Jeanine Connor's Blog
When pests come into your home, there’s no creepier feeling that you may have as a homeowner. You may turn to your house insurance for assistance if the problem gets really bad. Let’s say that termites have taken over your home and gotten into your walls or foundation. Maybe mice have gotten into the walls of your home, or a squirrel has caused some major issues in the attic. Whatever the problem is, you want to remedy it quickly. It might be an expensive fix no matter what, but it has to be remedied for you to continue to live comfortably in your home.
The Truth About Homeowners Insurance
Unfortunately, homeowners insurance doesn't cover pest infestations. It doesn’t matter if the termites have literally eaten you out of house and home, the insurance companies consider pests to be an avoidable problem. Even though you may wonder how bugs can be considered “avoidable,” it’s simple. The insurance company believes that regular maintenance and checking of your property can help to prevent bug infestations. This is why it’s so important to take care of your property and not neglect it.
There are a few exceptions to the rule. If your ceiling caves in and it was caused by some of the pest damage, your insurance may cover the cost of the repairs to the ceiling. They may not cover the materials that are needed to repair the ceiling itself. Insurance claims can be tricky, so you’ll need to ask a lot of questions if these problems do occur for you.
What Homeowners Insurance Covers
There’s nothing more frustrating than paying an insurance premium to find out that it doesn’t actually cover anything that you need at a certain point and time. As a general rule, homeowners insurance policies cover things that are considered accidental. This would include natural disasters like hurricanes, hailstorms, or high winds. If a tree falls on your home due to a windstorm, there was really no way of preventing that from happening. Your insurance would cover this. Damage that happens over an extended period, like that of a pest infestation or an aging home generally is not covered by house insurance.
Some insurance companies do offer separate policies to cover damage from certain types of pests like termites. There are several varieties of insects that cause damage to wood structures, so these policies may be more general stating that they provide “wood destroying insect” coverage. If you live in an area that’s prone to termites, there’s a few options available to you including something called “termite bonds.”
Your best course of action as a homeowner is prevention. Keep up with regular maintenance around your home and inspect your home regularly for any problems that you may find.
Buying a new home is a big decision and one that many wonder if they are truly ready for.
Use this guide to determine if you are ready to start house hunting:
Thirty percent of your income can cover a mortgage payment for your ideal home
The ability to afford month to month payments is incredibly important. Staying within the recommended percentages when it comes to budgeting helps you failsafe your finances from potential future hardship. At the very least you want your mortgage payment to be as close as possible to the thirty percent marker of your income.
You’re in a secure job.
In addition to having an income that can sufficiently support the month to month payments you also want to ensure that that income is a reliable source. Signs of a reliable income are that you have been with your current company for longer than two years with several months at the same pay rate.
You have a great credit score
This one shouldn’t come as any surprise to you. A great credit score will not just increase your eligibility for financing but also for a great interest rate. If your score falls in the “good” region you can take steps to bring up your score fairly quickly, as far as scores go, before applying.
You have a down payment saved up
A down payment is a big savings goal to tackle. So if you’ve already done the math and saved up a sizeable sum for the downpayment on your dream house you are most certainly ready! Ideally, this amount should be around twenty percent of the sale price.
You’ve prepared a prospective budget
If you already have a down payment saved you at the very least have part of this step taken care of! Knowing your future homeowners budget doesn’t just include your typical expenses plus a mortgage payment. You also want to factor in homeowners insurance, potential HOA (Homeowner Association) fees, and maintenance costs.
You’re ready to build equity - or it’s your next financial goal
For those scratching their heads, equity is the amount of your home that you actually own. This is the ratio between your homes value, the amount you have paid and the amount you owe. As you continue to make payments on your home your equity grows. Equity can also increase if the value of your property increases.
You’re ready for stability
If you’re ready to settle down in one place for at least the next five years you’re looking for stability. Perhaps you’re ready to put down some roots and start a family or become a part of a local community. Owning your own home provides you a steady living expense, builds equity and gives you (almost) complete control of your lifestyle.
If there’s one room in the house most people long to be high end, it’s the bathroom. A room of relaxation and rest. The one place everyone can find time to themselves within, even if it’s two minutes. The bathroom is our sanctuary. And you don’t need to break the bank to create a luxe environment.
Frame a flat bathroom mirror with molding for a classic and one-of-a-kind look. Detailed millwork is synonymous with an upscale home because more time and effort has been put into the fine details. Pick a style of molding that matches your unique preferences and a wood stain or paint color to match the rest of your decor.
A new shower head isn’t immediately visible so it’s not a style upgrade. However, it’s an upscale lifestyle upgrade to be certain. A rain shower head provides a steady, even flow of water while covering more surface space.
Update the light fixture(s) in your bathroom to change the aesthetics and light quality. There are many sleek, minimalist vanity light fixtures on the market if you are looking to keep up with trends. For a dramatic change look for sconce shapes that differ from those already installed. If you have bell-shaped sconces look for a square or rectangular option. If you have bulbs try ovaluar or sleek coned shape sconce.
Install matching metal finishings from the faucet to drawer pulls. Sometimes as we update our homes feature by feature mismatched hardware happens. Take the opportunity to create a cohesive harmony throughout the room by matching knobs, faucets and light fixture finishes. Knobs being the most budget friendly and easiest to swap, try to match these to your existing hardware and not the other way around.
A new coat of paint can make the world of difference in any room. Bathrooms seem to seldom get the same playful attention to color as other rooms do. And a color from years past can dramatically date a room despite more classic pieces within it. Don’t be afraid to make a bold statement with a pop of color. Or cover up tired blue walls with a neutral shade for a high-end look.
Invest in a towel warmer for a luxe after-bathing experience. With many styles to choose from you’ll be sure to find one in a style that fits your current decor without a problem. Towel warmers come as drawers or as a rack. Racks either install on the wall or come as a stand-alone piece. All three options can utilize an outlet without having to be installed as a part of your electrical work like a light fixture would.
One surprising way to upgrade your bathroom is with plants. Look for varieties that thrive off of humidity to create a lush, paradise. Plants have a soothing effect and will have your bathroom feeling like a true oasis. If you don’t have a natural green thumb consult an expert at your local gardening center to find those that will do best in the lighting and air conditions of your bathroom.
A home showing represents an important opportunity for a homebuyer. And if you know the right questions to ask during a home showing, you can obtain the insights you need to determine whether a residence is right for you.
Ultimately, there are several crucial questions to ask during a home showing, and these include:
1. Why did the seller list this home?
There are many reasons why an individual may choose to sell his or her house. Yet this information rarely, if ever, is included in a home listing. Fortunately, a home showing gives you the opportunity to analyze a seller's perspective as you weigh the pros and cons of submitting an offer to acquire a residence.
If a seller listed a house due to severe home maintenance issues that have escalated over time, this is a red flag for any buyer. On the other hand, if a home seller simply is looking to upgrade or downgrade or prefers to live elsewhere, you may want to further pursue his or her residence.
2. Is there any flexibility on the home price?
The initial asking price of a home usually is flexible, but only to a certain extent. Determining the level of flexibility on an initial asking price is paramount, as this may dictate the offer that you make on a house.
However, it is important to submit a competitive home offer, regardless of whether a seller is flexible about the price of a residence. Because if you submit a competitive homebuying proposal, you can reduce the risk of missing out on an opportunity to purchase your ideal residence.
3. Is there anything else I need to know about this home?
Following an in-depth home showing, you likely will have lots of information about a house and its condition. To conclude the showing, you should ask if there is anything else you need to know about a residence. This will enable you to receive the final pieces of information you need to decide how to proceed with a home.
Remember, it is your duty as a homebuyer to make an informed decision. If you understand exactly what to ask during a home showing, you can obtain the insights you need to determine the best course of action.
When it comes to preparing for a home showing, it helps to get assistance from a real estate agent too. In fact, hiring a real estate agent will make it simple for you to navigate the ups and downs of the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent is happy to set up home showings and attend these events with you. He or she can provide comprehensive home insights throughout a home showing. Plus, after a home showing, a real estate agent will help you decide whether to submit an offer on a house or continue your pursuit of your dream residence.
Get ready for a home showing – collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can receive the help you need to fully analyze a house.