Patricia White's Blog
It’s a good financial practice to check your credit report and score periodically. You want to be sure that no one has stolen your identity and that all the information on the report is correct. It may sound simple to check your credit, but there are so many sources that you can get it from and so many options that it can be a dizzying process. Read on to learn more about the basics of checking your credit and credit score.
Your Credit Score Comes From Different Sources
You can check your credit score from one source and find that the score varies from place to place. Why? There are a few different scoring models that are used to calculate scores. There could be as much as a 50 point difference between sites. There are also three credit reporting agencies. Each one uses a different method to calculate credit scores. Each method provides lenders with different information to allow them a picture of what type of borrower you will be.
Checking Your Score
Many different apps allow you to check your credit score. These enable users not only to see their scores but to see what can be done to improve the user’s credit report and score. You can’t see your credit report on these apps, but you can always head to annualcreditreport.com to check the full scope of your report. This is the only official site to pull your credit report fro the credit bureaus. Finding the right app to check your credit score is simple, it only takes a few minutes to sign up.
How Are Credit Scores Calculated?
Your credit score is calculated using a few different factors. Each credit bureau uses the formula a bit differently. Scores range from 300- 850. It’s pretty rare to see perfect credit at 850. Anything over 700 is considered “good” or excellent” credit. You need at least a score of 600 to obtain loans in most cases. The higher your score, the better the interest rate will be.
When Is The Best Time To Check The Score?
Before you apply for any large loan, it’s a good idea to check your credit rating. Taking a peek will allow you to see where you stand. You don’t want to apply for a loan and end up being surprised by problems with your credit. Many apps allow you to check your score on a monthly basis. It’s easy to stay on top of your credit score and especially important to know where you stand when you buy a home.
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If you’re a homeowner considering selling your home as an investment property, timing is important. From a financial perspective, just as you probably bought strategically, you want to sell strategically too. The trick is knowing when the right time arrives. Here are four common metrics people use to determine when it's time to sell their property.
Amount of Equity in the House
A primary factor to look at is how much equity is in the home. Ideally, to sell a home as an investment, the seller can make a tidy sum. If mortgage payments are still owed, this may negate any potential profit made, but not necessarily. If you're looking to broaden your investment portfolio, be certain you can sell your house for enough money to pay off your debt with a sufficient amount left over to re-invest. If you don’t have enough equity to do this, you’re better holding off.
Market Conditions Are Good
Many owners who bought low and can sell high find this to be a strong motivator to put their property on the market. Since market conditions eventually shift to a buyer’s market, it’s a smart strategy to sell when the housing market favors the seller. Owners who have held their property for a long time or purchased as the housing bubble burst between 2007-2012, are likely going to make a better profit than investors who purchased when prices were at their peak.
Tax Code Advantages
Buyers are often motivated to sell if there are tax code advantages. For instance, the IRS currently offers a tax-deferred advantage to investors looking to sell one property to buy another. Under tax IRC Section 1031, sellers are required to find another property to purchase within 45 days and then buy it within 135 (180 days total).
By selling and making a similar real estate investment, investors can defer paying their federal and state capital gain taxes. It’s a good strategy to use if you want to leverage real estate and broaden your portfolio.
Taxes Are Going Up
If local taxes are going up, often buyers find this to be an incentive to sell. For instance, if a town severely limits commercial activity, the tax burden falls to homeowners. Over time, the tax bill may become too exorbitant. If you own enough equity in your property and the housing market is in your favor, high taxes might be your tipping point.
Searching for the ideal home is an exciting adventure, but it can also be fraught with setbacks, delays, and disappointments. With a little preparation, however, you can avoid many of the potential pitfalls that could happen along the way.
One of the secrets of successful house hunters is to adopt a positive attitude, but temper it with a dose of realism.
Flexibility is also important, but it pays to be steadfast about your absolute requirements, also known as your "must have" list.
To help ensure a successful house hunting experience, here are a few of the key attitudes and qualities that are worth taking inventory of and cultivating.
Persistence: Although it does happen, it's unlikely that the house of your dreams is going to show up at the beginning of your search. As seasoned house hunters know, it's not unusual to have to look at dozens of houses for sale before finding just the right one. But even when you've reached that turning point, there still may be obstacles, hurdles, and challenges to deal with. The perfect example is a bidding war. What if you're all ready to make an offer on the ideal house, but it turns out that one or more other buyers have their sights set on that same house? That can not only be stressful, but it can stretch your housing budget to its outer limits (and beyond)! On one hand, you have to be willing to walk away from a property that would leave you "house poor", but on the other hand, you may want to consider pursuing a real estate deal that's on the high end of your budget, but financially doable. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent who's a skilled negotiator can help give you an edge when you're confronted with a so-called "bidding war."
Optimism: If you view house hunting as a process which will eventually produce your desired outcome, then you'll be a lot more motivated to go the distance, rather than lower your standards or give up entirely. A positive attitude will help you overcome setbacks, identify workable solutions, and recognize opportunities when they present themselves.
Organization: Whether you prefer the idiom "The devil is in the details" or "God is in the details," the lesson is still the same: Small details can have a big impact. Staying goal-oriented and organized can help propel you forward and avoid frustrations. Knowing your credit score, establishing a realistic housing budget, and scheduling meetings with mortgage lenders will help you stay on course, be prepared, and steer clear of unnecessary delays. It also helps to take notes, create lists, and follow a daily or weekly action plan.
Buying a house is an important priority which can affect the quality of your life in many ways. By staying organized, focused, and positive about your search, your chances of success will be enhanced many times over.