Alison Brown's Blog
When everyday people take out a homeowners' insurance policy, there is an expectation that you enjoy secure coverage in the event of a loss. That sigh of relief many people experience when signing off on a policy may be an illusion, to some extent. That’s because not every severe weather event is covered in standard policies.
If you are not mindful of what losses are covered, as well as those that are not, you could find yourself paying to repair catastrophic damage out-of-pocket. In order to avoid a personal financial tragedy on top of a damaged home, consider the following facts about severe weather damage, and promptly check your policy.
1: Severe Wind Damage Usually Covered
Standard homeowners policies generally cover damage caused by high winds. This may include tornadoes and hurricanes in many areas of the country. Policies often include structural damage, such as roofs and siding, among others. And, most will pay for losses such as personal items, fencing and even automobiles if you bundle your insurance. The caveat is that areas prone to hurricanes and tornadoes, such as the Gulf Coast and Southwest, frequently charge a premium to include a severe wind rider.
2: Damage From Hail Can Be Tricky
Although the majority of policies routinely cover hail damage, it’s not unusual to have an additional deductible on such claims. That’s because hail damage to roofs, automobiles and others rank among the most prevalent claims. Insurance companies are acutely aware of profits and losses.
3: Lightning Strikes Tend To Be Standard
Although the odds of you personally being struck by lightning are approximately 1 in 280,000, the chances of your home being hit are far greater. Upwards of 25 million lightning strokes touch ground in the U.S. each year, from about 100,000 thunderstorms. According to some math whizzes, the calculable odds come in at 1 in 200 homes annually. In reality, a reported 77,898 claims were filed in 2018, averaging $11,668 in losses. The good news is that insurance overwhelming covers lightning hits and any fire damage that ensues.
4: Consider “Flood Insurance” A Catch-All Phrase
If you live in a flood plain or nearby one, adding a flood insurance rider can be a significant additional expense. Even policies for homes outside a flood-prone area generally do not cover such damage without a rider. But what’s unique about flood insurance is that it may be lumped in with damage caused by water pipes that burst in your home. In terms of the way people generally think about “floods,” that is not a common understanding. It’s also important to note that insurance adjusters may reject such claims if they find evidence that proper upkeep measures were not taken.
5: Sewer Backups Caused By Heavy Rain May Not Be Fully Covered
Although plenty of policies cover the damage caused by the sewer backing up, they often do not cover replacing sewer lines and other items associated with the system. Replacing a sewer can routinely cost upwards of $20,000. It may be in your best interest to review that area of your policy and increase coverage.
Obviously, severe weather coverage can be complicated, and it’s difficult for the average homeowner to wade through the technical language used in today’s policies. Yes, they are widely written by attorneys and rife with legal jargon. But it’s crucial to your home, family and financial future to have the secure severe weather coverage you deserve. It may be time to dive into that policy and ask questions about what’s in it and what’s not. After that, you may genuinely be able to enjoy that sigh of relief.
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If you intend to sell your house, it generally helps to allocate time and resources to improve your home's condition. That way, you can impress potential buyers as soon as they see your residence.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can bolster your house's condition before you list your home.
1. Install Energy-Efficient Fixtures
Updating fixtures usually is quick and easy. Plus, if you install energy-efficient fixtures, you may be able to reduce your home energy consumption while you sell your house.
Energy-efficient fixtures use a fraction of the energy of traditional fixtures. Meanwhile, energy-efficient fixtures may prove to be a key differentiator for your house, one that is sure to garner homebuyers' attention.
2. Revamp Your Bathroom
Believe it or not, the appearance of your bathroom can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. If your bathroom looks modern and beautiful, it may help your house stand out to potential buyers. Conversely, if your bathroom appears small and outdated, it is unlikely to do you any favors as you try to sell your house.
To renovate your bathroom, you may want to replace the vanity, old plumbing and lighting fixtures. In addition, it may be beneficial to install a new tile floor that will help you transform your bathroom from drab to fab.
It also is important to keep in mind that bathroom renovations may prove to be less expensive than renovations in other areas of your house. Thus, if you complete assorted bathroom renovations, you may be able to increase your house's value without a significant time and resource investment.
3. Enhance Your Lawn
If you've failed to maintain your lawn over the years, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can replace patchy weeds and grass with fresh new sod to improve your house's condition and curb appeal.
Oftentimes, you can perform lawn care and maintenance on your own. But if you want expert help, you can always hire a professional landscaping company. Because with a team of professional landscapers at your side, you can quickly and effortlessly enhance your lawn.
For home sellers who want extra assistance as they get ready to list their houses, real estate agents are available to provide expert support as well.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with selling a house and can help a seller identify and address such issues. Furthermore, a real estate agent will provide a home seller with recommendations and suggestions about how to improve a house's condition.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will offer assistance at each stage of the home selling journey. From the moment a house is listed to closing day, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to guide a seller along the home selling process.
Ready to add your house to the real estate market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble beating the home selling competition thanks to the condition of your house.
Bolstering your house's curb appeal is paramount if you want to achieve the best-possible results during the property selling journey. In fact, there are many reasons why you may want to dedicate time and energy to enhance your home's curb appeal, and these include:
1. You can differentiate your home from the competition.
Your home only gets one chance to make a great first impression on potential buyers. If your home stands out to buyers, it may lead to many property showings. Meanwhile, these showings ultimately may result in one or several offers to purchase your residence in the near future.
If you are searching for ways to promote your residence to buyers, it often is beneficial to upgrade your house's curb appeal. Because if your home has a pristine front lawn and other amazing home exterior features, it may stand out to many buyers. And as a result, you may be able to distinguish your residence from comparable properties in your area.
2. You can speed up the house selling process.
The home selling process may prove to be long and difficult, particularly for a seller who is unsure about how to showcase his or her residence to the right groups of buyers. Fortunately, a home that has outstanding curb appeal may make it easy for a seller to speed up the house selling cycle.
Remember, a home's curb appeal enables a seller to make his or her residence an attractive option for potential buyers. And if a buyer falls in love with a home as soon as he or she sees it, this individual soon may be ready to purchase this residence.
3. You can maximize your home sale earnings.
The goal of a home seller is to generate lots of interest in his or her residence. That way, a seller can boost the likelihood of receiving multiple offers to purchase that are at or above his or her initial home asking price.
If you spend some time enhancing your house's curb appeal, you could make your residence an appealing option for buyers. Therefore, as buyers compete for your home, you may be able to reap the benefits of a profitable house selling experience.
As you prepare to sell your home and explore ways to upgrade your house's curb appeal, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you list your home and promote it to prospective buyers. Plus, he or she will help you establish an aggressive initial asking price for your residence, set up home showings and open house events and much more.
Devote time and energy to upgrade your home's curb appeal – you will be glad you did. It generally won't take long to improve a residence's curb appeal. And if you focus on your home's curb appeal, you likely won't need to wait long to generate interest in your house and receive a competitive offer to purchase your residence.
If you want to buy your dream house, you'll likely need to submit a competitive offer from the get-go. That way, you can boost the likelihood of receiving a "Yes" from a home seller and proceed along the homebuying journey.
Putting together a competitive homebuying proposal can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare a competitive offer to acquire your ideal residence.
1. Look at Your Homebuying Budget
Entering the real estate market with a budget in hand generally is beneficial. This budget will enable you to narrow your house search to residences that fall within a certain price range. Plus, your budget can help you define exactly how much you can offer to acquire a residence.
When it comes to mapping out a homebuying budget, you should meet with several lenders. These financial experts can help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. And with a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a house.
2. Review Housing Market Data
Housing market data can make or break a homebuying proposal. If you assess real estate market data closely, you can uncover a variety of patterns and trends. Then, you can use this information to craft a competitive offer that accounts for the present real estate market's conditions.
Of course, it helps to evaluate the age and condition of a house as well. Learning about all aspects of a house will help you determine whether to submit an offer at, above or below a seller's initial asking price for his or her residence.
The more information that you obtain about a residence and the current housing market's conditions, the better off you will be. Because if you take a data-driven approach to buying a residence, you can define a competitive offer for any home, in any housing market and at any time.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a difference-maker, particularly for a homebuyer who is uncertain about what differentiates a competitive home offer from a "lowball" proposal. In fact, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that you can acquire a great house at the lowest-possible price.
Typically, a real estate agent will provide you with a wealth of housing market insights. He or she also is happy to teach you about the real estate market and respond to any of your homebuying concerns or questions.
A real estate agent can offer recommendations about how much you should offer to pay for a house too. He or she will provide honest, unbiased homebuying suggestions to help guide you in the right direction throughout the homebuying cycle.
If you want to purchase your dream house as quickly as possible, there is no reason to delay any further. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can prepare a competitive offer to purchase your dream residence.