Sunday, February 27, 2005

Full Disclosure

This past week I woke up to find a very soggy downstairs. It seems that a fitting on the discharge hose of the water softner had cracked. The result was a couple of inches of water in the laundry room, powder room, hall, and extending part way to the family room and dining room. Since this had never happened to me, I was a bit lost in figuring out what to do. However, a couple of things came to mind. First was the thought of selling my home someday and filling out that 3 page form called a Transfer Disclosure Statement. The other thing that came to mind was that thing that we've all heard so much about. Mold.

I found out that there are companies that specialize in the proper clean up of water and moisture. They came in and pulled back carpet, removed padding, and cut out dry wall. Then they put about 6 fans and a de-humidifier in the rooms affected. A few days later they were back to check to make sure all the moisture had dried.

Since I can see the studs in the walls and the concrete on the floor, I feel confident that the moisture in my home is gone. I've got alot of work to do like replacing drywall, putting in new baseboards, painting, and haveing the carpet reinstalled. However, I'm feeling very confident about filling out that Transfer Disclosure Statement someday. And most of all, I'm feeling confident that my home is a healthy place for my family.

www.HopeGoss.com

Friday, February 25, 2005

Real Estate on eBay

I just ran across something I didn't know eBay was doing. I knew that they offered auctions for selling real estate, but now they have a new ad format. You can run an eBay ad for real estate without selling it by auction. Do you think there's a benefit to advertising there?

www.HopeGoss.com

New (yet old) loan program for 1st time buyers

Hey everyone. I got some information on a loan that will help our first time buyers. It's called the "CalFHA" loan - takes after the old Chaffa loans.

Positives:

  • A first time buyer can borrow up to $25,000 for a down payment.
  • They can also borrow an additional 3% for the closing costs.
  • All this is carried in the background - like a silent second. It is carried on the books as a second loan which is offered at 30 years at 5% simple interest. All payments are deferred until the first is paid off or refinanced, or the CalFHA becomes due.
  • It can be subordinated with the CHAP loan and/or the Extra Credit Teacher's Program(ECTP) making a third mortgage.
  • The loan is not based on credit scores.
  • The first is a fixed rate over 30 years at 4.5% .

Negatives:

  • There are income limits but they are very generous (like a family of 3 must earn under $104,621 annually).
  • There is PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) on this loan.
  • They require the buyer to pay 1.5 points on the loan.
  • And the limit for the loan is only $396,000


There are local lenders doing these loans. Contact me for information on who to call. You can find more information at the following web site: www.calFHA.ca.gov .

Lorraine, Realtor
California Oaks

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

How Can I Raise My Credit Score?

I was asked the other day "How can I raise my credit score?" (Fico Score) A FICO score is a credit score developed by Fair, Isaac & Co. Well I don't pretend to be a credit score expert, but a credit repair expert gave me the following hints for my clients:
    1. Close any Unused zero balance cards as they are factored into the score as if they were "maxed" out.

    2. Consolidate low balance cards into one higher balance and close the "emptied" cards.

    3. Request lower maximums on unused cards you want to keep.
    4. Request a yearly Free Credit Report

    5. Check for Duplicate entries on credit report and Contest them to the reporting agencies.
    6. Check for Errors on credit report and Contest them to the reporting agencies.

    7. Check for Liens / Delinquents / Judgments that have been satisfied and get them removed or corrected.

    8. Don't make new Big purchases when you're applying for a mortgage.
Can anybody think of any more hints to help raise a credit score ?------David Walker

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

I wonder how the rain has affected home shoppers over the past couple of months. Inventory of homes seems to be very low. We could see the frenzy like we saw last year at this time with homes selling for over list and multiple offers. I guess we'll see once the sun comes out.