Archive for August, 2009

Credit Repair- Your Rights as a Consumer

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RIGHT 1: The right to view your credit report.

This portion of the law requires that the credit reporting agencies supply you with a full report on your credit transactions at any time you request one. There is no charge for the first credit report you request annually. For every subsequent credit report you request, the credit reporting agencies are allowed to charge a reasonable fee. However, if you have recently been rejected for credit you are entitled to a free credit report even if you have already requested one that year.

RIGHT 2: The right to know who has inquired about your credit.

The law allows you to know every bank, credit card company, employer, etc. who has requested a copy of your credit report. This even includes all the times the credit reporting agency has pulled your file.

RIGHT 3: The right to request verification of information you believe is incorrect.

This allows you to have a negative entry checked. This guarantees that every time you tell a credit reporting agency that an item is incorrect, they will investigate the item. Without this portion of the law, the credit bureaus would be able to refuse to investigate your disputes.

RIGHT 4: The right to insert missing data into your credit file.

Often you will have credit granted to you that never makes its way into your credit report. This portion of the law allows you to report all this good credit information to the credit reporting agencies and have it entered into your credit report.

RIGHT 5: The right to automatically remove information from your credit report that is over seven years old (10 for bankruptcy).

This guarantees that past financial indiscretions do not follow you for the rest of your life.

RIGHT 6: The right to place your personal statement in your credit report.

Some people have negative credit due to extraordinary events such as loss of a job, sickness, divorce, etc. This law allows you to have a written statement of 100 words or fewer placed in your credit report. This can be used to explain to future creditors what caused the bad credit and why it was a one-time occurrence.

RIGHT 7: The right to privacy of the information in your credit report from anyone other than legitimate members of credit reporting agency.

This states that no one can look at your credit report without your permission. That is why creditors have you sign a form allowing them to examine your credit report. The only exception to this right is the credit reporting agencies. They are allowed to look at your credit report without your permission as long as it is for legitimate business purposes.

RIGHT 8: The right to have your credit report transferred from one area to another any time you have a relocation.

This provision of the law guarantees that your credit history follows you wherever you go. This allows your hard-earned good credit to follow you all over the United States. Unfortunately, it also means that any bad credit you have also follows you across the country.

RIGHT 9: The right to use the small claims court system to resolve any disputes with the credit bureaus about incorrect or inaccurate information in your credit report.

This gives you the right to your day in court. If something on your credit report is inaccurate and you can’t get it repaired through the credit repair process, you have the right to present your evidence in a court of law to resolve the dispute.

RIGHT 10: The right to know exactly why you were refused credit.

This means the creditor who refused you credit must inform you exactly why you were turned down. This request must be made by you to the creditor within 10 days of your being turned down.

For Consumer Debt and Credit Repair Laws visit us at BackyardCreditRepair.com.

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The Casual Millionaire – What is it?

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If you suddenly found yourself incredibly wealthy, would you continue doing what you’re doing or would you immediately change the whole design of your life? Would you dress the same, continue to think as you do and maintain your general pattern of behavior…?

Before I became the “casual millionaire”, I was very much conditioned by a professional conformity code, which left me somewhat vulnerable regarding how I should dress in the business world. I wore suits and heels and adhered to a rather inflexible idea of what I was trained to believe was important, not what jazzed me… I often felt ill at ease in my surroundings and lacked the creative freedom I needed to become the person I designed myself to be.

tonja-131On the other hand, the people I dealt with often shut down and pulled back, either unable or unwilling to relate to the stiff and conventional, corporate big-wig image I presented. This less than gratifying situation inspired me to take action. Fortunately, I had the ability to isolate the stepping stones and change the course of my journey.

Success is not about fancy dress or outdated protocol. It’s about freedom and flexibility. It’s about enhancing your life and channeling your thoughts into a powerhouse of energy that allows you to control how you will increase your income. It’s about becoming wealthy doing what you love, comfortably and effortlessly.

-An excerpt from the book The Casual Millionaire – Wealth by Intention by Tonja Demoff, founder of Backyard Wealth.

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Huge Pros – Invest in Triplexes and Four-Plexes in Real Estate

The nice thing about a triplex or a quad is that you can buy it like a house.

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If you plan to live in the building, you can find lenders that will offer loans requiring low down payments. Interest rates on buildings housing 2 to 4 units also can be as low as they would be for single-family homes. The borrowing process for buildings with four or fewer units is quite easy for people who will occupy the properties.

Aside from being easy, buying a triplex or a quad can be cost effective and profitable. Don’t expect to have extreme flexibility and creative financing with these buildings, though — especially if you don’t plan to occupy the property. Many lenders sell their loans for small apartment buildings (fewer than five units) on the secondary mortgage market; therefore, the loan requirements must meet the market’s strict rules. Some lenders, however, service their own loans and do not sell them, so they can be quite creative in their financing. For example, you might be able to arrange for the seller to hold a substantial second mortgage that reduces your down payment requirements. You and your lender agree on the terms of an in-house, portfolio loan. As long as you make a lender comfortable with the terms, anything is possible.

If you have the status to obtain a VA loan, you might be able to buy up to a four unit building with nearly no down payment. An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) also can be a good choice. And it’s fairly easy to obtain an FHA loan, where the down payment can be less than 5% of the purchase price. These conditions are based on the fact that the purchaser will reside in the property being bought. If you do not plan to occupy the building you are buying, a down payment of 20% of the purchase price likely will be required. If the lender will sell the loan to the secondary mortgage market, a seller willing to hold paper on the deal can do so, but the full amount of the down payment must come from you, not from the seller in the form of a second mortgage.

Buying buildings that can be financed like houses makes a lot of sense for investors who will live in the buildings. Buying an apartment building with a down payment of 5 percent or less is a deal that is hard to resist. However, entering into a deal with very little money can make it difficult to generate a positive cash flow. If you will use the building as a home and as a cash producing investment, the pendulum swings in your direction. A profit only investor would need positive cash flow or growing equity to justify a purchase. This is not the case if your investment is also your home. Most people buy single-family homes to live in, the only major rewards being growing equity and some tax advantages. If you buy a multi-family building to live in, you get the same advantages, plus rental income and probably some additional tax benefits.

People who buy single-family homes to live in make investment in these properties. Most homeowners get tax advantages when they finance their houses. They also tend to see their homes’ value increase over time. These two factors alone make the purchase of a home sensible. However, if you can get these benefits and have tenants who will pay for most, if not all, of your housing expenses, the investment becomes much more lucrative.

Original article by BDS Denver.

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Hump Wednesday Funnies

I know it’s Thursday today… but it’s never too late to have a little chuckle.

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8 Ways to Stay Positive in Today’s Market

“How can I stay positive in today’s market?”

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Like any discriminating real estate professional or investor, you realize the value of a positive mental attitude.

Here are eight ways that you can create and maintain a positive mental attitude in today’s market:

1. Avoid toxic people. What does this mean? Who are the toxic people? Toxic people can be well-meaning people but when they talk to you, they are coming from a negative attitude about money, finances, and especially about the current real estate situation.

They may be fellow real estate professionals or investors who want to gather around “the water cooler”, they may be relatives who are just trying to protect you; they may even be friends and family.

You will know if you’ve been around a toxic person, because you will begin to feel deflated.

Here’s your job: either change the subject or walk away. Better yet, speak up for yourself and mention that you want to think positively about yourself and about your business.

If you see one of them coming your way find a way to avoid the interaction because it does not serve your highest good (or theirs).

2. Set an internal boundary. If you’ve tried everything and exhausted ways to avoid toxic people, then you may have to set an internal boundary. You can do this very simply by having your own inner conversation if someone is saying something negative to you on the outside.

A great example of an inner conversation when someone is complaining about their business or about the marketplace is to say to yourself, “that may be true for you but it’s not true for me.” This can become your inner mantra.

3. Avoid the media. Why? Remember that the intention of the media is to sell newspapers and magazines. The more they can paint a negative and fearful picture, the more their sales go up. Why subject yourself to negative spins on the economy when you can find just as much information to point to the positive?

4. Successful real estate professionals and investors do well in any market. Were you aware of that? Knowing that fact, none of us can continue to use the excuse about the market being bad.  In addition to the right marketing strategies and regular lead generation activities, you could help yourself with this empowered belief:

“I now draw clients to me who are ready, willing and able to make a transaction in the next 30 days.”

5. Look for the opportunity in today’s marketplace. There are many opportunities in today’s market and successful real estate professionals are taking advantage of them.

Did you know that Donald Trump is buying up as much property as he can? Why do you think that is? He is a smart businessman, to say the least, and knows that this is the best time to buy.

Let your prospective clients know this and then say to them, “Let’s get you a deal.” Few could resist this invitation.

6. Remember that your success depends on your mindset, not on the outer conditions of the market. “If you believe you can or you can’t, either way you are right,” Henry Ford.

What mindset do you choose to nurture inside yourself? Do you want to believe, “I can “or “I can’t”. Your beliefs create your reality so whatever you choose to believe will become true for you.

7. Remember to engage the Law of Attraction as one of your most powerful tools. The law of attraction states that you get what you focus your attention on. Furthermore, your beliefs create your reality so choose your beliefs carefully.
Here’s a tip: instead of saying “I can’t possibly succeed in today’s market,” choose instead to focus one of these beliefs:

– “I achieve whatever I set my mind to”
– “I am a money magnet in any situation”
– “I attract clients who appreciate and respect my expertise”
– “My success depends on my attitude, not on any outer circumstances”

8. Be proactive. In any marketplace there are always people wanting to buy and sell homes. They need your help and they need your expertise. Your job is to become visible to them. In today’s market, they are not likely to fall in your lap.
However with a good system of lead generation, you can contact them and use your intention to attract your ideal clients.

Clear out any self-limiting beliefs that stop you from achieving what you desire. Follow the suggestions mentioned above and you’ll be happy to notice that are only are you staying more positive, but also your income is increasing as well.

Original article byDr. Maya Bailey, author of Law of Attraction for Real Estate Professionals.

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Green living communities – The next hot market

In the past, hot real estate markets included locations with oceanfront and mountain views. While these are still desired property locations, there’s a potentially new hot real estate market known as Sustainable Living Communities.

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Sustainable living communities consist of homes, condominiums and townhouses manufactured from recycled materials. They use high-efficiency appliances, high-rated insulation and double or triple paned windows. Oftentimes, these communities are self-contained and include shopping malls, banks, restaurants, post office and schools. Everything within the community is powered by solar panels and windmills.

Located in both urban and suburban areas, “green” living communities are sprouting up all across America. Sustainable living is attractive to many people; however, the typical resident is between 32 and 45 years of age and married with two children or less.

Investing in sustainable living real estate offers homeowners the potential to yield a tidy profit. As the debate on global warming continues, thousands of individuals are becoming environmental advocates. Many people are looking for alternative living solutions that utilize solar and wind energy. Experts suggest sustainable living communities will be the next hot real estate market.

Not only is sustainable real estate expected to sharply appreciate, there are many tax credits available to those who purchase energy-efficient homes. Additionally, government grants to erect sustainable living homes, such as those constructed from straw bales, are offered in nearly every state within the continental U.S. These grants range from $35,000 to more than $250,000 in some areas.

Sustainable living isn’t limited to only green communities. Many people are choosing to build “green” homes on individual parcels of land. Others are purchasing old, run-down homes and recycling the materials on-hand, or purchasing recycled materials to renovate the house.

Those who own sustainable living real estate are able to reap huge tax benefits. Whether they choose to invest in entire communities or single parcels of land, sustainable living is the wave of the future. Those in-the-know are branching out into this untapped market because they understand in the not-so-distant future, sustainable living will be the next “hot” real estate market.

Original article by Simon Volkov.

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The Basics of a Lease Option/Purchase

lsop-productTonja  Demoff, Founder of Backyard Wealth dives into the details of a Lease Option/Purchase (LSOP), teaches the “How-to” steps, reveals areas to look out for and shares a  number of LSOP examples.

If you would like a free audio gift of  Tonja’s “Build Wealth with Lease Options“, click the audio product.  You will receive your gift in your Email Inbox.

Below are a few quick pointers.

Today, options to purchase, lease options and lease purchase agreements are three different financing documents. The variances are state specific and not all states have identical laws. Before entering into an agreement with a seller, buyers should obtain the advice of a professional. The information below is an overview and is not meant to be construed as legal advice.

Basics of an Option

  • Buyer pays the seller option money for the right to later purchase the property. This option money may be substantial or as little as $1.
  • Buyer and seller may agree to a purchase price now or the buyer may agree to pay market value at the time the option is exercised. It is negotiable. However, most buyers want to lock in the future purchase price upon inception of the option.
  • The term of the option agreement is negotiable, but the common length is generally from one year to three years.
  • Option money is rarely refundable.
  • Nobody else can buy the property during the option period.
  • The buyer can sell the option to somebody else.
  • If the buyer does not exercise the option and purchase the property at the end of the option, the option expires.
  • The buyer is not obligated to buy the property.

Basics of a Lease Option

  • Buyer pays the seller option money for the right to later purchase the property. The lease option money may be substantial.
  • Buyer and seller may agree to a purchase price now or the buyer may agree to pay market value at the time the option is exercised. It is negotiable. However, most buyers want to lock in the future purchase price upon inception of the lease option.
  • During the term of the lease option, the buyer agrees to lease the property from the seller for a predetermined rental amount.
  • The term of the lease option agreement is negotiable, but the common length is generally from one year to three years.
  • The option money generally does not apply toward the down payment.
  • A portion of the monthly rental payment typically applies toward the purchase price.
  • Option money is rarely refundable.
  • Nobody else can buy the property during the lease option period.
  • The buyer generally cannot assign the lease option without seller approval.
  • If the buyer does not exercise the lease option and purchase the property at the end of the lease option, the option expires.
  • The buyer is not obligated to buy the property.

Basics of a Lease Purchase

  • Buyer pays the seller option money for the right to later purchase the property. This option money may be substantial.
  • Buyer and seller agree on a purchase price, often at or a bit higher than market value.
  • During the term of the option, the buyer agrees to lease the property from the seller for a predetermined rental amount.
  • The term of the lease purchase agreement is negotiable, but the common length is generally from one year to three years, at which time the buyer applies for bank financing and pays the seller in full.
  • The option money generally does not apply toward the down payment.
  • A portion of the monthly lease payment typically applies toward the purchase price.
  • Option money is nonrefundable.
  • Nobody else can buy the property unless the buyer defaults.
  • The buyer typically cannot assign the lease purchase agreement without seller approval.
  • Buyers are often responsible for maintaining the property and paying all expenses associated with its upkeep, including taxes and insurance.
  • The buyer is obligated to buy the property.

Original article by Elizabeth Weintraub.

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