Archives for August 2011

What Makes up Your Credit Score?

Whether you're 18 or 80, you should know your credit score. However, more importantly, you should know what your credit score is based on …. 35% - Payment History. This is the largest portion of your credit score. If you are more than 30 days late, late pays, slow pays or no pays, all this does make a huge negative impact on your score. 30% - Amounts Owed. How much you owe does impact the amount you are able to borrow. If you have a lot of debt, this may show you are overextended financially. However, you can solve this by making sure you only charge up to half or less of your card limit … [Read more...]

What is YOUR most important reason to buy a home?

What is YOUR most important reason to buy a home? Is it a solid and safe place to raise your family? Does it give you more space for your family to live? Does owning a home give you more control of your environment? Even though those are very good reasons to purchase, is it still a sound investment?  Out of most of people asked, 65% of the general population consider homeownership a "safe" investment. 56% think ownership is more of an asset than any other traditional investment. 69% believe NOW is a good time to buy a home, which is an increase over the last 2 … [Read more...]

Farm Prices in Iowa

The DOW is down. The NASDAQ is down. Housing prices are down. Interest rates are down. Unemployment is up. Foreclosures are steady. Do you want to know what ISN'T down? IOWA FARMLAND! Farmland values in Benton County, Linn County, Tama County and Iowa County have done very well in 2011 and are seen more as better  investments. Much of the Midwest has seen land values increase 20% to as much as 30% since 2010, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reported Monday, August 15, 2011. This is actually the highest surge of land prices since the 1970's. The number of Iowa farms … [Read more...]

Best 25 Housing Markets in the United States by The Housing Predictor

The Housing Predictor, Real Estate News & Forecasts in the Public Interest, posted August 17, 2011, the Recovery in the Best 25 Housing Markets in the United States. If you have been listening to the national housing market reports and seeing what has been going on in the general Cedar Rapids area, things  here haven't been all that bad. The housing inventory is only a few months and we're one of the rare states in which our home prices are appreciating in all of its 2011 markets. We do have foreclosures, but are not the plague they are in most states, which does help the real estate … [Read more...]

How Secure are Your Doors?

A person who is casing your home to break into looks at your home differently than you do. Is your front door visible from the street, or is your shrubs over grown and covering it? Someone who is looking to breaking in and entering want the doors to be hidden so no one can see them snap your locks and enter. Your strike plates and deadbolts may need to be replaced. These metal fittings that catches bolts and latches may be fastened to the soft wood of the door jamb with only a couple of screws. This will not keep anyone one if they want to break in. You can increase your security by … [Read more...]

Do what I say, Not as I do …

You have decided to sell your home. Many factors play into deciding your next move, but the major decision may be …. Do you hire an experienced REALTOR® or go through one of the many for sale by owner companies? Yes, it may sound like you are saving THOUSANDS of dollars, but is it such a good deal? Recently, the creator of, Colby Sambrotto, hired a traditional real estate broker to sell his home. That's right, the company telling you that you can sell your home yourself, hired a professional and paid the standard for their area's real estate commission of 6% for … [Read more...]