Why Your FICO Credit Score Could Get a Boost in 2019

Things might be changing for the better when it comes to FICO scores in 2019.  For decades credit scores have been based on borrowers’ payment history; from mortgage to credit card payments.

Fair Isaac Corp is the creator of the widely used FICO credit score and has plans to roll out a new scoring system in early 2019.  This new system will factor in how consumers manage the cash in their checking, savings and money-market accounts and will be among the biggest shifts for credit reporting and the FICO scoring system, the bedrock of most consumer-lending decisions in the U.S. since the 1990s.

The new scoring system will be called UltraFICO Score. It isn’t meant to weed out applicants,  it is designed to boost the number of approvals for credit cards, personal loans and other debt by taking into account a borrower’s history of cash transactions, which could indicate how likely they are to repay.  This has been in the works for years; it is FICO’s latest answer to lenders who after years of mostly cautious lending are seeking ways to boost loan approvals.

This new system is occurring at the same time the consumer-credit market appears relatively healthy. Unemployment is low and consumer loan balances—including for credit cards, auto loans and personal loans—are at record highs, and lenders are looking for ways to keep expanding loan volume.

We as borrowers currently have little control over what is in our credit reports, except for the ability to contest information they believe is inaccurate. Lenders, collections firms and other parties are fed payment-history data to the major credit-reporting firms, Experian PLC, EquifaxInc. and TransUnion, and that information determines consumers’ FICO scores.  Lenders use FICO scores to help make most of their lending decisions.

The UltraFICO score will function as an appeal of sorts, likely boosting many applicants with less-than-ideal records. If an applicant’s traditional FICO score falls short, a lender can offer to have the score recalculated to reflect banking activity. Would-be borrowers with at least several hundred dollars in their accounts, who have had the accounts for a while and who transact frequently and don’t overdraw are likely to see their scores rise, FICO said.  Applicants will be able to choose which accounts they want considered when the score is recalculated.

A decade after the subprime-mortgage binge nearly brought down the U.S. financial system, consumer lenders remain wary of borrowers with low credit scores.  Banks have spent much of the past 10 years chasing creditworthy borrowers. That slice of the market, which has grown as the economy has improved, is largely tapped out.

All this has lead to lenders asking credit-reporting firms and FICO to figure out a way to help them boost lending without taking on significantly more risk. And regulators have expressed interest in exploring ways to increase access to affordable lending for consumers who have no or low credit scores.

This is an interesting fact – Of all the U.S. consumers with FICO credit scores, a record 58.2% have a score of 700 or higher on a scale that tops out at 850. The average FICO score is at a record 704.   FICO said about seven million applicants who have low credit scores as a result of thin borrowing histories would likely see their scores improve under the new system. Separately, some 26 million subprime borrowers will end up with higher credit scores, FICO said, with nearly four million seeing an increase of at least 20 points.

UltraFICO is the latest in a recent series of changes by credit-reporting and -scoring firms that are helping boost consumers’ credit scores.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Don’t Fall for Home Repair Scams

Home repair, renovation and improvement scams can be costly so beware of con- artists looking to take your money and then disappear.  Protect yourself from these unethical people by looking out for common schemes.

Do not trust a person that just arrives at your home and says “Hey I was doing a job in the neighborhood and I have some extra materials left over, so I’ll give you a good deal on a driveway sealing project.” A good and reliable contractor usually knows how much material they need for a certain project and if they have leftover material will not peddle it door to door. If you really think you like the deal, ask for the name and address of the person they just did the job for and ask that neighbor how satisfied they were with the job that was done.

Another potential red flag for a home improvement project is the contractor stating, “We won’t need to pull permits.”  Of course, not every home improvement job requires a permit, but if you think this one should, contact the city and ask. Improvements that should have had permits, but do not, can cause trouble when you try to sell your home.

Be careful if you are speaking with a contractor that states “I’m going to need you to pay the whole job up front”.  A reasonable down payment is part of the process – usually about one third of the price of the job.  Never pay for the entire project up front – if you do that person will just take the money and run.  Check for regulations that are in place as a guideline to protect you.

 

Don’t hire a contractor that says “We don’t need to put anything in writing”.  You should have a written contract – that protects you and the contractor for very good reasons.  Make sure the contract specifies a dated work schedule, payment terms, cost breakdown, as well as proof of licensure, bonding & insurance, and any concessions for work not completed on time.  This is the strongest legal protection you can have.

Remember a good contractor will not pressure you to make up your mind on the spot.  They know this is a costly investment and you will need time to think it over.  You should also think about speaking to more than one contractor before making your decision and checking local jobs they have done similar to yours.

Finally, go the extra mile and contact the Nevada State Contractors Board (http://www.nvcontractorsboard.com) about the license # they provide you (a truly legitimate contractor will have no problem with that.) I had a client a couple of years ago hire a contractor who was using the license number of a company he used to work for. A few extra minutes to verify him would have prevented what ended up costing my client over $70,000…

I have a list of people I refer to my clients for specific jobs and am happy to recommend these contractors to any reader since I know their work and reputation. Feel free to reach out to me any time for recommendations.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

The Influence of American Ninja Warriors

In my opinion the TV show American Ninja Warrior is the most inspiring reality show and it has changed the way many people look at exercise.

Of course, most of us are not at the level of the athletes we see run the course – however I know many people that have gotten up from their couches and started some sort of exercise because of it.  It could be walking, swimming, class exercises, private instruction or even building parts of a ninja course in your garage or backyard.  There are some gyms that have built these types of obstacles just for the purpose of “ninja” exercise.

My son is one of those people that wants to compete on American Ninja Warrior and can’t wait until he is old enough.  He trains on “ninja” obstacles and I must say I am very proud of his goal (and maybe a little jealous as well).

The one thing to remember is – you shouldn’t go from the couch to the course.  First you should train to get into better physical shape before attempting any ninja-like exercises.  He works out at a gym named Camp Rhino that has a very comprehensive program for adult ninja training (and Saturday classes for kids too).  You might want to try this type of gym before you build an obstacle course in your backyard or garage.

Climbing is a big part of ninja training so you just might want to build a rock wall with a variety of holds screwed in.  You can also have a slack line for balance and other obstacles to train on – getting your upper body strong is essential for doing a ninja course. (Don’t forget to get adequate pads underneath you as well).

There are a few competitors my age, it’s true, but I’m not likely to pursue it, however in my dreams, I crush the course and hit the buzzer too.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

You Can Transform Your Home by Adding More Natural Light

We live in an area of the country where Mother Nature provides us with sunny days most of the year.  Why not take advantage of the beautiful natural night right outside your home and get some window dressings that let the light in.

Natural light can give parts of your home new life – brightening dark rooms, revitalizing the interior of your home and even giving you a happier mood.

Here are some tips on how to “Let the Sunshine In.”

When you walk into your home look for areas that can use more light.  Access where your natural light comes from – windows, glass doors, skylights.  You might have large pieces of furniture or very big plants blocking some of the natural light coming into your home- you can easily remedy that by just a little rearrangement of furniture.

Check your window treatments.  Do you have dark shades or heavy curtains; they will certainly block natural sunlight from getting into your home.  You might consider replacing these with lighter materials and colors that can better let natural light into darker rooms.  Letting in more natural light can transform your kitchen, bedroom and even your bathroom into more interesting spaces.

If you have dark walls you might consider getting your paint brush out and paint the walls a lighter more reflective color that can brighten up your rooms with more daylight.  The lighter color walls can provide a design contrast with your darker furniture and gives your space a lighter look.

Why not replace solid wood entry doors and other doors in your home with glass doors.  This is a great way to let light travel from room to room.  You can still use frosted or tinted glass that provides privacy yet still lets natural light in.

Look at your ceiling in the kitchen area – is it begging for a skylight?  A new skylight will show off your countertops and the skylight can become a conversation starter centerpiece of your kitchen as lit adds all day direct sunlight to that area and other nearby spots in your home.  Skylights come in three types – fixed, ventilating and tubular.  A skylight professional can help you decide the best type and size of skylight will be best in your home.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Get the Most Out of your Outdoor Furniture by Cleaning it Properly

Well this summer has been hot and we still have a few more months of outdoor weather. You have been enjoying your outdoor furniture and want these pieces to last as long as possible – regular cleaning help the furniture last for years. Different types of finishes need different types of cleaning.

Wicker furniture is a bit tricky since there are lots of surfaces to clean. If something spills on the wicker wipe it up immediately. To do basic upkeep – clean using your vacuum – especially the small brush attachment to clean to remove the dust that can accumulate. If there is a stain on the wicker use a soft bristle brush and mild soap and then rinse with a low-pressure hose to clean. During the winter cover the furniture to protect from winter winds.

Wooden furniture needs extra attention. Spray with a wood cleaner and scrub with a soft brush every two weeks. Moisture is really not good for wood and can cause mildew. It is advised to apply wood oil on the wood surface and let it sit that way for several hours before wiping off. During the winter either store inside or invest in quality furniture covers.

Aluminum furniture is extremely durable and very versatile and doesn’t need much upkeep as it doesn’t rust. Wash aluminum with a low pressure hose to remove dust and debris. Use a mixture of mild soap and lukewarm water and wipe up with a clean cloth. To avoid corrosion and pitting, it is advised to coat your aluminum pieces with automotive wax or baby oil.

Wrought-iron furniture needs regular cleaning with a mixture of mild soap and water and then hose it off and make sure it is completely dry to avoid rusting. If the paint is wearing away repaint the furniture with spray-on paint. If the wrought-iron gets rained on or has bird droppings wash it immediately and make sure it dries completely.

Fabric and plastic on the furniture is especially sensitive to the desert sun, causing fading, cracking and other types of deterioration. Many types of outdoor furniture have removable pads.

These types of pads that can be cleaned as often as needed during the season with soap and water and should be stored indoors for the winter. Be sure they have completely dried before putting them away to avoid mold and mildew. Plastic pieces should also be covered or stored in a shed or garage.

Have fun and enjoy your backyard and be happy you live in Las Vegas where you can use your backyard almost all year long.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

 

Tips and Tricks to Saving for a Home

So, you’ve made the decision to buy a home, but you don’t have a down payment saved up. Owning a home has been the American dream since shortly after World War II when owners first eclipsed renters in this country. Many people would love to own a home however can’t figure out how to save money to make it a reality.

The following are some steps to help you figure out how to be able to save money for a down payment, so you can get you and your family into a home of your own.

Track Your Spending and Expenses – know what your monthly expenses are and how you spend your “extra money”. This is something you should be doing anyway. Use an app or online tool that tracks your spending and keeps a running total of the amounts you spend on specific items. There are tons of options – just do a search for “create personal budget”. It’s easier to track spending if you use a debit card for everything (not a credit card) and then using a check register to track those debits. This process is quite eye-opening, as it’s easy to be unaware of a how much you spend on frivolous purchases each month. You would be surprised how quickly the amount adds up. Finding out where your money goes is the first step in figuring out how to keep more of it in the bank. Do you go to a fancy coffee place every day? Imagine how your savings could increase if you just eliminated that… and there are almost certainly other things you often spend your money on that you could skip.

Create a Budget and Stick To It – Once you have looked at your spending, you will likely find spots where you can cut back or eliminate extras. This is very challenging and often isn’t a lot of fun. Just keep focusing on your end goal – getting the keys to your home. It’s important to work a few small yet rewarding “splurges” into your budget to keep your spirits up – remember that you are trying to save so keep those splurges in check – use a specific percentage of your income (I suggest 10%).

Be a Deal Hunter and Savvy Consumer – put your monthly bills under a microscope. There’s a good chance you are paying for services and features you don’t really need. Call your service providers, credit card companies and other businesses you pay every month and see if they can lower your rate or offer you a better deal – they often will.

Save for a Down Payment – savings accounts that are set up for a down payment should be considered untouchable. Don’t even think of dipping into this account unless you have a major emergency. Think of this account as being a one-way street: funds should go in, but never come out—at least, not until you are ready to write out that down payment check. Some banks will even allow you to make this transfer automatic on a schedule, like every 2 weeks when you get paid.

Look for Ways to Boost your Income – Your budget consists of two parts: money coming in, and money going out. See if there are opportunities to work extra hours. You may even want to consider a part-time job. Think about skills or talents that you could parlay into freelance income. Maybe you could be a Lyft driver or a vendor on http://www.Fiverr.com or mow lawns or pet-sit or ??? Just so you know, lender’s get touchy about “cash” being deposited – it could be from some illegal source as far as they know. Lyft & Fiverr as well as any part-time job with an actual paycheck will have you covered there… working any job for cash, won’t. If you are going with any kind of cash earnings, check with your lender to see what they suggest for how to handle those deposits. If you need a great lender, reach out to me, I work with more than one that I feel are worthy of recommending.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff

Selling Real Estate Without an Agent Will Likely Cost You Money

First, I realize this article may seem self-serving – after all, I earn a living helping people sell real estate, but I truly hate to see people lose tens of thousands of dollars, and statistics show that is what usually happens to FSBO’s. What does FSBO mean? For Sale By Owner — it’s the process of selling real estate without the representation of a real estate broker or agent.

This way of selling your property is not the greatest idea in most cases (trust me – I was that guy many years before I got my real estate license). That is why you hire a real estate professional – their job is to know the local real estate market and put the most money in your pocket. Let’s face it, people pay more when a salesperson is involved. Think about it; when you have a garage sale, even if you are selling quality items, the buyers always expect a discount. And if the discount on the property you are selling turns out to be as much (or more) than the commission you would have paid, then you did all the work and still did not make more money. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like doing more and getting less.

Sellers who choose to sell their home on their own just may experience “seller’s regret” when they see how much less they get for their properties (or worse, not even realize how much they lost). FSBOs sell for an average of $60,000 to $90,000 less on the sale of their home than sellers who work with a real estate agent, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Here’s the breakdown:

* All agent-assisted homes: $250,000 (median selling price)

* All FSBO homes: $190,000

* FSBO homes when buyer knew seller: $160,300

With the knowledge of the numbers shown above – why would anyone want to sell their home on their own? Some sellers want to avoid paying a commission to an agent — but even factoring in a commission; researchers from the NAR researchers have stated “The closing price for the agent-assisted seller is likely going to be way above a FSBO. [And] in reality, homes sold by the owner make less money overall.”

Sorry (not sorry) for the Las Vegas based pun… but don’t gamble when selling your house; hire a professional.

This message is getting through to homeowners: Only 8 percent of home sellers in 2017—an all-time low—chose to sell their home themselves, according to NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. This figure has been falling since 2004, when 14 percent of homeowners sold their own homes.

Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you have a need for commercial / industrial / retail space? We can help you with that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day…..Jeff