Diana's Neighborhood

Real Estate in New York & Connecticut – Won't you be my neighbor?

New Stimulus Bill to Create a Tax Credit for a Home Purchase!

us-capitol-clearly-ambiguous                                                                  Clearly Ambiguous – Flickr.com

Great news for those looking to purchase a home…  a tax credit of $8,000 has been approved! 

                                      <<Click Here to view the Consumer Chart>>

100-dollar-bills-amagill                                                                          Amagill – Flickr.com

Eliminating the repayment provision and increasing the limit from $7,500 to $8,000 – along with extending the time line from January 1, 2009 to December 1, 2009.
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                                                                        Mannequin – Flickr.com

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February 6, 2009 Posted by | Buyers, Credit, Economy, First Time Home Buyers, Money, Realtor, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carnival of Saving Money – IV on DepositAccounts.com

I am very proud to say that Carnival of Saving Money – the Fourth Edition – on DepositAccounts.com, included MY post – Yahoo!

coins-kevin                                                                     Kevin – Flickr.com

There are many other fantastic posts regarding Saving Money, Budgeting, Money Management, the Economy, …

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So unless you have a Money Tree, please <Click > Here to view all these helpful tips and advice in these most difficult times.

January 27, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Economy, Finance, Money, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Ways to Repair and Boost Your Credit

Here is an article that I recently read on HGTV’s FrontDoor.com
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When it comes to repairing your credit, you’re the best person for the job. 

Credit repair scam artists will charge you anywhere from $500 to $1,500 or more upfront, and promise you everything from a new Social Security card to perfect credit.

But these companies can’t do anything for you that you can’t do for yourself — for free — and they might ultimately do more harm than good.

What should you do if you have bad credit? Here are 10 tips that are designed to improve your credit history and raise your credit score:

1. Pull a copy of your credit history from AnnualCreditReport.com. Sponsored by the three credit-reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, AnnualCreditReport.com is the only place you can go to get a truly free copy of your credit history. Each credit-reporting bureau is required to give you one copy once a year. You should pull copies from each of the bureaus, since they sometimes collect different data.

2. While you’re there, buy a copy of your credit score from Equifax.com. Equifax offers a FICO score, also known as a Beacon score, which is from Fair Isaac, the company that created the concept of credit scoring. Most creditors will pull a FICO score, so you should see what they’re seeing. Your credit score will give you a snapshot of what your credit information means to your creditors. The FICO score runs from 350 to 850. The higher the number, the better. Your target should be to have a credit score of at least 720.

3. Check your credit history thoroughly. You’re looking for errors, misinformation and negative information that might count against you. File a dispute with the three credit-reporting bureaus if you spot any errors. Some credit reports have serious errors in them, so fixing these will boost your score.

4. Understand what kind of debt you’re facing. Make a list of everything you owe, the interest rate each debt carries, and the minimum payment due each month. Then, prioritize your debt: mortgage, real estate taxes, credit cards and medical bills should be paid in that order.

5. Negotiate with your creditors for a lower interest rate. Paying less in interest means more of your payment each month goes toward paying down your balance. If you have a good credit score (over 720 is a starting point), you should be able to find other credit cards featuring zero percent to 5 percent in interest for the first year, or for the life of a balance transfer (check out sites like CardRatings.com and CardTrak.com to compare credit-card offers.) Just be sure you read the fine print: Some credit cards require you to charge on the new account each month or face a stiff fee.

6. Pay down the debt with the highest interest rate first. Pay your mortgage and home equity loan and lines of credit in full each month. Then, make sure you have enough cash to make all of the minimum payments due on your debt each month. Then, throw any spare cash at the debt that carries the highest interest rate first. Once you’ve paid down that debt, transfer all of the extra cash you’re paying each month to the debt with the next-highest interest rate, and so on.

7. Pay everything on time, even if you can make only the minimum payment. The most crucial component of your credit history and credit score is your ability to pay your bills on time each month. Paying on time shows your creditors that you take your debts and obligations seriously. Even one late payment can seriously damage your credit history and credit score, even though it can take a year’s worth of on-time payments to start to heal your credit history and raise your credit score. It doesn’t seem fair, but that’s how the credit industry works.

8. Don’t charge more than 25 percent of your maximum available credit limit. If you carry a credit-card balance that is a higher percentage of your available credit limit, your credit score will go down. Why? Because creditors believe if you charge the maximum on your credit cards, it means you can’t properly manage your credit. You’re better off spreading out your debt between three or four different cards than having it all piled on one card.

9. Don’t open and close a lot of accounts. Again, a credit score tells current and future creditors how likely it is that you won’t pay back your debts. It assesses how risky a borrower you are today. Every time you apply for a new credit card, that creditor pulls a copy of your credit history from the credit-reporting bureaus. That “inquiry” gets reported on your credit history. Too many inquiries in a short period of time signals that you may be getting low on your available credit and need more cash. Even though you might be interested in getting 10 percent off your first purchase for opening a new account, it looks different to a prospective creditor.

10. Don’t share credit (except with a spouse). It’s easy to tell someone that you’ll “co-sign” a credit card, student loan or a mortgage loan application, especially if it’s someone you’ve known for a long time. But it’s also easy to wind up in a situation where that friend or relative stops paying his or her bills (for whatever reason) and your credit will take a big hit. Once you’re a co-signer for a loan, you’re legally obligated to make those payments — whether or not you can afford them. So think carefully before you agree to co-sign a loan, and nip the problem of bad credit before it begins.

By Ilyce Glink | Published: 1/23/2008

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Credit, Money, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Economy, Unemployment, Car Industry, Housing Market … We Need Some Inspiration!

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In one way or another, it seems we are all in a struggle these days. The economy and inflation of pricing for gas and oil that we paid – and some are still paying if these expenses were put on credit.  With the increased cost of groceries, airline tickets, fresh flowers, dinner out, getting your lawn cut, a carwash, a haircut, …  – it seemed that just about everything was increased!

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During these past Holidays, many stores were offering discounted prices and incentives to bring people out to shop.  But as I was out and about, the stores and malls seems like any normal weekend – I could find a parking space without having to circle the lot 7 times!  I didn’t have to wait on a line for 45 minutes to pay for 1 gift!  This should have made me happy, but it saddened me because of the reason why it wasn’t crazy and crowded.  People just didn’t have the money or were afraid to spend.

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To keep sane, healthy and to remember that this too shall pass, I found a great site with some inspiration.  To read some ideas – “Looking for Inspiration” by: Cheryl Richardson <CLICK>.

Some of my favorite from this list are :

  • I pray.  When struggling with anger, frustration, uncertainty, etc., “giving it to God” gets me through those feelings and inspires me to know that He is there with me and will guide and get me through.
  • Watching “The Pursuit of Happyness”. This movie reminded me of the determination factor in the pursuit of a goal or dream. You have to keep working toward that goal, even when it’s difficult.
  • I love to read books that keep me in the mind set of doing my best to be a better person.
  • I find inspiration in gratitude. Every day I find at least 5 new things to be grateful for. Things as simple as running water, the cement on my garage floor, the paint on the walls of my house, the way light shines on a tree, today the frost on a picnic table like a million sparkling diamonds. When you think of how little others have in the world, we live in paradise. It energizes me to a happiness that gives me the power to do more, give more happiness, and make a difference in this world.
  • Watching a sunset.

sunset-hamed-masoumi                                                  Hamed Masoumi – Flickr.com

Cheryl has been on Oprah <CLICK>   –   Good Morning America <CLICK> – Recent Good Morning America <CLICK>

So, eat well, exercises, listen to music, watch a sad movie and have a good cry if needed, think of and be grateful for all you have, know that you are fortunate and things WILL get better with a positive attitude and determination, and… don’t forget to BREATHE!

Danbury Fair Mall enhanced through PicNik.com

January 12, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Good Morning America, Inspiration, Money, Oprah, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2009 Could be the Best Year for Home Buyers

FrontDoor.com has a fantastic article about how 2009 could be the best year for home buyers!

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Some of the items mentioned is the home buyers tax credit, the increase of inventory of homes on the market and the decreasing interest rates.  It reads that interest rates are in the high 5’s and that there may be more reductions.  Well, there was a decrease in interest rates.  Just today, Carey Hollander with Patriot Home Funding said interest rates for a 30 fixed mortgage are in the LOW 5’s for someone with good credit.  For more info on Patriot Home Funding <CLICK>

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To read the entire article “The Last Year for Best Buying Opportunities – Considering buying a home? Take advantage of low prices and interest rates in 2009.” <CLICK HERE>

Happy House Hunting!

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December 13, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, First Time Home Buyers, Home, Money, Mortgage, Real Estate, Realtor, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shopping on a Budget in Danbury CT

danbury-ct-libraryimagesnet1libraryimages.net – FLICKR

This week I went shopping in Danbury, Connecticut.  With the economy being where it is and the heating and holiday season upon us, getting the most for my dollar was, and always is, important to me.

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A few stores I went into to purchase a Closing Gift and start my Holiday Shopping was on Newtown Road in Danbury – off exit 8 on I-84.  I simply parked my car and had access to a few great shops like – HOMEGOODS

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 and… WALMART

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and… MARSHALLS

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All these shops with great prices – and… I saved gas too!

Click here for some Danbury News by MapQuest.com

November 20, 2008 Posted by | Connecticut, Danbury, Economy, Homegoods, Money, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oprah & Suze Orman – Can I Afford That?

Recently, I viewed one of OPRAH’S shows, which featured Suze Orman in “Can You Afford That?” 

                                                                                            

Suze is a Personal Finance Expert with an Emmy Award Winning television show and one of New York Times Bestselling Author.  She has also recently spoke at the Century 21 International Convention and immediately dazzled the audience with her charisma. Suze is trying to make a difference through education and hopefully better peoples lives.  Even though not all may agree with Suze, there is much advice that someone can take and “adjust” into their own lives.  After all, she has experienced financial hardship in her own life – and I too have  “been there, done that” myself.

With all the money questions that people are asking these days, Suze answered many.  Should I spend or save?  Can I afford to buy a new car?  to retire?  to be a stay at home mom?  and… can I afford to purchase a HOME?

Oprah also has Money advice and lots of other life info – SpiritHealthStyleRelationshipsHomeFoodWorld and lets not forgot, the Book Club.

“When you get into a tight place and it seems that you can’t go on, hold on – for that’s just the place and the time that the tide will turn.”  –  Harriet Beecher Stowe

                                                         

October 23, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, Finance, Money, Oprah, Suze Orman, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment