Welcome to #1 Realty of GA, Atlanta, GA Real Estate Ultimate guide of how to buy a house with the good,bad and ugly credit in Atlanta, GA. This guide will walk you through the manes of buying and selling a piece of property in Atlanta, GA.
My name is Lee A. Falbo, and I can help find Solutions to your Real Estate needs,
and answer to questions so you can make simple,quick and educational decisions in life.
Table of Content
- How to find Real Estate Deals
- How to Find Motivated Sellers
- How to work with FSBO
- How to Sell your House fast as FSBO
- How to buy on the For Rent Method
- How to Boost Your Credit
- How to work with Realtors and Brokers
- How to save on Utility Bills
How to find Real Estate Deals
Historically Google provided fair exposure of all types of website, small and big ones on their search engine results. This has changed in early 2004. Google has adopted a policy, which favors big real estate websites and diminish the smaller ones all together.
Your local real estate broker can nor be found even at 100th web page, while big lead generating companies like homegain.com are all over the place. Since homegain.com is an affiliated with Google and charge 30% of the commission for its leads, there is no room left for the Real Estate Brokers buying leads from homegain.com to Give any Cash Rebate or Cash Rebate to customers.
Google discriminate small website by using a filter for money keywords. Some of the money keywords in Real Estate fields are Real Estate or Home for Sale. Your website can easily get ranking for the word “Real” or for the keyword “Estate” but it is almost impossible to get ranking for the keyword “Real Estate”.
Since most people using these money keywords to search for real estate products the local real estate broker website in San Francisco will get no link love juice from Google, but lead generating companies like homegain.com will get all the link love they ask for. What is the solution?
Knowledge, Knowledge, Knowledge.
In fact using these loaded keywords will steer you away from good deals into the hands of Giants corporations. These lead generating companies in turn sell your collected information to the same local Real Estate Broker who handles your transaction.
The poor local Real Estate agents, that should share 3-60% his commission with his/her broker and the pay up to 30% to the lead generating companies will have no room to give you a deal. We have established which keywords should not be used to find real estate deals, let’s concentrate what should we use.
First of all try not using Google when searching for good deals in Real Estate. Use any other Search Engine and you are more likely to find good deals. If you have to use Google, avoid money keywords. If you want to find cheap properties uses these keywords together with place you are looking.
For example to look for cheap homes in San Francisco use: “San Francisco REO Homes” or “San Francisco Bank owned Properties“. In order to find real estate companies who give you a slack of their commission use ” San Francisco Cash Back” Or ” San Francisco Cash Rebate” Or “San Francisco Commission Rebate“.
The savings will be twofold if you can find a broker who handle reo homes and at the same time give cash rebates. If you are a serious about finding the beast deal read this article several times and send it to everyone you know.
Get the words out there and inform everybody that Google is not playing fair and get a huge portion of their income from real estate. This money should end up in the pockets of consumers instead. Investigate the facts in this article.
If it is correct, the spread the news. A major factor in United States bad economy is that giant corporations like Google has a monopoly of the information flow and use that at their advantages.
When middle class diminishes, who should spend money for economy to go around? Break the giant corporation’s monopolies and we will be in good shape in no time. Meanwhile before the words get around, be smart, identify the money keyword and do not uses them at all.
How to Find Motivated Sellers
When I was first getting into this business over eight years ago I was working my way through college and did not have much money. I barely had money to go out with friends; there is no way I was going to spend much on marketing.
I always tried to have multiple mediums going at one time. The top three for little or no out of pocket expense were; calling for cash, driving for dollars, and bandit signs.
Calling for Cash
The biggest thing to understand here is that you will be calling people looking for motivation or someone willing to talk to you. You ARE NOT trying to buy a house over the phone. Maybe after you become really good at doing this you can try to buy the house over the phone but I strongly believe that this is a mistake, especially when you are just getting started working with homeowners.
The two people I would call are For Sale By Owners (FSBO) and For Rent By Owner (FRBO). The easiest and fastest way to do this is to use the newspaper. You will also have better results with fewer calls if you age your ads. Meaning, put the newspaper in the garage for three or four weeks and then pull it out and make your calls.
The reason this works is if the house is still for sale or for rent after a period of time there is a higher chance the owner is motivated. You will also get a lot of people saying it is already rented or sold which makes it easier to make a lot of calls fast.
Please understand that if you use the aging strategy that you may be losing out on potential deals since someone may have worked with you but found another solution while you were waiting to call them.
These days you won’t find very many leads from the newspaper because internet and online classifieds, like Cragislist, have really taken over. I still think the newspaper is a great place to start because it is easier to find phone numbers fast.
You can probably use the same strategy with aging online classifieds but I have never done this. What you may want to consider is hiring someone to go through these for you and put them in a spreadsheet. You can hire this type of employees virtually at odesk.com.
Your goal with your call is to find out what you can about their situation and set up an appointment to meet with them. Once you meet with them is when you actually try to buy the house. Don’t make any offers or suggestions over the phone.
Driving for Dollars
This is not free because it does take you driving but I still believe it is a good way to find deals with a small budget. Driving for dollars simply means you drive around certain areas looking for deals. You may want to focus on a few neighborhoods so you are not all over the place. Here is what you are looking for:
Overgrown yards or trashed houses
Lots of newspapers or other signs of a vacant home
When you see a vacant home I would write down the address and go put a flyer on the door that you buy homes. When you get back to your office take all the addresses that you wrote down and try to find the owner so you can contact them directly. I would start with county records.
A few other ways to find the owner are through a skip trace service (which can be affordable or can be very expensive) or mailing a letter to the property with a note on the front of the envelope that says “Please do not forward. Forwarding address requested” When the postman sees this they will put one of those yellow stickers on the letter with the previous residents forwarding address and return it to you.
You can also talk to a few of the neighbors while you are in the area. You have a good chance at a good deal if the property is vacant and there is no effort to sell it or rent it. This normally means the owner has given up. You should get a lot of short sale leads this way.
FSBOs can be great. At least you know they want to sell and you know they are not working with an agent. It is great when you see a FSBO open house because you can go talk to them directly and on the spot. When you see a FSBO, write down the address and the phone number.
I would then go and knock on the door, if no one is there leave a flyer. When you get back to your office you can either call, (which is what I recommend) or you can start a series of direct letter mailers to the address.
Once you have a little more money and a little less time I would send letters. This way if they call you, you are dealing with a much warmer lead and you are not spending too much time talking to people that you will never have a chance to work with.
FRBOs are great too. Everything I mentioned above applies here. The only difference is if you knock on the door you may get a tenant instead of the owner. Also with FRBOs you will want to find the direct mailing address of the owner if you choose to send some letters. The way you find the owners address is either use anywho.com and do a reverse lookup with their phone number or look on county records.
When you see a moving truck get out of your car and find out what is going on. Is someone moving in or out? If they are moving out ask them who owns the house and try to find out what they are doing with it.
If they are moving in find out where they moved from and if they owned that house. If you are on a shoe string budget you are looking at quantity of leads and not quality so talk to everyone you can.
This one will cost you some money. If you can afford it, I strongly recommend getting professional signs made. I used to buy poster board and make signs. That won’t work as well but it does work and you will get calls. The idea here is to get your message to as many people as you can with the lowest cost.
You will be looking at anything from $.25 to $3.00 per sign and chances are good hundreds of people will see it. That is a pretty big bang for the buck. You will really want these in the high traffic areas like off ramps from interstates or highways, busy intersections, around elementary schools, and coming out of busy shopping centers.
Putting them up with stakes in the ground works the best but putting them on poles as high as you can works too. These signs get taken down and torn up often so you need to be consistent at putting them up or it won’t work.
These are called Bandit Signs because city officials don’t really like them (even though politicians use them more than anyone) and they are considered littering. There is always the risk of getting fines and nasty calls from the city.
I stopped using them partly because of the pain and the amount of work it takes to make it work and partly because the cities don’t like it. It is your choice if you want to use these. I just want to share with you that they are cheap and they work.
How to work with FSBO
Get lawyered up when you first consider selling the home, yourself! The biggest mistake, homeowners make, in the very beginning of planning to sell their home is to not obtain the benefits of an lawyer (and better yet a real real estate lawyer) to council with and to draw up the original sales contracts for you, or your attorney to fill out (if they haven’t explained to you how, or if you’re uncomfortable filling them out, use the attorney to fill it out) and for your prospects to fill in their particulars and sign.
Now most people watch late night (or early morning) t.v. and those real estates investors that make “millions and millions of dollars flipping their own real estate”. They offer you free advice, to you, that you should go to the local Office Depot, or your local Walmart & Office Max and somewhere in the back of the store you will find, land contracts for sale, or wills & other “generic legal documents” that will suffice for selling your home.
Now, I’m sure they’re generic and I’m sure that they might pass the smell test to sell a car, or a boat. Actually, in those contractual arrangements, you won’t be putting yourself up for too much liability, but a home, think about it?
A car, or a boat, what’s the financial liability for you, if the buyer’s check bounces, or those hundred dollar bills turn out to be counterfeit? Or let’s say they let you keep their “gold watch (you know the kind I’m talking about)”, until Friday (when they get paid and then you can cash their check), what happens then, Boobey?
According to most legally trained people, you’re screwed! All documents are not the same. The ones you buy at the local stores are generic, in other words they’ll work for both, the buyer & the seller, both parties are equally protected and both parties are held liable (it’s gonna cost them something, equally).
THERE IS A BETTER WAY FOR YOU, THE SELLER:
There’s a good reason why an attorney goes to three, or more years of school, than do “normal” college graduates. They study, practice and learn from experience how to protect you from that “nefarious buyer”, the one that’s out to get you and enrich, themselves.
A home can be thousands of dollars, on the cheap side and millions of dollars on the high end, if you were to meet up with a stranger offering you a “great deal” for your home and you had a “worthless” contract, to sell it, you can be paying those dollars back to your mortgage company for a long time.
Now you can be sorry and you can try to get the Mortgage company to cut you some slack, but if YOU didn’t protect yourself with a “legal contract of sale”, guess what their answer will be?
And once that deed has been done, you can’t go back and redo that contract, so best (for you) to get it done properly, in the beginning!
Besides, most generic contracted forms lean toward the buyer and against the seller and even most “real estate, or REALTOR” contracts lean toward the buyer.
This is in no small part due to the state authorizing the contracts, or sales forms, and the state, obligates everyone, in that transaction to look out for the buyer (the seller is expected to be more experienced, by the fact that they have at least purchased a home before, so most buyers are thought to need protection).
Hiring an attorney will afford you many advantages, not the least of which is their forms will stand up in a court of law, if not you have someone, other than the buyer to sue for your loss. Also, most lawyer drawn contract can be written to protect the seller, more than the buyer, so that all the wording and paragraphs will be more lenient to the sellers side, which will protect you.
Finally, most lawyers will allow to talk to them and ask them questions, which they can answer for free, usually for the first hour. That way you can decide for yourself, whether they can accomplish for you what you think you might need and not spend a whole lot of money in order to satisfy your curiosity.
And since most of these attorney’s real estate forms are already on their computers, their expense in tailoring them to your needs & desires is usually very quick and not too expensive.
But tell me, next time you have some one, cheat you out of a million bucks, would you rather have that all written out on a Walmart Sales Contract (that holds no liability), or professionally written out by a competent attorney that carries Errors & Ommissions Insurance?
How to Sell your House fast as FSBO
For Sale by Owner or “FSBO” is a term used in the real estate industry to describe homeowners who choose to sell their homes privately; meaning without contracting a real estate agent to handle the transaction.
Most folks who choose this path do so because they recognize the significant savings that can be realized by cutting out the agent and their hefty fees. Avoiding the typical agent’s commission of 6% can equate to thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars in potential savings. This substantial financial benefit should be enough to motivate just about anyone to take a serious look at the FSBO option.
Although the FSBO option offers plenty of financial incentive, many homeowners ultimately fail in their attempt to sell their own home. Eventually they become discouraged and end up seeking the help of a real estate agent.
Unfortunately, they end up paying the huge commission fees they were trying to avoid in the first place. One of the biggest reasons people fail at selling their home themselves is because they were not able to attract enough potential buyers. If you want to sell your home, you need to attract buyers.
The more interested buyers you have, the better your chances are of selling your home. So, if you want to attract a lot of potential buyers, you need to have a solid marketing strategy in place.
Described below are some helpful tips that will help you to create and execute an effective marketing campaign for yourself. The better you are at executing a solid marketing plan, the more potential buyers you will attract.
More buyers means a better chance of finding the right buyer who is willing and able to pay the price you’re asking. Effective marketing takes creativity, time and effort. The good news is that the marketing methods described here are either completely free or dirt cheap!
For starters, be sure to take advantage of the free web resources available to you that allow you to advertise your home for sale. Utilize all the social media available to you as tools to help promote your home for sale. Let your friends on Facebook and Twitter know that you are selling your house.
Ask them to spread the word to their friends. If you have a blog, use it to let people know that you’re selling your home. Send an email with photos and details of your property to your entire email list. Think outside the box and ask for referrals from friends and family! You never know who has a friend or a co-worker or a cousin who’s in the market for a home just like yours.
Remember you need to get the word out to as many people as you can. Don’t underestimate the power of referrals. Use free electronic media to recruit as many referral sources as possible.
Next, look for other free and/or inexpensive online sources that allow you to list your home for sale. Sites such as Craigslist and some locally operated hometown news and newspaper sites offer free or low cost real estate listings. Mention all the important features and selling points in your description.
Remember that people like to see a lot of pictures. A gallery of nice pictures that show off your homes strong selling points will help pique the interest of prospective buyers. Take advantage of free online listing services when you can.
Do not forget about the importance of print advertising. Make sure to run small newspaper ads, especially when you are planning an open house. Plenty of prospective home buyers look at the Sunday paper to plan their “open house runs” for the day.
There are also plenty of publications such as church bulletins and organization newsletters available in most areas that you should consider advertising with. Bulletin boards at the grocery stores are a great place to tack up your brochures and it won’t cost you anything other than the cost of the paper and ink. Incorporate pictures into your print ads and brochures whenever possible.
A picture is worth a thousand words! Always remember to include websites and online information in your print ads so people have complete access to your postings and pictures.
One yard sign doesn’t cut it. Proper signage placement is important especially if you home is on a side street or off the main road. You should post your signs at strategic locations so that they lead buyers directly to your home. Again, this is especially important when you are hosting an open house. Consider putting balloons on your signs as an added attention getter.
A final tip would be to send out a letter by regular mail to all of your friends and family and let them know that your home is for sale and you would appreciate if they would post a brochure up on their bulletin board at work. Include multiple copies of your brochure in your mailers.
Most households have more than one worker who can post your listing, so it’s a good idea to send them extra copies. Be sure to include any website addresses or posting details so they can see more about your home online.
Remember that you need plenty of interested buyers to land the sale. Be creative in your marketing efforts and get the word out to as many people as you can.
How to buy on the For Rent Method
For many Americans today the dream of home ownership seems out of reach. Prices have skyrocketed over the last few years, and right now it’s nearly impossible to get into a home without good credit and mega bucks for a down payment.
This can be discouraging, especially to those with larger families or small children. Having too little room and no back yard, and hearing the neighbors through the thin walls of an apartment building is not what most of us want for our brood.
However, in recent years an increasingly popular and mutually beneficial option has emerged for people facing these or other related home-buying issues. The process is termed “how to buy a rent to own house” (which is similar to a Lease Option) and it can be a viable solution for anyone who finds themselves with limited down payment money, income, or credit. It can allow an aspiring homeowner to get into a house before they have completely fixed all of their credit problems, and with less money out of their pocket.
Even more encouraging is that the rent to own house buying process doesn’t usually involve getting qualified by a Loan Broker or a bank before moving into the house. Because the Seller is a real person with a real need to sell their house, they are typically more flexible and willing to work with a buyer than a financial institution would be.
And depending on the situation, the seller is quite often able to accept a down payment that is considerably less than a bank would require. These pluses are very appealing to many Americans who have been unable to keep pace with high housing costs, or who have had events which have temporarily lowered their credit score.
In exchange for these advantages, the buyer of a rent to own house needs to be flexible in other ways. Usually this type of buyer is expected to pay close to (or even slightly above) market value for the house and the may also pay above-market rental prices. This is because of 2 things:
1) The home seller usually needs above-market rents to help cover his mortgage.
2) The home seller will often give “Rent Credit” to the potential buyer in exchange for a higher monthly rent.
For example, take a home worth $300,000 with a monthly mortgage payment of $2,200. The owner needs to sell it, but there are several others in his area that are also for sale, a few perhaps listed at even lower prices than his. The home seller decides that he wants to sell to a rent to own buyer so that he can get the home sold quickly and for the price he needs.
The seller may offer the house at $295,000 with a monthly payment of $2,400 and a 3% Option Consideration (which is money or “down payment” giving the buyer the Option to purchase the home in a pre-determined amount of time at a pre-set price). Most times this Option Consideration is non-refundable even if the buyer is unable to purchase the house.
In this example, the rent to own buyer will bring the 3% Option Consideration to the seller (before move in) and begin paying the rent. They will have already agreed upon the price of $295,000 (which can’t increase even if the value of the home does), and they will have agreed that the buyer will have a pre-determined amount of time to exercise their “Option to Buy”- for example, 2 years.
It may also be agreed upon by the Buyer and Seller that $600 of the $2,400 monthly rent will be considered “Rent Credit” and applied toward a down payment. This Rent Credit money will be used when the rent to own buyer finally qualifies for a loan, and officially takes ownership of the house. (Within the agreed upon 2 years)
This is a simple example, and terms are negotiable in transactions such as this, but this scenario is common and was used to help clarify some of the elements of the process.
This creative process of how to buy a rent to own house is becoming more and more popular because it creates a “Win – Win” scenario. The Buyer is able to get into a home with limited money and credit, and the Seller is able to get a fair price for their home and get it sold more quickly.
Both sides are better off than before, and the process meets all of their needs. In today’s tumultuous market this tried and true method is allowing many Americans to buy and sell homes that they wouldn’t have been able to through more “conventional” methods.
How to Boost Your Credit
1. Deleting Errors in 48 Hours
This is the absolute fastest way to correct errors on your credit report and raise your credit score. However, it can only be done through a mortgage company or a bank. If you apply for a home loan and find errors on your credit report, request the loan officer to conduct a Rapid Rescore. But don’t mistake it for the credit clinic tactic of multiple dispute letters.
The Rapid Rescore strategy requires proper paperwork. You need proof that the item is incorrect. It must come from the creditor directly.
For example, a letter stating the account is not your account, a letter stating the account was paid satisfactorily, a release of lien, a satisfaction of judgment, a bankruptcy discharge, a letter for deletion of collection account or any relevant evidence.
This is the same documentation a bank or mortgage company would require for the credit accounts anyways. The difference is, now you can improve your credit score and receive a lower interest rate. The results are not guaranteed and will run you about $50 per account.
2. Deleting Negative Credit
This is the infamous area where you’ve heard of all the scams. Credit repair clinics charge “an arm and a leg” and promise a clean credit report. Sometimes even a new credit profile! People spending hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars for something they can do themselves.
Removing errors is simple. Deleting negative credit that is accurate requires advanced methods. But that is not the scope of this report. So I’ll focus on the deleting the negative
Credit report errors easily disappear by using a simple dispute letter. If you have the paperwork proving the error as mentioned above in Rapid Rescore, send copies of that along with the dispute letter. This will make the credit bureau’s job easier and
you will get faster results.
If you don’t have the documentation to prove the error(s), send the dispute letter anyway. According to federal law, the credit bureau’s have a “reasonable time” to validate your claim. They will contact the creditor for verification of your dispute.
Then the account will be reported accurately – or deleted. It has been generally accepted the “reasonable time” to complete this task is 30 days.
If you’re not the do-it-yourself kind of person. Or don’t have the time. You could hire someone who is very economical.
3. PiggyBack Someone’s Credit
This is a fast and great little credit score booster. But it requires a very trusting relationship. Simply put, someone else adds you to their credit account. For example, when applying for a credit card, you may have seen the section to add a card holder.
If your trusting person adds you, their payment history is now reported on your credit report too. If they have perfect credit, now you have a perfect account.
To make this more effective, use an aged account. Imagine if your trusted person has a 10 year old credit card account with a perfect payment history and a balance of only 50% of the credit limit. Wouldn’t you love to have this on your credit report? The easy part is your trusted person just calls the credit card company and requests a form to add a cardholder.
Once completed and activated, their entire account history and future is now firmly planted on your account. Imagine if you secured 3-5 of these accounts – especially installment accounts. Your credit score could sky-rocket!
The challenging part? Finding the trusted person. Since you already have a low credit score and bad credit, how eager will someone be to make you a cardholder? Even your parents don’t want you to damage their credit. But, no one says you need to possess the card!
In other words, your trusted person could add you as a card holder and never give you the card or PIN or any information. Since the bills and all account information is still mailed to the trusted person’s address, you won’t know anything about the account. This
scenario could land you many trusted persons. And you still benefit with a higher credit score.
4. Playing Round Robin
This strategy is one of the oldest credit building techniques around. It used to be accomplished with secured savings accounts. But now, it’s much easier with secured credit cards. In fact, I’ve used this method myself.
Here’s how it works: Take ,000 (or what you can afford) and get a secured credit card. Once received, get a cash advance of 70% of your credit limit. Get a second secured credit card. Once received, get a cash advance of 70% of your credit limit. Get a third secured credit card. Once received, get a cash advance of 70% of your credit limit.
Open a new checking account with the final cash advance. Use this account only for making payments on your three new credit cards. If you make your payments on time every month, your credit score will increase because you now have three new perfect payment credit cards.
(Initially, your credit score might drop a few points due to the rapid, multiple accounts being opened. However, be patient because within 4 months of no new accounts or any delinquencies of any account, you will see your credit score increase. Mine increased 60 points in 60 days!!)
5. Pay on Time
This one is quite obvious. But after 12.5 years in the mortgage business, I discovered it still needs repeating. Your creditors were gracious enough to loan you money. Now pay your damn bills! If you don’t, your credit score decreases. EVEN IF ONLY 30 DAYS LATE!
That’s right folks. For some reason people think, “I’m only a few weeks late. What’s the big deal?” Well, for the loan company, if you pay late but consistent, they make a lot more money with late fees and more interest (if a simple interest loan). For you, your credit score is damaged. If you think long-term and credit score, I’m certain you would not have a cavalier attitude.
6. Pay Down Debts
This seems like an obvious method, doesn’t it? But it is not as transparent as you might think. Remember, we’re playing with high-level statistics and probabilities which evaluates and forecasts trends in your behavior. Here’s what you do…
Never pay off your revolving debt in it’s entirety! Isn’t that a surprise? Think about it. Your credit score is a reflection of your ability to manage your credit. Paying off your debt is not
managing your debt. If you have a zero balance, how can you manage it? You don’t. It no longer exists. And you cannot manage what does not exist, right? Therefore, in terms of credit score, you have demonstrated your ability to swiftly pay off accounts to avoid managing them. Thus, slightly decreasing your credit score.
One exception, of course, is if you’re over extended to begin with. Pay off what’s necessary to make your credit profile look great. Then manage the remaining credit.
7. Don’t Close Accounts
Even if you pay off revolving debts, do not close the account. The longer an account is open with no negative reports, the better it reflects in your overall credit score. This is due to the weighted-average in the credit score formula. Many credit experts suggest a balance of 30% of your credit limit. That’s ideal. But you can go as high as 70% and still maintain a healthy credit score.
8. No New Credit
You must be vigilant in your credit behavior if you want the best credit score. Therefore, do not get any new credit unless it is absolutely necessary. Each time you apply for credit, an inquiry is added to your report. This usually drops your credit score slightly. When you have fresh credit, there is no track record how you will manage (or pay) this account. Therefore, it’s a higher risk which results in a minor drop in your credit score. Remember, your credit score is about risk assessment.
Here’s what you do: obtain credit for your housing, transportation, college or continued education and 3-5 credit cards. That’s really all you need for personal credit. If you want more credit, request a credit limit increase on your current cards rather than apply for new ones.
9. Maintain A Mix of Credit Types
If you show you can handle different types of credit at the same time, you are rewarded with a great credit score. In other words, get installment loans like vehicle, personal loan or mortgage.
Get revolving credit like credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, Sears, Sunoco Gas, Costco. By mixing it up, you demonstrate you can manage your credit because you will have short term and long term credit with a fixed payment. As well as a “variable” monthly payment on your credit cards.
Keep these accounts open with a balance of 70% or less and paid
on time and you will witness your credit score climb to great
10. Don’t File Bankruptcy or Foreclosure
Here’s the most obvious advice: Don’t file for bankruptcy or foreclosure. These stay on your credit report for 10 years and always decrease your credit score. The older the bankruptcy or foreclosure account becomes, coupled with re-built credit history, the less of an impact they play on your credit score.
Contrary to popular beliefs, you can legally delete a bankruptcy and foreclosure. It’s not easy. But it’s possible. See the advanced methods for that solution.
To quickly rebuild your credit history after a bankruptcy or foreclosure, use the Round Robin strategy above and get secured credit cards. Now you can even get a car loan or mortgage right after bankruptcy.
How to work with Realtors and Brokers
“Many people mistakenly believe that a real estate agent and a real estate broker are the same, but this is actually untrue. While both a real estate agent and a real estate broker must undergo schooling and must pass a state real estate exam, there are some very significant differences between the two.
From a technical standpoint, the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker is the fact that they hold different licenses. In order to obtain the different licensing, a real estate broker must actually complete additional coursework beyond what a real estate agent must complete.
Although many people use the terms real estate agent and real estate broker interchangeably, a broker actually has more schooling and bears more responsibilities throughout the transaction.
Since a broker has more education and experience, real estate agents actually work beneath the broker. Therefore, a person that works as an independent realtor must be a broker as well. A real estate agency with multiple employees, however, may have only one licensed broker and several agents.
While the agents will perform many of the same functions as the broker, the broker is the one that is ultimately responsible for ensuring the transaction is completed properly. In exchange for taking on this added responsibility, the broker receives a percentage of the commission the agent earns when selling a home.
The Personal Touch
When it comes to working with a real estate broker versus a real estate agent, you will probably notice little difference if you notice a difference at all. This is because agents are licensed and capable of performing the basic tasks that most buyers and sellers are interested in having completed for them.
For example, if you are looking for a home, an agent can easily take you to see a variety of homes and can help you reach a deal with the seller. Similarly, if you are selling a home, a real estate agent will have access to all of the same connections as the broker he or she works for.
If you are working with an agent rather than directly with the broker, you should expect to receive the same level of service you would receive from the broker. If you are unhappy with the agent’s service, however, you can contact the broker and request that another agent be assigned to you.
Similarly, if you have any questions or concerns that your agent cannot seem to address, you should contact the broker in order to make sure you are on the right track with the selling or purchase of your home.
The fact that every real estate agent is backed up by a broker is somewhat of a safety net for you as a consumer. In fact, if a crisis situation arises, the success of your transaction may come down to the abilities of the broker.
Therefore, when hiring an agent, be sure you are comfortable with both the agent and the broker if they are not the same person. That way, you will be guaranteed the best experience possible.”
How to save on Utility Bills
Once you have made the decision that the less electricity my house uses the better, just how do you go about making changes to cut cost? And which changes will get me the most bang for my buck?
The single best way to retrofit an aging home for energy efficiency is to boost the insulation and overall air tightness of the home. Since a home’s heating and cooling costs can account for as much as 75% of the total utility costs, better insulation makes incredible sense.
Homes built as recently as ten years ago do not have the level of insulation that the newer homes are being built with today. Not to mention that some types of insulation can compress over time losing the valuable air pockets that give it it’s insulating quality.
While increasing the insulation in the walls is difficult, especially if you don’t want to tear out all the drywall in you house, boosting insulation in you attic or crawlspace is definitely an option.
The cheapest method of increasing attic insulation is adding inches to what you already have. In a typical attic, the addition of a few inches of blown in insulation or an attic blanket could make a huge difference in overall energy efficiency.
Crawlspace insulation can, overtime, even come lose or have been compromised by moisture or water damage or simply be non-existent in locations. A quick trip under the house by either you or an insulation contractor could go a long way to pointing out problem areas that need to be addressed.
A newer and much better form of attic and crawl space insulation is the spray foam type. I say better because standard fiber glass insulation results in an R-value of 3.2 per inch of insulation. Blown cellulose results in an R-value of 3.5 per inch. A polyurethane insulation sprayed in place offers an R-value of 7.0 per inch. A little bit can go a long way.
What makes this type of insulation even better is that when it is sprayed onto your house there are no air gaps at all. All cracks and crevices and holes around pipes are completely sealed. No batting type insulation can come close to it.
Your crawl space is a great place to use spray insulation. The crawl space is great because the insulation is completely waterproof. No amount of moisture under your house is going to damage this insulation.
In fact, if you already have a moisture problem due largely in part because your old bat type insulation has been wicking up the existing moisture under your house, the removal of the bat insulation and the installation of spray foam will kill of all forms of mold and mildew (due to the high heat of the liquid foam) as well as supply superior insulation.
And if the crawl space is a great place the attic is even better. Just leave all the old insulation in tact and in place and add a nice thick coating of spray insulation applied directly to the underside of the plywood of your roof. This type of insulation would seal off all existing roof vents.
This is preferable to the old stand by of a vented attic because the insulation holds the temperature of your attic space within 10 degrees of the temperature of your conditioned space. The greatest advantage of this is that the heating and cooling ductwork is now in a space that would average at about 85 degrees in the summer versus 135 degrees for a vented attic.