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June 24, 2017

Common Credit Misconceptions by Michael Miller

Common Credit Misconceptions

Happy Saturday!  I wanted to share a short list of common client misconceptions that I have dealt with this year.  It seems that clients are more informed these days, but not always accurately.  Are you waiting for their credit score to improve before you buy?  Make sure you talk to me about the fastest way to get a credit score up using legal and ethical means.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but it doesn’t take more than a month in most cases!       

Here are the biggest myths of credit scores and credit repair.    

Myth # 1: Disputing a credit report is easy - any consumer can do it themselves. Restoring your own credit is like representing yourself in court; it is possible, but you have to be willing to invest the time to learn the processes, assume the risks of inexperience and realize that it will probably take you much longer. And you will be considerably less effective than a professional.    

Myth # 2: The credit bureau allows me to submit my 100-word explanation. Creditors will read my statement and take it into consideration.  No known creditors consider the information submitted in your statement. This statement only verifies some of the negative items on your report. The 100-word explanation should never be added, and it should be the first thing deleted from your credit file.    

Myth # 3: I can create a totally new credit file by getting a federal tax ID number or changing a few numbers on my social security number.  This fraudulent scheme has proven to be complex, difficult and illegal. Lying on a credit application is a criminal offense.    

Myth # 4: Closing an account will help your score.  If you have been responsible with credit in the past, the chances are that you are likely to continue to be responsible in the future. After all, that is the basic principle behind credit scoring. It rewards behaviors that show moderate and responsible use of credit over time, because those habits are likely to continue. The score also punishes behavior that's not responsible, such as applying for a lot of credit you don't need. Many people with high credit scores find that one of the few marks against them in their reason codes is the number of credit accounts listed on their reports. When they go to get their credit scores, they're told that one of the reasons their score isn't even higher is that they have "too many open accounts." Many then erroneously assume they can fix this problem by closing accounts. But after you've opened the accounts, the damage has been already done.    

Myth #5: You don't have to use credit to have a high score.  Unfortunately, there are some people who are so suspicious of credit that they advise giving up credit cards and living on a cash-only basis. They acknowledge that most people need mortgages and auto loans, but they feel the best way to impress a lender is by living a credit-free lifestyle. This is unfortunate, because it is just plain wrong. The credit scoring formula is designed to judge how well you handle credit over time. If you have no credit, or you don't at least occasionally use the credit you have, the formula won't have enough information to generate a score for you.    

Your Partner in SUCCESS!             

Michael Miller | Branch Manager | NMLS# 248381 | Email: MMiller@PRMG.NET | Office:   925-208-0340 ext. 3001 | Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc.

Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc.  PRMG

Posted in Tips and Tricks
March 28, 2017

Is Danville, CA, a Good Place to Live? [Realtor’s Review]

Across the nation, families are attracted to homes in suburban neighborhoods. These days, however, just being suburban doesn’t necessarily mean a place is a great neighborhood to lay down roots. Danville, CA, however, is a very attractive location for people of all ages to call home.

Danville offers a range of amenities, from its small-town way of life to its access to fantastic nearby big-city amenities. If you’re wondering whether this might be the place for you, explore the neighborhood of Danville, the local amenities, attractions, and the answer to the question, “Is Danville, CA, a good place to live?”

Small Town Living

Ask anyone what it’s like living in Danville, CA, and they’ll tell you it’s a small town feel with big city amenities. This is a community who enjoys the best of all worlds. They have a quiet, small-town way of life that allows you to relax and take it slow after a busy work day.

Close-Knit, Welcoming Community

Of course, hand-in-hand with small town living comes a welcoming and close-knit community where everyone knows everyone else. Living in Danville means friendly neighbors who watch out for one another’s well-being, and where character and personality go a long way. People in Danville are happy to welcome new residents, and they take care of each other.

Danville is the Place for Families

Danville is among the best places to live in California if you’re looking to raise a family. In fact, most of the population of this area are between the ages of five and seventeen years old! Not only will your kids have a lot of others their age with whom to spend time, the range of families in the area mean it’s a very safe place as well. There are great local schools and the crime rate is far below the U.S. average.

Tons of Outdoor Parks and Recreation

Another great feature of this neighborhood is the sheer number of parks and outdoor recreational facilities available to residents. From the historic walking tour available of downtown, to the wealth of community parks, the Dog Park, Mount Diablo, and tons of sports fields, picnic areas and trails for biking or hiking, you’ll never be at a loss for something to do outside.

Easy Access to All the Local Attractions

As if all of the great arts, culture, shopping and fine dining right in the neighborhood aren’t enough, Danville also offers easy access to local big city amenities and nightlife. It’s just minutes away from both Alamo, CA and San Ramon, CA right on interstate 680.

It’s hard to beat living in an area that offers you a nice, quiet and historic place to relax, while being so close to exciting nightlife and all of the entertainment, amenities and opportunities offered by the local city.

Put simply, Danville, CA, is not just a good place to live — it’s a great one. If you’re looking to find the best place for your family, there’s no time like the present to start your search. Elizabeth Russo is an expert Realtor in Danville California, who has years of experience helping people find the home of their dreams. Give a call today to start your search for a new home!


When buying or selling a home, contact Elizabeth Russo, an experienced Danville Realtor.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
March 21, 2017

Why Do Buyers Love Cul-de-Sac Homes for Sale in Martinez?

Cul-de-sac is a French term which literally means “bottom of the sack.” It’s named so for its shape—it’s essentially a dead-end street that instead of simply ending, has a sort of roundabout, just like the bottom of a full bag. Rather than being a true dead-end, it allows ease of entry and exit, as well as a lot of benefits for those looking to buy a new home.

Many home buyers, especially those with families, love homes that reside in these out-of-the-way areas for the many advantages they offer, from quiet living to great lots. In fact, they demand these specific kinds of homes, and may need help finding the best one for their needs. Explore all the reasons why buyers are in love with cul-de-sac homes for sale in Martinez CA, and why a knowledgeable realtor can get you the best deal.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
March 14, 2017

5 Tips for House Hunting in Walnut Creek California

House Hunting in Walnut Creek CaliforniaBuying a new luxury home should be a fun and exciting time. Unfortunately for many people, it’s also horribly stressful. It doesn’t have to be, however; you can enjoy the search for your next luxury property if you approach it in the right way. After all, this is the time when you get to visit tons of gorgeous homes and pick the very best one that suits all your needs!

It never hurts, however, to have a little expert help in your corner. Read these five tips for luxury house hunting in Walnut Creek California, and turn the stressful search into an exciting journey towards home ownership!

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
March 7, 2017

Traditional vs Virtual Home Staging: Which Works Best?

Virtual home stagingStaging your home, quite simply, is making it look its best to attract the most potential buyers and help land you top dollar for the sale. It’s common wisdom that staging your home properly is key to selling your house quickly and for the best money possible. However, with the information age there are more ways to stage a house than ever before. These can be broken down into two broad categories: traditional staging and virtual staging.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
Feb. 28, 2017

5 Anti-Theft Tips when Selling a Home in Martinez CA

anti-theft tips when selling a home in Martinez CASelling your home is a stressful experience. Not only are you hoping to get as much money as you can for the property, you have to deal with the insecure feelings of dozens of strangers traipsing through the place when you’re not around. We all like to believe that people are generally honest, but all it takes is one bad person to do a lot of financial and emotional harm to you and your possessions.

Following some basic safety tips can help to add a little piece of mind and protect you against burglary during showings of the property. Explore some important anti-theft tips when selling a home in Martinez CA to keep your property and possessions safe from unscrupulous visitors.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
Feb. 21, 2017

Ultimate Guide: Home Purchase Timeline for Buyers

Home Purchasing Process and Timeframe for BuyersBuying a home in today’s market is tough. You want both to be picky and get the home you want, and to have as stress-free and efficient a process as possible. It’s important to have a bit of information to get it right from the very beginning. Explore an ultimate guide to a home purchase timeline for the real estate buyer so you can be sure to avoid serious and costly mistakes in the process.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
Feb. 14, 2017

Purchasing Walnut Creek Luxury Homes [3 Expert Tips]

Walnut Creek Luxury HomesThe process of buying a luxury home is very different than your typical home purchase. It involves specialized marketing techniques, a different means of conducting home viewings and bringing in the best buyers, and a process of auctions to get your home sold at maximum dollar value.

It’s not a process that’s easily navigated by a novice trying to buy a luxury property for the first time, and expert help can go a great distance in getting you through. With that in mind, let’s explore three tips offered by expert realtors and investors for purchasing Walnut Creek luxury homes and walking away with the house of your dreams.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
Feb. 7, 2017

2017 Real Estate Market Forecast [Infographic Review]

2017 real estate market forecastThere’s a lot of uncertainty in many areas moving forward into 2017. We’re looking at a brand-new government and administration, and it’s one the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Financial markets are holding their breath waiting to see what’s coming, and the real estate market is no different.

However, if the markers and indications are to be believed, it looks like it’s going to be a strong year for housing and real estate across the board. While it won’t be without difficulties, things look good. Explore what’s ahead and what came before in this review of the 2017 real estate market forecast so you know what moves to make this year.

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
Feb. 5, 2017

Invest Now in California Real Estate - Perfect Storm

What’s Going to Happen?

The state of the real estate market according to Steven Elias, RealtorForecasts about the Bay Area housing market are a subject of much debate these days. It seems like there has been no end to home prices continuing to escalate, no matter who is in the White House or even amid rumors of a looming recession. Or so it seems.

Forecasters are in a somber mood about the Bay Area market. In recent years, the tech industry has spawned thousands of jobs and attracted persons from all over the country and the world while paying them top salaries. Startups abound throughout the area and dreams of going public or getting bought out are strong, regardless of the slim chances.

Even with salaries that would make you a king in Peoria, we live in arguably the most expensive place in the country, The San Francisco Bay Area. Techies are 3 or more to a house or apartment and sharing bedrooms or converting living rooms. Or they just stay at home with their parents if local. So, is economic growth expected to continue to rise along with home prices to unfathomable levels?

Nothing lasts forever. According to reputable forecasters (read more about what they have to say here), the high tech boom is not going to last forever. Unlimited job growth will end and the economy is due for a cooling trend. As to whether it will be similar to past busts remains to be seen, but it is coming and probably within the next 4 years.

Interest rates are expected to go up, so it will be a bit more difficult to buy a home or perhaps to sell one. But there are buyers out there and inventory is not exactly busting at the seams so sellers may still have the upper hand.  (Read more here about how easy it is to currently get a loan)

There are also rumblings that Dodd-Frank will be either repealed or compromised by the Trump administration so as to render it ineffective. Dodd-Frank refers to financial regulations that were instituted in response to the banking industry abuses that led to the subprime mortgage crisis and the financial slump in 2008. If repealed, banks will likely return to easier credit and lending standards and you may benefit as a result.

There's always the risk of abuse and a return to the crisis that left so many underwater and in foreclosure. The lesson is to have a lender you can trust, understand your contractual terms and have the financial means and ability to make your payments.

We have trusted lenders, financial advisors, inspectors and tools to help you find home in the right neighborhood for you.  We also have an arsenal of marketing tools to help you sell your real estate investment for top dollar.  Just reach out to me?  I'm ready to get to work when you are.


When buying or selling a home, contact Steven Elias for the best Realtor negotiator in Contra Costa County.

Posted in Tips and Tricks