home loan application, allowing time for posting the debt payoff and the rise in credit scores.

• Another situation where relatives could help other relatives qualify for mortgage loans would be to provide gifts to buy down the mortgage rate, either permanently or temporarily. That is, a gift of $5,000 to buy the interest rate down would lower the interest rate approximately 1% for the entire 30 years of the term, for each $100,000 of loan amount. It is easier to qualify for a mortgage at 5% than 6%. The same $5,000 would be enough for a 3-2-1 temporary buydown, which would lower the initial interest rate from 6% to 3%. Once again, it is easier to qualify at 3% than at 6%. Few relatives know that they can provide gifts to buy down the rates and help their relatives qualify for higher loan amounts.

• If the homebuyers credit score is not sufficient to obtain the home mortgage loan with the terms that they desire, relatives with better credit scores could act as co-borrower’s, to insure that the owner-occupant can obtain better loan terms. Many lenders allow non-occupant relatives to team up with occupants to obtain high ratio mortgages. CAUTION: The occupant borrowers must have decent credit and be paired up with people with very good credit for this to work. This information on credit scoring would allow the potential home buyers to increase their credit scores, to get better terms and would allow you to give them some valuable information, that they will hopefully remember when it comes time to purchase a home.

CREDIT SCORE RATING
750-850 A+ Excellent: entitles the borrower to the best interest rates and terms.

740-749 A Very good: entitles the borrower to lower interest rates and terms than B.

680-739 B Good: The borrower pays higher interest rates than A or A+.

620-679 B- Fair: Borrower would pay higher rates and be required to put more money down.

340-619 F Poor: Borrower would not be eligible for conventional mortgages in most cases.
See More
Photo: Do you know your credit score? Did you know you need a 620 or higher to get a mortgage loan? Are you credit challenged like many Americans? If so, Here are a few tips to help improve your credit score.

 Tips on Helping People Improve Their Credit Scores

• Those with tarnished credit should obtain secured credit cards. Many banks offer secured credit cards where the consumer gives them $500 and they provide a credit card with a $500 credit line. If paid timely, this will help re-establish the consumer’s credit and credit score.

• Never go to consumer counseling services when you are applying for home mortgage loans or if you wish to have a good credit score. This action alerts the credit bureaus that you are unable to pay your bills and may have an effect on your credit score much like a bankruptcy would.

• Demand that negative credit more than seven years old be removed from your credit report. The only item that should be on your credit for more than 7 years is a chapter 7 bankruptcy.

• To obtain good credit scores one must have a lengthy credit history. This explains why older people generally have higher credit scores than younger people. It is important for young people to establish credit as soon as possible and commit to paying timely. All they have to do is to obtain good credit scores is pay the minimum payment as agreed. Credit bureaus are now accepting alternative credit information, such as letters from landlords, telephone companies, power companies and others, so that people who have few credit histories on their credit report can begin building good credit scores. (This category represents 15% of the credit score.)

• Your credit score does not go down when you check your own credit or a bank does a credit scan on you, to determine if they want to offer you a credit card or other loans.

• In cases where relatives are willing to provide gifts to help with a home purchase, a relative can give a large gift that can be used to wipe out debts and improve credit scores. Most relatives know that they can give gifts for the down payment or closing costs to purchase homes, but few know that they can improve their relative’s credit scores and ability to qualify. Present estate gift laws allow relatives to give $13,000 per year to as many people as they want. A couple can give $26,000 tax free and one couple could give another couple up to $52,000 per year. These gifts could be used to wipe out some or all of the debts. A reduction of all debts would lower the available credit used, increasing the credit scores and lowering the debt ratios. The majority of home buyers rejected for loans are rejected because they are over-indebted. Caution: If relatives wish to give gifts to reduce debts, thus improving credit scores, the debts should be paid off at least 30-45 days prior to home loan application, allowing time for posting the debt payoff and the rise in credit scores.

• Another situation where relatives could help other relatives qualify for mortgage loans would be to provide gifts to buy down the mortgage rate, either permanently or temporarily. That is, a gift of $5,000 to buy the interest rate down would lower the interest rate approximately 1% for the entire 30 years of the term, for each $100,000 of loan amount. It is easier to qualify for a mortgage at 5% than 6%. The same $5,000 would be enough for a 3-2-1 temporary buydown, which would lower the initial interest rate from 6% to 3%. Once again, it is easier to qualify at 3% than at 6%. Few relatives know that they can provide gifts to buy down the rates and help their relatives qualify for higher loan amounts.

• If the homebuyers credit score is not sufficient to obtain the home mortgage loan with the terms that they desire, relatives with better credit scores could act as co-borrower’s, to insure that the owner-occupant can obtain better loan terms. Many lenders allow non-occupant relatives to team up with occupants to obtain high ratio mortgages. CAUTION: The occupant borrowers must have decent credit and be paired up with people with very good credit for this to work. This information on credit scoring would allow the potential home buyers to increase their credit scores, to get better terms and would allow you to give them some valuable information, that they will hopefully remember when it comes time to purchase a home.

 CREDIT SCORE RATING
 750-850 A+ Excellent: entitles the borrower to the best interest rates and terms. 

 740-749 A Very good: entitles the borrower to lower interest rates and terms than B. 

 680-739 B Good: The borrower pays higher interest rates than A or A+. 

 620-679 B- Fair: Borrower would pay higher rates and be required to put more money down. 

 340-619 F Poor: Borrower would not be eligible for conventional mortgages in most cases.

Time to File 2014 Homestead Exemption - Deadline April 30, 2014


Did you purchase a NEW HOME in 2013?  If you aswered yes then it's time to file your Homestead Exemption.

Go to www.hcad.org, read all about it, complete the forms, print them and fax them in. 

If I can help you let me know

 


Why Use a REALTOR®?

 

All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR "®" logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate. An independent survey reports that 84 percent of home buyers would use the same REALTOR® again.
 
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR®.
 
But if you're still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are a dozen more reasons to use one:
 
1. Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power -- that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR® some basic information about your available savings, income and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders -- banks and mortgage companies -- offer limited choices.
 
2. Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find all available properties.
 
3. Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning. schools, etc. There are two things you'll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
 
4. Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
 
5. Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property. Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your REALTOR®, title company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
 
6. Your REALTOR® can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.
 
7. Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
 
8. When selling your home, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
 
9. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50 percent of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.
 
10. Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82 percent of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
 
11. Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer's proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing -- a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
 
12. Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).

 


HAPPY NEW YEAR! - Resolutions vs. Goals


A resolution is defined as to do or not to do something, a course of action determined.   A goal is defined as an observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a fixed timeframe.  Some say they are the same.  Did you know only 12% fulfill their resolutions?

Goal setting is critical to all aspects of life.  Without individual/family goals you may never focus on what is important and never have that opportunity to achieve what you want. 

Things to consider when setting your goals for 2014.

First, you must decide what you want to achieve or what you want to make happen.

      Examples:

  • Pay off debt - eliminate credit cards
  • Build credit score
  • Take a special family vacation
  • Buy your 1st home - no more wasting money on rent
  • Buy an investment home or land
  • Buy a new car

Once you decide what you want to achieve the next thing is to decide what needs to be done.  Your goals should be SMART goals.  SMART goals are defined as:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achieveable
  • Realistic
  • Time Based

It's time to start putting more time into your goals and investing into yourself and your families future.  After setting your goals and ensuring they are SMART, then be sure to post them where you can see them.  Post your performance  so you will always know where you stand.  Get your kids involved.  Have a family meeting every few weeks to provide an update so everyone has a vested interest and is encouraging one another. 

When it's this time next year you can sit back and reflect on your performance.  Rejoice in your successes and learn from your misses.  Then begin again setting tougher goals for the following year.

Wishing you a safe and blessed new year!  May all of your dreams come true!

 

Sheree Powell

832/283-0178