Month: September 2019

Tips for Every Homeowner Part 2

This is the second half of our September 2019 newsletter that focuses on home ownership.  We have tips that every homeowner should know. If you are thinking of buying a home or already own a home these tips will help you navigate the costs and concerns of life’s biggest purchase.
  1. Consider a home warranty. If you didn’t negotiate one at closing, buy one. Many policies cover problems with appliances, heating or cooling systems and even interior plumbing.
  2. Do not expect a major tax refund. Many people believe they will get a significant tax refund the year they buy a house. This is not always the case. Especially if you purchase your home in the second half of the year, you will only have a partial year’s worth of deductions. You can write off property taxes and mortgage interest but not the mortgage principal payment.
  3. Maintain the exterior. Appearance matters, it helps maintain property values. Learn water rules. In many cities homeowners can be fined for watering their lawn on the wrong day. Ask sellers about landscapers. Find out who takes care of the yard, you may need to hire someone, or get the contact information for the current landscaper or gardener.
  4. Prepare for the worst. Make sure you are prepared for potential hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods or brush fire.
  5. Know your renewals. If your house has an annual termite inspection, or an alarm system contract, know when to renew. Most companies will not notify you of a renewal date.
  6. Think security. An alarm system may save money on insurance premiums.
  7. Take photos and/or a video of each room. You can use the video or photographs when making insurance claims.
  8. Finally, expect expenses to be more expensive than you thought. We can guarantee this one!

 

Tips for Every Homeowner Part 1

Our newsletter for September 2019 will focus on home ownership.  We have tips that every homeowner should know. If you are thinking of buying a home or already own a home these tips will help you navigate the costs and concerns of life’s biggest purchase.
  1. Get to know your home’s systems. When you buy your home, have someone, maybe the seller, introduce you to all the features.  You want to know how they work, you want a copy of the owner’s manual, and the name and phone number of a REPAIR PERSON. You want this information before something breaks on a weekend.  Be sure you know where to find the water shut off and the electrical box.
  2. Always have your locks RE-KEYED after you buy a house.
  3. Stay updated on schools in your district. If you have children and plan to send them to school instead of home schooling them, knowing the public and private schools in your area is important.
  4. Understand your homeowner’s insurance coverage. It might be a good idea to review it with your agent.
  5. Ask your home inspector these questions: what do I need to prepare and protect the home from nature’s elements (freezing weather, heat wave etc.)? How do I properly maintain drainage and moisture around the home to prevent foundation and mold issues? How often do you need to service the HVAC system to keep it functioning properly? Also ask, what items the inspector would repair or replace if he were buying the home?
  6. Familiarize yourself with neighborhood rules. Do you need approval from an HOA to paint your house a different color? Are there restrictions on fence heights? Any rules on vehicles, i.e. campers, RVs, boat trailers being parked at a property? Are there restrictions on pets, sizes and breeds?
  7. Do not touch your retirement savings. Do not put yourself in a situation where you have to dip into your retirement to buy, maintain or improve your house. Keep an emergency fund that covers 3-6 months of expenses to avoid feeling the need to dip into retirement savings.
  8. Review and reevaluate personal documents. Major life changes, such as buying a house or having a child, are good reasons to review your life insurance and estate planning documents. Trusts and Wills should be evaluated and if you don’t have one, it is a good time to see an Attorney about getting one.
Give our office a call with any questions. We are happy to help!  818.887.9401