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How To Improve Your Credit Score


Gone are the days when lenders would look at an applicant’s credit report and not be directed by a credit score. And like so many people in today’s economy, you’ve had some derogatory credit in the past but your financial future is looking up. Now you have applied for a loan and the loan originator has come back and told you that you were denied because you did not meet their minimum credit score requirements.

So, before you start home shopping, go take a look at your Credit Score and access your free credit report from all three agencies, Transunion, Experian and Equifax. You can do it every 12 months and it does not show as an inquiry on your on your report. If you see any accounts that are not yours, or that you have paid off, or have reported erroneous information, file your disputes and get it corrected ASAP.


A Few Things To Keep In Mind For Improving Credit Scores

Pay your bills on time

Keep your revolving accounts/ credit cards with a balance of no more 30% of your high credit limit

Don’t close accounts as a short term solution to improve credit- it doesn’t work!

Don’t open a lot of new accounts- it can look risky to a lender AND it can lower your account history age.

Don’t allow numerous creditors to pull your credit

Have credit cards but just manage them wisely- a good mix of credit cards and installment debt helps improve scores if paid on time.


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Gameday Football Saturdays Could Equal A Second Home

Have you ever thought about buying a second home?

So Johnny just graduated from Huntsville High School in Huntsville, AL and won a full scholarship to a BIG University in Alabama. Since you of course will be visiting him often or at least every weekend in the fall for Gameday Weekend, rather than staying in a hotel for $450 per night, why not consider buying a 2nd home in the lovely college town of your choice.


Seconds homes simply require a 10% down payment ( which you just saved because Johnny got a full ride) and the rates are the same as if you were purchasing a primary residence. With a second home, unfortunately, you are not allowed to generate any rental income, but he got a full ride and needs a quite place for all the studying that will be happening. Keep in mind also you can still have a competent Realtor® negotiate up to 6% of the purchase price to go towards closing costs, another bonus.

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Huntsville Alabama Real Estate

Huntsville Al, is among the top  growing cities in the country. Many factors or  Huntsville AL is the Rocket CityKeys to growth can be attributed to the growth of the city and the nation has taken notice. One website ranks Huntsville as “Top 100 Best Places to Live”. Huntsville Alabama was actually ranked as #31.

Other highly respected websites like have Huntsville ranked well in several more categories. For one Forbes has Huntsville ranked #62 Best Places for Business and Careers. Forbes also ranks Huntsville, AL


Those rankings alone give Huntsville, AL a very appealing outlook for young or established business folk to flock to.

Some factors that weigh heavily on Huntsville, AL ranking so well is partially accredited to it’s strong history with the U.S. Space Missions. With a large number of Missile Defense and Aerospace contractors’ facilities anchored in Huntsville, Al the city is largely considered as the center of rocket propulsion research for the U.S.

 Huntsville AL is the Rocket CityNot to mention that Huntsville, AL is home to the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command as well as NASA’s Marshal Space Flight Center, where you can take tours and learn some of the intricacies this space center has to offer. Have a fancy to see the only Saturn V Rocket? It’s home is inside The U.S. Space and Rocket Center and is designated as National Historical Landmark.

Once your rocket has touched down in Huntsville, AL and you have realized what all this town really has to offer its time to take a look at some of the most diverse Historical homes in one city, that are listed on the Historical Register.

Huntsville, AL has homes dating back to the early 1800’s. Historical homes in the Huntsville, AL are include homes from the Antebellum, Colonial, Greek Revival, Italianate, and also California Bungalow , Queen Anne along with other smaller more modest Victorian Home styles.

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(all data current as of 4/6/2020)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.

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Home For Sale Hampton Cove Alabama

MLS#: 524147 RES Active LP: $333,750
Area: (MCV) Mountain Cove Type: SF
City: OWENS CROSS ROADS, AL Zip: 35763
Municipality: CityLimits?:
Lot: 95X177 Lot#: 24
Acre: 0.40 +/- Block: N/A
Elem: GOLDS Middle: HAMPCV
Dir:Hwy 431 SOUTH past Hampton Cove intersection, turn RIGHT onto Taylor Ln, LEFT on Taylor Rd, take 2nd LEFT on Creekstone Dr, RIGHT on Oldstone Dr, then RIGHT on Willow Creek Dr.

Take a look at this well maintained large 5 bedroom home w/a large bonus room. Large master suite w/custom walk-in closet. This home has many upgrades & updates including granite in the kitchen w/glass backsplash. Great quiet location on a cul-de-sac. Fully landscaped yard w/spinkler system.

Room Dim. Lvl Desc Room Dim. Lvl Desc __# of__
FOYER 06×09 1 MASTER BR 21×17 1 Bedrms: 5
LIVING 12×16 1 BEDROOM2 14×12 1 Rooms: 11
DINING 11×16 1 BEDROOM3 14×11 1 TotBaths: 5
KITCHEN 16×13 1 BEDROOM4 12×12 1 FullBaths: 4
FAMILY 15×21 1 BRKFST 10×14 1 3/4Baths: 0
BEDROOM 14×13 2 BONUS 16×19 2 1/2Baths: 1
LAUNDRY 13×08 1 WPool:Y SepSH:Y
Hndicp: Int:
Hndicp: Ext:
Apx Sqft: 3,750 Tax ID: 1807360000069100 1st Lev Sqft:
2nd Lev Sqft: Loan Data: Foreclosure: N Unfin Sqft: OA: Y
Basement Sqft: Garage Sqft: Gated Community: N OA Fee: 250/YR Includes-ClubHous, Pool, CommonGr
ApxAge: 6-10Yr  SourcSF: Measured Style: Ranch
Constr: 3/4Brick SubStr: Slab Heat: Cntrl 2, Electric
AirCond: Cntrl 2, Elec Fireplc: One, GasLog Garage: 3CarGar, SideEntr
EnergyFt: DblPaneW, RoofVent Applianc: Range/Oven, Oven, Dishwasher, Microwave, TrashComp, Refrigerator SellTerm: Conv, FHA, VA, CASH
Fence: Outdoor: Patio, CvrdPrch, View, Curb/Gut, Sidewalk, UndgrndU, Sprinkle, ParkNear, Cul-De-Sac Misc:
Water Property?: N Water Property:
FrmFence: LandDesc: Watr/Sewer: PubSewr, PubWater
Certified Green: N Third Party Certification: SpecialNeeds:
Builder Name: OA Point of Contact Name RON JONES OA Phone # 256-763-0337 Contact Position: OTHER
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5008 Willow Creek Dr, Owens Crossroads, Alabama Home For Sale

Exit Realty of the Valley | Jim Brown

Jim Brown-Exit Realty of the Valley

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Real Estate | Real Simple

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Search Homes for Sale In North Alabama North Alabama Realtor Real Estate North Alabama Realtor Wading Products North Alabama Realtor FSBO Homes for sale in Huntsville, Alabama Exit Realty of the Valley where Real Estate becomes Real Estate North Alabama House for sale Exit Realty of the Valley where Real Estate becomes Real Estate

5008 Willow Creek BackYard view



5008 Willow Creek BackYard

/ Let yourself enjoy the outdoors  /  In this Uniquely comfortable setting NOW




Be Cool



5008 Willow Creek | A Jeff Benton Masterpiece

/  You can enjoy a full Landscaped yard with sprinklers and also a mature landscape  /  New on the Market and Available NOW




5008 Willow Creek Living Room Feature



5008 Willow Creek | Beautiful Updates

/  Take Advantage of this Nicely Updated, Clean and Comfortable Home  /  Priced for You and Your Family in Mind, Check It Out NOW




5008 Willow Creek Master Suite



5008 Willow Creek | Master Suite

/  Unbeatable Style & Comfort in This Master Suite with Custom Built Closet  /  Your Clients will be Impressed, Let them See This NOW




5008 Willow Creek, Owens Cross Roads, AL

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Join Exit…

Why EXiT?


What if after working as a Realtor for 20 to 30 years, you could RETIRE if you wanted to while continuing to receive an income? YOU CAN WITH EXIT! The EXIT Strategy creates the freedom for you to decide when to Work Hard, Play Hard and Rest Hard!

What if you could have PIECE OF MIND that your family could continue to receive an income as a Beneficiary benefit and a thank you for your service and dedication toward helping to grow the company? YOU CAN WITH EXIT! EXIT paid IBM millions to create the system to track all transactions, closings, agents, sponsors, retirees, beneficiaries, and residuals no matter where they are or move to around the world.


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© 2012 · Jim D Brown | Exit Realty of the Valley | 2410 L&N Drive Suite C



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Private Mortgage Insurance Payment Options | PMI


When it comes to having PMI on your loan may qualify you for a few options of choice.

Monthly PMI aka Borrower Paid PMI – the PMI premium is added to your monthly mortgage payment. The borrower pays the same amount every month until the loan balance is paid down to 78-80% of the initial property value, at which point the payments cease.

Lender Paid PMI – the lender pays your PMI premium for you by increasing your interest rate. This option may not be in your best interest if you plan to retain the home for the duration of the loan as it can never be removed form the loan. You will be paying the higher rate over the life of the loan.

Financed PMI aka Single Premium PMI – this type of PMI allows you to finance the MI premium in a lump sum into the loan amount. This eliminates the need for monthly PMI and generally gives the borrower a lower monthly payment.


This information was made available by Lisa Blake – A Premium Partner

Want information like this without the hassle? Sign up below.

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The Current Market Shifting To A “Scammers” Market?

Beware of rental scams! Wire transfers and long-distance inquiries are red flags.

Home Search Online in Huntsville Alabama

Beware of Scams and Other Internet Fraud

Scams are a reality of shopping online and offline. You should always be wary of giving personal information, financial information, or payments of any kind to people you don’t know personally.

Red Flags for Scams

Requests to wire funds via MoneyGram or Western Union 

Most scams involve a request to wire funds. Do not wire funds to anyone you haven’t met personally. This is a real bonehead thing to do anyway, besides does anyone even use MoneyGrams anymore? Scammers create convincing reasons why they need to deal remotely. Likewise, do not accept wire funds that you did not initiate.


Long-distance landlords

Most scams come from users in foreign countries who claim to be interested in purchasing or renting out a home. Be wary of claims from people who are contacting you from abroad because they are missionaries, U.N. workers, or in the military.


Requests for verification codes

If you are asked to provide a code sent to your cell phone via text or phone call, this is a scam. If the request comes from someone like me it is OK to accept the network charges.


Requests for personal or financial information 

Do not provide your bank account number or Social Security Number to unknown sources. First verify it is a trusted source and then only provide this information sparingly. I only put this in here because there still seem to be folks who are just now climbing from under a rock and haven’t heard this is not a good idea.


Typos and sob stories 

Emails filled with spelling and grammatical errors are usually a sign of fraud. British spelling such as “favour” instead of “favor” is also a sign of a rental scam. Messages involving stories of family or financial issues or of agents who charge too high a premium are usually fraud. Again, if one of these emails or letters came from me please call me before you post my “grammer” mishaps to Facebook!

Report Scams and Fraud

If you believe you have been scammed, report the incident to the FTC. If you sent money via Western Union or MoneyGram, report the incident immediately: if the recipient hasn’t collected the money yet, the wire transfer company can reverse the transfer.

When reporting scams, include as much as possible of the following: the name and address of the sender, the send location, the date and amount of the transfer, the transfer fee, the date and actual location of the receipt, the name of the receiver, any information recorded regarding the receiver’s identification, the reference number for the transfer, and the details of the nature of the issue.

Examples of Scams

Some of the emails are actual emails received by some of our friends and clients others are a simple dramatization (the narrator says in a slight London accent) to point out how absurd these emails can actually be.

“I’m out of the country and need you to wire me the deposit.”

How the scam works: You find a great rental (it’s usually too good to be true), but the landlord is located out of state or out of the country. They’ll rent it to you and mail you the keys if you just send a deposit.

Tip: Don’t wire money to anyone you haven’t met in person. If it looks like a great deal and is too good to be true, it’s likely a scam. You will lose your money, and the place you were looking at isn’t really even on the market.

Example email:



Thanks for your email and interest in renting my house.

Property is available for move in at the moment for $1250 for the month rent and $1200 for the security deposit (Refundable After Lease period , As long as there are no damages on property after inspection). For immediate move in you would be required to make a total payment of $2450 but if you are not moving in Immediately, you would be required to make a down payment of $1200 for the security deposit Non- negotiable, to hold property till desired move in date.


Unfortunately, I would not be present in person to show you the property due to my recent job transfer to London, UK, and I do not have a local representative to show the house due to my transfer so if you are interested in renting the property and willing to work with me despite my absence then I would email the necessary papers for the lease to you, for necessary endorsement.


I also want to tell you that the neighborhood is secured and the people staying there are good.


Details of the house are below;


Rent: $1250.

Security Deposit: $1200

3 Bedrooms, 1.75 Bathroom.

Single-Family Home.

Location: Kirkland WA 98033.

Street Address: 12721 Northeast 101st Place.

Pets Allowed: Cats and Dogs.

Size: 1,800 sqft.

Home available for immediate move in.


This is a charming home in Kirkland.

Lovely move in ready 3 bedroom, 1.75 bath, rambler, located on quiet cul-de-sac. Approx. 1800 sq ft., built in 1989. Bright and airy interior that has been beautifully updated and well-maintained.

Exterior Sun Blockers roll-shutters for max insulation & security.

Other features include security system, built-in vacuum system and skylights. High quality throughout. Neutral colors. Master suite with private bath and two walk in closets. Spacious kitchen with tons of oak cabinets and all appliances (refrig, range, microwave). Very light and open, Washer and dryer included. 2-car attached garage with opener.

Yard service included and home is pet friendly!




If you find yourself in one of these predicaments and want help, Call Me. I’ll let you know what I think of the  situation. Jim Brown 256.348.5572



“I overpaid you with my money order. Please send some back.”

How the scam works: A renter or buyer agrees to wire you money for a deposit, but accidentally sends too much. They ask you to wire back the over-payment and you must “act now.” You send the “overpayment” back and their check fails to clear the bank. Now, the money you sent is gone forever.


Tip: Don’t wire money to anyone you haven’t met in person.

Example email exchange:

“Thanks for the speedy response,i am really excited that the house is in good condition, and i really love the pictures of the house i have seen so far, i would not mind to see more pictures of the home, i would like to know if i would have any repairs what so ever.

I work with the United nations development program(UNDP).I have been working there for 5 years.

I am married with no kid. I and my Wife actually got married last year. My Full name is PXXXX AXXXX kXXXX and my Wife’s name is  MXXXX DXXXX kXXXX.she is a school teacher, I am 39 years old and my wife is 35.Our current house address is 3XXXXXXXXXXXXX, EXXXXX Edinburgh Scotland.

I have never bought a property abroad before, this would be my first, and i am not working alongside any agents, I also want to know how soon you are willing to move out of the house. I and my wife are looking to relocate as soon as we have found a home we like, I would also like to know your final price for this property. please kindly get back to me asap.”


“I want to buy your property. Please send sensitive information.”

How the scam works: Someone contacts you remotely and proposes to buy or rent your property. They may ask for personal information that can be used to steal your identity or rob your bank account.

Tip: Beware long-distance inquiries or requests for personal information.

Example email:

“I am interested in purchasing the property on 17 LXXXX Rd, CXXX HXXXX VXXXX CO XXXXX.Although the price is much “$4,000,000”. But i will convince my client regarding the property is a Single Family Residential. I know he must like it. I will like to view the copy of the contract of sale. As you are the real owner for this property. I will like to view the contract of sale. So it can be checked for any irregularities. Once the contract is okay and has been given the thumbs up by my client. I can then contact you and make an offer accorden to your request or Advise. I look forward hearing from you

Tokyo Japan.”


Contact me with any questions you may have. I’m here to help.

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Buying A Home Without A Real Estate Professional

It’s funny to me how many different thoughts and assumptions there are in the world. Take for instance septic tanks. Some folks


assume they just somehow are pumped out like a normal sewer system. Well, septic tanks do need to be periodically pumped out,

system is, “well where does it go?”. When I say it basically is spread out a few feet under the yard, I get more like, “OMG!”.however they are not automated like a sewer system. The most reactions I get when people ask more questions about a septic

So I was talking to a potential client this weekend and we were discussing why I thought they should be working with a Buyers 

Huntsville-real-estateAgent, whether me or another agent (ME).

It was like pulling teeth to get an answer of why they had not started working with an agent yet. For the most part they would give the standard, “we have just begun looking”, to “we don’t want to waist someones time”, to We’ve bought a house before. These are all respectable answers, but I could just feel there was something we were really missing in the conversation. Then from out of nowhere we found it. NO not the house, however we would eventually. The answer as to why these folks were not utilizing a Real Estate Professional.

I mentioned, in passing, “you know, you don’t generally pay for a Buyer’s Agent to help locate and negotiate a new home, right”? Where to my surprise (wink wink) they were, “OMG, seriously”? I know right, but not the same OMG as the septic tank realization, I hope.

So yeah, there it is. I do not charge a fee, under normal circumstances, to help find and negotiate a new home for buyers. This is not to say some agents don’t or do. I can only speak for myself. So, if you are looking and don’t have an agent or you know someone who is and they don’t have an agent, give me a call. There isn’t really much to lose. I will take your call.

Real Estate| Real Simple

Jim D Brown


North Alabama Realtor


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7 Local Backyard Oases You Want to See

I’ve seen many housees in the past years that I would not schedule a return without protection in some form or fasion. Iv’e also seen houses that made me want to stay for a few hours and just relax. The latter being the exception. I thought it might be neat to put together a short and sweet ppost showing some of the great local backyard oases in and around my area. The following are several pools and outdoor kitchens you may want to look into a bit closer. Feel free to comment and or share.


custom-concrete pool

Pool with a fountain
Pool with a fountain
Custom Stone raised pool
Custom Stone raised pool


Custom Outdoor Kitchen with tongue groove ceiling
Custom Outdoor Kitchen with tongue groove ceiling


Custom concrete with fountain


Outdoor Kitchen overlooking pool


Custom Heated Pool with Mountain views


If any of these homes interest you and you would like to take a closer look, feel free to contact me for a showing appointment.