Today’s post comes from a lender that I have worked with personally and professionally for 25 years. If you want to purchase a home or if you would like to see if refinancing can better and shorten your current mortgage, give her a call or send her an email.

For most people, a home is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. When determining your credit worthiness, the lender will consider your financial history. To do that, they’ll be looking at your FICO score. Here’s what makes up your FICO score:
35% of your score is determined by yourpayment history. This includes everything from credit cards to retail accounts, as well as public records like bankruptcy.30% of your score is determined by youramounts owed. This isn’t just how much you owe, but what types of accounts and what percentage of available credit you’re using.15% of your score is determined by thelength of your credit history: How long your accounts have been open, and what kind of activity they’ve seen.10% of your score is d…

Finally Fall Y’all - Be prepared

As cooler weather finally gets here, there are some things to do.

Next weekend daylight savings ends so we Fall Back. It’s the best time to check your smoke detectors throughout your home and change the batteries. Did you know that if you have any gas source in your home (heat, hot water, stove) or an attached garage, you should have a smoke/CO2 detector instead of just a smoke detector.

Now is the time to insulate your water lines. Outside spigots can be protected by wrapping insulation around the hose bib or purchasing a hose bib protector. Other things to think about is a sprinkler system. Sprinkler systems have a back flow preventer valve that will need to be insulated or removed and that line protected. We personally learned this the hard way when we thought we had thought of everything and I came home one day to find our side yard completely flooded where the back flow preventer had frozen and then burst.

If you haven’t turned your heat on yet, it’s time to do that to make sure …

Hurricane Dorian

We typically do not put a new blog so soon to the last one, but as Hurricane Dorian bears down on the US, we have boarded up our condo at Carolina Beach and headed back to our home in Rougemont, NC. It is always  best to be prepared ahead of the hurricane.  in 1996, with a 2 year old and a 4 month old, Hurricane Fran roared through central North Carolina.  We are 180 miles from the coast but had massive damage.  22 trees down and no power for 2 weeks.  Thank God for friends that got power back on and let us move in with them.  A few things we learned.  After a hurricane, it is hot, humid, and the mosquitoes are ridiculous.  Prepare now and if it completely misses us, we will be thankful.  If it doesn't miss us, we will feel much better knowing we have things ready.

Hurricane Preparing: Have cash on hand.If power goes out, your debit/credit card will not work Fill up your car.As the storm gets closer, prices may rise and stations may run out of gas Have non perishable food and plen…

Wire Fraud. - It’s terrifying.

Last week Larry and I traveled to Wilmington, NC to take a wire fraud class (and get a little beach time at Carolina Beach).
It’s real and it’s terrifying. Unsuspecting buyers wire their money for a closing and it is redirected to someone else’s acct. we heard stories of over $300,000 being lost through wire fraud.

Some safeguards to this:
Your realtor should be using a secure email and should not be involved with wiring instructions. Beware of any professional using a yahoo or gmail account because those emails are absolutely not secure.

When closing day nears, the closing attorney may request from you a notarized form with wiring instructions. Although it may seem like a hassle, everyone in the transaction wants to protect you and your money.
If you are required to wire money to a closing attorney for closing, call the attorney’s office and ask them to send you wiring instructions via an encrypted email. Once you receive the encrypted email, call the attorney’s office back using a p…

The crapper

Yep, you can dress the best and make loads of money, but when something is going on with the crapper, you want some help.
If a home for sale has a septic system, the buyer should always get a septic inspection.  The inspector  will look at the tank and drain field to determine if the septic is functioning properly and the tank has no leaks. A $500-$800 dollar inspection could literally save you thousands in the long run if there is something wrong with the septic, a buyer would want to know that in the due diligence period so that if the seller refused to repair it, the buyer could walk.
Personally, I had a home that I was listing and when I called the county to get the septic info, I was told that the septic permit had been turned over to the state   I was like...what?!?!?!!!  Thankfully, it only costs my seller about 5K to get it in compliance with the state but he was told it could cost up to 40K.
Moral to the story. Do not buy a For Sale By Owner without your own Realtor. If they …

Radon. What the????

As I'm sitting in a chair at Carolina beach today, I have 4 homes that have just gone under contract. We recommend doing inspections even if the lender does not require. One of the inspections that is available is a radon test. Radon is an odorless radioactive gas that can Cause lung cancer. My home inspector uses a company out of Raleigh NC but said for personal home use, he would pick up a radon testing canister from the local home improvement  store.
Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer but some experts say radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer especially if radon exposure has been long term.
The only personal experience I've had with a radon level being above the amount of 4 pCi/L was in a home we sold several years ago that had a basement. We have a basement and I keep telling my husband we should have it checked so the next thing on my to do list after we return home is get a radon test kit and get our home checked.
There is an interesting site that …
We often get panicked, last minute calls from a potential buyer that has been house hunting on their own.  They "knew" they would be using Bordeaux Smith Realty, but had not made official contact yet.  The panicked call goes something like this, "We just went to an open house and we LOVE the home and want to make an offer right now".  WHOA!!!!  While that is great, the buyer wasn't aware of the steps needed to make a strong and competitive offer.  Currently in the Triangle (NC), it is such a seller's market that the buyer needs to have all their ducks in a row.  If they don't, their dream home may be gone before they can get their ducks moving.
First thing's first, CALL US!!!  We will make sure you have everything you need to go in with a strong offer in a season where many homes fall under a multiple offer situation. 
Things we will ask:
Do you need a loan or will you be paying cash?
If you need a loan, have you spoken to a lender? If not, we can …