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What are lenders looking for?

Are you interested in applying for a loan to make your dream of a new home a reality? Lenders will assess your creditworthiness using the 5 C's of credit.

The first C, sometimes also called Credit History, is a track record of the debts you have repaid, on time or otherwise. This detailed report gives the names of lenders who have extended credit to you, how much you have borrowed, and the timeliness of your payments on those loans. They can also include any information about liens, bankruptcies, and collection accounts. Your FICO credit score will be used in this determination. Ranging from 300 to 850, the higher the FICO score the more trustworthy you are. If you are concerned about your credit score being too low to qualify, there are financing programs available specifically for home buyers with low or limited credit scores. They allow you to use the things you are already paying for such as rent, utility payments, and even your phone payment to help show credit history. They are definitely worth checking out if you find yourself in that position!

Capacity refers to the borrower's ability to repay the loan. It considers all your other debts and expenses to determine your ability to repay the loan. This takes into account income against recurring debts such as loan payments or child support and debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Lenders will also look at income stability and job history.

A lender wants to see that you are personally invested in the risk involved with borrowing. Another way to think about it is, that capital is considering your net worth (savings, car, real estate, and investments minus what you owe). The more you are able to put forth on the loan now, the more likely you will be able to fulfill the rest later. When you put down a large down payment, it allows the lender to feel more comfortable extending credit.

The 4th C is collateral. This is where the borrower pledges something they own as a safety net of sorts for the lender in case the borrower defaults on the loan. Collateral can really help a borrower secure a loan.

The final C stands for conditions. This can include such things as interest rates on the loan and the amount of principal (the amount borrowed or the amount still owed on a loan, separate from interest). It also refers to how the borrower intends to use the money. Specifying the purpose for the loan (ie car loan, home loan, etc.) increases the likelihood of securing the loan.


Buying a Home is more than Bedrooms and Bathrooms

Four bedrooms, three bathrooms and three car garage. Hmmm... what about the kitchen? Will it be large enough to entertain friends and family? What about the yard? Can I have a dog? Homes are not just about the bedrooms and bathrooms. Homes are about lifestyle.

Home is where we retreat to after a long day. Home is where we entertain family and friends. Home is where we raise a family. For each of us, home is something different. When you start looking for your next home, what is important to you? Yes, you may need a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but what makes your house the place you want to come home to at the end of the day?

Love to entertain? The kitchen, deck and backyard might be the most important considerations. Small community versus a larger town or city. If you grew up in a small town, maybe that is the lifestyle you want your kids to have - or not.

Homeownership comes with maintenance and upkeep, like lawn care and snow removal. Maybe these are parts of home ownership you really do not want to have to deal with or have the time to take care of. Then a townhome with an association would be ideal for you. On the other hand, maybe mowing the grass is a great excuse for you to get a riding lawnmower, so the more yard, the better.

Do you have a couple of dogs and like to garden? Maybe a small acreage is what would be the right choice. Neighbors just far enough away that the dogs would not disturb them and you can plant as big of a garden as you want.

While you might begin your home search on the Internet, be careful not to rule out a home because of the photos. If the home meets your basic requirements, until you step foot in the home with a REALTOR or at an open house, you won't be able to truly feel if it will work for your current lifestyle.

There are so many things to consider besides the number of bedrooms and bathrooms a home might have. Whether you are looking to buy your first home or 4th home, what stage you are in your life, will determine what kind of home works best for your lifestyle.

Winter hacks to help you survive the cold

Do you ever feel like cold weather gets the best of you? Here are some ideas for facing Old Man Winter and winning, even when it's cold and miserable outside.
  • Park your car facing east so the sun will defrost your windshield.

  • Spray shovel with nonstick cooking spray or silicone-based lubricant to help prevent snow from sticking.

  • Make sure your ceiling fan is spinning on the low setting in reverse (clockwise) during the winter months. It will re-circulate warmer air trapped near the ceiling down to floor level.

  • Dry your boots on rocks or pebbles in cookie sheets.

  • Open the oven door after baking dinner or goodies. Take advantage of the oven heat by keeping the oven door open right after baking. This will definitely make the air warmer and smell delicious!

  • Put some socks over your windshield wipers to keep them ice and snow free.
Check out our blog story, 10 hacks to help you survive the winter for more ideas.

January Area Events

Des Moines Boat & Sport Show
Jan. 6-8
Varied Industries Building, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines

ISU Wrestling & Gymnastics Beauty & the Beast competition
Jan. 6 & 27 6:30pm
Hilton Coliseum, Ames

BINGO at American Legion in Nevada
Tuesday, Jan. 10 7pm-9pm
American Legion Hall, Nevada

Free Admission Day at Reiman Gardens
Jan. 11 9am-4:30pm
Reiman Gardens, Ames

Snowshoe Owl Prowl
Jan. 13 5pm-6:30pm
Christiansen Forest Preserve, Huxley

ISU 52nd Annual Madrigal Dinner
Jan. 13 & 14 5:30pm
Great Hall, ISU Memorial Union, Ames

Cinch World's Toughest Rodeo
Jan. 13 & 14 7:30pm
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines

2017 Iowa Home Show
Jan. 13-15
Varied Industries Building, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines

Battle of the Bands
Jan. 14 6pm
TK's Event Center, Boone

Mamma Mia
Jan. 17-22
Civic Center, Des Moines

Crafty Cocktail Night: B.Y.O. Tee-Shirt Tie-Dye
Jan. 19 6pm-8pm
Reiman Gardens, Ames

Eric Church
Jan. 19 8pm
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines

Indulge: A wine, cheese & chocololate affair
Jan. 20-21 6pm-9pm
West End Architectural Salvage, Des Moines

Des Moines RV & Outdoor Show
Jan. 20-22
Iowa Events Center, Des Moines

Pine Cone Creatures
Jan. 21 10:30am-Noon
Botanical Gardens, Des Moines

CIKC: All-Breed Dog Show
Jan. 21-22
4H Exhibits Building, Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines

January Dollar Days
Jan. 26-28 10am-6pm
Downtown, Ames

Nevada Rotary Club Soup Supper
Jan. 27 4:30pm-7pm
Nevada High School Lunchroom, Nevada

Spud Night
Jan. 27 4pm-7pm
Iowa Arboretum, Madrid

Winter Jam 2017
Jan. 27 6pm
Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines

Messiah on the Frigidaire
Jan. 27 & 28 7:30pm
Actors, 120 Abraham Dr., Ames

Jan. 28 2pm-4pm
McFarland Park, Ames

Daddy Daughter Sweetheart Dance
Jan. 29 4pm-7pm
Sheraton, West Des Moines