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How to get rid of an old refrigerator

July 27, 2008

Some guy bought a new fridge for his house. To get rid of his old fridge, he put it in his front yard and hung a sign on it saying: ‘Free to good home. You want it, you take it.’ For three days the fridge sat there without even one person looking twice at it. He eventually decided that people were too un-trusting of this deal.
It looked too good to be true, so he changed the sign to read: ‘Fridge for sale $50.’

The next day someone stole it!

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Attractive, secure financing options

July 26, 2008

Having good credit and secured down-payment capital are the most sure-fire ways to get the best mortgage deal. Fixed rates are more affordable, and many federally funded programs are available for first-time homeowners, teachers and police officers. Affordable housing loan programs are back in the picture too.

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6 Reasons to Stage Your Home Before Selling

July 24, 2008

Why should I bother staging my home? What do I get back for all the time and effort I put in? This is one of the most common home staging questions among sellers, especially those who are selling in a seller’s market.

Here’s the bottom line: Staging your home can benefit you regardless of what type of real estate market you are in.

In a buyer’s market, you will need every advantage you can get in order to sell your home for a decent sale price, so it’s extra important to stage your home effectively. But even in a seller’s market staging can help you achieve a quick sale for the maximum sale price.

So no matter what kind of real estate market you are in, it’s always wise to stage your home for the market.

Here are some of the primary benefits you will get out of it:

Home Staging Benefits

Forces you to organize and de-clutter.
Clearing away shelves, closets and cabinets is a big part of the home staging process. It also helps with moving, because you’ll have to pack things away at some point anyway. So when you stage your home, you will also get a head start on packing to move.

Forces you to think like a buyer.
When you set out to stage your home for the market, you will be looking at the home as if you were a buyer. Adopting this perspective early on will help you in many ways when preparing your home for the market.

Increases likelihood of a sale.
When selling your home, you must do everything within your power to increase your chances of selling — and I mean everything. Professional home staging techniques can give you an extra edge in selling the home quickly.

Reduces the home’s time on market.
When you put in the extra effort to stage your home effectively, you will move closer to a quick sale. Anyone who has sold a home before can attest to the fact that the least time the home is on the market, the better. This is especially important if you will be paying two mortgages until the home sells (as is the case when you buy a new home before selling the old one).

Helps justify the asking price.
If you are in a seller’s market and you price your home correctly, you probably won’t have to haggle over the asking price. But in a market that leans toward the buyer, you need everything in your favor to justify the asking price. Proper home staging can help you justify the asking price by positioning the home more favorably in the buyer’s mind.

Staging can be fun!
It may sound like all work and no play at first. Granted, you will certainly be putting some elbow grease into the process. But staging a home can be a creative process as well, and many people find they enjoy it once they’ve begun.

With so many benefits to staging a home, the question isn’t why should you stage your home. The question is why wouldn’t you?

About the Author: Brandon Cornett is the publisher of The Staging Bug, a website that offers home staging advice advice for sellers. For more great tips and ideas, visit www.stagingbug.com

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How To Fix Errors On Your Credit Report

July 20, 2008

by Brandon Cornett

Errors within your credit reports can negatively affect your credit score, making it lower than it really should be.

In turn, this makes it harder to qualify for a home loan, a car loan, or obtain any form of financial lending for that matter. And if you do qualify for financing, you will almost certainly pay a higher interest rate because of that score. So errors on those reports must be identified and correcting, no matter how long it takes you.

Before we go any further, I want to point out an important distinction. In this article, I am not offering tips on how to improve a credit score (one that is low because of bad financial habits on the part of the consumer). Instead, I’m focusing on plain old mistakes on your reports, such as a line of credit that should not be there, or a documented bankruptcy that never happened, etc.

In other words, I’m telling you how to fix things that aren’t your fault. So with that clear, let’s press on!

The “How” of Correcting Errors

The first thing you need to understand is that you have three different reports, and they contain exclusive / proprietary data as opposed to “shared” data. This means that you could actually see different information on all three of them.

It also means that you could encounter a mistake on one particular report (the one from TransUnion, for example), while the data provided by Equifax and Experian appeared to be correct. So if you ever have to dispute a mistake on your information, you must contact the company that produced the erroneous report, as the information provided is specific to that company.

All three of the companies mentioned above have a “Disputes” section of their website. That’s where you need to go in order to get the ball rolling. Filling out a dispute form is a way of saying, “Hey, this information is incorrect, and you need to fix it because it’s affecting my financial status!”

So, you found an error on one or more of your credit reports and you have diligently submitted a dispute / correction form through the appropriate website above. That’s all there is to it, right?

Unfortunately, no…

You Are Not a Preferred Customer

Here’s something else you should take away from this article. When you first begin contacting a credit-reporting company about a mistake within your information, you will quickly realize that you are not their customer. You will realize this because they will probably treat you in a fashion that suggests the same.

The mortgage company who pays to obtain your credit information is their customer. The car dealer who pays for this information is also their customer too. But you are not their customer. You are a number … a piece of data to them. And when you start demanding their review of a potential mistake, you become a nuisance as well.

Is this right and fair? Of course not. Personally, I don’t think a private company should even be able to collect such information. And if they do collect such information, they should be proactive about safeguarding the data and ensuring the correctness of it. But this is not the case.

I just want you to understand the reality of the situation before you become involved with it. When you go into the process understanding the dynamic, you’ll be better prepared for what you must do next, which is to stay on top of them until things are sorted out!

Weak Legislation to the Rescue

As you have probably guessed, the three credit-reporting agencies are regulated by Congress. However, “regulation” in this context just means there are some rules on paper — it doesn’t mean those rules are actually enforced. Specifically, the Fair Credit Reporting Act dictates certain obligations these companies have, with regard to maintaining credit information on consumers. (and correcting that information when it is clearly in error).

The law was created back in 1970, and it has been more recently amended (2003) to try and force the credit-reporting companies to be more responsive. Still, many consumer advocates argue that the act does not go far enough to protect consumers, that it is lazily enforced, and that the core problems that prompted the creation of the act are still very much around today.

The credit-reporting companies are not governmental organizations, as many consumers believe. They are companies driven by profit. In other words, it’s in their interest to make as money as possible (as with any other company), but it’s not necessarily in their interest to look after consumers.

As a last resort — if you’re previous efforts to correct reporting errors have proven unsuccessful — you can sue the company who has produced the erroneous information. If you can prove that certain information is false, and that the report has thus caused you financial harm, you could be entitled to damages (monies) paid by the company.

About the Author: Brandon Cornett publishes the Home Buying Institute, a website full of advice on mortgages loans, house hunting, credit scores and more. Learn more or contact the author by visiting www.homebuyinginstitute.com

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The Dangers of Overpricing Your Home

July 19, 2008

Sellers often feel there is no real harm with starting their list price high to see if they can attract a buyer and bring in top dollar. While this sounds good in theory there are some inherent risks with such a pricing strategy. Keep in mind that broker and buyer interest is at its highest when a property is first put on the market. An asking price that is beyond market range can adversely affect the marketing of a property. The following are some of the dangers involved with overpricing your home.

– Fewer buyers are attracted, and fewer offers received.

– Marketing time is prolonged, and initial marketing momentum is lost.

– The property attracts “lookers” and helps houses competing with yours look better by comparison.

– If a property does sell above true market value, it may not appraise and the buyers may not be able to secure a loan.

– It may become necessary to adjust the price below market value to compete with new, competitively priced listings. Hence, the property may eventually sell below market value.

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You Are the Key Player on the Home Selling Team

July 11, 2008

No one has a more important role in the home selling process than you, the home owner. Sure, I will handle the majority of the marketing load, but do not underestimate how valuable you are in the sales process. Here are some ways your participation can contribute to a successful sale:

– maintain the property in ready-to-show condition at all times
– ensure the house is easily accessible to Realtors via lock box and key
– be flexible in the scheduling of showings
– when you leave home for an extended period of time be sure to keep in contact with me in case an offer is made
– if approached directly by a buyer who is not represented by a Realtor please contact me
– remove or lock up valuables, jewelry, cash and prescription drugs
– if possible do not be present when the property is being shown
– securely pen up pets or take them with you
– be cautious about saying anything to buyers or their Realtors that could weaken your negotiating position, especially with regards to your price or desire to sell
– collect the business cards of Realtors who preview your home and give them to me as soon as possible
– let me know of any changes to the condition of your property that could impact value
– be open to review the list price and condition of your property if it has not sold in a reasonable amount of time
– contact me with questions or concerns

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Another great home value site

July 8, 2008

Their slogan is, “What is your castle worth?” and with a few clicks of your mouse buttons they’ll tell you. Of course, in this declining Florida real estate market you might not like what they have to say, but if you have a strong stomach visit www.eppraisal.com. Search over 120 million homes for a free estimated value range as well as access to neighborhood information like schools, lifestyle, employment, local professionals, and more.

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Loss Mitigation Contact Numbers

July 2, 2008

* ABN Amro Group: 1-800-783-8900
* Ameriquest: 1-800-211-6926
* Bank of America: (716)-635-2982
* Chase Manhattan: 1-800-446-8939
* CitiFinancial Mortgage: 1-800-422-1498
* CitiMortgage Inc.: (636)-256-5088 or 1-800-695-0384
* Citymortgage: 866-558-3662 or 800-422-1498
* Countrywide: 1-888-453-3102 or 877-744-7691
* Ditech: 1-800-852-0656 or 1-800-449-8582
* EMC Mortgage: 1-888-577-4011
* Fairbanks Capital: 1-888-818-6032
* FHA insured mortgages: (301)-696-5127
* First Franklin Loan Services: 1-800-622-5035
* GMAC: 1-800-850-4622 or (319)-236-4643
* Greentree: 1-877-816-9125
* Homecomings: 1-800-206-2901 or (858)-874-7417
* Homeq: 1-800-414-0969
* Household Finance: 1-800-333-5848
* Household Mortgage: 1-800-395-4489
* Irwin Home Equity: 1-877-577-3643
* Irwin Mortgage: 1-888-444-6446
* Litton Loan Servicing: (713)-960-9676
* National City Mortgage: 1-800-367-9305 x54949
* New Century Mortgage: 1-877-206-9904
* New South Federal Savings Bank: 1-800-504-7110
* OCWEN: 1-800-746-2936
* Saxon Mortgage: 1-800-594-8422
* US BANK: 1-888-780-3997
* Washington Mutual: 1-888-456-5353 or 866-625-3176
* Waterfield Mortgage: 1-800-957-7245
* Wells Fargo: 1-877-216-8448
* Wells Fargo: 1-866-261-5642
* World Savings: 1-800-642-0257
* WaMu: 1-877-926-8937
* HSBC: 1-800-365-6730

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Pasco County Middle Schools

July 1, 2008

teacher-apple1The following is a listing of all Pasco County Middle Schools:

Bayonet Point Middle School
Principal: Michael Asbell
11125 Little Road
New Port Richey, Fl 34654
(727) 774-7400 In-district Phone #: 47400
Fax #: 813/794-7491

Centennial Middle School
Principal: Tom Rulison
38505 Centennial Road
Dade City, Fl 33525
(352) 524-9700 In-district Phone #: 49700
Fax #: 352/524-9791

Chasco Middle School
Principal: Christine Wolff
7702 Ridge Road
Port Richey, Fl 34668
(727) 774-1300 In-district Phone #:41300
Fax #: 727/774-1391

Crews Lake Middle School
Principal: Chris Christoff
15144 Shady Hills Rd.
Spring Hill, FL 34610
(727) 246-1600 In-district Phone #:61600
Fax #: 727/246-1691

Gulf Middle School
Principal: Stan Trapp
6419 Louisiana Avenue
New Port Richey, Fl 34653
(727) 774-8000 In-district Phone #: 48000
Fax #: 813/794-8091

Hudson Middle School
Principal: Steve Vangorden
14540 Cobra Way
Hudson, Fl 34669
(727) 774-8200 In-district Phone #: 48200
Fax #: 813/794-8291

Dr. John Long Middle School
Principal: Beth Brown
2025 Mansfield Blvd.
Wesley Chapel, FL 33543
(813) 346-6200 In-district Phone #: 66200
Fax#: 813/346-6291

Pasco Middle School
Principal: James Lane
13925 14th Street
Dade City, Fl 33525
(352) 524-8400 In-district Phone #: 48400
Fax #: 352/524-8491

Pine View Middle School
Principal: Kim Anderson
5334 Parkway Boulevard
Land O’ Lakes, Fl 34639
(813) 794-4800 In-district Phone #: 44800
Fax #: 813/794-4891

River Ridge Middle School
Principal: Jason Joens
11646 Town Center Road
New Port Richey, Fl 34654
(727) 774-7200 In-district Phone #: 47200
Fax #: 727/774-7291

Charles S. Rushe Middle School
Principal: Dave Estabrook
18654 Mentmore Blvd.
Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638
(813) 346-1200 In-district Phone #: 61200
Fax #: 813/346-1291

Seven Springs Middle School
Principal: David Salerno
2441 Little Road
New Port Richey, Fl 34655
(727) 774-6700 In-district Phone #: 46700
Fax #: 727/774-6791

Paul R. Smith Middle School
Principal: Dr. Chris Dunning
1410 Sweetbriar Drive
Holiday, FL 34691
(727)246-3200 In-district Phone #: 63200
Fax #: 727/246-3291

Raymond B. Stewart Middle School
Principal: Jackson Johnson
38505 Tenth Avenue
Zephyrhills, Fl 33542
(813) 794-6500 In-district Phone #: 46500
Fax #: 813/794-6591

Thomas E. Weightman Middle School
Principal: Shae Davis
30649 Wells Road
Wesley Chapel, Fl 33545
(813) 794-0200 In-district Phone #: 40200
Fax #: 813/794-0291

Please let me know if you see any errors in this list of Pasco County Middle Schools. Thank you!

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