Ten Tips to Improve Your Credit Score


Ten Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

 If you are going to be buying a house at some point, having a good credit score is critical. The sooner you start looking at your financial situation the better.  All too often I have buyers contact me that they are “ready to buy” only to find out that their credit score is no where near ready.

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If you are even thinking a buying a home in the near future, I suggest that you talk to a REALTOR® and a mortgage officer to best determine what you should do to prepare for buying a home.

Here are ten tips to help improve your credit score:

  1. Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.
  2. Don’t close unused credit cards as a strategy for raising your credit score.
  3. If you are trying to build credit, don’t open lots of new account too rapidly.
  4. Pay off debt rather than moving it around.
  5. Try to keep balances low on credit cards revolving credit.
  6. Pay your bills on time! Payment history contributes 35% of your credit score.
  7. Reduce your debt load. Come up with a plan to chip away at debt.
  8. Dispute errors. An error on your report can cost you valuable points.
  9. If you have missed payments, get current and stay current!
  10. Check your credit report regularly.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About Real Estate – December, 2016 VS. YTD


What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About Real Estate – December 2016 vs YTD

 The real estate market in Maryland, particularly Frederick County, Maryland has continued its upward climb throughout 2016 ending the year with some pretty solid increases.

Real Estate Market Trend is Strong
Real Estate Market Trend is Strong

Sales of homes in Frederick County Maryland increased by 10.6% in 2016.  This represents an increase of 392 more homes sold this year.  In addition, the average price of homes in Frederick County increased by 1.4% with the median price increasing 2.5%.

One of the numbers that REALTORS® watch closely is the Months of Inventory.  The Months of Inventory is how long it would take to sell all the current homes on the market at the current rate of sales.  If there are six months or more of inventory it is considered a buyers’ market; three to six months is considered a neutral market; and less than three months is considered a sellers’ market.

Frederick County ended 2016 with 2.8 months of inventory indicating that the year ended in a sellers’ market.  This was basically caused by 263 fewer homes on the market than last year.

If you are thinking of buying or selling in 2017, I encourage you to talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make informed decisions.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About Credit Scores


What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About Credit Scores

 Unless you are paying cash for a house, you will need to have a loan or mortgage, to buy the house.  Having a good credit rating will make that task a lot easier.

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First, let me start by saying that I am not a mortgage broker, however, many of the questions I get from real estate clients involve mortgages.  If you are working with a REALTOR® they should be able to refer you to a mortgage person who can answer any questions and to get the ball rolling for an approval.

Nevertheless, there are many things we can talk about to help buyers, especially first time home buyers with questions they may have.  It is important to understand that the news indicates that you must have 20% down to buy a house – not true.  FHA requires as little as 3.5% and the USDA has programs in specific areas that will require 0% down!  There are far too many programs to discuss here.  That is where a mortgage officer can help, but there is some basic information that can help a home buyer understand the approval process.

Recently I talked to a potential client who was aggressively paying down his credit card debt, which is not a bad thing.  However, the client was under the impression that he had to have all his credit cards paid off before he could apply for a mortgage – again, not true.  It is important to pay down debt to a level that helps your credit score, but it is also important to have cash on hand when buying a house.  That is where a mortgage person can help.

Here is some basic information to help you understand how your FICA score is computed.  Probably the most important factor is your payment history.  Your payment history is the best predictor of future behavior and therefore one of the most important factors in a credit score.  Your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score.

Another important factor is the amount you owe, and it’s not just how much you owe, but how much you owe compared to the amount of credit you have available.  If a person is maxed out on their available line of credit they are more likely to be over extended and miss future payments.  This accounts for 30% of your credit score.

These two factors account for 65% of your credit score.  New credit and length of credit also count for your credit scores.  Talking to a mortgage officer can help you to determine where you stand and what you need to do to improve your score to enable you to buy a house.

If you are thinking of buying or selling talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland