Archive for the ‘Homeowners’ Category

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Homeowner’s insurance (not to be confused with a home warranty) pays for losses and damage to your property if something bad happens, such as a fire or burglary. So while homeowner’s insurance protects your property from unforseen events. Private mortgage insurance is different—it protects the lender if you stop making payments on your loan. Standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover damage from earthquakes or floods, but can normally be added for additional charges. These charges can be considerable if you live in a high risk area.

When you have a mortgage, your lender wants to make sure your property is protected by insurance (to protect themselves from loss). That’s why you’re generally required to have homeowner’s insurance, and prove to your lender that you have it. If you don’t have insurance, your lender is allowed to actually buy it for you and charge you for it (with advanced notice).what does homeowners insurance cover?

A Fixed Rate Mortgage Doesn’t Always Mean Fixed Payments

With mortgage rates still near historical low levels, it’s one of the best times to get a fixed-rate mortgage. A fixed rate simply means that the mortgage lender charges you a fixed rate of interest that doesn’t ever change over the life of the loan. However, your monthly payment can still change!

If you get a fixed rate of 4.00 percent, you will be paying four percent in interest until you sell or refinance the home. The longer you make payments on a fixed rate loan, the more interest you pay down. The bulk of your interest payments is front-loaded into the beginning years of your loan schedule. This is best illustrated in an amortization table (see below). So the longer you own your home and pay on your mortgage, the greater percentage of your monthly payment goes to reduce principal. When you reduce principal, you build equity! san diego amortization table

Even with a fixed rate mortgage, your monthly payment can change in other ways. You may decide to roll the costs of your mortgage into your loan, in which case you’ll be paying the APR rate because the loan amount is higher, yet is still being compressed into the same loan term (in years).

Another way your monthly payment can change is by having private mortgage insurance (PMI). If you put less than 20 percent of your home’s purchase price as a down payment, lenders will require that you pay for PMI. Rates on PMI vary, but you can expect your payments to rise slightly over time.

Finally, if your mortgage payment includes homeowners insurance and property taxes, this can also change. You should receive a statement from your insurer when it’s time to renew your insurance, and your lender will divide the annual amount into monthly payments.

Your tax assessor’s office will send you a new statement annually. Your initial tax basis will be based on the purchase price of the home. After that, the assessor’s office will make adjustments to your home’s value as they feel is accurate. Of course, a change in value means a change in your property tax amount.

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Changes That Affect Your Homeowners Insurance

what to change your homeowners insurance coverageHomes often grow and change alongside the people living in them. If you’ve added expensive furnishings or made substantial upgrades, it’s important to re-evaluate your homeowners insurance and make sure your policy reflects those changes. Here are four instances when it may be beneficial to review and adjust your coverage.

Remodeling or Renovation Work
Home improvement projects typically increase the value of your home, which usually calls for more coverage. But that doesn’t necessarily mean your insurance rates will automatically increase. In fact, some projects, like adding a new roof, may help you save on your monthly home insurance premiums. Just be sure to notify your provider before any work begins.

Adding a Pool or an Outdoor Trampoline
Because these fun home features come with increased risk of injury, they’re labeled an attractive nuisance. Upping your liability insurance can help keep you protected if there’s ever an accident on your property and a subsequent lawsuit.

Acquiring New Valuables
Whether you inherit them or purchase them, expensive goods such as jewelry, art, rugs and antiques should be added to your policy. Increasing your coverage is the only way to safeguard them in the event of damage or theft.

Starting a Home Business
Many home-based business owners don’t realize they have little, if any, coverage from a homeowners or renters insurance policy. Since a new home business likely means purchasing new technology and expensive equipment, you may need to get additional protection.

You worked hard for your home. Secure your belongings by updating your coverage to match your circumstances.

Ryan Blanco-Realtor-San Diego Real Estate BlogAbout Me: I am a full time agent and I dedicate 100% of myself and my time to my valued clients in addition to the San Diego communities that I serve. It is imperative that I continuously evolve with local and national trends in addition to always looking ahead of the industry. It is a must to always provide the best service to my clients, their families and friends.




5 Home Improvements To AVOID When Selling

Everyone wants to make the home you own more comfortable and functional for your household. But before you put in a hot tub or convert the garage into a bedroom, think about whether or not these improvements will add or subtract perceived value from your the home when it comes time to sell. Upgrading your home is great, but there are some home improvement to avoid as well.

Yes, selling your home could be years away, however not all home improvements are welcome to buyers. When buyers are ready to buy, they tour multiple homes which can be confusing. So, they distinguish what they’ve seen by features like “the one with the beautiful kitchen,” or “the one with the ugly wallpapered bathroom.” You don’t want your home to be the one they poke fun at.

Here are just a few items that are undesirable to most buyers:outdated finishes for home buyers in san diego

1. Outdated finishes. It doesn’t matter if you paint your walls the hottest colors if buyers look up and see popcorn ceilings and wobbly ceiling fans. If you’re going to improve a room, update everything, even the power outlets and light switches. Be very careful with wallpaper which is very personal and can be polarizing to buyers. What about carpet? Most buyers want wood floors today because they look great and are easy to clean.

2. Awkward spaces. Have you seen the commercial where the family remodels the kitchen and borrows space from the college-age son’s bedroom, turning his room into little more than a closet? Knock out or move walls where you need to, but not if it makes other rooms virtually unusable.

3. Conversions. Beware of changing the intended function of a room. Transforming the dining room to a media room may make sense for your family, but where will your buyers eat dinner? And while we’re on the subject, converting studies into bedrooms isn’t good. Without closets and adjoining bathrooms, they aren’t really bedrooms anyway.

Don't do these DYI before selling your home4. Bad add-ons. Not having enough space is bad, but even worse is adding on space that looks stuck to the original house with glue. If you’re going to add on to your home, make sure it looks as natural and professional as possible, with the same quality finishes as the rest of the home.

5. Expensive-to-maintain luxuries. Swimming pools, hot tubs, koi ponds, fountains, and putting greens can make backyards a paradise, but they’re costly to keep up. Installing lush landscaping that has to be maintained  constantly to keep its shape is a great weekend hobby, but for potential buyers, less is more. Hobbies are fine, but make sure you can take them with you when you move.

So go ahead and paint your den after your favorite football team’s colors like yellow and blue, but when it comes time to sell, transform your home for the next buyer. Put it in pristine clean condition, and restore paints and finishes to more neutral shades. And keep remember this: If it’s expensive to add or install, it’s probably expensive to remove as well.


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7 Easy DIY Things Around The House

Looking to update your home, but don’t want to shell out big cash? Don’t have the DIY gene? You can still make noticeable and beautiful changes to your home. Here are the 7 things you can easily do yourself:

1. Painteasy do it yourself projects around the house

Painting is the easiest way to make a big impact on your space with little money and minimal effort. A must-do for painting: proper preparation. You can choose to tape the baseboards and lay down some drop cloths before you paint. On the flip-side, you can choose to scrape, scrub and be frustrated with the mess you made later. But you can’t have both.

You’ll also want to consider the type of paint you buy.

The lower grade the paint, the more you will usually deal with drips and coverage problems. If you don’t want to splurge on a pricy brands like Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams, wait for sales or go with the big box stores’ more high-end lines. You’ll see a difference.

2. Minor demo

Pulling up old carpet is easy with a few tools, a little time, and access to a dumpster to dispose of the old carpet. You can also pull up old tile, but be prepared to use your muscles.

3. Do your flooring

Although flooring typically falls into more of an advanced DIY job, it can be easy depending on the area being covered and the type of material being used. Carpet tiles or vinyl can be easier to install and care for.

4. Refinish furniture

Refinishing furniture is easy, fun, and a great way show off your creativity and personal style. All you need is a sander (or some old-fashioned sand paper), your paint or stain of choice, and something to apply it with. If you are using stain, make sure to have clean dry towels to remove the excess.

If you’re not sure you want to take the leap on something you already have, practice on a cheap garage sale find.

5. Landscape your yard

Even without a green thumb, you can create a great yard with a little work. If you need help easy diy around san diego housegetting started, attend a clinic at a local nursery. Be sure to bring pictures of your yard. You’ll want help determining what you can plant, which will depend on the amount of sun, shade, and water involved, along with the time of year.

6. Update your bathroom

Paint the walls, replace your bath mats and towels with something new and fresh, update the bathroom light fixture. That’s all it takes for an easy and cheap update to freshen the look of your bathroom. Looking at add more flair? Try peel-and-stick tiles in a decorative pattern or do an entire wall.

easy diy7. Change out your hardware

This super easy fix can have great impact in a kitchen or bathroom. Transform those dated cabinets and drawers into a more modern aesthetic. Remember to use a template to cut down on time and help keep uniformity among them all.

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Understanding Home Equity

In the world of real estate and investment property, there are many terms that will come up that require further explanation. Whether you’ve never heard the phrase ‘home equity’ before or you have a little familiarity, here are the ins and out of what it means and how this asset can help your long-term financial outlook.

All About Home Equitywhat is your home equity and how much is it

Your home equity is the value of ownership built up in a property that represents the current market value of the house less any remaining mortgage payments. Essentially, home equity refers to YOUR portion of the value of your home. If this sounds confusing, think of it this way: if you have completely paid off the mortgage of your home, the value of your home equity is the market value of the property. For those of us not so luck to own their home outright, their home equity would consist of their down payment and whatever amount they’ve paid down on the mortgage since purchase, subtracted from what it’s worth.

An Example Of Home Equity

To provide further clarification, let’s use the example of a house that has been purchased for $400,000. In the case that a down payment of 20% has been provided at the time of purchase, the equity in the home would be $80,000. Since this amount is the percentage and cost of the house that’s been paid down, this is the amount of the house that is actually owned and this will be figured among an individual’s assets. If the value of the home goes up to $450,000, the equity will also go up (moving from $80,000 to $130,000 in this example).

How Home Equity Works 

As you pay the amount that you owe on your home each month, you are paying off your total debt and thereby increasing your equity. Since this amount of money is considered an asset that belongs to you, it can be used down the road to buy another home or invest in other important things like education or retirement. Paying off the amount owed on a home is a considerable investment and is considered an asset as part of your financial net worth.


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