North Atlanta Real Estate News

Aug. 22, 2017

Fannie Mae offers no appraisal mortgages

Fannie Mae is now following suit in the appraisal-free arena by allowing property waiver inspections on some purchase loans.

Last week, Freddie Mac extended its appraisal-free mortgage program to its purchase loans, announcing it will go into effect on September 1, 2017.

Now, Fannie is following with its latest announcement. The Property Inspection Waivers will be allowed on mortgages with low loan-to-value ratios. The GSE explained the change will allow lenders to offer better efficiency and cost savings.

The CEO Timothy Mayopoulos hinted that changes were coming when he first told HousingWire that Fannie Mae was looking to speed up the appraisal process.

Back in 2016, Fannie began offering appraisal-free mortgages on some of its refinances through its Day 1 Certainty program.

This will reduce the time it takes to close a loan, making it easier for lenders and borrowers alike, Fannie explained. Buyers will still have the option of having an appraisal done, but will not be obligated to do it with a PIW offer.

When Freddie announced its new appraisal-free mortgage, it figured it could save borrowers an estimated $500 in fees and could reduce closing times by as many as 10 days.

However, Fannie Mae is not saying goodbye to the appraisal community. It explained the vast majority of purchase mortgages will still require an appraiser.

Collateral Underwriter uses statistical models and algorithms built on a database of over 26 million appraisals to evaluate appraisal quality and drive greater confidence in the valuation of properties securing the loans acquired by Fannie Mae.

Earlier this year, Fannie Mae updated its policy on appraisals this year, and clarified its “existing policy that allows an unlicensed or uncertified appraiser, or an appraiser trainee to complete the property inspection. When the unlicensed or uncertified appraiser or appraiser trainee completes the property inspection, the supervisory appraiser is not required to also inspect the property.”

Posted in Appraisal Waver
July 28, 2017

Home Warranty from Old Republic

An Old Republic Home Warranty Plan provides many excellent benefits for all parties in a real estate transaction!

What's in it for you as a Home Seller?

  • Budget Protection - against the high cost for repair or replacement of home systems and appliances that fail due to normal wear and use during the listing period.
  • Greater Return on Investment - your home may sell faster and at a higher price!
  • Immediate Protection - coverage takes effect the day the application is received by Old Republic Home Protection.
  • Sell with Confidence - Seller's Coverage seamlessly converts to the Buyer's Plan at closing.

What's in it for you as a Home Buyer?

  • Budget Protection - against the high cost for repair or replacement of home systems and appliances that fail due to normal wear and use.
  • One Full Year of Coverage!
  • Access to Qualified Service Providers - we have a network of independent service providers you can rely on!
  • Peace of Mind - knowing help is just a phone call away.

 

Media Center » Frequently Asked Questions

Posted in Home Warranty
July 28, 2017

Short Sales

Negotiating a short sale is no easy task; therefore, it is highly suggested that homeowners considering a short sale work with a licensed real estate professional who specializes in short sales. An experienced agent/broker will be well qualified to guide a homeowner through the short sale process, facilitate communication and interaction with the lender, assist with collection of lender-required documents, and bring the transaction to a successful close.

 

BUYERS

 

Thinking of buying a short sale property? http://shortsalehomewarranty.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/BrickHouse_quaint1-300x227.jpg

 

 

 

If so, there are some things you need to know:

 

A short sale means the seller’s lender is willing to accept a discounted payoff to release an existing mortgage.  However, just because a property is listed with short sale terms, that does not mean the lender will accept a buyer’s offer, even if the seller accepts it.  Buyers pursue short sales to get a good deal, but lenders are reluctant to accept offers that are below the current fair market value of the property.

 

Short Sale properties tend to present a variety of risks for a home buyer.  Homes are frequently sold “as is”, which means that no repairs will be made by the seller or lender.   Therefore, most agents recommend a home inspection to determine the true condition of the home and to get an estimate of repair costs.

 

Overall, the short sale process tends to be lengthy, and in some real estate markets, fewer than one in 10 short sales close for a variety of reasons.   The entire short sale process can be very challenging; however, working with a real estate professional who is experienced in short sales can increase the odds of a successful close.

 

A buyer considering a short sale should consult with an attorney and/or a licensed tax professional to understand all obligations relating to a short sale.

 

Resources:

 

 

 

SELLERS

 

Due to plummeting real estate values in recent years, there are record numbers of homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than the market value of their homes.  This is commonly called being “upside down” in the mortgage, and under certain conditions, the homeowner may qualify for a short sale on the home.  A short sale is when the lender forgives a portion of or lowers the loan amount in order for the property to be sold at market value. Simply stated, lenders make the financial decision to dispose of the property in a regular real estate transaction instead of foreclosing on the property if this makes sense from a profit and loss perspective.

 

Do You Qualify for a Short Sale on Your Home?

 

In the short sale process, you sell your home and settle your mortgage debt for less than the amount owed. You may be eligible to sell your home in a short sale under the U.S. Treasury’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (“HAFA”)  if:

 

  • You have a hardship, such as a job loss, divorce or medical emergency

  • You owe more on the mortgage than your house is worth

  • You’re unable to afford your current monthly mortgage payment

  • You’re unable to modify your current home loan 

 

If you qualify and want to move forward with a short sale, you should consult an attorney or a professional real estate broker/agent who is experienced in short sale transactions. See the “Basic Steps for a Short Sale” for a general idea of the process…but keep in mind that the steps may vary depending on the lender requirements and/or the advice of the real estate professional who will guide you through the process.

 

Basic Steps for a Short Sale Transaction

 

A real estate professional who specializes in short sales and is well-qualified can help you with these steps:

 

1.     Completing a property valuation analysis – lenders will only approve a short sale if the borrower owes more than the property’s fair market value.

 

2.     Contacting the lender for a short sale application.

 

3.     Collecting all of the financial data and other information required by the lender – including a fact-based letter detailing borrower’s hardship and current financial situation.

 

4.     Listing the property for sale.

 

5.     Receiving and ratifying a purchase contract from a qualified buyer.

 

6.     Sending the purchase contract to the lender, along with all of the lender-required documentation (requirements vary from lender to lender).

 

7.     Being persistent, but patient.

 

These steps will need to be done for each lender that is involved and every lender has their own process. Some lenders that are in second position (2nd trust/mortgage) will only start processing their short sale after they’ve received written short sale approval from the first trust. This means that the overall short sale approval process may take twice as long if there are two trusts/mortgages secured by the property.

 

Consult an attorney and/or a licensed tax professional to understand all your obligations relating to a short sale.

 

Resources:

 

 

REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS

 

For many real estate professionals, short sales are the new “traditional” real estate transaction.  Knowing how to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale opportunities are not merely good skills to have in today’s market – they are critical.

 

Although Short Sales can be challenging, they abound in today’s market, and educated agents can significantly increase their business with Short Sale transactions.   Click on the links below for information on training opportunities/designations that can increase your ability to assist clients with Short Sales:

 

SFR (Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource Certification)
http://www.realtorsfr.org/

 

CSSBR (Certified Short Sale Buyer Representative)
http://www.americashomerescue.com/

 

CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert)  
http://www.cdpe.com/

 

CHS (Certified HAFA Specialist)
http://www.assetplanusa.com/

 

What is a HAFA Short Sale?

 

HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program) is a federal government program designed for homeowners who can no longer afford their mortgage payments and wish to avoid the negative impacts of foreclosure when home retention is not an option. 

 

Resources:

 

 

 

 

CA ONLY – California Senate Bill 458 (CA SB 458) Forgives all Debt and Prohibits Deficiency Judgments after a Short Sale

 

Effective July 15, 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 458, prohibiting a deficiency after a short sale for one to four residential units, regardless of whether the lender is a senior or junior lienholder.  It amends California Civil Code 580e with regards to a short sale only; it does not apply to foreclosures.

 

The previous law (SB 931) allowed homeowners to sell their homes at a value less than their existing mortgage value, and the first-mortgage holder had to agree that the sale was accepted as full payment of the obligation, with no recourse.  The new law, SB 458, requires the same “no recourse” treatment for any secondary or other junior loans involved in the transaction.

 

SB 458 brings closure and certainty to the short sale process and ensures that once a lender has agreed to accept a short sale payment on a property, all lienholders—those in first position and in junior positions—will consider the outstanding balance as paid in full and the homeowner will not be held responsible for any additional payments on the property.

 

 

Posted in Short Sales
July 28, 2017

Homeownership Assistance

Need help buying a home? You may qualify for one of these programs.

Statewide Programs

Local Programs

July 11, 2017

Homeowners - Manufacturer Links

As a courtesy to our customers, Southern Home Realty has linked to the web sites of today's leading system and appliance manufacturers. These links provide real value for you! In some cases, you may be able to solve your service problem over the phone or on-line, which will save you both time and money.

 

Air Conditioners

 

 

Ceiling Fans

 

 

Central Vacuum

 

 

Dishwashers

 

 

Doorbells

 

 

Exhaust Fans

 

 

Food Centers

 

 

Garage Door Openers

 

 

Garbage Disposals

 

 

Hot Water Dispensers

 

 

Oven / Range / Microwave

 

 

Plumbing

 

 

Pool / Spa

 

 

Refrigerators

 

 

Tankless Waterheaters

 

 

Trash Compactors

 

 

Washer / Dryer

 

 

Water Heaters

 

 

Whirlpool Tubs / Equipment

 

 

July 11, 2017

Homeowners » Quick Fix Tips

 

Homeowners » Quick Fix Tips

 

Cooktop/Oven Range

 

    • Gas burner on the cooktop is not heating evenly.

 

Clean orifices on burner with a toothpick, toothbrush or pipe cleaner. This will increase gas flow and provide an even flame.

 

    • Electric burner won't come on or doesn't heat evenly.

 

Make sure the burner coil is completely plugged in. Electric burners can be purchased for much less then a contractor's service call!

 

    • Oven will not heat to desired temperature.

 

Most likely the calibration needs to be adjusted on the thermostat. Many times the manufacturer can assist in re-calibrating over the phone, depending on the type of unit. Note: A 10-20 degree variance is normal per some manufacturers.

 

    • Oven will not turn on at all.

 

(If electric) Try resetting the designated circuit breaker in your electrical panel. If that doesn't help, check the dial; it may be on "time bake". The oven will not turn on without a time being programmed into the unit. Either set a time or reset the oven to bake or broil.

 

    • Right rear burner becomes warm when oven is on.

 

The vent for the oven is located in the right rear burner area and this area may heat up while the oven is in use or if the unit is self cleaning.

 

    • Self-clean feature will not turn on.

 

If you haven't used the self-clean before and are unsure how your unit operates, operating instructions can be obtained from the manufacturer. Check the dials for the self-clean setting. Be sure the door latch is closed.

 

    • Oven will not open (locked).

 

Reset the self-clean dials to the off position and gently open the locking mechanism.

 

Dishwasher

 

    • The dishwasher will not drain.

 

The dishwasher does not necessarily have a mechanical malfunction if it does not drain properly. Read on for our simple ways to cure this problem!

1.) Inside the dishwasher at the bottom of the unit there is what looks like an upside down cup. This is the float or pressure switch that should move up and down freely. Gently attempt to move it, if any large food particles, glass, plastic, etc. have become lodged under this switch, remove them so the unit can function properly.

2.) If the float switch is ok, then there may be a clog in the air gap. This is the hose that runs under the sink from the dishwasher to the silver cap on top of the sink. There may be an obstruction in the line or in the air gap itself. Remove the silver or plastic cap that exposes the air gap. If you see an obstruction (ie: food particles, etc.), remove them. If no obstruction is visible, the top of the air gap should pop or unscrew. Remove it to find out if you can see any other obstruction. If still no obstruction is visible, invert a plastic cup over the air gap opening (making sure the cup is suctioned tightly to the sink) then advance the dishwasher timer to the drain cycle to start pumping water through the line. If the obstruction is in the line, it should be pressurized out of the air gap opening. Be sure to keep your hand on the cup to prevent the water pressure from pushing it out of place. If the water runs through the air gap, shut off the dishwasher and reassemble the air gap.

3.) If the disposal was recently replaced, the installer may have failed to remove the plug on the side of the disposal where the drain hose connects, thus the unit will not drain. This plug normally requires a special tool and can be rather difficult to remove. To prevent damaging the unit, contact the installer directly to remove the plug.

 

    • The dishwasher leaks from the door.

 

Liquid soap suds cause leakage around the door. Switching to powder soap will solve this problem. If you have been using liquid soap, place a cup of vinegar in the dishwasher and run it through a cycle. This will remove the remaining liquid soap from the system. If this does not solve the problem, refer to the above solution. The leakage could be a result of the unit not draining properly.

 

    • Water sprays or drains out of the air gap.

 

This means there is a clog in the line between the air gap and the disposal. The hose under the sink can be removed very easily and the clog can be removed. Be sure to re-attach the hose entirely to prevent any leakage problems.

 

    • The dishwasher is not cleaning the dishes well/soap is not dissolving.

 

Soap properly dissolves if the water temperature is above 140 degrees. Try increasing the temperature on the water heater or run the faucet at the kitchen sink until it comes out hot prior to starting the dishwasher.

 

Electrical

 

    • No power to an outlet.

 

First try resetting your circuit breaker. If that isn't effective, and a bathroom or kitchen outlet is affected, it could be a tripped GFI. The GFI is a "mini" breaker located inside an outlet within 10 feet of water (ie: a sink). This GFI "button" tends to be red with test/reset noted on it, located directly on the outlet cover. This prevents electrocution by shutting off power immediately if electrical current comes in contact with water. 

A GFI is most likely located: 

1.) In the bathroom. 
2.) In the kitchen. 
3.) In the garage. 
4.) At the circuit breaker panel box. 

Regardless of where it is located, it is likely that all the kitchen and bathroom circuits are hooked through this outlet. Builders generally install one GFI and then wire other outlets through it. Look in these areas for the GFI and be sure the reset button is depressed.

 

    • No power to an outlet or a specific light switch does not work.

 

Replacing an outlet or switch is actually a very minor repair. With the power turned off to the area, it is not at all dangerous. The parts can be purchased for around $5 and the local hardware store can walk you through the steps to replace.

 

Garage Door Opener

 

    • The door does not open or close smoothly.

 

Garage door openers have a tension knob on the back of the opener which needs to be adjusted to the weight of the door. In the winter, wooden doors may absorb moisture thus making them heavier. This will result in the door operating with a "jerking" motion.

The tension knob is located on the back, side or front exterior of the opener. There are usually indicators that read "higher/lower" or "increase/decrease". Adjust this knob slightly to one direction, test the door, if that doesn't help, turn the knob the other direction, until you are satisfied with the door's function.

 

    • Door reverses in mid-opening or closing.

 

Remove any obstructions in the hinge/spring area. Most units have an automatic reversing feature in the event the door hits an obstruction. 

Many units have an "electric eye" or sensor that may become obstructed. If so, remove the obstruction. At times these sensors may become misaligned. If the light on the sensor is blinking, it means the two sensors are not aligned and need to be adjusted to become aligned. Once alignment is made, the lights will discontinue to "blink" and the "obstruction" will be eliminated.

 

Garbage Disposal 

 

    • Disposal does not make any sound when the switch is turned on. The most likely cause is no power to the unit.

 

1.) Most disposals have a "Reset" button on the bottom or side of the unit, this acts as a "built in" circuit breaker. Depress this button to reset the unit.
2.) If step 1 does not help, try resetting the designated circuit breaker in your electrical panel.

 

    • If the disposal makes any sound at all (i.e. buzzing) when turned on, it probably means the unit has power but is jammed.

 

Use an "Allen" wrench to un-jam the unit. This is a five sided tool ("L" shaped) that will fit into the bottom of the disposal ($2-$3 at a hardware store). With the unit turned off or unplugged, insert this into the bottom of the disposal. Move it clockwise and counter clockwise to loosen the jammed unit. Sometimes you can reach into the disposal and remove the item if it is large enough. Always Unplug The Garbage Disposal Before Reaching Into The Unit. Once you believe the unit to be clear of the jam, plug the unit back in and turn the disposal on to see if it rotates!

 

    • Disposal drains slowly.

 

Pour 1 cup each of baking soda, salt & vinegar. Pour baking soda & salt into drain, immediately followed by vinegar. Let sit for approximately 15-20 minutes. As you wait, boil a pot of water. After the 15-20 minutes, pour the boiling water down the drain to flush the pipes out. Note: Do not use this remedy if you have already used a store-bought remedy in the same drain.

 

    • Disposal doesn't seem to chop the food well or drain has an odor.

 

Fill an ice cube tray ½ full of vinegar and ½ full of water. Once the cubes are frozen, place them down the disposal 2-3 cubes a week for about a month and this will not only sharpen the blades, but keep your drain clean at the same time! (Lemon peels also work well for odors).

 

Heater

 

    • Furnace cycles on and off frequently.

 

The furnace filter is an important component for the proper operation of a furnace. If the filter gets clogged, it will not allow the furnace to circulate properly, which can result in these symptoms. The blower door switch will automatically turn the unit off when the door to the filter is opened. You can simply replace the filter to save time and money!

Make sure nothing is closer then 18 inches from all output vents and intake grilles. To ensure adequate airflow NOTHING should be blocking them.

 

    • Heater will not turn on.

 

This usually indicates NO electricity is getting to the unit. Most furnaces installed in the last 15 years have a switch located on the inside of the front panel known as the blower door switch. The panel needs to be properly aligned and completely closed to activate this switch. The purpose of the switch is to prevent the furnace from coming on when you change the filter. If that doesn't solve the problem, make sure the thermostat is set to the temperature you desire and is set on automatic. Finally, check the circuit breaker or contact the gas company to check out your unit or relight your pilot light, the gas company will do this for free!

 

    • Fan will not shut off.

 

Check that the thermostat is not set on "fan". Some furnaces are equipped with a "summer switch". This is located on the side of the furnace and is used primarily in the summer months to circulate air throughout the home. Turn the switch setting to "OFF" to stop the fan function.

 

    • Wall Furnace pilot will not light.

 

The local utility company may provide this service for free. Please contact them for assistance and ask if they will relight your pilot light. If they don't, please contact our Customer Service department and ORHP will dispatch a contractor to service your heating system.

 

Plumbing Pipes

 

    • Discolored rusty water is coming out of the faucets.

 

If this is only happening while the hot water is running, refer to the water heater section on how to "flush" the unit. If it is coming from both hot and cold lines, it is most likely corrosion or rust in the pipes and that would require a contractor to correct. Under the Terms of our Plan, we do not provide coverage for chemical build-up or rusted pipes. Pipes must be actually leaking due to normal wear and tear to be covered under the Plan.

 

    • Water "hammer" in pipes.

 

To eliminate the hammer is easy! Water hammer is caused by air being trapped in your incoming water line. First, shut the water off to your home at the main shut off valve. Open all the faucets and fixtures, both hot and cold until all the water is drained from the pipes. Then, with all the faucets still "open", turn the water valve back on to the home which will allow all the air to be pushed out of the pipes by incoming water. Then one by one, shut off each faucet and the hammer will be gone! If this does not resolve the problem, it could be related to high water pressure. If you have a pressure regulator, it is covered by Old Republic, so call us for service.

 

Pool/Spa

 

    • Pool pump is not circulating.

 

The pump may have stopped circulating because the water level in the pool/spa is too low. If the water level has dropped below the center of the skimmer, air may get into the system causing it to stop working well. "Re-prime" the pump by raising the water level in your pool/spa, then remove the pump lid and place a few gallons of water in the pump basket. After re-attaching the pump lid, open the valve under the pressure gauge on top of the filter. Turn your equipment on and when water sprays from the open valve, close the valve. The equipment should re-prime itself. You can tell the pump is working when the pressure gauge moves.

 

    • Pool/Spa is dirty….the filter is not cleaning.

 

Clean the filter. If the filter is dirty it will cause an increase in pressure and will reduce the ability of the filter to work properly. Cartridge filters need cleaning approximately every 2 months. D.E. filters need cleaning 2-3 times a year.

 

    • There is no power to the equipment. The pool or spa light will not turn on.

 

Re-set the circuit breaker at the sub or main electrical panel. Pool/Spa equipment should be on its' own circuit. There may also be a GFI outlet at the equipment. (See electrical section for clarification about the GFI). Be sure it is in the re-set position. Spas may have a designated re-set button also.

 

    • Pool/Spa heater will not come on.

 

Clean the filter. If filters are dirty it restricts water flow into the heater. Most heaters have a pressure switch that will not allow the heater to turn on unless the water flow (pressure) is sufficient.

 

Slow Drains/Stoppages

 

    • Kitchen sink, bathroom sink, shower or tub drains slowly.

 

If you have multiple stoppages in the home, i.e. toilet, sinks, laundry line, or any combination of these, this would be considered a "main line" stoppage and requires a plumber. Call our service department for assistance!

If you have a "slow drain" in a kitchen sink, bathroom sink, shower or tub, this can be caused by food, hair and/or sludge build up and can be easily remedied. Pour 1 cup each of baking soda, salt & vinegar. Pour baking soda & salt into drain, immediately followed by vinegar. Let sit for approximately 15-20 minutes. As you wait, boil a pot of water. After the 15-20 minutes, pour the boiling water down the drain to flush the pipes out. Note: Do not use this remedy if you have already used a store-bought remedy in the same drain. This may have to be done 1-3 times to clear the line effectively.

We also recommend liquid drain cleaners (not the crystals). The liquid drain cleaners are not recommended on the kitchen sink if there is a garbage disposal as they have been known to damage the disposals. Make sure to follow the directions for maximum effectiveness.

 

    • Toilet won't drain well or at all.

 

With the exception of a mainline stoppage, almost all toilet stoppages can be cleared with a plunger!

 

Toilets

 

    • Toilet runs constantly. Toilet seems to flush by itself.

 

A leaking flapper most likely causes both symptoms. This is the round "seal" in the bottom of the tank connected to the chain for the handle. When you depress the handle, the flapper pops up to allow the water in the tank to rush into the bowl and cause the toilet to flush.

The flapper is easily removed and replaced. The flapper costs around $2-$5 at any hardware store and will likely fix the problem. Be sure to remove the old one and match it up to the new one to assure a proper fit.

Once the flapper is replaced, adjust the toilet ball (ballcock) gently downward to lower the water level in the tank. Remove any toilet bowl cleaners from obstructing the flapper in the tank.

 

    • Toilet won't flush, the handle just moves up and down.

 

The chain may have come off the handle arm. Re-connect the chain. Don't forget the water in your toilet tank is fresh!

 

Water Heater

 

    • Water heater makes a rumbling or clanking noise.

 

Chances are this is related to sediment build up. A "flush" of the water heater may be all that is required. 

Follow these steps to flush your water heater: 

CAUTION: The water is hot and there is danger of being scalded. Use caution and keep children and pets away from the area when flushing water heater. 

1.) Attach a garden hose to the drain valve (looks like a hose bibb) at the bottom of the heater. Run the garden hose either outside or to the nearest drain. 
2.) Open the drain valve, which will allow the water to drain through the hose. 
3.) When the water is running clear - after about 20 minutes - close the drain valve and remove the hose. 
4.) Turn on a hot water faucet in your home and let it run until all air bubbles are out of the line, then turn it off.

More Details on How to Flush a Water Heater.

 

    • Water heater is not producing enough hot water.

 

If the water heater runs out of hot water too quickly, increase the temperature on the water heater thermostat. If the temperature is set on the highest setting, flush the water heater according to the directions above.

 

    • The unit is not producing any hot water.

 

Your pilot light may be out. Follow the instructions on the tank on how to light the pilot, or call your local gas company who will relight it for free! 

If the unit is electric, it may have a reset button on the tank itself. Depress the button and if that doesn't help, try the designated circuit breaker in your electrical panel, it may have tripped.

 

July 7, 2017

Credit Scores and How They are Calculated

UNDERSTANDING YOUR CREDIT SCORE

I have been asked many times, how do the bureaus develop a credit score? All lenders will pull a three bureau tri-merge credit report from one of the many credit suppliers. The three main credit suppliers are Experian (Fair Isaac), Transunion (FICO Classic 04), Equifax (FICO Classic V5 FACTA) and all are calculated differently.

What you should know about credit scores. 

Your credit score is a number that reflects the information in your credit report. Your credit report is a record of your credit history. It includes information about whether you pay your bills on time and how much you owe to creditors. Your credit score can change, depending on how your credit history changes.

How we use your credit score. 

Your credit score can affect whether you can get a loan and how much you will have to pay for that loan. The range of scores.

EXPERIAN:

Scores will range from a low of 320 to a high of 844.

TRANSUNION:

Scores will range from a low of 309 to a high of 839.

EQUIFAX:

Scores will range from a low of 334 to a high of 818.

Generally, the higher your score, the more likely you are to be offered better credit terms. How your score compares to the scores of other consumers.

EXPERIAN: Your credit score ranks higher than 10 percent of U.S. consumers.

TRANSUNION: Your credit score ranks higher than 27 percent of U.S. consumers.

EQUIFAX: Your credit score ranks higher than 22 percent of U.S. consumers.

Key factors that adversely affected your credit score

EXPERIAN

  1. SERIOUS DELINQUENCY AND PUBLIC RECORD OR COLLECTION FILED
  2. LEVEL OF DELINQUENCY ON ACCOUNTS
  3. NUMBER OF ACCOUNTS WITH DELINQUENCY
  4. TIME SINCE DEROGATORY PUBLIC RECORD OR COLLECTION IS TOO SHORT
  5. NUMBER OF INQUIRIES

TRANSUNION

  1. LENGTH OF TIME THAT ACCOUNTS HAVE BEEN OPEN
  2. HOW LONG THE ACCOUNT HAS BEEN OPEN
  3. CREDIT MIX i.e. REVOLVING INSTALLMENT, MORTGAGE
  4. RATIO OF AVAILABLE CREDIT TO BALANCE OWED
  5. NUMBER OF INQUIRIES

EQUIFAX

  1. SERIOUS DELINQUENCY, AND DEROGATORY PUBLIC RECORD OR COLLECTION FILED
  2. TIME SINCE DELINQUENCY IS TOO RECENT OR UNKNOWN
  3. NUMBER OF ACCOUNTS WITH DELINQUENCY
  4. LENGTH OF TIME ACCOUNTS HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED
  5. NUMBER OF INQUIRIES

HOW IS MY CREDIT SCORE CALCULATED

It can be very confusing when your score seems high but you still get denied for a new line of credit. The chances are you're not looking at the same score as your bank or finance company. Subscribers don’t work with every credit reporting agency, so the credit report information included in one report might be slightly different from that in another credit reporting agency.

Check your credit scores and reports from each bureau semi-annually to ensure all the information is accurate. By law, you're entitled to one free annual credit report. Some states like Georgia allow for three reports. You should also use a credit monitoring service year-round. TransUnion® and Equifax offers some of the latest and most innovative credit monitoring services, like Identity Lock and Instant Alerts. These services will help you spot inaccuracies, potential fraud and other blemishes that could lead to inaccurate information and higher interest rates.

To see how it all breaks down, here is an example of how scores are calculated. Your payment history will make up 35% of your score, while the amount that you owe lenders represents 30%. The length of your credit history contributes 15%, and the types of credit accounts you maintain comprise 10%. Finally, new credit accounts are responsible for 10%. All of these values are calculated together and then broken down into a credit score, which will range from 300 to 850. The higher the number the better. 

What affects credit scores the most?

Your payment history is the most important aspect of your credit score. It shows how you’ve managed your finances, including any late payments. Your credit history is also very important, as it demonstrates how long you've been managing your accounts, when your last payments were made, and any recent charges.

What is my credit mix?

Your credit mix will refer to the different types of credit that you have, such as credit cards, installment loans and  mortgages. In addition to your credit mix, the number of accounts you have and how long they have been open will also influence your score.

Will my credit score be the same at all three of the credit bureaus?

There are three major credit bureaus—TransUnion®, Experian and Equifax. They are responsible for collecting and maintaining all of the consumer credit reports in the U.S. These reports are then provided to subscribers, such as landlords, mortgage lenders, credit card companies and others who are deciding whether or not to extend you credit.

How long will poor items affect my score?

Wondering when bankruptcies and judgments and will no longer appear on your credit reports? You will need to check the dates of last activity on records in your credit report. Generally, here's how long judgments and bankruptcies remain on a credit report

BANKRUPTCY

Chapter 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcies appear as public record items on your credit and will report for up to 10 years after filing. Chapter 13 bankruptcy records are sometimes taken off sooner, 7 years after the filing date, depending on the credit reporting company’s policy. When you receive an Order of Discharge in bankruptcy, your creditors should mark those accounts that were discharged as "Included in Bankruptcy" and they will stay on your report for up to 7 years.

CHARGE-OFF ACCOUNTS

If a delinquent account is charged-off, the charge-off record appears on your credit report for up to 7 years

CLOSED ACCOUNTS

Negative or derogatory information about delinquent accounts remain on your credit reports for up to 7 years. Positive closed accounts (without late payments or other delinquencies) may appear for longer than 7 years

COLLECTION ACCOUNTS

Accounts that are sent to collections will be listed on your credit report for up to 7 years, beginning 181 days from the most recent delinquent period before the collection activity. A collection account’s status should change to "paid collection" once you've paid off the entire amount and the clock will start from the last payment date. If you settle with the collection agency for less, your credit report may list the account as "settled for less than full balance. Always attempt to negotiate a payment where the collection agency will issue a letter of removal.

INQUIRIES

When a creditor or lender checks your credit in connection with an application, you'll usually see a "hard inquiry" on your credit report. These stay on your report for as long as two years, and may lower your credit score slightly. When a creditor reviews the credit report of an existing customer, or when you access your own data online, a "soft inquiry" will typically shows up on your credit report. Soft inquiries will not lower your credit score or appear to businesses checking your credit.

JUDGMENTS

Court judgments, including small claims, civil and child support, stay on your credit reports for up to 7 years from the date they were filed.

LATE PAYMENTS

If you make a payment late, the delinquency will appear on your credit report for up to 7 years.

TAX LIENS

Under federal law, city, county, state and federal tax liens could stay on your report indefinitely. After the lien is paid, the record of it stays on your credit reports for up to 7 years from the payment date.

Disputing inaccurate information

You should always write letters to the credit bureaus to dispute inaccurate information and send the letter certified, with a return receipt. This costs money but you will have a record. If someone has fraudulently opened accounts in your name then you must file an identify theft report with the police department were you currently live. Include as much information as you have. Include the account number, open date, creditor and amount in your police report. You then send a copy of your dispute letter and the police report to whoever is reporting. and be sure to send it certified, with a return receipt. If it is being reported by a collection agency then send the information to the collection agency.

All reporting agencies must live by the "FCRA" law. Sometimes it will take tow or three rounds before the information falls off. Make a conversation log for any conversations that you have with a creditor. Include the date, Name or employee number, and what was said. You may need this information later if you plan to sue in magistrates court. I have never seen a creditor pay an attorney to show up and sit all day in a courthouse and fight a suit. Also, if you are ever sued answer the suite and deny everything and then show up in court if it ever get's that far. Remember that the lawyer representing the creditor cannot testify, only the actual creditor can testify. It generally costs $50 to $100 to file a suite in magistrates court and you can do it yourself. You will have to go to the secretary of state website and search for the company that is reporting the discrepancy and have their registered agent served.

Understanding Your Credit Profile

Determining your score is a lot more complicated than just weighing the different aspects of your credit history. The credit scoring process will involve comparing your information to other borrowers that are similar to you. This process will take a tremendous amount of information into consideration, and the end result is your three-digit credit score number.

Remember, no one has just one credit score, because financial institutions use more than one scoring method. For some agencies, the amount owed may have a larger impact on your score than payment history depending on which scoring model they use.

What personal details will not affect my credit score?

Now that you have some idea of what goes into your score, it will be good to know what doesn't factor into your score. Marriage, age will not affect your score.

Your credit score is a representation of how you manage your financial responsibility. It is not a testament to you as an individual. Things like age, ethnicity, religion and marital status are excluded in the calculation of your score. Who you work for, your salary and occupation are likewise not included in the equation.

Maintaining Healthy Credit

A credit reporting agency will need a track record of how you’ve managed credit before it can calculate a credit score. Typically, it will take six months' worth of activity to provide enough information to generate a score. As the age of your credit history increases, your score will rise or fall based on how you pay your bills over time.

Check your credit score regularly with a monitoring service, but don’t let minor fluctuations stress you out. Your credit score is just a snapshot of how you’re managing your credit at a particular moment in time. Maintaining low balances, paying your bills on time,  and not taking on too much debt can help to rehabilitate your credit profile, resulting in a higher score. Do not open more than three credit cards. Maintain a good credit payment history and ask for increases in your credit limits. More unused available credit equals a higher credit score.

 

 

July 1, 2017

First Time Homebuyer Programs

Find out more information on the Georgia Dream Program!!!!

Who Qualifies for a Georgia Dream Loan?
Home Buyer Education
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Georgia Dream Hardest Hit Fund Down Payment Assistance $15,000 Available

 

Posted in News
June 9, 2017

Swim With The Whales Near North Atlanta Real Estate

Explore an underwater wonderland and meet new friends near North Atlanta real estate. When the Georgia Aquarium opens its doors magnificent experiences await. At this critically acclaimed aquarium there is much to see and do. Sharks, dolphins, sea otters, and jellyfish are all represented. Learn about the world’s oceans and how to help them thrive.

Besides amazing exhibits the aquarium offers a unique opportunity for visitors from North Atlanta real estate to interact with Beluga whales. The Beluga Interaction program introduces guests to two of the resident Belugas. After an educational introduction by staff, participants actually get into the water with these massive yet gentle creatures. The encounter includes touching and playing with the whales. Guests even get to assist aquarium trainers in giving commands and then rewarding the animals with their favorite fish. At the end, friendly Belugas say goodbye by kissing their new friends on the cheek.

Meet New Friends When Living In North Atlanta

Other available experiences include swimming or diving with massive whale sharks and intimate encounters with dolphins, penguins, and sea otters. Behind the scenes tours are perfect for guests living in North Atlanta who want a glimpse into the inner workings of the aquarium. More information can be obtained about all of these experience by calling 404.581.4000.

 

Posted in News
June 9, 2017

Families Living In North Atlanta Cool Off

As temperatures heat up, families living in North Atlanta look for ways to cool off. At Ice Cream Social a variety of treats are ready to help beat the heat. Traditional desserts tempt tastebuds. Classic choices such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry fill sundaes and are mixed into delicious milk shakes. Those enjoying an exotic flair refresh themselves on this North Atlanta property with Hawaiian shaved ice.

Generous scoops of ice cream stuff sugar and cake cones. Flavors are fanciful and crowd pleasing. Loads of butterscotch are mixed with brownies, peanut butter cups, cookies, and heath bars in Da Bomb. Tangy Key Lime Pie is a perfect combination of sweet and tangy. C is For Cookie and gives a nod to a beloved television monster. Bright blue vanilla ice cream is filled with delicious countable cookie pieces. Hazelnut and Cappuccino Crunch appeal to the adults in the group.

Children Are Extra Special On North Atlanta Property

Youngsters living in North Atlanta celebrate their birthdays at the ice cream parlor. Custom packages make the event extra special. Custom cakes to go are cute and whimsical adding a festive touch to any special event. Ice Cream Social is conveniently found at 5910 Bethelview in Cumming. For more information on scheduling an event or ordering a cake please call 678.845.5909.

 

Posted in News