Julianne Krutka
Park Square Realty | 413-297-6718 | julianne.krutka@gmail.com

Posted by Julianne Krutka on 3/17/2018

Attention investors or handy first time homebuyers! Don't miss this opportunity to own this 2 bedroom expandable cape! It may not be pretty, but it has a newer roof, many replacement windows and an updated heating system. This home sits on a great little fenced in lot with a paved driveway. There are hardwood floors in the living room and bedrooms and the kitchen is a nice size with eat in area. The walk up attic has tons of potential to be finished for much added living space! Priced to sell! Home is being sold strictly "as-is". Seller will not make any repairs or improvements. Inspections will be for informational purposes only. Seller would prefer to sell home with contents and sale is subject to seller obtaining license to sell. Buyer and/or their agent will be responsible for smoke cert and final water reading.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts

Posted by Julianne Krutka on 3/15/2018

One of the most important factors that many home buyers face is that of their credit score. You have the right to get one free credit report per year. There are also many different apps and websites that keep you updated on your credit score and any changes in your credit report. These programs even guide you in how to improve your score. 

Why Do We Have Credit Scores? 

A credit score is a number that shows how creditworthy a person is. Lenders look at this score in order to assess how risky a person may be to lend to. This lessens the potential risks that the lender may face, keeping people who may be at high risk for defaulting from securing a loan in the first place. 

What’s A Good Score?

Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with 850 being the highest score that you can get. A credit score of 700 or above is considered good. A credit score above 800 is seen as excellent. The bottom line is that the better your credit score is, the more reliable of a borrower you will be seen as by lenders. 

If your credit score is less than stellar, however, you need to get to work so that you will be able to get loans in the near future. Here’s some steps that you can take to improve your credit:

Pay Off Outstanding Debt 

If you owe anything on medical collection accounts, credit cards, legal judgements; basically any debt that will show up on your credit report, you need to pay these off. Getting rid of debt can help you to increase your credit score more quickly. 

Rebuild Your Credit

You’ll need to keep up any accounts that you have with good payment history and maintain the good work. You should be diligent to maintain those on-time payments for an increased good payment history. Even if you have accounts that have had late payments previously, you can still work to get the accounts back in good order. 

If you don’t happen to have any existing credit accounts, you’ll need to get one in order to begin establishing credit. A good way to do this is to apply for a credit card and only charge what you can afford each month in order to help establish a credit history.     

Look At Your Whole Financial Picture

Aside from your credit score, you’ll need to take a look at your bigger financial picture. Everything from the amount of savings that you have available to how much of a home you’ll be able to afford is important. You need sufficient income so that you’ll be able to buy a home and provide a down payment along with money to pay closing costs. 

Once you start investigating your credit score and how to improve it, you’ll be on your way to better financial health.

Posted by Julianne Krutka on 3/8/2018

Technologies for home theater audio are rapidly changing. At one time if you wanted a good listening experience in your living room you have to spend hundreds on surround sound speakers, subwoofers, and receivers. Then, you had to run wires throughout the room and try programming your remote to make it all work.

While surround sound speakers are still a good option, there are other ways to experience quality audio in your home. In this article, we’re giving you a guide to choosing a home audio system that fits your needs and, more importantly, your budget.

Sound bars 

The latest addition to home theater audio is the sound bar. These are slim, sleek speakers that usually come with a small subwoofer.

Sound bars come in several varieties. Some are plug-and-play, meaning you don’t need to worry about purchasing amplifiers or devices, you just plug them into your television via an HDMI cable or connect to your TV through Bluetooth and you’re done.

Other sound bars are more like bases that your TV sits on top of. Sound bases aren’t as popular as they once were, so there are limited options. Furthermore, they typically don’t include a separate subwoofer so they can lack deep bass.

The other benefit of sound bars is just how simple they are to use. Even the cheapest sound bars often come with Bluetooth, so you only have to worry about one outlet spot for the power cord.

For most homeowners who want sound quality far better than their television’s internal speakers can provide, sound bars are an easy way to vastly improve your audio experience without breaking your wallet.

Before buying a sound bar, try them out at a local electronics store to gauge what quality you need. You also might want to measure your television to find one that matches its width.

Surround sound

The classic home theater experience is a bit more complicated. However, you can often buy a “home theater in a box” which includes everything you need for an audio system.

Most commonly, you’ll find 5.1-channel surround sound. This means there are five speakers and one subwoofer included in the box. These systems have one central speaker, two speakers that are placed to the left and right side of the television, and two rear speakers. However, you can also find 7.1-channel systems which include two extra speakers.

Many “home theater in a box” packages include an audio receiver. However, if you already have one, your money will be better spent on buying a higher quality speaker system than replacing your receiver.

The downfall of buying a speaker/receiver package is that their quality is often only marginally better than a (much simpler and easier to set up) sound bar. To get the optimal experience out of a surround sound system, you’ll need to spend more and do your research.

So, if you have a high budget and want a dynamic, high-quality surround sound system, your best bet is to buy a quality receiver (usually somewhere in the $600 range) and then spend the bulk of your budget on speakers.

Categories: Uncategorized  

Posted by Julianne Krutka on 3/6/2018

Seller has made this home ready for YOU! Fresh paint in many rooms, brand new black stainless steel appliances just installed, hardwood floors are gorgeous! This three bedroom 1.5 bath home is just waiting for your personal touches! Tons of natural light flows in this extremely well cared for gambrel dutch in a tucked away neighborhood in West Springfield. Large flat lot is ready to be host to your summer back yard barbecues with built in deck seating and an awesome 3 season room to duck into in case it rains. Spacious two car attached garage to protect your cars in the winter offers ample storage for other things as well. All three bedrooms are located on the second floor as well as the full bath. You'll be pleasantly pleased with the size of the master! Can easily accommodate your King Size bed and a few large dressers! Half bath on first floor and bricked hearth in family room round out this lovely home. No showings prior to Open House Sunday 3/11 1:00-2:30.

More Info on this Property | New Listing Alerts

Posted by Julianne Krutka on 3/1/2018

Preparing to buy a home is a long and stressful process for many. You’ve spent months, or even years, saving for a down payment, planning your future, and building your credit to ensure you get the best possible interest rate on your loan.

Then you find out, when getting preapproved for a mortgage, that your credit score dropped by a few points. So, what gives?

There’s a lot to understand about how credit scores affect mortgages and vice versa. In today’s post, I’m going to attempt to cover everything you need to know about how applying for a mortgage can affect your credit score so you’ll be prepared when it comes time to buy a home.

Prequalification, preapproval, and credit checks

There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be preapproved or prequalified for a loan. Some of it is due to the jargon that is used in real estate transactions, and some of it is just a marketing technique on the part of lenders. 

So, what does it mean to be prequalified vs preapproved?

The short version is that getting prequalified is a quick and easy process to determine whether you’re eligible to lend to and how much you’re likely to receive. It involves a quick review of your finances, and often includes either a self-reported or soft credit inquiry.

A “soft inquiry” is the type of credit check that employers typically use for a background check. It doesn’t affect your credit score, as you are not applying to open a new line of credit. In fact, many lenders’ process for prequalification is a simple online form that doesn’t even require a credit check. We’ll talk more about the difference between soft inquiries and hard inquiries later.

The simplicity of prequalification makes it a simple and easy way to get started. But, it isn’t always accurate in how well it predicts the type of mortgage and loan amount you can receive. That’s where preapproval comes in.

When you get preapproved for a loan you fill out an official application (you often have to pay for these). This will request documentation for your finances and assets, and will ask your approval to run a detailed credit report.

These credit reports are considered “hard inquiries” and are a vital step in getting approved or preapproved for a mortgage. However, they also, at least temporarily, lower your credit score.

Why hard inquiries lower your credit score

When any creditor, be it a bank or credit card company, is determining whether to lend to you, they want to know that you are a safe investment. To determine this, they want to know how frequently you pay your bills on time, how much you owe to other creditors, and how financially stable you are right now.

When you make multiple inquiries in a short period of time, it’s a red flag to lenders that you might be in trouble financially. Thus, hard inquiries will lower your credit score for 1 to 2 months.

Applying to multiple lenders: the silver lining

When borrowers apply for a mortgage, they often shop around and apply to multiple lenders. While it may seem that all of these hard inquiries will add up and drastically lower their credit score, this isn’t the case.

Credit bureaus take into account the source of the inquiries. If they realize that you are applying for mortgages, they will typically recognize this as rate shopping and group these applications together on your credit report, counting them only as a single inquiry. This means your score shouldn’t drop multiple times for multiple mortgage preapprovals that were made within a small time frame.

Now that you know more about how mortgage applications affect your credit score, you can confidently shop around for the best mortgage for you and your family.

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