Charles & Dianne Sibley
"Commitment you can count on... every step of the way!"

Your Credit Score

When applying for a loan, a mortgage company will check your credit score with the three major credit reporting bureaus – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Each of these will have a different score, but the higher your score, the less risk you will be for the mortgage company. While a perfect score is hard to achieve, you can get close by consistently following three simple guidelines:

1. Pay all bills on time.
2. Keep credit card balances low.
3. Take on new credit/debt only when you really need it.

Other factors that you need to know:

Look very carefully at the fine print in situations where a company may need to inquire about your credit and ask questions to insure that you are not affecting your credit. A car dealership may check your credit when you test drive a car, or the gym may do the same when you sign up for membership., I look at the fine print very carefully to see if they have a right to hit my credit file with an inquiry."

A long history of timely payments will make a big difference in your score – the longer, the better.

To help you pay your bills on time, consider programming everything online so that all of the bills pay themselves and credit card balances are paid off immediately.

On the rare occasion where a bill is either late or due that day, call immediately and take care of it.

Loyalty to the same banks and credit card companies helps; three credit accounts are a good average - not too many, not too few.

Avoid constantly shifting to capture the best deal, discount rate, rebate points, etc.

Avoid randomly opening credit cards to take advantage of store promotions.

Use your credit cards regularly and pay them off every month. An overabundance of idle retail accounts can drive your score down. However, consult your loan officer before closing any current accounts; closing just one card with a credit line of $3,000 could mean that you do not have enough available credit to get the loan needed for the house that you are buying.

Although it is wise to pay off your credit cards, do not use up savings that you may need for closing costs on your new home. Ask your loan officer for advice about paying down existing debt.

Ready to buy a house? Do not make any major purchases! In the excitement of buying a new home, you may be tempted to buy new furniture, television or refrigerator…but doing so will add to your debt and could prevent you from qualifying for the loan that you need. The need for a larger house may go along with the need for a bigger car if your family is growing…but the debt of a new car may mean that the new home is out of reach. Avoid the temptation to buy or take on more debt until the day AFTER you close on your loan.

What You Need to Know about Inspections

Inspections are one of the most important parts of buying a home. Thorough inspections can help you to know the condition of the home that you are buying and provide you with the information that you need when determining if you want to actually purchase the property. So, what’s a big deal and what is not?

You have paid for the inspector - use your time with him wisely. Follow your inspector around so that you will understand what has been inspected and ask questions:
1. Can you show me how to work that?
Inspectors are usually happy to show you how to operate various systems in the house and will walk you through the steps of operating items such as your thermostat, water heater, stove and dishwasher. They will also be glad to show you the emergency shutoffs for your gas, water and electrical utilities.

2. What is the problem?
Do not spend your time taking pictures of the interior or measuring for drapes or furniture. When your inspector finds an issue, ask him to show you what is wrong and explain what needs to be done. Seeing the issues first hand will help you better understand the report that you will receive.

3. How bad is it?
This information will help you decide whether to move forward with the contract or renegotiate, and what to plan for after you close. Some things can cost less than $100 to fix while other repairs could be more costly than the value of the house.

Home inspectors are not legally able to provide you with a repair bid, but if you attend the inspection and ask them whether or not something is a big deal, they usually will verbally give you the information you need to understand the degree to which the issue is a serious problem or not.

4. If this was your house, what would you fix?
Your home inspector's job is to point out everything within the scope of their inspection that might need repair, replacement, maintenance or further inspection. He knows that no home is perfect and can help you put the imperfections in perspective. If there are concerns, take time to read through your home warranty so that you will have a better idea of what items may be covered and if there are pre-existing conditions that apply.

5. Whom should I hire to make the repairs?
The inspectors should be able to explain:

Which items are simple and should be something that you can easily do yourself.
Which are larger repairs. For those, your inspector or your agent (the Sibley Team) may be able to give you the name of an electrician, plumber, roofer, etc, from whom you can get bids. You can get bids within the inspection period and might be able to negotiate repairs or a reduction in sales price.
Which issues indicate that you need further inspections?

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
7464 Woodrow st • Irmo, SC 29063
Phone: (803)730-4325 • Fax: (803)730-4325


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