Archive for September, 2010

Montgomery AL Local Business Spotlight – Eastside Grille

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Montgomery AL Local Business Spotlight – Eastside Grille

 

Normally I write about homes for sale in Prattville AL.  But recently some friends and I found ourselves hungry on a Friday evening, and, being already in Montgomery, we decided to head over to Eastside Grille for dinner.  Eastside Grille is located at 6667 Atlanta Highway, at the intersection of Atlanta Highway and McLemore Road (map below).

 

steaks grillingEastside Grille is known for their “meat and three” lunches throughout the week: one meat and three vegetables – tasty, filling, and very reasonably priced. But this was dinner time on a Friday evening, and I was thinking about steak. I couldn’t resist the siren call of the cow, it being a Friday night, being out with friends, and wanting to have a good meal and a good time.  We couldn’t have had a better experience.

 

This particular Friday evening was a little cooler than normal, a little breezy, and a little cloudy.  Just perfect weather for sitting outside on the patio.  It has been horrendously hot this summer, with day after day after day of 95+ degree heat.  Mix that in with high humidity, and you’ve got a sauna waiting for you every time you set foot outside.  It just takes your breath away and turns every social gathering into an endurance contest, all the while feeling like you’re trying to breathe under water.  But this particular evening was different.  There were thunderstorms in the distance, and although we didn’t get any rain (the storms were moving away from us), we did get the benefit of cooling breezes blowing in off the storms.

 

The patio at Eastside Grille is exactly that.  A fenced in large patio with a small tiki-type bar at one end and a small stage at the other end where they have live music at night on Wednesdays through Saturdays during the warmer months.  The fence is decorated with rope lights, giving the place a festive look.  There’s nothing stuffy about Eastside Grille.  The seating is fluid.  Waitstaff moved tables around to accommodate groups of all sizes.  While we were there, there were couples, small groups of friends, and a couple of larger family groups with small children.  Everyone enjoyed both the music and the food.

 

The food.  Oh, the food.  Remember that siren call of the cow I mentioned earlier?  Well, I answered it and ordered a Black Jack Sirloin, an 8 oz. sirloin steak cooked to order (medium for me) along with a choice of two sides.  I chose the baked potato and house salad.  The house salad was a lot larger than I was expecting – I like a good salad, and this one didn’t disappoint.  But let’s focus on the main part of the meal, though, the steak.  This steak arrived grilled exactly to order, and covered with a slice of cheese, a little hot sauce for seasoning, and grilled button mushrooms and onions piled on top.  Tender and flavorful, it was beyond delicious!

 

Good food, good service, good atmosphere, all enjoyed with good friends.  If you’re out on the Atlanta Highway and wondering where to go to have a good meal and a good time, give Eastside Grille a try.  I think you’ll enjoy it.

 

Montgomery AL Local Business Spotlight – Eastside Grille

 


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What Are You Doing for Labor Day? Fun Labor Day Activities in Prattville AL

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

What Are You Doing for Labor Day?  Fun Labor Day Activities in Prattville AL

 

Labor Day this year is on Monday, September 6, 2010.  If you have been spending your spare time searching for homes for sale in Prattville AL, this weekend is time to take a little break and relax and have some fun.

 

Prattville AL has many of the conveniences of big city life, but Prattville is proud of its small town heritage.  Like many small towns across the southeast and even across the entire country, there are lots of fun Labor Day activities in Prattville AL this year.

barbecue chicken

 

When you hear the phrase “fun Labor Day activities in Prattville AL” what is the first thing that comes to mind?  Well, for most people, that first thought is “Barbecue!”  This year, like many others in the past, the Prattville Service League is sponsoring fun Labor Day activities in Pratt Park.  The first item on the list is, of course, the barbecue.  You can get delicious chicken or pork plates for only $8.00 each.  Other mouth-watering offerings include camp stew and even bulk pork. 

 

But the barbecue is not all.  In addition, there will be bingo, craft vendors, a country store and a kids area.  The kids area will include face painting, inflatables, a cake walk, and pony rides.  There will also be entertainment throughout the day. There really is something for everyone at Pratt Park this year, and lots of fun Labor Day activities for kids and adults. 

 

iced teaIf large group activities aren’t to your liking and you’d rather do your celebrating at home, then your options for fun Labor Day activities are limited only by your imagination.  You can always fire up the grill and cook out hamburgers and hot dogs.  Pair them with some cool homemade cole slaw or potato salad and you’ve got a nice meal. Or, if you don’t want to do much of anything at all, you can always just sit in a comfortable chair on a cool covered porch, reading a good book and drinking a refreshing glass of iced tea. Ahhhhh, relaxing!

 

So what are you doing for Labor Day?  Whether you choose to join in the fun activities in Pratt Park or you choose to celebrate at home, make your Labor Day celebrations this year lots of fun!

 

What Are You Doing for Labor Day?  Fun Labor Day Activities in Prattville AL

 

 

 

 

Credit Score and Home Loans – Prattville, AL – Part 2

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Credit Score and Home Loans – Prattville, AL – Part 2

 

Yesterday we talked about two of the five categories that make up a credit score.  Today we’re going to talk about the other three categories and tie everything together.  Remember that having a good credit score is really important if you want to buy a home in Prattville, AL or anywhere else in the River Region.  Yesterday we talked about the first two categories, Payment History and Amounts Owed.

 

Credit Score and Home Loans - What Makes Up Credit ScoreThe third category that makes up your credit score is Length of Credit History. This category looks at the length of time each of your accounts has been open and also the time since your last activity on each account.  So your accounts that have been opened longer get a higher score in this section than the accounts that you have just recently opened.  Having too many accounts that have been opened recently may lower your credit score in this section, so the best advice for home buyers is don’t open any new accounts right before applying for a home loan.  The Length of Credit History category accounts for 15% of your credit score.

 

The fourth category that makes up your credit score is New Credit.  This category looks at the number of accounts you have recently opened, the number of inquiries into your credit report by creditors, and how long ago that you re-established positive credit history after a previous time of payment problems.  Having lots of inquiries by creditors on your credit report makes it look like you have gone all over town trying to find someone to give you credit or give you a home loan.  This can really lower your credit score in this category. 

 

The final category is Types of Credit Used, which looks at the different types of credit accounts you have, such as credit cards, store credit cards, auto loans or other installment loans, consumer finance accounts and other mortgages, and also looks at the number of accounts you have of each type.  Having too many of one type of account, such as consumer finance accounts, compared to the other types of accounts, makes your credit history look unbalanced, so your credit score for this category may be lowered if your credit accounts look unbalanced.  The New Credit and Types of Credit Used categories both account for 10% of your credit score.

 

So there you have it.  The most important thing you can do is pay your credit accounts on time every month.  Remember that Payment History accounts for 35% of your credit score.  The next most important thing you can do is keep your Amounts Owed under 50% of your available credit on revolving accounts such as credit cards.  Home buyers save money on home loansDoing these two things every month will help bring your credit score up dramatically in as little as six months to a year.  And when you’re eager to buy a home, having your credit score up as high as possible will help you get the best interest rates and open up the most home loans programs for you, which can possibly save you thousands of dollars over the life of your home loan.

 

Now that you know more about what goes into your credit score and how credit score and home loans are tied together, you can keep a closer watch on what you do with your credit cards, loans, and finance accounts every month, which will help you buy a home in Prattville, AL or somewhere else in the River Region.

 

Credit Score and Home Loans – Prattville, AL – Part 2

 

 

 

 

Credit Score and Home Loans – Prattville, AL – Part 1

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Credit Score and Home Loans – Prattville, AL – Part 1

 

Once you have ordered your own credit report and looked it over to make sure the information on it is correct, you might be wondering what goes into calculating your credit score.  After all, your credit score is going to affect what type of home loan you can get and even the interest rate you can get.   Credit score and home loans are tied together tightly.  So having a good credit score is really important.  And it’s important whether you’re buying a home for sale in Prattville, AL or anywhere else in the River Region.

 

FICO credit score percentage chartSo what factors go into calculating your credit score?  According to FICO, the Fair Isaac Corporation, your credit score is made up of five categories.  Each one of these categories carries a different weight, or different level of importance, in calculating your credit score. Even though lenders look at more than just your credit score when deciding whether to give you a home loan, such as your income and how long you’ve had your job, credit scores are a big part of the home loans process.

 

The first category in calculating your FICO credit score is your Payment History. This category is made up of all your credit accounts as well as public information such as bankruptcies and judgements.  So if you have other mortgages, credit cards, store credit cards, auto loans, student loans, or any other credit accounts, they will be included here.  If you pay these accounts on time, then the credit score for this category may be raised.  But if you have accounts in collections, accounts you pay late, or accounts you have defaulted on, then the calculation takes this into effect and lowers the credit score for this category.  The Payment History category accounts for 35% of your credit score.

 

Next is the Amounts Owed category.  This category looks at the amounts you owe on your accounts, the number of accounts that you owe balances on, and how much of your available credit you are using.  For instance, if you have a credit card that has a $5,000 credit limit, and you owe $3,000 on it, then the calculation thinks that you are using too much of your available credit for that credit card.  The general rule of thumb is that if you are using more than 50% of your available credit, then the calculation may lower the credit score for this category.  The Amounts Owed category accounts for 30% of your credit score.

 

This gives you a start on how your credit score is calculated.  In the next post, we’ll look at the other categories used to calculate your FICO credit score and look more closely at how credit score and home loans are tied together for buying a home for sale in Prattville, AL.  There is more helpful information on homes for sale on the Buyer’s Choice Realty website.

 

Credit Score and Home Loans – Prattville, AL – Part 1