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Disaster Strikes Your Second Home: Are You Prepared?

Once you decide you’re financially ready to buy a vacation home, one important step is insuring your new pad. It’s different than buying insurance for a primary residence. Factors such as where it’s located, who stays there and what amenities are available will help determine your home insurance needs. Your Vacation Home Versus Mother Nature For many people, the whole idea of a vacation home is to be closer to a sandy beach or among the crisp mountain air. That perfect location for rest and relaxation may come with some additional insurance costs. Hurricane season and intense rainstorms underscore the importance of knowing your coverage. The point applies to primary residences and vacation homes. When hurricane Florence hit in September 2018, more than 30 million people were under a flood watch and media outlets reported only about 3 percent of North Carolina and South Carolina homeowners held insurance policies.  And…

Home Mortgage: What’s the Difference Between Being Preapproved and Prequalified

Fall is an ideal time to shop for a new home. The market has quieted from the frenzy of spring and summer real estate activity. And prices may be lower, as sellers work to close a deal before the traditionally slow market during the holidays. Before you engage a real estate agent or spend a weekend visiting open houses, do a little homework so you’ll be ready to find your next home. A crucial task is assessing how likely you are to get approved for the mortgage amount you may seek. You’ll hear the terms preapproved and prequalified. Both have value and the terms are often interchangeable. One will get you closer to obtaining a mortgage, however, so it’s important to understand the difference. Prequalification for a Mortgage Getting prequalified for a mortgage is a preliminary step in which a lender takes a basic assessment of your financial situation to…

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 before you make the decision to live alone: Take Your Time No matter how badly you want to get into your own space, signing the first lease you come across is a bad idea. In the few months before you make the leap to living alone, in addition to considering…

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 factor reviewed helps the insurance company determine your home’s risk level. This directly correlates with your home insurance rate. So, how does location play a role in risk? According to Bradley Rynearson, a sales manager at SelectQuote, everything from state regulations to weather to your home’s proximity to a fire…

Things to Consider Before Buying a Rental Property

Most everyone can use some extra, reliable income. That’s what makes the prospect of a rental property so attractive; it’s a long-term investment that, if managed well, can bring in long-term returns. But like any significant investment, a rental property is nothing to rush into. There’s homework to do. For instance, you’re not just buying a house—you’re establishing a business. Check with the local government about minimum requirements for rental properties. Knowing those requirements will be important when you actually shop for a property. You’ll want to find one that won’t need a lot of investment to bring it up to code. Here are some other things to consider before buying that first rental property. Can You Afford to Get Into This in the First Place? Buying a rental property isn’t like buying a primary residence. For instance, as a business, it doesn’t come with the tax benefits and down-payment…

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