House Insurance Online Guide: 5 Mistakes You MUST Avoid When Buying Home Insurance

Home insurance is something that most people require. While it is very easy to search for house insurance online, it’s not as easy to actually select a policy. There are plenty of mistakes that people make when selecting coverage. Just one mistake can cost you dearly.

Since it’s probably one of – if not THE – most valuable asset you own, it’s essential that you buy the correct type of insurance for your house.

Here are some huge mistakes you’ll want to avoid when purchasing house insurance online:

Mistake #1: Underinsuring your home

Many people go with the lowest price thinking they will save money every month. They buy only enough insurance to cover the mortgage, or only insure the house for its real estate value, in the gamble that the house won’t burn to the ground or get flooded out.

But that shouldn’t be a gamble you take. What you should do is buy enough coverage so that you will easily be able to rebuild the home. Building a house usually costs more than what it is worth – especially considering the increase in construction prices.

Mistake #2: Not buying contents insurance

Don’t forget about the actual contents INSIDE the home when shopping around for house insurance. Make sure the policy includes your personal belongings. What are you going to do if your favorite, expensive piece of jewelry is stolen? Or all of the furniture, floors, and appliances on the first floor and basement are destroyed in a flood?

Mistake #3: Overestimating your amount of coverage

Don’t just assume that because the monthly payment is high that it covers everything. You must know all of the details of the policy. You could end up filing a claim for nothing. Before making any agreements with an insurance company, make sure you understand what is covered, what is not covered, when you will be allowed to make a claim, and for how much.

Mistake #4: Not setting your deductible correctly

Another common mistake many people make when buying house insurance online is setting their deductible either too low or too high. With too high of a deductible, you could end up with large premium payments. With it too low, you will wind up paying more out of the pocket when something goes wrong.

Mistake #5: Ignoring certain types of weather coverage

Whether you live at a high elevation and don’t think you’ll need flood coverage, or live outside of an area prone to earthquakes and don’t think you’ll need earthquake coverage, you are mistaken. Anything can cause a flood, including a plumbing disaster. Even if it’s not your entire property, you’ll still have some damages to worry about. As for an earthquake, there are states other than California, HI, and Alaska to worry about. There are Faults in other parts of North America as well.

Keep these factors in mind when searching for house insurance online. The best place to start is with Lemonade. It offers a variety of affordable policies for homeowners and renters, and even covers contents. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to find Lemoande sales and coupon offers.

House Insurance Comparison: Overview of Factors That Affect Rates & How You Can Choose a Policy

As with any type of insurance, you are probably interested in getting the best possible deal on home insurance. Thankfully, there are tools that make it possible to not only search for policies, but to do house insurance comparison with multiple quotes to find the best one for you.

For some homeowners, price matters more than anything. This should not be the case, though, since overall value is more important than cheap rates. Consider both the premiums and deductibles. Think about the rebuilding costs of your home. How much will it cost to literally replace everything is your home and property is utterly destroyed? The current value of your home and the rebuilding price will not be the same. Try to estimate how much you will be able to afford to pay in deductibles in the worst case scenario and keep that in mind when doing house insurance comparison.

Here are some of the factors that affect the insurance quotes you will get:

• Home’s type of construction and age

• Location

• Credit score

• Deductible

• Certain risk factors (swimming pool, trampoline, aggressive dog breeds, etc… )

• Claims history

• Roofing material

• The yard / property / landscape

Older homes have a higher chance of something going wrong regarding the electric wiring, plumbing, HVAC systems, ceiling, and construction in general.

House Insurance Comparison of Coverage Types

There are certain things that general home insurance policies don’t cover. Make sure you know exactly what is covered and what isn’t before you make your choice. Sometimes it is the matter of gaps in the coverage, where the policy owner thought they were protected but either had incorrect or insufficient coverage. Such issues can be avoided by carefully reading over the terms of each quote you are provided with.

Flood insurance, for instance, isn’t always covered in basic policies. If you live in an older home and have concerns about plumbing, or live near a body of water, this is something you will definitely want to think about. All it takes is a few inches of water to utterly destroy your flooring and some of your furniture. Even a small stream can become a raging river if there is enough rain.

Discounts are sometimes available, especially if you install safety and security equipment.

Where can you get started with house insurance comparison? All you have to do is look into the unique insurance platform set up by Lemonade. It even has a neat AI bot that will help craft the perfect insurance for you. Get affordable, reasonable rates – especially if you use Lemonade House Insurance discounts.

Sell Your Own House and Pocket the Profits

So you want to sell your own house? Perhaps you want to save money on a commission that would be paid to a broker. Perhaps you are one of those individuals that believe that selling a home is a simple process because it appears so easy on TV. I understand it’s probably not as difficult as performing a root canal on yourself, but if attempted without preparation it might feel like you attempted the aforementioned.

The first thing to consider when selling your own house is to determine what the current market is like in your local area. This does not mean you should buy a copy of the Wall Street Journal and try to extrapolate what your local market is like based on national or worse yet, international trends. Some markets never experienced a large up or down over the last decade despite what was going on elsewhere. So how can you find out information that is pertinent to the local area? One way is to contact a local real estate agent and ask, but that can bring on some unwanted pressure to list with them instead; which I actually suggest for the vast majority of homeowners. Another way is to check local papers that may disclose certain statistics such as average days on market, a comparison of sales prices to listing prices (they are rarely the same, except perhaps in a hot market), and local interest rates. Now what do you do with all this information? For now hold onto it, as we will be using it to help price your home.

Once we have gathered some basic data the next step is to start finding some comparable properties. A comparative market analysis is the most accurate way to price a “normal” home. It may not be the best way to assess the value of a new home, historic home, income property, or commercial property. What you will want to do is gather the SOLD price of at least SIX comparable homes, that have sold in the last 6 months. If you use home sales older than that, you risk the comparison not being very accurate. Comparable homes should be as similar to your home as possible, but do not have to be identical. These homes should be in the same school district, zip code, and if possible same housing complex if applicable. Explaining exactly how to do this process can be very verbose, so what I will say is that for an amateur analysis make sure your home is priced less than homes offering greater amenities and size and greater than homes offering less size or that are not as updated. Knowing exactly how much these differences effect the price of your home from the comps takes market knowledge that most homeowners don’t have. Remember that money spent on renovations does not correlate 100% to an increase in value.

Ok, so we now have an idea about the list price. The next thing we need to do is go back to what is happening in the local market. If homes are selling fast, I would suggest sticking near your estimated price for a quick sale of your home. If homes are selling at an average rate 3- 6 months (again average is different depending on location) I’d consider sticking at your estimate list price or as much as ten percent less if you are hoping for a quick sale. If homes are not selling on average in less than 120 days, as a for sale by owner you will need to price yourself well below the competition 10% or more. My reasoning for this is that highly marketed homes are not selling, where your home will have a fraction of the advertising versus those listed with a broker. You will need an edge to beat out the competition.

Well, we accomplished step one; pricing our home. This is actually one of the easier tasks we will have to do. Step two will be determining our budget for marketing the home. This is actually the main reason I suggest hiring a broker, since advertising if done haphazardly can cost MORE than hiring an agent. Now you can advertise on sites that cater to for sale by owners, but honestly the traffic they generate is simply pathetic compared to many of the better known sites. If you are serious about this, I suggest you list on a big name site. As far as advertising in the local paper goes, it certainly does not hurt, but realize that more buyers find their home online than through the local paper. The local paper though does appeal to the older generations and can help with a cross generational marketing campaign. Another consideration is that according to the national association of REALTORS 89% of surveyed home buyers in 2011 used an agent to buy. That means, whether you want to or not, you will likely have to deal with and or pay an agent. As a for sale by owner you can offer to pay an agent for bringing a buyer to you. This may help you save some money compared to having an agent list it as well. A good number to start with is offering a 2-3% commission to any buyer’s agents. This will ensure that the 89% of buyers searching for a home with the aid of an agent will not totally avoid your home. Another marketing tool you can use is a yard sign. These can be obtained relatively cheap from a local printer or online. If you are gutsy enough to let total strangers roam through your home, you can also host an open house. It is estimated that nearly 5% of home purchases are done on impulse, so it cannot hurt your sales effort. I would like you to consider that bringing strangers in your home can be unsafe so proceed with caution.

Alright, we are moving right along to getting our home sold. We have a price, we know how we are going to market it, and we are ready to list right? No, I’m sorry we still have some work to do. The next thing we have to do is complete a seller’s disclosure form to give to potential buyers. This form can be obtained from a local housing authority or online. In addition, we need to provide potential buyers with a lead-based paint disclosure act if your house was built in 1978 or earlier, thanks to a 1992 law. In addition, this is the time to neutralize your home, fix peeling paint (trust me, fix peeling paint), and complete any other small maintenance tasks that need done.

Ok, now we can go ahead and list the home. The easy part is done, we are moving onto the hard and hardest parts of selling a home. Now if you listed it yourself I suggest purchasing a land line phone number to use for advertisement purposes. There are many places where you can find one cheaply. When your first perspective buyer calls, greet them politely and share whatever information they need. As tempting as it may be, before having them over to view the house, make sure they have be pre-approved, or at least pre-qualified for a loan; ask them to bring their pre-approval letter. People have no problem wasting your time. If they refuse to bring any such paperwork, skip the viewing because it is likely they are not that interested in your house anyways. In fact, they cannot even make a real offer at this point. Show buyers around that have met the pre-qualifications, but refrain from harping about anything personalized within the home, as they will likely be envisioning how they can change your house to suit their needs. If they are interested in making an offer, please do not entertain a verbal negotiation of price. First, their offer is not legally enforceable by the statute of frauds and back and forth negotiations may elicit an emotional response on your part. Instead, insist on a written offer and binding contract. It is likely they will be working with an agent, so this is usually a mute point. When the offer is presented, remain emotionless whether it is more than you had hoped for, or less since most buyers will expect the savings you received from not paying a commission to be passed onto them (Now if you used my suggestion of offering a buyer’s agent commission you might find that you receive a more reasonable offer). You have two options; accept or reject the offer. If you reject the offer, you can always counter-offer. Some things to expect during this time is the buyers wanting you to purchase a home owners insurance warranty (which you should do to save yourself a headache 6 months from now when your water pipes burst or your furnace dies at only 4 years of age). The second is that they will likely place several contingencies on the offer, which are completely normal. These contingences may include a home inspection, land survey, title insurance, dye test, as well as several others.

Ok so you have found a buyer and your home is under contract. The coming 30-90 days will be the roughest yet, but hang on because you are almost there. During this time a home inspector after examining your home will come up with a list of several hundred problems that your house has. If you already disclosed these items in your seller’s disclosure there should be little concern, as they will not be items that your potential buyer could use to back out of the transaction. Now for the things you were unaware of, buyers may try to haggle the price even lower. I suggest for small ticket items, hold your ground. Bigger ticket items will likely require some concessions on your part. Your other option is to not give any concessions and try the whole process over again, disclosing the newfound issues. If things do progress past this point, prepare for yet more expenses at closing. You will need to pay transfer taxes on the property, as well as, prorated property taxes if you have not yet done so for the fiscal year. Again, there will be some other expenses and rather going into detail here, I suggest you take a look at a HUD-1 form to get a strong understanding of what expenses are dealt with at closing. If closing is not being taken care of by their agent, I suggest you hire either a transaction licensee or lawyer to handle the paperwork. DO NOT attempt to complete this stage on your own unless you are an agent or an attorney.

Well if you made it past closing, you have done what only 15% of for sale by owners are able to! Congratulations, and when you go to look for your next home use an agent.

Some Tips to Sell House for the Best Price

People sell houses for many reasons including job transfer, change in family size, financial needs etc. The ways to sell house are also plenty. Some people use traditional methods like going through a real estate agent. Still others advertise in newspapers and television. These days, most people do not have the time to go behind all such portals. Internet has become an ideal platform for such people to sell their houses. Whatever the method they choose the main aim of any seller would be to get the best price on their deal.

Some tips to sell house effectively are listed here.

• The first and the foremost thing you should do is to de clutter your home. Remove all the unwanted things from your house. If you cannot throw them, store them away in containers. Alternatively, just take the help of your friends. Ask them to store your things for a few days. When buyers come to see your house, they want to see a neat house.

• Try to fix problems like leakages, broken windowpanes, door hinges etc.

• Try to find out the value of your property. Unless, you know how much your house is worth, you cannot get a best price on it. You can do this with the help of several databases online. Most people will be able to sell house at a higher price than that is shown in the directory.

• Market your home. Try to list your home in various websites. There are many such sites which offer free services to sell house. Get some good photos of your house and display them online.

• Do not forget to add a virtual tour of your home. Many customers like to view each aspect of the house they are going to buy.

• Make sure to give exact information about your house. Specify the number of rooms, bathrooms etc. Also try to give additional information about your locality. For example, distance from prominent places like schools, hospitals, markets etc., as most people prefer to stay closer to such facilities.

• Try to have an open house if possible to sell house quickly and at a good price.

• Choose a good real estate agent. These agents can help you to get the best price on your house.

How to Sell a House: Tips From Real Estate Agents

With the country’s declining real estate market, a home seller can easily sell a house if they lower the price. But for others who can’t afford to lower their asking price, it is best to find other ways to make their home more attractive.

Real estate agents are familiar with the trends in the industry. They are also very knowledgeable about selling homes and choosing the right homes. For this reason, we have come up with a list of house selling tips from successful real estate agents.

Make The House Stand Out From The Competition

It is very important for the property to attract potential buyers. Home sellers should consider custom designs or adding a few design touches, such as improving the landscape, or updating the roof and windows. These simple touches can have significant impact in improving the home’s aesthetics. It is important to avoid over-improving the house. For instance, renovating the bathroom and kitchen may not always pay.

Clean The Clutter

Before listing the property in the market, it is crucial to first clean the clutter from the home. Clutter will turn off potential buyers because they cannot picture themselves living in the house. As a tip, consider removing a few unnecessary furniture pieces to make the space look bigger. You should also keep family pictures and other personal items into storage so that potential buyers can imagine themselves staying in the house.

Staging the house is very important. You may want to hire a professional for the job. This may cost additional expense but it will be worth it. Real estate agents believe that a professional stager can make the home more attractive and salable.

The Price Is Right

No matter how you stage your house or how much space you renovated, it is very important to price the property appropriately. An agent can help you determine the right price for your property. You can also hire a property appraiser for the job. It doesn’t matter whether you are offering the lowest price in the neighborhood, especially if your home is very appealing and if you have made significant improvements to your home. It is important, however, that the listing price will not be so far-fetched with the other comparable homes in the market.

Selling a house in a slow real estate market will require patience and perseverance. Make sure that the house is in good condition and hire a credible agent to help you sell the house faster. Following these tips will help increase your chances of getting a good deal for your property.