What You Should Know Before Trying to Obtain Credit

good credit vs bad credit 300x300 What You Should Know Before Trying to Obtain CreditIn today’s world of credit there are primarily three 800 pound gorillas that lending institutions use to determine your creditworthiness, how much credit they will afford you, and how expensive that credit will be in the future. In addition to lending institutions, insurance companies also look at credit when assessing insurance risks and determining insurance rates for auto, home, health, and life insurance. It is therefore critical as a consumer; you monitor your credit regularly.

The three gorillas are Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. In Colorado, and many other states, consumers are entitled to a free credit report annually (annual credit report.com). It is recommended that each consumer take advantage of these three free credit reports each year. My suggestion would be to check one agency approximately every four months so perhaps one in early January, one in early May and perhaps one in early September. This way, if there are any discrepancies, like identity theft, or a creditor has inappropriately reported a transaction, you are able to take action quickly. These discrepancies can adversely affect your credit causing your credit score to be calculated incorrectly. This may also increase your insurance, or if you are applying for a loan significantly affect the terms you would be offered in the loan.

The three credit reporting agencies each have different ways they score your credit. These measures are generally called a FICO score. Fico scores vary between credit agencies and are based upon a proprietary algorithm, which has been established by each of the credit reporting agencies. There is a wealth of information about FICO scores and a BLOG where you can ask questions on My Fico Beware that My FICO wants money. If you want to find out about your FICO score free use Credit Karma

These tips can help you find the home you are dreaming of by qualifying for your loan first. If you have, questions about how to shop for a good lender give us a call. At Terry Robinson— the Early Group, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with the very best in customer service. We can be reached, if you would like to buy or sell your dream home, at 303-748-3838 or info@early-group.com. Our web site is The Early-Group

Tax Benefits of Home Ownership and more

Tax Benefits of Home Ownership and more.  Early-Group

When it comes to owning a home, there are several benefits that tax payers may take advantage of when filing their itemized return. Here are just a few to consider when preparing your taxes:

  • When purchasing a home, some closing costs may be deductible. Discount points and origination fees are tax deductible to the buyer. If these apply to your mortgage.
  • If you took out a loan to purchase your home, the mortgage interest is typically deductible in the year in which it was paid. This adds up quickly in most federal tax brackets. Your deduction may be limited if certain circumstances apply in higher tax brackets, or if you took out a mortgage for reasons other than to buy, build or improve your home.
  • Real estate property taxes also provide a tax benefit. In the year you purchase the home, you are entitled to deduct the real estate taxes paid on your settlement statement either to an escrow account or directly to the taxing authority. You may continue to deduct property taxes annually during your home ownership.
  • Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) or Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) may also be deductible when your down-payment is less than 20 percent. Several changes took effect on June 3, 2013 regarding cancellation and increases to the annual MIP, so it is best to consult your accountant or tax preparer to ensure you accurately claim any deductions
  • Do you work from home? If you have a home office that you use only for business, you may have a deduction for a portion of some items such as mortgage, insurance, utilities or other expenses relative to the office space. There are many considerations when deducting home office expenses, and it may or may not be a benefit to you based on your occupation and overall business use.
  • When selling your home, there are potential tax deductions as well as possible implications to consider. Some closing costs may be deductible including and not limited to real estate commissions, title insurance, legal fees, and surveys. Capital gains or losses may apply, and your tax expert can advise you on determining your basis and adjustments.

Some online resources that may be helpful regarding other home ownerships tax benefits include the Internal Revenue Service or National Association of Realtor (NAR).

A recent item to note regarding married tax filings… A new federal ruling now recognizes married same-sex couples just as their heterosexual counterparts for federal tax purposes regardless where they ultimately live. The Supreme Court ruled that married same-sex couples will be treated as married for federal tax purposes, including income as well as gift and estate taxes, but this ruling does not apply to registered domestic partnerships/civil unions. This covers couples who marry in one state and move to another that may not recognize their union. As a result, lawfully married same-sex couples no longer have to declare themselves unmarried on federal income tax returns, and spouses will not have to pay tax on health insurance benefits received through a spouse – an average savings of $1,000 tax per year for same-sex couples. Changes could be especially significant on estate taxes, where spouses benefit from tax advantages. For more information, the Wall Street Journal published a review.

Disclaimer: The links to articles and resources here are only to be used for informational purposes. Tax payers should always seek professional advice on financial and legal matters from a tax preparer, accountant, attorney or other legal counsel.

Questions To Ask Your Home Inspector Before Buying Your Home

Questions To Ask Your Home Inspector Before Buying Your Home.

Imagine how frustrated you’d be to find out that the hot water heater wasn’t working – in the middle of your very first shower in your new home!  This, among other very good reasons, is why you should have a home inspection before you buy your home.  When you buy a home, you need to know exactly what you’re buying.

A home inspection is an important part of buying your home. Before you hire a home inspector, ask candidates a few questions to make sure you hire a trustworthy inspector.

What Does Your Inspection Cover?

Not all inspections are the same. Ask for copies of previous home inspections so you can see exactly what they will check inside the home.  If you are concerned about something specific, like a leaky faucet in the bathroom, mention that to the inspector so they can check it out.

Are You Licensed Or Certified?

If you live in a state that licenses home inspectors, ask to see their license. Most reputable home inspection professionals provide this information right at the start of your home inspection.  At the very least, choose a home inspector who belongs to American Society of Home Inspectors. This shows a level of professionalism and education that you can trust.

What Kind Of Report Will You Give Me?

You should expect a written report detailing what the inspector found. Most inspectors will give you a typed report within a week of the inspection.  Many even take digital color photos of any issues with the home in order to make their report as clear as possible. Make sure the inspector will be available to explain anything on the report that doesn’t make sense to you.

Will I Be Able To Attend The Inspection?

If the inspector refuses to let you be present during the home inspection, find someone else. This is your chance to know exactly what you are buying and what potential repairs you or the seller will have to make.

Please feel free to contact your trusted real estate professionals at the Early-Group today to answer this and any other question you have on the home buying process.

7 Tips To Make Your Living Room More Appealing To Home Buyers

7 Tips To Make Your Living Room More Appealing To Home Buyers. Everyone knows that first impressions are important.  By carefully staging your home, you can positively influence the feelings your potential buyers have when they are viewing the property.

Staging is the art of decorating and arranging the spaces within your house to make it more appealing to buyers. If you can adapt the rooms to create an attractive and welcoming zone that home buyers can see themselves in, they will be more likely to buy your property.

One of the most important rooms to stage is the living room, because it is such a central part of the house. This is where a lot of the social activity occurs, so it should appear comfortable and welcoming.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when staging your living room before the next showing of your home:

  • Clear out the clutter. The most important step is to de-clutter, because a mess will turn off potential buyers. Clear away any papers, toys and other items to make your living room as clean and minimalist as possible.
  • Go zen. The main purpose of a living room is for relaxation, so make the space look as comfortable as possible. Try a soft throw on the sofa, plush cushions and a big chair that is just begging you to come curl up with a book.
  • Strategically place furniture. Arrange the living room furniture to create areas of conversation, such as two sofas facing each other with a low coffee table in the middle.
  • Depersonalize. Remove your personal items. If you have too many family photos and personal effects in the room, it can make it difficult for your potential buyers to imagine their own family living there.
  • Remove the bulk. If your living room feels small, you can remove some of the furniture to give it the illusion of being bigger.
  • Channel your green thumb. You might want to consider bringing in some plants to make the space feel fresh.
  • Brighten it up. If your living room has dark corners, invest in upright lamps that will help illuminate the space and provide an aura of intimacy.

With these seven tips, the living room in your  Colorado home will be much more appealing to potential buyers.

If you are ready to make a move to your next home, call your trusted Real Estate Agents at the Earl-Group  for a personal consultation to get the best bang for your buck!  303.816.7516

Can The Right Color Help Sell Your Home Faster?

Can The Right Color Help Sell Your Home Faster? When it comes to selling your home in the Rocky Mountains , you’ve probably thought of the most common staging tricks, such as clearing out the clutter to make your rooms look bigger and bringing in more light to brighten things up.  Have you considered that the colors in your house might affect whether buyers are interested?

First impressions are everything when you are selling a house, so think about how the colors you choose will likely influence your potential buyers.  A new coat of paint could be a simple and effective way to make your house more appealing.  Here are a few additional tips:

Choose Mellow, Neutral Shades

When a potential buyer is looking at your house, they want to be able to imagine themselves living there. If your walls are painted in lime green or hot pink, it can be difficult for a buyer to relate the house to their own tastes.  Instead, use neutral colors, such as cream, olive, beige and ivory. Then the walls become a blank canvas where prospective buyers can project their own style preferences.

Create the Illusion of Space

In order to make a space within your home feel larger, you can use a very light neutral color such as white, tan or pale grey. This will reflect more light and give the impression of a more expansive interior. 

You can also try painting the moldings the same color as the walls, which will make the ceilings look higher.

Dont Forget About Exterior Color

It’s easy to focus on the interior of a house and forget about the outside, but the front of the house is the first thing potential buyers will see. Curb appeal can be a huge factor in their decision.

Caution: Lead-Based Paint

One important word of caution regarding the paint in your home is the issue of lead-based paint.  Lead-based paint was most common in homes built or painted prior to 1978. If your home falls in that age category, it may require further testing to ensure that the paint covering your walls is free of lead.

Color has a psychological effect on people, whether they are aware of it or not. You’ll be amazed at the difference the right colors can make in selling or improving your home.  If you would like more home staging and selling tips, please contact Terry Robinson & the Early-Group, your trusted real estate professionals today! 303.748.3838 or info@early-group.com

 



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