5 (Totally Legal) Tricks to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

So, you’ve decided next year is the year you’re finally going to buy a house. Congrats! But now you’re a little panicked because your credit score isn’t exactly going to make lenders swoon.

You’re not alone. The national average credit score is 695, while only half of consumers fall in the desired 700-plus range. Although you certainly can get a mortgage with that score, you’ll need a 740 or higher to get the best rates. And that point is not lost on potential home buyers, 45% of whom wait for their credit scores to improve before applying for a mortgage.

While credit history isn’t built (or, for that matter, destroyed) overnight, there are still some things you can do right now to boost your credit score—fast. Here are some sneaky yet totally legit ways you can improve that all-important three-digit number in record time.

Here’s the Five Ways to Boost Your Credit


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Conquering These 5 Crucial Home Maintenance Projects

Here comes the summer!

We get it: Some much-needed summer relaxing time is beckoning, and home maintenance sounds like a drag. But a little pain now means your gain later. Our quick and easy tips will speed you through your home to-do list, and ensure your home runs smoothly during the dog days of summer.

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Zillow.com Sued Over Zestimate

It was a matter of time. Some buyers take the home value estimate seriously, known as the “zestimate”, and use this value when writing an offer on a home. We have found “zestimates” tend to be inaccurate when the home is located on a premium lot, has a private pool, and it is unable to adjust for any upgrades that the most recently sold homes may not have. (ex. home is 100% tile versus a home that has mostly carpet and some tile.)

Article From the Miami Herald: Homeowner sues Zillow, says ‘Zestimate’ is nonsense

Video: Lawsuit questions the accuracy of the Zillow home “Zestimate” tool


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6 Home Appraisal Myths You Need to Stop Believing Immediately

Yes, the appraisal is one of the scariest parts of the home-selling process—and one of the most confusing. After all, why is somebody valuing your home after you’ve already determined a listing price and received an offer? Plus, you’re never sure if the appraiser is truly factoring in those countless weekends you spent on backbreaking home upgrades—the Jacuzzi tub, the bidet, and the trendy shiplap walls have to count for something, right?

Here are the 6 Home Appraisal Myths


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FHA Reverse Mortgages (HECMs) for Seniors

I admit, when I hear “reverse mortgage”, I immediately become skeptical. However, this one seems to offer what a true reverse mortgage should provide to a senior homeowner.

If you are a homeowner age 62 or older and have paid off your mortgage or paid down a considerable amount, and are currently living in the home, you may participate in FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program.  The HECM is FHA’s reverse mortgage program that enables you to withdraw a portion of your home’s equity.

You can also use a HECM to purchase a primary residence if you are able to use cash on hand to pay the difference between the HECM proceeds and the sales price plus closing costs for the property you are purchasing.

Full Details on how the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage  at HUD.gov




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How much house can you afford?

Ready to buy a house? Before you spend a day drooling over homes you may not be able to afford, the first step is to determine your budget, which means it’s time to calculate your debt-to-income ratio.  DTI is used by loan officers to determine how much a person is qualified to borrow. The calculation itself is the percentage of a person’s monthly gross income that goes toward paying debts. Full Article

My favorite mortgage calculator is the BankRate.com Mortgage Calculator

mortgage house


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City of Maricopa Real Estate Market Update for March & April 2017

We’ve had a very busy selling season this year! Our city had 346 sales over the two month period with an estimated annual appreciation rate of 7.7%.
Here is the complete list of the sales by subdivision. I’ve added a new column to note if the home has a private pool.
If you like more statistics on our real estate market, please take a look at the most recent update from the Cromford ReportCromford Report Maricopa 5.4.17
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Only a Few Bubble Signs Brewing

From our friends at John Burns Consulting, who have been very diligent in their reporting of market conditions over the years:

Once again, we have completed our annual housing bubble check-in. Assessing the criteria that 73 industry executives identified in 2013, we found three qualitative signs of a bubble, two signs of a mini-bubble, and five signs of no bubble. Click here to see our infographic Top 10 Signs of a Market Bubble. Every month, we analyze the quantitative stats in our analysis of 70+ MSAs for our research subscription members. We have concluded that affordability in some markets is the only sign of a bubble that we can find.

Read their full report here:


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Mortgage Rates Hit Lowest Mark of 2017



MCLEAN, VA–(Marketwired – Apr 13, 2017) – Freddie Mac (FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the 30-year mortgage rate dropping for the fourth consecutive week and hitting a new low for 2017.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.08 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending April 13, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 4.10 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.58 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.34 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.36 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.86 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.18 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.19 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.84 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Full Article


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In These Markets, You’ll Earn Enough to Cover Rent—and Then Some

Reasonable rent and a solid-paying job? Dream on…right?

According to a recent analysis by LinkedIn and Zillow, there are dream markets for renters—if their field of choice is finance, healthcare or technology.

The analysis identified markets where renters earn in excess of the necessary income to support costs of living, taking into account indicators such as “labor market velocity,” “job listings,” “salaries,” and “rental housing costs.”

By sector, renters have the most left over in:

Happy couple enjoying breakfast in a balcony

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