CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville
Pocono and Lehigh Valley Real Estate Blog

Cleaning House in the Poconos

Cleaning house in the Poconos
Purge of poor-quality homes has left market healthier, Realtors say
By Wayne Witkowski
Pocono Record Business Editor
January 12, 2014 12:00 AM
Home sales have flattened around the country as the real estate market has been stabilizing, according
to the latest national reports, but residential real estate leaders in the Poconos remain conservative but
optimistic with recent significant positive indicators in the market.
A newly published report from Redfin, the real estate brokerage, found in a survey of 468 agents that
home buyers in the fourth quarter continued to be frustrated by the slim pickings among inventory,
were willing to pay more than a seller’s asking price, and were willing to settle for less when it comes to
home features.
“We have a shortage of marketable homes. We’re working with buyers longer because finding
marketable inventory has been short for a couple of years,” said Vickie Brockelman of Commonwealth
Real Estate-Your Way, with offices in Brodheadsville and the Lehigh Valley. She recently has had
more prospective home buyers from the Lehigh Valley and metro Philadelphia and fewer from metro
New York.
But she sees an improvement in homes coming into the market from foreclosures, which were of lower
quality during the recession and are now in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.
“We are seeing a clearing of a lot of the bad stuff and heading into a more positive market,”
Brockelman said. “We’re optimistic with high-priced foreclosures hitting the market. Those are on the
market for weeks as opposed to months.”

Read entire Article click here…….

POCONO RECORD LINK

 

 

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

VA-FHA

Bill Cullen

Home buying Alert. In November of 2011 President Obama signed HR 2112, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 into law renewing the expired higher loan limits for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans for an additional two years, through Dec. 31, 2013. This means that the higher loan limits are set to expire at the end of 2013, which is less than two months from now. What does this mean? With regard to FHA loans, areas that allow “high cost” limits will be lowered from $729,750 to $625,500 without further Congressional action. In addition, areas which are higher than the base limits of $271,050 floor for FHA loans in low cost areas will also see a reduction of approximately 10% of allowable loan amounts if area home prices have not increased significantly enough to offset this decrease. While those seeking a mortgage under $625,500 can turn to conforming alternatives which require a 5% down-payment rather than FHA’s 3.5% required — loans above $625,500 may require a down-payment as much as 10% unless private lenders change their guidelines at the same time. The bottom line is that anyone thinking about purchasing a home and needing a minimum down payment before the end of the year should consider acting quickly. As of the date of this article, neither FHA nor VA have issued letters with instructions indicating how the new limits will be phased in if Congress does not act, however, purchasing in November should put you in position to beat any deadlines.

Bill Cullen – Branch Manager
Franklin American

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

Protecting Tenants

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

For the morning soul, Song by Lauren Cupples

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

What it Takes to Have a Perfect (or Near-Perfect) Credit Score

Aiming for a perfect credit score might seem like you’re trying to attain the unattainable, but hitting the coveted 850 FICO score isn’t impossible. A dedicated few find a way to obtain it by taking such steps as acquiring and maintaining good financial behaviors, monitoring their credit, and using only a small percentage of their available credit each month.

Approximately 0.5 percent of consumers reach the 850 mark, according to a 2010 estimate by the Fair Isaac Corporation, creator of the widely used FICO credit scores. Although chances are slim of climbing to the top of the 300 to 850 range, there are many people who have made it over the 800 hump. In fact, FICO released a report in April that found 18.3 percent of consumers have a score in the 800 to 850 range–the highest percentage since October 2008.

John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com and a former FICO employee, says high scorers approach credit differently than mid- and low-range scorers. For starters, they’re not intimidated by it. “They look at credit more as something that’s under their control, versus something that’s controlling them,” he says. “That’s how credit should be used, rather than to keep up with the Joneses.”

Barry Feldman, a pharmacist in Boca Raton, Fla., has an 820 FICO score, which took years to procure and requires significant work to maintain. Keeping unused credit accounts open and resisting credit card offers that come in the mail are two of his strategies for sustaining his high score. Feldman says the ability to receive better interest rates, such as for auto leasing and his home mortgage, is one of the best benefits he enjoys due to his high FICO score.

[Read: Tips for Maximizing Your Credit Score When It Counts Most.]

The rewards of an 800-plus credit score go beyond mortgages and auto loans, says Al Bingham, author of The Road to 850 (Proven Strategies for Increasing Your Credit Score). “It’s a very powerful three-digit number,” he says. He says two lesser-known areas where a person’s credit score plays a role are how insurance premiums are calculated and whether a job seeker gets hired, since an estimated 47 percent of U.S. employers conduct credit background checks on job candidates.

For consumers looking to join the ranks of people with exceptional credit score scores, Fair Isaac revealed new information in November about the characteristics of credit-score “high achievers.” According to the report, those with scores greater than 750 exhibit similar credit habits. They use 7 percent of their available revolving credit, their oldest credit account was opened an average of 25 years ago, and they have an average of seven credit cards, including both opened and closed accounts. “We haven’t ever released this information before,” says Frederic Huynh, a senior principal scientist for FICO. “We wanted to open our kimono about what it takes to get a higher score, because there is a heightened awareness now around the importance of having good credit.”

Ulzheimer advises those who aspire to join the “800 club” check their FICO score at least once a month. He says a person’s score changes over a monthly cycle. By tracking their progress about every 30 days, consumers can see if their habits are working or if they need to be adjusted.

Although someone gauging their credit standing can use a free scoring tool, such as the one on CreditSesame.com and the simulator on Bankrate.com, going through MyFico.com is the only way to receive an exact FICO score (the one lenders will use). People can sign up for Score Watch, the website’s credit monitoring service that costs $14.95 a month and supplies subscribers with two Equifax credit reports, which include detailed information on what factors are helping or hurting their score.

[Read: 6 Surprising Ways to Boost Your Credit Score.]

Even people who discover they have a poor score shouldn’t lose hope of joining the ranks of high scorers, according to Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, author of Perfect Credit: 7 Steps to a Great Credit Rating. “I’ve known people with severe blemishes on their credit–bankruptcy, foreclosure–but the most important thing is what they do after they experience a financial calamity,” she says.

Michael Krynski, a software engineer in Chicago, encountered such a financial roadblock. During college he only used a debit card, so he didn’t have the chance to establish credit. And it was only after finishing graduate school that he realized he had failed to pay a utility bill, which dropped his score dramatically. By the time he wanted to buy a house, multiple mortgage lenders turned him away due to his subpar credit score, which was hovering around 540.

Determined to raise his score, Krynski purchased a car with an auto loan and opened new credit cards. “I focused all my spending on the new credit cards and always paid at least half the balance each month to maintain a good ratio,” he says, adding that he has kept up these practices over the past 18 months. Krynski’s diligence has paid off: His FICO score is now approximately 760. However, he says he is still pushing to surpass the 800 mark.

While many people like Krynski are looking to move from the mid-700s to what they perceive as the “golden” 800s, lifting their score won’t likely lead to better interest rates. Liz Weston, author of Your Credit Score: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number That Shapes Your Financial Future, says 740 is typically the score a person needs to qualify for the best credit card rates, auto loans, and home mortgages. “There’s no reason to have a perfect 850 other than bragging rights, and you won’t keep it for long anyway, since your scores are always changing,” he says.

[See: How to Improve Your Finances at Every Age.]

Consequently, Ulzheimer says shooting for a perfect or near-perfect credit score isn’t the best approach. “There comes a point where your strategy has to really shift from score improvement to score maintenance,” he says. He and other credit experts say it’s easier to lower an 800 than it is to improve it.

Consumers with an 800 or higher credit score should be content, Weston says, as gaining bragging rights are arguably the only benefit of climbing to the top of the ladder. She says telling a friend you have an 830 FICO score will likely yield limited praise: “How lovely for you. How about them Dodgers?”

By Daniel Bortz | U.S.News & World Report LP – 10 hours ago

 

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

4 Great Reason to Buy a House Now

August 1, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

1. Lowest interest rate in history
2. Plenty of affordable homes
3. Slash your tax bills
4. Invest in yourself

There has NEVER been a better time to invest in a new home! With low, low interest rates and an availability of affordable houses, now is the time to invest in a home, and invest in yourself!

Call your Premier Mortgage Consultant to get started!

Lock rates before you shop

November 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

EMERALD LAKES ASSOCIATION – POCONO COMMUNITIES

Another one of the Fabulous Communities of The Poconos is Emerald Lakes Asoc.

This Community offers:

  • Five (5) Lakes – Imagine that! 5, most with beaches and boat access.
  • Indoor Pool – enjoy swimming all the year through.
  • Outdoor Pool – summer fun!
  • The Emerald Grille – cafe for fun at the Indoor Pool (open Thursday, Friday & Sat)
  • Tennis and basketball courts – for the outdoor enthusiast in you!
  • Playgrounds – get those kids outside and get some exercise.
  • Community Center- great for get togethers.

Pine Tree Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain Top Lake

The Emerald Grille

Indoor Pool and Playground too

West Emerald lake

Check out more details of this Great Community at Emerald Lakes.
Thinking of buying a Vacation Home while the prices are soooo Good in the Pocono Area, search here.
Thanks for looking!
Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

POCONO FARMS COUNTRY CLUB – Pocono Communities

One of the Fabulous communites of The Poconos is Pocono Farms Country Club Assoc.

This Community offers:

  • Clubhouse – Pro shop, Fine Dining at their Restaurant or dine at The Grill. Go where the “locals go.”
  • Recreation Center – fitness is key to being the “top of your game”  Meet up with friends, you’ll exercise more.
  • Golf Course – 18 hole course with the front nine being designed by Masters Champion, Art Wall Jr.  Tournaments for the NEPA Nationwide Tour Qualifier are hosted here.
  • Lake – fishing, sailing, or swimming are all great fun on this Beautiful Lake.
  • Pool – Olympic sized awesome pool. Classes are held during the season.
  • Tennis and Basketball Courts

18 Hole Golf Course

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Country Club with Pro Shop and Restaurant

Lake with Beach, Swimming, Sailing and Fishing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pool - Olympic size

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recreation Center, Fitness Center, Offices

Looking to own a home within this great community search here
Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

Building Credit After a Bankruptcy

Here are some great tips for improving credit scores with a bankruptcy or will very little credit

 

In 2010, over 1.5 million people filed bankruptcy, and 2011 is expected to bring much of the same. Filing bankruptcy is one of the most damaging things to a credit score, potentially dropping your score by 150 points or more, reducing your credit creditworthiness and costing you more in increased finance charges and interest rates. Though bankruptcy remains on your credit report for 7 to 10 years, there are steps you can take to start turning your credit around in 12-18 months.

 

Check your credit report: This is probably the last thing you want to do, but it’s important to know exactly your current credit status, while also confirming all information is correct. The longer incorrect information stays on your credit report the longer it could possibly negatively affect your credit score.

 

Go to www.annualcreditreport.com and pull your credit report. This free report will not contain a credit score, but you just want to make sure everything that should have been discharged in your bankruptcy shows a zero balance. If it doesn’t, contact those creditors and the credit bureau to make sure the information gets updated.

 

Make on-time payments to remaining debts:  Many people mistakenly believe that a bankruptcy will wipe out all debts, but some, such as student loans, child support and, in many cases, mortgages will not be discharged. By keeping on top of payments on those remaining loans, you’ll receive a credit boost for paying your bills over time.

 

Get a Secured Credit Card:   Secured credit cards let you take baby steps back into the credit game. To offset the card issuer’s risk, secured cards require a deposit that serves as your credit line, so if you put down $1,000, you’ll have $1,000 in credit available. Apply for a secured credit card through a local bank or credit union, but make sure you do your research first. Many secured credit cards have extremely high fees, and not all report to the bureaus. Make sure the card you are using has the lowest APR, low fees and most importantly reports to the credit bureaus.

 

Obtain a small loan with your bank or credit union:  Many banks and credit unions will allow you to take out a personal installment loan based on the money in your savings account. FICO likes to see a “healthy mix” of credit lines, such as both revolving and installment. Getting an installment loan that is secured by your savings will allow you to start building credit through another resource other than the secured credit card. Remember to ask your bank or credit union if this loan will be reported to all 3 bureaus. The key is to build credit and increase your credit score. If the hard work you are doing is not being reported, you will not see any of the benefit.

 

And lastly, after several months of responsibly using your secured credit card, (paying on time, keeping balances low, etc) and making your monthly installments on your secured loan on time, you should be able to get approved for an unsecured credit card. Apply for a small gas card, or a department store card, as these are typically easier to obtain.

 

Once you’ve shown your ability to pay on time and your credit score has raised accordingly, ask the card issuer to lower your rate, or apply for a card with better terms. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to rebuilding credit after bankruptcy, but with consistent financial discipline and a little patience, you will get easier access to credit again.

 Contact Bill Cullen for personailzed service

570-424-1289

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155

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