- Check the operation of all ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets by pushing the “test” button. The “reset” button should pop out, indicating the receptacle is operating properly. Press in the reset button
- Check inside bathroom vanities and kitchen sink cabinets for moisture and other signs of leaks.
- Carefully inspect pipes for condensation or slow drips. Repair the plumbing system if necessary
- Review the family fire escape plan with every household member
- Check smoke & carbon monoxide detectors – replace batteries if needed.
- Inspect the Chimney (including the flu) and Roof (check flashing)
- Check exterior of home (stucco and/or wood siding)
- Check windows & doors for drafts – Caulk or weather strip if needed
- Clean gutters and downspouts
- Inspect your heating system, replace filters replace filters
- Survey attics & insulation – lower your heating bill by maintaining proper insulation
- Unpack and test all electrical holiday decorations. Repair or discard any that do not function properly
Many factors are weighed in determining how much your insurance company will charge you in terms of premiums for your home insurance. An understanding of these factors can help you to know how to manipulate them to your advantage, so that you get a cover at the lowest price possible.
There may be some elements which are increasing your insurance premiums that you might not be able to change that easily, such as the risk in your neighborhood. Moving to a new location is usually a huge undertaking for most people, especially when they are living in their family homes.
That said, the truth is with some simple home improvements, most of the other factors that are driving your rates through the roof can be easily taken care of. Here are five ways how to achieve this:
1. Alarm systems
Insuring against burglary sure does put on the heavyweight to lessen the price tag of the insurance policy. Well, the cost of that will be reduced significantly if you just show your insurance company that you are doing something to deter them.
Installing an alarm system in your home can get you a cut of up to 5% on your rates, so do having deadbolts and locks installed in your doors. Have a highly sophisticated alarm system set up; you will see price cuts of up to 20% in your premiums depending on your insurance company. Make sure you consult with them first before you pour out all your money into that though!
2. Smoke detector
Another key thing that you want your home insured against is fire. Statistics show that most fatal fires occur in homes without a smoke detection system, since that would have raised an alarm before the fire got out of hand.
It does make perfect sense that you should install a smoke alarm system in your home then, does it not. Installing smoke detectors will not only make your house safer, it guarantees another 5% off on premiums. Having fire extinguishers strategically placed in every floor of your house or in every room should also get you good discounts on your premiums.
3. Plumbing systems
Most water damage in homes occurs not because of external forces causing water to invade your home but simply, poor plumbing systems. Upgrade your plumbing systems; you should be able to get a 10% discount on your homeowner’s insurance premiums. Plumbing systems should be upgraded every 10 years or so.
Another nice touch you could add is to upgrade your home’s wiring connections as well. This is good for you and good for your premiums too.
4. Impact resistance
Fortify your home to make it more impact resistant and you will reap the benefits. Many things can cause impact on your house structure. Think of someone hurling a rock through your window or a severe storm attacking your roof. Invest in shatterproof windows and cover your roof with impact resistant substances to guard against such likelihoods. Protecting your home against this will lower your insurance risk and thus your premiums.
5. Get rid of those liabilities!
Just think about it, do you really need to have a swimming pool in your backyard? It might seem like fun but a swimming pool increases the amount of risk you are exposed to in the home, and it will cause you to pay much, much more in terms of your home insurance premiums. A pitbull is another such liability that you ought to reconsider. Thousands of dollars are paid every year to people claiming compensation for pitbull bites, your insurance company does not want to deal with that and if you force them, they will make you pay for it. Chances are that having the dog actually puts you more at risk rather than guaranteeing your safety.
Where you live might be a liability as well. If you are not too attached to the area, you should really consider moving if it is labeled a high-risk zone. The move will not only lower your home insurance premiums, it will lower your life insurance rates as well.
As you can see, setting lower home insurance premiums is as easy as showing your insurance company that you are taking steps to guard against some of the main risks that you are facing. Follow these 5 simple rules and you will see the difference for yourself!
As you go about your daily life in your home and you notice you family’s needs, you may have considered adding a house addition. Perhaps you want a family room? Maybe you want to expand the kitchen? Maybe another bathroom is needed? Before you commit to any expensive, inconvenient project, consider these things before breaking ground and writing that first check.
Will the house addition add value?
Just because your family needs extra space doesn’t mean that the next buyer will agree. Before you draw up any plans, talk to an expert, like a real estate agent, who will know what houses similar to yours are selling for. If the agent knows your neighborhood well, he will be able to advise you on whether your project is an asset or a liability. Skipping this step could cost you thousands when you sell your home.
Have you considered your neighborhood zoning policies?
Many neighborhoods have strict guidelines about what can and can’t be built on existing homes. Contact your city government offices and find out what permits need to be applied for and what procedures need to be followed.
Do you have architects, designers or contractors lined up to help you?
A professional can tell you if your big idea is doable. The construction, electricity and plumbing design of your home may dictate how you complete this job. Don’t guess. Get a pro’s opinion.
Will your family be able to endure the disruption? Some home additions require water and electricity to be turned off. Can your family go about their daily lives with this interruption? Can you manage getting everyone to school and work while stepping around a mess? You may need to postpone this project until your family is better able to handle the change.
Are you under a deadline?
Conventional wisdom says that most construction projects take longer than you expect. If you are under a deadline, keep this in mind. Plan for the unexpected. You will be glad you did.
Do you have resources?
Before you commit to any project, make sure you have several expert bids on what everything will cost. Then budget extra money to cover the surprises. You don’t want this project to put you too far into debt or create financial stress. Plan ahead.
Do you have contractors you can trust to complete the job? Get as many bids as you can for this job and check references. Don’t go with the lowest bid, go with the contractors who not only respect your ideas, but will meet your deadlines, work under budget and be the most professional.
An addition to your home can be just exactly what your family needs. Before you agree to it, consider all of these issues. Home additions are not just about adding more space, they’re also an investment of your time, emotions, and money. With consideration of all these issues, your home improvement project will be the best it can be.
This guest post was provided by Renovantage, offering home renovation contracting services for residents in Toronto and surrounding areas. To see how one of their certified general contractors can help you, visit http://renovantage.com
- Don’t we all hang out at Starbucks surfing Facebook and Google Plus, telling our families we are pulling listing and comps for a new client.
- Mother finally feels I made it because I drive a nice car, that is always clean because the big commission I get from leasing apartments such as Trump Towers
- Truila and Zillow well no comment
- HGTV well yes this is what my wife, brother, father and best friend things I should do
- However I give people the dream of owning a home ! The American dream!
- But in reality as a Realtor I push a lot of paper, and drive a lot of people around. My day is emailing, faxing, guiding people to fill out forms, driving people from one location to another and dealing with the other good, bad and ugly agents who can make a transaction smooth or be a thorn in your side
Was the Realtor scared to ask the raiders fans to take down their classy banner? Or did the Realtor feel if the focus is on the postbox people will miss the Raiders banner? Maybe he wanted to point out the class of the neighborhood, show potential buyers it is such a safe neighborhood they get mail to a non-locked mailbox. We will never know what the Realtor was thinking, but at least we got a laugh.
Tell us in the comment section your thoughts on the photo and where the Realtor was going with his artistic view.