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					      "Quotes"                                    WHAT'S YOUR FICO CREDIT SCORE?
                                                  Credit Score - continued from page 1
                                                  delinquencies. One late payment may not           can educate the consumer whether your                                     Picket                                                                                                 PRESORTED
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     STANDARD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   U.S. POSTAGE PAID
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Mount Prospect, IL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Permit No. 65




                                                                                                                                                                              Fence Post
 “There are three kinds of people in the          affect your score significantly if the rest of    score is good or not so good.
 world; those that can count, and those           your history is good because the model is
                                                                                                    If it turns out that your score is not so
 that can’t.”                                     looking at patterns, not isolated credit
                                                                                                    great and a lender has turned you down,
 Unknown                                          mistakes. The “amount owed” is basically
                                                                                                    you have a right to ask for a written
                                                  looking at the relationship between total
                                                                                                    explanation of why you were denied                                          Community is not just the place where you live, but what you make of that place.
 “The fulfillment of your dreams lies             used credit and total available credit. One
 within you and you alone. When you                                                                 credit. The first thing you should do,
                                                  who has maxed out credit cards and has
 understand and accept this, then                                                                   according to Richard Roller, of Wells
                                                  little available credit will score poorly in
 nothing or no one can deny you                                                                     Fargo Home Mortgage in Park Ridge, is
                                                  this area. An interesting note in this category                                                            $5.
                                                                                                                                                                00

 greatness.”                                                                                        to check your credit report for errors. If
                                                  is the recent “0% finance” or “No payments
 Les Brown                                                                                          you find any, write the credit reporting
                                                  'til 2007” deals many stores offer. If you
                                                                                                    company a letter with proof of payment
                                                  walk into a store and take advantage of
 “You have to risk losing the race to win it.”                                                      or account status and ask them to update
                                                  this offer, you may walk out with 0% for a
 Lance Armstrong                                                                                    the incorrect information. "Any
                                                  year or more, but to the credit reporting
                                                                                                    collections on your credit report,
                                                  companies, it looks like you financed let’s
 “Some people have thousands of reasons                                                             however small, may negatively affect
 why they can’t do what they want to,             say $1000 with an available limit of $1000
 when all they need is one reason why             leaving no available credit on that card
                                                                                                    your score", says Roller, so bite the              847-259-8600
                                                                                                    bullet, and pay them off. Unfortunately,
 they can.”                                       (maxed out). Again, this will not negatively
                                                  affect your score if the rest of your history
                                                                                                    your credit score is not likely to shoot up      Picket Fence
 Willis Whitney
                                                  is good but if it’s part of a pattern of
                                                                                                    overnight, so be patient. Correct
                                                                                                    information will likely remain on your
                                                                                                                                                       Realty                                                                                                                       April 2005
 Definition: Laid off                             maxing out credit, it can be a problem.
 The universe giving you the opportunity          “New credit” is basically looking to see if
                                                                                                    credit report for seven years or longer.          Picket Fence Realty, 113 S. Main St., Mount Prospect, IL 60056                                                       Vol. 01 No.02
                                                                                                    Although the general rule is that the only

                                                                                                                                                             WHAT'S YOUR FICO CREDIT SCORE?
 to do your own thing.                            you are taking on more debt. The last
 Les Brown                                                                                          real way of improving your credit score
                                                  category, type of credit, wants to see a
                                                                                                    is to pay bills down, lower your balances
                                                  healthy balance of credit (bank cards,
 “An optimist sees an opportunity in                                                                and not take on new debt, it’s worth              If you are like me and probably many other people,                                           score and why the sudden attention? In
                                                  installment loans, department store cards).
 every calamity, and a pessimist sees                                                               sitting down with a mortgage broker to            you might have found yourself sitting across from a                                          the 1980’s, Fair, Isaac and Company
 a calamity in every opportunity.”                So what is your score? A law has passed           see what your options are for improving           mortgage broker at one point in your life just sure he                                       devised a patented mathematical model
 Unknown                                          recently that lets us view our credit history     your credit score.                                or she would look across the desk and say, “I am                                             (the actual calculation method to this
                                                  once a year for free. Bill Grant, of Biltmore                                                       sorry Mr. and Mrs. Jones, you will never own a                                               day, remains a secret) to predict the
 “Do just once, what others say you                                                                 So what do you get if your score is really
                                                  Financial Bancorp, of Palatine, warns                                                               home and have any kind of life because you                                                   credit risk of consumers based on infor-
 can’t do, and you will never again pay                                                             great? According to Bill Grant, a great
                                                  against using many of the websites that                                                             have such bad credit history”. Now granted, I                                                mation in their credit report. Today this
 attention to their limitations.”                                                                   score can’t really help you get a better
                                                  claim to provide your credit report and/or                                                          was over dramatizing the situation in my mind                          system, known as FICO, is the scoring model most widely
 James R. Cook                                                                                      mortgage rate but it can dramatically
                                                  score free of charge. But this site,                                                                because I was pretty confident I had always                            used by lenders. There are three companies that calculate
                                                                                                    help in the flexibility of options. A good
                                                  www.annualcreditreport.com, is                                                                      paid bills on time. But what if? What if there                         your credit score: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The
                                                                                                    score can help you receive the financing
                                                  sponsored by the three credit reporting                                                             was a time I didn’t? What if some traffic                              range of credit scores is between 300 and 850. The higher
                                                                                                    you need quickly. It can provide more
                                                  companies. So I sat down and walked                                                                 ticket went unpaid? What if there is something on my record I          your score, the lower the risk for the lender. Sixty percent of
                       113 S. Main Street                                                           financing options such as “non
                       Mount Prospect, IL 60056   through the website. Once again, my hands                                                           don’t know about? What if I owed too much to creditors? These          people have credit scores of 600 and above. Borrowers in
                                                                                                    contingent” financing.
                                                  were sweaty and my stomach a bit nauseas                                                            questions circled through my mind over and over, convinced             the low 600’s are a risky investment. At 720 you are viewed
                     (847) 259-8600 x18                                                             In today’s housing market, being pre-
                     mp@PicketFenceRealty.com     but I forged ahead. It was super simple                                                             that I would be the reason I would be banned forever from the          as a safe risk and can typically receive a loan with no
                                                                                                    approved by a lender is essential in
                                                  and in minutes there was my credit history                                                          housing market. And then the magic words…”congratulations,             problems.
                                                                                                    getting the home you really love.
      Call us anytime for a                       right before my eyes…every payment,                                                                 you have an excellent credit score.” Ahhh the relief! I was
                                                  every inquiry, everything. I then wanted          So take the first step and check out your                                                                                So what factors affect a score? The FICO score is calculated
                                                                                                                                                      ensured that I, too, would be able to join the ranks of
        FREE* Market                              my score and for that I had to pay $5.95.         score. You can then talk with a lender to         homeowners.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             based on the following areas: 35% payment history, 30%
                                                  I am glad to say that $5.95 set my mind to                                                                                                                                 amount owed, 15% length of history, 10% new credit, and
       Evaluation of your                                                                           evaluate your options. It’s painless
                                                                                                                                                      I am sure you have seen commercials lately that talk about being       10% type of credit used (credit cards versus installment
                                                  ease once again with a good solid score.          ….really!!! PFR
         home's value.                            It was worth looking up because it really                                                           haunted by your credit score. What is so important about your          loans). Payment history is a record of any late payments or
                               * No Obligation                                                                                                                                                                                                                     see Credit Score - continued on page 4

! Mount Prospect's Realtors                                          page 4                                                      Picket Fence Post   Picket Fence Post                                                  page 1                                          !    Mount Prospect's Realtors
    The Value of Repairs, Improvements, and Additions to Your Home - Part 2
                                                  good return-of-investment. If the answer is “It     buyer doesn’t like your colors, but wallpaper
                                                                                                                                                                      Some of the recent homes marketed by Picket Fence Realty
This is Part II in a 2-part series. The article
can be seen in its entirety by visiting           won’t give me more, but it will be better, nicer,   is tedious and time consuming to remove.
www.PicketFenceRealty.com and clicking            etc.,” then be careful not to over-expect.
on Mount Prospect Newsletter. Part I                                                                   Ask your friends and family what they think
appeared in the last quarterly issue of            Try to fight off the urge to buy top-of-the-line   of your project (and ask them to be honest
The Picket Fence Post.
                                                  fixtures. As a rule, anything you spend above       with you). You may not agree with them, but
Occasionally you will see a newspaper or          the “slightly above average” price range should     it’s their opinion, and they’re entitled to it.
magazine article quote the return-of-             be spent for your own personal enjoyment.           It is worth noting. The person who someday
investment percentages that you can expect        Excessive luxury adds little value (except in       buys your home will also have an opinion
from various home improvement projects.           truly gourmet kitchens and ultra-expensive          un-influenced by you. If you’ve spent many
                                                                                                                                                                1101 N. Westgate Rd.                                      1106 W. Milburn Ave.                                         205 S. Louis St.                               4604 Sycamore
This type of “survey” is more often from          homes).                                             hours working out your plan, you will quickly               Mount Prospect                                            Mount Prospect                                             Mount Prospect                                Rolling Meadows
the marketing department of a cabinet or                                                              become biased. Also, architects, builders,                                                                                                                             Meticulous 3 bdrm. 2.1 bath brick ranch           Large 4 bed, 2.1 bath Split with sub-
                                                                                                                                                           Stunning 4 bdrm. 2.1 bath colonial with                    Spacious 3 bdrm, 2 bath We-Go Park
                                                   A point that cannot be over-stressed is neutral    or service people may have an inflated opinion                                                                   Split-level with addition. Hardwood                    with large family room addition. New               basement. Great family rm with
plumbing fixture company overly optimistic                                                                                                                 beautiful family room addition. Hdwood
                                                  decorating. If you have plans of selling someday    of how much value their service or product           floors, 3 fireplaces, finished basement.                            floors. 2-car garage.                           baths, den, and a great basement.                fireplace. Built-in pool. 2-car gar.
about their products “high-end” appeal.           soon, keep things simple. White, off-white, or      will add. Opinions from disinterested third                Offered at       $474,900                                  Offered at      $359,900                              Offered at $404,900                              Offered at $329,900
If you do much of the work yourself, you          light beige are the paint and appliances colors     parties, if considered, can help keep your
can expect a large percentage of the cost         to use. “Benjamin Moore - Navajo White” is          thinking realistic.
back in immediate increased value. But if         the most widely recommended brand and color




                                                                                                                                                                                               647 W. Sheridan Rd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Lakeview, Chicago
you hire a contractor, and have expensive         of paint. Kitchens and baths fall under the          Over-improving your home can also be risky.
taste, prepare for a good old-fashioned           same white/beige rule. If replacing wood            Your home’s value is affected by the price
dose of reality. Consider this; If you just       cabinets, the wood should be light or natural       of surrounding homes. Turning your home
completed a $60,000 gourmet kitchen,              in color. Painting wooden cabinets is a popular     into the biggest and best home in the
you will have a hard time finding someone         and inexpensive alternative (white/off-white).      neighborhood will usually result in a lower
willing to write you a check for that             Many of today’s “trendy” cabinet and                sale price than if it were nestled among other
amount, especially after you picked the           countertop colors will be tomorrow’s                similar homes.                                                                                                            4837 N. Orange                                                                                    1132 N. Mitchell Ave.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       606 S. Wille St.
colors, tile, appliances, etc.                    “Avacado”.                                                                                                                                                                       Norridge                                            Mount Prospect                              Arlington Heights
                                                                                                       Of course, with something as personal as a                                                                    Updated 3 bdrm 2-bath brick ranch with                  Magnificant custom U-shaped brick ranch w/3       Solid 3 bdrm brick ranch with family
Knowing the reasonable market value of            You should be careful with bold colors.             home, exceptions exist. Many unusual                  Updated 2 bedroom condo. Hardwood flrs.                  new kitchen. Family room. Full finished                 bdrms 2 baths, formal dining, eat-in kitchen, 2   room addition. 2 fireplaces hardwood
                                                  Magazines are filled with many beautiful kitchens   improvement plans have a surprisingly good            Laundry. Rooftop deck with grill. Fitness and              bsmnt. with 4th bdrm. 2 car garage.                    fireplaces.Many extra features. 2-car garage.     floors. Full basement. 1-car garage.
your home prior to your proposed project                                                                                                                   bike room. Pets OK. Near Lake, tennis and golf.
is a good place to start. This cannot be          and baths that use bold colors effectively but      effect on the home. Other, seemingly
                                                                                                                                                                 Offered at      $269,900                                  Offered at        $470,000                             Offered at       $549,900                        Offered at    $339,900
determined by simply keeping your eye             most of those homes are very expensive, and         mainstream projects fall short of their intended
on the home sales published in the newspaper      involved high-priced interior designers. Unless     effect and yield a less-than-expected result.
                                                  you are prepared to go all the way with a           Your pre-construction research and doing
or by making a reasonable assumption.
                                                  decorating theme, be very careful. New carpeting    your homework will still be your best bet for
Remember that similar homes can vary
                                                  should be light and neutral. If you have            home improvement success. PFR
greatly in condition and appearance,
                                                  hardwood floors, consider exposing them or
resulting in wide ranges in market value.         partially covering them with area rugs.
A close comparison of your home to
                                                                                                       Visit our information-filled website:
neighboring homes like yours that have            You should keep wallpaper to a minimum.
sold in the recent past is the best way to        Painted walls can easily be repainted if the
                                                                                                       www.PicketFenceRealty.com
determine your homes current value. This                                                                                                                         6475 N. Newland Ave.                                          314 N. Russel St.                                   1405 S. Robert Drive                             301 N. School St.
is where a Realtor can be invaluable. The                                                                                                                              Chicago                                                 Mount Prospect                                        Mount Prospect                                  Mount Prospect
Realtor you call should be familiar with
your area’s homes, both inside and out. A                               IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO JOIN                                                             Norwood Park vintage Queen Anne.
                                                                                                                                                              Hardwood flrs. 3 bedrooms, 2-baths,
                                                                                                                                                               formal dining room, eat-in kitchen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Charming classic brick Georgian with 3
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        bdrms, 1.1 baths. Formal dining room.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hardwood floors. 2 fireplaces. 1-car garage.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Well-maintained expanded brick ranch.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 bdrms,dining area. 3-season room.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Hdwrd floors. Full bsmnt. 2-car garage.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Enormous home with 6 bedrooms and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 baths. Hardwood floors, 2-car
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                garage. Near Metra and downtown.
“Before & After” evaluation of your home
will give you both the current “reasonable”
                                                                         VILLAGE-WIDE GARAGE SALE WEEKEND                                                        Offered at      $359,900                               Was offered at           $344,900                      Was offered at          $319,900                 Was offered at      $379,900
market value of your home as well as an
estimate of your homes value after the
                                                                         April 29, 30, & May 1, 2005
proposed addition. This will of course be                         There is still time to join the 2005 Mount Prospect Village-Wide
a speculation, but may shed additional                            Garage Sale Weekend. Call Picket Fence Realty (the event organizer)
light on the entire project. As we mentioned          for details or visit the event's official website at:
in part 1, a small project done well can
add triple the value. However a big project            www.MountProspectGarageSale.com
done poorly can return only a small fraction
                                                      Hundreds of homes will participate - True Blue garage salers love group
in increased value.
                                                      garage sales and attend in large numbers. Don't miss the chance to clean out                                   1818 Azalea Ln.                                       431 S. Evantson Ave.                                    1708 W. Catalpa Ln.                              713 N. Forest Ave.
                                                      your basement, attic, and garage of the things you haven't used in years. You                                  Mount Prospect                                         Arlington Heights                                        Mount Prospect                                  Mount Prospect
A good question to ask yourself when                                                                                                                           Fabulous 4 bdrm 2.1 bath split with sub-              Stunning Stoltzner split level . Corian counters          Spacious colonial with 4 bdrms. and             Three bedroom-2 bath split level with
making improvements is: “Will this project            can sign up by phone, in person or online.                                                           basement. Updated thru-out. Formal dining, eat-           and maple cabinets. Eat-in Kit. plus dining area.         2.1 baths. Hardwood floors. Family               hardwood floors. Cathedral ceiling.
                                                                                                                                                              in kitchen. Hardwood floors. 2-car garage.                 Unilock brick paver patio. 1-car garage.               room with fireplace. 2-car garage.                Recent updates. 1-car garage.
give me more than I have now?” If yes,
than the project has the potential for a                                           Call:              (847)259-8600                                          Was offered at          $439,900                           Was offered at           $339,500                      Was offered at          $339,900                 Was offered at      $329,900
!   Mount Prospect's Realtors
                                                                       page 2
                                                                                                                                       Picket Fence Post     Picket Fence Post
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    page 3                                                           !    Mount Prospect's Realtors

				
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