Buying a Home Online, Credit Reports, and Saying Hello to Fall


Your Home – Great Vegetables For Your Fall Garden

It might seem hard to believe because your summer garden is in full swing, but it’s time to start thinking about fall. Here are some great vegetables you can plant in mid to late summer for a fall harvest that will keep your home garden plentiful.

Beans of all types grow quickly and can produce abundant harvests up until frost. This makes them ideal for succession planting, meaning planting at intervals throughout the growing season. You can even start beans in the heat of summer. Sow outdoors directly in the soil. If you’re growing pole beans, add a trellis; if you’re growing bush varieties, no trellis is needed.

Beets are an ideal fall crop. Sow seeds directly outdoors; you can pre-soak seeds to help with germination. In warmer climates especially, sow seeds in late summer under taller crops like tomatoes or peppers to provide a little shade. After the temperatures cool and you remove the tall crops, beets will thrive.

Broccoli can be sown directly into the garden in late summer for a fall harvest, or plant from transplants for a little ease. Broccoli is sensitive to frost and freeze, so cover to protect the growing buds in the event of an early cold spell.

Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts love cool weather and are often grown in cool climates as a spring crop that holds in the garden through summer. In warmer climates, though, Brussels sprouts can be started in fall and grown through winter into early spring. They can take a little frost. Start from seed indoors and transplant outside when weather cools, or buy transplants at your local garden center.

Lettuce loves cool weather. Plant in late summer to early fall to enjoy in an autumn salad. You can also tuck lettuces into fall container gardens alongside pansies and other fall blooms. You can plant from transplants but lettuce also grows easily from seed.

Cauliflower can be grown in spring and fall but is tempermental about heat and cold – it likes mild temps in between. For a fall harvest, plant transplants outdoors after temperatures are consistently in the 70s and below. Cover in the event of an early freeze.

These are some of the best performing fall vegetables that will keep your home garden full and ensure you have plenty of fresh, organic vegetables for your family throughout the fall. Get started now and you’ll be in great shape by fall!

Finances – The Differences Between a Hard Credit Pull and a Soft Credit Pull

credit report

There’s lots of information about you listed inside your credit report. Of course, most of the information pertains to your credit history. In fact, nearly two-thirds of your credit score is made up of payment history along with comparing current account balances with credit lines. For consumers who want to improve or repair their credit, concentrating on these two categories alone will do the most good.

One other category also contributes to the overall score referred to as “credit inquiries.” While credit inquiries don’t directly affect the score, it does so if a new credit account is opened. An occasional request for new credit won’t harm a credit score but repeated ones will.

Credit inquiries fall into two categories, sometimes referred to as a “soft” and a “hard” inquiry. A hard inquiry is one where the consumer makes a direct request for new credit. That request can be for something like a car loan or even a new credit card. Each time someone applies for a car loan, the lender looks up the credit history of the potential borrower, while at the same time listing the inquiry on the report. The inquiry will show who made the hard request and the date. Used properly with timely payments, the initial inquiry ultimately helps a credit score.

But, if you have multiple inquiries over a limited span of time, this will give a lender a reason to raise an eyebrow. If you think about it, what would a lender think if over the past few years the consumer used credit responsibly with a car loan, a credit card, and a mortgage payment? Suddenly however, say over the course of the last 90 days, multiple hard inquiries hit the credit report? If no new credit lines were issued, a lender would want to know what’s going on. Why all the requests? Is someone suddenly out of work or soon will be? Was there some sort of loss of income that has occurred?

When inquiries pop up, lenders will often ask for a letter of explanation. This is an official term used in the mortgage business; but in essence it’s a letter written by the borrower providing an explanation about some facet of their credit history. With a hard inquiry, the lender will want more information.

Most businesses who issue credit report credit activity once every 30 days. With a credit inquiry, if a new account was indeed established, it won’t appear as an active credit line until the reporting period has arrived. The lender doesn’t know if the credit inquiry for a new car, for instance, means someone was just testing the waters and didn’t buy the car after all, or if a new loan was taken out and the monthly payments are $600 per month.

A soft inquiry on the other hand, is when a company researches credit histories to see if an individual meets their credit profile. If so, an offer to apply for a credit card or car loan might come in the mail or an inbox. The consumer is not aware of this inquiry because the consumer didn’t initiate the request. A soft inquiry can also come from other types of businesses who use credit to make a business decision. Auto insurance or online micro loans are a good example of this. Soft inquiries don’t affect credit scores.

This article is for information, illustrative and entertainment purposes only and does not purport to show actual results. It is not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular investment action.

Personal Interest – Is it Possible to Truly Buy a Home Online?

As the Internet and technology has progressed, screaming forward over the past couple of decades, we are more and more becoming a society that wants to do as much as possible online. With the pandemic we’re seeing even more activities migrate to the demands of online living. Personal trainers, grocery delivery and Zoom office meetings are just a few of the convenient online things we can do, all from the comfort of our own homes.

But, can you actually buy a home online? You can! Not only that, more and more homebuyers are getting used to and even preferring it.

The Digital Tools Are There

Zillow recently released an article detailing research they’ve done that shows buyers are trending towards “sight unseen” online home purchases. Given society’s trend towards online usage it makes sense. Combined with the current situations and struggles the pandemic is presenting this makes even more sense.

The interesting thing is sellers are also gravitating towards online home sales as well. After all, virtual tour technology has gotten really great; and if you can sell your home online, you avoid having to have strangers in your home in a time when many families are trying to limit the number of people coming in and out of their homes.

The Risks and Benefits of Online Home Buying

As with everything in life, anytime you choose to do something there are rewards and risks. The rewards of online home buying are pretty obvious. It’s super convenient. Buying a home online means you can do it on your schedule. Even if it’s 2 a.m. there are going to be professional high definition photos, virtual tours and great videos you can view at your leisure to decide whether or not you are interested in a home.

Oddly, that very freedom is also the risk involved with buying a home online. Even though the quality of virtual tours, videos and professional photos have never been better, buying a home 100% online means there could be an issue that you would have only noticed if you were in the home. The good news though is that your agent undoubtedly will walk through a home you are truly interested in; and their experience can be a great guide for you as to any potential pitfalls you might not notice online.

How Do You Buy a Home Online?

Buying a home online is not difficult. In fact, it follows many of the same steps you would follow if you were going to buy a home the “good old fashioned way.”

– Choose your Real Estate Agent
– Look online to narrow the list of homes you are interested in
– Find a mortgage lender
– Get preapproved for your home loan
– Do a walkthrough of the home with your agent (via Zoom or some other video platform)
– Make an offer
– Wire earnest money to escrow
– Schedule inspections, appraisals and title research

See? It’s pretty much the same exact steps as traditional home buying. The biggest difference is you’ll need to work with an agent that is up on the latest technologies and comfortable with the new demands this type of transaction will require of them to ensure a smooth, successful transaction for you and your family. Need a referral to an agent like this? Contact me!

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Paul Stella