Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate – Debbie Shelton

Keep Your Home Safe This Holiday Season

With all of the fervor of the holiday season, it’s easy to push safety to the sidelines. Besides, rules and precaution aren’t nearly as fun as twinkle lights and Christmas cookies. Don’t let the extra stress of the holidays distract you from keeping your loved ones safe. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Stay Off of Social Media

It’s tempting to brag about your new giant screen smart TV, diamond necklace, or gaming system on social media, but by doing that you’re telling would-be thieves which valuables you have in your home. Also, if you’re posting photos of you relaxing by the beach, then burglars know you’re not at home. Take a hiatus from social media during the holidays and keep your plans private.

Check Your Lights

If you’ve turned your home into a winter wonderland via dozens of colored lights and animatronics, then take the time to ensure that your electronics are free from hazards like frayed cords and broken bulbs. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, December is the deadliest month for electrical fires.

Hide Your Packages

The ease of online shopping has made Christmas shopping a breeze, but leaving your packages on your doorstep makes it easier for thieves as well. Have your packages delivered to your workplace if possible. Another alternative is to invest in a package delivery box or an outdoor security camera.

Tell Your Neighbor

If you’re going out of town, let a trusted neighbor know so that they can keep a lookout on your property. Aside from getting your mail or clearing your driveway of snow, your neighbor can let you know of any suspicious activity.

How Are Credit Scores Determined?

Having a good credit score lets banks and mortgage lenders know that you’re a low-risk investment. Making sure that your credit is in tip-top shape is a must for house hunters. Even though there’s no published algorithm that explains exactly how your score is determined, we do know that certain factors play a definitive role in comprising your score. Here’s a breakdown.

Payment History

When a lender looks at a candidate, they want to know how responsible they are at paying back their debts. If you have a solid history of making payments on time, then a lender feels confident that you’ll pay them back as well. Having a series of delinquent accounts presents a red flag, so making your payments on-time is an important factor in determining your score.


Length of Credit History

Your credit history details how long you’ve had open credit accounts. Lenders and creditors like see if you have a history of making payments on time. Another factor is how long you’ve had your newest card. If you’re constantly opening new credit cards and carrying a balance on them, you may be viewed as unstable.


Hard Inquiries

A hard inquiry is when a lender checks your credit after you have applied for a new account. An example would be applying for an in-store credit card. Having too many hard inquiries will have a negative impact on your credit score.


Used Credit vs. Available Credit

If you have three credit cards and they are all maxed out, then your credit score will be negatively impacted. Lenders want to see that you can use credit responsibly and pay off the balance.

Smith Mountain Lake Market Report

Market Report for SML from January-September 2017 vs. 2018

The market at Smith Mountain Lake continues to show improvement in waterfront home sales, just slightly ahead of last year, which was the best year since the recession.  But, inventory staying high has continued the pressure on pricing and the average selling price of these homes is down.  There are still great selection of homes for sale and the fall is a great time to look, and buy, at the lake. It’s still a struggle for seller of off water homes, condos & townhouses and waterfront lots.  So if you are a buyer in these categories, this is an opportunity to find a great deal.  Call me for a showing appointment!