A more refined look at debt collection:
With FICO 9, your credit score will be calculated considering medical versus non-medical collection agencies. Debts in collection due to medical bills will be treated differently than non-medical debt in collection. According to FICO, because of this change "the median FICO Score for consumers whose only major derogatory references are unpaid medical debts is expected to increase by 25 points."
Better scoring consistency:
Errors in debt reporting and credit scoring across agencies have shut some buyers out of securing a mortgage. With FICO 9, the company is promising the highest degree of consistency in scoring.
How FICO 9 may impact your mortgage rate:
Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com had this to say in a recent Market Trends newsletter: "A borrower today with a FICO score in the 660 to 679 range and a 10 percent down payment would have to pay a fee of 2.25 percent to get access to today's best mortgage rates (about 4.125 percent for a conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage give or take a little). Since that fee might be hard to pay out of pocket, many borrowers decide to incorporate that fee into the interest rate, which would then climb to perhaps 4.625 percent without the fee. But if the borrower had a credit score of 680 to 699, and that same borrower would see a fee of only 1.25 percent and a corresponding fee-included rate of 4.375 percent or so."
Not all lenders will use FICO 9:
One thing to be aware of when applying for a loan is the possibility that certain institutions may not be using FICO 9 yet. For those lenders who use earlier versions of the FICO score or other types of credit scores, you may not benefit from the changes to FICO's scoring system.
Overall, this is good news for a lot of potential buyers. Hopefully the changes in scoring will open up the dream of home ownership to millions.
Thinking about getting pre-qualified for a mortgage? Get in touch with me today:
Your ceiling has more popcorn than the home theater: Is your ceiling a constellation of dusty, stained popcorn texture? Nothing says "state of the art 1950s design" like the popcorn ceiling. Removal can be a dirty job, and you'll want to have it checked for asbestos before you do, but getting rid of it goes a long way to modernizing the look.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall. And the closets. And the... ceiling? A little reflected light makes a bedroom look bigger, but if you're rocking the fun house / journey-into-infinity effect, consider removing some of those reflective surfaces.
Frills, frills everywhere. Check those bed skirts, window dressings, and curtains. Could a Civil War-era southern belle scratch together a formal dress from your assortment of puffy fabrics? Tone it down.
Sorry, captain, the pattern is... retro. Check the paper in your drawers, the shelves of your armoire, and the paper on the walls. Does it feel like felt? Is it yellow like a pirate map? Does it remind you of an 80s prom? Any (or all!) of these are signs you need to update.
Prison ward pillows. Wow, that bed looks... really, really flat. You sleep like that? Clean lines are one thing, an uncomfy bedroom is another. Puff it up and make it cozy.
Formica anything. Does your dresser look like it would make a nice kitchen island in the 1970s? Spring for some staging furniture and replace that laminate wonderland.
But I've had that alarm clock / television / stereo for 30 years! Yes, and it shows. Nix the flip-digit clocks, the wood grain television cabinets, and the neon-striped boom boxes. Modernize or put them in storage, stat.
Yes, buyers can modernize a bedroom when they buy the house, but expecting them to see past your bedroom's past is taking a gamble. Do a few simple things to freshen up that room!
Need someone to evaluate your interior appeal? I'm happy to share my candid thoughts and guide you towards maximizing your home's appeal: Rob Paul 941-312-1108 Rob@SarasotaLiving.com Berkshire Hathaway Florida Realty
If the idea of "tweeting" messages out in 140 characters seems like a waste of time, perhaps you should consider Twitter in a new light. What Twitter excels at is breaking news, especially hyperlocal breaking news.
Hyperlocal is a term which simple means "very close" to you or your neighborhood. While a wildfire two states away might not be of concern to you, a four-alarm disaster in your neighborhood can suddenly be a real priority.
You don't have to tweet to make use of Twitter. In fact, one of the best ways to use Twitter is simply as an "awareness" tool for your immediate area. Many people don't realize that a variety of services and businesses break news daily via short Tweets with links to more information.
Here are some common categories you're likely to find if you search Twitter for tweets and accounts near you:
- Fire / Police / EMS / local radio scanners
- Public utilities (including power and water... great for getting updates on outages)
- Local transit (trains, busses, taxis)
- Local government and civic notices
- Sports stadiums (traffic advisories, event information)
- Local news stations (learn what's going on between regular broadcasts)
- Neighborhood blogs (very popular in cities)
- Neighborhood businesses (often advertise specials, events, and "Twitter only" freebies)
- Your actual neighbors!
You'd be surprised how useful Twitter can be when you think of it in terms of a breaking news delivery platform. Give it a try today. Who knows, you may even find yourself becoming a local news source yourself!
Ready to start reading hyperlocal tweets? Start by following me on Twitter! Follow my account, SarasotaLiving @RobPaulHomes today.
According to this extensive hands-on review of Carousel:
"...if you're already a Dropbox user, redundantly backing up images is never a bad idea, and you have nothing to lose with the Dropbox utility. Carousel, in this case, just makes everything easier to see, find, and share."
It's a handy app to share if you're looking for ways to safely store and share family photos as well as scrapbooks of "dream home" ideas or interior decorating inspiration. Because it's connected to your mobile device, it's super easy to synchronize your photos-on-the-go to Dropbox' cloud-based servers.
Check out the full review here:?http://thenextweb.com/creativity/2014/04/10/hands-dropbox-carousel/
Dropbox's dedicated site for Carousel is here:?https://www.carousel.com/
The app can be downloaded for iPhone and Android here:?
I love experimenting with mobile tech that can make the lives of my clients easier and more fun. If you'd like more tips, be sure to contact me and let me know you'd like to be on my newsletter today:
Berkshire Hathaway Florida Realty
Additionally, Walk Score looks at pedestrian friendliness, a component which takes into account population density, block length, and intersection density. (Source: http://www.walkscore.com/methodology.shtml).
90 - 100: Walker's Paradise. Daily errands do not require a car.
70 - 89: Very Walkable. Most errands can be accomplished on foot.
50 - 69: Somewhat Walkable. Some errands can be accomplished on foot.
25 - 49: Car-Dependent. Most errands require a car.
0 - 24: Car-Dependent. Almost all errands require a car.
In addition to a Walkability Score, Walk Score also evaluates for Transit Score (how well a location is served by public transit) and Bike Score (whether an area is good for biking).
All three of these scores can help you determine your personal values when you're buying a home. They can also be useful to profile the kind of buyer who might be interested in a home you're selling. It's important to understand that a high or low walkability score is not necessarily bad. It all depends on personal values. (Someone who wouldn't walk to errands anyway might find themselves bothered by the proximity to a highly-trafficked commercial businesses, for example.)
If you're curious about your own home's walkability score, or you'd like to learn about the most and least walkable neighborhoods in a given city, you can search for addresses on the Walk Score website at http://www.walkscore.com/.
Want to see a walkability score in action? I'd be happy to show you local neighborhoods! Rob Paul 941-312-1108 Rob@SarasotaLiving.com
If you do find an error, the best way to attempt a correction is through a dispute letter. Dispute letters allow you to formally request a fix by the reporting agency. Though it may take a little time to get the errors removed, cleaning up these mistakes can have a direct (and favorable!) effect on your credit score, helping you secure lower interest rates and better terms.
Here's what you'll need to include for each mistake you find:
1. Which account shows the mistake.
2. Specifically what's incorrect about the account where it appears in the report.
3. What changes should be made and why those changes should be made.
4. Any supporting evidence or documentation which will bolster your claim.
For example: "On my report, the Chase Visa ending in XXXX shows my account is still active. I closed this account in 2012 and should be shown as closed, not active. Included is a letter from Chase bank, confirming the date of my the account's closure."
It's a good idea to keep copies of everything you send. Also, be sure to send the correction to all three major reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) as well as the original creditor (i.e. the credit card company, utility, etc.). You can find the current dispute mailing addresses on these company's websites. Federal law mandates that agencies must help you within 30 days. Keep records of your disputes and when/how you communicated with the agencies.
Getting your credit in shape is an important step to take when you're preparing to buy a home. I help buyers prepare every day! Get in touch: Rob@SarasotaLiving.com, 941-312-1108