Monday, November 19th, 2012

By Michele Lerner of Bankrate.com

Living from one paycheck to the next may be the norm for many people. But homebuyers need a better strategy.

“If buying a home is your goal, then it needs to be your priority,” says Tim Kirchner, vice president of MetLife Bank in Irving, Texas. “Most people need to sacrifice a little and stick to a budget in order to save for a home.

A good budget plan begins one or two years before a buyer makes an offer. Here are four tips for renters who plan to become homeowners.

1. Build strong credit
When it comes to securing a loan at the best mortgage rate, credit is king.

“The most important focus for all potential buyers should be improving their credit score,” says Jean Badciong, chief operating officer of Inlanta Mortgage in Waukesha, Wis. “A low score can prevent someone from buying a home or at least from qualifying for an affordable mortgage rate.”

Greg Holmes is national director of sales and marketing for Credit Plus, a company in Salisbury, Md., that provides credit reports to mortgage lenders. He says potential buyers should request their free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.

“Some people who think they have good credit don’t, while people who think their credit is bad may be surprised that it is actually OK,” Holmes says. “Everyone should check their report for accuracy and fix any mistakes. It can take months to correct errors.”

To improve their credit scores, buyers should pay off past-due bills, pay every bill on time and reduce their balances on every account to less than 30% of the credit limit, Holmes says. Also, it is best to have three to five credit accounts, such as a car loan, student loan or credit card, for one year or longer.

Holmes says he does not recommend switching credit cards frequently to get the best rate, though.

“Lenders do not want to see a lot of credit inquiries or too many new accounts because this could indicate someone who is about to take on a lot of extra debt,” Holmes says.

Kirchner says people often do not realize the consequences of paying bills late or missing a payment, which can affect your credit report for a long time.

Some young people assume they can improve their credit scores as an authorized user on a parent’s card. But Badciong says this will have no impact on their score.

Click Here For More

Monday, November 19th, 2012

By Michele Lerner of Bankrate.com

Living from one paycheck to the next may be the norm for many people. But homebuyers need a better strategy.

“If buying a home is your goal, then it needs to be your priority,” says Tim Kirchner, vice president of MetLife Bank in Irving, Texas. “Most people need to sacrifice a little and stick to a budget in order to save for a home.

A good budget plan begins one or two years before a buyer makes an offer. Here are four tips for renters who plan to become homeowners.

1. Build strong credit
When it comes to securing a loan at the best mortgage rate, credit is king.

“The most important focus for all potential buyers should be improving their credit score,” says Jean Badciong, chief operating officer of Inlanta Mortgage in Waukesha, Wis. “A low score can prevent someone from buying a home or at least from qualifying for an affordable mortgage rate.”

Greg Holmes is national director of sales and marketing for Credit Plus, a company in Salisbury, Md., that provides credit reports to mortgage lenders. He says potential buyers should request their free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.

“Some people who think they have good credit don’t, while people who think their credit is bad may be surprised that it is actually OK,” Holmes says. “Everyone should check their report for accuracy and fix any mistakes. It can take months to correct errors.”

To improve their credit scores, buyers should pay off past-due bills, pay every bill on time and reduce their balances on every account to less than 30% of the credit limit, Holmes says. Also, it is best to have three to five credit accounts, such as a car loan, student loan or credit card, for one year or longer.

Holmes says he does not recommend switching credit cards frequently to get the best rate, though.

“Lenders do not want to see a lot of credit inquiries or too many new accounts because this could indicate someone who is about to take on a lot of extra debt,” Holmes says.

Kirchner says people often do not realize the consequences of paying bills late or missing a payment, which can affect your credit report for a long time.

Some young people assume they can improve their credit scores as an authorized user on a parent’s card. But Badciong says this will have no impact on their score.

Click Here For More

Posted in Chris Prescott, Real Estate Virtual Assistant, The Prescott Group, Tricia Allenson, We Make You Look Good |
Monday, November 19th, 2012


Housing continues to be a bright spot in the national economy. Locally, we enjoyed more sales and additional seller activity. As prices firm up, some sellers will be lifted out of unenviable positions while others will receive a confidence booster. That’s a good thing, since buyers at some price points are struggling to find inventory. Additional evidence of turnaround will come by way of days on market, the average ratio of sold to list price and absorption rates generally under five months.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending November 10:

  • New Listings decreased 9.0% to 1,015
  • Pending Sales increased 11.3% to 883
  • Inventory decreased 29.1% to 15,007

For the month of October:

  • Median Sales Price increased 14.8% to $175,000
  • Days on Market decreased 25.3% to 103
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.5% to 94.5%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 40.5% to 3.7

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

Posted in Weekly Report |
Monday, November 12th, 2012


1.3 million. That’s how many Americans were reportedly lifted out of underwater mortgage situations this year from rising home prices, according to the Obama administration’s October Housing Scorecard. There’s more going on than meets the eye here. Rising prices also help restore tax base, decreasing the likelihood of tax increases later. National GDP even benefits. When real estate is chugging along, things are good. And now, arguably more so than ever in the past four or
five years, real estate is starting to chug again. It’s not at full speed yet, but the open track ahead beckons.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending November 3:

  • New Listings decreased 1.0% to 1,125
  • Pending Sales increased 25.3% to 930
  • Inventory decreased 27.7% to 15,434

For the month of October:

  • Median Sales Price increased 14.8% to $174,995
  • Days on Market decreased 25.0% to 103
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.5% to 94.4%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 41.0% to 3.7

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

Posted in Weekly Report |
Monday, November 12th, 2012


1.3 million. That’s how many Americans were reportedly lifted out of underwater mortgage situations this year from rising home prices, according to the Obama administration’s October Housing Scorecard. There’s more going on than meets the eye here. Rising prices also help restore tax base, decreasing the likelihood of tax increases later. National GDP even benefits. When real estate is chugging along, things are good. And now, arguably more so than ever in the past four or
five years, real estate is starting to chug again. It’s not at full speed yet, but the open track ahead beckons.

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending November 3:

  • New Listings decreased 1.0% to 1,125
  • Pending Sales increased 25.3% to 930
  • Inventory decreased 27.7% to 15,434

For the month of October:

  • Median Sales Price increased 14.8% to $174,995
  • Days on Market decreased 25.0% to 103
  • Percent of Original List Price Received increased 3.5% to 94.4%
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 41.0% to 3.7

Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report.

From The Skinny.

Posted in Weekly Report |

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