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Fixing a Low Credit Score

Fixing a Low Credit Score can be easy!

Fixing a low credit score can be easy.  Obtaining a recent credit report to get your score and then following up with a lender is key.  Contact Bev @www.westrealtynoco.com for more info.

Your credit score will determine not only whether your loan application will be approved, but also how much you’ll have to pay for credit. Many people who have been through financial difficulties—illness or unemployment, for example—may have a low score because of late payments, collection accounts or judgments. Although it is not possible to change history, there are steps any consumer can take to raise his or her credit score quickly.

If your credit score is currently above the threshold for a mortgage, you can get a better rate by raising your scores. A borrower with a 620 score will get a rate roughly .75% higher than a borrower with a 740 score applying for the same kind of loan.

Getting and keeping a high credit score is theoretically easy: pay your bills on time, don’t rack up big credit card bills and maintain some active accounts. You don’t have to carry a balance to get the benefit of active accounts.

Get a copy of your credit report from a free site like www.creditkarma.com. This is a “soft” inquiry (one you do for your own use), so it will not affect your score at all.

A low credit score is never a hopeless situation. While fixing the problem areas is not a quick process, it is work that can ultimately save you thousands of dollars.

If you are serious about buying a new home and your credit score is low-contact a lender and they can guide you to what you need to do to get a higher score to qualify. If you need advice in choosing a lender, contact me or visit www.westrealtynoco.com

CPI unexpectedly drops


Two economic reports at 8:30 AM EDT, both weaker than expectations and both very critical data points. May CPI -0.1% weaker than 0.0%, the core excluding food and energy expected +0.2%, +0.1% as reported. Yr./yr. overall CPI +1.9% and ex-food and energy yr./yr. +1.7%.

Two economic reports at 8:30 AM EDT, both weaker than expectations and both very critical data points. May CPI -0.1% weaker than 0.0%, the core excluding food and energy expected +0.2%, +0.1% as reported. Yr./yr. overall CPI +1.9% and ex-food and energy yr./yr. +1.7%. Inflation based on this report is less than the May PPI yesterday. The big shock (and bullish for interest rate markets): May retail sales. They were expected to have increased 0.2%, as reported down 0.3%; excluding auto sales expected +0.2%, as reported also down 0.3%. We are not unusually surprised with the weakness; we have noted a number of times consumers are not as enthusiastic about spending as what is believed by the elites in New York and Washington. That said, we admit we weren’t expecting that much of a miss. The reaction to the two reports increased MBS prices +27 bps from yesterday and drove the 10-yr. yield down 5 bps to 2.16%. Not only the weak data at 8:30; as you know by now a shooting at a ballpark where Republican House members were practicing for the annual game between GOP vs Dems. According to preliminary reports, 20 to 30 shots were fired, hitting Capitol police and Congressman Majority Whip Steve Scalise (LA). No deaths. The shooter appeared to be a white male, "a little bit on the chubby side," Representative Mo Brooks told CNN, adding that he only saw the man for a second. Brooks said he heard 10 to 20 rounds from the gunman's rifle before the security detail returned fire. He said there were 20 to 25 at the practice in Alexandria, Virginia when the gunfire erupted. After individual attacks in the UK, it has now hit here and is fueling some safety moves to Treasuries. The data released, though, was a big boost to rate markets. The FOMC this afternoon, and Yellen’s press conference. The surprisingly weak May retail sales and low inflation reads on CPI are increasing the thought that the economy isn’t what the Fed and most believe it is. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of GDP growth and the weakness in spending that has been the case all this year may give the Fed reason to rethink about another rate increase this year after the increase today. Earlier this morning, weekly MBA mortgage applications were reported. Apps overall +2.8%, purchase apps -3.0% while re-finance apps +9.0. The decline is a result of heavy adjustments for the Memorial Day holiday in the prior week. The unadjusted purchase index increased 19 percent from the prior week to a level 8 percent higher than the same week a year ago. Refinances were at the highest level since November last year. The refinancing share of mortgage activity to 45.4 percent, up 3.3 percentage points from the prior week. At 10:00 April business inventories, expected -0.1% were down 0.2%; a negative for GDP calculations. There has been a lot of talk recently that with unemployment at 4.3% it is bound to increase wages. It isn’t happening and most likely will not meet those forecasts of wage growth and the intended inflation increases that are baked into the equity market cake. The bond market recently suggesting that inflation isn’t a sure thing; interest rates declining on weakness in the dollar but bond investors not worried about inflation pressures. Not sure how the Fed thinks; we may know something from Yellen this afternoon, although the Fed is in Pollyanna mode, so whitewashing reality will likely continue. The Fed cannot endorse anything that is negative to the economic outlook. No Fed can, as was evidenced in 2007 when the collapse happened. Source: TBWS

What is Your Buying Power?

If you are in the market for a new home or investment property, one of the first questions you will probably ask yourself is, "What can we afford?"

What is Your Buying Power?

If you’re in the market for a new home or investment property, one of the first questions you’ll probably ask is, “What can we afford?” Many buyers become so caught up in how much they can afford that they don’t realize their total buying powerthat is, the total amount of purchasing potential they actually have.

Buying Power Defined

Your buying power is comprised of the total amount of money you have available each month for a mortgage payment. This means the money you have each month after fixed bills and expenses. Any money you’ve saved for a down payment, the proceeds from the sale of your current home, if applicable, and the amount of money you’re qualified to borrow all impact your buying power as well. When you take all of this into account, you may find you are able to purchase a larger home or a home in a more desirable neighborhood, or you might realize you should be looking for homes in a lower price range.

What About Housing Affordability?

Housing affordability is a metric used by real estate experts to assess whether or not the average family earning an average wage could qualify for a mortgage on the average home.1 Although this figure is essential to creating a comprehensive overview of the real estate market, it’s not a factor you should consider in your home search. What may be considered affordable to you based on your income and other factors may be different than what’s affordable to the average buyer.

Why Buying Matters

A common misunderstanding is that a home’s list price determines whether or not you can purchase it. Although it’s important to look at the price tag, it’s essential to consider what your monthly payment will be if you own the home. After all, the purchase price doesn’t include the housing-related expenses, such as annual property taxes, homeowner insurance, associated monthly fees and any maintenance or repairs. Figuring out the payment will prevent you from overestimating or underestimating your buying power. After all, you’ll live with your monthly payment, not the sales price.

Once you have clarity on your buying power, you’ll be able to buy the home you want, instead of settling for a home because you feel it’s the only one you can afford. It will also prevent you from becoming “house poor,” a common term for someone who’s put all their money toward the down payment, leaving them nothing left over for fees outside of their monthly house payment. Both scenarios can negatively impact the lifestyle you want to live. Understanding your buying power can help you get the home you want without sacrificing the lifestyle you desire.

If you haven’t sold your current home yet, a Comparative Market Assessment (CMA) will give you a general idea of how much you may get for your home based on what other homes have sold for in your area. Contact our team for a FREE CMA!

Calculating Your Buying Power

You might be wondering, “How do I know what my buying power is?” Buying power is calculated by adding the money you’ve saved for a down payment and/or the money you made from selling your home (minus fees and mortgage payoff) to all of your sources of income and investments that could be used to make your monthly payment. Make sure to include your monthly pay, commissions or tips, dividends from investments, payments from rental properties or other monthly income you receive as well as the loan amount you’re willing to finance and qualify for.

Most lenders advised buyers to spend no more than35 to 45 percent of their pretax income on housing, meaning all your income and sources of revenue prior to paying taxes. Make sure you factor in not only your mortgage payment, but also property tax and home insurance to the cost of housing.2 However, other financial experts advise spending no more than a very conservative 25 percent of your after-tax income on your housing expenses.2  Whether you plan to spend the average, play it conservative or split the difference is up to you.

Traditionally, mortgage lenders have targeted the ideal housing expense amount to be a ratio of 28 percent or less.3

However, these figures bring up an important point: you don’t have to spend all of your savings and available monthly income on a mortgage payment. It’s important to set money aside for regular home maintenance, unexpected repairs and monthly fees, such as a condominium or homeowners association fee. While the above ratios are commonly accepted, a lender will look at your total financial picture when they decide how much they’re willing to lend. It may be tempting to take out a large loan in order to purchase the home of your dreams, but keep in mind the less money you have to borrow, the stronger your buying power may be.

4 Things That Impact Buying Power

1. Credit score. A great score can help you lock into a lower interest rate.

2. Debt-to-income ratio. The lower the ratio, the better risk you may be to lenders as long as you have an established credit history.

 3. Assets, including the documentation of where the money for the purchase is coming from and the mix of your investments.

4. Down payment. The more you’re able to put down, the less you will have to borrow. With a down payment of 20 percent or more, you won’t have to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI) and you may also be able to negotiate a lower interest rate.

How to Save for a Down Payment

If you’re thinking of buying a home one day, one of the first steps to take is to start saving for a down payment. Here are some tips to make saving easier.

First-time buyers:

1. Set a savings goal. One way to figure out how much to save is to use the average sales price for homes that are similar to what you want and figure out your target down payment percentage. For example, if homes are selling for $200,000 in your area and you want to put 20 percent down, you’ll have to save $40,000. Set a goal to save that amount within a specific time frame; just keep in mind the longer you save, the more the average selling price will change. Although the majority of buyers saved for six months or less, 29 percent of all buyers (and 31 percent of first-time buyers) saved for more than two years for a down payment.4

2. Cut back on expenses. Review your monthly expenses and look for ways to save. Twenty-nine percent of buyers cut spending on non-essentials items and 22 percent cut spending on entertainment while they were saving for a home.4 Think about items you can live without or cut back on temporarily while you’re saving.

3. Look for ways to boost your income. Get a side job or sell items online or at a garage sale to increase your income in a short amount of time. Be sure to save any windfalls you get, including your annual income tax refund or work bonuses.

4.  Check out home-buying programs. Your state, county or local government may offer special programs, such as grants, for first-time buyers to use.

5. Ask your family. Thirteen percent of all buyers, and 24 percent of first-time buyers, were given money from family or friends to use toward the down payment of their home.4

Repeat buyers:

More than 52 percent of repeat buyers used the proceeds from the sale of their primary residence toward the down payment on their next home.4 Similarly, 76 percent tapped into their savings accounts.4 If you’re thinking of buying another home, here are more ways to save more money, in addition to the tips listed above:

1. Rent a room. If you have an income flat (or mother-in-law unit) attached to your home, rent it out and channel the income into a high-interest savings account.

2. Make your money work for  If you don’t plan to buy for at least five years, invest it and let the compound interest work for you. Discuss this option with your financial planner or broker to see if this is ideal for you and your goals.

3. Tap into your 401(k).If you have a 401(k) plan, you may be allowed to borrow a portion of it, the lessor of up to $50,000 or half of its value, for your down payment. Remember, it’s a loan so you’ll have to pay it back. If you leave or lose your job before you’ve repaid the loan, you’ll have between 60 to 90 days to repay the balance or face stiff taxes and penalties.

If you want to buy an investment property

Whether you’re buying a second home or a rental property, here are a couple tips to save for a down payment.

1. Tap into your equity. If you’ve paid off or paid down your mortgage on your primary home, you may be able to tap into your equity to purchase another property. Contact your lender to learn more about a HELOC or home equity loan.

2. Get a partner. Find a friend or relative who’s willing to purchase property with you. Typically, you’ll split the costs and profits equally. Just make sure to work with an attorney to create a partnership agreement to fit your situation.

Work Out Your Buying Potential

What’s your buying potential? Fill out this worksheet to get an estimate.

Housing Expense Ratio:

1. Monthly income before taxes


2. Multiply line 1 by 0.28

X 0.28

3. Monthly mortgage payment (PITI) should not exceed this amount

= $

4. Monthly income before taxes


5. Multiply line 4 by 0.36

X 0.36

6. Total monthly payments on all debts (including mortgage) should not exceed this amount

= $

7.  Subtract the total monthly payments on all outstanding debts (e.g., car loans, credit cards, student loans, etc.)

- $

8. The monthly mortgage payment should not exceed this amount


9. Look at line 3 and line 8. The lower figure is an estimate of the maximum mortgage payment in consideration of your income and debts.


10. Multiply line 9 by 0.80

X 0.80

11. This equals portion of your mortgage payment that is the principal and interest only


12. Use the table below to see the size of the loan you may be able to obtain with this monthly mortgage payment.


Source: Iowa State University Extension, What is your house-buying power?

Monthly Payment on 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage

Loan amount

































































Didn’t see your desired loan amount? Use the table below to estimate your monthly payment (principal and interest) per $1,000 of your loan. To figure out an estimated loan payment, multiply the factor by the number of thousands in the amount of your mortgage.

For example, if you intend to borrow $400,000, with a loan term of 30 years at 4% interest, multiply 4.77x 400 = $1908 per month.


Interest Rate

15-Year Term

30-Year Term


Monthly Payment

Monthly Payment






















Source: HSH.comhttp://www.hsh.com/mopaytable-print.html)

Don’t forget to factor in property taxes and insurance. These are often added to your principal and interest of your mortgage paymentthe money used to pay down the balance of your loan and the charge for borrowing the money. Since these numbers vary, contact your county assessor’s office for the current property tax rate and your insurer for a home insurance quote. Once you have these figures, divide each by 12 to estimate how much they’ll add to the above.

Do you want a clearer picture of your buying power? Would you like to see what kind of homes you can get with your buying power? Give us a call or email!


Sources: 1. National Association of REALTORShttps://www.nar.realtor/topics/housing-affordability-index/methodology

                2. Moneyunder30.comhttps://www.moneyunder30.com/percentage-income-mortgage-payments

                3. Credit.comhttps://www.credit.com/loans/mortgage-questions/how-to-determine-your-monthly-housing-budget/

                4. National Association of REALTORS, 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

                5. Iowa State University Extension, What is your house-buying power? https://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/pm1460-pdf


Starting a New Business

Starting a new business can be an exciting adventure. It can  be a rewarding yet challenging experience.  If you would like more information on owning a business or any other real estate,  feel free to call us at 970-631-7111.   Congratulations to the buyers that purchased my 2 commercial buildings to pursue a new business in Eaton. I admire aspiring entrepreneurs that have the vision to renovate an older building and turn it into a new business venture. I wish them and my seller the best as they both start new ventures.

If you have any real estate questions or needs, feel free to contact us at 970-631-7111 or email bev@bevwestingreeley.com 

Housing's Hottest Markets

Housing’s Hottest Markets: May 2017

Amid scarce supplies and high buyer demand, homes are selling fast across the country. Home prices are rising as well: The nationwide median home list price rose above $250,000 for the first time, realtor.com® reports. The median list price is 10 percent higher than a year ago.

According to the Manager of Economic Research at Realtor.com®, that with a record number of home buyers out there, this is officially the most competitive, fastest-moving spring housing market in decades. The median days on the market for homes on realtor.com® in May is the lowest since the end of the recession, and marks the first time that one in three homes is selling in under 30 days nationally.

The hottest markets nationwide in May continued to be centered in California, with the Bay Area seeing some of the fastest sales in the country and most viewings of listings from visitors on realtor.com®.   Here is Realtor.com’s full ranking of the hottest housing markets for May 2017:

Top 20 Performing Markets

So What is Happening in Northern Colorado?

The real estate market is constantly evolving. What is true one day may not be true the next. For example, this past winter many forecasts for the spring season predicted buyers might be scared off by rising interest rates and a lack of homes for sale.

However, now that spring has arrived, mortgage rates have actually come down a bit and the housing market has been among the strongest sectors of the economy.

Despite higher rates and minimal inventory, the housing market is performing well and trends going forward indicate conditions may become even more favorable. Every potential home seller needs to be informed of these facts.

On the one hand, lower inventory and higher mortgage rates suggest that affordability conditions will make it tougher for buyers looking for a house this year.  On the other, the job market, wages, and economic optimism have all been trending upward recently, which could help offset some of those challenges.  Buyer demand is still strong. In fact, both pending home sales and demand for loans to buy homes have recently shown an upswing.

While home price gains are expected to continue, the size of the increases are not expected to be severe. Therefore, affordability, the first driving force of sales, will remain attractive, and this should encourage those desiring to own a home to swell the ranks of buyers ever further.

The second driver for inventory to make a strong comeback is getting the news of those higher prices out to potential home sellers. The hope is this will cause them to think in terms of “Do I want to stay in the home that I’m in, or now that I have more home equity, do I want to move to a better place perhaps where there’s better schools, closer to where I work, or better amenities?”

Greater home equity will allow many home owners the breathing room they’ve been needing in order to make that decision to move up a much easier choice.

Meanwhile in Northern Colorado, 637 homeowners who made that choice sold and closed a home on average in 69 days this April. Median sale prices are currently at $319,357, evidencing those equity increases from April 2016, when the median sale price was $305,227.  Demand is being driven by first-time home buyers and for those in the market for a new home, home loan rates remain attractive despite recent market volatility. 

If you would like more information on NOCO, feel free to contact me at 970-631-7111


© 2017 IRES Information source: Information and Real Estate Services, LLC. Provided for limited non-commercial use only under IRES Rules. @copy; Copyright IRES. All rights reserved. Information deemed to be reliable but not guaranteed. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes from IRES and the Broker Reciprocity Program.sm. Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than MB/West Realty are marked with the BR logo and detailed information about them includes the name of the listing brokers. Listing broker has attempted to offer accurate data, but buyers are advised to confirm all items. listing information is provided exclusively for consumers' personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information last updated on 2017-06-24 06:26:44.

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Bev West
West Realty/Metro Brokers
3835 10th Street, #200C
Greeley, CO 80634
Cell: 970-631-7111
Office: 970-351-0405

Bev West   |   970-631-7111   |   bev@bevwestingreeley.com
West Realty   |   3835 10th Street, #200C   |   Greeley, CO 80634
Copyright © 2015. Bev West, All Rights Reserved