Category: Buying

June 12th, 2017 by homehappily

Today, maintaining good personal credit is more important than ever.

A secured credit card can help in rebuilding credit, or help to build new credit for individuals just starting out. The First Progress Platinum MasterCard® Secured Credit Card is a full-feature Platinum MasterCard® with a credit line based on a security deposit rather than on a credit score.

The card is designed to advance the accumulation of new information in a credit file, by reporting account activity to all three of the major national credit bureaus every month. Since it is a full-feature Platinum MasterCard®, the card provides the convenience and prestige of the worldwide MasterCard® system.

I can offer you this card, along with many other credit restoration, repair, building and education through Financial Education Services, a company I represent as a credit specialist.

Follow the link to learn more about the secured credit card 

Follow the link to learn more about all the credit services I offer

Posted in Buying, Credit Repair Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

June 9th, 2017 by homehappily

Did you know that someone with less-than-perfect credit will pay $200K to a million dollars MORE in interest over their lifetime than a person with good credit?

SEND ME THE DETAILS NOW

More than 43 percent of Americans have a credit score under 599? Even a credit score between 600-699 isn’t stellar and can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars — money that should be going into your retirement or towards your current quality of life. Instead you’re paying towards interest, leaving you less money each month to live, and putting you even more behind on your bills.

A lower credit score can prevent you from buying a home, leasing a car or qualifying for a credit card. Your credit can also affect whether or not you get hired, as many more employers are including a credit check, along with the more typical background check.

Maybe you’re like millions of other Americans and you’v got some obstacles with your credit. Maybe you’ve been looking for a solution.

I have the solution — a life-changing solution for you to significantly improve you credit score over the next 90 days, 6 months, 9 months and for years to come. With better credit, you’ll have more choices and freedom. You’ll have more money to spend on travel, retirement or your home.

What if you could invest in your financial future, starting today, for less than half of the price of a Starbucks coffee and a quarter of the price of a trip through the fast food line?

Well, you can. It’s called the FES Protection Plan, from Financial Education Services.

For just $2.85, that’s two dollars and 85 cents a day — aroud the price of a bag of chips and a soda, you could change your financial destiny, and maybe even your waistline.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE DETAILS

Posted in Buying, Credit Repair, Foreclosure Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

June 9th, 2017 by homehappily

Posted in Buying Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 7th, 2017 by homehappily

Increase Your Credit Score within 10 Days, just by paying rent…

How to improve your credit by reporting your positive rental payment history to the credit bureaus


Step 1: Sign up for RentReporters

RentReporters contacts your landlord to verify up to 2 years of rental history. They report to Transunion only. RentReporters’ customers see an the average increase in their score of 35-50 points within 10 days, according to the website’s FAQs.

Coupon Code for RentReporters.com

Sign up by clicking the green sign-up button in the top right corner of rentreporters.com. It’s $49 one time payment to use the service and $9.95 a month thereafter. Normally it’s $59 to start, but use this COUPON CODE for $10 offBA969 — at checkout. Once you’ve entered the discount code, make sure to press the “APPLY” button.

See RentReporters FAQs


Step 2: Ask your landlord to report your rent using eRentPayment

This service allows landlords to collect your rent through the eRentPayment.com system and report current and future rent payments to ALL THREE credit bureaus for just $3 per transaction. (They can increase your rent $3 if they don’t want to pay this.)

This service doesn’t report previous rental history, but the positive credit reporting starts now. It will take 2-3 months to start showing up on your credit report.

See eRentPayment FAQs


NOTES

Late Rent – Rent isn’t reported late or negative to the credit bureaus unless it’s over 30 days late with RentReporters and 15 days late with eRentPayment. eRentPayment allows a landlord to include a late fee in the rent payment, but the transaction won’t be reported late to the credit bureaus automatically. The landlord would have to purposely adjust the transaction to report it negatively. Otherwise, it’s reported as an on-time payment.

Pros & Cons – The benefit of eRentPayments is that it reports to all three credit bureaus, the downside is they don’t report past rental history and the tenant has to rely soley on the landlord or property manager to participate. The benefit of RentReporters is that it reports up to two years rental history, but only to one credit bureau.

Cancel RentReporters after 30 days –
It normally costs $59 to sign up with RentReporters. But you can save $10 by using the coupon code: BA969. Contact me if you have trouble with this code for any reason. If you sign up for eRentPayments in addition to RentReporters, you only have to keep RentReporters until your previous rental history shows on your credit report. If your landlord is cooperating with you to report your current and future rent payments with eRentPayments, you can cancel RentReporters so you don’t have to keep paying the $10 a month.

Roomates/Spouses –
Both services allow a way for roommates or spouses to also get their rent payments reported to credit bureaus.

Posted in Buying, Credit Repair, Foreclosure

February 24th, 2017 by homehappily

Nonprofit Offers DIY & Assisted Home Repair Services

I’ve recently learned about an organization called Home Repair Services, which exists to strengthen Kent county communities and homeowners. I just wrote a blog post about this nonprofit, but I wanted focus RIGHT NOW on the classes they are offering starting in March!

They are FREE and open to the public! You don’t even need to RSVP. Just walk in. Classes are located at 1100 South Division Avenue, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49507.

Money Matters Classes start Wednesday, March 1, at 6:30 p.m. Class topics include: Making Your Cash Work for You; Managing Credit, Foreclosure 101; Home Insurance & 21 Day Financial Challenge. (The classes are offered in Spanish as well at a different time)

Fix-it-School DIY Classes take place 10 a.m. to noon every Saturday. These classes (called Rookie Renovators) are so cool! Topics include: Ceramic/stone/glass tile installation; cabinet installation; flooring; electrical; drywall and plaster; landscaping; home maintenance; window installation and plumbing. (There is also a women-only plumbing class.)

Use this link to download the PDF schedule of classes.

If you have more Qs or want to contact HRS, visit my blog post for all the details and links.

 

Get Your Free Home Value Now!
Sylvia’s Website
Ultimate Guide to Home Selling
Homes Close to Where You Work
Free Home Values
Avoid Foreclosure
MY REVIEWS
Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
Contact Me

You Can Also Visit Us At:        

Posted in Buying, Community, DIY, Home Repair, Homeowners Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

February 23rd, 2017 by homehappily

So, you’re thinking about buying a home. Whether you’re a first time buyer, or you just need a brush up, here’s your Ultimate Guide to Buying a Home. Please let me know if you have questions!

Sylvia’s Ultimate Guide to Buying a Home from Sylvia Dana

 

Get Your Free Home Value Now!
Sylvia’s Website
Ultimate Guide to Home Selling
Homes Close to Where You Work
Free Home Values
Avoid Foreclosure
MY REVIEWS
Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
Contact Me

You Can Also Visit Us At:        

Posted in Buying Tagged with: , , , , ,

February 15th, 2017 by homehappily




I’m Sylvia Dana, a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Grand Rapids. Find me at www.shesellsgr.com

Mid-Monthly Real Estate Market Activity Reports for Grand Rapids and its Neighborhoods

 

> Click on the heading links to view PDF reports — viewable for 30 days from each link’s post date.

> If you want to keep the PDF longer, please download the report to your computer.

> Follow this post for monthly updates as the links will be updated on a mid-monthly basis.

> Looking for a report in regards to a specific Michigan neighborhood, zip code — or around a specific address? Ask Sylvia at www.shesellsgr.com


Grand Rapids, Michigan, Market Activity Report

Last updated: 2/15/2017

Grand Rapids, Michigan, median estimated home value $159K and median listing price is $151K as of Feb. 15, 2017.


Eastown, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Market Activity Report

Last updated: 2/15/2017

Eastown, Grand Rapids, Michigan median estimated home value $177K and median listing price is $203K as of Feb. 15, 2017.


Alger Heights, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Market Activity Report

Last updated: 2/15/2017

Alger Heights, Grand Rapids, Michigan median estimated home value $129K and median listing price is $130K as of Feb. 15, 2017.


East Grand Rapids, Michigan, Market Activity Report

Last updated: 2/15/2017

East Grand Rapids, Michigan median estimated home value $321K and median listing price is $499K as of Feb. 15, 2017.


Heritage Hill, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Market Activity Report

Last updated: 2/15/2017

Heritage Hill, Grand Rapids, Michigan, median estimated home value $216K and median listing price is $420K as of Feb. 15, 2017.

 


Looking for a report in regards to a specific Michigan neighborhood, zipcode — or around a specific address? Contact Sylvia at www.shesellsgr.com

 
Get Your Free Home Value Now!
 
Sylvia’s Website
Ultimate Guide to Home Selling
Homes Close to Where You Work
Free Home Values
Avoid Foreclosure
 
 
MY REVIEWS
 
 
 
Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
Contact Me

You Can Also Visit Us At:        
 

Posted in Buying, Home Values, Homeowners, Selling

February 10th, 2017 by homehappily

You might think you’re buying time by holding off from purchasing or selling a home right now, but it’s more likely you’re wasting time and losing money.

Buyer

It might not be in your best financial best interest to wait to buy a home as home values are on the rise. The chart of historical listings below explain how this market continues to see healthy appreciation due to the low housing inventory. See Figure 1.

Based on statistics from the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors, a buyer who waited from 2015 to 2016 to buy a home, so that they could “save money,” actually paid $15K more due to the appreciation. “This also does not factor in how higher interest rates decreased their buying power in addition to the increase in average sales price,” said Scott Reilly, loan officer at Mortgage 1 in Grand Rapids.

Seller

On the other hand, as a seller waiting to list your property until home values go up more, or it’s summer, or whatever the case may be … be on notice: the time is now. According to GRAR, there is only 1.7 months of inventory on the market. This means there is very little competition and your home is likely to sell faster and for more money, if you list your property now with Sylvia Dana.


Figure 1


Figure 2

 

Get Your Free Home Value Now!
Sylvia’s Website
Ultimate Guide to Home Selling
Homes Close to Where You Work
Free Home Values
Avoid Foreclosure
MY REVIEWS
Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
Contact Me

You Can Also Visit Us At:        

Posted in Buying, Homeowners, Selling Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

February 7th, 2017 by homehappily

Perhaps you’ve decided, or circumstances have decided for you, that you’re losing your home to foreclosure.

If foreclosure is imminent or you’ve recently gone through a foreclosure, the next step is to pick up the pieces and figure out what to do next.

The first stop is easy. Just breath. Take a big sigh of relief. Then, inhale the positive energy and exhale the negative. You more than likely have been dealing with a lot of stress over the last few months, and everything you’ve been dreading and fighting agains is upon you. But, it’s not the end.

Yes, there is life after foreclosure. I don’t mean you get to just walk away and forget it. Instead, this is a time of reflection, evaluation, rebuilding.

I’m Sylvia Dana, a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Grand Rapids. Find me at www.shesellsgr.com

It might not be easy. In fact — if you’re lucky — this might be the worse thing you’ll ever have to go through. Yes, there are worse things than foreclosures. Still, the next few months will require “pull up your bootstraps” kind of effort to get yourself to the next step. I’ve compiled a list below of what you’ll need to think about now, beginning with where to live…

If you know you’re facing foreclosure, but a sheriff sale hasn’t taken place on your home yet, you still might have options instead of foreclosure. Read my recent post “Facing Property Foreclosure & How to Fix It.”

Your Obligations and Options After Foreclosure:

Live in the Home – If your state provides a redemption period after the sale, you often have the right to live in the home payment-free during this time period. For example, in Michigan, most homeowners get a six-month redemption period (up to a year in some cases) during which time they can live in the home.

Redeem the Home – Some states permit a foreclosed homeowner to buy back the home within a certain period of time after the sale. This is called a redemption period. To redeem the home, you would have to pay the total purchase price, plus interest, and any allowable costs, to the purchaser who bought it at the foreclosure sale. (Learn more general information about the right of redemption.) In order to redeem, the former homeowner has to come up with another source of financing. However, getting a bank to lend you money after a foreclosure can be very difficult, even if you have a steady income, since your credit score will have taken a bit hit.

Move Out or Get Evicted – If you don’t move out after the purchaser gets title to the home (typically either after the sale or after the redemption period), the new owner (often the foreclosing party, i.e. the bank) will start eviction proceedings to remove you from the property.

Rent – Most people become renters after experiencing a foreclosure – purchasing another house right away is usually not feasible. However, since a foreclosure appears on your credit report and most landlords check credit reports, finding a rental is not always a piece of cake either. The best thing to do is be honest and up-front with potential landlords. Explain why you were unable to keep up with your mortgage payments, and why paying your rent won’t be a problem (e.g., your mortgage payment increased and the rent is much lower, you were out of work for six months but have a job now). If you have a positive payment history for other bills, such as a car loan or utilities, mention it. Offering a higher security deposit, if you have the cash, or a co-signer with a positive credit history can also help. (They don’t have to live with you – just sign the lease, which makes them on the hook for rent payments if you don’t pay. Of course, you’ll need to find someone who is willing to be a co-signer.) Individual landlords are often more flexible and willing to overlook a foreclosure than a management company running a large apartment complex.

Understand the Deficiency Balance – The deficiency balance is the difference between the balance remaining on your mortgage and what the lender is able to get for the property. So if you owed $325,000 on your mortgage and the house sold for $200,000, you would have a deficiency balance of $125,000. In Michigan, the lender may obtain a deficiency judgment following a nonjudicial foreclosure, but the borrower can contest the amount of the deficiency if: the lender was the purchaser at the foreclosure sale, and the foreclosure sale price was substantially less than the fair market value of the property.

It is possible that you will be sued and your wages garnished. You can apply for a hardship exemption to stop garnishment, although this can be difficult to get. Filing for bankruptcy is another way to stop garnishment, but it will further damage your credit report. It is also possible that the lender may be willing to set up a payment plan or forgive the deficiency balance. In general, the IRS considers forgiven debt income, and requires you to pay taxes on it. However, under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, you do not have to pay taxes on a forgiven deficiency balance if the home was your primary residence and the mortgage was used to build, purchase, or improve the home. (Refinanced mortgages are covered to the extent of the balance on the original mortgage at the time of the refinance.) Resource: Filing Bankruptcy Before or After Foreclosure

Consider Your Next Tax Bill – Uncle Sam always wants a cut, and it’s no different when you go through a foreclosure. It comes as a shock to many people, but the federal government considers a forgiven debt as a form of income, which means you might have to pay income tax on a foreclosure.

Repair Your Credit – The first step on the road to recovery is to start repairing your credit. The best way to repair your credit is to continue using credit, but make sure you keep up to date with your payments. People often make the mistake of closing credit lines or cutting up credit cards when their scores take a major hit. But shunning credit altogether only leaves a large gap in your credit history, which is nearly as troubling to lenders as a bad credit history.

Learn to Budget and Save – Regardless of whether you are a millionaire or making minimum wage, the foundation of financial success is the same – budgeting. Budgeting means analyzing what you have coming in, then developing a reasonable and goal-oriented plan for what goes out. Essentially, a budget is a tool that can help you make the most of your money. One of the best things you can do to prepare for the unexpected is to save. With savings, you don’t have to put car repairs or medical bills on your credit card or worry about how you will pay your rent or electric bill if you lose your job. Set yourself up for success by making saving an automatic process via direct deposit through work and periodic automatic transfer of funds from your checking account to your savings account.

Think About the Next Home You’ll Own – Repairing your credit is only one part of the waiting game. You’ll still need to find a lender willing to offer you a mortgage. Unfortunately, after a foreclosure, many lenders will give you the cold shoulder. However, there are some government-backed loans that can help speed up the process. For many people, an FHA loan will be the quickest path back to homeownership. After a foreclosure, the government body requires a three-year waiting period before you can qualify for another FHA-backed loan.

Related Links:

Short Sales and Deeds in Lieu of Foreclosure

What to Expect Once You Decide to Let Your Foreclosure Proceed

Your Options After the Foreclosure

How to Bounce Back After Foreclosure

Life After Foreclosure

Deficiency Judgements After Foreclosure in Michigan

 
Get Your Free Home Value Now!
 
Sylvia’s Website
Ultimate Guide to Home Selling
Homes Close to Where You Work
Free Home Values
Avoid Foreclosure
 
 
MY REVIEWS
 
 
 
Sylvia Dana
Realtor
Coldwell Banker AJS-Schmidt, 3744 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-570-8864
Licensed In: MICHIGAN
License #: 6501400118
Contact Me

You Can Also Visit Us At:        
 

Posted in FHA Loans, Foreclosure, Selling Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

January 12th, 2017 by homehappily

UPDATE: The Trump Administration has suspended the FHA mortgage insurance premium cut described in the following post. See article. This post will be updated again if anything changes.

Mortgage insurance premiums on FHA-backed home loans will be lowered by 25 basis points, starting January 27, 2017.

The FHA estimates that the reduction will save homeowners an average of $500 this year, lowering the typical FHA house payment by more than $41 a month.

According to a HUD press release published January 9, the reduction will significantly expand access to mortgage credit and is expected to lower the cost of housing for the approximately 1 million households who are expected to purchase a home or refinance their mortgages using FHA-insured financing.

Consumer Affairs summed it up this way: when borrowers take out an FHA loan, they can borrow up to 96.5% of the home’s purchase price. For any loan in which the borrower puts up less than 20% of the money, the borrower is required to purchase mortgage insurance.

Since the government is guaranteeing the loan, the mortgage insurance reimburses the government in the event of default. The mortgage insurance premium is added onto the borrower’s monthly payment.

“After 4 straight years of growth and with sufficient reserves on hand to meet future claims, it’s time for FHA to pass along some modest savings to working families,” Julian Castro, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), announced January 9.

National Association of Realtors President Bill Brown praised the move. “Dropping mortgage insurance premiums will mean a lot more responsible borrowers are eligible to purchase a home through FHA,” he said. “That puts more money in the fund to protect taxpayers, and it puts more families in homes so they can live out the American dream.”

FHA loans are very popular, especially with first-time home buyers because the requirements are less strict than conventional loans. Borrowers can qualify for an FHA loan with a down payment as little as 3.5% and a credit score of 580 or higher. The borrower’s credit score can be between 500 – 579 if a 10% down payment is made. It’s important to remember though, that the lower the credit score, the higher the interest borrowers will receive.

I’m Sylvia Dana, a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Grand Rapids. Find me at www.shesellsgr.com

Related Links:

What is an FHA Loan?

FHA reducing mortgage insurance rates this year

FHA to Reduce Annual Insurance Premiums On Most Mortgages

U.S. cuts fees for FHA mortgage insurance

FHA cuts mortgage costs for certain borrowers

HUD Lowers FHA MIP by a Quarter Point

Government-backed mortgages are about to get cheaper

Posted in Buying, FHA Loans Tagged with: , , , , ,