Collins & Demac Real Estate



Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 8/13/2015

If you have credit trouble it can be difficult to get back on the right track. Poor credit impacts your ability to secure a loan, credit cards, and even a job. Credit ratings are also used by insurers, employers and leasing agencies. So where should you turn for help to repair your credit? There are many credit repair companies and while some are reputable some are not legitimate. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers these signs to tell if the company is legit or not:

  • The company asks for money up front. The Credit Repair Organizations Act forbids repair companies from requiring you to pay fees before they have completed the promised services.
  • The company doesn’t want you to contact the three national credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) yourself.
  • The company encourages you to dispute all the negative information in your credit report, regardless of its accuracy.
  • The company recommends attempting to create a new credit identity and history by applying for an Employer Identification Number to use instead of your Social Security Number.
While a credit repair company may be helpful there are some things you can do yourself to repair your credit.
  • Once every 12 months, check your credit report.  Credit reports are available at www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • If you find errors, dispute incorrect information in your report.
  • Negotiate the removal of outstanding debt. Even without a credit counseling agency, you can contact the collectors of your outstanding debt to negotiate a pay-off settlement.
 





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 7/23/2015

Did you know that sealing and insulating your home is one of the most cost-effective ways to make a home more comfortable and energy efficient? It is a project that is also easily done yourself. The heating and cooling of your home accounts for about 50 percent to 70 percent of the energy used. So unless your home was built as an energy-efficient home, adding insulation will probably reduce your utility bills. Even a small amount of insulation-if properly installed-can reduce energy costs dramatically. Energy Star has created a comprehensive do-it-yourself guide to sealing and insulating your home. The guide provides step by step instructions and photos to: 1.Learn how to find and seal hidden attic and basement air leaks 2.Determine if your attic insulation is adequate, and learn how to add more 3.Make sure your improvements are done safely 4.Reduce energy bills and help protect the environment Click here to download the guide. Make sure to check your state and local codes before starting any project and follow all safety precautions.




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Categories: Money Saving Tips  


Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 5/21/2015

Housing prices are low, rates are low but how can you buy a house when your funds are also low?  How can you save money for a house while prices and rates are still good? Saving for a home can be different than just saving because you have save such a large amount of money and you don't know exactly how much you'll need.  Here are some strategies on how to save up: 1. Start with small goals. Try saving for closing costs or another smaller amount and then add another goal. Break the down payment into 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% levels, to help make the savings goal more achievable. 2. Try saving a specific amount of money every month. Instead of saying I want to save $6,000 a year it is easier to say I will save $500 a month. Smaller, more achievable milestones are always good motivators to savings. 3. Ask for help. If people ask what to give you a gift for your wedding, birthday etc. ask them to contribute to your home savings plan. Online sites like SmartyPig make it easy to get other people involved in your savings goals. 4. Create a visual goal graphic. Create a vision board or some kind of graphic that represents what you are saving for. It always helps to see what you are saving for and have a constant reminder. Hopefully, you'll be on your way to a new home in no time.





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 5/14/2015

The sun is out and it is the perfect time to use that solar energy to work and make some homemade ice tea. Not only is ice tea refreshing it is also very easy and inexpensive to make at home. You can even try using some of your favorite herbal teas.  Here is a quick and simple recipe: What you need: 6 to 8 tea bags 1 quart hot water (4 cups) 1 quart cold water (4 cups) 1/2 cup sugar or 1/4 cup honey, optional Directions: Bring hot water to a boil in a 2-quart size sauce pan. Add the tea bags. Remove the pan from the heat, and allow it to steep for 10 minutes. If the tea sits for too long, it will be bitter. Remove the tea bags. Put the cold water into a 2-quart size pitcher. Pour the hot tea into the pitcher, over top of the cold water. Make sure to put the cold water in first. Add the sugar or honey if you like, stirring to dissolve it completely. Put the pitcher into the fridge to cool. Grab a chair outside and relax and enjoy your homemade tea. If you have a homemade recipe perfect for the warmer weather please share.





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 3/26/2015

With the tax deadline come and gone it is important to know that not paying your taxes can have significant repercussions. Tax laws and even worse the fallout from not paying your taxes can be a complicated mess. You could get stuck with a tax lien, if this happens to you here are tips on what can you do to remove a tax lien? First, what is a tax lien? It is a legal way for the IRS to get an individual to pay tax debt. Liens can be placed on personal or real property when you fail to pay taxes within a given period of time. The lien is usually filed at a local County Clerk’s office and is a public document. It can also be filed with the Secretary of State. Through the lien the IRS gains legal claim on property until the lienor can pay the tax that is owed. Tax liens are not only inconvenient but they can also affect your credit rating. The sale of any personal property will also be difficult or even impossible. Your top priority should be to remove a tax lien as soon as possible. Here is what you need to know: 1. You have 30 days to respond to a tax lien after receiving a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy”. 2. Tax liens can expire but this may not be the best option. For tax liens more recent than November 6, 1990, the tax lien becomes unenforceable after 10 years. For all liens prior to November 6, 1990, the tax lien becomes unenforceable after six years. 3. A tax lien can show on your credit report forever. Even if it expires the lien will remain on your credit report, whether the IRS acts upon it or not. 4. Pay the tax that is owed. If you choose this option, your tax lien should be removed within 30 days. It can be removed from your credit report as well. 5. Prove a financial hardship. If you can prove to the IRS that levying money in your bank account will cause more harm than good and that it may cause you to never be able to pay them what you owe them. 6. Your best option is to consult with a tax professional to help you create a realistic tax payback plan or correspondence with the IRS.




Categories: Money Saving Tips  




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