Friday, July 31, 2009

Can I manage my own rental? How hard could it be?

Yes, you can manage your rental yourself. You will waste a lot of money, do a partial job, and loose a lot of rent due to mismanagement and a lack of knowledge. You will most likely have greater liability and expose yourself to greater risk than a Professional Property Manager.

These are the questions you no doubt will ask - What do I do when the tenant stops paying rent? How much rent do I charge? What is the market rent rate? How do I start the eviction process? Which Justice Court do I go to? How do I truly qualify a prospective tenant?

Who do you think knows the laws better, you or your tenant? What can you legally withhold from the tenants deposit after they move out? How do you document the property prior to tenant move in? What do you do when the tenant doesn’t mow their yard and the HOA is fining you as the owner? How do you handle a pauper’s appeal? What is coding the locks and do I have to re-key and code after I the owner move out? How soon do you have to make a repair? Do you have to repaint every two years? Do you have to do a walk through with the tenant? Which lease do you use? Do I have to clean the tenant’s carpet every six month? When do I have to send the tenants deposit back? Who do you hire to do your repairs, and are they charging me a fair rate? How do you handle a tenant breaking their lease by moving early?

You probably would not hire your Heart Surgeon from the Yellow Pages and you do not want to hire your Property Manager based on commission alone. I had an owner hire us to assist him with his non-paying tenant. The tenant had lived in the home for five years yet the tenant owed the owner two and a half years of rent. The owner was charging less than half of the market rate rent for five years. The owner only collected one half of the rent due for those five years. With no mortgage, the owner could barely pay the annual taxes and insurance with the collected rent. The tenant had no intention of paying. We had him out of the house and the house “broom-clean” in three weeks.

We were recently hired by a mortgage company to handle the management of a home where the tenants were behind in their rent and that they could not kick out (their attorneys could not successfully remove the tenants). We handled the eviction, had the home empty in three weeks and re-rented the property. Our job is to manage the situation, correct previous qualifying errors and create an opportunity for the property to cash flow. Hiring a Professional Property Manager has made a positive difference on the number of rentals my family own.

Realtors are trained in the art of negotiating, disarming hostile owners & tenants and reasoning with two parties. Property Managers are grounded on truth and having a strong work ethic. A professional Property Manager will assist you in maximizing your cash flow, minimize the expenses. We will help get the property rented faster at market rate. A professional Property Manager will continue to receive education and training in order to do you, the owner, and tenant a better job. Professional Property Managers are not likely to be side swiped by a tenant who quotes laws that do not exist. Professional Property Managers are the World’s Best Problem Solvers.

For more information about property management, contact William Ferguson, President, Judge Fite Management Company at 214-232-4118,, or click here to visit our website for detailed information and to view our properties for lease.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Why use a Realtor in Commerical Real Estate?

Realtors are not just real estate agents. They are the true professionals and experts in the industry. There are many reasons to use a Realtor in commercial real estate transactions. Here are several real examples that will show how using a Realtor benefited some of the clients of the CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Commercial Division:

A retailer has always done his own site selection for his new locations. Our Realtor Agent met with him 12 years ago and showed that he could research the site selection and negotiate the lease as well as the client, saving the client valuable time that he could use running his business. 15 locations later (and counting) this is still working effectively for both the client and Realtor.

A developer/contractor did his own leasing of the shopping centers he built. Our Realtor Agent convinced the client that he was capable of handling all aspects of the leasing of the center, allowing the client to spend more time working on his construction business and procuring additional construction jobs. The Realtor leased up one center, prompting the client to ask him to find another site for purchase and development. Now, the Realtor is pre-leasing that soon to-be- built shopping center. The client now spends his time and energy growing his construction business, knowing that his Realtor is handling the leasing of his center in a professional and effective way.

The owner of a dry cleaning business wants to build and own his own retail center. Our Realtor Agent researched areas, helped negotiate the purchase of land and then helped the client with development, leasing and eventual sale of the center while allowing the client to spend his time successfully running his other four stores.

A banker with a property in default wants to sell it before it goes to foreclosure. The banker calls a Realtor to help him. The Realtor contacts one of his investors and is successful in quickly negotiating a sale of the property before foreclosure. This allows the banker to remove the property from his “bad” loan list, provides the investor the opportunity to pick up a valuable property and both parties obtain a mutually satisfying ongoing lender/borrower relationship. A win-win for all sides because the banker knew the value of using a Realtor.

I you would like help with your commercial listing or are interested in a career in commercial real estate, contact Larry Harbour, Manager, Commercial Division for CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company at 214-446-2575, or email Be sure to visit to view all our commercial property listings.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Top Ten Suggestions for Selecting a Real Estate Agent

In order to find a real estate broker or agent who meets your needs and makes your buying or selling experience a positive one, Century 21 Real Estate Corporation recommends you:

1. DO NOT blindly walk into or call a neighborhood firm and ask for an agent at random.
2. Ask friends and family for recommendations.
3. Interview several real estate agents:
- Find out their history with the brokerage, their experience and background.
- Gauge their knowledge of your favorite towns.
- Ask for a list of previous clients and their phone numbers.
4. Pay attention to whether a potential agent is listening closely to what you say.
- Is he or she asking follow-up questions which prompt further explanation and help him or her understand exactly your needs and wants?
5. Give a potential agent the opportunity to educate you.
- A good agent should walk a customer through the buying or selling process before ever showing properties or discussing a specific transaction.
6. Have a good idea of what you expect from an agent and communicate those expectations.
- How often do you want to hear from your agent?
- Do you want to hold meetings at your house rather than the real estate office?
7. Weigh the benefits of working with an experienced agent versus a novice.
- An experienced agent may have more insight, but a new agent may have innovative ideas or more energy and time.
8. Find an agent who complements your personality.
- If you like to start your day at 7:00 a.m., don't choose an agent who arrives to the office at 10:00 a.m.
- If your preferred method of communication is e-mail, don't choose an agent whose most advanced technology is a fax machine.
9. Evaluate the agent's firm and/or office.
- Look for a real estate organization whose agents can empower you with real estate expertise and resources and provide first-rate customer service.
10. Look for an agent who will be your partner.
- Find someone you trust, who will give you the facts, help you make intelligent, well-informed decisions and work with you throughout the entire process.

To find a CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company agent or office near you, click here.

Located at 1140 Empire Central, Suite 520 in Dallas and in 21 other convenient locations across the Metroplex, CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company is a full service brokerage specializing in residential, commercial, recreational, investment and luxury properties. CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company celebrates over 70 years of real estate service and was recently named one of the “Best” Companies to work for in the state by Texas Monthly Magazine.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Real Estate is GREAT! at CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company

Working with an Insurance Pro

One of the main reasons that buyers and sellers choose to work with a REALTOR® is the peace of mind that comes with hiring a professional that knows the business and has experience in solving problems and helping people with their needs.

The same reasoning applies when looking for insurance. Working directly with a licensed agency is much more rewarding as a policy holder than other methods of obtaining insurance. When you work with an agent directly, they will identify your needs and offer you a product that meets you needs. When you order insurance off of a website, you don’t get the opportunity to ask questions about coverage, service or price. How do you know, with as complicated and different as policies are today, if this is the right policy that fits your needs? Are there gaps in coverage that exist because there wasn’t a live person to make sure that your exposures are covered? When you order insurance by calling an 800 number and sitting on hold for 20 minutes, you don’t know the person that will answer, they don’t know you or your account, and when you call back, you will most likely talk with a different person every time. Allowing an agency to look at your account offers more personalized service and avoids potential gaps in coverage.

Not only is it important to work with an agent to ensure you are properly covered, but it is also critical to make sure it is an independent agent. An independent agent is defined as one that represents multiple insurance carriers and can shop the market to find the policy that meets your specific needs at the best price available. When your independent insurance agent gives you a quote, you can have peace of mind in knowing that your coverage was shopped with multiple carriers and that you are being presented with the best solution and the best price. Also, when it comes time to renew your policy, your agent should be automatically shopping for you to make sure that the renewal is the best out there. Carriers change rates constantly, and just because one had the best rates last year does not necessarily mean their rates are the best this year.

Lastly, working with an independent agent allows for much more flexibility in what can be offered. Many insurance companies do not like homes over a certain age, or with a certain roof type, or if that owner has a certain kind of dog. However, working with many carriers allows independent agents to have other markets to go to for those hard to place risks, and they can successfully find a solution for your needs more effectively than a direct writer.

Make sure that when you are looking for insurance that you use an independent agent for the same reasons that a buyer or seller would want to use a professional REALTOR. The level of service, expertise and variety of products that is offered is far superior when you have an independent agent looking out for your needs. Thank you for your support of Judge Fite Insurance Agency. We are a member of the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas because we pride ourselves on being able to offer our clients insurance solutions that meet their needs at the best price in the market. Allow us to being working with you and your clients today!

For more information about insurance for you home, investments, vehicles, or business, contact Judge Fite Insurance today at or 214-446-2571.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why should I use an agent, I don't even know what they do!

You could do it yourself, but…..

With more real estate resources available on the internet, it may seem as if buying and selling a home is an easy task. Here are 30 reasons out of 101 (to see the entire list click here) that will show you the extent of knowledge and experience that an agent provides to help you through a real estate transaction. This list reflects some of the actions, procedures and processes that a real estate agent may typically perform during a residential real estate transaction – and are all things that you could avoid doing yourself.

Typical Pre-Listing Activities
1. Research Current Properties
2. Research Sales Activity from MLS and public records databases
3. Provide Average Days on Market Assessment
4. Review Property Tax Roll
5. Prepare a Comparable Market Analysis (CMA)
Selling the Property Activities
6. Review Title Details
7. Order Plat Map
8. Create Showing Instructions
9. Obtain Mortgage Loan Information
10. Review Homeowner Association Fees and Bylaws
Advertising and Marketing a Listing
11. Enter a Profile Sheet into the MLS Listing Database
12. Take Additional Photos for MLS and Marketing
13. Create and Advertise Property Listing
14. Coordinate Showing Times
15. Create and Mail Flyers
Handling Offers and Contracts
16. Receive Offer(s) to Purchase
17. Counsel and Mediate Offer(s)
18. Deliver Seller's Disclosure
19. Obtain Pre-qualification Letter
20. Negotiate Offers on the Seller's Behalf
Home Inspection and Home Appraisal Activities
21. Coordinate Buyer's Home Inspection
22. Review Home Inspector's Report
23. Interpret Loan Limits
24. Contractor Preparation
25. Confirm Repair Completion
Closing Preparations and Actions
26. Coordinate Closing Process
27. Coordinate Closing Formal Procedure
28. Assist with Title Issues
29. Perform Final Walk-through
30. Verify Tax and Utility Preparation

If you are thinking about buying or selling real estate, visit to find a real estate agent in your area, or contact us at 800-451-8055, email:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What are the advantages of using a REALTOR today?

Having a good real estate transaction or experience really depends on your agent

Finding the right agent is the basis for a great real estate transaction. And success comes from the consumer’s perspective, no one else’s. Make sure that you feel comfortable and can communicate easily with your agent, and that they have the knowledge you need to help make a good decision. Carefully choosing a Realtor will definitely give you an advantage in the home buying or selling process!

QUICK TIP #1: Look for the agent who has the LOCAL ADVANTAGE
When you are choosing a Realtor to help you buy or sell real estate, look for one who is an expert in the community where you are selling or interested in buying. Here are a few ways to determine how “local” your agent is:

- A community resident (preferred)
- Has community memberships in clubs, boards, chambers, associations, PTA, etc.
- Ask to see their “PR” or press related announcements about their local activities
- Ask how long they have been in the area and where their office is located
- Do you see their “FOR SALE” sign in the area?

QUICK TIP #2: Look for the agent who has the TECHNICAL ADVANTAGE
One of the key assets you want in a Realtor is one who has knowledge of their industry and of the local market. You want them to understand the technical side of the real estate transaction so they can help you navigate through the process, eliminating errors and getting you to the closing table successfully and on time.

- Look for experience. How many years in the business?
- What is their background?
- Check to see what real estate “designations” they have. There are many education hours required for an agent to receive one single designation such as CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) or REALTOR® (Graduate of the Realtor Institute). This indicates specialized training in a certain area.
- When you identify the agent’s areas of expertise, make sure this compliments your particular needs.

QUICK TIP #3: Look for the agent who has the MARKETING ADVANTAGE
One of the greatest advantages in working with a real estate professional is the marketing opportunities they bring to the table. For the buyer, they are more knowledgeable on homes from marketing through their vast referral network. And for the seller, a Realtor’s “marketing toolbox” and referral network has the potential to expose your property to thousands more interested buyer prospects.

- Check out their website, is it up to date with community and property information?
- Are they Internet savvy? Connected?
- Do they participate in social networking, and do they have pages on Facebook and other sites they are using to market their listings and provide pertinent real estate information to the online community?
- Ask for an example of their marketing plan for your property or a listing of their referral networks where they can match your real estate needs up to sellers.
- When and how will they deploy their marketing plan? How will it benefit your objectives?

These tips get you thinking about what qualifications you want in a real estate professional. The bottom line is that you want to find an agent who possesses most, if not all, of these qualities while having a comfortable working relationship with you. You are choosing someone you will be spending many hours with and hopefully will build a solid, long-term relationship over time. Selecting the right real estate agent will make a world of difference in the outcome of your real estate transaction.

To find a real estate professional who can help you get started on your next real estate transaction, visit today! Call 800-451-8055, or email

Monday, July 6, 2009

Staging your Home Quick Tips

Everyone appreciates a lovely, well cared for home!

QUICK TIP #1: Remember the three “C’s”

You have probably heard, “there are a million reasons for people to be poor in this world, but there is no reason not to be clean.” No one wants to move into someone else’s filth. Your home should be sparkling clean – bathrooms, appliances, windows, mirrors, cabinets and countertops, etc.; floors should be shiny, dust-ball free and squeaky clean; and furnishings that don’t look shopworn are just the beginning of clean.

Get rid of it. This is probably the biggest challenge in any home. Not only is it messy, it makes the house appear to be smaller. In the process, de-personalize the home. Family photos on the bureau and awards on the wall make buyers feel that they are invading a seller’s privacy. Go for a simple, streamlined look and put away the personal items.

“Paint and Petunias”. Studies from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University show that minor landscaping and new paint actually return 109% of the dollar cost. Color is very subjective, so make sure when you are painting to make rooms look fresh that you don’t overuse strong colors. It is best to keep the colors subtle and mellow. Remember, you want the prospective buyer to visualize THEIR style in YOUR home.

QUICK TIP #2: Follow the basketball rule*

It's no secret that America is a nation of consumers. And all of that stuff we buy is strewn about our homes. In the living room of one luxurious homes that staging guru Barb Schwarz * staged, she unearthed a grand piano beneath mounds of clutter - something she did not notice when she first visited. So while you might like being surrounded by your collection of trophy fish or glass figurines, these items can be a real turnoff to a potential buyer.

Here's a rule of thumb: Remove all items that are smaller than the size of a basketball. Pack up at least half of your books. And stash the photographs of you and the kids on your Hawaiian vacation. You want the buyer to be able to envision himself in your home -- not you.

*Source: Ellen Florian, FORTUNE. Barb Schwarz is the CEO and founder of and has personally staged more than 5,000 homes over the past 33 years.

QUICK TIP #3: Set the scene

Just before a showing:

• Just before the agent arrives with the prospects, open the drapes and window shades to let in as much daylight as possible. Turn on lights throughout the home. If it happens to be night, be sure that all of your outdoor lights are on, especially landscape and pool lights.
• Open all the doors between rooms to give an inviting feeling. Have soft jazz or easy listening music playing. It will put people in a buying mood.
• Pick up any newspapers or magazines that may be lying around. See that the counters are free of unnecessary items and that any dirty dishes are put in the dishwasher. Empty the wastebaskets, put the toilet lids down, hide your laundry and grooming items, and place baskets of new, color coordinated hand towels in the bathroom.

For help on staging your home for sale, contact ROI Staging at To help find a real estate professional in your area, visit or call 800-451-8055. You

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Help me understand the CREDIT SCORING lingo

Talk their language - Know the credit-scoring lingo.

Credit will always be a driving factor in real estate transactions. For the home buyer, you need good credit to purchase a home, and for the home seller, you need good credit to relocate and purchase another dwelling. To help you manage your credit reports and scoring, here is a list of 25 “need-to-know” credit-scoring terms that are commonly used in the financial industry:

Algorithm: A complex mathematical model. In credit scoring, it is used to compare data in millions of credit reports and predict a person's likelihood to repay debts.
Bankruptcy: A legal proceeding designed to help people in financial difficulty get a fresh start by relieving them from having to pay their current debts. Bankruptcies usually stay on a person's credit report for 10 years.
Charge-off: An unpaid portion of a bill that a lender has accepted will never be paid and has recorded on the books as a bad debt. It is a serious negative item on a credit report.
Collection: A creditor's attempt to recover a past-due payment by turning the account over to a collection department or company. Having a debt in collection is a serious negative item on a credit report.
Credit bureau: A credit-reporting agency that is a clearinghouse for information on the credit rating of individuals or firms. Often called a "credit repository" or a "consumer reporting agency." The three largest credit bureaus in the U.S. are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Credit history: A record of a person's use of credit over time.
Credit limit: The most that can be charged on a credit card or to a credit line.
Credit report: A document containing financial information about a person, focusing on his or her history of paying obligations, such as a mortgage, car payment, utilities, and credit cards. Also includes current balances on outstanding debts, the individual's amount of available credit, public records such as bankruptcies, and inquiries about credit from various companies.
Credit risk: The measure of a person's creditworthiness. People who are more likely to repay their debts on time are considered a better risk by lenders, and will be charged lower interest rates for borrowing money.
Debt-to-available-credit ratio: The amount of money a person has in outstanding debt, compared to the amount of credit available on all of the individual's credit cards and credit lines. The higher a person's debt to available credit, the more risky the individual appears to potential lenders.
Default: A designation on a credit report that indicates a person has not paid a debt that was owed. Accounts usually are listed as being in default after several reports of delinquency. Defaults are a serious negative item on a credit report.
Delinquent: A designation on a credit report that a person hasn't made the minimum payment on a loan or a credit card on time. On credit reports, delinquencies are usually shown as being 30, 60, 90 or 120 days delinquent. Delinquencies are a serious negative item on a credit report.
Equifax: One of the three major credit-reporting agencies.
Experian: One of the three major credit-reporting agencies.
FICO scores: The most commonly used credit score. The name comes from the Fair Isaac Corporation, which developed the scoring model. They are used to predict the likelihood that a person will pay his or her debts. The scores use only information from credit reports.
Hard inquiry: An item on a person's credit report that indicates that someone has asked for a copy of the individual's report. Hard inquiries are requests that result from a person applying for credit, such as a mortgage, a car loan, a credit card or a rental application. They are included in the formula for determining a person's credit score.
Installment credit: A type of credit in which the monthly payment is the same every month and the loan has a set time period. The most common forms of installment credit are mortgages and car loans.
A decision from a judge on a civil action or lawsuit; usually an amount of money a person is required to pay to satisfy a debt or as a penalty.
Lien: A legal claim placed on a person's property, such as a car or a house, as security for a debt. A lien may be placed by a contractor who did work on your house or a mechanic who repaired your car and didn't get paid. The property cannot be sold without paying the lien.
Public record: Information on your credit report that has been obtained from court records, such as bankruptcies, judgments, and liens. These are never good.
Rate shopping: Applying for credit with several lenders to find the best interest rate, usually for a mortgage or a car loan. If done within a short period of time, such as two weeks, it should have little impact on a person's credit score.
Revolving credit: An account that requires a minimum payment each month plus service charges on the remaining balance. As the balance declines, so does the service charge.
Soft inquiry: An item on a person's credit report that indicates that someone has asked for a copy of his or her report. Soft inquiries can be from current creditors reviewing the file, prospective creditors who want to send out an offer such as a pre-approved credit card, or a person's own review of their file. They are not included in the formula for determining a person's credit score.
Trade line: An account listed on a credit report. Each separate account is a different trade line.
TransUnion: One of the three major credit-reporting agencies.

For more information on understanding credit scoring, contact an experienced Loan Officer at or call 214-638-0228

Don't let CREDIT drive you! Here are 2 smart tips

It’s a credit driven society we live in, but don’t let CREDIT drive YOU!
The first step in managing your credit is to know what your credit report says about you.

QUICK TIP #1: It’s not ERROR free
Find, look at, double check, and MONITOR your credit reports. Obtaining copies of your credit reports is easy. The 2003 Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act guarantees everyone one free credit report from each of the main credit reporting agencies. You must request your free credit reports through a centralized source. To order online, visit By phone, call (877) 322-8228. Or you may request it via US Mail by writing: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105283, Atlanta, GA, 30348-5283.

2 more ways to receive a free copy of your credit report
• If you applied for a loan and were turned down, you can request a copy by writing the correct credit bureau within 60 days of the rejection. With your request, you should include a copy of the declined loan application.
• You can also get a free report if you are unemployed; planning to apply for a job in the next 60 days, receiving public welfare assistance or believe the credit file contains mistakes resulting from fraud.

If you wish to purchase your credit report (beyond your free copies), request a copy from each of the three credit bureaus:
• Equifax – 800-685-1111
• Experian – 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742)
• TransUnion – 800-916-8800

NOTE: If you are about to apply for a home mortgage, it's important to give yourself time to correct mistakes or make good on delinquent accounts. You should check your credit at least three to six months before you apply for a mortgage. Make sure the following information is correct:

• Your name or names, if you are or were married
• Social Security number
• Date of birth
• Addresses of places you've lived
• Names of places you've worked
• Pending accounts and accounts that have been closed
• Records of delinquent payments or other problems (i.e., make sure they're not mistakes)

Next, make sure nothing has been on the report longer than is allowed by law:

• Bankruptcies must be taken off your credit history after 10 years
• Suits, judgments, tax liens and most other kinds of unfavorable financial information must be dropped after seven years. If unpaid, tax liens can remain on the report for up to 15 years*.

Fixing Mistakes
If you find mistakes on your credit reports, you can dispute them. You will need to fill out the form that comes with the report. The process takes time because the creditors have 30 days to respond to a
charge of a discrepancy, or 45 days if the dispute regards data in your free annual credit report. As long as a charge is in dispute, that dispute will show up on your report. Long-time lenders say it's common for reports to have errors. Some estimate that as many as 80 percent of all credit reports have some kind of misinformation.

Now, that you've read your report, dispute any mistakes you find by contacting each of the credit bureaus that report the error. Experian, TransUnion and Equifax allow you to do this online, but you may also submit your dispute by phone or mail.

If you suspect fraud, get a fraud alert placed on your credit file by contacting the fraud department of the credit bureau and explaining the situation. Alert other appropriate agencies as necessary. While you can't delete negative but accurate and verifiable information, you can submit a 100-word consumer statement that explains the reason for the negative data. Your explanation will remain on your credit file until you remove it or until the data in dispute gets removed.

*Source: and The Fair Credit Reporting Act

QUICK TIP #2: Get in the Driver’s Seat
Tips for improving your credit scores. Credit scores, along with your overall income and debt, are big factors in determining whether you’ll qualify for a mortgage loan and what your loan terms will be. So, take the driver’s seat and keep your credit score high by doing the following:

- Monitor your credit report and dispute errors. Errors in your report will usually translate into a low score. (See information above on Tip #1 on how to dispute errors.)
- Pay your bills on time even if it means you can only pay the minimum amount due.
- Low balances are a positive factor in scoring models. Don't use all your available credit.
- New credit applications can detract from your score. Even an application for a department store card can lower your score. Multiple applications can have a devastating effect on your score, especially around the time you are applying for a mortgage. So wait to charge that new fridge or furniture until after the loan is approved.
- Old accounts (even those you haven't used for a long time) can help your score. Scoring models look at not just how to use credit today but also how long you have used credit.
- Consolidating balances or moving debt around may make for one easy payment, but this can have an adverse effect on your score. Shuffling of balances could be especially harmful to your score if you close established accounts and open new accounts to consolidate your debt.
- Know the going interest rates. Current rates for mortgages, car loans, and other consumer credit are published in daily newspapers or can be found online at such sites as If you have a good credit score but are not offered a good interest rate, ask questions, negotiate, or shop elsewhere.
- Wait 12 months after credit difficulties to apply for a mortgage. You’re penalized less for problems after a year.
- Shop for mortgage rates all at once. Too many credit applications can lower your score, but multiple inquiries from the same type of lender are counted as one inquiry if submitted over a short period of time.
- Avoid finance companies. Even if you pay the loan on time, the interest is high and it will probably be considered a sign of poor credit management.

*Source: Fannie Mae Foundation and NAR

To contact a mortgage professional that can help you get started preparing your credit for a mortgage, contact or call 214-638-0228.