Category Archives: Credit Scores

THERE’S NO INVESTMENT LIKE REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS!

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The rules of real estate investing

Investing in real estate, either directly or through funds or real estate investment trusts – or all of the above – can add much-needed diversification to your investment portfolio. However, real estate is a unique investment, so you can’t apply the same rules as you do to investing in stocks or bonds. Here, U.S. News contributors and SMARTER INVESTOR bloggers share their best advice for becoming a successful real estate investor.
Have an exit strategy.
REAL ESTATE STRATEGIES include buying rental properties and becoming a landlord as well as flipping properties, then hopefully earning a substantial profit upon their sale, writes Joel Cone, a business and real estate writer. “Like any investment, real estate investing requires an action plan,” he writes. Some real estate investors have found success with three-year lease options, for example. Think carefully about the characteristics unique to each investment that will make your strategy successful.

Join a local investment club, but don’t attend ‘boot camps.’

Real estate investors often become successful with guidance from other investors. That’s one reason it can be smart for novices to get involved in investment clubs. But be careful not to waste money on unnecessary boot camps or training courses, Cone writes. Browse a local bookstore for information on real estate investing, and avoid getting sucked into expensive seminars and camps.

Figure out what type of real estate investing interests you.

If investing directly in real estate, investors should “choose a specific target market and study it intensely,” Cone writes. “Next, set a goal, form a business plan and establish systems to achieve the desired goal. Lastly, investors should take small, common-sense steps daily toward achieving that goal, such as talking with sellers, owners and local real estate professionals.”

Insulate your portfolio against potential losses.

Investors should set money aside to act as a buffer in case the unexpected occurs. Once an investor has scaled out to a large portfolio of properties, it’s important to have enough CASH ON HAND to rehabilitate 10 to 15 percent of those properties every year. “Be prepared. Plan for the best, but prepare for the worst,” Cone writes. “Insurance is true asset protection. Investors should insure themselves as if the world is coming to destroy them, and insurance is their only defense.”

Investing directly is very different from investing in a REIT.

If you are debating between investing in real estate directly or buying into a REIT or real estate fund, consider the tax consequences. “For many investors, tax deductions and capital gains taxes are integral to their expected return on real estate investments. Those factors are different from those you’d face investing in a real estate ETF,” writes Joanne Cleaver, a U.S. News contributor.

However, funds are a lower-maintenance approach.

Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds can offer a lower-cost way to invest in real estate, writes Barbara Friedberg, portfolio manager and consultant. She points to VANGUARD REIT INDEX ETF as an example of an inexpensive strategy for investing in real estate. “In one fund, the investor accesses a range of property types, including commercial malls, hotels and apartments … If you’re looking for income, REITs are required by law to pay out all earnings,” Friedberg writes.

Your house doesn’t really count.

It’s tempting to look at your own HOME AS AN INVESTMENT. However, property taxes, homeowners association fees, maintenance, insurance and other costs offset appreciation in property values, Cleaver writes. You won’t earn income from your home as you would from other investments. “A real estate investment produces income or appreciates in value after all costs are calculated. Not so with your house,” Cleaver writes.

Look at where millennials are moving.
Millennials are the future of the real estate market, so it may be smart to track where they’re moving and where they’re buying homes. Many members of this generation are renting now, but that doesn’t mean their habits won’t change as they get older. Real estate experts say investors can make money by renting to millennials and then selling to them as they decide to become homeowners, Cone writes. Austin, Texas, Nashville, New Orleans and Denver are just a few of the cities where GENERATION Y IS BUYING HOMES.
Source: CBRealtyCorp

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How To Create A Household Budget!

How To Create A Household Budget!

Step 1: Write down your total take-home monthly income.
This is the easy part! Jot down what you earn. Because many expenses are billed monthly, figuring out how much you have to spend each month is easiest for your plan.

Step 2: Write down your essential expenses. Start with fixed bills like rent, mortgage, car payment, credit card debt and insurance, then factor in other monthly costs that are always the same. These are your essential fixed expenses.

Step 3: List your essential variable expenses.
You know you’ll have these bills, but the amounts vary. Examples are your phones, utilities, food, household expenses, gasoline, medication, public transportation, shoes and clothing. You can assign an estimated amount to each based on past experience, rounding to the closest $10.

Step 4: List reasonable amounts for nonessential expenses.
This includes entertainment, eating out, hobbies and other ways you spend money on a regular basis.

Step 5: Find the extras.
Go to your current method of tracking your spending (your checkbook register, credit card statements, Quicken reports) to see what expenses you’ve left out. You’ll likely see items for car maintenance and repair, gifts, vacations, Christmas and holidays. For items that do not recur monthly, determine the annual cost, then divide by 12 to see how much you should set aside each month to anticipate that irregular expense.

Step 6: Figure out your totals.
Add up your expenses, then subtract that amount from your income. With luck you’ll come out in the black, with at least a little money left over. But if your expenses exceed your income, you’ll see a negative sum. Don’t panic—this is just the start of an ongoing process.

Step 7: See where you can cut .
If you came up short, go back to your projected monthly expenses and see what you can get rid of. Look first to your nonessential expenses. Which items can you remove altogether for a while (eating out seems like a fine target; perhaps hobby expenses too, for a season)? Keep going through the list, making adjustments until your total expenses are less than your income.

Step 8: Follow your spending plan as closely as possible.
Track your spending every day by posting it on a sheet of paper. Take notes and research ways you’ll be able to do even better next month. At month’s end, add up your actual spending and compare it with what you planned. Use this information to create the next month’s spending plan.

Congratulations—you’ve just elevated yourself from being clueless to financially savvy. You should feel very good about this! As difficult as it might be to see in black and white that your income and expenses are not quite in sync, just knowing where you are is going to make all the difference.

Even if you find yourself in a particularly tight financial position right now, take heart. As you pay off debts and find more ways to cut expenses, you’ll begin to sense a significant loosening of financial pressure. Soon you’ll be ready to add new categories to your spending plan for things like saving for a new car, home improvements or going back to college.

The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be on your way to reaching financial freedom.

Source: Woman’s Day Magazineimages

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The Benefits of Credit Repair

The Benefits of Credit Repair

Why should you Consider Credit Repair? Discover the Basic Reasons!

Do you look at your credit report and think about nothing but credit repair? If yes, then perhaps it’s high time to get your credit repair process started. Anyone with poor credit scores will definitely know what a low credit score can cost you. Wonder how severe the consequences are?

Well, high interest rates can seriously damage your finances, period. Imagine the payments you would have to make if your interest rate increases from 5% to 15%. All in all, your poor credit score can make you pay thousands of dollars additionally per year. This is the primary reason why it is critical to look at your credit report and repair your credit score. After all, it will not only lower your interest rate, but will also help you get loans.

Credit Repair – Is it Really Helpful?

When it comes to credit scores, a single mistake can cause you serious trouble. A recent research suggests that almost 79 percent of all Americans have some type of inaccuracy, miscalculations, and negative accounts in their credit reports. A majority of these errors can hurt their credit scores badly. In these situations, credit repair is the ultimate option they can get to bring their finances back on track. The process of credit repairing is used to identify mistakes, correct the relevant information, remove negative reporting and monitor the creditors to ensure that your credit report is as accurate as possible and corrected accordingly.

Better Insurance Policies

The policies most insurance companies offer are based on the clients’ credit reports. For instance, you will not get a reasonably priced insurance policy if your report suggests that you are late with paying other accounts. Thus, credit repair can clean up your credit rating and help you get substantial savings over the duration of your policy.

Better Job Options

Nowadays, many employers check an applicant’s credit history as an essential step of the employment screening process. Wonder why? Well, credit reports usually disclose what resumes may never tell. Employers check credit reports to determine if an applicant has unpaid child or spouse support, has a verdict against him or her, or pays bills promptly. In instances like these, you can get a fresh start by opting for credit repair.

Better Loan or Mortgage Facilities

A low credit score can have a negative impact on your ability to get different loans. You may not get the desired loan amount or may have to make greater interest payments on the lifetime of your loans. If lenders find a poor credit score on your report, they can lower your credit limit, thus making the loan even more expensive for you. If dealerships turn you down for loans or offer very high interest rates, you have to consider going for credit repair. This will increase your chances to get your desired vehicle or own your dream home.

Since credit scores and credit reports can affect you and your loved ones in a number of ways, it is important to keep your credit score in superb condition. Credit repair doesn’t only benefit individuals with a low credit score, but can do wonders for people with average credit by getting negative items off of the reports, disputing late payment information and correcting any inaccuracies on your report.

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Single-Family Starts Save the Day

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Housing starts rose 0.9% in August pushed by a solid 7% increase in single-family starts and tempered by an 11% fall in multifamily starts. The single-family increase was broad; all four census regions showed increases ranging from 17.5% in the West to 2.3% in the South. Monthly multifamily starts have saw-toothed up and down for several months with four up months and four down months in 2013.

Housing permits demonstrated the same signal with single-family permits up 3% nationally and up or unchanged in every region. August single-family permits at 627,000 are the highest since May 2008. Similar to starts, multifamily permits were down 15.7% to an annual level of 291,000. The three month moving average, a more stable measure of multifamily, has remained above 300,000 since the middle of last year.

The solid single-family report provides additional evidence of the slow but steady improvement in single-family owner-occupied construction that begin in earnest in early 2012. The seasonally-adjusted construction rate increased 36% since January 2012. Even with the steady rise, single-family starts remain at less than half a normal rate of 1.4 to 1.5 million per year. The broad increase across four regions in permits and starts is a solid signal that builders do see continued improvement. NAHB is forecasting a 17% increase in single-family construction in 2013 over 2012 and a more robust 31% increase in 2014.

Source:  Eye On Housing

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The Striegel Team Pinterest Boards

The Striegel Team Pinterest Boards

Join Us On Pinterest & Lets Follow Each Other Along For Inspiration, Advice & More!

 

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FHA For First Time Home Buyers

FHA For First Time Home Buyers.

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10 mistakes when pricing your home for sale

1.  Picking the wrong asking price for your home can cost you a lot of money. Here are nine don’ts when coming up with your number:

2.  Don’t compare apples to avocados. Your neighbor’s home sold recently, but it has a three-car garage, a pool, brand-new appliances, and a cracked foundation. Your house doesn’t have any of these things, so it probably isn’t worth the same amount.

3.  Don’t go way back in time. Real estate prices can move up or down quickly. Old sales have little bearing on the amount you should ask for your home today.

4.  Don’t look far away. You know that location matters. A recent sale of a property just like yours doesn’t mean much if the home is across town. Sometimes property values can even vary from one block to the next.

5.  Don’t put a price on your memories. No buyer will pay more because the house was in your family for three generations.

6.  Don’t start high to allow room for negotiations. Most home seekers ignore overpriced homes. They don’t want to deal with unreasonable sellers. Plus, buyers wonder what’s wrong with a house that sits unsold. You may eventually have to Kramerr the price below what would have attracted an offer if you had started out with a reasonable number.

7.  Don’t take the tax man’s word on it. Yes, valuations from your county appraisal district are supposed to reflect the real market vale of properties. That doesn’t mean they do.

8.  Don’t think that anyone cares about your needs. You may want to net a certain amount from the sale of your home to buy another property or pay down debt; unfortunately, that doesn’t matter to buyers.

9.  Don’t add in the exact cost of your upgrades. Sure, a remodeled kitchen boosts your home’s value, but how much? It could be more than you paid or less.

10.  Don’t rely on unreliable sources. You can find websites that tell you how much your home is worth. Look closely at what they say about their accuracy, though. Depending on the source and the market, as many as half of those estimates are off by at least 20%.

So how should you arrive at an asking price? I think your best bet is to hire a Texas REALTOR®.  www.JimStriegel.com He or she can show you the data that matter in your market right now and what details of your property affect your asking price. Once you and your REALTOR® sift through all the pertinent information, you can come up with a pricing strategy for a successful sale.

Source:

Marty Kramer | Consumer columnist www.TexasRealEstate.com

Apr. 18, 2013

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