How to improve your credit score

September 28, 2011

Credit scores rule your mortgage. And with so many people in debt because of the recession, credit scores are dropping. For those people who want to purchase a new home, it’s wise to stop first and look at your credit report. A credit score of 720 is considered excellent, but if you don’t have a 720, don’t fret. The average credit score in America is 692, which means most of us don’t qualify for the top tier deals.

If you’re shopping for a home, a score of 640 could still qualify you for a mortgage, but you won’t be getting the best deal. A half a point higher in your interest rate could translate to $100 more per month in mortgage payments and $25,000 in total interest—or more, depending on the amount of your loan.

With a few adjustments, you can gain the necessary points to drive up your credit score.

  • Pay on time. Your payment history accounts for 35 percent of your total credit score, so late payments will cost you!
  • Pay down your credit cards to reduce your debt-to-income ratio. For example, reducing a $300 debt to just $10 could save you $2,000 in discount points. The total amount you owe is factored in as 25 percent of your total credit score.
  • Keep your debt to no more than 25 percent of your credit limit. If you have a $4,000 limit on one card, keep the balance to no more than $1,000. If you have a $4,000 limit and $2,000 on one card, you could transfer some or all of it to a card with a much higher limit, as long as the balance doesn’t exceed 25 percent of the total.
  • Don’t apply for new credit cards while trying to boost your score. Every time you do, the inquiry is reported to the credit bureaus. You don’t want to be viewed as someone who is “collecting” credit and might end up with more debt than is manageable.

Check your credit score before you start home shopping. Once a year, you can get a free credit report from Bring that report to talk to a mortgage professional, who can help you determine how much of a mortgage you qualify for, as well as the rates and costs. At Stylecraft Builders, we work with the helpful heroes of Wallick and Volk. Talk to them and then contact us to find out how to get into a affordable, new home.


Turn your back yard into an outdoor room.

September 7, 2011

Interior decorating has evolved into “exterior decorating” when it comes to today’s patio. Advances in building materials and fabrics have created more choices than ever for furnishings that can weather the outdoors. So, the patio that was once limited to a grill and some basic furniture has taken on an entirely new look, turning your back yard into more living space.

When planning your patio décor, think of this space as another room in your home. Lay out the furniture as you would if you had walls and windows. Where do you want to be looking when sitting on your patio? What’s the traffic pattern to the door? What color palette do you want to use? With so many fabrics that are now weatherproof, you don’t have to limit your color choices.

Just like an interior room, you have a variety of “flooring” options. Patio surfaces include bricks, patio stones, slate (also known as flagstone), concrete (including colored, stenciled, or engraved concrete), cobblestone, and even tile (like terracotta). You can create an artisanal look with patterned stone or go simple and add an outdoor rug, which is now available in colors and patterns that look as great inside and they do outside.

Stylecraft Builders offers a 10’ X 10’ patio on every new home we build, with the added option of a covered space. Our homeowners love having this “bridge” between indoor and outdoor living. If you’re considering a move to the Bryan-College Station, Brenham, Huntsville, Killeen, or Waco areas of Texas, come talk to us about getting the most amenities for your new home.