Get Your FICO Score Up To Par

Get Your FICO Score Up To Par

If you’re looking to buy a home this year, you probably know that lenders look at your three-digit FICO credit score to determine your credit worthiness.

If you’ve done your reasearch, you know that the best mortgage interest rates go to those with scores in the mid to high 700s. For Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, scores in the mid to high 600s will suffice. Of course, qualifying for a mortgage also relies on other pertinent financial info such as your salary, debt-to-income ratio, down payment, etc.

What If Your Score Isn’t What You Want?

However, if you’ve made some financial missteps – like many other would-be home buyers – your score may not be high enough for a specific loan program that gives you your preferred interest rate. You know what score you need for that loan program, but the big question is: How do you achieve that specific FICO score?

Predict, Plan and Work Toward That Score

To help you qualify for the mortgage and interest rate you want, FICO has introduced a new program called “Score Planner” that will be available through participating banks, mortgage lenders, credit card companies and others.

Best Practices Remain The Same

This tool will provide you with a number of specific steps you should follow to improve your FICO score within a set amount of time. Each step will be customized for your personal financial situation and describe in detail what you must do to move your FICO score higher.

Of course, the best action to maintain and improve your credit score remains to pay all your bills in full, on time, every month; reduce any debt you have with credit cards or loans as much as possible; do not use more than 30% of your available credit; and refrain from opening new credit cards and loans until after your mortgage is closed/settled. If you continually practice those steps, your credit score will remain strong.

7 Smart Steps To A Successful Home Sale This Spring

7 Smart Steps To A Successful Home Sale This Spring

Selling your home is a big step, but we know the best time to list a home for sale… and we’ll share it with you: NOW!

Yes, spring is the busiest season of the year for home sales. Buyers have been on the sidelines during the winter months. The holiday season is most people’s primary focus and they would much rather be celebrating with friends and family than spending time packing and searching for homes. Up north, many buyers avoid home shopping in the winter months to avoid inclement weather.

In the spring, homes look more inviting when the spring colors show up. School schedules are ramping up for end-of-the-school-year activities, but also shine a light on the quickly approaching summer, which historically has proven to be a great time for families to move and transition kids to a new home.

With all these reasons – and more – buyers are out in full-force, searching for their perfect home. If you list your home for sale soon, you’ll be able to capture the attention of the greatest number of these motivated and eager home buyers.

There are a few steps you should take to ensure your home is ready for the parade of home buyers gearing up to buy. Keep reading to discover the seven smart steps to a successful home sale this spring. Let us know if you would like to arrange a free consultation about selling or buying a home!

  1. Set a Realistic Price. Buyers know when a home is overpriced based on the competition and they’ll skip touring homes that aren’t a good value. Our expertise will help you arrive at a sales price that will attract the greatest number of buyers and get your home sold.
  2. Fix It Up. Smart buyers recognize a well-maintained home. Don’t give them a reason to leave your home during a tour. Get the to-do list done before listing your home for sale!
  3. Clean, Clean, And Clean Again. After the fix-ups are complete, complete a thorough deep cleaning of your home including rug shampooing, window washing, and cleaning every corner. A clean home smells great, looks inviting, and sells faster.
  4. Stage It. If you don’t know how to make each room look welcoming using the furniture and accessories you already own, we can help you stage your home to help it look its best. Staging beautiful vignettes in each room makes it easier for buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. If buyers can do this, they will be more inclined to buy it!
  5. Leave During Tours. If you want buyers to feel at ease touring your home, don’t stick around. Go for a long walk, run errands, visit a neighbor or get a coffee/snack. Without your presence, buyers will be free to check out every nook and cranny and talk about your house, which is a good thing if they are serious about buying.
  6. Be Ready To Negotiate. Treat every purchase offer as if it’s the only one you’ll get. Some offers can be accepted as-is. Otherwise, no matter what the offer and terms are, counteroffer. We will help you craft the best counteroffer to get your home sold for the best price in the shortest amount of time.
  7. Go With A Pro. Selling your home on your own can be done, but if you have a job, a family, a full schedule of activities, hobbies, and enjoy a little breathing room each day, you’ll want to hire a real estate professional like us to get your home sold. Our expertise and experience will give you the peace of mind that your home will be sold in the most hassle-free manner.

If you have any questions about the home selling process, or how best to get your home ready to sell, please do not hesitate to contact us! You can either use the contact form below or call/text us at 407-212-2301.


Does Locking In An Interest Rate Make Sense?

Does Locking In An Interest Rate Make Sense?

If you’re ready to apply for a mortgage loan, the odds are you’re following the ups and downs of mortgage interest rates carefully. This isn’t surprising as a higher interest rate will make your monthly payment higher while a lower one can save you a significant amount each month.

What is a mortgage rate lock?

In a rate lock, your mortgage lender agrees to hold the current interest rate for which you’d qualify for a specific number of days. Your lender might agree to hold an interest rate on your 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for 15, 30, or 45 days.

When should you lock in a mortgage rate?

Locking your rate makes sense when you like your interest rate and feel that it is a fair one. If you don’t lock, your rate might raise before you complete the loan application process. But remember that average interest rates might fall after you lock in your rate. That is a risk that you take.

What is involved in a rate lock?

Locking a rate is not always free. If you have to pay for the service, be sure to ask before you lock. What you pay varies depending on your lender and how long you want to lock in that interest rate.

If you’re debating whether a rate lock makes sense for you, talk to your lender. Don’t have a lender? We’d be happy to give you recommendations for local mortgage professionals. Feel free to contact us at 407-212-2301.