Archive for March, 2010

A Testimonial from Mark & Michelle Myers

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Here is what Mark and Michelle had to say about their experience…

Building Good Credit – Back to the Basics with Simple Do’s and Don’ts

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Building good credit is something that should be taught at an early age – maybe in school along side Home Ec as a basic life-skill. Credit rating has become a hot topic due to the economic downturn, since a good rating is few and far between these days and a bad one can haunt you in all life’s larger decisions – like applying for a mortgage loan.

So, let’s take credit ratings back to the basics with simple do’s and don’ts.

Do pay off your credit card balance – No lender can look past hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. Keep your credit card balances under 30 percent of your approved credit level.

Do pay all your bills on time – This seems simple, but is one of the most effective ways to insure a good credit score.

Do understand that it is never too late to improve your score – It is never too late to turn things around. Start paying your bills on time and don’t overspend.

Do establish various types of credit – This does not mean to go buy a Mercedes because you need to build credit, or to apply for Target, Younkers, Dillards, Macy’s and JCPenny credit cards. Instead, think about ways you can build your credit – like getting a small furniture loan instead of paying cash up front. Some places even offer no interest for two years. And if you pay it off in time you’ve built credit and didn’t pay any interest!

Don’t make any big purchases if you are planning to buy a house – i.e., car, furniture, etc. – until you’ve closed on the house, because credit is checked again the day before closing. You could be denied the loan.

Don’t strictly pay the minimum balance of your credit card bill every month – Making only the minimum payment each month increases the amount of time it will take to pay off your debt and the amount of interest you will pay.

Don’t cancel your credit cards – Frequent closing and opening of accounts may decrease your credit score.

Don’t completely skip a payment – Being a few days late with a payment isn’t too bad, but skipping a payment all together is detrimental to your credit score. Don’t be lazy, just pay your bill.

Don’t bounce checks – Though your overdraft may not show up on your credit report, most banks have their own system to track customers with bad finance habits.

These may be things you did or did not know before, however, it’s never bad to review the basics. For those who can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel – it is never too late to begin turning your credit rating around.

Buying a home starts with gaining good credit so you will be approved for a mortgage loan. So whether you have bad credit or no credit just follow the basic rules and you’ll be on your way to financial success!

Omaha! Yes, You Want to Live Here

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

If you have been anywhere outside of the Midwest and you share you’re from Nebraska, you may receive comments like, “Nebraska! Why would you ever live there?”

Many people consider all of Nebraska to be open farm fields – which is not necessarily a bad thing – and don’t even consider the fact that our “big city” of Omaha would be remotely bustling, culturally diverse and full of exciting entertainment. Though we are no NYC, Omaha has a great nightlife, lots of family entertainment and is less affected by the recession than most other cities in the United States.

Nebraska, as a state, was ranked number one on MainStreet.com’s Happiness Index, which used unemployment figures, foreclosures and nonmortgage debt to determine a state’s overall financial well being. Also, a smaller city in the Omaha-metro area, Papillion, was ranked last year by money magazine as the third “best place to live” in the United States due to is impressive economic state, housing affordability, top-ranking school system and job availability.

The Greater Omaha area has a population of around 838,855, consisting of Nebraska and Iowa Counties. Omaha is on the smaller side when it comes to cities so its size allows for community development and growth, where its citizens can have a voice and be involved in local events. Also, Nebraska is proud of its rich agricultural history and some of the smaller communities in the metro area have extensive farmland with crops and livestock.

Omaha’s midtown and downtown area are continually developing with restoration of its historical buildings, construction of new restaurants, shops and living communities, along with finding new ways to develop and improve the economic state through boosting entertainment value and tourist sites.

Currently, Omaha is working on improving the value of the College World Series for both the city and all the visitors it brings. Omaha is building two new baseball stadiums, one targeting the college World Series and the other targeting Omaha’s minor league team, The Royals.

In the past, the two events have shared the same venue, Rosenblatt Stadium, located near the Omaha Zoo. In order to foster economic growth and create a new space conducive to the event, Omaha is building a new downtown stadium for the College World Series and a new stadium in Papillion for The Royals.

The downtown stadium is opening opportunities for a community of small businesses and already, there are restaurants and small shops starting to populate the area – creating jobs and revenue for the local economy. The Royals’ stadium will bring economic and job growth to the metro area’s suburbs, as well.

These stadiums have been just one example of Omaha’s commitment to job and revenue development and its absolute refusal to sit and whine about the global recession. Here in Omaha, we are expanding our zoo, building convenient shopping centers with dine-in movie theaters, taking steps to increase tourism and constructing family-focused neighborhoods, entertainment and school districts.

Still not convinced you want to live in Omaha?

There are jobs, Midwest family-values and, of course, affordable homes from downtown to suburbia to everywhere in between. Seriously… you want to move here!

Papillion Ranked #2 for Best Affordable Suburb in America!

Monday, March 8th, 2010

I’ve always had a soft spot for Papillion, NE…which is where I’ve made my home for the last 10 years. Now it’s been ranked the #2 most affordable suburb in America! This isn’t news to me, as I absolutely love the area. We have Walnut Creek Recreation area with a great no-wake lake, camping, fishing and walking trails just minutes from home. We have the new Shadow Lake Mall with great stores and wonderful resturants. We have parks, bike paths, swimming pools, and now we are going to be getting the new Omaha Royals baseball stadium. But my favorite part of Papillion is the people who make up this community. It really does feel like a small town in the midst of a big city. I’m proud to be a part of it!

Businessweek.com Affordable Suburbs