Melissa Barth's Blog
Homeowner’s insurance allows you to have financial protection if your home or the contents of your home have been damaged. If you or your family member are held legally responsible for injuries that have occurred on your property, you are also protected. Insurance is generally required by most mortgage lenders in order to secure a loan.
There are many different types of insurance policies that you can use to cover your home. You can get anything ranging from a basic insurance policy that just covers your home overall or you can go for broader protection for your home. The types of coverage that you can get will vary from state to state.
Most insurance policies will cover damage caused by fire, wind, lightning, theft, or vandalism. Floods and earthquakes typically require additional coverage, so if you live in an area that is susceptible to these issues, then you should inquire about additional coverage.
The Standard Policy
Most insurance policies include certain basic coverages like dwelling coverage which is the allowance for you to either repair or rebuild your home. This includes the electrical systems, the plumbing systems, and the HVAC systems. You need enough coverage for your home in order to rebuild in the event that such an event would cause a need for it. Your insurance agent can help you to find a comfortable number that will allow you enough coverage for rebuilding.
Standard coverage also may include “other structures” which can include fences, garages, cottages, and sheds. You’ll also be covered for your personal property which includes clothing, furniture, and electronics that may be damaged in your home due to theft or disaster.
Loss Of Use Coverage
This type of coverage will pay for your living expenses if you need to move out of your home while it’s being rebuilt or restored. This would allow you to find alternative arrangements when you need it most, so it’s an important aspect of home insurance coverage.
This coverage is one of the most important aspects of purchasing home insurance. Having liability will help to protect your assets and cover defense costs in the event that you have been held liable for causing and injury to other people or property.
Additional Coverage Options
There are many different types of additional coverages that you can add to your homeowners insurance policy to help you get the right umbrella of coverage for you.
We all like a clean home. As many times as we go through our daily and weekly cleaning routines, our homes can still be dirty. There’s plenty of places in your home that you might be neglecting to clean. These places are germ breeders. Especially to help prevent the spread of cold and flu, it’s important to keep these frequently used areas germ-free. The good news is that cleaning often overlooked spots is very simple. We’ll tell you where you need to clean and how with the tips below.
The Refrigerator Handles
While you’re preparing dinner, it’s very likely that you will need to open the fridge door more than once. You may surface clean the outside of the fridge, but often forget the handles that everyone grabs to get in and out of this appliance. You should scrub the handles down on a weekly basis with a mix of hot water and vinegar.
Your Computer And All The Accessories
You probably spend a lot of time at your desk and at the keyboard of your computer. Think of the times you have spilled things, sneezed on your computer, or just plain sweat while sitting there. There’s a ton of germs breeding all around your computer and its accessories. Make sure you do more than dust your computer off. Take off the accessories and scrub them every so often. If you have a laptop, turn the unit off and use a damp cloth to wipe it down.
While you probably remember to brush your teeth twice a day, you may not remember to clean your toothbrush holder very often. You can easily throw toothbrush holders right in the dishwasher. Also, boil the toothbrushes themselves in water for a few minutes every so often. This is especially important during times of cold and flu to keep viruses from spreading.
The faucets are perhaps one of the dirtiest places in your entire home. Be sure that you’re cleaning the handles and the faucet itself on a regular basis. You can do this with hot water and dish soap (something that’s already nearby!) For a deeper, disinfecting clean, use a paste of baking soda and vinegar.
These great little inventions protect your tables from having the finish damaged by glasses and cups. Without a cleaning once in awhile, they can build up residue and bacteria. Be sure to give them a once over with warm water and soap.
Some other areas that could use cleaning in your home:
- Light switches
- Cabinet handles
- TV remotes
- Coffee makers
While your home looks clean, you want it to be clean. By following these tips and by paying attention to the most used areas of your home, you’ll be on your way to a deep clean that avoids breeding germs.
Dighton, MA 02715
As you go on the house hunt, you’re likely to attend many different open houses. After awhile you can get confused as to what you have seen and where you saw it. Each open house or home showing is only a short window of time. As a buyer, you’re trying to get the feel for a house. Being an observant home shopper can help you to avoid a lot of problems down the road. Check out some of the biggest red flags that you need to look out for when you attend an open house.
The Candles Are Burning Bright
You walk into an open house and see a lovely candle lit on the kitchen table. While it may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, it’s not always a good sign. Candles are a great way to mask odors. There could possibly be a musty odor coming from the sink, the basement, or another part of the house. This spells hidden damage and possible danger for you as a homebuyer. While the home inspection should pick up on things like this, you don’t necessarily want to get that far in the process. The art of masking odors could be a sign that the sellers are trying to hide something.
Be Your Own Inspector
As you walk through the home do you notice squeaky floor boards, cracks in the walls, cracks in the ceilings, or a drippy faucet? Maybe you see some patches on the walls or mirrors and paintings that seem out of place? These are all issues that could be signs of a greater problem. Keep in mind that no house is perfect, but you should do a little investigating on your own while walking through the house at showings.
The Home Doesn’t Appear Cared For
Curb appeal is one thing, but a home that looks unkept is a sign of a larger problem for you. Has the lawn been mowed? Is the fence in disrepair? How does the home appear from the outside at first glance? There are plenty of ways that you can fix up a home to make it your own once you buy it, but the question is just how much of a challenge are you up for? There is always a chance that you’ll have large maintenance costs when a home hasn’t been properly maintained by the previous owners.
Searching for homes and going to open houses can be fun. It can also be an educational experience to help you narrow down what you’re looking for and what you can handle as a homeowner.
For first-time homebuyers, going from property buyer to property owner may seem virtually impossible. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of buying a home.
Now, let's take a look at three questions that every first-time homebuyer needs to consider:
1. What is my "dream" residence?
One first-time homebuyer's definition of a "dream" residence may differ from another's. As such, you should consider what you'd like to find in a dream house before you begin your real estate search.
Creating a checklist of "must-haves" and "wants" in your house often serves as a great starting point for first-time homebuyers. This checklist will enable homebuyers to consider what they'd like to find in a dream home and plan accordingly.
Also, it is important to establish realistic expectations before you kick off a home search.
Many terrific houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, but no home is likely to have every feature that you desire in a dream residence.
Therefore, if you establish realistic expectations for your home search, you can avoid potential let-downs as you explore a broad array of high-quality houses.
2. How will I pay for a home?
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is vital for a first-time homebuyer, and for good reason. With pre-approval for a mortgage, you'll know what you can afford to spend on a home before you enter the real estate market.
Many banks and credit unions are happy to meet with you to discuss your mortgage options. These lenders can outline the differences between adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages, help you assess your credit score and ensure you can make an informed mortgage decision.
Furthermore, lenders can answer any mortgage questions that you may have. They can help you evaluate your current financial situation and enable you to obtain a mortgage that won't force you to revamp your day-to-day budget.
3. How do I begin searching for a house?
Beginning a home search is easy, particularly for first-time homebuyers who work with expert real estate agents.
An expert real estate agent understands what it takes to find a wonderful house at a budget-friendly price. In fact, he or she will do everything possible to help you navigate the housing market quickly and effortlessly.
Typically, an expert real estate agent will keep you up to date about new homes as they become available, set up home showings and submit home offers on your behalf. This housing market professional also will offer honest, unbiased recommendations throughout the homebuying journey to help you select a house that matches or exceeds your expectations.
When it comes to exploring the housing market, there is no need to work alone. Fortunately, you can hire an expert real estate agent who can help you get the best results possible during the homebuying journey.
Want to acquire your first home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can move one step closer to owning a top-notch house.