Waterproofing Your Basement: The Basics

With yesterday’s big thaw, there were undoubtedly many flooded basements in our area!  Be prepared for our next winter thaw. Read how here…


What is a FICO Score Anyway?

do you know what a FICO score is or how it affects your ability to get a mortgage? A lot of first time homebuyers will need to do some work on their credit accounts, so it’s a good idea to start looking into this stuff six months to a year before you bite the bullet and make a loan application.

Today, we’re going as basic as it gets with the FICO score.

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9 Things to Ask Before Moving Into Your New Home

It’s true that there’s a lot to know about your house, but much of that information comes with time and experience. Other details were either disclosed as part of your purchase agreement or were part of your home inspection. The problem is that there’s so much information flying at you during your purchase period that it’s often easy to miss things, especially if someone isn’t putting a fine point on the details that you feel you need most.

Simple things like how to use your gas fireplace are questions you might have wanted an answer to, but you might have forgotten to ask in the flurry of activity. Here are a few other common questions that are often assumed you already know the answers to or that you can figure out on your own:

Read more here…

Going Down: 4 Ways to Destroy Your Homes Value

We’ve made a short list of some of the most dramatic ways to destroy your home’s value without even trying all that hard so you can, hopefully, avoid these problems when you go to sell.

Read more here….




Staging Tips: Living Room

hereWhen you are preparing your home for sale, don’t overlook the Living Room. Many buyers place a lot of weight on the size and layout of a living room. Having this room staged properly can make or break a sale for you. It’s hard for many home buyers to picture their furniture in a bare room. Having too much furniture, or furniture that is too large, can make a room feel smaller. Read more tips here.

Thinking about buying soon? Make sure your credit is in order

There’s no more important time to work on your credit score than when you’re about to apply for a mortgage. Improving your credit can save you a ton of money-we’re talking about thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Here are the actions you can take that will have a notable impact on your score.

Pay down your credit card balances Credit utilization is one of the biggest factors in determining your credit score. Your credit utilization should at least be less than 30 percent of your limit, and it’s even better if you can get it below 15 percent. This rule applies to both individual cards and your overall credit limit.

It may even be worthwhile to use some of the cash funds you were planning to use for a down payment to pay off credit card balances.

Do no harm While you certainly want to improve your score if possible, at the very least you’ll want to keep it steady. Avoid opening new lines of credit if you’re applying for a mortgage in the very near future. This will cause a hard inquiry to show up on your credit report.

Take care of negative items It’s good practice to check your credit report for negative items a few times a year-you can get one free report from each of the three major bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) per year.

If you find any negative items (collections, late payments, etc.), write a letter to the original creditor. Explain the circumstances that led to the negative item, and request that it be removed from your report. It can be surprisingly effective, and removing a negative item will improve your credit score in a hurry. You can find some good templates for a request letter online.

Amy Photo 1
Amy Merrill
Real Estate Salesperson

Keller Williams Realty GR West

550 Latona Rd., Bldg. C, Ste 301

Rochester, NY 14626

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