The Big 5 and Your Credit

Loving that buyers can start off the new year with mortgage rates still in the 3’s AND for First-Time Home Buyers, the 3% down payment loans are back – yay!!

First Homes are the Best

Low down payments, low interest rates… now what do you need to take advantage of both?

First, you’ll want¬†a great buyer’s agent, like myself of course ūüôā¬† I will help you find a home that suits your lifestyle & negotiate terms that¬†fit your¬†budget.

You will also need a trusted mortgage officer to help you secure a mortgage with a lender.  And, finally, lenders are going to want to see good credit to give you the most flexibility with down payments and the best rates. Now, what goes into a good credit score?

Click this link to  The 5 Biggest Factors Affecting Your Credit  as explained by Amy Fontinelle on Investopedia.com (which, by the way, is a site full of understandable information for consumers).

1. Payment History (35%)
2. Amounts Owed (30%)
3. Length of Credit (15%)
4. New Credit (10%)
5. Types of Credit in Use (10%)

Your credit score reflects the amount of risk a lender may be taking when they loan money to you.  It indicates how responsible you have been in taking out credit and paying back those loans and bills.  If you have not shown stable repayment of debt, expect a low credit score (and expect that banks may not want to loan you hundreds of thousands of dollars for a new home or that they may charge you much more to borrow from them).  On the flip side, if you have taken out credit and managed it well, your score will be higher rewarding you with better rates and more options for loans. This article takes only a few minutes to read, but is great information for years to come whether working to maintain your credit or rebuild it.

Jen McMorran Jen McMorran, Realtor
jen.mcmorran@verizon.net
508-930-5259
First Time Home Buyers
Existing Home Sales
New Construction
Antique Homes

Kensington Real Estate Brokerage – Servicing clients from Boston to Providence! North Attleboro, Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, Mansfield, Norton, Foxboro, Sharon, Seekonk, Cumberland, North Smithfield, Providence, Lincoln

Kitchen Remodel Step 1 – Read this!!

Great article on planning your Kitchen Remodel 

by Josh Garskof from This Old House Magazine.

MAlternative kitchen countertop surfacesake sure to take a quick read through it all as he highlights important considerations and gets you thinking about the entire kitchen remodel process!  Jot down some important notes then start to plan out your kitchen makeover.  And definitely have your notes handy when you meet with a designer or contractor.

showing the cost allocation of the remodel
If you have ever been through a remodel or new construction, you know pretty much anything is possible for a price.¬†¬†How many times did you¬†hear¬†¬†“we can do that”¬† without the contractor/designer/sales person telling you how much it will ultimately cost?¬† Too¬†many people go way over budget when they fall in love with a concept and then just can’t let go of it even though it turns out to be far out of their financial means (Very few make up that cost later in the project so don’t¬†try to convince yourself of that unless you have really figured it out on paper!)

There are 33 pages to click through… click them all!¬† So many good ideas on budgets, how to phase your projects,¬†what can be done with blind corners, ways to save money on cabinets, comparing drawers verses¬†roll-out shelves, cook tops, ranges, refrigerators, dishwasher styles, faucets, sinks, countertops, flooring, and more.¬†¬†Trust me…¬†not only will you be armed with more information but you will also¬†come up with more questions to ask.

Because I am all about value, saving money, and planning, see below for a taste of what is included in the full article at This Old House Magazine… 1)What features are worth splurging on and 2)How to phase your project if you can’t afford to do it all right now.

What kitchen splurges make the most cents?

Worth the Splurge
a remodeled farmhouse kitchen1) Second sink: Place it outside of the main cooking and cleanup zone so that a second chef can prep food, wash hands for dinner, or bartend during parties.
2) Paneled cabinet ends: These decorative panels, which are essentially oversize doors fixed to any exposed sides of cabinets, give your kitchen a custom-built, furniture-like look.
3) Full-extension, soft-close drawer glides: Installed under or on the sides of a drawer, they allow it to pull completely out of the cabinet so that you can reach everything inside. Plus, they eliminate slamming.

Remodeled and updated kitchenNot Worth the Splurge
1) Glazed, distressed, and crackled finishes: These can increase cabinet costs by as much as 30 percent and can start to look dated as trends change.
2) Pot filler: It does make filling the pasta pot easier, but it doesn’t help with the far worse task of carting boiling water to the sink when your fettuccine is done.
3) Wine fridge: Do you really need 18 bottles of Pinot within arms reach and kept at precisely 55 degrees?

Do it in phases.¬†Don’t compromise.

Illustration of kitchen layoutWhere to invest NOW:
Layout: This is the time to open the floor plan, add the island, and rearrange the flow.
Infrastructure: Get the framing, subfloor, windows, plumbing, and electrical right or all those new finishes and appliances won’t perform as expected.
Cabinets: Go for quality construction, premium glides and hinges, and as many cabinets as you can afford.
Countertops: Conventional wisdom may say to phase-in upscale countertops, but demoing the old and installing new can damage your cabinets and plumbing.

What you can wait for LATER:
New appliances: Unless you’re changing their size or configuration, your old range and fridge will work just fine until you get your next tax return.
Pricey light fixtures: Throw in cheap placeholders while you’ve got the electrician on hand. You can easily replace lights yourself once the wiring’s complete.
Splurge-worthy faucet: You can get a decent one for less than $75 that’ll tide you over for months or even years. Just make sure the drill-outs in your countertop match the configuration of your future faucet.
Backsplash: Paint the walls above your counter with a scrubbable semigloss to protect them while you save up for that glass mosaic. Holding off also gives new cabinets time to settle, thus preventing grout and caulk problems at the seam where the backsplash meets the counter.

Don’t forget to check out all of the other information in This Old House Magazine – relevant for homes and homeowners of all ages!!

Jen McMorran Jen McMorran, Realtor
jen.mcmorran@verizon.net
508-930-5259
First Time Home Buyers
Existing Home Sales
New Construction
Antique Homes

Kensington Real Estate Brokerage – Servicing clients from Boston to Providence! North Attleboro, Attleboro, Plainville, Wrentham, Mansfield, Norton, Foxboro, Sharon, Seekonk, Cumberland, North Smithfield, Providence, Lincoln