FICO’s New Credit Score Formula

FICO 9

FICO’s new credit score formula will raise the scores of people with medical debts, or who paid off other debts in collection.

But people with unpaid debts on their record that aren’t related to health care would see their scores fall, making it harder for them to get a personal loan or credit card, or raising the interest rates they’ll have to pay, FICO said.

The changes potentially affect tens of millions of people — but don’t expect big changes in your credit right away. The score is expected to be available to lenders around the end of this year. And lenders typically take months to try out new scoring formulas on their loan portfolios, to see how accurately the new scores predict problem loans. Read more

Mormons Volunteer and Donate

helping-hands

A study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis explores the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints culture and explains LDS members’ volunteering and charitable giving-habits.

It is the first study focusing on giving and volunteering practices of Latter-day Saints that has been carried out within LDS wards by a non-church-affiliated university.

“Called to Serve: The Prosocial Behavior of Active Latter-day Saints” is the largest and most detailed study of its kind.  Researchers surveyed 2,644 active Mormons in Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Michigan, Utah and California.

Overall, researchers found that members of the LDS Church are the most “prosocial” members of American society. Read more

What is a Short Sale?

shortsale1

A Short Sale may be an alternative when you can’t pay your mortgage.

It is called a short sale because you do put your home up for sale, but the mortgage bank agrees to accept a buyer that will not be paying the full loan amount, an amount “short” of what is owed on the loan. The bank is “shorted” After the sale the Seller is usually able to walk away from the home without owing the bank the difference.

There are occasions where the bank will seek a deficiency judgment against the former owner, so be sure to have this discussion with your agent and work to include language in your closing that protects you against deficiency judgments.

Why would you opt for a “Short Sale” versus a “Foreclosure”?
Read more

What Is Title Insurance?

title insurance

Title insurance protects you against losses arising from problems with your property title that were unknown to you when you bought the property. As a buyer you want a clear or clean title — one that doesn’t have liens for unpaid taxes against it, or claims of ownership by a faraway aunt or uncle, or a surprise easement through the backyard to reach power lines or a cell phone tower. As for your lender, he wants to know that the loan is going to a legitimate transaction — the seller really does own the property and therefore can sell it to you. The only time you can purchase title insurance is at closing. Read more

Home Improvements That Add Value

Home-Improvement-projecxt
You have many options for home improvement projects that add value to your home. If you plan to remodel, concentrate your efforts on smaller projects that make your home more appealing to budget-minded buyers. Focus on energy efficiency and small upgrades that add character and comfort to your home.

1. Remodeling the Kitchen

Most people consider the kitchen to be the heart of the home, and because of this, updates in this room pay off. According to HGTV, you can expect to recoup 60%-120% of your investment on a kitchen remodel, as long as you don’t go overboard. You should never make your kitchen fancier than the rest of the house, or the neighborhood. Read more

A Standard Homeowners Policy

Know what is covered in your homeowners insurance policy.

A standard homeowners insurance policy includes four essential types of coverage. They include:

  1. Coverage for the structure of your home.
  2. Coverage for your personal belongings.
  3. Liability protection.
  4. Additional living expenses in the event you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of a fire or other insured disaster.

Read more

Understanding Credit Scores

bad credit - good creditDo you know your credit score?

Credit scores generally range between the low 300s and the mid-800s, so surely a score of 600 is a good credit score, right?

Actually, a score of 600 is a poor credit score. Your credit score directly affects how much money your loans and other types of financingwill cost you over
your lifetime. Let’s take a look at the breakdown of credit scores: Read more

Real Estate Spotlight: Las Vegas, NV

The Las Vegas Strip

Shimmering from the desert haze of Nevada like a latter-day El Dorado, Las Vegas is the most dynamic, spectacular city on earth. At the start of the twentieth century, it didn’t even exist; now it’s home to two million people, and boasts nineteen of the world’s twenty-five largest hotels, whose flamboyant, no-expense-spared casinos lure in thirty-seven million tourists each year. Read more

Drawbacks of a Reverse Mortgage

Watch out for these drawbacks of using a reverse mortgage to fund retirement.

The truth about reverse mortgages are far from ideal. In fact, there are a few reasons to avoid getting a reverse mortgage as part of your retirement plan. Most of these reasons revolve around the fact that this type of income stream is actually a loan against your home’s equity that has to be paid back.

Here are five reasons to think twice about getting a reverse mortgage: Read more