Bradenton Real Estate

January 19, 2013

5 Credit Myths to Ditch Now

credit myths

5 Credit Myths to Ditch Now

By Barbara Pronin

Everyone knows that having a good credit score marks you as a credit-worthy individual with increased buying power. But, said consumer finance consultant Jill Krasny, many people have critical misconceptions about what makes for a good credit score.

Krasny offers five common credit misconceptions:

  • Having too much available credit can hurt your score – False. There is nothing in the credit scoring formula that penalizes a consumer for having too much available credit. If anything, it may increase your credit worthiness in the eye of lenders, who operate on the theory that having a lot of credit available but low balances and on-time payments make you the best possible risk.
  • Income is part of your credit score – Wrong. Credit reporting agencies do not even include your income on your report. Lenders are interested only in whether your pay your bills on time.
  • Once married, a couple’s credit score is combined – Wrong again. All consumers, married or not, have individual credit files and scores. But it is important to manage your finances carefully, especially when it comes to shared debts.
  • Carrying balances on credit cards is better for your score – Not. The only thing a running balance will get you is interest charges. Paying off your bill on time each month shows credit activity as well as credit worthiness.
  • A credit repair agency can get negatives off your report – False. If late payments are listed accurately on your credit report, no agency can legally remove them, no matter what they promise. If the information is correct, the only thing you can do is make on-time payments going forward. If the information is not accurate, you should file a dispute with the credit reporting agency, asking them to correct the inaccurate information or remove the negative info that doesn’t belong to you – which credit agencies are obligated to do within 30 days under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.



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May 16, 2012

6 Arguments for Buying Versus Renting a home

You’ve probably been bombarded by local and national real estate market news and information stating that “Now is the time to buy!”  

Especially if you are a first time home buyer, you might be asking yourself,

“Should I take the leap now into the real estate market to purchase a home?”  Or  “Is now the right time to buy a home?”

As much as all of the positive signs that we’re seeing in our local real estate market for the Sarasota, Bradenton, Manatee County, and Sarasota County area of Florida seems to provoke the answer to those questions to be a resounding “YES!”buying a home is a very personal action with very unique and individual circumstances to be considered for making the right decision at the right time .  A ‘one size fits all’ answer to the questions posed above would not do you, as a home buyer,  justice as the unique person that you are.

The advantages to home buying versus renting a home are numerous, but only you can determine if those advantages outweigh your other personal situations.

The very best home buying advice that you could follow is to, first, sit down with your family to privately discuss your options, pros and cons of both home ownership and renting.  When you’ve got a clear picture of your family’s priorities and have decided to look into buying a home, poll your trusted family members, friends, and colleagues, do your research on the web, and then,  seek the advice and guidance of an experienced, seasoned, and skilled real estate team or professional.

A good real estate agent or team of agents will be happy to schedule a home buyer consultation to go over your list of priorities, home criteria, and personal family situations to help you to decide the best plan of attack for purchasing your new home.  A good real estate agent will also counsel you on the steps of buying a home so that you will feel comfortable all throughout the home buying process… from the beginning point of looking at homes, to the end of the line at the closing table when you finally take possession of the keys to your new home!

If you or anyone that you know would like to schedule a home buyer consultation with The Serena Group, please contact our team leader, Bob Serena, directly at ► 941.928.1248

controlling your expenses, stable living costs, renting versus buying a home

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privacy, entry rights, renting versus buying a home

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pet ownership, renting versus buying a home

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noise and privacy, renting versus buying a home

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designing decisions, renting versus buying a home

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tax breaks, renting versus buying a home

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March 29, 2012

Video Tips for a Successful House Hunt

tips for a successful house hunt, home buyer, home buying, tips, information

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or click link below to view video

Video ► Tips for a Successful House Hunt

October 20, 2011

Tips for Buying a Condominium

condo, condos, condominium, condominiums, information, purchase, buying tips, issues, living, articles

It’s that time again in Florida, condo season!

While our northern neighbors are preparing to battle the cold, snow, and ice that is surely coming soon, those of us who are lucky to live in the paradise that the rest of the country calls ‘Florida,’ are gearing up to enjoy the time of year that makes us all smile and feel very blessed to call Florida our home.

This time of year is also the time that many of our ‘snow bird’ neighbors  make the wise decision to buy a second home in Florida,  so that they have a place to escape to when the chilly, icy, northern winds and snow start blowing.

If you’re contemplating the purchase of a winter home, be sure to educate yourself on the issues that are unique to condominium living.  Even if you already own a home and think that you’re a pretty savvy home owner, there are some things to keep in mind… specifically… when purchasing a condominium home.

Click here to read on for tips for buying a condominium…

September 29, 2011

What Do You Know About USDA Home Mortgage Loans?

If you’re planning a home purchase, and are planning to get a mortgage,

make sure that you explore all the options that are available to you.

One of those options might be a USDA mortgage loan.

USDA mortgage loans have some huge benefits if the property that you’re choosing and your financial situation meet certain criteria:

  • Home must be within certain geographic areas.  For our area in Manatee County, Florida, the geographic  area includes a rather large part of the county.
        For more specifics, you can look up a property address by going to:

  • The income of the borrower(s) must be within certain limits.  $75,200 for a family of 1-4, and $99,250 for families of 5 or more.

For more detailed information and to ask questions from a mortgage professional, READ ON HERE!

August 23, 2011

Tips for Scoring Better Credit


Credit scores are a hot topic of discussion given todays’ world of uncertain financial news and situations.

In the housing market, Home buyers, with less than perfect credit, have difficulty qualifying for mortgages due to tighter restrictions and tougher underwriting for mortgage money. Home sellers are in unfavorable situations, in many cases due to the fact that property values have fallen below the amounts that are owed on mortgages, making foreclosure or short sale the unfortunate choice of many home owners who need to sell their homes.

How do you improve or rebuild your credit score? Here are some tips for both home buyers and home sellers… READ ON HERE: TIPS FOR SCORING BETTER CREDIT

July 6, 2011

Common Home Buying Question: Should I Continue to Rent a Home or Should I Buy One?

rent versus buy a home

Home buyers everywhere wrestle with this question all the time:

“What is the best way to decide if I should continue to rent a home or if it might be the time to buy a home?”

The answer to this question is different for every home buyer and for every local market.

Using the ‘Rule of 15’ is a great way for home buyers, who have all the elements in place to purchase a home, but are just not sure if it makes sense to buy a home over continuing to rent a home,  to get some clarity.  The ‘Rule of 15’ is a great tool for doing your research… that… and the assistance of an experienced real estate agent, professional.

Read on to learn more…

May 19, 2011

Title Insurance Issues for Foreclosure and Short Sales

real estate, title insurance, tipsIt’s important, in today’s Real Estate market populated with a large percentage of short sale and foreclosure home listings and sales, for the home buyer to understand the differences between “Marketable” and “Insurable” title insurance before they arrive at the closing table.

Title insurance is insurance conveyed to a home buyer to protect them from any financial loss or obligation due to defects or clouds that could remain on the title to the property.

Read more here….

Understanding Real Estate Representation

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April 13, 2011

How to Find the Right Mortgage

The home buying process is daunting for a first time home buyer.  One of the first things a potential home buyer should do, even before going out to look at homes to buy, is to explore financing options, if planning to obtain a mortgage.

Here are some tips on how to find the right mortgage:

(click on the image to read, save, or print the article)

how to find the right mortgage

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