Oct. 14, 2019

Credit Repair Tips

Credit Repair Tips Presented By True Realty

 

Credit repair is essential yet often overwhelming. Where do you start? Can you do it yourself? What exactly do you need to look for? It may seem surprising, especially considering all of the credit repair companies out there, but you can easily repair your credit on your own!

 

The first thing to do is look for discrepancies on your credit report. In 2013, 60 Minutes reported that studies show 25%-79% of credit reports contain errors. Errors to keep your eye out for can be as simple as incorrect personal information or as complicated as inaccurate payment history. It is also estimated that roughly 1 in 5 people obtain an annual copy of their credit report. If you do not obtain an annual copy, your chances of missing an error that is affecting your credit score will rise. Here are 5 common errors to look for.

 

Inaccurate personal information: The wrong middle initial or wrong address may be a sign that the credit bureau has confused you with somebody else with a similar name to yours.

 

Accounts that do not belong to you: An account that you do not recognize and/or do not recall opening, may be a sign that your identity has been stolen.

 

Duplicate accounts: Sometimes accounts can be entered in twice and, while you are not utilizing more credit than that account lists, this repeat information can raise your credit utilization ratio.

 

Closed accounts being reported as open: Old accounts that are still listed as open can raise your credit utilization ratio even though you’ve paid them off.

 

Inaccurate payment history: Sometimes payments do not get reported correctly and a payment that you made may be listed as late or missed despite you making the payment on time.

 

Continue to pay accounts with the most positive information is a top priority to-do when repairing your credit. If you have accounts in good standing, it would be ideal to keep those in good standing so that you do not have more negative information being added to your credit history. The more positive history you have, the better. 

 

If you have debt that has not made it into collections, pay those debts down. Most lenders will work with you in installments which is ideal when you cannot pay the full debt upfront. Paying down these debts will also add good information to your report.

 

Resolving delinquencies that have been placed with collections is a must-do but it should also be the last items you mark off your list. Paying off collections in full will not improve your credit score. Even though paying off accounts sent to collections will not improve your score, good information will be added to report. This will help current and future lenders see that you are working to better your credit standing. Not paying off collections will continue to lower your credit score over time so be sure to not ignore these entirely.

 

When you are repairing your credit, keep in mind that closing accounts will not help you. In fact, closing accounts can actually hurt you instead. When you close an account, whether it is in good or bad standing, all of the information will remain on your credit report. Opening and closing accounts reflect negatively to lenders so it is ideal to keep your accounts open (that are actually necessary), especially if they have been open for a good length of time with a history of positive information. If you have an account that has been open for a length of time and is currently reflecting negatively, work on bringing that account to good standing instead of focusing on a more recently opened account.

 

Unfortunately, many credit repair companies are often untrustworthy and tend to make promises that they cannot fulfill. If you do choose to utilize a credit repair service, here are ways to spot a dishonest company.

 

- Charge upfront fees.

- Claim affiliation with the government or credit bureaus.

- Promise a specific score.

- Promise to delete accurate information.

- Encourage you to create a new credit identity.

- Discourage you to contact the credit bureaus directly.

- Ask you to waive your rights under the Credit Repair Organization Act.

 

Even though federal law prohibits credit repair companies from performing these actions, most consumers are unaware of these laws and do not realize that these companies are taking advantage of them until it is too late.

 

Whether you decide to take on repairing your credit yourself or to work with a credit repair company, the absolute best way to keep hold of your improvements and quickly identify errors is to pull your annual credit report.

 

If you would like assistance and a free consultation to discuss your current situation, please give us a call @ (720) 305-0757. We would love to help get you on the right path.

 

 

Posted in Buying
Sept. 26, 2019

Living In Lone Tree, CO

 

Lone Tree Colorado Homes For Sale

 

It’s hard to beat a suburb that offers indoor skydiving and, thankfully, Lone Tree has exactly that! The Lone Tree Entertainment District is the hot spot for entertainment with a movie theater, miniature golf, indoor skydiving, and a bowling alley. For sitting back and enjoying the show instead of acting in it, the Lone Tree Arts Center has much to offer from ballet to concerts to National Geographic Live and more. Lone Tree also hosts Bluff’s Regional Park which holds 235 acres of open space and 3.5 miles of trails. Overall, Lone Tree has a Niche rating of A+ and a ranking of #7 in best suburbs to live in Colorado.

 

Lone Tree

Overall Niche: a+

Schools: a

Housing: b

Good for families: a

Nightlife: a-

Diversity: b+

#5 best suburbs for young professionals in Colorado

#7 best suburbs and #21 best places to live in Colorado

#17 best suburbs to raise a family in Colorado

#23 suburbs with the best public schools in Colorado

  • Close to Park Meadows Mall
  • Lone Tree Entertainment District: movie theater, miniature golf, indoor skydiving, bowling alley
  • Bluff’s Regional Park: 235 acres open space and 3.5 miles trails 
  • Lone Tree Arts Center

 

 

Posted in Community Info
Sept. 24, 2019

How to help yourself

Credit Repair: How to help yourself

 

Buying a home is the largest purchase you will ever make. Do it the right way so that you are protected and less stressed in the long run so that you can enjoy this purchase as you intend. 

Do you need to improve your credit score in order to purchase a home? Lenders look at three things when pre-approving a loan:

  1. Ability to repay: what is your income and current liabilities
  2. Credit worthiness: what is your credit score
  3. Overall summation of your income and credit score.

Outside of your employment history, your credit score plays a big role of whether or not you will qualify for a home loan. If you have a lower credit score, this will also impact how much you are able to borrow. A better credit score is going to allow you to borrow more money and broadens the inventory selection. Additionally, the better your score, the better the rate and allows you to apply a larger bulk of your payment towards the equity of your home.

Here are a few tips to raise your credit score in the next six months:

Revolving credit cards: If you do not have a credit card, we recommend getting one and use it on gasoline purchases, something that is necessary and sets boundaries for you to not overspend or purchase unnecessary items. Pay at the pump and then pay the card off each month. This will show responsibility and you’ll reap the benefits on your score,

If you already have revolving credit cards – work towards paying these off. Credit cards are the second most heavily-weighted factor in calculating your credit score and typically the reason that your score is at rock bottom. High balances make you appear risky and reducing the amount you owe will increase your score. The general rule is for every open account to be below 30% utilization. For instance, if you have a card with a $1,000 limit you do not want to have more than $300 charged. 

If you stop using the card and pay it down month after month, little by little, you will see a gradual increase to your score versus paying larger sums or the balance in full. Don’t close your credit cards accounts, just pay them on time. Consumers with no credit cards or installments look risky and tend to be penalized with lower scores. Pay down the high credit balances first. Try doubling your payments for a few months or at least a payment and a half.

Long credit history: If you have a long credit history or one that isn’t great, there is hope! Many in this situation are scared to have their credit pulled or afraid that it is going to further damage their score to have their credit score pulled. This is similar to going to the doctor. You know there is an issue … you need a remedy. The best thing that you can do is to speak to a lender and have them pull your score. If at all, the affect will only be a couple of points and this alone will not keep you from buying a home. However, the lender can offer advice on how to improve your score. Perhaps it is paying down some debt. Using a tax refund to pay down a card that has been at the limit for a couple of years. This insight and advice can sometimes easily get you in a positive light with the lender and on the path of approval.

Then there are those who might take six months to a year to get their credit in line. But you never know if you don’t meet with a lender and have your credit pulled. If you stay in fear, you’ll never get out of the rut and on the right path. No matter what your credit score is, you’re never forever away from buying a home. However, if you never start working on your credit, you’ll never get it to where you need to be. An honest and trustworthy lender will help forecast on how much time you need. 

No credit history: we have already discussed how to establish credit with the credit card to purchase the essentials and already incurred expenses and paying the balance off each month. However, many who have been using cash and have no credit score can take advantage of non-traditional credit qualifiers to get you in our first home. Nontraditional credit trade-lines are credit accounts that do not report to the credit reporting agencies, i.e. cell phone account, cable / utilities, insurance and rental verification.

Order your own credit report from each of the reporting agencies. This will help you determine where you stand and dispute any errors that you find. The Federal Trade Commission offers advice on how to handle a dispute.

Pay your bills on time each and every month. This includes revolving credit, utilities, student loans, everything. 

Use old credit cards that you haven’t used lately to keep the history active. Old credit is worth more than new credit when it comes to your score.

Ask for an increase in your credit limit. Again, the goal is to be 30% or less of your limit and sometimes this can be achieved with a limit increase. Just make sure not purchase anything more on your card or you have defeated the purpose.

All in all, it is never too early to sit with a lender, determine what is available and make a financial plan. That way you can set a timeline, begin the house hunting process, and confidently know what your budget is so that you can shop for the right home. True Realty can assist you with finding that lender, just give us a call @ 720-305-0757.

 

Posted in Buying
Sept. 22, 2019

Tips on Fall Home Buying

 

Buying A Home In The Fall

 

5 reasons why the Fall season is a great time to purchase a home

 

1) Less competition - Easier to negotiate purchase price and fees due to sellers being more motivated to sell thanks to less interest than in peak season.

 

2) Lower home prices - Most sellers list their homes in Spring and Early Summer and, knowing that they are in peak home buying season, they can often list their homes with aggressive higher prices. Since Fall is in the off season, home prices are either listed reasonably from the get-go or they have been lowered due to not selling during the peak season.

 

3) You're the center of attention - Not only will real estate agents have less buyers which means more time to focus on you, the sellers will also have less to no buyer interest outside of you. This means that you will have a higher chance of being able to think longer about any counter-offers and have a higher chance of being able to close on the home in your time versus the buyer’s time. 

 

4) See more flaws - Harsher weather will bring more flaws out of the home than you might catch during the summer season. For example, melting snow is more apt to bring out a roof leak than a perfectly sunny day. Also, the gray, dreary weather will show more flaws in aesthetics, such as worn areas in the roof and foundation cracks, that may be concealed by spring and summer flowers or the beautiful sunshine that makes everything look radiant.

 

5) Better feel of the neighborhood - Often in the summer, families are gone on vacation or to visit family and friends while the kids are out of school. During the fall, there is generally more neighborhood activity with families and kids walking around or playing outside. This gives you a better perspective on the true atmosphere of the neighborhood.

 

The days may be getting shorter, but as you can see, Fall is an excellent time to purchase. Give us a call today (720) 305-0757, and find that perfect home in time for the upcoming holidays.

 

 

Posted in Buying
Sept. 20, 2019

Repairs / Remodel Before Listing

remodel or make repairs before selling home

 

One of the most common questions asked by our listing clients is whether or not they should renovate or remodel their home before placing it on the market.

Before you spend the money … and energy … part of our service to you is to help you determine where to focus and what will generate more money from the sale or help your home sell faster.

MAKE REPAIRS FIRST

We often recommend to our sellers to concentrate first on making needed repairs. The buyer will most likely ask for these fixes, especially if they are for problems that will show up on the home inspection report. Fixing the necessary repairs first helps avoid and before your list the home helps avoid delays.

BEING PROACTIVE IS ALWAYS SMART

Attention to tasks such as peeling paint, broken windows, torn screens, missing or loose handrails …. anything that can affect one’s health … should be fixed first. Then use what is left of your “repair budget” to make cosmetic changes.

The first week that your house is on the market is known in the industry as “the honeymoon period.” This is when new listings receive the most attention and the more people that view your home, the quicker it will sell. A recent study from a large real estate analytics firm finds that homes get four times as many visitors in the first week they’re on the market than they do one month after listing. 

With repairs and cosmetic fixes out of the way, your home could outpace attention during that first week.

SMALL UPGRADES

If you are planning to list your home to sell, don’t spend money that won’t yield a return. Minor upgrades, such as new kitchen appliances, or bathroom countertops will do more to change your sales price than completely redoing your kitchen or bathroom entirely. Don’t sink money that will not generate a profit. One of the biggest returns on your investment is actually a new garage door. Isn’t that crazy? You can read more on the yield of your ROI for home remodeling here, remodeling.hw.net.

SAVE MONEY OR TIME?

In a real estate transaction, time is most definitely money. The longer your home sits on the market, the higher the that you will end up taking less than planned to get it sold. The most common reason a home doesn’t sell is that it’s overpriced. Second to that, are homes that aren’t in decent condition.

We’re happy to meet with you and offer suggestions on which repairs to make first and on which tasks to focus on after that. Just give us a call @ (720) 305-0757 for a free consultation.

 

 

Sept. 12, 2019

Want to create a workout space at home?

Design a workout space on a budget

Creating a home gym doesn’t have to bust the budget or take up the entire basement of your home. 

1. Choose the room

Even if you have a room that is currently not being used for much more than storage, think carefully about whether it will work as a gym. The main thing to think about is ceiling height, as you’ll need at least 8 feet. If your ceilings are substantially lower, consider swapping (steal the kids’ room, ha). If you don’t have an extra room, you can still create a gym by partitioning off a larger space, such as the living room. By the way, you won’t need to build a wall. Hang curtains to use as a divider. Once you have the required space set aside, clear the entire area. Will you add a mirror or two? Now is the time to do so.

2. Consider the floors

If the room is carpeted or covered with a textured vinyl floorcovering, you’re good to go. Hardwood, laminate, tile or other hard surfaces may be a bit more challenging. Remember that you’ll be using heavy equipment and accessories. When those suckers are dropped, they may damage the floor, especially ceramic tile. Also consider that some of these materials may become slippery when wet. Consider rubber matting tiles. In addition to comfort, non-slip and padded flooring, you can lay them right over existing hard flooring materials.

3. Design a layout before purchasing equipment

The square footage of the room will be the main factor when determining the equipment you’ll eventually choose. Window shop for the equipment online, jotting down the height, length and depth of each piece. Then, draw out a placement plan. Keep in mind that you’ll need to allow extra room for some pieces, such as a bench press. Hold one arm out to your side, as if you were holding a weight. Measure the distance from fingertip to shoulder, double that and add the result to the width measurement for the bench press you have your eye on. The same holds true for extra-long dumbbells. If you use them, measure their length and add it to the width of the bench press. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on high-end equipment. If your fitness routines are simpler, all you’ll need is room for some yoga props, a medicine ball, foam roller, etc.

4. Shop for equipment

Gym equipment can be pricey, but not if you shop carefully. Did you know that Amazon.com has an entire fitness store online? Indeed, they do and you can find inexpensive workout accessories and even machines. If your budget is a bit tight, consider buying used equipment. Check out the inventories at garage / yard sales (in your community and online), facebook marketplace. Share your new adventure with family and friends, many times they know of someone who is selling or giving away equipment that you’ll find perfect for your needs.

Best of luck and feel free to share pictures of your new fitness / workout area in the comment section below.

 

Sept. 5, 2019

Retirement

 

How to prepare for retirement as a homeowner

 

Whenever most people think of planning for retirement, the majority of focus is put on saving, saving, saving. While that is of vital importance, so is figuring out how your living situation will impact your retirement. In some circumstances, renting will be much more beneficial for the retiree, however, that doesn’t mean home-owning cannot be beneficial as well.

 

As a retired homeowner, you have multiple options at hand. 

  • You can sell your home for quick cash.

  • You can rent out your home for a steady flow of income.

  • You can utilize your home’s equity with a reverse mortgage for a loan that fits your needs.

 

One benefit of retirement as a homeowner is that you may have the advantage of your mortgage being paid off. This doesn’t mean that your home comes without costs, though. As has already occurred through the years of owning this home, there will be continued maintenance and repairs to account for. Property taxes will also continue throughout the remainder of your homeownership. 

 

Regardless of what you end up doing with your home, planning for your living arrangements when retired is a must so be sure to start thinking about these options along with your saving plans.

 

If you would like to discuss your options and determine what is the best living situation for you during retirement, please reach out for a free, non-obligatory consultation. Call (720) 305-0757 and tell our team-member that you are inquiring retirement information.

 

 

Posted in Buying, Selling
Aug. 27, 2019

Don't make costly mistakes

 

How to avoid pitfalls when buying or selling a home presented by True Realty Colorado

 

Protect yourself from costly mistakes and be aware of situations that could be potential pitfalls when buying or selling your home.

 

BUYING A HOME:

  • Do not buy a house you cannot afford.
  • Do not empty your savings.
  • Check your credit report and correct errors.
  • Get more than one rate quote.
  • Seek out first-time buyer programs.
  • Look into VA, SDA, and FHA loans.
  • Get pre-approved for a loan.
  • Do not buy without a home inspection.
  • Do not obtain new credit, such as a new credit card, prior to closing.
  • Do not forget about homeowner’s insurance.
  • Use a real estate agent.

 

SELLING A HOME:

  • Do not sell before your ready to.
  • Do not let your ego or emotion rule the sale.
  • Do not underestimate the cost of selling.
  • Price your home realistically based on assessment and current market.
  • Stage your home.
  • Utilize a professional photographer.
  • Do not ignore repairs.
  • Do not make costly renovations.
  • Be sure to disclose defects
  • Try to not limit the amount of showings.
  • Consider all offers.
  • Be flexible in negotiations.
  • Higher a skilled real estate agent.

For most, their home is the largest transaction that they will ever experience, but it doesn't need to be the most difficult. If you would like a free consultation to avoid costly mistakes, please give True Realty a call for a free, non-obligatory consultation @ (720) 305-0757.

 

 

Posted in Buying, Selling
Aug. 24, 2019

Credit Repair - Where do you start?

 

Credit repair advice presented by True Realty Of Colorado

 

Credit repair is essential yet often overwhelming. Where do you start? Can you do it yourself? What exactly do you need to look for? It may seem surprising, especially considering all of the credit repair companies out there, but you can easily repair your credit on your own!

 

The first thing to do is look for discrepancies on your credit report. In 2013, 60 Minutes reported that studies show 25%-79% of credit reports contain errors. Errors to keep your eye out for can be as simple as incorrect personal information or as complicated as inaccurate payment history. It is also estimated that roughly 1 in 5 people obtain an annual copy of their credit report. If you do not obtain an annual copy, your chances of missing an error that is affecting your credit score will rise. Here are 5 common errors to look for.

 

Inaccurate personal information: The wrong middle initial or wrong address may be a sign that the credit bureau has confused you with somebody else with a similar name to yours.

 

Accounts that do not belong to you: An account that you do not recognize and/or do not recall opening, may be a sign that your identity has been stolen.

 

Duplicate accounts: Sometimes accounts can be entered in twice and, while you are not utilizing more credit than that account lists, this repeat information can raise your credit utilization ratio.

 

Closed accounts being reported as open: Old accounts that are still listed as open can raise your credit utilization ratio even though you’ve paid them off.

 

Inaccurate payment history: Sometimes payments do not get reported correctly and a payment that you made may be listed as late or missed despite you making the payment on time.

 

Continue to pay accounts with the most positive information is a top priority to-do when repairing your credit. If you have accounts in good standing, it would be ideal to keep those in good standing so that you do not have more negative information being added to your credit history. The more positive history you have, the better. 

 

If you have debt that has not made it into collections, pay those debts down. Most lenders will work with you in installments which is ideal when you cannot pay the full debt upfront. Paying down these debts will also add good information to your report.

 

Resolving delinquencies that have been placed with collections is a must-do but it should also be the last items you mark off your list. Paying off collections in full will not improve your credit score. Even though paying off accounts sent to collections will not improve your score, good information will be added to report. This will help current and future lenders see that you are working to better your credit standing. Not paying off collections will continue to lower your credit score over time so be sure to not ignore these entirely.

 

When you are repairing your credit, keep in mind that closing accounts will not help you. In fact, closing accounts can actually hurt you instead. When you close an account, whether it is in good or bad standing, all of the information will remain on your credit report. Opening and closing accounts reflect negatively to lenders so it is ideal to keep your accounts open (that are actually necessary), especially if they have been open for a good length of time with a history of positive information. If you have an account that has been open for a length of time and is currently reflecting negatively, work on bringing that account to good standing instead of focusing on a more recently opened account.

 

Unfortunately, many credit repair companies are often untrustworthy and tend to make promises that they cannot fulfill. If you do choose to utilize a credit repair service, here are ways to spot a dishonest company.

 

- Charge upfront fees.

- Claim affiliation with the government or credit bureaus.

- Promise a specific score.

- Promise to delete accurate information.

- Encourage you to create a new credit identity.

- Discourage you to contact the credit bureaus directly.

- Ask you to waive your rights under the Credit Repair Organization Act.

 

Even though federal law prohibits credit repair companies from performing these actions, most consumers are unaware of these laws and do not realize that these companies are taking advantage of them until it is too late.

 

Whether you decide to take on repairing your credit yourself or to work with a credit repair company, the absolute best way to keep hold of your improvements and quickly identify errors is to pull your annual credit report.

 

If you would like assistance and a free consultation to discuss your current situation, please give us a call @ (720) 305-0757.

 

 

Aug. 22, 2019

5 Home Buying Myths Busted

 

Home Buying Myths presented by True Realty Of Colorado

 

It’s less expensive to rent than own.

One of the most widespread untruths about home buying is that renting your home is less expensive than owning your home. When you are renting, it needs to be remembered that the renter is paying for the landlord’s mortgage plus the extra amount that the landlord charges in order to make a profit on the rental property. Take the Denver Metro area for example. According to the Denver Post this past June, Denver, the average 1 bedroom apartment rental is $1,540 a month. When you flip that to the other side of real estate, according to Trulia, the average 1 bedroom property sale price is $270,000. When $270,000 is calculated down into monthly payments with the national average interest rate of 3.97% and 0% down, the monthly mortgage (prior to insurance) would be $1,284. That is $3,072 annually that is put into your pocket instead of someone else’s. Plus, rent isn’t always consistent. Rental prices can fluctuate from year to year whereas your mortgage will not change. That average rental price of $1,540 could easily go up to $1,700 next year but that mortgage payment of $1,284 will remain. 

 

You need a 20% down payment.

While it is ideal to have as large of a down payment that your savings allows, a down payment, especially a large one, is not always realistic. The majority of conventional home loans require a 5% - 20% down payment but there are also a few types of home loans that require as little as 0% down. 

 

- VA and USDA - 0% minimum down payment

- FHA - 3.5% minimum down payment

- Conforming loan - 3% minimum down payment

 

Of course, there are certain requirements and restrictions to each of these loan types so it is ideal to discuss with your lender or financial adviser on which loan will be the most beneficial for you. Waiting to buy a home until you have saved up for a 20% down payment may also end up hurting you more than helping. During the time you are saving, the housing market will likely fluctuate and you may miss your opportunity to purchase the perfect property now.

All that you need upfront is a down payment.

When it comes to buying a home, the upfront costs attention usually casts a spotlight on the down payment. However, there are a few other costs that will be required upfront. Prior to sitting down at the closing table, a home inspection is recommended/required. If the property has specifics such as a chimney, foundation trouble, or a septic system, you may also need to pay for specialists in those areas for an inspection as well. After the home inspection and any requested repairs have been made, the home will need to be appraised. This can be an upfront cost at the time of the appraisal or included in the closing costs. Once at the closing table, anticipate paying for closing costs, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance. Closing costs can be anticipated to estimate around an additional 2.5% of the purchase price of the home. Fortunately, closing costs can be negotiated to be a cost of the party selling the home. When everything is said and done with the purchasing process, there may still be leftover repairs that you will want to fix or additions you may want to make. 

 

The only additional ongoing costs after closing will be PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance).

Mortgage payments and home insurance are not the only costs that will be continuing from month to month. Depending upon the community that your new home is in, HOA (Home Owners Association) fees and CDD (Community Development District) fees may be month costs that need to be added into your monthly expenses. If you are used to renting, additional costs that your landlord may have included in your rent may be water, sewer, gas, and trash. To figure out what to expect, you can ask your landlord if he/she has a record of what your average monthly usages are, then contact the companies you anticipate utilizing at your new home to get cost estimates based on your previous usage.

 

Not using a real estate agent will save you money.

A buyer’s real estate agents usually receives between 2.5%-3%, however, the buyer is not the party who pays that commission. The real estate agent that was involved in the sale of the property charges between 5%-6% commission of the sale then splits that commission with the buyer’s real estate agent. The seller is actually the party who pays both real estate agents and the buyer gets to utilize a real estate agent, essentially, for free.

 

We hope that you find these 5 tips helpful! If you are interested in a free, non-obligatory consultation - please give me a call at your convenience at (720) 305-0757.

 

 

Posted in Buying