Friday, June 17, 2011

The Top 10 Steps To Home Ownership

Here are "The Top 10 Steps To Home Ownership.  It is really not such a complicated process on the surface.  There are lots of details that need to be looked after but be assured I will guide you through the process.  There are lots of properties to choose from.  The new home builders are the most aggressive at this time as they have inventory to sell but the home owners who have their homes on the market are anxious to sell as well.  There is also mortgage money available and it is cumulatively priced with programs for most applicants.   

1. Are You Ready? In addition to a down payment, you also need cash for closing costs.  Find out how much you have and how much you will need.  Several Loan programs help with these costs.  You may also be able to make this a negotiating point in the offer you put on a property.

2. Hire A REALTOR:  Be sure you’re working with a true professional.  Make sure your agent is a REALTOR. 

3. Get A Loan Pre-Approval: The real issue with real estate financing is not getting a loan, but to get the loan that’s right for you.  Meet with lenders to find out how much you can afford and find out which programs are available.

4. Look At Homes:  Before you look, list the features and benefits you want in a home.  Consider pricing, location, size, layout and extras.  Decide what’s most important and how much you’re willing to compromise.

5. Choose A Home: Review your notes to narrow down the choices.  When you find the home of your dreams, your REALTOR can help you be sure it is a good fit for you and your family. 

6. Get Funding:  The mortgage you choose will be determined by how much down payment you can afford, your credit rating, and your income.  Shop around with mortgage brokers, banks, credit unions, and insurance companies to find the financing that works for you.

7. Make An Offer: An offer is more than the price you’re willing to pay.  It also includes the terms and timeline of the agreement. Sellers may accept the offer, reject it or make a counter.

8. Get Insurance:  Shop around for title insurance, homeowner’s insurance, flood insurance, and a home warranty.  Ask your REALTOR which of these are required for your new home.

9. Closing: This is the official meeting where the transaction happens.  A closing attorney will make sure all of the required paperwork is complete. Then it’s official.  You get your new keys and the seller is paid for the home.

10. What’s Next:  While you’re moving in, transferring utilities to your name, and checking out the neighborhood, be sure to enjoy your new home!

Visit my website on your desk/laptop or on your mobile devise and see if you see anything of interest.  If you prefer call and I will ask a few questions to determine what is important to you and do the searching for you.  Love to hear from you.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Happy Father's Day Dad!

Happy Father's Day Dad!  My Dad was a Bartender at night and the locals loved him!  I remember coming home from the Army and the locals requested him to sing "Strangers In The Night".  I wish I could here him sing today!  Love & Miss You Dad!  Love, Tickey

Monday, June 13, 2011

What's In Your Credit Score

What’s in your FICO® Score?

The following is an explanation of what makes up your credit score. This information was taken from These are the facts about credit scores and will give you the information you need to understand how the FICO Score is calculated. In the process of shopping for a home it is important that you determine your credit score as this will determine what type of mortgage that will be available to you.

Future blog articles will cover different types of home loan programs. You will probably be surprised what is possible. FICO Scores are calculated from a lot of different credit data in your credit report. This data can be grouped into five categories as outlined below. The percentages in the chart reflect how important each of the categories is in determining your FICO score.

These percentages are based on the importance of the five categories for the general population. For particular groups - for example, people who have not been using credit long - the importance of these categories may be somewhat different.

• Account payment information on specific types of accounts (credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts, mortgage, etc.)
• Presence of adverse public records (bankruptcy, judgments, suits, liens, wage attachments, etc.), collection items, and/or delinquency (past due items)
• Severity of delinquency (how long past due)
• Amount past due on delinquent accounts or collection items
• Time since past due items, adverse public records, or collection items.
• Number of past due items on file
• Number of accounts paid as agreed

• Amount owing on accounts
• Amount owing on specific types of accounts
• Lack of a specific type of balance, in some cases
• Number of accounts with balances
• Proportion of credit lines used (proportion of balances to total credit limits on certain types of revolving accounts)
• Proportion of installment loan amounts still owing (proportion of balance to original loan amount on certain types of installment loans)

• Time since accounts opened
• Time since accounts opened, by specific type of account
• Time since account activity

• Number of recently opened accounts, and proportion of accounts that are recently opened, by type of account
• Number of recent credit inquiries
• Time since recent account opening(s), by type of account
• Time since credit inquiry(s)
• Re-establishment of positive credit history following past payment problems

• Number of (presence, prevalence, and recent information on) various types of accounts (credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, mortgage, consumer finance accounts, etc.)


• A FICO score takes into consideration all these categories, not just one or two: No one piece of information or factor alone will determine your score.

• The importance of any factor depends on the overall information in your credit report: For some people, a given factor may be more important than for someone else with a different credit history. In addition, as the information in your credit report changes, so does the importance of any factor in determining your FICO score. Thus, it's impossible to say exactly how important any single factor is in determining your score - even the levels of importance shown here are for the general population, and will be different for different credit profiles. What's important is the mix of information, which varies from person to person, and for any one person over time.

• Your FICO score only looks at information in your credit report: However, lenders look at many things when making a credit decision including your income, how long you have worked at your present job and the kind of credit you are requesting.

• Your score considers both positive and negative information in your credit report: Late payments will lower your score, but establishing or re-establishing a good track record of making payments on time will raise your FICO credit score

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My Grandson: First Torrington Titans Baseball Game

Torrington's four year old Patrick Hinman eyes home plate as he races down the third baseline to beat the team's mascotts in an around the bases race between innings during the home opener of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League Torrington Titans at Fuessenich Park in Torrington Friday night. An estimated crowd of over 450 attendees came to cheer on the home opener of the Titans who lost to the Nashua Silver Kinghts 10-1. Michael Kabelka / Republican-American

Friday, June 10, 2011

"The Five Most Common Mistakes Homeowners Should Avoid"

I recently read an article titled “The Five Most Common Mistakes Homeowners Should Avoid” when selling their home.  I am not so sure they were the most common and I am sure there are many more than five things to remember.  Also I know that every sale is different and requires and open mind and a good listener.  In my thirty plus years in the wholesale boat business I learned and lived by those principles. With that warning, here are the five most common mistakes. (Article Source:
  • Selecting the wrong agent.
    Locate an agent who is familiar with the area in which the property is located and demonstrates that he or she has a level of experience and expertise with which you feel comfortable.
  • Only considering home sales in the area where the seller's home is located.
    Although it is necessary to consider what homes in the area have sold for recently but people should be sure not to exclude homes in other areas that are on the market. Sellers need to look at their homes constructively and ask themselves how they compare to others for sale in the same neighborhood and city.
  • Ignoring the power of the Internet.
    The world is on the Internet these days, and information about home listings should be there, too. It is common for people to begin their search for a new home online. Sellers who want to make a good impression with potential buyers and increase their opportunities of luring potential buyers to physically look at their homes should make sure their listings are packed with photos. Its cliché, but a picture really does paint a thousand words. Photos can tell a story and provide more information at times than a written description. Post photos of the home's interior and exterior. Does the home feature incredible landscaping? Show that off. Is the family room particularly large and inviting? People will want to see that.
  • Skimping on marketing.
    To get a home sold fast, it is important that a marketing plan be created. These days, it's increasingly easier to market homes because there are so many social media outlets at the disposal of not only real estate agents, but homeowners as well. A seller should ask his/her Realtor what specific marketing tools will be used to list their home. Real estate marketing sites abound. A growing number of agents market their listings on social media sites including Twitter, Facebook and even LinkedIn. Sellers also can use their own social media networks to spread the word that their home is for sale. Word of mouth is a powerful tool.
  • Following potential buyers around when showing your home.
    It's like being swooped down on as soon as you drive onto a car lot- people don't like to feel crowded, pressured or spied on by the homeowner when they look at a home. Some of the rental properties experts recommend that they not to be home while their home is being shown to a potential buyer. Buyers tend to feel uneasy about thoroughly inspecting a home when the owners are there.
Remember when you hire a Realtor you are hiring someone that will help sell your property.  The Realtor is your new assistant who will advise and keep you informed of all matters related to the sale of your home and will ask for and listen to your ideas and advice.  I learned many years ago when Bobbi (Wife), who knew nothing about my business, made suggestions that seemed to me  a waste of time but ended up working better than the way I had be doing things for years.  In fact it changed me for the better, forever. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lexington County Homeownership Assistance Program and Housing Rehabilitation Program

The below information came across my desk this past week and decided to pass on the information.  Contacted the department directly and they still have funds available.

The Lexington County Community Development Department is accepting applications for its Homeownership Assistance Program and Housing Rehabilitation Programs.

  • The Homeownership Assistance Program allows eligible first-time homebuyers to obtain $5,000 in grant assistance for down payments and/or closing costs.

  • The HOME Rehabilitation Program allows eligible homeowners to obtain up to $20,000 in assistance for comprehensive repairs.

  • The Minor Home Repair Program allows eligible homeowners to obtain up to $7,500 in assistance for eligible minor repairs.

  • All programs are funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For an application or additional information contact: Lexington County Community Development Department, (803) 785-8121, or

Good luck and if our office can assist in any way please call at 803-553-3740 or email

Saturday, June 4, 2011

10 Curb Appeal Ideas to Attract Homebuyers

The first thing homebuyers will look at when they arrive at your home is your front yard. The color of your home, the landscaping, walkways, and if the home is attractive from the outside, will be all that is on their minds. Regardless of the fact that you just put new appliances in the kitchen, or you have gorgeous hardwood floors, if the curb appeal is not attractive, many homeowners will never make it inside your home.  Ensure that your home is appealing from the curb, with these 10 ideas to attract your future homebuyers.

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1.)   Color of your exterior home: Before you start on the yard, start on your physical exterior of your home. Look at neighboring homes, and drive through the neighborhood to get the general aesthetic, and color palette of other homes. While your house doesn’t have to be the same color, it should be within the same historic or aesthetic color palette as neighboring homes. Consider repainting your home, or pressure washing siding or brick.

2.) Accentuate the accents of your home: Whether you have shutters that adorn the sides of your exterior windows, or columns that greet potential homebuyers on the front porch, ensure they are all immaculate in restoration, upkeep and they are in good condition. Ensure that low planters, brick walls, fences, exterior lighting, and garage entryways are free of debris and all damaged areas have been repaired.

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3.) Interior finishes don’t hinder the outside appeal: For many homeowners the thought of standing outside their home and looking back at the house isn’t considered. Interior finishes such as window treatments; window hanging decorations, and window obstructions, such as furniture in front of windows can be seen from the curb. Ensure furniture, window treatments, and other interior elements cannot be seen from the street, or they are in complimenting colors to the outside of the home.

4.) Walkway and entry areas: The next area homebuyers will look at are the entryways to get into your home. Consider the driveway, sidewalk, stairs, and stepping stone pathways around your home and clear these of weeds, debris, and pressure wash concrete, brick, and pavers to give a clean appeal to your stepping areas. If preventable, try not to park cars in the driveway, especially if they leek oil and leave unsightly stains on the concrete.

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5.) Bring in unsightly items: Curb appeal is also associated with how your family lives on a day-to-day basis while your home is up for sale. Ensure toys, garbage cans, yard debris filled trash bags, and garden tools are picked up immediately after using them. Items left out for days on end, gives your home an unkept look, and forms opinions in homebuyers minds about the upkeep of your home.

6.) Manicured grounds are ideal: Take a look at your lawn area and determine the condition of the grass and surrounding plant beds. While a newly cut and trimmed lawn is ideal, so is healthy landscaping. If you have dead spots, weeds, and unsightly poor areas of your lawn, consider hiring a lawn service or landscaping professional to get your lawn looking ideal as possible.

7.) Year-round beauty is essential: Homebuyers purchase homes year-round, which means your foliage and grounds shouldn’t have an excuse to not look attractive. From colorful foliage in the warmer months, to well manicured structure and form of trees and evergreen plants in the colder months. Shake off the excuse that the season has to dictate how well you keep up your curb appeal!

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8.) Replace welcoming elements: Believe it or not, elements such as the mailbox, house numbers and door hardware can make a big impression on homebuyers. If you’ve lived in your home for a while, consider buying new elements and replace the old ones. These small elements can send a welcoming impression and are relatively inexpensive to replace.

9.) Spruce up outdoor furniture: Whether you have garden furniture on your front porch, or you have outdoor lounging furniture on your back patio, spruce up their appearance with fresh cushions, throw pillows, and newly painted or pressure washed surfaces. Similarly, to the furniture inside your home, leisure areas are always appealing to homebuyers.

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10.) Add instant color: If you want to bring instant color to your curb appeal, consider planters with seasonal plants at your front door, positioned throughout your yard, and at the sides of your garage entry. Potted plants will add instant color to the overall appearance of your home, and will make homebuyers happy to come see more inside.

Curb appeal of your home doesn’t have to be difficult; in fact many homeowners feel sprucing up the exterior is easier than the interior! Use these 10 tips to welcome homebuyers and make them want to venture to the inside of your home. Many a Realtor has mentioned that homebuyers make up their mind about your home within15 seconds of seeing your home. Make them want to spend countless minutes in your home with appealing curb appeal.

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