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Top 3 Plumbing Features To Check Out When Buying A Home

Before buying a home, several sources will probably recommend scheduling an inspection. More often than not, new homebuyers are now calling in additional experts to conduct more thorough inspections of particular systems – such as electrical, HVAC or plumbing. These additional inspections; however, can quickly add up.

So, what can you be looking for on your own or be prepared to ask about the plumbing system when you walk through? Be sure to inspect these three plumbing features.

#1 MAIN SEWER LINE

Problems with the main sewer line are one of the most costly plumbing problems. There are many factors that can cause a main sewer line to deteriorate including the material it’s made of, tree roots cracking their way in and ground shifts.

Before moving in, you might consider scheduling a sewer line video inspection. This will allow you to tell in real time if there are any immediate repairs or replacements necessary and whether you should start saving for future repairs.

#2 WATER HEATER

The average water heater lasts about 10 years depending on how often it’s used, how it was maintained, and the quality of the home’s water supply.

Your water heater is going to provide hot water for showers, dish washing, clothes washing and more. So, if you want to avoid an early and unexpected cold-water shock, it’s best to determine the condition and age of the home’s existing water heater.

Another important factor to consider is the size of the water heater – will it be able to meet your family’s needs the same way it’s meeting the needs of the home’s current family? If you have a larger family, you may need a larger hot water heater.

Lastly, consider the location of the tank. Is it in a location where it could cause serious property damage or hidden in a utility closet where you’ll never remember to check it for leaks? If so, you may want to consider moving it before moving in.

#3 SUMP PUMP

Sump pumps help to prevent flooding from heavy rainfall and fast melting snow.

They also eliminate moisture. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, more than 60% of homes have moisture in their basements or crawlspaces. Moisture can lead to mold – an extreme health risk for your family.

It is critical to ensure the sump pump is in working order. And, a battery backup sump is always good, too!

With these three inspections down, you’re well on your way to peace of mind with your new home’s plumbing system.

10 Articles Proving Why Cleveland Is The Best Place To Call Home

It’s a wonderful time to live in Cleveland.

The national spotlight has shown on the city all year. From the Cavs championship, to the Republic National Convention, to the Indians taking on the World Series, it feels like there’s a lot to be excited about after decades of saying, “Maybe next year.” Cleveland sports aside, the city is also becoming a popular Midwest attraction for dining, arts, and culture.

In the words of LeBron James at the Cavs Ring Ceremony, “At this point, if you’re not from here, live here, play here, dedicate yourself to Cleveland, then it makes no sense for you to live at this point — Cleveland against the world!”

Check the articles below for a look at what makes Cleveland the best place to call home.

1) GREATER CLEVELAND ATTRACTED 17.6 MILLION TRAVELERS IN 2015, CLEVELAND.COM

That number is up 3.7 percent from the year before and sets another record, according to Destination Cleveland, the region’s convention and visitors bureau. 2016 will likely set yet another tourism record. Click the next article below to see why Cleveland is attracting visitors.

 

2) CLEVELAND DRAWS NEW VISITORS, USA TODAY

Writer Trevor Hughes travels to Cleveland to experience downtown life with restaurants, locals, and museums.

 

3) A WEEKEND IN CLEVELAND, SAMANTHA BROWN

Blogger Samantha Brown shares how to have an unforgettable weekend in Cleveland with more eating, drinking, and museum visiting.

 

4) CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART RANKS NUMBER 2 FOR THE BEST MUSEUMS IN AMERICA, BUSINESS INSIDER

Cleveland’s art scene attracts new visitors, and also delights locals alike. Using FourSquare data, INSIDER ranked the top 25 museums in the US. Just behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Arts comes in at number two.

 

5) CLEVELAND IS NAMED AN UNDERRATED CITY FOR ART LOVERS, US NEWS

“The Hilton Cleveland Downtown houses some of the most unique locally curated art in the city with a photo mosaic mural composed of 2,800 selfies by Clevelanders that depicts the Cleveland skyline.”

 

6) CLEVELAND GETS AN ART TRIENNIAL, NEW YORK TIMES

In an effort to capitalize on the bustling art scene, a group of Cleveland boosters kicks off a new citywide art called Front International: Cleveland Exhibition for Contemporary Art in 2018.

 

7) CLEVELAND RANKS AS THE 15TH BEST PLACE TO LIVE IN THE US, NEW YORK POST

Affordable housing prices, a revitalized downtown and neighborhoods, hospitals, and Lake Erie living puts Cleveland as the 15th Best Place to Live in the US. Not bad for a city where it snows six months out of the year.

 

8) CLEVELAND IS THE BEST CITY TO GET AROUND CAR FREE, USA TODAY’S 10BEST

Forget the card reader parking meters because the new UH Bikes, free Trolley, and the RTA’s rapid and bus system make Cleveland the best city to get around without a car.

 

9) TOP CITY TO LIVE IN UNDER 40K, AARP

In Cleveland, you can live good for less, so you can still enjoy the orchestra, thriving downtown, elite medical centers, miles of biking and hiking trails along Lake Erie and championship sports teams.

 

10) CLEVELAND’S THE NEW COOL, BLACK BOOK

The writers of this article enjoy Cleveland and all it has to offer in the revitalized neighborhoods, downtown, restaurant scene, and art scene.

5 Strategies For Improving Your Credit Score

Whether you’re searching for your first starter home or downsizing to more manageable condo, you’ll want the best credit score possible if you’re planning to take out a mortgage on your new home. Most lenders use some form of credit score to evaluate the level of risk associated with granting you a home loan, and a better credit score will result in a lower interest rate, meaning you’ll save more money in the long term.

The main factors that affect your credit score are your payment history, the amount you owe, length of your credit history, the types of credit used, and new credit inquiries. All of this information is included in your credit report.

While there are different types of credit scores, the most commonly used model, the FICO score, is used by 90% of U.S. financial institutions. Most credit scores use a 300- to 850-point range, with a higher score indicating a higher level of trustworthiness and reliability.

However, because your credit score is based on factual information contained within your personal credit report, there is no magic solution way to overhaul your score overnight. Instead, if you need to improve your credit score to take out a home loan, you can gradually improve your score through careful monitoring of your credit report and smart financial planning over time. Read more: what credit score do you need to buy a home?

CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORT

Your credit report contains information about your personal finances, including any outstanding debts, bank accounts, credit cards, and your payment history, all information that informs your credit score.

If you haven’t already, check your credit report and ensure that all information is accurate. You may find that your report includes incorrect information, such as a late payment that you actually paid on time, which you can dispute with the credit bureau. You also might find evidence of suspicious activity that could be an indicator of identity theft, which you should report immediately.

The three Consumer Reporting Companies that compile credit information are Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. You’ve probably heard by now of the recent Equifax data breach that compromised the sensitive personal information of 143 million Americans.  If you find that your information was compromised, you might consider signing up for free credit monitoring, placing a credit freeze on your files, or setting up a fraud alert on your files. See other tips for monitoring your personal financial information here.

Through AnnualCreditReport.com, you can request a free copy of your report from each agency once a year. So, if you want to monitor your credit report over the course of a year, you can request one report every four months. If you happen to need another report, you can purchase an additional report for no more than $12.00.

RESOLVE OUTSTANDING UNPAID BALANCES

Resolve any outstanding debts that are currently in collections as soon as possible. While paying off old debts will not entirely remove that information from your record, your recent financial activity counts more than debts from the past. The longer the record of on-time payments, the higher your credit score. Any resolved accounts from collections will be wiped from your score within seven years, meaning these past problems won’t haunt you forever.

MAKE PAYMENTS ON TIME

Roughly 35% of your credit score is determined by your payment history. It’s simple: lenders want to ensure that they will receive payments on time, so it’s important to show that you pay on time. Set up mobile reminders or automatic payments online to ensure that you don’t forget a payment. If for whatever reason, you are unable to make a payment on its due date, consider calling the lender to ask for a grace period.

KEEP BALANCES LOW

Another main factor that can be reflected in your credit score is the amount that you currently owe: more specifically, the ratio of revolving (available) credit to used credit. Aim for 30% used credit or less. It is also not a great idea to carry a small balance on a large number of cards, because FICO scores also consider how many credit cards an individual has.

APPLY FOR CREDIT ONLY WHEN NECESSARY

Because FICO scores take into account the number of times that a potential borrower has inquired about loans, it’s smart to plan ahead and shop around for loan rates during one time period. FICO scores can tell the difference between a search for one loan and a search for many new credit lines based on the time frame within which the inquiries occur. For example, if you’re planning to buy a new car, it’s best to plan the purchase and take out the loan the same week that you begin inquiries. Financing setbacks are one of the most common reasons that real estate transactions get delayed, so if you’ve already been approved for a home mortgage, it’s smart to avoid any new credit activity during this period.

 

References:

https://www.cnbc.com/id/36737279

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/debt/7-simple-ways-improve-credit-score-1.aspx

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit/what-is-a-fico-score.aspx

http://www.myfico.com/credit-education/improve-your-credit-score/

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do