Home Buying

3 Simple Strategies for a (Nearly) Perfect Credit Score

If you have a credit score of 850, then congratulations! You are one of the just 1.4% of Americans who have climbed to the fabled plateau of the "perfect score". Luckily for the other 98.6% of us, a perfect score isn't really necessary for getting the best interest rates on mortgages. In fact, a score of 760 is typically the lower limit for banks to offer you the best rates. Although 760 can still seem impossible if you have struggled with your credit in the past, a few simple tips can quickly right the ship and get you back on track.

Ask the Seller These Questions Before Moving In

Congratulations, you've landed your dream home! Once everything has been agreed upon and you are ready to close, it might be tempting to switch to autopilot until it's time to move in. However, every house has small things that you can't learn from a home inspection or walk-through. Rather than find out that a window sticks only after the rain has started to blow in, why not ask the seller for a few insider tips before they depart for good? Here are some good questions that you should ask during the final walk-through or closing.

Smoking Indoors Can Massively Reduce a Home's Value

After months of searching for the perfect home, you finally find one that checks all the boxes: great location, lots of curb appeal, and a price that seems too good to be true! In fact, it isn't until the front door swings open and you catch a whiff of cigarettes that you realize why the price is so low. Rates of smoking may have fallen dramatically in the last several decades, but there are still thousands of hopeful buyers who encounter this exact situation every year. According to the CDC, 14% of U.S. adults were active smokers in 2017, which means that there are about 34 million potential home sellers who could be lighting up right now. If you are one of these smokers, you might be interested in learning just how much smoking inside reduces the resale value of your home. Plus, this post lists some of the methods that smokers and nonsmokers alike might want to employ in an attempt to rid their home of that distinctive smell.