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It’s possible but in all my years in the industry I’ve never seen a perfect score. Credit scores, commonly referred to as FICO scores, the acronym for the Fair Isaac Corporation which developed the algorithm, are three digit numbers ranging from 300 to 850. Most conventional loan programs today will approve an application with a credit score around 680 but some programs go as low as 620. Government-backed loans accept lower scores such as FHA loans. FHA programs ask for a minimum score to be at least 580 with some allowances for scores as low as 500 accompanied by a 10 percent down payment. Low down payment conventional loans can require a score of 720 or better. There are consumers who strive to achieve the highest score pos...

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As a homeowner, you hold a big responsibility. Your goal is to always stay informed and be knowledgeable about how things work. More than that, dealing with specific problems that may arise and finding solutions. One aspect in your home that's extremely crucial is plumbing. Plumbing affects several areas in your home ‒ from the bathroom to the kitchen. Plumbing problems can arise suddenly, without warning. While some minor issues are easily fixed, some difficulties can quickly escalate into a major crisis that causes damage to your home. If this isn't taken care of immediately, you can suffer thousands of dollars in loss, with lasting consequences. How can you potentially limit a plumbing disaster? Here are some helpful tips that you ca...

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Just because the wave of summertime homebuyers seeking to be settled in time for the start of school has receded, it doesn’t mean sellers have lost their big opportunity! In fact, with its turning leaves and traditional family get-togethers, autumn not only embraces the concept of “home,” it marks a period of market opportunity for sellers. Autumn traditionally sees a drop the number of homes available for purchase. Less inventory means fewer properties to compete against and more chances for your home to catch a buyer’s eye. Of course, in even the tightest seller’s market it’s important for sellers to price their home correctly. A home that’s overpriced rather than listed at true market value c...

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A new home appraisal rule just went into effect—the first time in 25 years that “federal regulators have increased the property value limit of the homes that require an appraisal as part of the selling process,” said REALTOR® Magazine. The rule exempts some home sales priced at $400,000 and below from requiring an appraisal. That figure was previously capped at $250,000. “The new rules likely apply to about 40% of home sales, regulators estimate.” So how will this affect home buyers and sellers? First, it should be noted that those homes that do receive the exemption still have to be evaluated “to provide an estimate of the market value of real estate collateral,” said Housingwire. “Th...

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If you’re feeling the pull to be more socially conscious, you’re not alone. A Cone Communications study on corporate social responsibility (CSR) found that “76% of those surveyed said they would decline to do business with a company if it held views and supported issues that conflicted with their beliefs,” said Forbes. In addition, “78% of people wanted companies to address social justice issues” and “63% of American consumers were looking to businesses to take the lead on social and environmental change.” The pull is stronger among some demographic groups than others, with millennials largely driving the trend. Chief Learning Officer stated that, “By and large, baby boomers sought w...

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By the time the housing bubble burst in the mid-2000s, the real estate industry had started calling some mortgages "liar's loans," and a study from CoreLogic in 2018 reports that mortgage fraud may be making a comeback. In the interest of protecting the typical consumer, we put together a brief post about the basics of mortgage fraud. If you are buying or selling property, be sure to educate and defend yourself starting with this basic knowledge. What Is Mortgage Fraud? Fraud is deliberate misrepresentation and deception using false facts, information, and figures. Mortgage fraud, then, is deceptive lending, buying, and selling practices in real estate. It’s more than predatory lending; mortgage fraud includes an array of misdeed...

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You would think that compiling housing data would be a fairly straightforward process, but in Canada it’s been anything but. You’ve probably heard this one before: “There are three types of lies – lies, damn lies and statistics.” – attributed to Benjamin Disraeli. Or how about this one: “Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.” – Mark Twain. You would think that compiling housing data would be a fairly straightforward process, but in Canada it’s been anything but. Through the years, housing stats have been called incomplete, inadequate and part of a plot by organized real estate designed to hide agents’ commissions. When it comes to real estate statistics, ...

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When it comes time to find a real estate agent, there are all kinds of ways you can go about it: Ask a friend. Call a number on a “for sale” sign in your neighborhood. Do a Google search. But, no matter which route you choose, there are some things you’ll want to look for—some that seem obvious, and a few you may not have thought of. Their reviews We live in an era where you can find as much information as you want about just about anyone, with just a few clicks. It’s imperative these days to read reviews, whether you’re looking for a good air conditioning technician or someone to help you buy or sell what is likely your largest asset. But don’t just depend on the reviews on the realtor’s ...

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Like in any modern organization, real estate agents can utilize social media channels to effectively conduct their day-to-day business. Indeed, recent research conducted by the National Association of real estate agents® tells us that this is already happening, with 77% of real estate businesses using social media to market their portfolio or conduct business in some shape or form. Furthermore, 47% of those agents polled for the survey revealed that social media generates the best quality leads. And finally, and predictably, 99% of millennials jump into their home search online. The number is 90% for baby boomers. The results are conclusive: social media is a great tool for real estate agents. However, first agents must understand t...

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Selling your home can be a thrilling and very lucrative experience. But for the first-time home seller, it can also be nerve-wracking and deflating. That’s because selling the largest investment of your life can be counterintuitively expensive. Getting your home ready to be scrutinized by strangers takes a lot of cash and elbow grease. As the saying goes, it takes money to make money. However, there are some easy ways to cut down on your front-end expenses to make your home sale more profitable. Let’s look at five of the best. Stage Your House Yourself Professional home staging is expensive. The average cost of staging a home is just over $1,000, and renting furniture can add more. That’s the bad news. The good news is...

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Maintain the Staged Look While Your Home Is Listed The hardest part of the selling process may be keeping the house looking flawless for countless showings.October 14, 2019By: Charlene StorozukStaging

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The Statement Ceiling: A Reason to Look Up! Make a space memorable by dressing up the fifth wall. See how these stagers and designers did it. October 7, 2019By: Melissa Dittmann TraceyStaging, Design Trends

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Fall Staging: Add Some Pumpkin Spice to Your Decor Autumn is in the air, so spice up your décor to fit the season. Here’s some design inspiration.September 30, 2019By: Melissa Dittmann TraceyStaging

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Staged to Sold: How to Sell a 58-Year-Old Home in 48... This home hadn’t been renovated in more than three decades. But it didn’t need a remodel—just strategic staging to modernize the space. September 23, 2019By: Karen PostWorking With Sellers, Staging

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Trendy Staging Props That Have Been Overused You may want to think twice about reaching for these popular home accessories. Some stagers say consumers are growing tired of the looks. September 16, 2019By: Melissa Dittmann TraceyStaging, Design Trends

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2020 Color Forecast: The Rise of Blues and Greens Predictions for next year’s hottest hues already are emerging. Check out the colors you can expect to see dressing up more interiors. September 9, 2019By: Melissa Dittmann TraceyDesign Trends

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Slideshow: Design Trends by Decade That Are Making a... From the 17th century to the 1990s, home design today is drawing inspiration from the past. Check out a slideshow of these familiar trends.September 2, 2019By: Melissa Dittmann TraceyDesign Trends

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5 Easy Ways to Transform Cabinets When Painting Isn’t... Home sellers can still dramatically modernize the kitchen, even when a tight budget constricts their choices. August 20, 2019By: Karen PostWorking With Sellers, Remodeling, Kitchen & Bath

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'Property Virgins' Host Offers an... HGTV personality Egypt Sherrod offers insider tips on what home improvement projects to tackle first. (Hint: It’s not the kitchen or bath.)August 19, 2019Residential, Remodeling, Home Systems & Utilities

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Yes, You Can Even Stage a Dorm Room! You can also apply these tricks to decorating smaller areas in a home to appeal to younger generations. August 12, 2019By: Audra SlinkeyStaging

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Just how small is small when it comes to apartment sizes?  

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However, several housing markets are seeing an uptick in repossessed properties.  

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Total housing starts dropped 9.4% month over month in September, but there’s some good news hidden in the numbers.  

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Economists predict downward pressure on rates in the weeks ahead.

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The space typically used for cars and storage is becoming the perfect place to add housing in tight markets.

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“As of 2018, there was not a single metro area where the [average] African American family could afford to buy at least half of the homes for sale,” the Redfin report states.  

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Both single and multigenerational households with seniors are increasing in number at a rapid clip.  

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Looking for a way to drum up more traffic to your listing? Consider vamping up the home to reflect this spooky time of year.

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Student loan borrowers owe an average of $34,500—$8,500 more than the typical down payment on a home.  

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As signs of a slowdown cause economists concern, the housing market has stayed consistent, says the Federal Reserve.

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