Monthly Archives: April 2020

House and Home Insurance: A Guide to Evaluating the Worth of Your Home and Belongings

You know that you have to get home insurance of some kind to protect your dwelling, but there are so many options that you might feel overwhelmed. It’s important to determine just how much insurance you’ll need to adequately protect your home, property, and contents. Don’t forget about the items inside your home, either. Some basic insurance policies only include coverage for the property itself. It’s ideal that you search for house and home insurance that covers everything, including walls, furniture, appliances, carpet, jewelry, electronics, and so forth.

At the minimum, make sure you get insurance that covers the property itself, contents, legal liability should anyone become injured on the property, and loss of use so that you’ll be able to pay for temporary housing while the house gets repaired. If you want money for the actual REPAIRS, you’ll need additional coverage such as flood, fire, windstorm, and so forth. Depending on where you live, flood and hurricane insurance might be required anyway.

Think about how much it will cost to rebuild the home, and how much money you’ll need to replace all of the belongings that you lost. House and home insurance is designed to help you plan for the absolute worst, whatever it may be. Don’t just simply consider the cost of rebuilding, there are going to be market fluctuations to consider as well. Plus, the value of many of your belongings is likely to go down over the years. If you’ve done any remodeling or added new features, that will affect the overall value of the home.

House and Home Insurance for Worst-Case Scenario

How much will it cost to rebuild and replace in a worst-case-scenario? This is something you might want to work with an agent with, as well as the contractors who helped with the renovation.

Is a broader policy right for you or do you want specific add-ons? Is there anything you want to exclude? If you live in an area that experiences freezing cold temperatures during winter months, you might want to consider a policy that includes protection against freezing pipes. If you live down in a valley and could potentially lose your home to mudslides, or have room damage from falling rocks, consider a policy that includes protection from falling objects.

As for the contents of the home itself, go around room to room taking inventory. In addition to approximating the costs of valuables such as jewelry and electronics, you should also remember to include furniture, goods, appliances, wall art, and so forth.

Start looking into plans offered by companies such as Lemonade. With its helpful tools such as an artificial intelligence bot, you can get an estimate for house and home insurance in just 90 seconds. Lemonade discounts are among the best in the industry, and the company is very transparent.

Why It’s Called A House HUNT?

We often refer to the process, of looking for a home, as house – hunting! Why is this search, and action, referred to, as a HUNT? Since, for most people, the value of their residence, represents, their single – biggest, financial asset, and, home ownership is often, considered the American Dream, doesn’t it make sense, to proceed, in the finest, well – considered manner? If there was a way, to proceed, forward, in the best possible manner, and, simplify the process of finding the right home, for you, wouldn’t it make sense, to become a better hunter, and do so? With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, how to transform one’s hunt, to the happiest experience, possible.

1. Happiness/ happy; heating system; human issues; helpful: If a place doesn’t provide one, with some degree of additional happiness, it’s not for you! Examine areas, which might affect your happy, comfortable enjoyment, of the house, such as various aspects, regarding the heating system. Some people prefer specific forms, and some, are too dry, for certain people. The costs should be considered, in terms of the energy source, as well as maintenance and repair – related issues! Don’t ignore your personal, human issues, and whether, a particular property, seems to be helpful, towards better enjoying your overall life!

2. Uses; usual/ unusual; urges/ urgent; useful: How do you, envision, using and enjoying, your home? Does it meet, and exceed, your needs, goals, and prioritizes, and have you considered, a variety of options, and uses? Consider, both your usual, as well as unusual, priorities, and know, which is most urgent, and useful, to you!

3. Needs; niche; nuances; neighborhood: Consider, clearly, both the needs, of your specific house, as well as the neighborhood! What about your specific needs, etc, may be, addressed by, specific nuances, of this property? Does it fully address the niche, you seek?

4. Taxes; time (how long?); trends; types: How high are the real estate taxes, and, can you afford, these costs, when added to the other expenses of home ownership? How long you plan, to reside there, is a significant factor, in what to examine, and demand! Are there specific trends, you wish, your home, to possess? Which type of house, is best suited to you, and your family? If you have issues with steps, for example, focus on ranch – houses! Know what each style of house offers, and the advantages and disadvantages, of each type!

When a home buyer, focuses, clearly, from the onset, his HUNT becomes a simpler one! Be an aware, informed buyer, so you can make the wisest decision, for your specific needs!

Operation Security: Safeguarding Your Home During An Open House

While an open house is a great way to actually meet the perfect buyer for your property, it is also a great opportunity for people with bad motives to do their rude moves. More than allowing your house to actually accommodate good buyers, you might also be accommodating bad people. So how are you are exactly going to do the open house while securing your home? Here are some tips.

Keep away important documents containing pertinent information such as Social Security numbers and bank accounts. These digits of numbers can actually be the key towards committing crimes using your identity.

Remove jewelries, antiques, and other items of high values. These are eye candies and can easily attract robbers and thieves. Electronic gadgets like tablets, laptops, and smartphones should also be secured. Your personal and some confidential information can be leaked once these gadgets are taken away from your possession.

Photos of family members are advised to be hidden. You don’t know how criminal minds think. Your family members, even with just their photos can be easy targets of crimes, especially children.

Never leave keys of your house, car, or rooms – even if they are just duplicates. These things are small and can be easily grabbed. When possessed by bad persons, these keys can be used to enter your property.

Never hide anything of value in your rooms and other likely places. Rooms within your house especially those that are locked up during the open house can imply that there are valuable things in there. Though they are locked up, it is still advised never to leave things of high value in those rooms. Some curious and naughty persons might be unnoticed sneaking in those rooms to peep on those things and plan something bad afterwards.

Have a logbook of guests joining the open house. This is a helpful record to see who came to visit the house. Make sure that the arrival and departure times are recorded too.

Take photos or videos of the rooms and other parts of the house before the open house in its staged state. After the open house, review the photos or videos to see if there are some alterations on how things are placed and ordered.

Remember that an open house should be an opportunity to meet buyers, or even meet new connections and friends. It should not be an opportunity or an invitation to persons with bad intentions. However, we won’t know bad people until they have done wrong. So better stay safe and secured than be sorry later on!

House Insurance Online Guide: 5 Mistakes You MUST Avoid When Buying Home Insurance

Home insurance is something that most people require. While it is very easy to search for house insurance online, it’s not as easy to actually select a policy. There are plenty of mistakes that people make when selecting coverage. Just one mistake can cost you dearly.

Since it’s probably one of – if not THE – most valuable asset you own, it’s essential that you buy the correct type of insurance for your house.

Here are some huge mistakes you’ll want to avoid when purchasing house insurance online:

Mistake #1: Underinsuring your home

Many people go with the lowest price thinking they will save money every month. They buy only enough insurance to cover the mortgage, or only insure the house for its real estate value, in the gamble that the house won’t burn to the ground or get flooded out.

But that shouldn’t be a gamble you take. What you should do is buy enough coverage so that you will easily be able to rebuild the home. Building a house usually costs more than what it is worth – especially considering the increase in construction prices.

Mistake #2: Not buying contents insurance

Don’t forget about the actual contents INSIDE the home when shopping around for house insurance. Make sure the policy includes your personal belongings. What are you going to do if your favorite, expensive piece of jewelry is stolen? Or all of the furniture, floors, and appliances on the first floor and basement are destroyed in a flood?

Mistake #3: Overestimating your amount of coverage

Don’t just assume that because the monthly payment is high that it covers everything. You must know all of the details of the policy. You could end up filing a claim for nothing. Before making any agreements with an insurance company, make sure you understand what is covered, what is not covered, when you will be allowed to make a claim, and for how much.

Mistake #4: Not setting your deductible correctly

Another common mistake many people make when buying house insurance online is setting their deductible either too low or too high. With too high of a deductible, you could end up with large premium payments. With it too low, you will wind up paying more out of the pocket when something goes wrong.

Mistake #5: Ignoring certain types of weather coverage

Whether you live at a high elevation and don’t think you’ll need flood coverage, or live outside of an area prone to earthquakes and don’t think you’ll need earthquake coverage, you are mistaken. Anything can cause a flood, including a plumbing disaster. Even if it’s not your entire property, you’ll still have some damages to worry about. As for an earthquake, there are states other than California, HI, and Alaska to worry about. There are Faults in other parts of North America as well.

Keep these factors in mind when searching for house insurance online. The best place to start is with Lemonade. It offers a variety of affordable policies for homeowners and renters, and even covers contents. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to find Lemoande sales and coupon offers.

Types of House Foundations for Home Construction

A slab foundation is simply a poured slab of concrete that a house is built upon. A Slab foundation usually sits upon a footing that has been been constructed below the frost line. The concrete slab is typically 4 to 8 inches in thickness with embedded steel rods known as "rebar" to prevent cracking and faulting. The house foundation is built directly on the soil with no basement or crawlspace. All water lines and waistlines are installed prior to the concrete being poured.

SLAB FOUNDATION ADVANTAGES

One of the main reasons slab foundations are popular is the cost factor. Slab foundations are the least expensive and the quickest to install. Slab foundations reduce the cost of the entire building simply because the houses built directly on the slab. That saves the cost of floor joists that would normally support the building. Slab foundation homes are easier to heat because there is no airspace under the house affecting the interior temperatures.

SLAB FOUNDATION DISADVANTAGES

Because there's no basement or crawlspace all ventilation duct-work must be channeled through the attic and through spaces in the walls. There is no additional space for utilities and no storage, the entire home is basically sitting on a large platform of solid concrete. Although slab foundations are the least expensive house foundations to construct, they're the most expensive to repair. All the plumbing for the home is basically under the concrete slab making it impossible to repair without tearing up concrete floor which is now part of the interior of your home. Leaks are difficult to detect because they're under the slab and in many cases go undetected for years. An unusually high water bill is the first indication that you may have an underground leak.

THE SECOND OF THE THREE TYPES OF HOUSE FOUNDATIONS-CRAWLSPACE

Crawlspace foundation consists of a perimeter concrete wall and concrete columns that will support the floor joists of your home. The distance between the soil and the first floor of your home is known as the crawlspace.this foundation is either built the ground level or over shallow excavation depth from 3 to 4 feet. The exterior foundation walls will support the building load and several concrete Piers will be constructed in the crawlspace for extra support. Crawlspace foundations in the past have been built using the original soil as the floor, and recent changes in building codes are now insisting on at least a two inch cement flooring to be used to help control any moisture problems.

CRAWLSPACE ADVANTAGES

A Crawlspace foundation raises the home 3 to 4 feet above the ground level. This has many advantages, all the plumbing and wiring and ventilation ducts can easily be maintained and serviced. In addition to providing access under the home crawlspaces allow airflow under the home. This will assist in cooling in the summer, crawlspaces are usually cool when properly ventilated.

Crawlspace House Foundations in Flood Areas

If you live in an area that is prone to flood, having a crawlspace foundation is a blessing. By installing flood vents into the foundation you can reduce the possibility of structural damage to your foundation. Flood vents when properly installed will allow the flow of water under the home which reduces the amount of pressure that a normal foundation would experience in a flood. Flood vents are designed to let the water flow in and let the water flow out without damaging the foundation. Flood vents are so important that the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) has made the installation of flood vents mandatory type A flood areas.

CRAWLSPACE DISADVANTAGES

The cooling effect that the house experiences during summer can freeze the house in the winter. The floor joists in the crawlspace must be heavily insulated which will raise the cost of construction. Water can collect under your home and provide an ideal insect nesting area. The most concerning disadvantage occurs only if these foundations are not properly maintained or are built without proper ventilation. Fortunately flood and air vent technology has eliminated many of the dampness and mold concerns of the past.

THE THIRD TYPE OF HOUSE FOUNDATIONS- BASEMENT

The basement is a typical house foundation which includes an entire living space under the first floor of your home. Aside from providing additional living space the basement provides easy access to all the utilities of the home. The basement foundation begins with a footing below the frost line and then concrete walls are erected approximately 8 feet above the footing, a concrete slab is used for the basement flooring. Basement foundations have the advantage of providing excellent storage space, and clean dry space for all utilities. Many times full basements have been converted to apartments that can be rented and provide the homeowner with additional income. Whenever a basement is converted into an apartment at least one egress window must be provided.

Disadvantages of Basement House Foundations

The primary disadvantage of the basement is that because a good part of it is beneath ground level they are susceptible to leaking and mold formation. In areas with a high water table is sub pump may be installed to combat flooding. Basement house foundations are the most expensive to construct due to all the extra material needed and time to build it. However this additional expense during construction will make your home easier to maintain. A home with a full basement typically has a higher resale value than either of the previous types of house foundations mentioned.