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Your Credit Score

How can you make your credit score clean again? Yes, your lenders will be reviewing your credit score.  It will play an important role in determining the price range in which you can afford to buy.  If you know it will be at least six to eight months before you move into that dream home there is time to expedite the credit cleaning process in order to increase your credit score. Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are important places to get your credit score.  Analyze your report and scores, and then start making corrections to your credit mistakes right away. If you find a problem on your credit report, contact the creditors ASAP to make sure the information is correct and accurate.  If not, then file a dispute and have them update your report.  Make sure this information is corrected with all the credit bureaus. This will allow Equifax, TransUnion or Experian to make corrections as soon as possible in order to help fix/increase your credit score.

Credit Cards

Many people have a bad habit of using credit card(s) much like cash. Continually charging and not paying off the balance every 30 days will increase your chances of credit card debt and credit problems in the future. Plan to take action to stop credit card spending. Plan a budget and start fast in order to give your credit score a boost in the right direction. If you pay the balance within 30 days, then you reduce your interest debt to almost nothing. Learn how to use credit cards responsibly to maximize their benefits. Eliminate credit card debit and usage in order to get a handle on finances.  This will allow making a mortgage payment possible and not overwhelming.

Monthly Payments

If your monthly payments make up a large percent of loan and credit card payments, you may be placing yourself in a situation where obtaining a financial mortgage loan is difficult.  Anticipating the future is always difficult but taking steps to be financially prudent can make all the difference. When you feel you have extra money, instead of spending it right away, add the money to your savings account.  The ability to save will provide you additional financial stability and security.

 

Friday Five // October 3, 2014

Need something to do this weekend? Check out two cultural festivals, participate in a surprise dinner, and more!

On Friday from 5-8pm, art lovers will have the opportunity to connect with the local art community at the French Quarter Art Walk.  Art from over 500 artists will on display, representing a wide variety of styles and media from traditional to contemporary. Pick up a map at any one of the 27 art galleries located within the French Quarter and begin your stroll. The event is free and open to the public, and wine and refreshments are available at no cost.

Learn about Central American, South American, and Caribbean culture at the Latin American Festival on Sunday from 12-6pm at Wannamaker Park. Food vendors will be serving up delicious tamales, empanadas, chorizo, and jerk chicken. There will be a salsa dance competition and Capoeira demonstration, and for the kids, a jump castle and arts and crafts.

Get ready to dine and dance at a moment’s notice! The Charleston PopUp Dinner will take place this Saturday from 5-10pm. Wear white and be ready to go when the location is announced on Saturday afternoon. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added to the guest list.

What If? Productions presents a Broadway & movie musical themed Karaoke Smackdown this Saturday at 8pm. Ten contestants will perform their favorite Broadway numbers during the first round, and the second round will showcase four finalists singing the judges’ selections. Audience members will have a chance to participate in karaoke roulette during intermission.

The 45th annual Charleston Greek Festival, a favorite among Charlestonians, takes place this weekend, Friday through Sunday. Enjoy gyros, kebabs, and baklava while you  listen to music from A Night in Athens, Nick Trivelas, George Antonopoulos, and Joanna. For wine lovers, there will be Greek wine available from over thirty distributors. Other events include traditional Greek dance, church tours highlighting the Greek ecclesiastical tradition, and a Sunday church service. Parking is free, and a shuttle is provided from the MUSC employee parking lot.

Whatever you do this weekend, we at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company wish you a safe and happy time!

How-To Tuesday: Use Descriptive Language to Make Your Listing Stand Out

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but when it comes to selling a home, photos cannot tell the whole story. If you want to draw buyers in, it’s important to understand how descriptive language can attract buyers or turn them off completely. Creative words and phrases help keep your listing from becoming a total snoozefest. Here’s how to make that listing stand out among a sea of boring descriptions. yawn

  • Sellers and agents should be wary of overused terms when describing a home. There are several words you’re guaranteed to find in an average home description; spacious, great, must-see, cozy, quiet, desirable, and charming are just a few of these. Think of more creative ways to describe a home’s features. For instance, half bath sounds boring and tired. Say powder room instead. Don’t say a home is clean. That should be a given, not a selling point. A caveat: as you search for new descriptive terms, make sure to avoid exaggeration. Don’t tell prospective buyers a home is renovated or remodeled if it’s only partially renovated. If a property is near a prime location, you may mention that it’s near the area, but do not misrepresent by saying that it’s in that location.
  • Similarly, be specific in your verbiage. As mentioned above, don’t use “faint praise.” Even positive words can sound weak. Saying that a home is a “must-see” is a cop-out. Talk about the features that make that home a must-see property. In 2005, the National Bureau of Economic Research said that specific words like granite and maple draw more attention. Think about the details that will appeal to buyers most and describe those specifically.
  • Sellers—especially those who are trying to sell their homes on their own—should be aware of the laws and restrictions under the Federal Fair Housing Act. Some verbiage could be seen as discriminatory toward protected classes. The protected classes under FFHA are race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, and national origin. Seemingly harmless language could be misconstrued. For example, you cannot refuse to sell your home to a family with young children (unless it’s in a 55+ retirement community).
  • There are certain details that could be seen as guarantees when they might not work out that way. For example, it’s common to say that a home is in a specific school district, but be careful of highlighting that information. Attendance lines could be redrawn at any time, and if that happens before closing, the buyers might blame the seller or agent for misrepresentation.
  • If you feel like there aren’t enough creative terms to adequately describe a home’s positive points, pitch the lifestyle it offers. Is it located in a popular, upscale, or transitional neighborhood? What quality of life does the home offer? Does it offer mountain views? Is it on an oceanfront golf course? One of those things might be the main selling point for a buyer.

Are there terms that you see way too often in real estate listings? Are you guilty of using tired language in your own listings? Tell us in the comments below!

 

 

How-To Tuesday: 8 Fast & Free Ways to Revamp Home Decor

It's officially fall! Time to break out the cozy blankets, autumn decorations, and all things pumpkin-flavored. The changing of the seasons usually brings about the desire for other changes, the simplest of which is a quick creative refresh of your home. Here are 8 fast and free ways to revive your decor for fall.

1. Rehang artwork or change it up. Exchange artwork from other rooms, lower existing frames on the wall (most are hung too high, anyway!), or if the art is abstract, turn it on its side or upside down.

2. Another way to mix up your wall art is to replace it with something unexpected. For example, a beautiful hat collection hunghat-collection-2 on a wall makes a really cool statement.

3. Add greenery to any room. It creates a fresh feel and provides a little bit of texture to a room. Plants are fine, but bringing in grasses, fronds, or evergreens is even better.

4. Rearrange furniture. This is another extremely simple way to create a completely new feel to a room. Move furniture away from the walls and create smaller, intimate spaces.

5. Trade decorative items from another room. Bringing in a different vase, lamp, rug, bowl, or throw might not seem like it would make a big difference, but you'd be surprised!

6. Add some texture. Texture creates warmth, which is essential for fall decor. Cable-knit, leather, wood, suede, and felt are all perfect for autumn.

7. Add touches of white or color. If you have an especially dark room, a few strategically placed, bright white items can add visual interest. The same goes for a lighter or more neutral room, except in this case, you would bring in pops of color for interest.

8. Group objects of like color together. If you already have a colorful room, combine items of similar color to make an eclectic, visually pleasing collection.

What other ideas do you have for a quick and easy, seasonal revamp? Tell us in the comments below!

 

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