Why Do You Need to Start the Spring Buying Process Now?

Most people who are interested in buying wait until the spring to do so. If you're one of those people who plan on buying in the next six months, now is the time to start getting your ducks in a row.

Over the years, we've seen people do absolutely nothing between now and the springtime. When the weather starts to improve, these people are completely unprepared to begin their home search!

Right now, time is your ally. Use this time to figure out your budget, find out how much money you are going to use for the down payment, and know what your credit score is! If your score is pretty low, there are things you can do to improve it between now and the spring. Knowing what hurts your credit and when credit companies record their reports can help you do all the right things to improve your score. In just about 60 days, you can see a drastic change in your credit score.

If you want to keep your credit score in good shape, you need to avoid exceeding 30% of your max limit on your credit card. If you have a credit limit of $1,000, you need to keep your debt at $300 or under. If it's above that, your credit is going to get dinged.

Your credit score is what lenders use to determine your risk. A lot of the credit programs are risk based, so the better the credit score, the better the interest rate, and the better the interest rate, the lower the monthly payment. A great credit score can have a huge impact on your monthly mortgage payments.

If you're planning on buying in the next six months, get all your ducks in a row! Find your 14 tax returns, look at what's in your bank account, and start budgeting. These are the things a lender is going to need to determine your viability for getting a home loan.

Give us a call or shoot us an email if you would like real estate or lending assistance of any kind. We're always here to help you!

Tips for Holiday Decorating on a Budget

The holidays are approaching. Today, we thought we'd do something a little different and share this festive video on holiday decorating tips from HGTV. Designer Angelo Surmelis shares several great ideas to spread holiday cheer throughout the home. Here are some of our favorites.

  1. Pay attention to the mantle. If you don't have some already, buy some kind of garland to drape over the mantle. Next, use leftover ornaments and candles to add light and texture. When choosing ornaments and candles, ensure they are in the same color-palette. This helps make your mantle a great focal point!
  2. Use smaller Christmas trees. Every house has their main Christmas tree. In addition, you can also purchase smaller, inexpensive, eco-friendly trees to place throughout the home. Decorate these trees with strips of fabric from a T-shirt in holiday colors to save money for the main tree.
  3. Use what you have. Be resourceful. Adding a plate charge and place mat to your everyday dining set adds some jazz to your table. Fresh-cut flowers and candles will help finish the look. You don't need grand, expensive candles -- a little candlelight goes a long way!

As you can see, it doesn't take much to make your home feel more festive. If you have any questions, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!