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Katie L. Halle's Blog

By Katie Halle Lambert | Agent in Scottsdale, AZ
  • Need Financing? Can’t Qualify for a Traditional Mortgage? Let’s get Creative!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Arizona, Home Selling in Arizona, Financing in Arizona  |  February 4, 2012 9:45 AM  |  705 views  |  No comments

    What financing options do buyers and sellers have in this market?

    Search Homes for Sale

    katie@katiehalle.com or 602.476.1942

  • From Canada? Want to purchase Real Estate in Arizona?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Arizona, Home Buying in Arizona, Financing in Arizona  |  January 24, 2012 7:48 AM  |  707 views  |  3 comments

    Here’s a bit about a few different areas of the Valley, our current market conditions, and financing options for Canadian home buyers.

    Search Homes for Sale

    Contact katie@katiehalle.com or 602.476.1942 to get started today!

  • Have you Resolved to Fix your Credit Score in 2012? These Tips should Help!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Arizona, Financing in Arizona, Credit Score in Arizona  |  January 15, 2012 8:35 AM  |  575 views  |  No comments

    It’s that time of year where everyone resolves to “fix” something or do something better.

    Individual credit reports / scores affect the consumer in many different ways. It dictates if you’ll have higher insurance rates, utility deposits, credit card rates, auto loan rates, personal loan rates, and mortgage loan rates than another consumer with a better report / score. It could even affect a consumers chance of securing employment or any type of credit account. It’s easy to see how a good score and a good report is more cost effective and should be taken very seriously.

    When was the last time you looked at your credit report? Should you resolve to fix your credit?

    Here are some tips:

    3 things you can do right now.

    1. Check your credit report! Often times there are errors on a report that the consumer isn’t aware of. Check all of your open accounts to be sure you recognize them. Check to be sure that there are no late payments listed incorrectly for any of your accounts. If you find an error, dispute it with the credit bureaus immediately. For a free copy of your credit report: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

    2. Set up automatic payments for all of your credit accounts. Most banks will allow this to be done online and will even send emails or text messages to remind you when the bill is due. Credit score is decreased with every late or missed payment so don’t be late!!

    3. Reduce the amount of debt you owe. Stop using your credit cards or pay them off every month. If you are too far in debt to pay them off in a month, make a list of your accounts and make a plan to begin reducing the balances (oh…and STICK TO IT).

    How to maintain good credit and fix your score.

    Payment history:

    1. Pay your bills on time! Payments that are late, even by a few days in some cases, have a MAJOR impact on your credit score. Payment history contributes 35% to your score calculation. DO NOT miss payments!

    2. If you have missed payments, get back on track immediately. The further you get away from the missed payment, the more your score will increase. Make up the missed payments and stay on track. Once the negative credit is behind you, it’s only a matter of time before you start seeing an improvement.

    3. Be aware that paying off a collection account does not remove it from your report and it will continue to count against you for 7 years. Tip: Don’t let your accounts got to collection! If you’re in financial trouble, work it out with your creditors. That’s why programs such as short sales for distressed homeowners and work out plans for credit accounts exist. DO NOT IGNORE or you will go to collection.

    4. Seek options if you are having trouble making ends meet. There is help out there. The sand is not a good option, so don’t bother to bury your head in it.

    Amount owed:

    1. This contributes to 30% of your scores calculation. Keep your balances LOW on credit cards and other revolving credit. High balances equal low credit scores.

    2. Pay off your debt don’t just move it around from account to account. Having the same outstanding balance but fewer accounts still decreases your score.

    3. Don’t open many credit accounts to increase your available credit. It will backfire and decrease your score.

    Length of credit history:

    1. Most don’t know this but older accounts in good standing increase credit scores. Keep your credit accounts current and balances low and, the more time passes, the more this will have a positive affect on your score.

    Checking your credit:

    Most people know that numerous “hits” to your report, wether you are rate shopping or buying a car or a home, decrease your score. What most don’t know is that as long as it’s the same type of inquiry, all mortgage company inquiries or all credit card company inquiries, and it’s done in a 2 week period, it will only count as one “hit” to your score and will really only decreases it a few points. It’s a negative impact to hit your credit with all different types of inquiries in a short amount of time.

    For more information or for assistance with correcting your credit score (we have tips and contacts that can help get your credit back on track) call Katie at 602.476.1942 or email her at katie@katiehalle.com.

    Don’t let a low credit score keep you from being a homeowner in this fantastic buyers market. 2012 is the time to invest in a new home before the prices start to increase more rapidly.

  • Before I Consider a Short Sale…Can I Refinance?

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Scottsdale, Financing in Scottsdale, Foreclosure in Scottsdale  |  January 10, 2012 1:50 PM  |  758 views  |  No comments

    We LOVE this newsletter article from Strategic Mortgage.  It’s important to consider all of your options.  Here are the details on Fannie Mae’s refi program for 2012.

    Fannie Mae Refinance Program – Will Expand Even More in 2012

    As we recently wrote about, the Fannie Mae HARP refinance program has now been expanded to allow more homeowners the option to refinance and take advantage of historically low interest rates. Starting December 1, 2011 the program will allow homeowners to refinance their existing home loans, up to 125% of their current home values. However, there will be an even bigger expansion of the program in 2012.


    There are of course certain guidelines that must be met to qualify for this refinance program, as we have covered in recent articles. However, the most important of those being that your current home loan is owned by Fannie Mae, which can be looked up at: http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup. And in addition, your loan must have been sold to Fannie Mae prior to June 1, 2009.


    Now, if your home loan does fall into these guidelines, then come March 1, 2012 the program will lift the 125% cap on loan to value (size of your home, as opposed to the value of your home) and have not set loan to value limit. This means that essentially, no matter how upside down your home is. If you fit into Fannie Mae’s guidelines, they will let you refinance and take advantage of the very low interest rates in the current marketplace.


    Of course, we are a few months away from this loan program being available, but it does appear that this new program will be an option for even more homeowners, who have not been able to take advantage of other recent initiatives, due to being too upside in their homes.


    For full qualification, of course it is always advisable to contact a licensed mortgage lender, such as Strategic Mortgage. As always, as guidelines and standards change we will provide additional information and updates.


    For more information on home purchase loan or refinance programs for existing and potential home owners, please contact Bill Kamboukos of Strategic Mortgage at (480) 219-3682 or by emailing: info@strategicmtgaz.com or online at www.strategicmtgaz.com


    Contact Katie Halle at 602.476.1942 to discuss other options available to distressed homeowners.



  • 5 Benefits of Homeownership

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Scottsdale, Financing in Scottsdale, Property Q&A in Scottsdale  |  December 2, 2011 9:04 AM  |  896 views  |  No comments

    Article written by Carla Hill
    Realty Times
    Published: November 2, 2011

    We LOVE this article!

  • The Estates At Annecy in Mesa, AZ ***WARNING*** This will make you want to buy!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Mesa, Financing in Mesa, Property Q&A in Mesa  |  November 26, 2011 12:36 PM  |  1,079 views  |  No comments

    The Estates At Annecy in Mesa, AZ ***WARNING*** This will make you want to buy!

    Estates at Annecy
  • Is now a good time to buy?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Scottsdale, Home Selling in Scottsdale, Financing in Scottsdale  |  November 21, 2011 1:11 PM  |  605 views  |  No comments

    Is now a good time to buy? Katie Halle addresses that question for her Scottsdale S.E.V.E.N sisters at breakfast on Monday morning (http://www.s-e-v-e-n.org/). Sorry for the background noise on this one. It gets a little rowdy in there!

    Contact Katie Halle at katie@katiehalle.com or 602.476.1942

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