Five Factors That Determine Your Credit Score

 |  Financial, Purchasing a Home

The following is reprinted with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Credit scores range between 200 and 800, with scores above 620 considered desirable for obtaining a mortgage. The following factors affect your score:

  1. Your payment history. Did you pay your credit card obligations on time? If they were late, then how late? Bankruptcy filing, liens, and collection activity also impact your history.
  2. How much you owe. If you owe a great deal of money on numerous accounts, it can indicate ...
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Five Tips For First Time Home Buyers

 |  Financial, Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals

It is a great time to purchase a first home home!  If you are considering buying a new home, use this short checklist for your reference to make sure you end up with the property that you really want.

  1. Find the right agent who’s willing to help you through the home buying process ~ no matter how long this process takes.
  2. Ask your lender a variety of questions so you don’t end up missing out on the best deal.
  3. Carpe Diem – When you make your decision to buy a home do not delay before someone else buys the house.
  4. Make sur...
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Understand Agency Relationships

 |  Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals, Selling a Home

The following is reprinted with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

It’s important to understand what legal responsibilities your real estate salesperson has to you and to other parties in the transaction. Ask what type of agency relationship your agent has with you:

Seller’s representative (also known as a listing agent or seller’s agent)

A seller’s agent is hired by and represents the seller. All fiduciary duties are owed to the seller. The agency relationship usually is created by a listing contract.

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Preparing Your Home for the Spring Market

 |  Home Maintenance, Real Estate News, Selling a Home
 Below are five steps that you can take before putting your home on the market.

 

  • Have a pre-sale home inspection.   Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before open houses begin.

 

  • Organize and clean. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other ki...
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Why You Should Work With a REALTOR®

 |  Purchasing a Home, Real Estate News, Resources to Hire Professionals, Selling a Home

Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®.   The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.   Here are five reasons why it pays to work with a REALTOR®.

1.  You’ll have an expert to guide you through the process.   Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements.   A knowle...

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Holiday Safety Tips

 |  Home Maintenance, Safety

The holidays are an exciting time of year for both children and adults.   It is also a time to be aware of general safety in your home.   The following tips are published with permission from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP, 2011).

Whatever your heritage and traditions, have a very happy and safe holiday season!

Trees

  1. When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness.  A fresh tree is green, needles are hard to pull from branches and w...
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What You Can Do to Improve Your Credit

 |  Financial, Purchasing a Home

 

What You Can Do to Improve Your Credit 

Credit scores, along with your overall income and debt, are big factors in determining whether you’ll qualify for a loan and what your loan terms will be.  So keep your credit score high by doing the following:

  • Check for and correct any errors in your credit report.  Mistakes happen, and you could be paying for someone else’s poor financial management.
  • Pay down credit card bills.  If possible, pay off the entire balance every month.  Transfe...
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Halloween Safety Tips

 |  Community Events, Safety

 

The following safety tips are provided by the St. Louis Park Police Department.

 

Halloween Safety Tips

1)   Be sure that children are accompanied by a TRUSTED ADULT when “trick or treating.” Have older kids go out with friends in groups (safety in numbers)

2)   Accompany children to every door they approach and make sure you are familiar with the homes you are going to.

3)   Teach children to N...

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Fall Ladder Safety

 |  Home Maintenance, Safety

Fall is on the way.  In fact, it’s less than two weeks away, so get out while you can and enjoy these warmer temperatures!  As you prepare your home for the upcoming winter months, you may find yourself on a ladder cleaning gutters, looking at your roof, or attending to windows.    Every year there are over 164,000 emergency room visits in the US relating to ladders (Ross, 2011).  There are over 300 ladder related fatalities every year (American Ladder Institute, 2011).  Do not take shortcuts.   Below are a few tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (2011) to h...

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Why Hire a Certified Water Damage Cleanup Specialist?

 |  Resources to Hire Professionals

The following submission was created by Mike Collins at ICC Restoration & Cleaning Services, a resource listed for you in our business directory.

Water damage is a leading cause of property damage.  Between 2007 and 2009, water caused approximately $9.1 billion in annual homeowner policy property losses.   In fact, according to the American Insurance Association, water damage claims are the leading claim of homeowners insurance (www.leakdefensesystem.com/Water...

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