What Should My Credit Be?
A person's credit score represents how likely a person will pay off a loan and, therefore, how likely it is that the bank will give that person a loan. This is huge in the homebuying process! It determines whether or not you are a risk and if you will actually qualify to buy that house or if you will have to continue to rent.
In the credit world, you want a high credit score. The higher the number, the more certain it is that you will be able to pay off a loan. Mortgage loans are based on risk-based pricing. This means the lower the number, the higher the risk and therefore the higher your payment will be. When considering your credit, your payment history, what you owe, how long of a credit history you have, the types of credit you have and if you have any new credit is considered. Your payment history and amounts owed are the most critical when you are being considered for a loan.
When considering what is important when buying a home you should make sure you are applying for a mortgage that makes sense to you and that you have a credit around 600 or higher. If you are not at that number, consider paying off anything you owe, don't miss a payment and getting how many forms of credit you have to a manageable number. Once you get this under control, applying for a home loan will be much more in your favor.
How is Your PMI Affected by Credit?
If you put less than 20% down, you are required to pay a Private Mortgage Insurance. This is a security in case you default the loan. How good your credit is will affect how much that payment is. So, save money in the long run, by getting your credit score up!
How Does Credit Affect Interest?
Not only does a good credit score give you a better chance at getting a loan for a home, but it helps get you a better interest as well. Lucky for you, this means you can afford a bigger home! The perfect scenario to qualify for a loan is putting 20% down, having extra savings in case of an emergency and making at least three times your mortgage payment.
In the article below posted by RISMedia in e-News, what changes to expect going from a renter to a homeowner are discussed. Major things to keep in mind is that extra finances can occur and it is best to be prepared. So, inspect the home before you close, stay on top of maintenance and save money for furnishing your home and for taxes. This will make buying a home more fun and less stressfull.
Call me if I can help with any questions to see if you qualify for a home purchase
Making the Jump: Transitioning from a Tenant to a Homeowner
By Megan Belnap
RISMEDIA, Wednesday, January 25, 2017— Becoming a homeowner for the first time is an exciting and stressful process. However, once the papers are signed and the keys are in your pocket, your work really begins. Homeownership can be fraught with financial and emotional perils, especially if you've been renting from a landlord up until now. Landlords are on the hook for not only minor repairs, but also major upgrades, yard work, taxes and fees associated with building ownership, as well as normal upkeep such as painting and cleaning carpets.
Before You Buy
The best way to make a smooth transition to your new home starts before you buy. A proper inspection can alert you to problems that already exist with the property. New homes shouldn't have many issues, but it's always wise to get an inspection anyway to ensure that everything has been installed properly. After inspection, you want to work on your budget. You should build home maintenance and upkeep into your monthly budget.
A basic rule of thumb for your maintenance budget is to put aside 1 percent of your home's purchase price per year. This means if your home costs $300,000, then you should put aside about $250 a month for major home repairs. Of course, new homes shouldn't need immediate major repairs, but by saving this money from the get-go, you'll never have nasty surprises when an appliance breaks down, or when you need a new roof in 10 years.
Tips to Maintain Your Home
Once you're in your home you'll want to stay on top of maintenance. This doesn't just mean yard work, gardening, snow removal and window cleaning, although all those things are important. You'll want to do an annual survey of your major appliances. This should include things you don't usually see or think of, such as your water heater, furnace or boiler, and air conditioner.
You should know what these things look like when they're performing properly, and you should have the name of a trusted HVAC professional, plumber and electrician just in case you should ever need them. You should also keep a close eye on your roof and any plumbing pipes that are visible, as these can often be some of the most expensive repairs. Catching a problem early is always ideal.
Another difference between renting and owning is your financial state. The first year you own a home your taxes will be much different, so even if you do file your taxes yourself, this year might be the year to turn to a tax professional.
You'll also have to have money to spend to fill up your new home! Chances are you have a lot more square footage to work with now, and you may need additional furniture or even appliances if your new home didn't come with them. Start reading reviews and comparison-shopping early on for things like washers, dryers and lawn mowers if you can. Buying a lawn mower in May is far more expensive than buying one in January. While it might seem silly, the last year models are usually very similar when it comes to appliances, so figure out when the new versions are released. Floor models (appliances that have been out for people to look at) are also a great choice, as they haven't actually been used.
The best part of owning your own home is that it is all yours. You can paint, arrange and decorate to your heart's content. However, the worst part of owning your own home is that it's all yours, and if there's three feet of snow to be shoveled, water pouring out of the toilet or a dryer that just won't dry, these are all problems you'll have to figure out how to fix—with a little help from the pros, of course.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. You can connect with her on Facebook here and Twitter here.
This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.
As tax season is fast approaching, it is a good idea to take a look at where you can find tax deductions to help make writing that check a little easier. Renters are pretty much out of luck, but if you are a homeowner, there are plenty of tax breaks you should be taking advantage of. In 2012, on average, homeowners saved $1,900 on taxes.Below are a list of the top tax deductions for homeowners.
Almost all of the mortgage interest on your primary and even secondary home can be written off. Limits include your marital status, the maximum loan and income. You can deduct all of your interest on a maximum mortgage debt of $1 million. This $1 million can't be paid in cash or used later for an equity loan. As for income, if you earn more than $109,000, you do not qualify for a tax deduction.
Points are considered as prepaid interest or a fee that is charged by your mortgage lender. A point is equal to 1% of the principal loan amount and can be fully deducted in association with your first home. For second homes and refinancing, deductions in association with points have to be spread out with the duration of the home.
Interest on Home Improvements:
If you are looking to make improvements to your home and need to take out a loan, the interest on up to $100,000 spent on those improvements can be considered towards a tax break. Limits to this tax deduction is that the improvements must be considered capital improvement. They can't just be maintenance or small repairs. Improvements that would qualify include a new heating/cooling system, new roof, adding a garage or improving landscaping with a fence or swimming pool. Things such as repainting, repairing the roof or fixing leaks would not qualify.
Equity Home Interest:
The interest on your home equity loan can be deducted if it is less than $100,000 jointly or less than the fair market value of the home.
City or state property taxes are almost always fully deductible.
Home Office Deduction:
If you work at home, certain costs associated with that business can be deducted.
Residential Energy Efficient Tax Credit:
Any updates made to your home to increase its energy efficiency can be reimbursed for up to $500.
Renewable Energy Tax Credit:
If you updated your home with equipment to help power your home with the sun and wind, you may be eligible for a tax credit on up to 30% of those costs.
Costs associated with selling your home may be eligible to get a tax break. Some of these costs include real estate broker's commission, legal fees, advertising, title insurance, administrative costs, escrow fees and inspection.
Buying a Home:
First time home buyers are eligible to take out up to $10,000 from their IRA without any penalty. A family member can also take out up to $10,000 from their IRA without a penalty and that $20,000 can be used towards the purchase of a home within 120 days of the withdrawal.
Income and Interest on Reverse Mortgages:
A reverse mortgage is not income, but a loan advance. The amount you receive is not deductible, but the interest on the loan once it is fully paid off qualifies for a deduction.
Capital Gains Exclusion:
When you sale your home as a married couple, you are eligible to keep up to $500,000 of the profit tax free. If you are single or file separately, you can keep up to $250,000 tax free.
You are eligible for a deduction if you move because of a new job. There are certain requirements, however, such as how far the new job is from your previous home and what the deductions can be used for.
For more information, visit:
NOLO Tax Deductions for Homeowners
10 Homeowner Tax Breaks You Should Be Taking Advantage Of
As your realtor, you have access to more websites that help guide your search based on specific criteria:
Public Sites to help your home search:
Whether selling, buying, relocating or investing, I am here to be your support and advocate. If you or someone you know is looking for a realtor, know that I am here to provide the best service and support possible.
To my Clients,
I am an experienced real estate professional, serving Boulder and Broomfield County in addition to Denver metropolitan area.
My extensive knowledge of the market, coupled with my commitment to provide extraordinary service, has resulted in hundreds of successful transactions over the last eleven years. For clients looking to sell properties, I deliver fast and profitable results. I am highly attentive with active and consistent communication. I negotiate collaboratively, but aggressively to represent the best interest of my clients.
Choosing the right Real Estate professional is a big life decision. It’s important to select a partner who provides all of the critical support you’ll need to successfully complete your real estate transaction.
Please contact me with any questions. I am available 7 days a week. Together, I look forward to working with you to sell your property.
With Downtown Boulder's growth and popularity has come plenty of great restaurants to enjoy specialty cocktails, great food and even better laughs with the Boulder community. From the East End to the West End of Pearl on the blocks of Pearl Street and Walnut Street, enjoy authentic, local restaurants offering a wide variety of food. In Boulder, we believe in healthy, organic food that caters to any food restriction and with a quality that can't be found anywhere else. So grab some friends or co-workers and sample these great restaurants during Happy Hour. Below are a list of Happy Hour hot spots just for you!
Enjoy Latin American food such as a ceviche bar and other food from the Carribean, South and Central America.
This new restaurant is serving up ancient food traditions with a modern twist and some great drink specials as well.
Boulder Chop House
If you're hungry, the Boulder Chop House offers specials on full sized prime ribs and burgers during happy hour!
Brasserie Ten Ten
Enjoy the taste of France with French food traditions at Brasserie Ten Ten.
Centro Mexican Kitchen
This restuarant has a great vibe, delicious cocktails and a great patio for the summer!
New to the West End of Pearl, this restuarant promotes a community vibe with natural ingredients, a whiskey bar and live music.
Hapa Sushi Grill and Sake Bar
Looking for fresh fish with amazing deals? Hapa won't disappoint on taste, creativity and affordable prices. So go hungry and leave happy at Hapa.
Jax Fish House
A Boulder favorite, Jax has oysters galor and other great happy hour selections for the fish lover in you.
This fun, community seating restaurant offers a seasonal menu that will always keep you interested and coming back.
Calling all Tapa lovers! The Med not only offers a swanky vibe with colorful pictures and tiles straight from the Mediterranean, but also great food that you can't find anywhere else.
The casual pizza place has upscale, homemade pizza and a great drink selection to go with. Plus, have a little entertainment while watching the chefs make your pizza in the big stone oven visible to their guests.
Who doesn't love tacos and margaritas? Drop into T/ACO on the West End for some great food and great vibes!
For a full list of Happy Hour Menus and Restaurants in Boulder, visit Downtown Boulder
Getting ready to sell your home? Maybe you are just want to keep your home in line with the current trends. Whatever your motive, making small home improvements can make a huge difference.
The article "30 Tips for Increasing Your Home's Value" on the DIY Network lays out quick fixes ranging from under $100 to $5,000+ that will get your home ready to show and resale at its maximum profit.
Read below or visit 30 Tips for Increasing Your Home's Value
30 Tips for Increasing Your Home's Value
Learn ways to add value to your home no matter what your budget.
PinterestFacebookTwitterEmailNeutral-color paint is inexpensive and adds style.
HOME IMPROVEMENTHome Improvements: Under $100Tip 1: Spend an hour with a pro.
Invite a realtor or interior designer over to check out your home. Many realtors will do this as a courtesy, but you will probably have to pay a consultation fee to a designer. Check with several designers in your area; a standard hourly fee is normally less than $100, and in an hour they can give you lots of ideas for needed improvements. Even small suggested improvements, such as paint colors or furniture placement, can go a long way toward improving the look and feel of your home.
Tip 2: Inspect it.
Not every home improvement is cosmetic. Deteriorating roofs, termite infestation or outdated electrical systems — you can't fix it if you don't know it's broken. Hire an inspector to check out the areas of your home that you don't normally see. They may discover hidden problems that could negatively impact your home's value. Small problems (such as a hidden water leak) can become big, expensive problems quickly; the longer you put off repairs, the more expensive those repairs will be.
Tip 3: Paint, paint, paint.
One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint! Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated — and that spells value. When selecting paint colors, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, painter's tape, drop cloths and brushes. So buy a few gallons and get busy!
Tip 4: Find inspiration.
An alternative to hiring a designer is to search for remodeling and decorating inspiration in design-oriented magazines, books, TV shows and websites. Simply tear out or print off the ideas you want to try and start your to-do list. Keep it simple — when remodeling on a tight budget, do-it-yourself projects are best.
Tip 5: Cut energy costs.
The amount of money you spend each month on energy costs may seem like a fixed amount, but many local utility companies provide free energy audits of their customers' homes. They can show you how to maximize the energy efficiency of your home. An energy-efficient home will save you money now, which can be applied to other updates, and is a more valuable and marketable asset in the long run.
Visti 30 Tips for Increasing Your Home's Value for the full article
What You'll Need:
A Pry Bar
A Tape Measure
Variable Speed Drill
Pneumatic Flooring Packaging
Modular Porch System Kit
Vapor Barrier Paper
Choose the type of hardwood you are interesting and the specific width that you like. Hardwood floors can be prefinished so that you don't have to do the sanding, thin laminated, thick planks or strips.
In order to get the correct amount of hardwood, you need to measure the room. Make sure you multiply the width by length measurement and allow for 10-15% extra hardwood in case of any mistakes. This way you are sure to have extra wood and won't have to find some that may not match later.
Give your wood time to adjust to your home. Wood can expand in different climates, so stack wood in the room you are going to install it in for a few days in order to get it acclimated.
Check your sub-floor and make sure you have at least 3/4" plywood. If you do not, you may need to add another layer of plywood. Repair any squeaks in your floor by running a long screw through the sub-floor and into to the joist. Also remove any shoe molding and make sure the room is swept and clean before proceeding.
Overlap and staple sheets of Vapor Barrier Paper by 4". Asphalt-saturated #15 felt (tar paper) has been recommended. Red rosin can be used as a slip sheet between plywood and hardwood in order to eliminate squeaks if moisture is not a problem.
Installing hardwood perpendicular to floor joists will create most stability. Installing parallel, however, can be easier and more attractive. If installing perpendicular, mark where the floor joists are on the baseboard. Remove shoe molding and make a chalk line 3/8"-1/2" out to account for any expansion in the wood. Solid wood needs a larger gap along the perimeter when installing. If installing parallel, begin at the longest most unobstructed wall and lay in a straight line.
Lay out your wood! Make sure to mix wood from different bundles to avoid a color change and to arrange based on grain, aesthetics and varying board lengths. Board tongues should be facing the center of the room. Use drill pilot holes on the exterior boards to avoid the wood from splitting. Make a hole every 10-12 inches, then make sure the nails go into the sub floor and joists. On exterior nails, it is important to face-nail each board rather than use the pneumatic nail. The nail set will help make sure the nail is hidden into the wood.
Your power pneumatic nail gun will help install the rest of the boards and a mallet can be used if boards need some help fitting together. Take your time to avoid any gaps or misalignment. This will make it much less frustrating at the end if the floor is off trying to figure out where it went wrong. Also come back later to make exact cuts on excess wood.
Touch up your work with wood putty. Wood putty should be used to fill in the holes that have been face nailed and to fix any minor damages that were made. Make sure the wood putty you pick matches your floor.
To see vidoes on how to install your own hardwood floor, visit DIY Network
Boulder has plenty of open space and nature to explore. Don't miss out on the great outdoor adventures that the Rocky Mountains have to offer. Below are a list of trails and parks in Boulder County.
Visit Boulder County Colorado for a full list
Until recently, Boulder's most historic hotel, The Hotel Boulderado, was known not only as the oldest, but as the only high-end hotels in Boulder. Now, with the University of Colorado, Boulder's high end restuarants and shops and the large amount of people moving to Colorado, Boulder's hotels and lodging have become much more vast and upscale. No matter where you choose to stay in Boulder, you will be welcomed by a short travel to hiking, biking, lakes, restaurants, shopping and the university. So come visit us!
Below are a list of some of Boulder's most popular hotels in the area.
St. Julien Hotel and Spa
Located on the West end of Pearl on Walnut St, this hotel is by far the nicest in Boulder. It's beautiful views of the mountains and expansive lobby make this hotel relaxing and decadent. The lobby hosts a fire to warm up by, live music and tea time on the weekends. A full spa, a bar, conference rooms and a restaurant can be used and enjoyed.
This Boulder landmark is worth stopping by whether you are staying at the hotel or just passing by. Complete with an old style bar and two restaurants, enjoy a meal or a drink and investigate the history of the hotel. Old style wood staircases and furniture take you back in time and a dance floor and private dining is perfect for hosting an event. During the holidays, the hotel decorates with a tree that goes all the way to the stained glass ceiling above.
Hyatt Place Boulder
Located just minutes from downtwon Boulder, the University of Colorado and Chautauqua Park, this new hotel is perfectly centered to get around Boulder. Perfect for business travel.
Located off Canyon, the Boulder Marriott is perfect for University of Colorado parents coming in for Homecoming or the big game. Enjoy walking to restaurants and shops in the Village or drive just a few minutes to Pearl St. Mall or 29th St. Mall. Spa services and restuarants are included.
Millennium Harvest House Boulder
Soak up Rocky Mountain views and plenty of relaxation on the grounds of the Millennium Hotel. This hotel offers beautiful gardens and outdoor seating and backs up to the Boulder Creeks walking trails. Just minutes away is downtown Boulder, the University of Colorado and hiking at Chautauqua Park.
I am a real estate professional, serving Boulder and Denver, Colorado. My extensive knowledge of the market, coupled with my commitment to provide extraordinary service, has resulted in hundreds of successful transactions. Let me help you buy or sell your home.