LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Dorothy in Wisconsin on the line who has a Wizard of Oz-themed garden and needs some help with sun resistant spray with her characters.
How exciting. Have they blown away many times? Is the house on the witch? What’s going on?
DOROTHY: Dorothy and my scarecrow have costumes on them and they’re made of cotton, I believe. And I’m looking for a product that is water-repellent and sun-resistant.
LESLIE: I’m not sure about the UV-rating but there are many products that are made for camping equipment, like tents and sleeping bags, that you would spray on that make the fabric water-resistant. There’s one called KIWI Camp Dry and it’s a heavy-duty waterproofing spray. It’s good for tents and boots. I just don’t know if they’re UV-rated but they definitely do keep things – clothing – water-resistant.
DOROTHY: Right. I’m trying to find a product that is also UV-protectant.
LESLIE: You know what? If you head on over to the Trek website – and it’s actually Trek7.com – T-r-e-k-7.com. I just quickly popped over there and I looked at their Aqua Armor product. And it says it’s UV-activated. So that might be a good sun resistant spray.
DOROTHY: Oh, I thank you very much.
TOM: Well, you’re very welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
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From Source Article: moneypit.com
According to a recent report by Fico, a total of 43.4 million people have a credit score of 599 or less. For those hard working Americans, getting an apartment with bad credit, conducting many other basic financial transactions is difficult if not impossible.
The reasons for bad credit can be many, but often include:Unpaid medical bills Delinquent taxes Too much credit card debt Large student loan balances Foreclosure Bankruptcy Job loss Illness
Regardless of why you have a poor credit score, getting an apartment in any city — from an affordable place like Bloomington, Indiana to expensive New York City — with bad credit can certainly be an issue.
Landlords regularly check the credit scores of prospective tenants, and if they have a lot of qualified applicants, those with less-than-perfect credit can quickly be eliminated. For whatever reason, if you are interested in getting an apartment with bad credit, there are some things you can do to improve your chances.
Clean Up the Credit You Do Have
If you have had a major negative event like a foreclosure, your credit score can rapidly drop by 100 points or more. This isn’t the time to ignore your issues, however, as there could be other items that are causing your score to drop even further. According to the FTC, 20 percent of Americans have credit reports that contain mistakes, and these errors can lead to lower scores. Even if you had a devastating economic event occur, check your report and dispute any errors as these could be making your score even worse.Find Apartments with Local Owners
If you are intent on getting an apartment with bad credit, look for rentals that are locally owned. If you merely apply to big complexes, you may find that there are rules in place that regular employees just cannot override. If the place you are looking for requires a credit score of 620, and yours is 615, you may be out of luck since large bureaucracies are not equipped to deal with individual situations. You can beg and plead to the local representative, but if a computer rejected your application, no one may be willing to help you.
Even if you have some credit issues try to find a suitable residence that has local ownership. In this situation, you may be able to speak directly with the owners. If you have sufficient income, and if your credit problems appear to be over, you could convince a local owner that you are a better credit risk than your score shows.
Offer to Pre-pay Rent
Even with a bigger rental complex, you could offer to prepay some of your rent to persuade the owners that they will not have a problem collecting rent from you. If you can raise the cash, offer to pay the first three months’ rent plus your security deposit up front. If you can show a steady income, offering to prepay can be another reason to persuade a landlord to say yes instead of no.Get a Co-signer
A co-signer is someone that makes themselves responsible for your rent payments if you don’t make them. If you have had a credit issue and are intent on getting an apartment with bad credit, the use of a co-signer can solve your problem. Always remember, however, that your co-signer will have to remit the payments if you cannot, and their credit can be seriously dinged if they don’t pay your rent.Assemble Good References
Not everyone in the rental business is cold-hearted and uncaring, and if you can show a prospective landlord that you are less of a credit risk, you can be successful in getting an apartment with bad credit. Work and personal references along with a good job can certainly help convince someone to rent to you.
Get Another Job
Approaching a landlord with a strong employment picture can definitely put points in your favor. Even if you have a credit score in the 500s, some great check stub history that shows you make more than enough money to cover the monthly rent can help put a landlord at ease.Set Up Auto-pay
Some landlords, especially non-corporate ones, get really antsy at the first of the month when rent is due. The last thing they want is another problem child that they have to chase for rent every month. If your credit has been dinged and your potential landlord is worried about collecting the monthly rent, offer to set up auto-payments where the rent can be automatically deducted from your bank account each month on a designated day. Once a few months have passed and your payments have been credited, you will get off the danger list.
Get a Roommate
Even if you like living by yourself, if it becomes impossible to get an apartment because your credit is a problem, consider getting a roommate with a good credit history. If you’re lucky, the application can be primarily in your roommate’s name, they can be responsible for the rent, and you can pay them. This may get you in the door, and after a while, you will have a better track record to present to other landlords.Consider Buying a Home Instead
This may seem counter-intuitive, but it isn’t in some cases. If you are a veteran, you can be approved for a VA loan that will allow you to purchase a home with a very low down payment and with a low credit score. Of course, there are always hoops to jump through, but this can be a way to solve your problem.
Also, in some states, deals like contract for deed can work. In Minnesota, for example, a surprisingly large percentage of homes are sold this way, and there are companies—blessed by the government—that specialize in these deals. Be careful of scams, however, as they are somewhat prevalent in the contract for deed industry.
The task of getting an apartment with bad credit is not a pleasant one, but you should not give up merely because you have encountered problems because of past difficulties. There are positive steps you can take that include repairing your credit, boosting your income, offering to pre-pay, setting up auto payments and more. Bad credit, although annoying, need not necessarily stop you from getting the apartment you want.
The post 9 Key Tips to Getting an Apartment with Bad Credit appeared first on The Money Pit.
For home sellers, the home inspection can be like a scene from a reality television show. Strangers arrive at your front door and dive into every nook and cranny of your personal space. For hours on end they open closets, crawl through your belongings, turn on every faucet in the house, flush toilets, fire up your oven and run your washer, dryer or any other appliance they can find. Then, they climb your roof, wander through your basement and seemingly trounce over every square inch of your yard. Your challenge, as the contestant in this show, is to remain pleasant, cheerful and completely accommodating while these personal invaders tear through your home.
But if you survive the harrowing ordeal without blowing a fuse, the payoff can be big: a windfall of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of your home.
According to a joint study by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR), nearly four out of every five homes sold in the nation are evaluated by a professional home inspector before they are sold. Hired by the home buyer, home inspections are designed to protect the buyers from investing in a home that turns out to be a real life money pit. NAR reports that Realtors recommend buyers get a home inspection nearly 99% of the time. Most buyers heed that advice, requesting home inspections in 84% of all transactions.
For sellers, understanding the home inspection process and preparing your home for the inevitable evaluation not only helps to ensure that the transaction goes through, but can often translate into getting a top-dollar selling price as well.
How It Works
Nearly all purchase contracts for homes sold today include a home inspection contingency clause, a provision to allow the buyers to hire a profession home inspector of their choosing to thoroughly evaluate the home for any major problems.
Once the contract has been signed, inspections usually happen quickly. After an appointment is made with the seller, the home inspector arrives with buyer in tow, and goes through the entire house. Typically, a home inspection will take two to three hours and include a check of the home’s structural and mechanical condition. But besides the structural and mechanical inspection, home inspectors may also do tests for radon gas, check for wood destroying insects, or perform other services requested by the buyer.
Since 1976, home inspections have been standardized by the nation’s leading home inspector association, the American Society of Home Inspectors . Also known as ASHI, the Society’s “Standards of Practice” dictate what must be inspected and how far home inspectors need to go to report those findings.
According to ASHI, a basic home inspection includes an evaluation of 10 different areas of the home: structure, exterior, roofing system, plumbing system, electrical system, heating system, air conditioning system, interior, insulation and ventilation, and fireplaces.
Within these areas, ASHI’s Standards of Practice details what inspectors must look at, as well as what may be excluded, from the inspection.
For example, when inspecting the roofing system, inspectors must evaluate the roof shingles, gutters, flashing, skylights, chimneys and other penetrations like plumbing vents. However, an inspector is not required to inspect a roof antenna, or to look inside chimneys that may not be readily accessible.
When the home inspection is complete, the inspector will issue a report to the home buyer detailing what was found. Inspectors will report on problems needing immediate attention, as well as conditions that can lead to more serious defects down the road.
Keep in mind that only ASHI members are required to follow these strict guidelines. However, some states also require licensing to become a home inspector, which carries with it its own set of requirements of what to inspect. Even so, many states have adopted ASHI’s standards and its Code of Ethics as the benchmarks of professional performance. At present, at least half of all states require some sort of regulation, ranging from a simple registration to a comprehensive programs requiring testing and experience, and mandate stiff penalties for inspectors that make serious mistakes.
So Now What?
What happens next is usually detailed in the home inspection contingency clause. Typically, there will be additional negotiation between buyer and seller if problems are found. In most cases, the difference between what a buyer expected going into the transaction and what was actually uncovered by the inspection, defines the scope of what they might ask the seller to fix.
For example, the home buyers may have known the roof is old, so a report detailing a roof in need of replacement might not raise eyebrows. However, if they expected to get through their first winter without buying a brand new furnace, which turns out to be needed, home sellers can expect a request to toss one into the transaction.
In a best-case scenario, resolving these disputes is best done by sharing the expense. After all, the seller didn’t promise a home with a brand new furnace and the buyer wasn’t expecting to go 20 years without replacing the existing one. Splitting the cost in a case like this is a fair and reasonable way to resolve the issue.
Dress for Success
Most home sellers don’t think of themselves as fierce competitors in a market of high-priced products. But make no mistake, if your home is on the market, you are. Homes are a high-priced commodity and in any given city, there are hundreds from which buyers can choose. The best way to make certain your home attracts buyers and the highest possible sales price is to make sure it’s “dressed for success,” both inside and out.
A fresh coat of paint and some new landscaping may seem like obvious first steps in prepping your home for sale, but when it comes to the home inspection, there’s much more to do.
Start outside repairing minor things like loose steps, disconnected gutters and rotted trim. Look, with a critical eye, for anything that’s been neglected and needs repair, like a rotted windowsill or missing roof shingle. A pair of binoculars is a good tool to use for the roof review. Besides missing shingles, look for loose metal flashing around chimneys and plumbing vents, a common cause of leaks.
Inside the home, give your mechanical systems an honest assessment. If your heating and cooling system hasn’t been recently inspected and serviced, do it now. If you are aware of any minor plumbing or electrical repairs that need to be done, get them done way before the home inspection takes place. Leaky toilet fill valves, drippy faucets or electrical outlets that don’t work might seem minor, but fixing them now not only means you’ll have less to worry when the inspection is done, it also shows both the inspector and the buyers that you’ve taken good care of your home.
What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander
If you can afford it, one of the smartest things you can do to get your home ready for sale is to hire your own home inspector to go through it before it goes on the market. Doing this will provide several distinct advantages.
First, it is likely to avoid “surprises,” like when the buyer’s inspector proclaims your electrical panel needs to be replaced. By the time the contract price is agreed to, most sellers have negotiated down as far as they want to go and the buyers have also offered up the most they want to spend, so finding a costly problem at this late stage can send the transaction into a tizzy.
Secondly, if problems are discovered, you have the time and the ability to either repair these on your own schedule or to disclose them upfront to the buyer, eliminating the possibility that the buyer will demand you make repairs later. Plus, if repairing the problem is your choice, you can do so without the buyer looking over your shoulder, second-guessing every decision you make.
Finally, once the buyer hires his own home inspector, you’ll have a good baseline by which to compare the new report. While inspection reports will rarely match item for item, major differences are rare amongst qualified and experienced inspectors. Your home inspector can even become your advocate by looking over and dissecting the buyer’s inspector’s report.
To find a qualified inspector in your area, use the “Find an Inspector” locator on the ASHI web site at www.ashi.org. Inspectors listed here have met rigorous testing and experience requirements and are among the most qualified in the nation. By submitting an inquiry to an inspector through the site, your information is transmitted electronically in real-time, saving you time and helping you connect with an inspector more quickly.
Rules of the Road
While the home inspection can be both intimidating and invasive, remember that the inspector works for the person who hired him or her. Inspectors will only discuss their findings with their own customer. Therefore, the seller will most likely be the last one to hear about trouble in the transaction when the buyer has arranged for the inspection. While it may seem unfair, that’s the way it is. In fact, in some states that license home inspectors, they are prevented by law from disclosing the results of the inspection to anyone but their client.
Besides getting your home in tip-top shape for the inspection, the best thing you can do during the process is to disappear. Home buyers will be more comfortable discussing their concerns openly with the inspector if you are not within earshot. And since watching the inspection process can feel akin to being awake during open heart surgery, being away will also keep your stress levels in check.
Whatever you do, do not follow the home inspector and buyer around. If there’s one thing that drives both home buyer and home inspector nuts, it’s this. Buyers often perceive such overly supervisory behavior as evidence of a home seller trying to hide a defect and worried about whether the jig is up. Home inspectors will be annoyed and, human nature being what it is, the process may become needlessly tense, when it should be educational.
With home inspections, the best tip to gain the most desirable results would be to have your house ready for the home inspector–then get out of the way.Virtual Home Inspection Offers Peek at the Inspection Process
For more information of what a home inspection includes, check out the American Society of Home Inspector’s Virtual Home Inspection tool. This interactive visualizer takes consumers though each of 10 different areas home inspectors must check, explaining what is looked for along the way. By using the tool, both home buyers and home sellers can get a gain a good understanding of what home inspectors search for, before the actual home inspection ever begins.
From Source Article: moneypit.com