Monthly Archives: February 2013

Amazing Toll Brothers Home For Sale In Flower Mound, Texas!


Amazing Toll Brothers Home For Sale In Flower Mound, Texas!


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Neighborhood
Market Stats

$474,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
3 Bedrooms
4 Bathrooms
1 Unit
Interior: 4,304 sqft
Lot: 0.49 acre(s)
Location
5317 Townsend Drive
Flower Mound, TX 75028
USA
To get updates on open home dates and other property events, please click the “Like” button below:


Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

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Filed under Before Buying a House, Credit Cards, Dallas Real Estate, Dallas Texas REALTOR, Flower Mound, Gardening, Grapevine, Grapevine Texas REALTOR, Highland Village, Home Decor, Home Decor On A Budget, Home Improvments, Interest Rates, Lakeside DFW, Open House, Real Estate, Rentals, Texas, Texas Homes For Sale, Texas Real Estate, Uncategorized

Credit Card Tricks!

card-up-sleeve

Credit limit tricks: Keep a high score while still using your card
Forget the old 30% rule; just know when your credit ‘snapshot’ is taken
By Dana Dratch

Here’s an axiom familiar to borrowers: Using too much of your available credit hurts your credit score. A personal finance rule of thumb that goes with it says that for a good credit score, keep your “credit utilization ratio” — what you use versus how much you have to use — below 30 percent. The rule applies to each card individually, and to the cumulative limits of all your cards.

So if you have a card line with a $10,000 limit, for the best credit score, don’t carry a balance higher than $3,000. Simple, right?

Sorry, but no. Your credit limit has fewer hard-and-fast rules than personal finance bromides would have you think. Knowing its tricks can get you a better credit score and keep money in your pocket.

Forget the old 30% idea
Start by throwing out the old notion about 30 percent usage being OK. FICO, the company that originated credit scoring and is still the largest provider of such scores, has long advised score-conscious consumers to be far more stingy about credit use. The company had told people to keep it to 10 percent or less, says Anthony Sprauve, spokesman for myFico.com, FICO’s consumer website.

More recently, the company’s stance has softened he says. Its studies indicate that there is only a minimal score difference between consumers who limit their usage to less than 20 percent and those who keep it to less than 10 percent, he says.

That can be good news for consumers who want to actually use lower-limit credit cards for more than token purchases.

According to FICO surveys, credit scoring “high achievers — those with a score north of 750 — they’re using an average of 7 percent of their available credit,” Sprauve says. “I think 20 percent, for a lot of people, is more realistic. I would rather talk about that as a realistic goal that they can attain, rather than something that might feel like a stretch and out of reach.”

And remember that credit scoring formulas are closer to a sliding scale than a cliff. You don’t go from a great score at 20 percent credit utilization to a lousy one at 21 percent. “There’s no hard-and-fast guideline,” Sprauve says. “But I think that if people stay somewhere between 10 and 20 percent range, that’s a good place to be.”

It’s still true that you shouldn’t go rack up debt on any one card. The FICO scoring system looks at “the total available credit and the total balance used,” says Sprauve. “But it also does look at individual lines of credit. So it factors in both.”

FICO, VantageScore differences
FICO’s chief alternative, the VantageScore, is a bit more lenient in how it views utilization ratios. FICO counts credit usage as 30 percent of its overall score. In the VantageScore universe, the ratio makes up about 23 percent of the score, says Sarah Davies, senior vice president of research and analytics for VantageScore Solutions.

To keep it strong, aim for using less than half of your available credit lines, says Davies.

“If you keep your balance below 50 percent, your score is not negatively affected,” she says. And keeping it “below 30 percent” is smart, she adds. And, as with the FICO models, the lower your utilization (above 0), the more benefit your score can see, she says. Also, as with FICO, how much a change in the utilization rate affects the score will vary by person, depending on their individual credit history.

There’s no hard-and-fast guideline. But I think that if people stay somewhere between 10 percent and 20 percent range, that’s a good place to be.
— Anthony Sprauve
MyFICO.com
If you like VantageScore’s attitude toward credit usage better, that’s nice, but you don’t get to pick which score lenders use. VantageScore is used by less than 10 percent of the lending market, says Craig Focardi, research director for the TowerGroup.

Maximizing your credit score
Want to keep that score as high as possible while still using your cards? Here are four ways:

1. Use a card that doesn’t report utilization ratios. Some true charge cards (cards where the full balance is due every month) don’t report card balances to the credit bureaus. The best way to find out if yours does: Call the card issuer, says Sprauve. And if your card doesn’t report monthly card charges, you don’t have to worry that using more of your credit line will affect your score, he says.

2. Time your payment. You can appear to be carrying a balance, even if you’re not. That’s because card issuers report your balance owed to the credit bureaus on the same day every month, says Norm Magnuson, vice president of public affairs for the Consumer Data Industry Association, a trade association for credit reporting companies. That day probably isn’t your payment due date.

Think of it as a monthly snapshot of your credit use. You want to look as pretty as possible to the credit bureaus on that day. If you’re carrying a $2,000 balance on the 10th of the month, when the snapshot is taken, it doesn’t matter if you pay it off on the due date on the 15th. The report to the credit bureau will say you were using a chunk of your credit, and that may blemish your score.

The solution: Find out what that day is, and pay any portion over your target usage amount before then. Phone the issuer and ask, “When do you send down that accounts receivable tape to the credit bureau?” says Magnuson. “I don’t see why they’d have a problem with answering that. It’s a straightforward question.”

3. Pay your bill several times a month. Want to make certain you’re always under your usage goal while still getting the most out of your cards? Try making payments weekly or twice a month. That will always suppress your balance, no matter when the credit bureau snapshot is taken.

But be careful: If you pay before the statement date, it could be counted as part of a different billing cycle, says Paul Westen, president and CEO of TCM Bank, the card issuer for many community and independent banks. You could still have a bill due in a few weeks, he says.

The smart move: Call first and find out how the billing department handles multiple monthly payments, along with what information you need to include when you pay.

4. Request a credit line increase. If you use a set amount every month and want that amount to equal 10 or 20 percent of your credit line, one way to make the math work is to increase the credit line, says Westen. “Creditors no longer give automatic credit line increases,” he says. Instead, the onus is on the consumer to ask for more credit.

Utilization ratios aside, if you’re paying that balance on time and in full “every month for a period of time, most issuers will have you at the most attractive rate,” says Westen. If they don’t, then switch cards, he advises.

Read more: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-limit-utilization-ratio-use-charge-1267.php#ixzz2Lkzv8d6F
Compare credit cards here – CreditCards.com

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Beautiful Flower Mound Home For Sale with Land, Pool & More!


Over 1.5 Acres Of Prime Flower Mound, Texas Land & Home!


Overview
Maps
Photos
Description
Market Stats

$629,900
Single Family Home
Main Features
4 Bedrooms
3 Bathrooms
1 Unit
Interior: 3,910 sqft
Lot: 1.64 acre(s)
Location
8804 Baltusrol Drive
Flower Mound, TX 75022
USA
To get updates on open home dates and other property events, please click the “Like” button below:


Jim Striegel

Jim Striegel

(972) 899.0634
JStriegel@Realtor.com
http://www.JimStriegel.com

   

Listed by: Jim Striegel Team, Real Estate Connections

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Water Heating Savings!

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Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home.
It typically accounts for about 16% of your utility bill. There are four ways to cut your water heating bills: use less hot water, turn down the thermostat on your water heater, insulate your water heater, or buy a new, more efficient water heater.

A family of four, each showering for 5 minutes a day, uses 700 gallons of water a week; this is enough for a 3-year supply of drinking water for one person. You can cut that amount in half simply by using low flow aerating shower heads and faucets.

Water Heating Tips

* Install aerating, low-flow faucets and shower heads.

* Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period of time.

* Lower the thermostat on your water heater; water heaters sometimes come from the factory with high temperature settings, but a setting of 120°F provides comfortable hot water for most uses. And, today’s Texas Standards of Practice states that water heated over 120°F is a SAFETY HAZARD

* Take more showers than baths. Bathing uses the most hot water in the average household. You use 15-25 gallons of hot water for a bath, but less than 10 gallons during a 5-minute shower.

* Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank, but be careful not to cover the thermostat. Follow themanufacturer’s recommendations.

* Insulate your natural gas or oil hot water storage tank, but be careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations; when in doubt, get professional help.

* Insulate the first 6 feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.

* If you are in the market for a new dishwasher or clothes washer, consider buying an efficient, water-saving model to reduce hot water use. (Or air dry or hand dry dishes)

* Install heat traps on the hot and cold pipes at the water heater to prevent heat loss. Some new water heaters have built-in heat traps.

* Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. The type of water tank you have determines the steps to take, so follow the manufacturer’s advice.

Long-Term Savings Tips

* Buy a new energy-efficient water heater. While it may cost more initially than a standard water heater, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance. If your current water heater is electric, consider switching to a natural gas water heater if gas is available.

* Consider installing a drain water waste heat recovery system. A recent DOE study showed energy savings of 25% to about 30% for water heating using such a system.

* Consider demand or tankless water heaters. Researchers have found savings can be as much as 34% compared with a standard electric storage tank water heater.

If you heat water with electricity, have high electric rates, and have an unshaded, south-facing location (such as a roof) on your property, consider installing a solar water heater. The solar units are environmentally friendly and can now be installed on your roof to blend with the architecture of your house. More than 1.5 million homes and businesses in the United States have invested in solar water heating systems, and surveys indicate over 94% of these customers consider the systems a good investment. Solar water heating systems are also good for the environment. Solar water heaters avoid the harmful greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity production. During a 20- year period, one solar water heater can avoid over 50 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. When shopping for a solar water heater, look for systems certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation.

Source: ShelmanHomeInspection.com

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Sizzling Dallas Home Market!

DallasMarket

The real estate market hasn’t looked this healthy for a few years now. The strong real estate market is likely most evident in the many new homes springing up in the area. Homes are selling faster then they hit the market and buyers are everywhere!

With interest rates hovering at all time lows, more people moving to the DFW area and the healthy job market in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are of course driving factors why the area is doing so well.

Here are the top 3 reasons why we can expect to see the real estate market continue its rebound in 2013:

Rising rents – Rents are rising everywhere, which are encouraging developers to get off the sidelines and begin constructing homes and apartment buildings. Rising rents mean a stronger demand, which is always good news for builders. In addition, many of those renters, facing higher rents, have made the move to homeownership, thereby spurring growth for single-family homes. Many Dallas residents, once they consider they can secure a mortgage that is the same – or even lower- than their rent, have begun making the move to homeownership.

Optimistic Job Market – The job market has strengthened significantly since last year, leading many Dallas-Fort Worth residents to either get better jobs or get more secure jobs. The more secure individuals feel in their career, the more likely they are to consider purchasing a home. A better job market also encourages relocation, which is always a great sign for new home builders.

Better Lending – In addition to the rock bottom interest rates still being enjoyed by home buyers across the country, lenders have finally begun easing up on their standards, which means more Dallas-Fort residents are eligible for home loans. Although lenders are still requiring strong credit scores and income to back up a loan, they are easing their standards somewhat regarding down payments and debt-to-loan ratios, thereby allowing many renters to become home buyers.

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Largest Bump in Home Prices Since 2006

Largest-Bump-in-Home-Prices-Since-2006-350x247

Largest Bump in Home Prices Since 2006

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year-over-year by 8.3 percent in December, the largest bump in home prices since 2006 and the 10th consecutive monthly increase in home prices nationally, according to analysts at CoreLogic.

Looking month-over-month, including distressed sales, home prices increased by 0.4 percent in December 2012 compared to November 2012, according to the December CoreLogic Home Price Index report released Tuesday.

Home prices in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex have followed a similar track. The National Association of Realtors on Monday will release its fourth quarter metro area home prices report, which will provide specifics for the DFW market.

“Demand for housing will remain strong through 2013,” writes Robbie Briggs, CEO and president of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, in the latest edition of his quarterly “Robbie Report.” “The supply of homes is tight in Dallas, which should signal good price appreciation.”

Indeed, the CoreLogic analysts say home prices should continue to climb in 2013.

“We are heading into 2013 with home prices on the rebound,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “The upward trend in home prices in 2012 was broad based with 46 of 50 states registering gains for the year. All signals point to a continued improvement in the fundamentals underpinning the U.S. housing market recovery.”

The analysis is based on MLS (Multiple Listing Service) data.

Source: Update Dallas

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Public meeeting scheduled for February 6th, at 5:30 on Surrey Lane!

801-Surrey660

A meeting will be held just north of the home at 801 Surrey Lane to discuss the transition area between Lakeside DFW and the Estates of Flower Mound and Woodlake Estates, as well as zoning changes proposed for 801 Surrey.

The Feb. 6 public meeting will be to discuss transition areas between Lakeside DFW and the neighborhood to the north, including 801 Surrey Lane (see yellow box above).

Flower Mound residents interested in the area between Lakeside DFW and the Estates of Flower Mound are invited to a public meeting at Lakewood park at 5:30 pm on February 6th.

Officials of Realty Capital will share plans to improve Town property between the park and Lakeside DFW. Plans to rezone of the property at 801 Surrey Lane will also be discussed.

The meeting will take place just north of 801 Surrey Lane.

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Source: DFW Lakeside

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