Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Do This, Don't Do That

When it comes to buying a house, a list of do's and don'ts can help you get off on the right foot especially if you plan to apply for a mortgage.  Here are some basic dos and don'ts to help you stay on track with your home ownership plans.

Do This

Do Pay Old Debts – The less debt you have, the easier it’s going to be to get a great mortgage. Paying down your debt as this is another area that a lender will look at if you don’t have a lot of capital to put down as collateral.
Do Pay Off Early – If possible, don't ever make minimum payments. Adding a little extra every month to debt payments is a really good help when trying to get a mortgage in the future. This applies to existing mortgages as well. The quicker you can pay it off, the better.
Do Show Evidence of Down Payment Savings – Though some loans will allow you to receive "gift funds" from a family member for your down payment, it is best to show you have acculated your own down-payment savings

Don't Do That

Don’t Miss Payments – If you currently have a mortgage or any other type of loan, make sure you always make the payments on time. Car payments, credit card payments, school loan payments... it doesn't matter what type of loan it is, you need to pay on time every time.
Don’t Overextend – Many people like to live beyond their means – i.e. spend more than they make – but this can quickly lead to problems. When getting ready to apply for a mortgage, make a household budget and practice sticking to it for six months before you apply. Use a "cash-only" system so you are not buying anything on credit.   By not overextending yourself financially, you can increase your chances of mortgage approval.

Want more mortgage advice?  I have have a handful of trusted mortgage professionals that would be happy to discuss your options and create a plan to get you the best possible loan terms for your situation.  Contact me now!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Are you qualified to buy that house?

Get pre-approved for a mortgage in the Twin Cities
Did you know most sellers will only entertain offers that are accompanied by a pre-qualification or pre-approval letter from a lender (or proof of funds)?  Many sellers also require that buyers be pre-qualified before even booking a showing for their home.

Have you found a lender yet to get pre-qualified? If not, send me a message or give me a call and I can refer a couple.

Call Sarah! 651-964-0289

Are you ready to buy or sell?  Need help determining if you are ready?  I can help!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tips from the Red Cross to Beat the Heat!

It's summer. No doubt that means some HOT days so take a look at these tips from the Red Cross and be safe!

Heat Index

Prepare for the heat:

•Listen to local weather forecasts and stay aware of upcoming temperature changes.
•Know what a Heat Index Is: The heat index is the temperature the body feels when the effects of heat and humidity are combined. Exposure to direct sunlight can increase the heat index by as much as 15° F.
•Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for wherever you spend time—
•home, work and school—and prepare for the possibility of power outages.
•Check the contents of your emergency preparedness kit in case a power outage occurs.
•Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
•If you do not have air conditioning, choose places you could go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).
•Ensure that your animals’ needs for water and shade are met.

Safety during a heat wave:

•Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
•Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty.
•Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
•Eat small meals and eat more often.
•Avoid extreme temperature changes.
•Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
•Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
•Postpone outdoor games and activities.
•Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
•Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
•Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.

Know the signs of heat related emergencies:

•Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.
•Heat exhaustion typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity.
•Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.
•Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition.
•Heat stroke (also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself.
•Signs of heat stroke include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting; and high body temperature.
Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1