Category Archives: Owners

10-Step Guide to Buying a House

http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/10-step-guide-to-buying-a-house/

  1. Are you ready to be a homeowner?
  2. Hire a Realtor®
  3. Get pre-approved
  4. Look at homes
  5. Choose a home
  6. Get funding
  7. Make an offer
  8. Get insurance
  9. Closing!!
  10. What’s next?!
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5 Lessons From First-Time Home Buyers

http://www.realtor.com/advice/buy/5-lessons-from-first-time-homebuyers/

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  1. Mortgage meltdown — never count on your financing until it’s final/closed…
  2. Count your costs — keep track of your mounting costs and fees…
  3. Budget time & money for repairs — they’ll cost you, in more ways than one…
  4. Multiple visits are okay — don’t be shy if you want to re-visit the home…
  5. Learn (& love) thy neighbors — it can make or break your living situation…

Homeowners File Fewer Auto Claims | Wall Street Journal

According to an auto-insurance comparison company/site (www.insurance.com), a performance study of their data/statistics suggests a direct comparison between people who own a home, and resulting in being a better driver…

Insurers have long observed that, on average, drivers who own their homes file fewer auto-insurance claims than renters. And, in fact, many companies take homeownership into account when calculating a customer’s premiums, says Des Toups, managing editor of Insurance.com

To determine whether homeowners or renters are most likely to file a claim, Insurance.com analyzed data from more than 700,000 drivers who completed an online questionnaire between Jan. 1, 2012, and July 14, 2014. The company then broke out the numbers both by state and by age group. Data weren’t available for Alaska, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Most likely to file an auto claim are drivers between 18 and 24 who live with their parents. According to Insurance.com data, 24.4% of drivers in this group have filed a claim in the past three years. Meanwhile, 19.7% of renters 18 to 24 have filed a claim, while 17.6% of homeowners 18 to 24 have filed a claim.  The effect persists well into drivers’ 40s and 50s, albeit at lower levels. For instance, 15.2% of drivers 45 to 54 living with their parents filed claims, compared with 14.1% for renters and 13.4% for homeowners in the same age range.

As the saying goes, correlation doesn’t imply causation, and, Mr. Toups notes, the numbers don’t provide any explanation for why homeowners are less likely to file auto claims.  Asked to speculate, he says that income probably plays a partial role. “It’s also probably a function of stability”, but added, “we can’t look at this data & claim that to be true.”

When looking at the state level, Insurance.com identified Nebraska as home to the largest disparity between owners and renters, with 15.2% of owners filing auto claims compared with 22.6% of renters.  A few states, however, bucked the trend. In Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan and Oklahoma, homeowners were more likely than renters to file a claim.

And then there is old age—the great leveler. Owners and renters 65 to 99 are equally likely to file a claim, with 14.7% of both groups reporting one.  In fact, the safest drivers overall—with only 11% filing a claim—are those 65 to 99 living with their parents. Something tells us they probably aren’t sneaking beers in the basement.


http://www.wsj.com/articles/homeowners-file-fewer-auto-claims-1420038394?mod=residential_real_estate

Homeowners: 15 Things You Need To Do In 2015

1. Get rid of the beige. It’s been replaced by gray. Really. Do it. Gray isn’t going anywhere.

2. Make a big change. Knock down a wall. Change your countertops. Convert the upstairs loft to a full-blown entertainment room. If not now, when?

3. Make a bunch of small changes. Walk through your house and make a list, room by room, of little things that could be updated. Then, start tackling them one at a time. Paint the guest room and change the bedding. Swap out the old art over your fireplace with something new. Take down the unorganized family photos in the hallway and turn the space into a revitalized gallery (here are some ideas to get you started). You’ll feel good about yourself for finishing projects that are probably long overdue, and you’ll also feel better about your refreshed home.

4. Splurge on something you need. The giant old TV that you have to smack on the side to get the channels to turn? Dump it. It’ll only cost you a couple hundred bucks to get a good size flat-screen in there instead.

Popsugar suggests we “take a long, hard look at our homes and identify the key pieces where substance is as important as style and where investing in high-quality pieces the first time around can save money in the long run,” like a “supportive bed, a durable table, or a solid sofa.”

Splurge on something you don’t. A rogue piece of furniture like a vibrant peacock blue chair or a graphic patterned rug in a room that is otherwise sedate can give the space a lift. And, it’ll put a smile on your face every time you walk past it.

5. Surprise someone. Paint your teenage daughter’s room in a new hue of purple (her fave!) while she’s at school one day. That’s bound to improve her mood (if only for an afternoon) and maybe even inspire her to keep it clean (but probably not).

6. Plant something pretty. Plants and flowers are known mood-lifters. Plus, a nice landscape is key for adding curb appeal to your home, which can make it more valuable and easier to sell if you are thinking of putting it on the market.

7. Add plants to the inside of your home too. According to the principles of feng shui live plants, and especially how they are placed in the home, “can affect your fortune,” said Natural Health magazine. They can also improve the air quality in a home and “help us heal,” said the National Gardening Association. “Scientists have found that settings containing plants have a measurable influence on recovery even for hospital patients who are acutely stressed. Some achieve benefits after only a few minutes of exposure to plants. Hospital workers benefit too, as they seek plant-filled environments to escape from work stress during the day.”

8. Update your lighting. Updating the chandeliers in your entry or dining room or replacing the old, builder-grade fans you have throughout your home is an easy way to give your home a lift.

9. Clean out your pantry. Canned goods that are still within their sell date but that you know will never be used are great for donating to food banks.

10. Clean out your garage. Jerry Seinfeld recently joked that once items move to the garage, they never make it back into the house. So as long as you’re in a cleaning mood, might as well take advantage of an opportunity to get in there too.

11. De-clutter…everything! It’ll make you feel better to un-pile the piles, to empty out the closets, and to finally see your countertops again.

12. Learn a new skill. A few hours at Home Depot can teach you how to install a backsplash, put in new flooring, or build a storage ottoman.

13. Get automated. Start by trashing that old thermostat and make your life easier with Nest, a “learning thermostat (that) learns your schedule, programs itself and can be controlled from your phone. Teach it well and the Nest Thermostat can lower your heating and cooling bills up to 20%.” Then, look at ways you can automate everything from your lights to your security system. You can see CNET’s best automated products of 2014 here.

14. Take a stand against boring. It’s OK to paint a wall fuchsia. Or flank your fireplace in shiny emerald green bookcases. Or throwing a giant animal print rug down in your living room. This year, go bold. It might surprise you how liberating it can be to take your style to the next level. You might also find a bidding interior designer inside!

15. Fall in love again. If you’re like most people, your home is your most valuable asset. It’s also where you spend the majority of your time. If you aren’t really feeling it right now, change it. Rearrange the furniture. Get a few new pieces. Paint a treasured but tired item your favorite color. Injecting some life into your home will help make it feel new again and bring back that loving feeling.

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(Source: REALTY TIMES)

ARTICLE LINK: “Homeowners– 15 Things You Need To Do In 2015”