Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The FICO Resilience Index and How It Could Help You Buy a Home


     


The FICO Resilience Index was created by the Fair Isaac Corp., also the creator of the FICO credit scoring system, to be used as a supplemental score that gauges a buyer's likelihood to default in the the event of a future recession. The new credit index was released last week and has the potential to help more buyers qualify for a mortgage by allowing lenders to assess their ability to withstand the effects of future economic changes even if the currently have lower credit scores. 

The new scoring tool works differently than the traditional FICO score by placing less importance on missed payments and a higher emphasis on having overall lower account balances and credit usage. Measuring on a scale of 1 to 99, lower scores reflect greater financial stability and higher scores indicate more sensitivity to possible economic changes. Consumers who have lower traditional FICO scores but also have lower balances, credit usage and inquiries may benefit from the new index and see a boost in their creditworthiness by lenders. 

For more information about the New Resilience Index, the article “FICO Introduces New Resilience Index. Here’s What It Might Mean for You,” Forbes.com (June 29, 2020) has great information, or contact your lender directly.



Tuesday, June 23, 2020

When You Can't Vacation, Make It A Staycation!


With July quickly approaching, and still so much uncertainty surrounding popular summer destinations, many of us are left wondering if we should vacation this year. 
According to Tripit.com, the experts agree, taking some time off, even at home, is good for your mental health! We agree, so we've included some fun ways that you can turn your vacation into a staycation. We know it's not the same thing as the cruise you had planned, but who knows, you may find that vacationing at home is more fun than you thought!

Backyard Camping
Pull out your tent and plan some backyard fun under the stars. Cook hot dogs and roast marshmallows on your fire pit. Chase lightening bugs and play flashlight tag. Be creative and have fun!

The Great Outdoors
Have you visited all of the parks and outdoor recreation areas where you live? Now is a great time to check them out! Go for a hike, ride your bike, walk with the dogs. Explore!

Dinner With A Theme
You might not be in Jamaica right now, but why not try the cuisine anyway? Find some recipes that sound good and try your hand at something new. Love Japanese food? Have a Hibatchi night at home. And it definitely doesn't have to be a Tuesday for us plan a a taco bar for dinner!

Movie Night
Take your movie night at home a step further and serve a menu of all of your favorite movie theater munchies. Popcorn (with extra butter of course), nachos, candy and chocolate. Serve drinks with crazy straws, turn down the lights and enjoy!

The Walmart Water Park
Don't have a pool? Me either! Desperate times, desperate measures...so get creative! Grab a blow up pool or two, any size will do. Flamingo and pineapple floating drink holders, check! Set up a beach umbrella, throw in a few lounge chairs and your're ready to go!

Monday, June 8, 2020

Happy National Best Friend's Day!

It's June 8th, so you know what that means...it's National Best Friend's Day, and we're all about celebrating the friendships that are so important to us! After all, who do you call when you need to know if the amazing lime green curtains you've fallen in love will really make your kitchen "pop"? And who helps you organize your closet into sections of "jeans that still fit", "jeans that used to fit" and "jeans that I want to fit into so stop letting me eat ice cream at midnight!" Yep, that's definitely your bestie!

Scientists even agree that friendships are very important to our overall mental health. Research shows that by building close friendships we are enriching our lives, boosting self confidence and providing a needed sense of belonging. But we don't need science to know that having close friends that love and support us, just makes life a little sweeter! We sure are grateful for all of the people in our life that we are lucky enough to call our friends!


Monday, June 1, 2020

Buyers Are Ready To Buy!!


Home buyers seem to be taking "the glass is half full" approach to the pandemic and using it as an opportunity rather than a challenge. Lenders are seeing the number of mortgage applications on a steady increase and it there's no slow down in sight. 

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports that applications for home purchases rose 9% last week compared to the week before making this the sixth consecutive weekly gain and a 54% increase since the beginning of April.

2020 began with a strong demand for housing and low numbers of available inventory. Though there was initially a dip in the market as the COVID-19 crisis set in, it has quickly rebounded and home prices are continuing to hold strong. With record low mortgage rates, buyers are finding this to be an excellent time to find their dream home!

If you're in the market to buy or sell a home, give us call, we LOVE homework!!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Get Ahead of the Home Inspector!


One of the things we are often asked by sellers is how they should get their homes ready for an inspection, and the best answer is to think like an inspector. As social distancing restrictions are being eased, more and more sellers are ready to get their homes on the market. So to help you get market ready and think like an inspector, we've included a chart with the most commonly found home inspection flaws. Don't wait until it's inspection day. By checking and addressing these items ahead of time you may save yourself from unwanted delays and re-inspections. If you're thinking about buying or selling a house, give us a call, we LOVE homework!

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Stay Cyber-Safe While Working From Home



Even as most states are beginning to relax stay-at-home orders, many of us are adapting to what is likely a long-term shift to working and attending classes virtually. For the foreseeable future the new normal will likely include using platforms such as Zoom and FaceTime to communicate with clients, coworkers and educators. Now, more than ever, online security is critical and we want to help you and your family stay cyber-safe with these valuable tips.

WHAT'S IN THE BACKGROUND?
  • Try not to showcase valuable items while you're online. Most of us don't pay too much attention to what's behind us while we're in a virtual workspace, but someone else could be.
  • Avoid having photos, signs or other items that could identify your location. 
  • Don't forget that you're online with others. We've all heard stories of situational unawareness and people changing clothes, eating meatball subs and taking a bathroom break while in a meeting or virtual classroom. Don't be that guy!
AVOID BEING ZOOMBOMBED:
Zoombombing is when a hacker can hijack a Zoom call and post offensive content. There's a few precautions that you can take that will help avoid this.
  • Disable the participant's ability to share audio and video recordings.
  • Block late callers from automatically joining the meeting.
  • Use a different Zoom ID for every call.
  • Require participants to hold in a Zoom Waiting Room until the call starts.
BEWARE OF SOCIAL ENGINEERING POSTS:
  • Avoid posts that could be designed to elicit information that is often used for passwords or security questions. 
  • Questions like: "What was your first car and the color?" or "What year did you become a parent?" or "Post the city you met your spouse in." These all seem like harmless social media posts, but in the wrong hands they can help someone access your personal information.
CYBER SECURITY EXPERTS ALSO RECOMMEND DOING THESE THINGS:
  • Mix it up often! Change your passwords regularly and do not use the same password for multiple sites or logins.
  • Consider using a digital background for Zoom calls...who doesn't want to be sitting on the beach while at work!
  • Cover the camera or close your laptop when you're not using it. Computer cameras can easily be hacked.
  • Use common sense. If something seems strange, end the call. It's better to apologize than to be a victim!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

NATIONAL HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK


 It's hard to believe that hurricane season begins in just a few weeks, especially with all of the craziness that 2020 has already thrown at us! But despite our sincerest wish that we could just skip this level of Jumaji, we've decided that getting prepared for the inevitable is definitely the better idea. 

We've included some great tips provided by the National Weather Service for getting your family and home hurricane ready. 


You can find more information by visiting the links listed below. Stay safe everyone!

https://www.weather.gov/wrn/hurricane-preparedness
https://floridadisaster.org/planprepare/preparing-for-the-2019-hurricane-season/

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

MAKE YOUR HOME A CALMING OASIS

With so many people now working from home and following current social distancing guidelines, many of us have found the time to start those DIY and home improvement projects that we've been putting off for so long. Two of the biggest trends in current home improvement projects have been creating more functionality and an environment that is comfortable and relaxing to spend time in. Realtor.com shared a great story full of tips from an interior designer on how you can make your home a calming oasis. Check it out and let us know what you think. 
https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/how-to-create-a-calming-oasis-at-home/

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Tips For Smooth Sailing Through Your Loan Process



You did it! You found your dream house with the help of your awesome real estate team, your offer was accepted and you've officially applied for your home loan...so what happens next? We've included a video with some helpful tips on what can you do to make sure that the loan process with your lender is smooth sailing. Following these guidelines will help you avoid any unexpected delays when it's time to fund your loan.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Working From Home


It's Monday, and for many of us that means starting another week of our new normal, working from home. What once sounded like such a great option, has now become more of a three ring circus for some of us. So, we wanted to know what tips and tricks that you have found make staying focused while working from easier. Thanks for sharing and HAPPY MONDAY!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

CREDIT SCORES AND WHAT AFFECTS THEM





Your credit score and how it works shouldn't be a mystery, but for many people, just talking about it can bring on the heebie-jeebies. Being educated about your score, what you need it for and what factors can affect it are very important! We've included a short video that may help answer some of those questions. And as always, we're here to help too! If you have questions about buying or selling a home, or just the real estate market in general, give us a call, we'd love to talk to you!


The FICO Resilience Index and How It Could Help You Buy a Home

      The FICO Resilience Index was created by the Fair Isaac Corp., also the creator of the FICO credit scoring system, to be used as a...