Archive for October, 2017

October 13th, 2017

Architect engineering worker working in office. shot in studio.Here is a question that comes up frequently, “I want to act as my own general contractor for my renovation project. Lenders I call are telling me NO. Why is this a problem?” First off, just saying no is not the most productive response to the question. Answering the question as an educational opportunity is much more helpful.

My conversation with the caller starts with their level of experience or credentials, and if they are licensed. Construction and renovation financing is more readily available today than it has been since the housing market troubles years ago, but lenders or banks are still looking at the elements of risk that might be layered in each and every transaction. When a client does not have the level of experience or credentials needed, lenders are not going to be interested in lending money to the project. A licensed general contractor or builder will be required for the project to be considered.

A general contractor or builder will provide the project management skills which allow them to be the conductor of the entire process, from start to project completion. These individuals are licensed, have a history in construction and renovation work, can provide the necessary builders risk insurance, and generally work with a group of subcontractors that they trust to get the job done. Read the rest of this entry »

October 6th, 2017

credit info picEquifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, suffered a security breach from mid-May through July 2017 that compromised the personal identifying information of at least 143 million consumers from the US, UK, and Canada in the form of names, addresses, social security numbers, birth dates, and driver’s license numbers. If you are worried that your information may have been compromised, the Federal Trade Commission has released steps that you can take:

  1. Visit, click the “Potential Impact” tab and follow the instructions.
  2. Order your free annual credit report from the three major credit bureaus. Review your reported information for accuracy and dispute any incorrect information.
  3. Monitor your bank and credit card statements to ensure that no unauthorized charges are taking place.
  4. The IRS Taxpayers Guide to Identity Theft will explain new identity theft procedures that are being implemented by the IRS for 2017 tax filing season.

If you have not visited the site, you should – the number of consumers affected has grown over time. Look at all the options available to you when placing a credit freeze on your accounts, setting up fraud alerts or monitoring. Some of these come at a cost, like a credit freeze, and require you to remove the freeze before you can have new credit extended to you. Be sure you take a look at your credit and choose the security option that makes sense for you – this is definitely a situation that warrants a “better safe than sorry” approach!