Monday, April 29, 2013

Top 5 Reasons For Buying a Home


Maybe you have seen a lot of people buying homes and it has hit you that maybe you should be doing the same. But since buying a home is a very huge commitment as well as undertaking, you will need to know what you will benefit from this action. This is one of the biggest decisions you may ever make in your whole life. The top 5 reasons for buying a home are the following:
Protection against increasing rents
Unlike a while ago when renting a house used to be a cheaper alternative to people had the aim of saving so that they can later on buy their own homes, landlords nowadays have set the rent prices so high that it is hard for some people to save. In many places, it is cheaper to buy a house compared to renting. 1500 dollars or more is a lot of money to part with every month to pay rents. It will be even better off if you buy a house that has a fixed rate mortgage because you will never have to worry about the monthly payments increasing.
Taking advantage of low mortgage rates
Mortgage rates have dropped tremendously as of now and therefore you will benefit a lot if you buy a home now since that trend may be short-lived. Therefore the best time to act is now especially if you are a bargain shopper. With the current low rates, you will never have worries about refinancing in the future and therefore you will be able to save a lot of money in closing costs on loans that you may have taken.
Taking advantage of low home prices
There are those years is one those when the cost of buying a home really goes down. But the prices may start rising and go up really fast. You will therefore need to take advantage of the situation and buy a house sooner if you want to get great deal.
Helping your credit
You may also buy a home if you want to boost your credit score. If you are able to handle a mortgage, it implies that you are responsible and therefore credit bureaus will not have a problem rewarding you for that. That will help you overcome situations that might cause you to incur a lot of interests.
Making the home your own
When you are living in a rented apartment, there is a limit to the modifications that you can make to that house, and you will also need to seek consent from the owner to be able to make any change to the house. If it is your own home, you can upgrade the kitchen to suit your own taste, paint the walls in the living room and the master bedroom using your favorite colors and also put up a garden in the backyard. You will have full control over your home so you can personalize it as you want.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7514416

Friday, April 26, 2013

Financing A Home: Improving Your Credit Score


Today there are many homes for sale with low prices and low interest rates. Housing is more affordable now than it has been in many years. Considering the current market, why isn't everyone snapping up homes? The truth is, many first time home buyers are jumping into the market and getting in on this affordable housing opportunity. Real estate investors are also very active as they see this unique opportunity to build their wealth. The unfortunate reality for everyone right now is that even though homes are more affordable now than in many years, lenders are very picky about who gets a loan and who does not. And your credit score is one of the primary indicators of whether or not you will get approved for a loan and what your interest rate will be.
Just a few years ago a borrower with a credit score as low as 500 could buy a home. Today that score needs to be a minimum of 620 to 640. And to qualify for the best interest rates you better have a credit score in the 700's. No matter what your credit score is, you should know it. If it is not close to 750 you should resolve to get there and here are some easy tips to help improve your credit score.
Let's take a look at what information on our credit report determines your score, then we will give suggestions on how to improve in each of those areas
35% or your credit score is attributed to your payment history which not only includes actual payments to your creditors, but it includes things such as collections, judgments and tax liens. With this in mind you always want to make sure you make your car, credit card and loan payments on time. Many lenders also require verification of rental payment history, so you will want to make sure you pay your rent on time as well. By the way, a payment is considered on time if it is paid within 30 days of the due date. If you have collections, judgments or tax liens on your credit, you will have to provide proof that these were paid. If there are unpaid collections you can in many cases negotiate a settlement for less than what is owed. From a credit scoring standpoint this is almost as good as paying in full as long as it is reported as satisfied in full on the credit report.
In addition, you can make a payment arrangement for tax liens and after 12 months get those rated for your credit report which will help. Judgments are required to be paid in full at the close of a loan, and you will need to get it paid and the credit report updated in order to improve your credit score. In many cases with a history of late payments we have to say, time heals all wounds. In other words, it may just take a year or so of making your payments on time to get the credit score you need. If you have items on your credit report that are incorrect, then you can dispute those items to get them corrected with the credit bureau.
30% of your credit score is attributed to how much you owe on your credit card as a percentage of total credit limit. Let me give you an example: If you have one credit card with a $1,000 limit and you owe $750 on this card, your percentage of credit usage is 75% and your available credit is 25%. The lower the usage percentage the higher your credit score will be (all other factors being equal). There are 3 ways to improve this number. You can accomplish this by paying your credit card down as soon as possible. You can request an increase in the credit card limit. And you can also open up new cards. For the last two, you will need to exercise some caution however.
When you request an increase in your credit card, you should ask your credit card company if they can do this based on the merits of your payment history with them. If not they will create a credit inquiry which can lower your score just a little bit. In my opinion it would probably still be worth the credit inquiry deduction from your credit to get your credit limit increased. I believe that in most cases you would have a net gain in credit score, but there have been times when I've seen it drop at least in the short term. By the way, do not increase the balance on your credit card when your limit goes up or you will have just undone the improvement, but now you owe more money and still have a low credit score. Similarly, when you open up a new credit card, you end up having a couple of strikes against you which is the credit inquiry and the new credit account. More about both of these in a moment.
15% of your credit score is attributed to your length of credit history. So Let's have another example: Let's say you have 2 credit cards. You have had one of the credit cards for 5 years and the other card for 3 years. So on average your credit cards are 4 years old, and so your credit score will reflect this 4 year average length. Now if you open a new card, you reduce your average down to about 2.7 years from 4 years. So initially at least this can have the effect of lowering your average length of credit and reduce your credit score accordingly. That is one of the reasons that opening new credit is not a quick fix for bumping your credit score up. However lets take a look at it a year from now. In one year from opening the new credit card your average length would be at 3.6 so if this is part of a longer term strategy then it would probably be a good strategy to follow.
10% of your credit score is attributed to new credit, so once again you can see that opening a new credit account not only lowers your average length of credit, but it also counts against you on a stand alone basis as well. This is also why an inquiry affects your credit score as well. When there are inquiries, it is "assumed" by the system that you are acquiring new credit whether you are or not. For example, if you had your car at the dealership to be fixed and while you were waiting you were taking a look at a new car and ended up making an offer which the dealership knows you will be financing, they will make sure to run your credit (with your permission of course). So even though you end up not buying the new car, the credit inquiry is on your credit report and will slightly lower your credit score. By the way, all inquiries reported in a 30 day period from similar companies will be treated as one credit inquiry. So if you are going to be buying a car or shopping for a mortgage, try to get all of the inquiries put in within 30 days to lessen the effect of multiple inquiries.
The last 10% of your credit score is attributed to the types of credit used, or what we call credit mix. It is good to have both credit cards, car loans, mortgages and installment loans on your credit report. For most people it will take time to accomplish all of these, but beware that someone who always uses high interest rate, high risk lenders will have lower credit scores as well. I cannot mention them by name of course, but it is the lenders who would be considered a finance company, and makes high interest rate and unsecured loans for household goods that will decrease your credit score. Now it is not bad to have an account with this type of company. Many of them work with stores to offer no interest, no payments for 90 days or longer. As long as you are not using them with regularity. Once established you should be able to qualify for reasonable rate credit cards or even an installment loan at a bank or credit union with a competitive rate as well. So bear in mind as you build your credit and credit score that these factors all contribute to your overall score.
A couple of other thoughts for you. Many folks ask me what this or that will do to your credit score and unfortunately no one can tell you exactly as credit scoring is somewhat like Kentucky Fried Chickens secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices. It is a closely guarded, highly sophisticated set of algorithms that combines all the above stated factors and reduces them down to a simple 3 digit number that is supposed to represent your likelihood of paying back the loan or credit card you are applying for. You may want to connect with a lender who can assist with guiding you through the process of improving your credit score. There are also a large number of companies who will, for a price, work on your credit score for you. There are no guarantees with these services and in addition, they are usually fairly expensive and many of them are just plain rip offs, so you would need to approach this avenue with a great deal of caution.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5979575

Monday, April 22, 2013

Reviews!


I contacted Big Valley Mortgage regarding the purchase of a home.  Michael O'Rourke sat down with me and walked me through the whole process from everything that I need in order to start the process to the final closing.  Michael even directed me to one super-lady of a realtor.

Every single step of the process was amazing, Big Valley originally not only got me a low interest rate (locked for 30 years), the week of final review...I got an even lower interest rate-well below the current 'great rates'. The staff behind the scenes were also so easy to work with (Joanne and Marilyn you guys rock).  

Buying a house is a very STRESSFUL experience, however Michael and his team at Big Valley Mortgage made it a breeze.   If you are looking or even considering buying a house and want a great/honest and friendly mortgage company, then look no further than Big Valley Mortgage.

Perry H.
Vacaville, CA

I've know Jim for over 25 years and can speak of the character & professionalism that embodies what he does.  Jim was has always been honest and forthright in his assessment of the most appropriate route to take; whether re-financing, initial loan, bankruptcy or foreclosure.

When you deal with Jim you never feel there's anything it for him because he takes the time to listen and gather the pertinent information so the decision is appropriate...for the client, not for him.  He takes his time through the process and ensures you fully understand the terms.  

I will continue to work with Jim and tell others to at least hear what he has to say before finalizing any deal....you know when you find the "right" mechanic that you can trust when you bring your car in?  Well Jim Fox provides that same feeling when it comes to mortgages.

Nick P.
Providence, RI

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tomorrow Donate any unwanted bicycles, tricycles, scooters, and push-bikes on Saturday, April 20, 2013

VUSD’s Summer Community Feeding Program passes out thousands of free lunches in selected Vacaville neighborhoods during the summer. This year our program hopes to once again promote fitness by providing bicycles to kids in those areas who need one. 

Donate any unwanted bicycles, tricycles,scooters, and push-bikes on Saturday, April 20, 2013. All sizes are accepted, including those with training wheels. We are also looking for cash donations to purchase helmets and bike pumps.

Vacaville Unified is partnering with Vacaville REACH Youth Coalition, California Medical Facility, The Father’s House, Ray’s Cycle, The Mission, NorthBay Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, and the City of Vacaville in this huge endeavor – coordinating donations, then repairing and distributing bikes to kids throughout the summer. We’ll also be putting on a few Bike Rodeos and working on ways to improve bike trail safety.

For more information about donations, contact Judith Franco 707-449-1859
 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Donate any unwanted bicycles, tricycles,scooters, and push-bikes on Saturday, April 20, 2013




VUSD’s Summer Community Feeding Program 
passes out thousands of free lunches in selected
Vacaville neighborhoods during the summer. This year 
our program hopes to once again promote fitness by 
providing bicycles to kids in those areas who need one. 

Donate any unwanted bicycles, tricycles,scooters, and push-bikes
on Saturday, April 20, 2013. All sizes are accepted, including 
those with training wheels. We are also looking for cash donations 
to purchase helmets and bike pumps.

Vacaville Unified is partnering with Vacaville REACH Youth Coalition, 
California Medical Facility, The Father’s House, Ray’s Cycle, The Mission, 
NorthBay Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, and the City of Vacaville in this 
huge endeavor – coordinating donations, then repairing and distributing bikes 
to kids throughout the summer. We’ll also be putting on a few Bike Rodeos
and working on ways to improve bike trail safety.

For more information about donations, contact Judith Franco 707-449-1859

http://vusd-ca.schoolloop.com/file/1224307806751/3827176560318388057.pdf

Friday, April 12, 2013

Are You A Candidate For A Reverse Mortgage?


Reverse mortgages are financial products that have been around for a while, but just recently started taking off with the population of homeowners who are 62 years of age or older. Chances are you have seen several different newspaper advertisements and commercials that discuss how this type of funding could be the right retirement solution for the right individuals. Determine if you or your parents are the right individuals for reverse mortgages and make the right financial move for your situation.
What is a Reverse Mortgage?
A reverse mortgage is one of the many financial products in the mortgage industry, but works in a very unique way. Also referred to as a lifetime mortgage, it is a loan that is available to seniors 62 or older who own their home and want to use a portion of their home equity as collateral. The borrowers can use the funds from the loan as a source of retirement income. Typically, the loan does not have to be repaid until the last survivor on the loan passes away or leaves the property. At that time, the estate or the borrower has 6 months to pay off the balance of the loan due to the lender.
Are You a Good Candidate for a Reverse Mortgage?
Economic uncertainties have affected hundreds of thousands of seniors who were once looking forward to retirement. Many retirees have found that their retirement accounts do not contain all of the money they need to live comfortably and enjoy their current lifestyle. A reverse mortgage is designed for homeowners who cannot enjoy financial freedom with their other retirement accounts. By taking out this loan, borrowers can regain financial freedom and and live their Golden Years like they had always imagined.
Typically, the best candidates are those who are older and have more equity in their home. A 75 year old applicant will receive a higher payout than a 65 year old applicant because the lender must pay for a longer period of time when the borrower is younger. If you are planning on staying in your home throughout your retirement, this may be the right financial option for you. You can use the funds from the loan to finance your active retirement or even to do home repairs that you could not afford to do otherwise.
A reverse mortgage calculator will help you determine how much of a lump sum payment or how much in monthly payments you will receive based on your age and the value of your home. Determine how much you can receive, get the financial freedom you deserve, and decide if this is the is right solution for you or your parents.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7512902

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How Escrow Works For You


Escrow is a way of keeping an amount of money safe while a legal transaction is going on. It's like having someone that both you and the buyer both trust hold on to payment for merchandise or services while the actual changing of hands takes place; in this case, the trustworthy helper is an account held by a broker. Escrow helps reduce the likelihood that either of the parties involved in the transaction will get scammed.
Generally, one of the first things that happens when the sale is in the escrow period is that the house is subject to an inspection. This practice ensures that the buyer is aware of any defects that would change their offering price, the conditions of the contract, or their desire to purchase the property.
In home sales, there are often contingencies, or specific conditions that must be met before the exchange of funds can be released to the seller. It may be the removal of undesirable items from the property, the completion of a satisfactory house inspection, or even a repair. Having the payment held in escrow until all the contingencies are met helps ensure that the transaction is mutually agreeable.
The escrow or title company hold the funds from the sale and the title to the property until such time that the contingencies are deemed to have been successfully dealt with, at which point the parties close the sale. The company then releases the title to the property to the buyer and the funds to the seller. The buyer and seller do not need to attend the closing of the sale together, which is more convenient for both parties.
Escrow is a safe and convenient way to avoid problems with the exchange of property title and funds, making your home purchasing or selling experience smooth and hassle free.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2391956

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Clean out that garage, and give your unwanted bikes a new home!




VUSD’s Summer Community Feeding Program 
passes out thousands of free lunches in selected
Vacaville neighborhoods during the summer. This year 
our program hopes to once again promote fitness by 
providing bicycles to kids in those areas who need one. 

Donate any unwanted bicycles, tricycles,scooters, and push-bikes
on Saturday, April 20, 2013. All sizes are accepted, including 
those with training wheels. We are also looking for cash donations 
to purchase helmets and bike pumps.

Vacaville Unified is partnering with Vacaville REACH Youth Coalition, 
California Medical Facility, The Father’s House, Ray’s Cycle, The Mission, 
NorthBay Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, and the City of Vacaville in this 
huge endeavor – coordinating donations, then repairing and distributing bikes 
to kids throughout the summer. We’ll also be putting on a few Bike Rodeos
and working on ways to improve bike trail safety.

For more information about donations, contact Judith Franco 707-449-1859

http://vusd-ca.schoolloop.com/file/1224307806751/3827176560318388057.pdf

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What is a "rate lock period?" How can you make sure your rate is low?


A rate lock or a rate commitment is a lender's promise to hold a certain interest rate and a certain number of points for you for a specified period of time while your application is processed. This prevents you from going through your whole application process and at the end of it finding out the interest rate has gone up.
A rate lock period can vary in length, and longer ones usually cost more. A lender will agree to "hold" your interest rate and points for a longer period, say 60 days, but in exchange the rate and maybe points are higher than with a shorter rate lock period, for example.

There are many ways besides opting for a shorter rate lock period to get a lower rate, though. A larger down payment will result in a lower interest rate than a smaller one, because you're starting out with more equity. You can pay points to lower your rate over the life of the loan, but that means you pay more up front. For many people, this makes sense and is a good deal.

Closing costs are fees paid by the lender, which the lender in turn charges you to close the loan. Many people pay closing costs when they sign on the dotted line, but a person can also finance their closing costs. Paying closing costs when the loan closes will reduce your interest rate.

Finally, the interest rate a lender is willing to offer you depends on your credit score and your debt-to-income ratio. If you have good credit and your income far exceeds your debt obligations, you will qualify for a lower rate.