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How to Build a Great Credit Score

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Are you looking to purchase a home or get a personal loan?  Having a good credit score gives you many more options!  Some people haven't had a chance to build their own credit as of yet, while others may have had a financial setback that threw their credit backyards.  If you are in either of these categories, don't fret!  We've got the tips to help you build your credit to where it needs to be!

If you’ve never had any credit to your name, here’s what you need to focus on:

  1. Apply for a secured credit card.  This is to help you establish credit, without putting down a deposit.  This won’t be used for the long-term, just to get you started. 
  2. Apply for a credit builder loan- This is exactly what it sounds like.  A way to build your credit with a manageable loan amount.
  3. Do you have someone who could co-sign a loan?  If so, you can opt for this option to build credit, but normally at a lower interest rate.
  4. Make sure the rent you pay is being reported to the credit bureaus. RentalKharma and RentTrack are just a couple of platforms who will do this.

If your credit has taken a hit in recent months or years, working to rebuild it is critical.  Building good credit takes at least 6 months of an on-time payment history. Building good credit habits will help you get back on track.

  1. Make 100% of your payments on time.  This includes; rent, credit cards, utilities, school loans and medical bills.
  2. Keep your credit utilization low.  Meaning not more than 30% of the credit offered should be used.
  3. Keep your accounts open for as long as possible. Unless one of your unused accounts has an annual, all accounts should be kept open and active to count toward your length of credit, payment history and utilization.
  4. Make sure not to open too many accounts as this will initially lower your credit score and shorten the average time open of all accounts.
  5. Check your credit reports frequently for errors and your credit score on a monthly basis to see your progress.  Websites like www.creditkarma.com and www.nerdwallet.com, offer free credit score checking without causing a ‘hard hit’ to your credit.

Do you have more questions about the mortgage loan process or home buying?  Visit our website or contact the Jane Fischer team directly.

 

For more helpful information for home buying, check out website and facebook page regularly.

What are Home Sellers really looking for in a Real Estate Agent?

by Jane Fischer and Associates

With such a strong real estate market, many individuals are considering selling their North Iowa home this year.  With this in mind, we wanted to review what potential home sellers are really looking for in the real estate agent they partner with to get their home SOLD!

First, it's important to know that homeowners, on average, are staying in their homes much longer than before.  According to a NAR study, homeowners are averaging 6-7 years in their homes before selling.  Today's real estate market is definitely changing that for some homeowners as they see the great potential of selling their home now.  

Home Sellers in the past have typically asked for a referral from a friend on whom they should hire to sell their home, but today home sellers are savvier and realize what they want in an agent. Here's what was found:

 

  • Sellers rank the following as 'most important' in partnering with a Real Estate professional to sell their home:
  • Make recommendations on getting the home to sell quicker and for top dollar
  • Communicate with them on a continual basis
  • Strongly market the home to potential buyers using both digital and other marketing.
  • Sell their home in a specific timeframe.
  • Negotiate the strongest offer and terms of sale

 

98% of home sellers worked with an agent to sell their home instead of trying to sell on their own.

If you're considering a home sale for your Mason City or Clear Lake home, contact Jane Fischer and Associates today.

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What's your mortgage rate? Not knowing could cost you thousands of dollars!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

What is your mortgage rate?  It may seem like a simple question, but often times individuals cannot readily give an answer!  Almost 3 out of every 10 mortgage holders don't know this answer, and that could spell trouble for you!

Interest Rates are continuing to climb, so lock in now!

Do you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)? If so, you need to contact your lender immediately and lock in your interest rates.

Interest rates will continue to rise, so this could be your last chance to lock in a low rate for years to come. The average 30-year fixed rate is now 4.70%, up from 4.13% one year ago. This is a $119 increase monthly from the 4.13% rate and a $1,428 increase annually!

Have you been considering a refinance?

Did you know that when you refinance you actually pay-off your initial mortgage and get a new one?  That means you are starting from the beginning and can get a new rate and new terms.  You can also get a 'cash-out' refinance where you are getting cash for equity in your home or you could pay money in and get a lower mortgage.  Here are some examples of individuals who opt for the 'refinancing option:  They currently have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), the current interest rate is higher than the standard 30, 15 or 10-year rate.  Should you refinance?  Here are things you need to consider;  how much do you owe? What is the appraised value of your home? Do you have a good credit score?  Debt to income ratio at this time?  

Who takes the cash-out option in refinancing?  Most people opting for the cash-out option are using it for the following;  pay-off high-interest credit cards, higher rate consumer debt overall, sending a child to college and get a new mortgage with a lower interest rate.

What costs would you incur if you were to refinance your North Iowa home?  It's important to note that refinancing fees vary by state and lender, so it's important to work with a mortgage lender directly in determining your actual costs.  For example purposes, here are possible items that would incur costs with a home refinance:

 

  • Application Fee
  • Loan Origination Fee
  • Points on the Loan
  • Appraisal Fee
  • Title/Insurance Search
  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Home Inspection
  • Surveys
  • Attorney costs
Some of the time these fees can be rolled into your new mortgage. So check with your agent on what would apply to you and if it can be rolled into your new mortgage.

Have more questions on home buying or refinancing?  Contact us at 641-424-4663 today.

 

It's the Clear Lake Bicycle, Blues and BBQ Festival!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

Are you ready?  It's time for the great Clear Lake Bicycle, Blues and BBQ festival!

Date:  July 6-8, 2018

Where:  City Park, Downtown Clear Lake and other locations throughout the area.

Time:  Starts 5:00 pm Friday night

The proceeds from this event support improving a healthy lifestyle through bike related activities that include;  creating and improving bike trails, bicycle safety training and cycling events and activities.

There will be superb food, fantastic blues music, and a USCF sanctioned road race on Sunday!  You won't want to miss this wonderful summer event.

Click here for the schedule of events:  Events

The great blues sounds will come from the following groups:  Brother Sun Sister Moon, Left Wing Bourbon, Brandon Santini, and Jimmy Nick.

July 7th will be the terrific Brews on the Beach on the shores of Clear Lake!  Space is limited so get your tickets now

 


Make it a great holiday weekend with these fantastic local events!  See you there!

Keep your Pets stress-free during 4th of July Celebrations!

by Jane Fischer and Associates

The 4th of July celebrations are upon us!  While this is a day to celebrate our nation's independence with BBQ, picnics, parties, and fireworks, our pets often endure quite a bit of stress while it's all going on.  Animals, in general, have a 120-decibel pain threshold, but fireworks are extremely painful as they come in at a 170-decibel range;  way beyond what our pets can handle. 

Keep your pets pain and stress-free with these tips:

1. DO NOT TAKE YOUR PETS TO FIREWORKS DISPLAYS!

2. Utilize an interior room to keep them while the loud noises are happening.

3. Switch on a TV or radio to distract them from the noises outside.

4. Whichever room you choose to house your pets during this time, make sure they do not have an escape route.  Many pet control and humane society's experience a high number of animals during this time.

5. If at all possible have one family member stay home with your pets.

6. Provide them with their favorite toys, bed, and blankets during this time.

7.  If you've hosted the annual celebrations, make sure to clean up all debris before allowing your pet to roam your yard,  This debris can be poisonous to them if they begin to chew.

Wishing you, your family and pets a happy and safe Independence Day!

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

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Jane Fischer
Real Estate Consultants
641-424-HOME (4663)

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