You found the perfect house, made an offer and it was ACCEPTED! You may think all is fine and dandy and in a short time you will be signing closing documents and the house will be your, this is where you can be WRONG! There is a long list of items that you must do, most of these items are written in the contract but usually not are clearly stated. Always ask your Realtor for a “checklist” of all the things that need to be completed. I provide all my buyers with a checklist of things along with due dates and the person that is responsible to do them. Most of these items need to be completed by me, the loan officer or settlement company but there are a few things that you must be aware of and these are:
Home Inspection: Even though you may think that the house is perfect, you must not let emotion trump reason. It is recommend that you order the home inspection and plan on being present to ask any questions that you may about your new home. Continue reading →
I am sure you’re aware that hurricane season has officially begun. As hurricane IRENE makes it’s way up the Atlantic and U.S. Eastern shore, we can do nothing but prepare ourselves and wait. However, this hurricane is a big risk to any real estate transaction that may be closing early next week. If you’re a buyer, seller, loan officer or Realtor working on a transaction that is schedule to close at the end of this month, YOU MUST READ THIS!
Many insurance companies are not issuing home owner’s policies because of hurricane IRENE!!
If you’re the seller, you need to make sure that your current coverage includes hurricane damage. If you’re not covered, you need to find someone that will cover you, otherwise you may be paying a lot out of pocket expenses to fix any damage prior to closing.
If you’re the buyer, you may not be able to get an insurance policy which is required if you have a loan. This can delay your closing and your earnest money deposit could be at risk if you fail to close on time.
If you’re the realtor or loan officer in this predicament, you need to contact your clients and make sure they’re covered. If not, you should come up with viable alternatives. Some suggestions include calling around until you can find a company that will give you a policy (there are still a few left) or extend settlement date into September.
I hope all you are safe after yesterday’s earthquake. The earthquake was registered as 5.8 in magnitude and centered in Mineral, VA. This was a large event could have been a lot worse and caused a lot more damage. Today, I’ll going to share some information with you to help you reduce your home insurance. This is not only help you in the short term but also help your pocket in case mother nature strikes again!
With the cost of insurance rising in recent years, it’s good to examine your policy periodically to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
The Insurance Information Institute (III), a non-profit organization supported by the property and casualty insurance business, attributes the increases to the mounting number of catastrophes, the high cost of home repairs, and the emergence of mold claims.
So what can you do to help keep your rates reasonable? The III makes the following suggestions:
Shop for the best deal. Get at least three quotes. See if your state department of insurance has any price comparisons available. But don’t just look at prices. Evaluate which companies provide the best customer service and are readily available to answer your questions.
Raise your deductible. The higher your deductible, the less premium you’ll have to pay. The III says if you raise a $500 deductible to $1000, you may save as much as 25 percent.
Buy your home and automobile policies from the same insurer. Some companies will reduce your premium up to 15 percent if you have at least two policies from them.
Reduce the odds of being affected by a disaster. Make your home more resistant to disasters – you might be able to save by adding storm shutters and shatter-proof glass or reinforcing your roof. If you live in an older home, you should consider modernizing your heating, plumbing and electrical systems to reduce the risks of water and fire damage.
Understand the costs. The cost to rebuild your home is going to be different than what you paid for it. Don’t include the cost of the land in deciding how much coverage to purchase.
Secure your home. Some companies offer a modest discount, usually at least 5 percent, for installing smoke detectors, burglar alarms and dead-bolt locks. Some insurers will also offer a discount if you install a sprinkler system and a fire and burglar alarm that rings at the police, fire or other monitoring stations. First you’ll want to research the costs involved, and whether you’d be saving on your premiums.
Inquire about discounts. Ask your company about all potential discounts. For example, some offer discounts to those 55 and older.
Investigate group coverage. You may be able to get a group coverage plan through your employer or a professional or business group. See if it’s a better deal than what you have.
Stay put. Many companies offer discounts for longer-term customers – sometimes up to 10 percent if you’ve had your policy through the company for more than six years. Be sure to compare prices against other companies once in awhile.
Review your policy and the value of your possessions. If you sold that pair of diamond earrings or other valuable for which you have a floater policy – additional coverage for items not covered by a standard homeowners policy – be sure you’re not paying for the extra insurance.
Finally, when you’re ready to buy a new home, be sure you factor in the cost of homeowners insurance. The cost of your premium will depend on how much it would cost to rebuild, and whether the house is likely to succumb to a disaster or fire.
Also, flood and earthquake damage are not covered by a standard policy. If you need flood insurance, which costs about $400 per year, you’ll want to contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Most insurance companies offer a separate earthquake policy.
If you need a recommendation for a great insurance agent, contact me.