How Can We Improve Credit Scores!

Credit scores matter and there are a lot of things that can affect them! Most adults do not pay attention to their credit scores until they are too low. The pursuit of better credit takes us in one of two directions: Apathy or we pursue the better score like the weird little creepy guy-thing from ‘Lord of the Rings’…it becomes our ‘precious’. It can affect our jobs, our ability to get a car and the big one…a house. Now there are 3 things we can do to help our credit scores.

• Pay things on time. Protect it from the word go.

• Watch your score…it is an imperfect world. So keep an eye on your score and make sure any problems are handled quickly.

• If you do have a blemish…get it paid as quickly as possible and then be persistent on getting it removed.

Now that the government has spent billions to stimulate our economy we are slowly finding out that simply spending more money isn’t always the best solution. But there a few thing out there that may help and not all of them are making the 6 o’clock news. One of them is bill HR 2086–The Medical Debt Responsibility Act 2011.

What is HR 2086? Let me cheat…below is a summary. Find out more for yourself by clicking here HR 2086!

{Medical Debt Responsibility Act of 2011 – Amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act to prohibit a consumer reporting agency from making any report containing information related to a single fully paid or settled medical debt of $2,500 or less that had been characterized as delinquent, charged off, or in collection for credit reporting purposes, which, from the date of payment or settlement, antedates the report by more than 45 calendar days. }

The debt that will be removed is not major medical debt, but can still make a big difference.

Now, like with most things there are those who oppose it. After all, this will help improve credit scores and that in-turn will help people qualify for more ‘things’…whose to say those ‘things’ are something that those people can afford or should be spending money on. But in the long run this bill is expected to help many more people than it will hurt.

According to Commonwealth Fund Study…30 million adults were dealing with collection agencies for medical debts and around 44 million American were in the process of paying off medical bills in 2010.

“Medical debt is not a reliable indicator of credit risk, yet nearly a quarter of Americans have seen their credit scores plummet because of small, routine medical bills,” said Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee an and original cosponsor of H.R. 2086.“This bill provides a commonsense, simple solution to address this problem now and protect consumers in the future.”

So…this may be a good way to help boost the economy and it will not cost the taxpayer a dime. For more info on the bill click here.

To meet a local mortgage professional call Peoples Home Equity 423-591-9801 or find them on the web at www.chattmortgage.com or look them up on facebook at Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga. You can always listen to their radio program, ‘The Buyers Market’,  every Monday night at 7pm on WGOW 102.3Fm (stream it www.wgow.com) Listen to our latest radio spot: PEOPLES_HOME_EQUITY_ONE_101811

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Chattanooga is a great place to live…AND work!

We always try to find creative ways to relate the mortgage industry to our everyday lives. We know how important home ownership is…but just as important as owning a home…is where you live. We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge how great it is to live in Chattanooga. Below are just a few articles that tout how special the scenic city really is.

* Recently livability.com ranked our hometown #8 in their ‘Top 10 Best Downtowns’.

* Where To Retire magazine choose Chattanooga as one of the top places to retire.

* Last year Chattanooga was ranked in the ‘Top 25 Best Mid-Size Towns’ by American Style Magazine.

* CNN Money listed Chattanooga in its list of top 8 cities that were good for entrepreneurs. In ‘8 Cities that Want Your Business‘!

* ‘The Best Town Ever‘! That is what Outside Magazine left up to its readers and yes…Chattanooga came in tops!

Believe it or not…there are more examples. So not only do we live a area where the real estate world and mortgage industry are rebounding a little bit faster…not only do international companies want to locate…but a place where owning a home comes with a lot of extras!

Take a deep breath! Feel the cool air of fall hit your face when you get that morning cup of coffee! And then go work and play in a really cool place to live…Chattanooga.

If you need info on how to save money on refinancing your home or if you have any questions on your mortgage…call us. If you’re a real estate agent please give us a chance to show you the PHE difference…24-hour way to monitor your loan, continuing educational seminars, and we work as hard as you do. Here is how to get in touch. www.chattmortgage.com or 423-591-9801 or friend us on facebook at Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga. Be sure to tune into WGOW Talk Radio 102.3FM every Monday night at 7pm to ‘The Buyers Market’ radio program.

 

 
 
 
 
 

* Recently livability.com ranked our home town #8 in their top 10 best downtowns.

* Where To Retire magazine choose Chattanooga as one of the top places to retire.

* Last year Chattanooga was ranked in the top 25 best mid-size towns by American Style Magazine.

* CNN Money listed Chattanooga in its list of top 8 cities that were good for entreprenuers. In 8 Cities that Want Your Business!

* The Best Town Ever! That is what Outside Magazine left up to its readers and yes…Chattanooga came in tops!

Believe it or not…there are more examples. So not only do we live a area where the real estate world and mortage industry are rebounding a little bit faster…not only do international companies want to locate…but a place where owning a home comes with a lot of extras!

Take a deep breath! Feel the cool air of fall hit your face when you get that morning cup of coffee! And then go work and play in a really cool place to live…Chattanooga.

If you need info on how to save money on refinancing your home or if you have any questions on your mortgage…call us. If your a real estate agent please give us a chance to show you the PHE difference…24-hour way to monitor your loan, continuing educational seminars, and we work as hard as you do. Here is how to get in touch. www.chattmortgage.com or 423-591-9801 or friend us on facebook at Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga. Be sure to tune into WGOW Talk Radio 102.3FM every Monday night at 7pm to ‘The Buyers Market’ radio program.

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Refinance and Missed Opportunities

When I thought about where the mortgage industry and real estate world are today I was torn. I could have written about several different things! I could have talked about national situation vs. our local market! We are doing pretty good in the Chattanooga and surrounding areas compared to the rest of the country. I was going to do a blog with lot’s of numbers and statistics…even though I know that doesn’t hold readers as long…but it is good to give out pertinent info from time-to-time.

But I settled on missed opportunities. Let’s look a few of them and see if we can tie them back into mortgages!

• In 1962 Decca records turned down a new band to the US because it sounded too much like another group…The Shadows. The relatively new band then signed on with Parlophone records and became the most popular band in the world…you know them as The Beatles! A little bit of a missed opportunity!
• The iPod…what a great invention! How crazy would have to be to say no to that! Well in the fall of 2000 a company called Real Networks did just that…they said no to engineer Tony Fadell and his new idea. Guess who didn’t…Steve Jobs. He said yes and the iPod was born.
• E.T. phone home! We all remember that from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial movie. But before he called home he was snacking on candy. Do you remember the candy? Of course…a new product called Reese’s Pieces! Boy did it help bring them into the market place. But before Heresy’s inked that deal…Universal Studios went to Mars and asked if they could use M&M’s…the answer was ‘no’. The rest is e.t. history.
• I loved watching the Cosby Show in the 80’s. As a matter of fact…a lot of us did…millions! It helped push NBC back to #1. Guess what…NBC wasn’t the first networked pitched. Nope…ABC had first crack at it and said…no. Wouldn’t appeal to enough viewers. It was the #1 show 4-straight years of its 8-year run.

Those are some pretty bad missed calls and missed opportunities…now how does that relate to the mortgage industry. Well bare with me for one more list…below are ranges and averages of mortgage rates for the past 10-years.

 

Year 15-year 30-year ARM
2002 5.59% – 6.62% 6.17% – 7.16% 4.38% – 5.41%
2003 4.84% – 5.77% 5.43% – 6.47% 3.75% – 4.26%
2004 4.91% – 5.81% 5.76% – 6.42% 3.56% – 4.24%
2005 5.26% – 5.99% 5.72% – 6.44% 4.35% – 5.37%
2006 5.86% – 6.53% 6.23% – 6.88% 5.38% – 6.16%
2007 5.99% – 6.59% 6.27% – 6.96% 5.89% – 6.29%
2008 5.75% – 6.53% 6.01% – 7% 5.42% – 6.12%
2009 4.78% – 5.46% 5.25% – 5.92% 4.57% – 5.53%
2010 4.09% – 4.89% 4.64% – 5.48% 3.72% – 4.59%
2011

August 3.77%

August 4.54%

August 3.37%

 

So…do you see opportunity here? The opportunity to save money! The opportunity to get your financial house in order. Right now if you refinance you will save money every month AND if you go from a 30-year to a 15-year you may be able to save $100,000 or more on your loan (depending on your current rate and time left on mortgage). The thing about opportunities…they do pass…they eventually go away.

Bottom line is saving money is at least worth looking into…give your local mortgage professional a call. Peoples Home Equity 423-591-9801 or www.chattmortgage.com. Friend us on facebook or listen to WGOW Talk Radio 102.3FM every Monday night at 7pm to The Buyers Market (you can listen on-line as well).

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5 Things I Remember About Home…

There are a lot of numbers that tell us how important homes are to our economy. If we aren’t careful we can forget what ‘home’ really is. Home ownership is more than just interest rates, equity and a portfolio…it is about memories, family, time and relationships. Here are a few of mine…

1) The smell of holidays!     If it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas I am hit with the smell of holiday dinners being cooked, apple and cinnamon candles, the smell of the cool air from outside moving through the house after coming in the front door. Maybe it’s the 4th of July…you can smell the watermelon being cut, burgers on the grill, sunscreen or maybe even the chlorine after being in the pool all day. Nothing like the smell of the holidays.

2) Noise!     As a father of 3 I never thought I would say that ‘noise’ would be a favorite memory, but it is. Little voices in the other room, laughing about silly things, cartoons as background noise, little girls practicing their cheerleading, little boys wanting to be rock stars, screams of approval when your team scores, boos when they don’t, the joyous ‘hellos’ when guest arrive at the front door, the tears as people say goodbye. The noises of a home!

3) “How tall you’ve gotten” wall!     I have a door jam at the house with a lot of marks and dates on it. It will not be featured in any interior designer magazines, but to me it is one of the best looking places in the world. I keep track of how tall each of our kids are getting. The dates are starting to overlap and some of the marks are fading. I love that wall!

4) The kitchen!   The kitchen is the therapy couch of our house. If you have problems or things you need to talk over…it usually happens while working, standing or snacking in the kitchen. This is where our family catches up on things…hangs out…where we make announcements…gossip after church. I have great memories of just sitting at the counter in the kitchen and talking about life. Some conversations are happy; some are not…but it’s ok…cause we are in the kitchen!

5) The driveway!     The driveway of home can evoke a lot of feelings! Don’t believe me? Consider the following…
• Ever been on a long trip and been driving for hours and hours…you pull up in the driveway and the sudden feeling of ‘We’re Home!’
• Had a rough day…pulled in the driveway and seen the smiling faces of the kids.
• Been away from home for a while…haven’t seen the family for some time. Just seeing the house from the driveway starts all kinds of emotions.
• Left for college…moved out to your own place…gone into the military…leaving home…whatever the reason, backing out of the driveway is not always an easy thing.
• Do you remember pulling into the driveway of your ‘new home’ for the 1st time…after closing and when the keys are in your hands; excited about the new chapter ahead.
• Simply pulling into the driveway of your parents house can make you feel safe…or seeing your family pull in your driveway can make you smile.

See…driveways are a great place!

Now those are some pretty good memories…I bet you have your own! What is the purpose of this? It is about the importance of ‘home’! It represents more than just a monthly payment or economic indicator.

If you need a local mortgage professional that can help you get into your new home or help you refinance and save money on your current one…call Peoples Home Equity at 423-591-9801 or check them out at www.chattmortgage.com. If you are on facebook…finds us Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga… ‘like’ us and keep up with what is going.

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What Could I Do With All That Money?

Lot’s of options pop up when you start saving money. We will explore some of those options a little later on. But right now I would like to point out that you could be saving money by refinancing your home and getting a lower interest rate or you could convert from a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan. Great ways to save money. After all, rates ARE historically low, but it’s more than just saving money. It is what you can do with that money.

So lets be clear; you could save tens of thousands of dollars!! All that sounds great, but before we look at what you could do with the savings lets look at some very basic numbers. I hate living in the world of disclaimers…you know the small print on the back of preparation-H that says not for human consumption. We all know that means that at some point in the past some knuckle-head got the crackers and sat down to watch the game and made a pretty big mistake…then tried to blame the manufacturer. So with that being said…if you want to find out how much you could actually save…don’t go by the generic numbers provided in a blog! Go see your local mortgage professional! There! Now back to the numbers.

Option 1: Refinance to a lower interest rate to help with monthly savings!

- Based off $150,000 30-year loan and 6% interest rate = monthly payment around $900
- Same information but lower rate to 4.5% = monthly payment around $750
- Total savings over the life of the loan = around $42,500

Now what could you do with $42,500?

· You could buy about 10-sets of really hip spinners for your car (you know the wheels that keep spinning even when your car comes to a halt…very cool and very sound financial decision!)
· You could get 2 Cessna planes…USED…but still you could own 2 planes!
· If you normally pay around $25 bucks for a manicure…you could get 1700 manicures…that is one a month for over 141 years! So you will be a very well groomed really, really old person!

Option 2: Simply convert from a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan:

- Based off $150,000 30-year loan and 6% interest rate = monthly payment around $900
- Same information but a 15-year loan instead = monthly payment around $1240
- It is more monthly…BUT savings over the life of the loan = almost $88,000

Now what could you do with $88,000?

· Alaskan Cruise: A good rule of thumb when planning an Alaskan Cruise is to expect to spend around $1500 bucks per person (which can vary depending on what you do and when you go). So, if you have 4 people in your family that is a grand total of = $6000. YOUR FAMILY COULD TO ALASKA ALMOST 15 TIMES…NOW THAT IS MAKING MEMORIES!
· A Porches Carrera GT cost over $400,000 dollars…so you could never really afford that. However you could probably get 2 Ford Mustangs decked out and ready to roll…and have some gas money left over!!!
· The average deck cost around $30 bucks a square foot…that means you could build a 2900sq.ft.deck. That is a big deck!
· The average cost of college is around $13,000 per year. That means you could send 1 of your children to college for over 6-years…just a FYI…most don’t graduate in 4 years anymore!

I didn’t say my ideas were practical…but some of them would be pretty cool!

How about these ideas?

Start a savings account…prepare for retirement…have a rainy day fund…send your son/daughter to the school you want…keep it!!! After all IT’S YOUR MONEY!!!

Find out if you could be spending more than you need to call Peoples Home Equity at 423.591-9801 or visit www.chattmortgage.com OR listen to our radio show ‘The Buyers Market’ every Monday night on WGOW Talk Radio 102.3FM and on-line at www.wgow.com.

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Have You Ever Seen Someone With A Mortgage Tattoo?

I haven’t. People are not passionate about mortgages! Wait…did I say that out loud? Oh well! I don’t think that will come as a surprise to anyone. Mortgages are not very sexy! You won’t see a big group of people outside a mortgage company in all kinds of weather with big foam fingers and cooking out ribs.

 However, there are 2 groups of folks who care about mortgages. Real Estate agents and people who are currently trying to buy or sell a home.

If you’re a real estate agent then finding a mortgage company who will work as hard as you do and get the job done right is vital. What does an agent look for?

  • No surprises. Nothing is worse than being told one thing and then having the script flipped at the last minute.
  • Communication. CALL ME! Let me know where we are. Return my call. Tell me the truth about how things are looking. Email, smoke signals, texts, pigeons, pony express…something…just do not leave me hanging with nothing to tell my clients!!!
  • Speed. Getting things done right is awesome! Getting things done right AND closed quickly is awesomer! (pretty sure that is not a word…but it should be) If the market average closing time is 40-days and you can do it 25–then guess what–I can have more happy clients!
  • Send me some leads from time to time. That’s right. If I send you business…keep your eye out for leads that may help me.

If you are a home buyer then you have probably heard the mortgage companies commercials and now…just now…only now…. does it really matter. So you go from being uninterested to very interested. What are you looking for…rates! It is all about the money! Period! Right? (dramatic pause for effect) Well…maybe? Ask someone who got a good rate, but had a horrible experience, if saving a few hundred bucks was worth it! NOT. Lets be honest, most mortgage banks are going to be pretty close in the rates they can offer. So what makes the difference? Relationships…trust…service…integrity. All the corny things we laugh at; but they are also the same things that make the biggest difference when applied to day-to-day transactions. So…it is not just the money. It’s like your special BBQ sauce (you have one right…it’s the south…everyone has one). It’s not just 1 thing that goes into making it work…it is a combination of things that create the sauce and the mortgage experience.

Now if you are selling your home you are just as anxious about the mortgage world. Your agent has a great showing. They seem like nice folks…they dress nice…smell nice…have 2.2 kids…a dog and some gold fish…drive a environmentally friendly car that just happens to be green…love the house…love your family…as a matter of fact they have potential to be your next best friends. So they make an offer…you counter…they agree. Now, are they pre-approved????? PLEASE FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD IN DETROIT…BE PRE-APPROVED! No…ok…can they get approved??? IN THE NAME OF ARETHA FRANKLIN…I HOPE SO!

So you see…there may not be mortgage tattoos out there. No big fan fare…but to a select group of people…mortgages are very important. Plus our economy depends on a healthy housing market…not just for the sake of selling homes; but to help with job creation and all the money that home owners spend on homes as they get ready to move out and move in.

If you happen to be in that ‘select’ group of mortgage minded folks. Check out Peoples Home Equity. Located in Chattanooga they are the local mortgage experts. Find them at www.chattmortgage.com or on Facebook. Call them for a free introduction 423-591-9801. If you’re a real estate agent they are a great resource…if you’re a homebuyer they have a great track record of helping home owners just like you. Listen to them on the radio every Monday on Talk Radio 102.3fm for ‘The Buyers Market’. Find us and friend us on facebook!

 

 

 

 

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Dalton Real Estate Investors Club

Bruce Dodd, Director of Operations will be speaking for the North Georgia Real Estate Investor Association on Tuesday, November 23rd at 6:00pm.

Please feel free to join us!

Bryman’s Plaza North

Chef Lin Chinese Buffet

100 W. Walnut Ave,

Dalton, GA 30720


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Finding Mr./Mrs. Right

Our friend Chris Bibey in his recent blog, How I Negotiated a Great Deal on My New Home says the first thing he did was “hired the right agent”.

Ask Kate also states that the first decision in buying a home is to find the right agent.

So how do you find and hire the right agent? First of all consider that this is one of the most important financial decisions you will ever make. Once you realize this you will want an agent equal to task of advising you on this monumental investment.

In other words, don’t hire your Cousin Freddy who just got his real estate license after he got fired from his tenth job in the last two years. Or anyone else closely or distantly related to you or your daddy’s best friend’s brother’s, nephew twice removed. Unless of course they have a successful track record of selling houses.

Experience makes a difference. Here are some important things to consider before you sign any agreement:

Do you like the agent? You will be spending a lot of time with this person. They might have lots of expertise but irritate you to pieces. Find someone you can spend at least a few hours with and still feel sane.

Is the agent full time? You want someone who has made a career selling homes not someone who wants to make a little extra income.

Where does the agent live? It’s very helpful if the agent lives somewhat near the neighborhood you want to purchase in. An agent in East Ridge isn’t likely to be as knowledgeable about Cleveland as an agent who lives in Cleveland. An agent who grew up here in the 70′s might feel differently about a particular area than someone who moved here in the last 15 years or so.

Wikihow recommends that you pick an agent who can guide through the entire purchase process including lender info that you will need to provide.

In her list of things you never want to hear your realtor say, Elizabeth Weintrob says you never want to hear your realtor say “Let’s not tell your lender about the seller kickback.” Believe it or not if a buyer takes money under the table from a seller, it’s considered mortgage fraud. If an agent asks you to sign an agreement that is not given to the lender, the agent is participating in lender fraud. But don’t worry, there are lots of honest, reputable agents.

Avoid conflict of interest and hire an agent who specializes in being an agent. Do not allow your real estate agent to package yor mortgage or vise versa.

Finding the right agent might take a little more effort than you had originally thought but it will be time well spent. And could add a significant amount to the return on your investment.

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