Bethania Camilo - Coco,Early & Associates Star Division LLC



Posted by Bethania Camilo on 11/18/2018

Your credit score is a fundamental component of a mortgage lenderís decision to approve you for a loan. It can also affect the interest rate and loan amount you can secure.

Along with your income history and down payment, a solid credit score is one of the three most important things youíll need when it comes to buying a home.

Credit scores themselves, however, can be a complicated business. And finding out what score you need to buy a home and how to achieve that score can also be a complex topic.

So, in this post weíre going to break down some credit score basics as they relate to buying a home.

Types of credit scores

You may have heard of the three main credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Each of these bureaus keeps a detailed credit history for everyone in America (except for those who have yet to open a line of credit or take out a loan).

Since each credit bureau may have slightly different information available data to draw from, your credit scores from each company may vary.

However, when it comes to buying a home, most lenders use a standard scoring model called a FICO score to ensure that all mortgage applicants are treated fairly when they seek a loan.

Things are further complicated by the fact that there are several different FICO scoring models designed for different types of credit. So, if youíve seen your FICO score when applying for an auto loan, it may be a different score than you will see when applying for a mortgage.

Build credit; raise your credit score

All of the types of credit scores and scoring models can be confusing. But what you mostly need to worry about is how to boost your score.

Your credit score will be based on five main factors:

  1. Making on-time payments

  2. The percentage of available credit (not maxing out your cards)

  3. Having diverse types of credit (auto loans, student loans, credit cards, etc.)

  4. Not opening new lines of credit frequently (a red flag that youíre struggling financially)

  5. The length of your credit history, or how long youíve been consistently paying your bills

What score do you need to buy a home?

There are several different mortgage types available for buyers. First-time homeowners, veterans, people seeking to buy a home in a rural area, and any other number of circumstances can help you qualify for mortgages even if you have a low credit score.

A general rule, however, is that itís always better to apply for a mortgage with a high credit score to help you secure the best possible interest rate. 

Some programs do have minimum credit scores that they will accept for a mortgage. FHA loans are one common example. The Federal Housing Authority guarantees loans for people across the country who are hoping to buy their first home (or who havenít owned a home in the last three years). Their guarantee is what enables lenders to safely approve mortgages for borrowers with low credit scores. The current requirement for an FHA loan is a credit score of 580 or higher for a mortgage with a 3.5% down payment. You can secure an FHA loan with a lower credit score, but youíll have to make a larger down payment.


There are several other options available for hopeful homeowners when it comes to mortgages. But, if you arenít planning on moving in the next few months and your credit score could use some work, now is the time to start focusing on building credit.





Posted by Bethania Camilo on 11/11/2018

When you stop and think about all the preparations involved in putting your house on the market and avoiding mistakes, it can feel overwhelming! The good news is that you don't have to go it alone.

An experienced real estate agent can provide you with invaluable guidance on everything from effectively staging your home to complying with seller disclosure requirements.

One aspect of selling your house in the shortest amount of time (and for the highest price) is doing everything you can to make a great first impression on prospective buyers. You've probably heard the old expression "Presentation is everything." While that might be a slight overstatement when it comes to selling your house, it is a concept that is well worth keeping in mind. The overall impression prospective buyers take away with them after they've viewed your property will have a powerful impact on whether they decide to include it on their "short list."

Let There Be Light!

Sometimes the simplest changes can produce the biggest results. One example is lighting. If a room is inadequately lit, then you're not going to be showing it to its best advantage. Spaces that are too dimly lit can come across as dreary, shadowy, and uninviting. If you have bedrooms or other living spaces that don't have a ceiling light, for example, it might be worth the expense of having an electrician come in and correct that. Otherwise, homebuyers may find it frustrating and off-putting when they flip a wall switch, and it only turns on a ceiling fan, a floor lamp, or nothing!

Dimmer switches are often an easy and inexpensive solution for rooms that seem either too bright or too dark. Prospective buyers like the feeling that they can adjust the lighting in any room to match their immediate needs and mood.

Letting in as much natural light from the outside is another way to create a bright, cheerful ambiance in your home. Using decorative curtain ties to pull back curtains as far as possible can add a nice finishing touch while allowing as much outside light to shine in as possible.

If you happen to notice that your curtains are wrinkled, faded, tattered, heavy looking, or noticeably dated, you might want to consider replacing them with newer, more cheerful versions. The appearance and age of your curtains can have a lasting effect on the impression house hunters get from your home.

While we're on the topic of windows, keeping them impeccably clean is a goal worth prioritizing. That can be a difficult thing to keep up with if you have young children and pets who are always leaving smudges on glass and mirrors, but the cleanliness of windows is a small but important detail that will be noticed by potential buyers.

Although there are dozens of things to keep in mind when trying to make a great impression on home buyers, your real estate agent will help you identify cost-effective strategies for putting your best foot forward.





Posted by Bethania Camilo on 11/4/2018

The idea of a tight-knit neighborhood seems like an artifact of a simpler time in our country. And, in many ways, it is. Improvements in transportation and technology make it easier than ever to be connected with friends and family across the country and around the world.

However, there are still many good reasons to get to know your neighbors, aside from as a common courtesy. In this article, weíll break down those reasons for you.

A watchful eye

If you plan on going for an extended vacation, itís good to know at least one neighbor who you can trust to watch over your home while youíre away. That can include reporting any suspicious behavior and bringing in your mail so that it isn't obvious that your home is empty.

If you have kids, your neighbors are a good way to find out about any neighborhood news and safety concerns you should be aware of, which brings us to our next reason to get to know your neighbor.

Learning about the neighborhood

When you move into a new community, there often arenít many ways to learn about the local events and places of interest. Introducing yourself to your new neighbors is a good way to learn about the place you moved to. Itís also a way to ask about any concerns you may have, such as traffic, noise level, or road safety if you have children who will be playing outside.

A helping hand

Like we mentioned before, itís good to have trustworthy neighbors while youíre on vacation for home security reasons. However, itís also a good opportunity to have neighborhood kids lend a hand while youíre away. You can pay them to mow your lawn, water the grass or flowers, and feed your pets. This makes your life easier and teaches them a lesson in work and reward.

Lending tools and services

Itís good to know a few neighbors with tools that you donít have so that you can let one another borrow seldom-used tools rather than buying or renting them just for the occasional use.

Similarly, if you have an elderly neighbor, itís a rewarding gesture to help them out when you see they need help with groceries, shoveling, or other physically demanding tasks. Those small gestures can also go a long way when it comes to gaining a friend in the neighborhood who you can count on for the local news.

No ill-will between good neighbors

Letís face it, neighbors can be a source of annoyance at times. If itís late on a school night and your neighbors are being noisy while you and your children are trying to sleep, youíll have a lot better chance of getting them to quiet down if you have an established, friendly relationship.

Similarly, if you have a family cookout and need to park cars in front of their lawn, theyíre more likely to not mind if youíve helped them out in the past.


So, for these five reasons, and for many others, it pays to get to know your neighbors.

 





Posted by Bethania Camilo on 10/29/2018

This Multi-Family in Methuen, MA recently sold for $489,900. This style home was sold by Bethania Camilo - Coco,Early & Associates Star Division LLC.


7-9 Adelaide Ave, Methuen, MA 01844

Multi-Family

$489,900
Price
$489,900
Sale Price

2
Units
2,152
Approx. GLA
Young large duplex in great condition! Home features three generous bedroom, large living room, eat-in kitchen and parking for each unit. Great yard for those Summer's BBQ. Located conveniently close to the Loop, Route 213 and main roads. Won't last in today's market!

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Categories: Sold Homes  


Posted by Bethania Camilo on 10/28/2018

If your budget allows for it, hiring a good housekeeper is well worth the money. If you're like most professional couples, you probably already feel "maxed out" after you've put in 40 to 60 hours at your jobs . When you add parenting responsibilities into the mix, there's not too much time and energy left for cleaning the house! While certain basic house cleaning tasks are unavoidable on a daily basis, it's a relief to know that a paid house cleaner will be coming in to do a thorough job soon.

Finding a reliable housekeeper with whom you feel comfortable can be a bit of a challenge, but if you can get referrals from family, friends, and others you know, then your search should put you on the right track.

The Selection Process

Since the main reason you're hiring a cleaning person is to make your life easier, the last thing you want to deal with is dependability problems or substandard work. That's why it's important to get referrals from people you know and trust. It often pays to interview more than one prospective cleaning person because you want to find someone who is the best match for your budget and needs. When you have two or three prospects to choose from, you'll be in a better position to choose the one with the best attitude, top references, and the most agreeable personality.

Unless a cleaning person was referred to you by someone you know well, it's a good idea to request references and contact a couple of them before making any final decisions. Calling at least two of their current customers (or past bosses) should give you some helpful insights into their work habits, punctuality, and willingness to follow directions.

Although most customers will probably try to be complimentary, if you ask the right questions and look for "red flags" in their answers, you'll be surprised at what you can learn. While it may be too blunt to ask if their cleaning person is honest, a lot can be inferred from their responses to other questions. For example, if a housekeeper has been working for the same customer for several years and cleans their house while the costumer is at their office or other place of employment, then there's a good chance the cleaner does excellent (or at least satisfactory) work and can be trusted. One direct question that generally needs to be asked when talking with references is "Would you personally recommend this person?" Asking how their housekeeper responds to special requests, suggestions, or constructive criticism may also provide revealing answers.

When getting a quote from a cleaning person or house cleaning service, it's useful to get an itemized list of what chores or services would be covered in the price. There are two advantages to this. First of all, you'll be able to compare "apples to apples". Secondly, you'll be able to gauge your expectations to what was initially promised and agreed to. While there may be other issues to consider, like possible background checks and insurance coverages they carry, once you've found a house cleaner you like and trust, you've cleared the biggest hurdle in your search!