Archive for July, 2009

Tallahassee Dives and Jives,.. off the beaten path!

Posted in Tallahassee, Things to Do on July 25, 2009 by realtordebbie
Come to the Lake..wtih Jimbo Smith and friends
Come to the Lake..with Jimbo Smith and friends

Come on Out Where the Music is Familiar and  your Friends are Gathered!round!

Everybody knows I love music.. and to dance.. and boy Tallahassee has some of the  best off the beaten path venues! Take your shoes off.. sit by the fire and warm up.. take a Sunday drive… you may never know what you will find. Looking for the coldest beer in town? Want to sit by the lake and watch the most gorgeous sunset ever? Try K & K Fish Camp off Highway 12 at the Lake Iamonia Boat Landing. Mary and Don King cook up some great burgers and hot dogs.. and keep the coldest beer in town.. I mean FROSTY cold. Nothing could be better than sitting on the picnic table listening to locals, Jimbo Smith and Friends whip up some familiar tunes that make you want to kick your shoes off and dance every Sunday afternoon! K & K fish Camp is however.. a fish camp.. get your bait, launch your boat, grab some supplies and head out to Lake Iamonia, the largest lake in Tallahassee! Bring your camera.. you might see a gator or two.. up close and personal!

Another place I have loved for over 15 years is the Bradfordville Blues Club off Bannerman Road! Oh my gosh.. the history.. the great blues artists I have seen there! Many are a once in a lifetime experiences! I had my 35th and my 45th Birthday parties there, the latter with three generations of family present! What a FUN time, dancing and listening to “The Sauce Boss” stir up some blues and gumbo!

I’m sure I’ll think of a few other great entertainment spots.. but for now.. your turn! Meanwhile..let’s head to the lake!

More stories like this can be found at TallahasseeFLCommunity! check us out!
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Knocking down Obstacles in the Loan Application Process. Part 1

Posted in For Buyers, Real Estate Advice with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2009 by realtordebbie

No Credit My,.... So you think buying a home is easy these days?  For some, it may be, for most people however there are “glitches.” No one like “glitches,” but these days we stumble into more than ever before.  Believe me when I say, no one is perfect. Even the most savvy real estate investor has obstacles that prevent the smooth transactions we grew accustomed to in years past.

Preparing to buy a home involves more than making up  your mind that you want to move. There are certain steps of preparation that you must follow. The first and biggest obstacle that I run into with my customers is CREDIT ISSUES. Either Bad Credit, No credit, or someone else’s credit..on your credit report! Yes, it happens.

There will be some followup to this BLOG, but for now let’s get the credit issues our of the way. Let’s knock out a few credit score questions and answers.

What is a credit Score?

Good grades come from having done positive things, bad grades subtract points from your grade. Most scores range between 300 – 900 points, the higher is the better grade. A credit score is used to qualify you for loans. If you fall below 630 these days, it will will be a challenge to get your qualified. Lenders will delve into your credit scores, using the scores from three major reporting agencies, and sometimes one national agency. If you are monitoring your credit.. check all 3! The nuts and bolts is this:

What affects your Credit Positively?

  • Paying your bills on time and in full.
  • Having one or two credit cards used on occasion and paid each month.
  • The typical rule of thumb is to use 25 percent or less of your available credit. Ideally, carry a balance of no more than $2,500 if your credit limit is $10,000.
  • Steady employment. People who are steadily employed are viewed as being better able to pay their bills on time.
  • If you are self-employed, pay yourself a documented salary!

What damages your Credit Score:

  • Missing of Making Late Payments.
  • Using more than 80 percent of your total amount of available credit
  • Bankruptcy
  • Liens or foreclosures
  • Periods of unemployment
  • Repeated, multiple requests for new lines of credit ( i.e. store credit card applications will KILL your credit! Don’t do it to save 10%!)

The Major Factors that affect your credit score:

  • Your payment history. Are you paying on time? This is one of the biggest factors that lenders look at.
  • Your outstanding debt. Your debt to income levels are critical, your ability to pay back small sums is manageable, large balances are very difficult to manage.
  • How long have you been building credit. The longer your credit history, the higher your credit rating.
  • The number of inquiries on your credit report. The more times you’ve applied for credit cards or loans, the more credit report inquiries will show up on your credit report. When in trouble, in the fine print, your creditors can pull your credit when you are late, when you apply for loan extensions or modifications. This can kill your score because it indicates you are having trouble managing your debts.

What to do when you see a “cheater” on your credit report.

Sometimes there are debts on your credit report that do not belong to you. This happened recently to my 19 year old borrower as he discovered that his father had been using his social security number and had taken out credit cards in his name. They were good pays,.. but they were NOT his, in fact most were taken out when the 19 year old was 9 and 10 years old! Can someone say, “Credit card FRAUD?” Do us all a favor, report credit card fraud, let the credit companies investigate and prosecute those who committed the crime.  If you are one of those stealing from your kids.. thinking you won’t ever get caught… Think  Again!

Credit card fraud is on the rise. Access to social security numbers, telephone numbers, dates of birth are too easy to find, not to mention accessibility to your mailbox which is full of the “sign here” offers that can be stolen in a flash. Use a identity theft service. It’s the cheapest, best insurance you can own, and these days you need it!

CreditReport.com reports that the average credit score of Americans is “in the neighborhood of 680,..” and that, “while consumers have more debt than the year prior, and a quarter of the country has more debt than the national average – apparently we manage debt fairly well, as our average credit score is hanging in there.”

So, while you may look at your credit card debt and shriek,.. look at your score, do a little housecleaning once a year and relax.

Part II….Exercise Your Right To Choose the Right Lender!

What’s all the Buzz about Twitter?

Posted in Debbie Kirkland, Realtor, Tallahassee, Technology with tags , , , , , , , on July 12, 2009 by realtordebbie
FloridaSunSales, Debbie Kirkland, Realtor

FloridaSunSales, Debbie Kirkland, Realtor

So  you want to  know what Twitter is all about?  TV, radio, newscasters,.. even Oprah is on twitter now!  My kids ask me what the big deal is… imagine that.. My kids asking me about twitter! Suddenly I feel 24 again.  Anyway…Twitter.. no it’s not just 72 characters insignificant things that  people that talk about their walk to the car, or that they are leaving for work. or arrived at work or that are bored at work. It’s the messages that contain a personal message to NEW acquaintances that share something in common. Whether for a moment or longer engagements between those who converse in real time about a deeper subject matter, or even a common interest in music, there is always something to talk to someone about. These messages turn into conversations with other “Tweeple” who “tweet” with a purpose.. or sometimes just to share a laugh. 

When I first started Twitter, within days some of the Tallahassee folks I was following announced they were having a “tweet-up” – the modern day get-together.  I attended, and met 8 very unique, different, quintessential people who were much more versed than I in what was completely foreign to me.  They gave me the low-down on who some of their cool connections were and where to find great applications to make tweeting easier, etc. They also spoke in “twitter-ese,” and I made notes as fast as I could.. but, that really wasn’t necessary.  All I really had to do, was read, connect to the social media gurus,..examine the applications they talked about.. and before you could say “tweet,” I was up and tweeting with the pros. 

Life changed after that.. I am realizing a dream come true soon. I am going to be hosting a series of social media classes along with 4 young men who are fun, exciting and some of the most brilliant minds in the social media and marketing business. I met every one of these young entrepreneurs right on Twitter. I watched them for a long time.. read their material and examined what I thought were their business strengths, etc. We have even met a few times for talks.. about business and at a few more #Tallahassee Tweet-ups. Next month, We will be teaching Realtors and small business owners the power of social media and what it can do for their businesses.  Things seem to move a little slower here, but more and more folks are catching on to Twitter, to Facebook.. now if I can just persuade a few to devote time to blogging, a new concept to many.

Business-wise, I can tell you that twitter has been responsible for 5 real estate customer referrals and resulted in 3 sales so far. Several more are in the pipeline just waiting to close.  Social networking is as much a part of prospecting as the personal telephone calls I make during the week to past customers and my sphere of influence. Devotion of a little time has certainly been productive, educational and mostly, entertaining!

Happy Tweeting… follow me…..@FloridaSunSales!

Dont Just Watch... Tweet!

Dont Just Watch... Tweet!