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Selling a home is quite the feat in the current state of the housing market. That’s why it’s incredibly important for sellers to do everything they can to get their homes in tip top shape for buyers. One method that sellers are using to organize their efforts for getting their homes ready to sell is creating a property checklist that outlines everything that needs to be checked and maintained in order for the home to sell.

Why It’s Important

Creating a property checklist is important for a number of reasons. It alerts the seller to any major repairs or problem areas that need to be addressed before the property is ready to be listed on the market. It also lets buyers and their real estate agents know that you have covered all the bases in terms of readying the property for a sale. (more…)

Buy-to-let mortgages are financial instruments that are designed specifically for property buyers who have the intentions of buying a property to rent out to tenants. Because these loans are designed with a specific purpose in mind, they differ from a traditional mortgage. If your goal is to become a property investor, knowing which types of mortgages are available is key. Read on, and attain more detailed information about buy-to-let mortgages so that you can decide if they are the right instrument for you.

What Are the Differences Between Traditional and Buy-to-Let Mortgages?

A buy-to-let mortgage is very similar to traditional mortgage loans in a variety of different ways, but there are ways in which these specialty products differ. The three key differences between buy-to-let mortgages are interest rates, minimum deposit requirements and the borrowing limits. Interest rates tend to be higher when borrowers are financing an investment property. In addition to this, most lenders require that borrowers put a minimum down payment of 25% of the property’s value and set limits based on the amount of rental income you are expected to receive.

Where Can Borrowers Secure a Buy-to-Let Mortgage?

It is important to meet with a mortgage broker to discuss all of your mortgage options. You can find buy-to-let mortgages through large banks, credit unions and specialty lenders. It is very important to compare interest rates and mortgage terms and conditions before you select the best product.

As a property investor, you need to understand the unique products that are available to you. Buy-to-let mortgages are designed specifically for property investors who plan on making a regular rental income on their property for several years. If you have found the perfect property that will earn you a guaranteed income, compare buy-to-let mortgage loans available through reputable lenders.

Have you been thinking about renting out your property? While it can be a great way to make some extra money, there are steps that you need to take before you post your listing. What are some of those steps?

1) Make Sure That Your House Is Suitable for Tenants

As a landlord, you are responsible for providing a safe and quiet dwelling for your tenants. Therefore, you should consider soundproofing your property to make it as quiet as possible. You may also wish to consider adding a private entrance for your tenants.

2) Clean the Property

The property should be as clean as possible before a tenant moves in. Any property or portion of a property should be free of dust, mold and pests such as insects or mice. Tenants may not want to sign a lease for or pay rent for a property that is dirty or unsanitary.

3) Does the Property Qualify for Rent?

Rental properties must have a bedroom, bathroom and a cooking area. In addition, there must be an emergency exit available in case of a fire. One window is also required to have a property qualify as a rental property.

4) Do Your Research

You should take time researching the market to determine who you will rent to and how much you will charge. If you live in a college town, you will probably rent to college students during the school year while you will probably rent to older couples or professionals if the property is in a retirement or business district.

Your property can be a cash cow both now and in future years to come. However, to get the most money from your rental, make sure that it is clean, meets building codes and is marketed to those who are most willing to rent in your area.

Most people have noticed that the cost of their home insurance has steadily increased over the past few years. Home insurance is not cheap, but there are several things that you can do to save money. Below are some tips that will help you cut the cost of your home insurance:

Shop Around

Even if you are content with your current insurance provider, it is still a good idea to shop around. The price of home insurance can vary greatly from provider to provider. You should get at least three quotes.

Increase Your Deductible

If you increase your deductible, then you will be able to lower the cost of your premium. For example, if you raise your deductible from $500 to $1,000, then you may be able to cut your premium payments by 25 percent. However, you want to make sure that you have a sufficient amount of money in your savings account so that you will be able to cover the out-of-pocket expenses just in case you have to file a claim.

Secure Your Home

You may want to install a security system, smoke detectors and dead-bolt locks in your home. You may be able to save five percent or more on your home insurance premiums. Ask your provider if you will be able to get discounts for adding security features.

Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score is one of the things that people look at when determining your rate. You can improve your credit score by decreasing your debt. You also want to make sure that all of the information on your credit report is correct.

Before you try to find the homeowners insurance policy for you, make sure you are familiar with what the policy is all about and what it can do for you.

The standard homeowner’s policy offers financial coverage for your home and the property associated with it. Theft, natural disaster,s and other maladies that happen are typically covered in the policy. Earthquake and flood protection might be exceptions, and they require you to buy additional coverage. Homeowners insurance also covers damage caused by your pets and any liabilities to others caused by your property, family members, or yourself.

The amount of homeowners insurance you need is based on four things: personal property, home structure, liability to protect others, and additional costs connected to repairs to your home.

Personal Property – Make sure you have all of your personal property covered by making an inventory listing of everything you own. Be very detailed so that you can be reimbursed if anything bad should happen. If you have expensive furs and jewelry you want covered, you need to buy an additional floater or endorsement policy to cover those. Without the additional insurance, you might only be compensated up to $2,000 for furs and jewelry lost in a fire or stolen. Don’t learn lessons the hard way. Make sure you have the right amount of coverage before anything happens.

Home Structure – Make sure you have enough insurance coverage to pay for the cost of rebuilding your home using today’s market prices should a natural disaster occur. Don’t worry about the land, and don’t base the amount on what you paid for the home when you bought it because the costs to rebuild fluctuate.

Liability Coverage – Liability coverage protects you from lawsuits that your family or property cause to others. It pays for damage caused by your pets, and it takes care of covering your court fees.

Additional Costs – This will take care of additional expenses if you have to temporarily live away from home due to a disaster, fire or a severe storm. It covers the cost of a hotel, meals at restaurants and other living expenses while you’re waiting for your home to be rebuilt.

Hopefully, this information on homeowners insurance will help you have a better idea of the proper type of coverage you need for your home.

Hurricanes are unavoidable acts of nature. However, because they are seasonal, damages can be avoided, or minimized. There are at least six things you can do to secure your house from hurricanes.

Buy Homeowners Insurance

This investment guards against losses and severe damages often experienced as a result of hurricanes. It also offers security and peace of mind because you will not have to bear the full financial load of replacing or repairing your house. (more…)

Homeowners insurance protects your home in the event of damage, destruction, theft or other unwanted events. These policies cover the structure of the house up to the limit named in the policy so that if hurricane, fire, lightning or another event destroys or damages the home, the policyholder has the money to rebuild.

Besides insuring the structure, homeowners insurance covers contents such as furniture, clothes and electronic devices up to a stated limit aganst loss by theft or damage. People who keep jewelry, art and other expensive items at home should buy a special property endorsement to insure these items at full value.

The amount a policyholder receives for a covered event depends on whether the policy is actual cash value, replacement cost or guaranteed replacement cost. An actual cash value policy pays for the house and contents minus depreciation, which is the loss in value as houses and possessions age. A replacement cost policy allows the home builder to repair, rebuild and replace belongings at current market values with no deduction for depreciation. (more…)

Keep Your Home Safe and Covered

If you just bought a new house, then you will need a good homeowners insurance coverage plan to keep your investment safe. There are many different policies to choose from, and you will need to find the best one for your situation. For example, any home located on the coast should have flood and storm insurance. This will keep your mind at rest knowing you will be safe and not forced to pay out of pocket in the event of a natural disaster. (more…)

Buying a home may be the single largest purchase you ever make. Here are the top five reasons why contracting homeowners insurance to protect your asset is a smart investment.

1. Protection from Loss Caused by Natural Disasters

Whether caused by a tornado, fire, high winds, or a hurricane, damage to your home and its contents is covered by homeowners insurance. These days, we hear about devastating natural disasters on the news all too often. If a natural disaster occurs, you will have protection from catastrophic (more…)

Each year, thousands of homes are damaged to the extremely forceful winds of a severe storm. Although the powerful effects of nature cannot be prevented, proper preparation will help to minimize the amount of destruction. A wind mitigation inspection may prove to be very beneficial for homeowners that live in areas that are prone to tornadoes and hurricanes. Here are some of the key advantages of having wind mitigation inspections.

Lowers cost of insurance

A wind mitigation inspection can definitely help to reduce the cost of homeowner’s insurance. In some instances, the inspection can curb the total cost of an insurance premium by more than forty percent. Insurance companies are willing to provide substantial savings to homeowners that have installed extra wind mitigation features onto their residence. (more…)

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