26 10, 2020

Hard and Soft Credit Inquiries

2020-10-26T19:51:00+00:00October 26th, 2020|Blog, General, Home Finances|

Part of your credit score comes from the number of inquiries your history shows. When applying for new lines of credit such as home loans, car loans or credit cards, the lender may pull your credit score which results in a hard inquiry. A hard inquiry shows up on your credit report.  A soft inquiry will not show up on your credit report because it uses different information to preapprove you.

Hard Inquiries and Your Credit Score

If you apply for credit, such as a mortgage, car loan or credit card, the lender will check your credit score from one or more of the major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax). With these inquiries being tied to an actual credit application, they can affect your credit scores. Too many hard inquiries in a short period of time can be concerning to lenders because it may add up to numerous new accounts. New credit accounts may mean you’re having trouble paying bills or anticipate a change in income. The negative affect on your credit score from inquiries is shorter term and inquiries are typically removed after two years and their effect becomes less severe over time.

Soft Inquiries and Your Credit Score

Checking your own credit report or giving permission to someone like a potential employer to review your credit report, a soft inquiry occurs. Soft inquiries may also occur when a business or lender checks your credit to preapprove you for offers. Soft inquiries aren’t linked to a specific application for new credit, so they do not affect your credit score.


Multiple inquiries don’t always mean you won’t be approved but try to keep your inquiries down. If you are applying for new lines of credit, be sure you’re going to be approved and try not to drag the process out too long. If you have […]

13 10, 2020

Increasing Your Home’s Appraisal Value

2021-09-28T16:49:49+00:00October 13th, 2020|Blog, General, Home Finances, Refinance, Tips & Advice|

If you’re looking to sell a home or refinance your mortgage, the home in question will need an appraisal. If you’re in the market for a home appraisal, we’re sharing some tips on how to help your home appraise for a higher amount. There’s short-term and long-term updates you could consider, depending on when you were looking to sell or refinance.

Quick Updates

Pick Up and Paint: If it sounds too easy, you’d be surprised. Removing clutter from inside and outside your home will make it appear organized and clean. A fresh coat of paint can make a space look modern and remove years of age from the home. Plus, a fresh paint job can hide any marks from pets, children, furniture, etc. If there’s one thing you can do before your appraisal, it’s make sure things are picked up and freshly painted.

Outdoor View: Curb appeal matters. When your home is being appraised, try to freshen up landscaping and lawncare. If you have a fence that needs a fresh coat of paint or any parts fixed, do that. Additionally, painting the front door and trim can make a dated house look newer. Mulch and plants can be inexpensive ways to make a great first impression.

Carpets and Flooring: Replacing carpets and flooring can be expensive. If there isn’t time to get the carpet replaced or flooring installed, consider focusing on areas that are damaged or stained. Having a professional come in and clean the floors before the appraisal would be a small investment that could make a huge difference.

Update Kitchen and Bathroom Fixtures: The kitchen and bathroom are always hot spots. If you’re not doing full renovations, at least consider replacing things like laminate countertops, wallpaper and light fixtures. A fresh coat of paint and the right light fixtures can add a good […]

5 10, 2020

Home Buying During Election Years

2020-10-05T19:58:20+00:00October 5th, 2020|Blog, General|

How does an election year affect the housing market, and what does it mean to you as a potential homebuyer? We take a quick look at the current market and election year trends to help you make an educated decision on homeownership.

Housing Market Snapshot

As we enter the fall season, the U.S. housing market continues to improve—anchored by low mortgage rates. Ohio is no exception with a current average 30-year mortgage fixed interest rate of 2.95% (as of October 2020).

The national median home listing price in September was $350,000, up 11% year-over-year. Many listings are getting multiple offers, selling above list price, and spending fewer days on the market.

Record-low mortgage rates have created this high demand, and as a result, have left a shortage of inventory and a hot seller’s market.

How long will this trend last?
Historically, the real estate market drops in October and November, and even more so during an election year. Based on the past 13 election cycles, home sales drop 15% in October and November during an election year. Buyers and sellers tend to be more cautious from the uncertainty of election results and home sales may be delayed until after the election. Encouragingly, overall sales are usually not severely impacted as they rebound quickly post-election.

This year has understandably been a bit different. The pandemic slowed buying activity throughout spring 2020 but has since gained traction over the past few months. Exactly how much will the election affect the market during the remainder of 2020? Well, that has yet to be seen.

Bottom Line

Many sources expect mortgage rates to remain low past the election. Homebuyers can take advantage of these low rates but be prepared for potential low inventory and homes sitting on the market for less time as the housing market continues to recover.

Contact us to learn […]