home insurance

What You Need to Know About Tiny Houses and Insurance

More than a decade ago, a new movement began. One that emphasizes the philosophies of less is more, sustainability and financial freedom. The tiny house movement. Today you’ll find numerous TV shows, countless blogs and even a magazine dedicated to tiny house living. But even with its notoriety, living tiny is still a relatively new industry. Regulators, home insurers and builders continue to navigate the space. If you’re considering joining the tiny house movement, keep these considerations in mind. Goals and Primary Use What’s the motivation behind your desire to go tiny? Are you looking to right-size, live sustainably or eliminate…

Ten Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

What do you need to know when it comes time to sell your house? Maybe you’re ready to downsize after the kids have grown. Or perhaps you’re family is growing and you need more space. No matter the situation, here are 10 questions to ask before hiring a real estate professional to help you sell your home. Why Work With a Real Estate Pro in the First Place? The idea of putting up a “For Sale, By Owner” sign has obvious appeal because there’s no commission to pay. But most buyers themselves typically use agents and a buyer’s agent might…

7 Reasons Not to Buy a House

Maybe you still consider home ownership the fastest path to the “American dream.” Maybe you’re fed up with increasing rent rates and think paying a mortgage every month could actually be cheaper. Maybe you think buying a house is the best way to get enough room for your growing family or your best (furry) friend. There are many wonderful reasons to take on home ownership, but just as many to avoid it … at least for now. Trying to decide whether you’re ready to buy a house? If any of these seven bullets apply to you, you should wait before…

Outsourcing Home Maintenance: Costs and Benefits

With a rise in services such as Angie’s List, Thumbtack and Zaarly, today you can outsource just about any home maintenance task. But should you? Before picking up the phone and shelling out the cash for maintenance help, consider the pros and cons of outsourcing home maintenance versus doing it yourself. You may find the cost is completely worth it. Or, you may decide to save instead. If you currently pay for a home maintenance service you’re not alone. A recent Bankrate survey found more than three in five homeowners use at least one recurring home maintenance provider. These services…

Updates For Your Home to Stay in it Forever

Your home is perfect for you. You love the neighborhood, the yard, the space. It’s where your kids grew up and where your grandkids come to play. You can’t imagine yourself living anywhere else. While many people think they have to leave their homes behind as they get older, aging in place is a growing trend in the home improvement world. Many families make modifications and updates to their home, allowing them to age in place by following the basic principles of Universal Design. Some updates require more extensive planning and come with a hefty cost. But a surprisingly number…

Can You Afford to Live Alone? Things to Consider Before Moving Into Your Own Space

Living with a roommate may bring on daydreams about what it would be like to live all by yourself. To wake up and go to sleep when you want, bring friends or dates over without consideration for your roommates’ schedules, to take long showers, watch whatever you want on TV and maybe wait to wash those dishes in the morning. However, like most daydreams, living alone isn’t always you imagined it would be. It’s important to consider what you’re really getting into before you commit to being the only name on a new lease. Here are some things to do…

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

Have you ever compared the purchase price of your home with the amount you’ll actually end up spending to pay it off over the life of the mortgage? If you have, you’ll know the sobering realization that comes with seeing just how much your home will cost you, and the inevitable question that follows – should I pay off the mortgage now, so I don’t have to fork over all that interest? It’s an exhilarating thought, freeing up so much extra cash. But when it comes down to it, whether you should actually pay off your mortgage early is dependent…

3 Reasons Why Location Influences Home Insurance Rates

Location. Location. Location. We’ve all heard this common phrase in real estate and understand it can affect the market price of homes. What many don’t know is location also impacts home insurance rates. When determining your homeowners’ insurance rate, insurance companies take many factors into consideration. Each insurer has its own underwriting criteria and factors that influence rates. While some criteria are standard, some vary from one company to the next. For example, one insurer may prefer new construction. Another may choose not to insure homes built using certain materials, such as log homes. The insurer is assessing risk. Each…

Buying a Home? 5 Steps to Avoid Surprises

Buying a home is likely the biggest financial transaction of your life. With so much on the line, it is important to take the right steps to prepare for the home search and buying process. From figuring out how much home you can afford to signing your closing documents, follow these steps to prepare to buy a home and avoid unpleasant surprises. Calculating Your Home Purchase Budget Before you start looking for homes, it is important to understand how much home you can afford. There is nothing worse than going house hunting, finding a dream home and figuring out you…

Tips on Saving for a First-Time Home Down Payment

Whenever the subject of buying a first home comes up, the conversation often turns to current interest rates. To hear some people talk, all it takes is the right interest rate to make home buying happen. While that can be, and often is, true, there are plenty of people for whom interest rates aren’t the primary concern. In fact, many would love to get to the point of worrying about interest rates. It’s that pesky down payment that concerns them. It’s recommended that homebuyers put down 20 percent or more in order to secure good financing. With the median home…

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