Sparkles in the Neighborhood

Are you looking to add a little sparkle into your Holiday?  Check out these neighborhoods all decked out with lights.  Let me know which was your favorite!

Kathleen Holiday Lights

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TIS THE SEASON FOR… COMPETITIVE HOME PRICES

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As the temperature drops and we all brace for the winter, there are major advantages to finding the home of your dreams during the cold season.

During the warmer seasons there tends to be an increase in inventory on the market but with that increase comes a hefty increase in price and contract competition. More buyers are looking and when it comes time to put an offer in, chances are you are not the only buyer interested.

Research has found that by home hunting during the colder months, buyers are more likely to find that prices have decreased, and competition has also lowered.

  • Sale prices decrease in the autumn and winter months.
  • In the 50 metro areas, home sale prices dropped 2.96% on average (that’s a drop of $8,300 on the median home).
  • Home sale prices are usually the lowest in winter.
  • Faster Closings.
  • Seller’s paying more of the buyer’s closing costs.

When discussing winter buyers, Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist of Realtor.com outlined “You have 50%-60% more inventory relative to the number of buyers, so there’s basically more options per buyer, and that translates into less competition.”

We found that NerdWallet backed up Smoke’s statements with data on how home prices usually bottom out in the winter months, providing an opportunity to save money.

The main advantages of less competition translate into lower home prices allowing buyers the opportunity for a lower down payment. During traditional market peak months, there tends to be more inventory on the market but with that inventory, buyers pay a higher premium.

We find that buying a home really depends on when you as a buyer are comfortable and prepared and that time is different for every buyer. When the numbers are crunched, winter statistically is the best opportunity for buyers as competition tends to fall away.

The best thing for all interested in purchasing a home is to connect with an experienced Loan Officer and discuss the home buying process. Every buyer has different needs and sitting down and discussing your home buying goals is the best first step. Call or email me to talk about it.

 

Call Kathleen Today 916-722-0395

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
Kathleen@wcmtg.com | www.BeckHomeLoanPro.com
West Coast Mortgage Group
NMLS #5084  # 243181 | CA BRE #01058848
(C) 916-722-0395   (F) 1-888-776-5642
2716 Broadway Sacramento, CA 95818

 

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Lock and Shop!

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Home Buying Dreams Delivered Without the Worry.

 Announcing a great new interest rate program that offers rate protection while you shop for your new home.  Now you can lock your loan at the time of loan pre-approval and shop for your new home without worry of the interest rates going up.

The process is simple;

  1. Call me for a loan pre-approval.
  2. Once you are pre-approved, I will lock your interest rate for 60 to 90 days on a Conventional and conforming FHA or VA loans.
  3. Shop for your home worry-free.

Please note your new home must be identified at least 30days prior to lock expiration.

Call Kathleen Today 916-722-0395

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
Kathleen@wcmtg.com | www.BeckHomeLoanPro.com
West Coast Mortgage Group
NMLS #5084  # 243181 | CA BRE #01058848
(C) 916-722-0395   (F) 1-888-776-5642
2716 Broadway Sacramento, CA 95818

 

 

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Five Cooking Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Turkey - Close Up
When preparing your Thanksgiving meal, keep food safety in mind. The best way to prevent foodborne illness during the holidays is with good hygiene and safe food handling practices at home.
Sacramento County Environmental Management Department (EMD) food safety specialists and Sacramento County Public Health say improper preparation of meals and handling of leftovers can make you sick. Also, according to Centers of Disease Control (CDC), since July there has been an outbreak of salmonella that has spread to 35 states and sickened over 160 people. The US Department of Agriculture has recalled over 91,000 pounds of raw ground turkey linked to the ongoing salmonella outbreak but reminds everyone to always handle raw turkey carefully, do not cross-contaminate surfaces and other foods, and cook thoroughly. Additionally, the CDC announced today that there is a safety alert of any type of romaine lettuce due to an E. coli illness outbreak and has advised disposing of the lettuce.
“Raw meats, poultry, and vegetables should be handled properly when preparing and cooking to help prevent foodborne illness. It’s also important to store leftovers correctly. Another must is frequent hand-washing and thoroughly cleaning surfaces and utensils that come into contact with raw meats – especially poultry,” said EMD Program Manager Jason Boetzer.
To keep yourself and your loved ones safe when preparing a turkey, be aware of five important safety issues: thawing, preparing, stuffing, cooking to the proper temperature, and handling of leftovers.
#1 Thawing 
Thawing turkeys must be kept at a safe temperature in the refrigerator. The “danger zone” is between 41 and 135°F — this is the temperature range where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly. While frozen, a turkey is safe for up to six months, but as soon as it begins to thaw, bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin to grow again if it is in the “danger zone.” Give yourself enough lead time to thaw your turkey safely in your refrigerator.
#2 Preparation 
As you prepare the turkey, bacteria present on raw poultry can contaminate your hands, utensils and work surfaces, which then can be transferred. After working with raw poultry, always wash utensils and work surfaces, as well as your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before touching other foods.
#3 Stuffing
For optimal safety and uniform doneness, cook the stuffing outside the turkey in a casserole dish. However, if you place stuffing inside the turkey, do so just before cooking, and use a food thermometer. Make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165°F, possibly resulting in foodborne illness.
#4 Cooking
Before cooking, always thaw turkeys completely in the refrigerator. Set the oven temperature no lower than 325°F. Place turkey breast-side up on a wire rack in a shallow roasting pan. Check the internal temperature using a food thermometer – the center of the stuffing and meaty portion of the breast, thigh and wing joint must reach 165°F at a minimum. Cooking times will vary. Let the turkey stand 20 minutes. Remove all stuffing from the cavity and carve the meat.
#5 Leftovers
Perishable foods should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours. For optimum results, remove turkey meat from the bone and promptly refrigerate or freeze leftovers in shallow containers.  Reheating a whole turkey is NOT recommended. To reheat turkey, cut the meat into smaller pieces and keep legs and wings whole – before serving the turkey. Be sure to reheat all your leftovers to a minimum of 165°F.
Leftover Storage Timeframes
Refrigerator (41°F or below)
  • Cooked turkey …… 3 to 4 days
  • Cooked dishes and gravy …… 3 to 4 days
Freezer (0 °F or below)
  • Turkey, plain; slices or pieces …… 4 mos.
  • Turkey covered with broth or gravy …… 6 mos.
  • Cooked poultry dishes, stuffing, and gravy …… 4-6 mos.

What factors influence how long it takes to repair your credit?

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Article by Jeff Sipes, Blue Water Credit, Roseville CA

When a new client comes into our office to first go over their credit repair plan, they always ask the question, “How long will it take to bring my score back up?”

Of course, it’s an important thing to know, but the answer has a lot to do with a multitude of factors. The good news is that you can control most of these factors by employing a responsible and effective credit repair with Blue Water Credit. Together, we can make sure that we bring your FICO to top form as quickly as possible!

Before we dig into these factors, let’s take a look at what we do know for sure. According to Vantage Score, here are some general timelines for how long it typically takes to improve your credit score after certain events or items report. Of course, individual cases may vary.

Applying for new credit

Average recovery time: 3 months

Negative impact on your credit score: Light

 Closing an existing account

Average recovery time: 3 months

Negative impact on your credit score: Light

 Maxing out your credit card

Average recovery time: 3 months

Negative impact on your credit score: Medium

 Missing payments/defaulting

Average recovery time: 18 months

Negative impact on your credit score: Heavy

 Chapter 7 or 11 Bankruptcy

Average recovery time: 6-7 years

Negative impact on your credit score: Heavy

Here are some factors that help determine the timeframe for credit repair:

  1. The severity of the damage

Of course, different negative items that hit your credit report hold different weight, lowering your score accordingly. For instance, one late payment on a credit card will ding your score far less than a collection, foreclosure, or bankruptcy. The bigger the damage to your score, the longer it may take to bring it back up to your previous high.

 

  1. How you handle your credit repair (and WHO is handling it!)

Fixing your credit is all based on disputing negative items, duplicates, incorrect information, mistakes, and anything else that’s acting like an anchor. The process involves writing and submitting formal dispute letters, and you have to do that with each of the credit bureaus for each negative item you want to flag. Once those disputes are registered, the credit bureaus are mandated to get back to you within a certain timeframe, either with evidence that the credit item is accurate, or to remove it. Therefore, you need to be incredibly organized, diligent, and persistent when handling your credit repair in order for it to move as quickly and efficiently as possible. Too many people try to do it on their own, only to fall off very quickly and see no progress (or even hurt their credit more!) Using a reputable and established credit repair company like Blue Water Credit is the best path to a better credit score!

 

  1. How many accounts you need to repair

If you have one negative account on your report, you’ll probably be able to repair your credit and improve your score much faster than if you have two, five, or even ten negative items to dispute. Not only is it more work, but we may have to resubmit dispute letters more than once for some accounts, which stretches out the timeline.

 

  1. Your credit score when you start

The higher your score when the negative reporting hits, the more difficult it is to recover, and therefore takes longer.) FICO offers some useful information regarding how long it may take to rebuild your credit score based on where it started:

Late payment on mortgage

Starting score:

780 FICO 3-7 years

720 FICO 3 years

680 FICO 9 months

 Short sale of home

Starting score:

780 FICO 7 years

720 FICO 7 years

680 FICO 3 years

 Foreclosing on home

Starting score:

780 FICO 7 years

720 FICO 7 years

680 FICO 3 years

 Chapter 7 or 11 Bankruptcy

Starting score:

780 FICO 7 to 10 years

720 FICO 7 to 10 years

680 FICO 5 years

 5.  Doing everything right during the process

You may think it goes without saying, but you’ll have to make manage your credit correctly during the repair process to avoid adding any other black marks on your report. For instance, you should pay all of your payments on time without fail and avoid maxing out credit cards or opening new accounts that may hurt you. Why is this so important? These days, identity theft, data hacks, and financial fraud affects about one out of every seven people, so you’ll want to monitor your credit and protect your score from sinking like a stone because of foul play.

 

  1. Your ability (and desire) to pay down debt

Your credit utilization makes up about 30% of your FICO score, which is just the ratio of debt you owe versus your total available balance (second only to payment history at 35%). So, you should pay down your credit cards and revolving accounts, optimally to about 10% of your total balance if you want to improve your score (but at least below 30%). However, be careful not to pay off certain accounts completely, close older accounts that are helping you, or pay off collections – all of which will hurt your score.

 

  1. Adding new positive tradelines

When we open some credit files, we see that consumers actually need more credit. Keeping a good mix of revolving, installment, and mortgage debts accounts for about 10% of your score, so we will advise you what you need to optimize that factor and improve your score as quickly as possible. Additionally, some people who have seen their score bottom out need to add new accounts using secured credit cards just to get started and become creditworthy again.

 No matter what your credit score is now – or how high you want it to rise – you’ll see the best results with BlueWaterCredit.com!

When a new client comes into our office to first go over their credit repair plan, they always ask the question, “How long will it take to bring my score back up?”

Of course, it’s an important thing to know, but the answer has a lot to do with a multitude of factors. The good news is that you can control most of these factors by employing a responsible and effective credit repair with Blue Water Credit. Together, we can make sure that we bring your FICO to top form as quickly as possible!

Before we dig into these factors, let’s look at what we do know for sure. According to Vantage Score, here are some general timelines for how long it typically takes to improve your credit score after certain events or items report. Of course, individual cases may vary.

Call Email or Call Today!  Kathleen@BeckHomeLoanPro.com , 916-722-0395

new publicity shot kathleen beck

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
Kathleen@wcmtg.com | www.BeckHomeLoanPro.com
West Coast Mortgage Group
NMLS #5084  # 243181 | CA BRE #01058848
(C) 916-722-0395   (F) 1-888-776-5642
2716 Broadway Sacramento, CA 95818

 

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Halloween Safety Tips for Parents

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Halloween is all things spooky, frightful and scary, but Sacramento County has important tips for parents to help make sure children have a safe trick-or-treating adventure. Follow the tips below to make this, and every other, Halloween fun and safe!
See and Be Seen
Pick out costumes that don’t interfere with vision, add reflective tape on the front, back and sides, and use accessories that are soft or flexible.
Before Going Out to Trick-Or-Treat
If your child has food allergies, it’s important to remind teachers and supervising adults about what they cannot eat. Just before going trick-or-treating, give your kids a healthy snack or light meal so they are less tempted to eat the treats in their bag before you can inspect it. On your way out the door, bring a flashlight, take safe routes, use sidewalks and crosswalks, and have children look both ways before crossing the street. If you are driving in residential areas on Halloween, slow down and be extra alert for children crossing the street.
When You Get Home
Inspect treats for tampering, unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers – throw away anything suspicious and do not eat any homemade treats, unless you know the person who made them. For young children, consider choking hazards such as the size and texture and remove gum, nuts, hard candies or small toys.
Handing Out Treats
Be sure to turn on your outside walkway lights and use battery flicker lights for carved pumpkins instead of lit candles. Give out only factory-wrapped treats and consider healthier options like mini-boxes of raisins or crackers. You could also give out non-food items, like stickers, book markers, coloring books, and Crayons.
Having a Halloween Party
Use properly working chafing dishes to keep hot food at a safe temperature of 135°F or above and cold foods at 41°F or cooler to prevent bacterial growth. Be sure meats are cooked to appropriate temperatures (ground meat 160°; roast/steak 145-160°; chicken 165°; pork 145°) and fresh fruits and vegetables are washed well before serving them to your guests.
Don’t Forget your Pets
While Halloween is fun for children, it can be spooky for your fur children. Dressing up pets might be fun for you, but some pets get truly distressed and may even bolt to try to get the costume off. Keep pets safely indoors and put on their I.D. collars with up-to-date license tags – do not take them trick-or-treating. Consider setting up shop on your driveway so that your doorbell does not continuously ring and further distress animals. Lock candy safely away, a dog’s keen sense of smell will lead them right to the treats that can be life-threatening.
Kathleen Fall Email Banner 2
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It’s “Flood Preparedness” Week

Point Pleasant Flooding
The week of Oct. 20-26 is Flood Preparedness Week in California. This is the time when you should look at reducing the risk from flooding in your area.
It is important for you to know the flood risk to your home or business. After five years of drought, the floods of 2017 reminded us that threat can become real in the right conditions. The Department of Water Resources has information to help you understand the threat flooding may pose to your property. Log onto www.stormready.org​ and click Flood Zone Information to learn more about your flood risk.
If you live in a flood zone, you can reduce the potential for damage by being proactive.
  • Clear storm drains of leaves and debris to ensure the water freely flows away from your home. Clogs can cause localized flooding to streets that could eventually back up to your doorway.
  • If you come across street flooding, call 3-1-1 to have County crews come out and clear the clogs. Also, don’t drive through flooded streets.
  • If you see items dumped into nearby creaks, call 3-1-1 and report it. It’s important to clear those areas before the rain to avoid problems.

In Sacramento County, nearly 20 percent of flood insurance claims come from moderate to low-risk areas. You can still obtain flood insurance if your home or business is not in the mapped floodplain. If unchecked, localized flooding can cause a lot of damage. If you live in an area prone to flooding, consider talking to a qualified insurance agent about flood insurance.

Sacramento County takes part in a special Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program that helps reduce the cost of flood insurance. Through FEMA, if you live a designated Special Flood Hazard Area you will be saving about $446.00 per year on the full cost of a standard flood insurance policy.

During Flood Preparedness Week, develop a plan if you have to evacuate. This plan will be useful for any potential disasters, including fires. It’s not too early to decide where you will go and what you should take.

Remember the five Ps when preparing to leave your home in an emergency:

1. People and pets
2. Papers (important documents)
3. Prescriptions (medication, eyeglasses, hearing aids)
4. Pictures (Irreplaceable memories)
5. Personal computer
Make sure you have a designated meeting place in case you start out-or become separated from family. Stormready.org also features evacuation maps as well as the regions flooding history.
In addition, on Nov. 1, Sacramento County will open up four sandbag locations for residents in the unincorporated area. If you live in a flood-prone area, this will give you the chance to grab sandbags prior to the rainy season.  The County supplies the sand and bags, but you need a shovel. There is a 20-bag limit per visit.
Stay up-to-date with the latest flood information by signing up for Sacramento Alert. This Countywide system, run by the Office of Emergency Services, will keep you informed about potential flooding or any other emergency threatening your neighborhood  Use Flood Preparedness Week to make yourself Storm Ready.
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A Downpayment as a Wedding Gift?

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Freddie Mac will accept gift funds as a gift from your wedding if the following criteria are met;

  • A copy of your marriage license or certificate.
  • Verification of the wedding gift funds in the Borrower’s account.
  • Wedding Gift funds MUST be deposited in the Borrower’s account WITHIN 60 days of the date of the marriage license or certificate.
  • No gift letter is needed BUT any deposits made AFTER the 60-day window of the wedding date will NOT be counted as ‘a wedding gift from unrelated persons’, as defined as an acceptable gift donor

As always, I am happy to help with any further questions.

Call Kathleen Today 916-722-0395, Email Me Today kathleen@wcmtg.com or visit my website http://www.kathleenbeck.com Let’s start you down the road to home ownership now!

Information provided by Freddie Mac.

 

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Sac County Votes – Vote Early!

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The November Election is upon us! Ballots are in the mail and Vote Centers will be open soon!

Sacramento County is one of five counties in California to implement the Voter’s Choice Act, expanding voting opportunities for all residents. We saw positive results in the June Primary and look forward to how these changes continue to make voting easier for residents in November.
Choose how, when and where you want to vote! Gone are traditional “polling places”. In their place are comprehensive Vote Centers and strategically placed Ballot Drop Boxes. These Vote Centers and Ballot Drop Boxes are located in many convenient locations such as libraries, grocery stores, community centers and more!
Voting has never been easier!
Hours vary by location. A complete list of locations can be found online and will be provided in the Sacramento County Voter Information Guide that will be mailed out prior to the election.

Help for First Time Homebuyers!

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Freddie Mac HomeOne Helps First Time Home Buyers Buy Their First Home.

The Freddie Mac HomeOne Mortgage will provide First Time Homebuyers, anywhere in the country, the flexibility they need to achieve the milestone of homeownership and overcome the common down payment resource hurdle.

Down Payment Challenges

  • Only 3% down payment required

Broad Access

  • No geographic or income restrictions

Getting Ready for Homeownership

  • Educational requirements support

Not Every First home looks the same

  • Eligible for single-family homes, townhouses, and condos

As always, I am happy to help with any further questions.

Call Kathleen Today 916-722-0395, Email Me Today kathleen@wcmtg.com or visit my website http://www.kathleenbeck.com Let’s start you down the road to home ownership now!

The information in this document is not a replacement or substitute for information found in the Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide and/or the terms of your Master Agreement and/or Master Commitment.

www.FreddieMac.com Pub. Number 1057 July 2018

 

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