Beyond the Fence
A little real estate
A little me

Happy February everyone! Is it just me, or was January 2020 the longest month in history? Now it is on to the longest shortest month because this year is leap year so February has 29 days. Valentine's Day is right around the corner, along with (hopefully) warmer, sunnier days. I hope this month's newsletter helps you navigate February a little better.
Life Hack: Get Your Credit Right
If you've made a resolution this year to get your credit on track, getting started can feel a bit daunting. After all, it can sometimes seem as if credit agencies want to keep you in the dark about how scores are calculated. Not to worry -  with some diligence on your part and a little insight into the world of credit score-keeping, you can get back on track in 2020.

Credit scores follow an algorithm first developed by the data analytics company FICO years ago. For a while, credit scores weren't the primary force behind a credit decision but over time the impact of a credit score became more and more important. Most every loan program available today has a minimum credit score.
 
There are five characteristics of your credit history that make up your three-digit score: your payment history, account balances, the length of your credit history, the types of credit used and how often you've applied for new credit.  Credit scores will improve much more quickly by paying attention to the two categories that have the greatest impact on a score: payment history and account balances .
 
Payment history accounts for 35 percent of the total score.  When someone makes a payment more than 30 days past the due date, scores will fall. An occasional "late pay" won't do much damage to your score but continued payments made more than 30 days past due definitely will. Preventing late payments is a key to recovering your score.
 
Account balances compare outstanding loan balances with credit lines and make up 30 percent of your score.  If a credit card has a $10,000 credit line and there is a $3,300 balance, scores will actually improve, as the ideal balance-to-limit is about one-third of the credit line. As the balance grows and approaches or exceeds the limit, scores will begin to fall.
 
The remaining three have relatively little impact. How long someone has used credit accounts for 15 percent of the score, but there's really nothing anyone can do to improve this area other than to wait. Types of credit and credit inquiries both make up 10 percent of the score.  By concentrating on payment history and account balances, scores will improve significantly over the next few months.
Home Design Trends 2020
We are barely into 2020 and this new year and new decade is going to be full of some fabulous home design trends. Check out some of my fave trends:
  • slab backsplashes: think your counter top on the wall, too
  • butcher block/wood countertop: especially for the island
  • mixed metal finishes on faucets: gold, copper, you name it
  • walk in showers
  • floating double vanities
  • bright colors in laundry rooms: blue appliances, red sinks, colorful wallpaper

Trends courtesy of houzz
DIY
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, many of us are in need of a gift for that special someone. The kiddos are also going to need class valentines to give. If you, or your kids, want to give a more personal or handmade Valentine's gifts, consider making and giving these DIY Valentine's gifts perfect for kids and adults!

(courtesy of HGTV)
Recipe of the Month
Valentine's Day is two weeks away. If you wanted a romantic dinner with your special someone, all of the restaurants of choice may be booked by now. Don't worry! Check out this whole spread to create a romantic Valentine's dinner right at home.
Local Events
  • 2/13 - Valentine's Succulent Wreath Class in Martinez @ Grey Goods 7pm - Tickets here
  • 2/14 - Valentine's Day Dinner @ Rooftop Walnut Creek 5:30pm - Tickets here
  • 2/15 - Bay Area Black Comedy Competition & Festival @ Tommy T's in Pleasanton 7pm - tickets here
  • 5 Fun Date Ideas in Concord - for Valentine's Day & Beyond
New Team Listing
1356 Singingwood Ct.#2 Walnut Creek
1 Bedroom 1 Bath
Remodeled Del Monte with gorgeous views of hills and open space right out the window! End of cul-de-sac in a quiet location. Only one attaching unit with carports below. New, new, new! Brand new granite kitchen counters, new vinyl plank flooring, new paint, dining room light fixture, new stove, new refrigerator. Bathroom has also been remodeled with gorgeous tile shower and a refinished bath tub. New vanity, sink, toilet, light fixture and mirror.
Quote of the Month
"Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations"
-Mae Jemison