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.

Santa’s Landing Pad, Tips For Winter Roof Maintenance

Santa’s Landing Pad, Tips For Winter Roof Maintenance. It’s that time of year again when the weather outside gets frightful but the holiday cheer is delightful. You’ve probably got a lot on your mind during these busy winter months, but make sure that you don’t neglect the roof of your home.  Taking care of your roof is an important part of home maintenance and you don’t want to suffer a leak or any other problem during the cold months.

 

So how can you make sure that Santa and his sleigh have a solid and well-maintained landing pad when they touch down at your house this year? Here are some tips that every homeowner should know:

 

Check Out Your Gutters

 

Your gutters are an important part of your roof, because they allow water to flow away from the roof surface before it causes rot and damage. During the winter, your gutters will be more likely to get clogged with fallen leaves, snow and ice and can get blocked if they are not cleared out.

 

Get a ladder and a friend to hold it for you and clean any leaves, debris and dirt from the gutters. Flush the gutters out with a hose afterward to ensure they are clean. If your gutters have become damaged or leaky, you can use gutter sealant or fibreglass resin to patch up the hole.

 

Trim Back The Trees

 

If you have a lot of trees and vegetation overhanging above your roof, it’s a good idea to trim it back before the winter months. At the moment, it might not be touching your roof – but once it is weighted down with snow or blown around by the wind it might do some damage.  When hiring a tree trimming service, get a few different quotes from a range of contractors so that you can be sure that you are getting the right price.

 

Inspect Your Roof For Weak Spots

 

A roof inspection can save you from a lot of roof damage, which could get even more serious when the weather gets colder and wetter. Start by performing a visual inspection of the inside and outside of your roof.  Look around for any missing tiles and make sure that the gutters are allowing the water to drain freely from the roof. This can be done while walking around your property with binoculars.  If you spot something that looks suspicious, you can hire a professional roofer to take a closer look. They will be experienced and will know what to look for, so that they can find the weak spot and fit it right away. A roof inspection will cost you, but it is a lot cheaper than paying for a new roof!

 

These are just a few important maintenance tasks that you can perform in order to ensure that your roof is in tip top shape to welcome the winter season – and a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer! For more handy tips and info about your home, contact your trusted mortgage professional today.

 

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.

Creative Ways To Recycle Everyday Household Items

The Early-Group Gives You…Creative Ways To Recycle Everyday Household Items.

Every week the trash truck comes to pick up our garbage and unwanted items, which are promptly taken to landfills. Instead of filling landfills and just buying new items to stuff our homes, we can help the earth and recycle everyday household items.  Below are a few fun and creative ideas for recycling things around your home that you might be ready to trash.

Coffee Table Into Bench

If you just purchased a new coffee table, don’t give away the old one — repurpose it. Find a space in your home where you could use some additional seating, like at the end of your bed or in the entryway.  Push it up against the wall so that any drawers and shelves are facing out. Then add some cushions and pillow. Tada; a bench!

Copper Piping Into Bathroom Hardware

Whether you’re going for a modern industrial look or a French country theme, old copper piping can add an attractive and interesting conversation piece to your restroom. Utilize a U-shaped piece of piping as a toilet paper holder and long pieces of pipe as towel racks. Polish the copper and then seal it with spray lacquer so that it keeps its sheen.

Light Bulbs Into Decorations

Recycle filament light bulbs with a fun little craft project for your children. Grab paint, twine, glitter and glue. You can make flower pots and hang them in the yard as a simple green accent. Use the twine to create loops for hanging.

Pillowcase Into Shopping Bag

Take an old or vintage pillowcase, lay it flat and cut the top corners off of the open end. You’ll want to cut the corners off in a half-C shape so that that there is only about a two-inch strip left in the middle at the top. Sew that two-inch strip together and you’ve got your handle. This reusable shopping bag rolls up tight and is easy to wash.

Drawer Into Dog Bed

The size of your animal will dictate the size of drawer you should repurpose. A cat might like a kitchen drawer while a bigger dog would use a large dresser drawer. Strip the wood off the drawer and repaint. Remove the hardware. Maybe stencil your pet’s name on the front of the drawer. Then create a mattress using foam, batting and a soft and durable material.

Before getting rid of that broken side table or trashing those carry-out chopsticks, take a second look and tap into your creative side to see if you might be able to recycle and give them a second life.



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