Do you feel your credit stands in the way of getting approved for financing for a home or a new car? Having bad credit can do more than prevent you from getting approved for a loan; you may also have to pay more for insurance and provide a security deposit on utilities if you move. Financial challenges can occur to anyone, any time. The good news is you can begin to improve your credit immediately. While repairing your credit does take time, it’s possible to improve it as long as you’re dedicated to positive financial habits.
1.) PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME
This is one of the easiest ways to build your credit score and, most importantly, build great financial habits. When you pay your bills on time, you ensure no payments end up in collections.
- Create a budget. A budget tells you where your money is going and helps you plan to spend it wisely. Start by calculating how much income you have each month, from work, child support, etc. Then, tally up your expenses, from ones that are due monthly, such as utilities and rent or a mortgage, to those due less often, such as taxes, car maintenance, etc. Also, be sure to include other expenses such as coffee runs, lunches with coworkers and other non-essential expenses. This will give you a clear picture of your financial state and help you see where you can save money.
- Reduce non-essential expenses. The first place to make cuts if you’re trying to save money is your non-essential expenses. Try making coffee at home or at work instead of buying one every morning, and reserve going out to lunch for Fridays to save on restaurant expenses. While it may not seem like much, making small cuts will help you save money, pay down debt and live well within your means.
- Track your spending. Creating a budget is only half the battle; the other half is tracking your expenses. Tracking helps you stick to your budget. Write your expense in a notebook or input them in an app; either way, take the time to track your spending and you’ll always know where your money is going.
- Get current on accounts that are past due, but not charged off. Contact your creditor to find out how to get current on the account. If you pay your debt in full, the balance will become zero and the account will be paid off. However, it may stay on your report for seven years after the date of charge off.
2.) REVIEW YOUR CREDIT SCORE AND HISTORY
The place to begin when improving your credit is with your credit history. You’re legally entitled to a free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus each year through annualcreditreport.com. Reviewing your credit periodically allows you to see if there is information that may negatively impact your score.
- Look for incorrect information such as payments that were incorrectly reported late, accounts that aren’t yours, etc.
- Be aware of accounts that are past due, that are late, have been charged off (i.e., the payment is 180 days past due) or have been sent to collections, as well as accounts that are over the credit limit.
- Dispute inaccurate or incomplete information. While you can do this online or over the phone, it may be best to do it through the mail so you can create a paper trail. If your dispute is legitimate, the credit bureau will investigate and give you a response.
3.) PAY DOWN YOUR DEBTS
If you have debt, try to pay it off. If that’s not possible, pay it down as low as you can.
- Reduce your debt-to-income ratio. When assessing your loan application, lenders consider your debt-to-income ratio; that is how much debt you have compared to your income. The lower your ratio, the more likely you’ll qualify for a great loan. Start with the cards or debt with the highest interest rates first and, once you’ve paid them off, go to the debt with the next highest interest rate. Over time, you’ll have paid off your debts.
- Increase your available credit. You may be able to increase your credit limits on your credit cards if you’ve been a good customer. Call your credit card company to learn more.
4.) USE CREDIT WISELY
Once you have credit, it’s important to use it responsibly. Here’s how:
- Don’t open new accounts, unless you have to. Opening several new accounts at a time may raise red flags for potential lenders.
- Keep a low balance on credit cards and revolving credit.
- Pay off debt instead of moving it to another account or to a new account.
5.) SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
If you have trouble making ends meet, notify your creditors and see a credit counselor.
What goes into your credit score?
Great credit has many advantages, including access to lower interest rates. Here’s how your credit score is calculated.
35% Payment History
30% Amounts Owed
15% Credit History
10% Inquiries, New Credit Lines
10% Types of Credit in Use
How long does negative information stay on your credit report?
This is one of the most common questions people ask when they’re trying to repair their credit. The good news is, in most cases, nothing lasts forever. The older the incident, the smaller the impact it has on your overall credit score.
If you have had… It will stay on your credit report…
Late Payments… 7 years
Judgements… 7 years
A short sale… 7 years
A foreclosure… 7 years
Chapter 13 bankruptcy… 7 years (from filing date)
Tax liens… Until lien is paid in full, plus 7 years (though they may remain indefinitely)
Chapter 7 bankruptcy… 10 years (from filing date)
The information shared should not be considered financial advice. Please consult a qualified financial advisor for personalized and professional recommendations.
Adding artwork to your home can be a daunting task… if you let it. We challenge you to allow it to be enjoyable and see firsthand how it can transform a room to a whole new level. Art doesn’t have to cost a pretty penny. The motivation around artwork selection should be that you enjoy it and display it with confidence.
Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate sat down with Bryan Yates of Yates Desygn to see how it’s done. Whether you are looking to add drama or color, a formal or playful, casual feel, check out these tips on where to begin in your search for the perfect artwork.
See full article here.
Dallas, Texas 75220
3 bedroom/2 bathroom/1,809 sq. ft.
A spacious backyard offers large grassy area with a newly tiled patio and wood arbor that sets the stage for great outdoor evenings and entertaining.
Ideally located, the neighborhood provides easy access to all the shops and restaurants the area has to offer, including the new Central Market, which is a stone’s throw away at Northwest Highway and Midway. In an area bustling with new construction, this home offers a great investment opportunity.
This listing was recently highlighted in a Candysdirt.com article recognizing the school district for its accolades and noting this family friendly home as “budget friendly.”
Design industry experts are always ready to point you toward today’s stylish shades. Following their advice could make selecting the right color less overwhelming than sifting through thousands of paint swatches.
Catalog Clues: Popular furniture and home decor retailer Pottery Barn has created seasonal color palettes that tie into the most current home furnishing trends. Palettes changes annually.
Check out the trends. The 2017 Color Trends palette by BEHR organizes the latest trends by mood: comfortable, composed or confident.
The maker of the widely-used Pantone color deck (a toll of the designing trade) forecasts the most influential color trends in home and fashion designs for each new season. The company has named a fresh and cheery “Greenery” the 2017 color of the year.
Consult a Local Pro: It wouldn’t take long for an interior designer in your area to help narrow the range of choices and identify good candidates for your particular space. If you’re sticking with neutrals, ask your paint dealer to point out their best-selling shades.
THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT:
Several companies offer cool paint matching apps that let you use your smartphone to snap a photo and identify the perfect shade. You can also save and share your own favorites.
Sherwin-Williams’ ColorSnap (for iPhone and Android platforms)
Benjamin Moore’s Color Capture (for iPhone and Android platforms)
ColorSmart by BEHR (for iPhone and Android platforms)
WHAT ARE HOMEOWNERS PLANNING?
The majority of homeowners feel they’re halfway to achieving their vision for their home.
44% of homeowners plan on completely overhauling their homes.
36% of homeowners plan to just refresh the existing decor.
Neutrals are classic and always popular.
75% of homeowners are over the age of 35 and 64% under age 35 plan to use a soft and neutral color scheme for their projects.
54% of urban homeowners and 42% of suburban homeowners incorporate color with accent walls.
Popular rooms for accent walls:
57% Study or home office
55% Children’s bedroom
52% Master bedroom
Source: House, House Decorating Trends Study
Dallas, Texas 75230
4 bedroom/3.1 bathroom/3,914 sq. ft.
This gorgeous home in the heart of Preston Hollow has been extensively renovated inside and out over the past year. The home features a bright open floor plan with recent updates that include new white oak hardwood floors with new baseboards, fresh interior and exterior paint, designer light fixtures with LED lighting throughout, new 3cm Quartz counters, stainless steel appliances with new cooktop and vent hood, freshly painted cabinets with updated cabinet hardware, custom Hexagon backsplash in kitchen and vintage-style encaustic tile in powder bath, updated marble fireplace surround, new carpet, new gutters, resurfaced pool decking with no-slip paint, 8-ft board-on-board cedar fence, Mosquito Nix system and updated front landscaping and lighting to highlight this beautiful home.
To check out photo gallery, click here.
Dallas, Texas 75230
2 bedroom/2.1 bathroom/1,320 sq. ft.
Updated, open, and move-in ready townhome. Updates include fresh paint and new lighting throughout with brand-new carpet upstairs. Kitchen has been taken to the studs and redesigned with new cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, and granite counters. Downstairs is light and bright with open floorplan, including fireplace, wet bar, powder bath, and utility room. Upstairs features two large bedrooms, both with en-suite bathrooms and walk-in closets. Additional ample storage in hall closets and attic. Large, private, and fenced outdoor space perfect for entertaining. Two-car carport directly behind property is securely gated.
Community boasts 2 pools, tennis court and playground and is convenient to great shopping, many restaurants, and major commuter arteries.
Check out full photo gallery here.
It’s heating up everywhere these days! Proper care for your AC system is vital to keep it going strong through the summer months from year to year. Check out the list of what not to do on Angie’s List, and be sure to keep up with system maintenance to keep it working in your favor.
Check out the full article here.
Spring and summer are busy times in the real estate market. Although many people look forward to having a fresh start in a new place, they may be anxious about the moving process itself. Here are a few tips to help make it easier.
- Lighten up. Whether you’re hiring movers or renting a truck and getting help with the heavy lifting, it pays to lighten the load of stuff you plan to move. Now is the time to go through your belongings and be intentional about your goal – if it’s broken, underused or you don’t see yourself needing it in the future, it’s time to donate it. If you don’t use it now, chances are you won’t use it at all in your new home.
- Sell or donate used items that are still in good condition. Sites like Craigslist and eBay, or apps like Letgo, allow you to sell your items easily. Start the process at least a month before your moving date. Similarly, look into local charities that accept donations and be sure to get a receipt if you plan to write it off on your taxes.
- Recycle items that are broken or worn out. Call a junk removal service to responsibly dispose of items that should not end up in our landfills.
2. Take breaks. One of the reasons people find moving so stressful is they’re overwhelmed by all the tasks that need to get done. While trying to stay on top of everything, it’s easy to forget to take breaks and eat. Taking a break will give you the energy you need to recharge before you tackle the next room or task.
- Pack a bag of snacks to munch on during the day, and don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
- Set an alarm halfway through the day to take a meal break. Order pizza or sandwiches, especially if you have others helping out.
- If you find yourself getting anxious, take a few minutes to breathe. Repeat a mantra that helps you focus and calms your spirit.
3. Pack smart. Be mindful of what you are packing and when you pack it to ensure your valuables are not lost or broken.
- Start early. The earlier you start packing, the better you’ll be able to organize and prioritize your items. If you know you’re not going to use it until you move, pack it away.
- Pack by room and number your boxes. In a notebook or app, write what’s in each box (e.g., Box 5 Kitchen: utensils, blender, crock pot). Take it a step further and pick up colored stickers from an office store to color-code each box by room.
- Pack valuable items yourself. After all, only you can give them the extra care they need to survive the move in one piece. Use bubble wrap or wrap the items in soft linens or clothing, such as pillow cases and bedding, towels and t-shirts.
- Will you need certain items right away, such as toiletries, work clothes or home office items? Pack them in clear plastic bins. This saves you from having to open all of your boxes to find what you need. Label as “open first.”
MORE THAN 35 MILLION PEOPLE, OR APPROXIMATELY 11% OF THE POPULATION, RELOCATE EACH YEAR.*
*Source: U.S. Census
How to Move with Children and Pets
Moving with children and pets can be stressful. Since they thrive on routine, breaking it will often cause them to act out, especially when they’re younger. Make it easier with the following tips:
1. Start preparing them ahead of time. For children, have a question-and-answer conversation about where you’re moving and why. While older children will understand right away, younger ones may not. For toddlers and younger school-aged children, discuss the move with them several times. For children of all ages, give them a time frame for the move so they can get used to the idea and prepare to wind down their school and athletic activities.
2. Visit the new area. Take your children and pets to parks and trails located near the new house. Build excitement about the new area by visiting your children’s future school to pick up flyers for activities on-campus or at the local recreation center. Visit the local dog park to meet your neighbors and fellow pet owners, and allow your pet to meet other dogs in the community, too.
3. Include the children in the moving process. Give them age-appropriate tasks to help with the move, from moving light boxes to packing their own rooms. Getting them actively involved will give them some ownership of the move and make them feel more comfortable and in control of their circumstances.
4. Hire a sitter. Having someone watch your children or pets the day of the move will ensure you can pack and load the truck safely and efficiently. Knowing your little ones and furry friends may be stressed, anticipate that your sitter’s duties may be intensified and plan ahead. Provide plenty of meal options and treats to keep everyone nourished and happy. For after meals and during drives, make sure your sitter has favorite games and toys to keep the group entertained.
5. Reward everyone’s hard work. Give everyone something to look forward to after the move. Go out for a nice meal and take time to relax in your new home for the remainder of the day. Give your pet their favorite treat or take them for a nice walk.
Make Unpacking a Breeze
Although many people don’t find unpacking nearly as stressful as packing, it can be tedious. Make the process less of a chore by following these tips before you move.
1. Clean before you move in. While the previous owners may have cleaned when they left, give your new home a thorough cleaning to ensure it is move-in ready for you. Also, take the time to stock the bathrooms with toilet paper and put snacks and paper towels in the kitchen. When it’s moving day, you’ll be glad you did.
2. Store hardware for furniture, curtain rods, etc. in sandwich bags. If you disassemble any furniture, this ensures you don’t lose any screws or important pieces. Tape the bags to the underside of the furniture.
3. Take photos that show how your electronics are connected. If you’ve tossed the instructions to your gadgets, taking a photo of the back of your television, stereo or computer will help you match each cord to the correct plug.
We hope these tips will help make your move smooth and stress free!
Dallas, Texas 75214
3 bedroom/2 bathroom/1,494 sq ft
Great lease opportunity available in Junius Heights. The home has been beautifully updated with wood floors, a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances, updated master bathroom, spacious secondary bedrooms, full-size washer and dryer included. The gorgeous backyard is complete with outdoor kitchen, pergola covered patio with fire pit and water feature. Two-car garage with gated driveway, plus a bonus room behind garage perfect for storage, an art studio, or a gym.
Available for lease in early August.
See full photo gallery here.