Karen Adelson - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty



Posted by Karen Adelson on 8/1/2017

Home insurance is something that every homeowner needs, but not necessarily something that everyone understands. Itís a great idea to have homeownerís insurance because it protects your home and all of your possessions. Yet, this insurance is in fact a requirement. Mortgage companies require borrowers to have this protection when they buy a home. Youíll need protection for the amount of what is deemed the ďfair valueĒ of your home. This fair value is usually based on the price of purchase. Some renters are even required to have insurance for their property. As stated above, this type of protection is a smart idea. 


What A Home Insurance Policy Covers


The terms of home insurance can be very confusing. Most policies will cover damage to the outside of your home. This will include vandalism, fire, lightning, hurricanes, or down trees that may hit the home. The insurance company will estimate the amount of damage and provide you with funds so that the damage can be repaired. In extreme cases, your home may need to be completely rebuilt. Home insurance does not typically cover floods, earthquakes and home maintenance issues. You may need separate policies or extended policies to get these items covered based on where you live. The interior of your home is covered by home insurance as well. This includes clothing, appliances, furniture and electronics if they are destroyed by something that affects your home. 


Off-Premises Coverage


Some home insurance policies have coverage that includes items that belong to you, no matter where you are when something happens. If you lose jewelry on a trip to Europe, for example, you can get a homeownerís policy that will cover that. This type of coverage does have strict limits, however, so donít expect your insurance company to give you 100% of the value of your gold necklace that you lost in Paris! This type of coverage is great for items like engagement rings. 


Liability


Your homeownerís insurance also includes a liability clause. This includes injuries that occur on your property that have been caused by you or your family. This will even include any problems caused by pets in the home. Beware that insurance companies can limit this type of coverage based on the type of dog breed that you own. Insurance companies may even decline to cover you based on the type of dog you own. If a dog bite does occur on your property and you have a breed that works within the insurance companyís limits, youíll be covered. If anyone is hurt on your property and files a lawsuit, youíre protected.     

 

Rates


Your insurance rates will be determined by many factors including the neighborhood, crime rates and the climate of the area. Before you choose a place to live, you may want to investigate the insurance costs before you settle on a place to buy.





Posted by Karen Adelson on 5/30/2017

You are required to get homeowners insurance when you purchase a home. You probably are so excited about buying a home that you neglect to learn the ins and outs of your policy. Unfortunately, there are many things that insurance wonít cover, yet many homeowners think that they are covered under their home insurance policy. Below, youíll find some things that are often not covered by your home insurance, even though you might think they are. 


Broken Pipes


While your home insurance will cover damage from water in your home (different than flood insurance), the policy probably wonít cover what it takes to fix broken pipes. Your best bet in this area is prevention. You should be sure that your pipes are insulated properly and that there is adequate airflow around the pipes in your cabinets.


Earthquakes


If an earthquake hits, youíre out of luck when it comes to your homeowners insurance policy. You typically need a separate policy to get earthquake coverage. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, youíll need to inquire about specific policies to protect your home from this type of natural disaster.


Floods


Youíll also need a separate policy in the event of a flood. Homeownerís policies do not cover damage or losses caused by flooding. You can get optional coverage and this is highly recommended, especially if you live near a body of water or in an area thatís prone to flooding.


A Sewer Backup


If a sewer backs up, youíll face some serious damage in your home. Unfortunately, your homeowners policy will not cover this type of damage. The repairs can be hefty. If you wish, you can always add this type of coverage to your policy. 


Only Portions Of Disasters May Be Covered


If a hurricane hits, any damage that has been caused by the wind will be covered by your home insurance policy. If you face flooding, however, and do not have a flood insurance policy, youíll be out of luck. Without extra coverage, some natural disasters can be a special disaster for you and your wallet. 


Keep Up The Maintenance On Your Home


Itís important to understand what is and isnít covered by your home insurance policy. When you know how to prepare for different situations, it will make caring for and maintaining your home and your financial future a lot easier. If you prepare accordingly for natural disasters as directed, and perform proper maintenance on your home, your insurance policy should act in the best interest for you. If you happen to live in an area where you are prone to natural disasters, make sure you get the appropriate additional coverage that youíll need to protect you.





Posted by Karen Adelson on 9/13/2016

Purchasing a home is a large investment and not one that anyone should make on a whim. Itís important to understand your maximum budget but also what you are comfortable spending, which may not be the same number as your maximum budget. But itís also important to fully understand the hidden costs that come with owning a home. Your mortgage payment is not the only payment you will be making each month and itís certainly not the only cost associated with owning a home. Letís take a look at some hidden costs listed below: Home Insurance: Insurance is something that you may know you need, but not a cost you are thinking about when house hunting. Therefore, the cost can sneak up on you. Be sure to factor in this cost, as it will be associated with your homeís location, age and value. For example, you are going to pay more if you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters such as floods or tornadoes. Home furnishings: Is this your first home or, at least, your first home that you would like to furnish with new furniture not hand-me-downs or a couch from craigslist? There also may be items that you need for this home that you did not need in your apartment such as a dining room table or spare bedroom bed frame and mattress. Furnishing your home can be a large expense and one that you should be saving up for. You donít need to go out and spend thousands on each item and you may want to spread out your purchases, but this is a very important cost to consider when purchasing a home. Appearance: When you purchase a home there may be things about the house that you want to change or update. This is something that not many factor in when buying the home as they are so wrapped up in the process of purchasing. However, even small updates cost money and if you spend all of your money on the down payment, you will not have any leftover to make those updates to make the home truly yours. Maintenance: If you previously rented, then maintenance is not something that you had to handle, as that is what your landlord was for. However, when you buy a home all maintenance and repairs fall on you. If you are purchasing an older home itís extremely important to understand what needs to be updated or replaced now or in the near future, such as the water heater, furnace or roof. Itís possible that you may get the previous homeowner to take care of this if itís in need at the time of selling, but if these updates/replacements take place a couple years down the road then itís up to you to take care of it. There is also the general maintenance of your home such as landscaping and snow removal. Will you purchase your own equipment or hire a service? Either way, this is an additional expense. Utilities: Often times many utilities are included in your rent. Well, this is not the case when owning a home. If the home does not have a septic system then you will need to pay for water and sewerage. You will have to pay for your own cable, Internet, and phone, and letís not forget about electricity. Itís important to understand all of the utilities that you will have to pay when you purchase a home. Property Taxes: Property taxes vary by town, but will always be an additional cost when owning a home. And, this cost will increase if you make additions or significant updates to your home. More desirable/expensive locations will have higher property taxes. This is often a cost that catches many off guard so be sure to research the locations where you are house hunting to see if you can afford the property taxes on top of all of the other associated costs. This is not meant to discourage anyone but shed light on the costs that many do not consider when they are house hunting. Make sure your budget allows for your mortgage payment and the expenses listed above that are tailored to your situation and you will have no problem becoming and staying a homeowner.