Credit Score Variances

4 03 2006

When it comes to your credit score, what most people don’t know is the scoring formulas, criteria and, most importantly, the range of scores is different for a mortgage than for other types of credit. Particularly credit scores generated on the Internet which are notoriously high to cleverly please the person who just paid $30 for it. There are over ten different scoring models from Experian alone that have varying applications in the world of lending. In other words the score a consumer gets on the Internet, at a car dealership, a mortgage company or a credit card are all different because they are not generated by the same software. While they all have similarities, they evaluate and weigh varying information differently, and most importantly have a different scoring scale. And if those discrepancies weren’t enough, consider that the term “credit score” is generically used by Experian and Trans Union because they do not use the FICO scores for their Direct-to-Consumer product. This has misled millions when purchasing their credit reports from these two bureaus. The “credit scores” from these two bureaus are based on completely different models than the FICO score and can differ as much as 100 points in some cases. For example a score of 720 on an Experian Direct-to-Consumer report is of very little use to mortgage lenders who must rely on the findings of the FICO score to qualify a borrower which will undoubtedly be lower. Keep in mind that the bureaus make millions off of their credit scores and do everything feasible to cloud this issue. If you need help with financing, please feel free to contact me. I can put you in touch with Watson Mortgage and can assist you in the process.





Florida Attracts 85 Million+ Visitors; Fuels Demand for Real Estate

4 03 2006

Commercial and residential Realtors with a market niche based on the state’s tourism industry were not disappointed in 2005. The preliminary number of visitors to the state recently released showed a record number of tourists, which fueled demand for single-family homes used for short-term rentals, hotels or related service industries. According to Gov. Jeb Bush, a new record-high of 85.8 million visitors in 2005 represents an increase of 7.6 percent over the same period in 2004, based on research from Visit Florida, the state’s official source for travel planning. It also marks the first time annual visitation to Florida has exceeded the 80 million mark. Domestic travel to Florida increased 7.7 percent to more than 79 million in 2005 with domestic visitors representing 92 percent of total visits. Internationally, an estimated 2.1 million Canadians visited Florida in 2005, an 8.2 percent increase from 2004. Overseas travel to Florida increased by as much as 6.3 percent over 2004, to 4.7 million in 2005.





Florida’s Housing Market Shows Strong Price Gains in January While Sales Ease Off Record Pace

4 03 2006

Coming off several years of blistering home sales at a record pace, Florida’s housing sector followed the national trend in January and showed signs of market adjustments, with a statewide total of 12,815 existing single-family homes sold for a 19 percent decline, according to the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR). Statewide condo sales also slipped, registering an 18 percent decrease from the previous January. Statewide, median prices for existing single-family homes continued to climb. In Jacksonville, home sales in January 2006 dropped 2 percent while median sales price for existing single-family homes rosed 17 percent over a year ago. However, Jacksonville condo sales went up 8 percent in January 2006 and median sales price rose 8 percent from last year. See report.

Housing industry analysts nationwide noted it may take a while for home price growth to cool, following a long period of short supply and sellers accustomed to exceptional price gains. Realtors from across the state report that more homes are available for sale, improving what had been tight inventories in many markets. 2006 FAR President Mike Dooley notes that the market is coming into better balance between buyers and sellers. “For years, many areas in Florida reported tight inventories of homes available for sale,” he says. “Now that buyers are seeing more choices, it’s even more important for both buyers and sellers to seek advice from real estate professionals. With the expertise and services that Realtors bring to the table, they help to bridge any differences between buyers and sellers that may arise during the sales process and work to keep the transaction going smoothly for everyone involved.”

Last month, interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.15 percent, up from the average rate of 5.71 percent in January 2005. FAR’s sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Source: Florida Association of Realtors





Condo Market

4 03 2006

For many, condos have been a remarkable investment in the last few years. Condo prices rose 106 percent between January 2000 and October 2005, even higher the average 56 percent climb of single-family homes over the same period. However, some owners looking to sell today may have difficulties due to restrictive condo bylaws. Condo rules tend to be nitpicky, in part because condo owners share more common space. Detailed rules designate parking privileges and the placement of satellite dishes, even the hours that residents can wash their cars, explains Paul Grucza, past president of the Community Association Institute, an advocacy group for homeowners associations. And while they may seem innocuous, even little rules can sabotage a sale. Potential buyers walk away from rules that prevent pets or require carpeting. In some slowing markets, the difficulties of selling have increased enough to encourage lifting some restrictions. But in many places, the rules are still tough — and getting tougher to the extent that they are beginning to sour sales.

Source: SmartMoney





Credit Score Variances

4 03 2006

When it comes to your credit score, what most people don’t know is the scoring formulas, criteria and, most importantly, the range of scores is different for a mortgage than for other types of credit. Particularly credit scores generated on the Internet which are notoriously high to cleverly please the person who just paid $30 for it. There are over ten different scoring models from Experian alone that have varying applications in the world of lending. In other words the score a consumer gets on the Internet, at a car dealership, a mortgage company or a credit card are all different because they are not generated by the same software. While they all have similarities, they evaluate and weigh varying information differently, and most importantly have a different scoring scale. And if those discrepancies weren’t enough, consider that the term “credit score” is generically used by Experian and Trans Union because they do not use the FICO scores for their Direct-to-Consumer product. This has misled millions when purchasing their credit reports from these two bureaus. The “credit scores” from these two bureaus are based on completely different models than the FICO score and can differ as much as 100 points in some cases. For example a score of 720 on an Experian Direct-to-Consumer report is of very little use to mortgage lenders who must rely on the findings of the FICO score to qualify a borrower which will undoubtedly be lower. Keep in mind that the bureaus make millions off of their credit scores and do everything feasible to cloud this issue. If you need help with financing, please feel free to contact me. I can put you in touch with Watson Mortgage and can assist you in the process.





Florida Attracts 85 Million+ Visitors; Fuels Demand for Real Estate

4 03 2006

Commercial and residential Realtors with a market niche based on the state’s tourism industry were not disappointed in 2005. The preliminary number of visitors to the state recently released showed a record number of tourists, which fueled demand for single-family homes used for short-term rentals, hotels or related service industries. According to Gov. Jeb Bush, a new record-high of 85.8 million visitors in 2005 represents an increase of 7.6 percent over the same period in 2004, based on research from Visit Florida, the state’s official source for travel planning. It also marks the first time annual visitation to Florida has exceeded the 80 million mark. Domestic travel to Florida increased 7.7 percent to more than 79 million in 2005 with domestic visitors representing 92 percent of total visits. Internationally, an estimated 2.1 million Canadians visited Florida in 2005, an 8.2 percent increase from 2004. Overseas travel to Florida increased by as much as 6.3 percent over 2004, to 4.7 million in 2005.





Florida’s Housing Market Shows Strong Price Gains in January While Sales Ease Off Record Pace

4 03 2006

Coming off several years of blistering home sales at a record pace, Florida’s housing sector followed the national trend in January and showed signs of market adjustments, with a statewide total of 12,815 existing single-family homes sold for a 19 percent decline, according to the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR). Statewide condo sales also slipped, registering an 18 percent decrease from the previous January. Statewide, median prices for existing single-family homes continued to climb. In Jacksonville, home sales in January 2006 dropped 2 percent while median sales price for existing single-family homes rosed 17 percent over a year ago. However, Jacksonville condo sales went up 8 percent in January 2006 and median sales price rose 8 percent from last year. See report.

Housing industry analysts nationwide noted it may take a while for home price growth to cool, following a long period of short supply and sellers accustomed to exceptional price gains. Realtors from across the state report that more homes are available for sale, improving what had been tight inventories in many markets. 2006 FAR President Mike Dooley notes that the market is coming into better balance between buyers and sellers. “For years, many areas in Florida reported tight inventories of homes available for sale,” he says. “Now that buyers are seeing more choices, it’s even more important for both buyers and sellers to seek advice from real estate professionals. With the expertise and services that Realtors bring to the table, they help to bridge any differences between buyers and sellers that may arise during the sales process and work to keep the transaction going smoothly for everyone involved.”

Last month, interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.15 percent, up from the average rate of 5.71 percent in January 2005. FAR’s sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Source: Florida Association of Realtors








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