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10 Things NOT to do before buying a home.

You’ve made the right decision to invest in real estate, however here are some tips on what you should not do prior to buying.

1. Don’t change your job before applying for a home loan. Along with that, now is not the right time to become self-employed or quit your job. You want to show lenders stability, which means you’ll be less likely to default on the loan.
2. Don’t change banks. Like your employment, you want your banking history to show stability.
3. Don’t buy a car or truck or any other form of transportation that you have to finance. Buying one increases your debt-to-income ratio and that’s something loan officers don’t want to see.
4. Don’t buy furniture on credit before buying your house. Like financing a car, charging big-ticket items increases your debt-to-income ratio and now is not the time.
5. Don’t be late on your credit card payments or charge excessively. You need a track record of responsibility and show that you can manage your money.
6. Don’t make large deposits into your bank accounts. Lenders like the money that will be your down payment to be sitting in your account for at least two months – what they call “seasoning” – so that the funds don’t just appear out of the ether.
7. Don’t lie on your loan application. Sounds simple, right? But don’t leave out any debts or liabilities you have or fudge your income. It’s fraud.
8. Don’t co-sign a loan for anyone. Even if you’re not the one making the payments on that loan, it increases your debt-to-income ratio.
9. Don’t have inquiries made into your credit. Looking for new credit translates into higher risk for lenders. If your inquiries are related to your mortgage search, it usually doesn’t affect your credit score because the assumption is you’re rate shopping. But opening credit accounts within a short period of time represents some risk and your credit could take a hit. It’s probably not a huge factor in your calculating your ability to repay a loan but why take a chance at this juncture?
10. Don’t spend your money for closing costs. Part of the price of financing a loan is the closing costs and you’ll likely have some responsibility for paying them. Make sure you have enough for your share of the obligation.

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New Ways to Hide that Big Screen TV!

Got a pesky big screen TV that you want to have hidden away? Check out these great ideas to camouflage your TV until its used!

Downtown Eau Claire Hotel Closing Sunday!



Guests checking out Sunday morning from a downtown Eau Claire hotel will be its last while the business is in foreclosure.

Kept open in receivership since May, the former Ramada Convention Center, 205 S. Barstow St., is no longer taking reservations and will shut down.

The convention center still will host Saturday’s Holidaze Arts Festival, but that will be the last event on its calendar.

Hotel staff were told Monday about the closure and have been calling people who have reservations for future stays, said Eric Lund, co-owner of S&L Hospitality of Verona. Eau Claire County Judge Jon Theisen had appointed S&L to run the hotel during foreclosure proceedings.

The property is scheduled for a Dec. 3 foreclosure sale at the Eau Claire County Courthouse — its third time on the auction block. Bidders in the first two auctions failed to meet payment deadlines.

Terms of the upcoming auction are the same as the prior one. The winning bidder must make a 10 percent down payment following the auction. However, anyone with ties to Amarjit, Surinder or Kanwal Singh — brothers who owned the business under the name SB Hotel Management that drove it into foreclosure — must pay 25 percent down.

Should the auction winner fail to pay the rest of the bid price by a court deadline, the runner-up will have 10 days to purchase the property for what they bid.

During a Nov. 1 court hearing, attorney John Leary of Eau Claire, who represents Minneapolis financial firm Dougherty Funding, said the hotel should be closed because it’s losing money and adding to the debt that the Singhs owe to his client.

Mike Happe, an Eau Claire attorney representing the Singhs, said his clients would be willing to resume managing the hotel because ceasing operations would be detrimental to the Singhs and the city.