home insurance

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…

Moving to “Level Up” Your Real Estate and Finances

In real estate, there is a concept known as a “starter home.” A starter home is a lower cost home that works great for current needs, but may not be a perfect fit for the long-run. While moving is expensive and can be quite a hassle, it can help you level up your real estate and personal finances at the same time. Needs Change Over Time When you move into your first home, you may not have kids, you may not have a dog and you may not have a significant other. But fast forward a few years and life…

What You Need to Know Before Renting Your Home on Airbnb

As of early 2017, more than 150 million people have used Airbnb, the world’s most popular online marketplace for short-term lodging. Globally, that translates into more than 500,000 stays every night. Still, the market isn’t saturated, especially in certain areas. If you want to become an Airbnb host, the platform – and its massive base of enthusiastic users – makes it easy. Still, there are some things to consider before making your property available to rent on Airbnb: Consider When, How and How Often You Want to Rent Depending on your personality, level of commitment and financial expectations, you can…

5 Top Reasons for Buying a House in Fall

Everyone knows the three main rules of buying a house in fall – location, location, location. Add to that a newer mantra of timing, timing, timing and you may have the perfect equation to get the best deal on the best home in your price range. Increasingly, fall is emerging as the best time to buy a house. A real estate data firm analyzed more than 32 million home sales since 2000 and found buyers get the very best price in October. The average sales price among those closings is 2.6 percent below the average full market value of the…

Extreme Home (and Car!) Makeover

Budgets being what they are, renovating your home or getting a new car may not be in the cards. And while it’s not the same as brand new, here are 10 tips to renew your love for your home and car  – without putting a major dent in your bank account. Home Lighten Up No need to install an expensive lighting system to completely change the look of your home. A few strategically-placed lamps can add dimension to any room. Even changing bulbs to more energy-efficient LEDs available in “warm white,” “soft white” and “bright white” can completely transform your…

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