Maintaining Your Seattle Real Estate Home Investment

Home ownership is an important investment that can create both a sense of pride and a place in The World That Is All Your Own.

seattle home inspectionWhile the investment in purchasing or building your own home is sizeable, letting your home fall into disrepair can be even more costly. However, home maintenance doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following a few simple steps and making maintenance a regular activity, you’ll not only preserve the quality of your home, but you’ll likely save money over the long term.

Keep A Regular Maintenance Schedule

Whether you’ve just moved in or have lived in your home for decades, it’s important to establish a regular routine to maintain your home. Some tasks should be checked off the list regularly, while others are more seasonal. [Read more…]



Five Steps To Help Improve Financial – And Physical – Health

Plans To Improve Health And Finances Are Among Tthe Most Common Resolutions Americans Make Each Year.

seattle home inspectionBoth are worthy goals, but did you know that improving your financial health may boost your physical health as well?

“Money problems are a well-known cause of stress, and the negative impact that stress has on one’s physical health is well-documented,” notes Lule Demmissie, managing director of investment products and retirement at TD Ameritrade. “It makes sense that relieving stress through better financial planning, among other remedies, can help contribute to better physical health.”

In fact, TD Ameritrade’s Retirement Survey indicates that taking care of at least one important financial task – retirement planning – may help alleviate stress, both today and in the future. Women who started saving for retirement before their 30th birthday and contributed regularly to retirement savings reported feeling less anxious, frustrated or regretful, and more positive and satisfied about retirement compared to those women who waited to begin saving for retirement or who didn’t regularly contribute to their retirement savings. [Read more…]



Cypress Siding Provides A Natural Choice For Today’s Seattle Real Estate Homes

Seattle Home Inspection Across the country, cypress siding is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners who are looking to add value, durability, and a lifetime of good looks to their homes.

Even as new high-tech siding materials flood the market, Chuck Harris of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association, www.cypressinfo.org, says homeowners continue to treasure the inherent beauty of nature’s purest building material, genuine wood.

“When homeowners are first acquainted with cypress siding, they are immediately impressed with its rich grain and texture,” he explains. “They like it even better when they learn that, unlike pressure-treated wood or composite materials, cypress is innately durable thanks to a preservative oil that nature itself puts into the wood.”

Architect Frank Harmon of Raleigh, N.C., agrees and says cypress possesses many qualities he prefers in a material that will be exposed to the elements. “Cypress weathers well, resists decay, and is friendly to the touch,” he notes. “Used in siding applications, cypress will easily last 100 years with proper care and maintenance.” [Read more…]



Preparing Your Credit Profile For The Spring Real Estate Season

Seattle home inspectionWhen You Are Out Shoveling Snow And Scraping Ice Off The Car’s Windshield, Winter Can Seem Like An Eternity.

 Yet when it comes to your credit profile, house-hunting and the spring real estate season is just around the corner.

“Warm weather will bring an increase in homes on the market and buyers shopping, so it pays to take steps to make sure your credit profile is in the best shape possible if you’ll be looking for a house come spring,” says Barrett Burns, president and CEO of credit score model developer VantageScore Solutions. “Real estate experts are already predicting that this spring will be an important season for the industry, with mortgage rates still low and prices creeping back up. In addition to other criteria such as down payments and income, a good credit score can make a big difference when it comes to getting a mortgage at favorable rates.”

VantageScore Solutions recommends home buyers start now to prep their credit profiles before the spring real estate season arrives in March and April.

Here are some tips and tidbits to keep in mind as you’re working toward qualifying for a mortgage loan:

* It Is Essential To Know What’s On Your Credit Report Before It Will Be Viewed By Potential Lenders. Make sure your credit report is up-to-date and accurately reflects your credit behavior. You can obtain your report at AnnualCreditReport.com, the only official site where you can obtain your report every 12 months for free from each of the three major credit reporting companies (CRCs), which are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. And you can access your credit score through all three CRCs from the same website for a small fee.

* Creditors Are Interested In Seeing How You Manage Credit, And The Consistency Of Behavior Counts. In addition to paying your bills on time every month, avoid applying for any new credit between now and the time you will apply for a mortgage. Almost every credit score “inquiry” from a lender is recorded with one or more of the three national CRCs. This can result in a decrease to your VantageScore credit score by 10 to 20 points.

* Keep In Mind That Some Lenders Will Pull A Credit Score At The Time You Apply For The Loan, Then Again Just Before The Loan Closes. You want to avoid credit score reductions during that time frame, which can occur if you take on unnecessary credit. Also be sure all payments on existing debt are made on time during this timeframe.

* Shop Around For Mortgage Options Before You Actually Apply. Understand lenders’ qualifying criteria so you know where you may need to improve. Once you’ve done your research, go ahead and apply to multiple lenders all at once. Multiple applications at the same time will register on your credit report as a single inquiry – as long as they’re all within 14 days of each other – and will have minimal impact on your score.

* Different Lenders Use Different Scoring Models And Different Models Can Have Different Score Ranges. For example, the VantageScore model’s range is 501 to 990. You may or may not be able to find out from your potential lender which model they use. What’s important is where you fall in the model’s score range, which tells you how your score compares to others.

Finally, Burns says, don’t worry too much over small fluctuations in your score. “It’s possible for your score to be 772 on Thursday and 765 on Friday,” he says. “It may be back up to 770 the next week. The changes are likely due to updates to your credit files and expiring data. Remember that consistent, responsible behavior is more important than small ups and downs in your credit score.”- –

For more information and tips on how to get your credit ready for spring real estate season, visit www.VantageScore.com or test your knowledge about credit scores at www.CreditScoreQuiz.org, which was created by VantageScore Solutions along with its partner, Consumer Federation of America. Both websites are completely free and neither display any advertising nor collect any personal data. Both the online quiz and a corresponding brochure are available in Spanish at www.creditscorequiz.org/Espanol.

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