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Home Hunter, May 5, 2013

Home Hunter, May 5, 2013

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Published by Aiken Standard
Home Hunter, May 5, 2013
Home Hunter, May 5, 2013

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Published by: Aiken Standard on May 04, 2013
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Sunday, May 5, 2013s
173 Kasper Lane
Home of the Week...
his 3 bedroom, 2 bath split plan home has an open floor plan with 2531square feet. The kitchen, bathrooms, and the laundry room have tileflooring. Enjoy the fireplace in the Great Room. The Master Bathroom has afireplace, skylight, and a walk in closet. The Master bathroom features a jettedgarden tub, separate shower, and his and her vanities. For the car enthusiast,this home boasts an attached two car garage, a detached three-car garage withlift, plus a parking pad for four vehicles.
MLS #79505 • $259,000
Call Karen Bures, 803-644-1736
 Meybohm Realtors
How to get approvedfor a mortgage
Real estate professionals say themarket is rebounding, and manywould-be home buyers are eager-ly awaiting their opportunities to purchase their own homes. Freshdata indicates that the inventoryof properties is quickly drying upand soon the market is poised to point in the sellers’ favor.According to Allen & Associ-ates, a real estate appraisal, con-
sultant and research rm based in
Colorado, properties in the arealisted for sale are below the six-month supply of inventory. Nowcould be the time to get a gooddeal on a home, provided buyersare able to secure mortgages. No matter how many afford-able homes are available, if a buyer cannot get approved for amortgage, then his or her chancesof owning a home are slim. In thewake of a tumultuous economy,many lenders tightened restric-tions on mortgage lending. Andeven though the economy hasrebounded, many lenders havecontinued to follow strict guide-lines before lending money. Inorder to secure a mortgage witha good interest rate, buyers must
take control of their nancialsituations and x problems that
could lead to loan rejection.Many things can impact amortgage application. Here arethe ways to overcome liabilitiesand improve your standing with prospective lenders.
Know your credit rating.
Your credit rating is a scorethat lenders rely on when decid-ing whether or not to approveyour mortgage application. Thehigher the credit rating, the moreattractive you look to prospectivelenders. But the lower your score
is, the more difculty you will
have getting a loan. Should youget a loan with a low score, youmay have to pay a higher interestrate than someone with better credit. Prior to making any big
nancial decisions, such as ap
- plying for a mortgage, it is vital
to nd out your credit score. You
can request a free copy of your credit report, which includes your credit score, once a year fromthe three major credit reportingagencies in the United States andCanada: TransUnion, Experianand Equifax. You also can pay for your credit report.
Address any issues onyour report.
Once you know your score,you can take steps to addressany issues on the report. Paydown revolving consumer debts,such as credit card balances andauto loans. Report any errors onyour credit report so they can beadjusted. Pay bills on time andaddress any notices of collections before they make it onto your  permanent record. If you will beapplying for a loan soon, avoidopening any other credit ac-counts for the time being.
Maintain steadyemployment.
Having a job is often vital togetting a mortgage. Lenders tend
to look for long-term nancial
stability, which is best illustrated by maintaining steady employ-ment. Jumping from job to job
may be a red ag to lenders, so
it’s better to make a switch after you have been approved for aloan.
Save, save, save.
Having more money in the bank lowers your loan-to-valueratio, or LTV. This will makeyou appear less risky to lenders.Individuals who have saved for aconsiderable down payment ona home are also seen in a better light.
Make sure you have acredit history.
Some people are too cautiouswith their credit and think clos-ing accounts or avoiding creditentirely will make them moreattractive to lenders. But this can
 backre. Lenders will want to
see a strong credit history thatindicates your ability to pay your debts on time.
Get a cosigner.
If you are uncertain about your ability to secure a loan on your own, then consider a cosigner to make you more attractive to prospective lenders. The cosigner helps guarantee the lender thatyour mortgage payments will bemade.
How homeowners can reducetheir monthly expenses
Saving money is a prior-ity for many people. Butreducing monthly expensesis typically a bigger concernfor homeowners, especiallynew homeowners adjust-ing to life with a mortgage,higher energy bills than theylikely had while renting andother costs associated withowning their own homes.Home ownership is adream for many people, butthe realization of just howexpensive owning a homecan be is often eye-openingonce you get the keys andmove in. Once the initialsticker shock has worn off,homeowners should knowthat the cost of home owner-ship need not be so steep. Infact, there are several wayshomeowners can cut costswithout drastically changingtheir lifestyle.
Combine yourinsurance coverages.
Many lenders mandatethat borrowers carry home-owners insurance for their homes. The cost of cover-age varies from companyto company, and one of the ways homeowners canreduce the cost of their homeowners insurance isto bundle their homeown-ers coverage with their autoinsurance. Some companies provide discounted premi-ums as high as 15 percentfor policy holders whocombine their homeownersand auto insurance cover-age. Speak with your cur-rent provider to determineif combining your coveragecould save you money. If the
savings are not signicant,
shop around for an insurancecompany that can offer youthe lower price you desire.Just be sure the company isaccessible and reputable.
Refinance yourmortgage.
Renancing your mort
-gage is another great wayhomeowners can save a sub-stantial amount of money.Even if you only recently purchased your home, your lender might be willing to
renance your mortgage
with a lower interest rate.Depending on the amount of time and money left on your loan, reducing your interestrate by 2 percent can saveyou a substantial amountof money on your monthlymortgage payment, whichcan add up to considerablesavings on the total interestyou will pay over the life of the loan. If you think your interest rate is a tad toohigh, consult your lender 
and discuss renancing at a
lower rate.
Bundle your services.
More and more consumershave decided to bundle their Internet, phone and televi-sion packages. Consumer Reports found that bundling just two of those servicesinstead of buying them fromseparate providers can saveconsumers between 40 to 60 percent depending on wherethey live. Rates for bundling packages often come withan expiration date, but aConsumer Reports surveyfound that even those pack-ages come with some wiggleroom. In their 2011 AnnualTelecom Survey, Consumer Reports found that one-thirdof survey participants at-tempted to negotiate a lower rate for their bundled servic-es, and 90 percent of thoseefforts were successful.When negotiating, discusslower prices for bundlingas well as extending the package beyond the currentexpiration date.It never hurtsto ask, and one study has al-ready shown that it actuallyhelps to ask.
Go green.
Going green benets the
environment, and it’s almost
certain to benet homeown
-ers’ wallets. According tothe U.S. Environmental Pro-tection Agency, toilets ac-count for more water usagein the home than any other 
appliance or xture. But the
EPA also notes that a familyof four can save thousandsof dollars by switching to a
high-efciency toilet over 
that toilet’s lifetime. Andinstalling eco-friendly ap-
 pliances or xtures around
your home might even makeyou eligible for certain tax breaks while also updatingyour home, something thatwill make the home moreattractive to prospective buyers when you sell downthe road. There are manyways to make a home moreenvironmentally friendly,and nearly all of them cansave you money over thelong run.
Refnancing an existing mortgage is one way homeowners can reduce their monthly expenses.
2 |
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Home Hunter 
How to give a room a new look without breaking the bank 
Redecorating a room or an en-tire house can change the entirefeel of the space dramatically.But an unpredictable economyhas made many consumers alittle more particular when itcomes to spending on homedecor.Changing elements in a roomdoes not have to be expensive. Afew updated pieces or accesso-ries can give a room an entirelynew look without breaking the bank.
Slipcovers are no longer theamorphous sacks they oncewere. Slipcovers now come in alldifferent price points. Spendinga little more can mean getting astyle that is elasticized or form-
tting, which will conform to
the contours of a sofa or loveseat. This is a simple way tocover up an outdated style of sofa fabric or a chair that hasseen better days. Slipcovers alsoare a good way to protect newcouches from damage whenthere are children or pets in thehome.
To get the right slipcover,
measure the piece of furnitureyou intend to cover. Without the
correct t, even a well-crafted
slipcover can look awkwardand cheap. Pay attention to the
material of the slipcover, so you
know it will be durable and thick enough to cover an existing sofafabric pattern.
Knobs and Pulls
Breathe new life into older 
furniture by changing the knobs,
draw pulls and handles. Manytimes furniture comes withstandard brass knobs that canlook dated over time. Using
sleeker, more streamlined knobs
can make traditional furniturelook more modern. Changing pulls from metal to wood canmake a room look more earthyor country. Home improvementstores and accessory retailersstock a wide variety of handlesand knobs that can transform just about any piece of furniture.And what cannot be found ina store can most likely be pur-chased online.
Paint or Stain
Painting a room’s walls adifferent color can provide im-mediate results. But furniturealso can be painted and stained.Many times older furniture is
made from quality wood, not the
type of composite or pressboardwood of some less expensivefurniture options. That means
that nishes can be stripped and
replaced with new stains. Turna dated dresser into somethingthat looks brand new with a newstain color or a coat of paint.Think about painting or stainingusing foam sponges to reducethe appearance of brush lines.
Swapping out curtains, throw
 pillows and even wall art caneasily and often inexpensivelytransform the look of a room.Homeowners can purchase ac-cessories with bright colors thatadd a pop of brightness through-out the room and can provide a pick-me-up for neutral designtones.Older lamps can be given anew look just by replacing lampshades. There are many afford-able options at discount storesand major retailers.Area rugs can also transforma room with little effort. Bringin a new color scheme with adifferent patterned rug and carrythe pattern to stairways withrunners.
Bare Minimum
Sometimes less is more, and
this can also pertain to homedecorating. Revamping a roomcan be done by subtraction aswell as addition. Homeownerscan explore the option of takingout a piece of furniture that may be cumbersome and blocking
foot trafc. Removing knick 
-knacks from shelves and thin-ning out the use of collectiblescan make a room more airy andinviting. Before money is spenton changing furniture or acces-
sories, people can look into what
they can remove from the roomto freshen it up.Giving a room a new look andfeel can be done without break-ing the bank.
Changing a lamp shade can breathe new life into an older lamp.
Home Hunter 
Sunday, May 5, 2013
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