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.

Courtesy of Realtor.com

Downtown Eau Claire Hotel Closing Sunday!

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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.

Eau Claire Confluence Project

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The Eau Claire Confluence project is a public-private partnership to redevelop an area of downtown Eau Claire at the “Confluence” of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers.  The plan with the Confluence project is to build a community arts center, public plaza and mixed-used project that will include housing, commercial/retail space and parking.

The mixed use building will be privately owned and is currently planned to house UW-Eau Claire students, with the ground level planned for the commercial and retail space.  This space will likely to include a restaurant on the main floor as well as underground parking to serve both customers and students.

The community art center is planned to include three theatres, the largest to seat approximately 1200-1500 people.  There will likely be a shared lobby and various offices as well as classroom space, studios and a gallery however final designs of the community art center have not yet been started.  The community art centers will be jointly owned between the State of Wisconsin and City of Eau Claire and used by many different groups and organizations including the following:

  • Eau Claire Childrens Theatre
  • Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild
  • Chippewa Valley Symphony Orchestra
  • Community Arts
  • Eau Claire Regional Arts Center

On October 21st, 2013 the Eau Claire City Council voted and approved to pledge $5 million to the confluence project.

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For more information on the Eau Claire Confluence Project please visit the following sites:

Eau Claire’s City council approves $5 million pledge for Confluence Project

Eau Claire (WQOW) – By a vote of 8-3 Eau Claire’s city council takes a stand on the Confluence Project. Tuesday night the council pledged $5 million to the project, to be directed toward the community arts center.

That pledge is based on a number of conditions. Chief among those is a $25 million commitment from the state for the $51 million community arts facility. Even if the council approves the pledge as stated, a number of things have to happen for the funding to go through.

Developers behind the $80 million project have asked the city for $10.9 million to support the student housing and arts center and an additional $2.5 million for a plaza leading up to the building.

Visit WQOW to view the story.

If you are interested in more information regarding the Eau Claire confluence project, please visit this blog posting – Eau Claire Confluence Project