Bianca Guevara's Blog
Every Florida homeowner knows that they need home insurance, but the details can be foggy. Home insurance protects your investment in your home and your possessions. Your mortgage company will expect that you purchase home insurance before you’re even able to secure a loan. Your home has a fair value. That’s the number amount in coverage that you’ll need for your home loan. This value is determined based on the price that you bought the home for.
Policies Differ Greatly
You’ll need to look at your home insurance policy very carefully. The terms can vary based on the company, the area you live in, and how much coverage you choose. Many plans will only cover the exterior or the interior of your home. Certain types of natural disasters like floods or earthquakes may also require add-ons to the policy. Most policies include the following:
Damage from lightning
Damage from hurricanes
If your property does suffer a loss, your insurance company will first give you an estimate of the damage. Then, they’ll pay you so you can get the damage fixed. Your insurance company can even recommend certain professionals to you for the repairs to be made. In extenuating circumstances, your property may need to be rebuilt entirely.
Insurance Doesn’t Cover Everything
There are certain things that your home insurance won’t cover. Living in Florida, you may want to take a closer look at your policy. While your home insurance may cover damage caused by a hurricane, it won’t cover flooding or water damage. You may need to add things to your home insurance policy to cover yourself. Keep in mind that home insurance doesn't usually include routine home maintenance.
The Interior Of Your Home
Your home insurance will cover most of the contents of your home. These items include furniture, electronics, clothing, appliances, and other belongings. If your dishwasher breaks, you can’t call your insurance company, but if a tree falls on your home and your dishwasher is affected, your insurance company can certainly help you out.
Each Policy Covers Something Different
You may be surprised at what your home insurance policy does cover. Your insurance may include things that aren’t in your home. If your diamond tennis bracelet is stolen while you’re on vacation, you can call your home insurance company even if the item wasn't in your home at the time. Depending on the type of policy you have you may have partial coverage for many of your more expensive possessions no matter where you take them.
With rent prices soaring in many areas of the U.S., renters are starting to consider whether now is the right time to start saving for a down payment on a home.
Depending on where you live and what your timeline is for buying a house, you might be wondering the same thing.
So, in today’s post, we’re going to talk about how to break down your rental costs to determine whether it makes more sense to buy a home rather than continue renting.
Add up your rental costs
There are any number of costs associated with renting depending on your lease agreement. Some renters are required to pay their own heating and utilities, while others have several bonuses thrown into the cost of their rent, such as internet, gym memberships and more.
So, take a minute to write down each of your rental expenses. To get you started, here’s a list of some of the most common costs for renters:
Now that you know how much you put toward renting each month, it’s time to take a look at what it could cost you to own a home.
The key thing to remember about buying a home is that your costs can vary widely based on the size of your home, where it’s located, and a number of other factors. However, you can often find area averages online.
If you’re considering a starter home (which you should!), then you’ll want to look at houses in your area that are on the lower end of the market.
To get an idea of what your mortgage payments and monthly interest will be, you can use a free tool like Bankrate.
Now, let’s make a list of your homeowner expenses:
Heating and AC costs (plan for higher costs than renting due to more space)
Property taxes (divided by 12)
Mortgage insurance (if you don’t have a 20% down payment saved)
Cost-benefit analysis of owning a home vs renting
Now that you know the general costs, you’re getting close to knowing whether it would be cheaper or more expensive to buy a home than rent.
However, that isn’t the full picture. When you own a home, you’re responsible for maintenance and upkeep. That means you should budget around $250 per month toward maintenance. Even if you don’t use that amount each month, there’s a good chance you’ll have to make a repair or upgrade, or even hire a professional to come and fix something on your home.
The final piece of the picture involves home equity. When you own a home, most of the money you pay each month to your lender will come back to you in the form of equity. As a renter, your money goes to your landlord and will never be seen or heard from again.
So, if you’ve added up your lists, accounted for maintenance costs, and still have enough left over to live comfortably each month by buying a home, you can most likely bet on buying as being a better option.
If not, it might pay off to rent for another year or two while you save up for a down payment so you can get the lowest interest rate and avoid PMI.
Selling your home presents many opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, home sellers have an opportunity to earn a profit if they can stir up substantial interest in their properties. Comparatively, selling a home can be difficult, particularly for property sellers who are working in a buyer's market.
Ultimately, the home selling experience should be memorable for all the right reasons, and we're here to help you get the most out of the property selling journey.
What does it take to enjoy an unforgettable home selling experience? Here are three tips to ensure you can do just that.
1. Conduct a Home Appraisal
You love your home, but you also understand that your residence is far from perfect. As such, a home seller should perform a property appraisal before adding his or her house to the real estate market.
During a home appraisal, a property expert will examine your residence and identify any problem areas. That way, you can uncover "hidden" problems with your residence and correct these issues as needed.
A home appraisal is exceedingly valuable, especially for home sellers who want to get the best price for a property. The appraisal may require only a few hours to complete and will provide you with comprehensive insights into your home's strengths and weaknesses.
2. Prep Your Home's Exterior and Interior
Your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on property buyers, so why not make the most of it?
With a dazzling home exterior, you can boost your home's chances of generating plenty of interest from property buyers.
Home exterior improvements often are simple to complete. In fact, quick, easy tasks like mowing the front lawn or removing dirt and debris from walkways can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers.
Don't forget to clean your home's interior as well. Mopping the floors, wiping down countertops and performing other home interior maintenance may help your residence stand out to property buyers during home showings and open houses.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
With a real estate agent at your side, you should have no trouble enjoying a terrific home selling journey.
A real estate agent is a housing market professional who understands what it takes to sell a residence. He or she can provide extensive insights into real estate market trends and ensure you can make informed home selling decisions.
Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf and promote your residence. This housing market professional also will respond to your home selling concerns and queries. By doing so, a real estate agent can help you accelerate the home selling cycle and optimize the value of your residence.
When it comes to selling your home, hiring a real estate agent is a must. This real estate professional will go above and beyond the call of duty to streamline the home selling process and help you can get the best results possible.
A buyer's market can challenge even the most diligent home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you stir up plenty of interest in your house, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to sell your residence in a buyer's market.
1. Assess the Housing Market
You know a buyer's market favors homebuyers over home sellers, but you still have no idea how this market operates. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to learn about the local real estate sector, you'll be better equipped than ever before to maximize the value of your home.
Take a look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. That way, you can see how long these homes are generally available before they sell. You also can examine the sold prices of these houses to better understand how you should price your residence.
Furthermore, you should assess the prices of available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own. This housing market data can help you establish a competitive price for your residence from day one.
2. Perform a Home Inspection
A home inspection commonly is performed after a seller accepts a buyer's offer on a house. However, if you perform an inspection before you add your residence to a buyer's market, you can take a proactive approach to address various home problems.
During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence and detail his or her findings. You then can use the home inspection results to prioritize home improvement projects and upgrade your residence. As a result, you can enhance your house and find ways to differentiate it from the competition.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Selling a home in a buyer's market is exceedingly difficult, especially for those who choose to work alone. Thankfully, real estate agents are available to guide you along the home selling journey and ensure you can achieve the optimal results.
By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive extensive assistance at each stage of the home selling journey, even in a buyer's market. First, a real estate agent will learn about you and your home, as well as your home selling goals. This housing market professional then will offer recommendations to help you enhance your home and ensure it stands out to potential buyers. Next, a real estate agent will list your residence and host open house events and home showings. And if a buyer submits an offer on your house, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and make an informed decision.
When it comes to selling a home in a buyer's market, there is no need to worry. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can separate your residence from the competition and boost the likelihood of a profitable home sale.
Selling a house may prove to be problematic, particularly for individuals who fail to allocate time and resources to learn about the real estate market. Lucky for you, we're here to help you navigate the housing sector and ensure you can avoid home selling crises.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you list your residence and maximize its value.
1. Create an Informative House Listing
Think about your house's pros and cons. Then, you can put together an informative home listing that makes it easy for buyers to fall in love with your residence.
Of course, when you craft a home listing, it pays to be honest. If you include pertinent, accurate house information in your listing, you can help buyers determine whether your residence is the right choice.
Don't forget to incorporate high-resolution photos into your house listing too. If you include home listing photos that showcase the size and beauty of your house, many buyers soon could set up showings to view your residence.
2. Conduct a House Appraisal
When it comes to selling your house, it helps to establish an aggressive initial asking price. That way, you can list your house at a price that matches or exceeds buyers' expectations.
Establishing an aggressive initial asking price for your home, however, may prove to be difficult. But if you conduct a house appraisal, you can get a home valuation from a property expert to help you set a fair price for your residence.
In many instances, a homeowner can receive a house appraisal report within a few days. Once you have this report at your disposal, you can review your property valuation and set an aggressive initial asking price for your home.
3. Employ a Real Estate Agent
There is no need to embark on the home selling journey alone. Thankfully, you can hire a real estate agent who is unafraid to be honest with you at each stage of the home selling cycle.
A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to sell a house, regardless of the present housing market's conditions. As such, he or she will work with you to determine the best way to streamline the home selling journey.
Oftentimes, a real estate agent will learn about you and your home selling goals. He or she then will craft a custom home selling strategy designed to help you achieve the optimal results. Next, a real estate agent will promote your residence to dozens of potential buyers and set up home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you examine the pros and cons of this proposal and make an informed decision.
Don't let problems get the best of you during the home selling journey. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can reduce the risk of problems that otherwise can prevent you from enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.