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Don't Risk Being Unprepared for Disaster

by Rose Price

It is not something anyone wants to ponder, but the only thing worse than a natural disaster is not being prepared for it.  Not having proper insurance coverage can make a bad situation far worse. Here are some disasters that may require insurance special coverage.

Flood Insurance.  If your house is in a flood-prone area, you may already have flood coverage in your basic homeowners policy. Don’t wait to find out:  Call your agent and make sure. Flood insurance policies are usually inexpensive, unless you are in a flood-prone region.  But even a few inches of standing water in your home can cause enormous damage.

Mine Subsidence.  Sinkholes are rare, and so are the homeowners policies that cover this type of disaster.  More common is minor ground shifting that can damage your foundation and structure. Coverage for this type of damage isn’t expensive at all. You can get coverage for about a hundred dollars a year for a $250,000 home.

Earthquake. Another rarity, but they do happen. You might remember the little quake that shook northern Illinois a couple of years ago.  Typical homeowner policies don’t cover earthquake damage, and it can be expensive. You might also want to read this guide from the Red Cross of Central Illinois!

Tornadoes. Usually a standard part of a homeowners policy, but worth double checking. Tornadoes happen just too often for this not to be a part of your protection. The image above is from a tornado near Secor, Illinois on May of 2004. 

Insurance is vital for preserving the investment you’ve made in your house, furnishing and personal property. If you have questions, talk to your agent, or check out the insurance information website the state of Illinois provides.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy tlindenbaum/flickr.com

What Life Stage Is Your House?

by Rose Price

Family Portrait

I’m not asking how old your house is or what era of construction it is. Instead, I want to know, who is the ideal family to live in your house? Think about the family structure you can picture making a life in your home. 

First-time Home Buyers

First-timers want lower maintenance to ease into homeowner responsibilities. So, a newer home that doesn’t require much work, or a townhouse with some of the exterior maintenance included would be perfect. First-timers often don’t need much space, and a quick-turnover neighborhood works well as the family starts to grow out of the starter house.

Young Family

Let’s face it. Small children take over every square inch that isn’t dedicated space for something else. That’s why playroom space is nice to have to contain toys and games. Young families like yard space for kids to run, lots of storage space, and easy childproofing ability.

Mature Family 

Families with older children gravitate toward homes with plenty of room for teens to have their own space. Many families need garage space for multiple drivers, and a place for teens to have friends over that won’t disturb Mom and Dad.  

Empty Nester

Functionality is key for the retiring family. Empty nesters like a single floor, main-floor laundry, a low-maintenance yard, a quiet neighborhood, minimal upkeep and an atmosphere of relaxation.

Investor

A real estate investor, or “flipper,” buys up houses in good markets that are priced low and need some simple upgrades. As we would expect, they want to turn a profit.

If you’re not sure what life stage your house is, I can help you figure that out. I’ve heard lots of feedback from lots of buyers and I know what people are looking for. We should talk about why you bought the house in the first place. What was your family situation? What features really worked for you? Just email me some of the key features of your house, and I can let you know who to target!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

Featured Champaign Properties 
Champaign Condominiums
Selling Your Champaign Home
Champaign Real Estate Market Information

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company


 

Best Bathroom Remodeling Choices

by Rose Price

Many homeowners in Central Illinois are making the choice to remodel their existing home in lieu of buying a new home as a result of the recession and economy. In a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), it is reported that respondents indicated that a bathroom remodel was one of their most common projects during the first half of this year. In fact, almost 61% percent of all remodels were done on bathrooms.

The popularity of bathroom remodeling may be attributed to the concept that it can be a very affordable way to make your master suite more comfortable and add value to your home when it’s time to sell.

If you are considering making some improvements to your bathroom, below are some tips to help give your bath a great lift:

Vanity Sinks: From artistic vessel sinks to furniture pieces that have been modified to accommodate plumbing, sinks can become a bathroom showpiece while keeping their functionality.

Countertops: Granite, ceramics, recycled glass and marble are all popular materials to consider if you want to update the counters of your existing vanity.

Showers: Open, walk-in showers are very popular right now and can be designed to accommodate more than one person.

Faucets: Old, polished brass fixtures really date your bathroom – check out new silhouettes and finishes for your faucets and cabinetry.

Lighting: Bathrooms that are well lit, especially with natural light sources look fresh and modern. Consider glass block windows and skylights to bring in natural light and create an open feeling.

Tile: Tile can be used creatively in the shower and wet areas as well as the floor and for backsplash.

As with any home improvement project, it is a good idea to first list your objectives, create a budget and do your homework before you select a contractor. The NAHB also offers a list of resources and reference guides to help make decisions and find qualified professionals.

 

 

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Mortgage Points Explained

by Rose Price

If you are a Central Illinois homebuyer who is requesting quotes from a lender for a home loan, you have most likely found that the quotes frequently include both loan rates and points. If you are like most people, you may be confused by what exactly a point is.

Mortgage points describe certain charges to be paid in order to obtain a mortgage on a home. Each mortgage point is a fee based on one percent of the total amount of the loan

A point is a fee equal to 1 percent of the loan amount. For example, A 30-year, $200,000 mortgage might have a rate of 6 percent, but come with a charge of 1 point, or $2,000. A lender can charge 1, 2 or more points. There are two kinds of points: discount points and origination points.

 •Discount points: These types of points are really prepaid interest on the mortgage loan Because, the more points you pay, the lower the interest rate on the loan and vice versa. Borrowers typically can pay anywhere from zero to 3 or 4 points, depending on how much they want to lower their rates. The advantage to this type of point is that it is tax-deductible.
 

Origination fee: This is a fee that is charged by the lender to cover the costs of making the loan. The origination fee is only tax deductible if it was used to obtain the mortgage and not to pay other closing costs. The IRS specifically states that if the fee is for items that would normally be itemized on a settlement statement, such as notary fees, preparation costs, and home inspection fees are not deductible.

The longer you keep the home financed under the loan that has the purchased points, the more money spent on the points will pay off.  And if the homebuyer has the intention to buy and sell the property or refinance in a big hurry, the buying points will actually end up costing more than just paying the loan at the higher interest rate.

Whether or not you pay points, or how many points can be effected by a variety of factors.  The amount of money that you can put down at closing and also how long you plan on staying in your home can be a factor. If you are planning to stay in your home for a long time, you may find it worth it pay points so that it reduces your interest rate.

The process can be confusing so make sure to have your mortgage lender explain these fees with you at length!

 

 

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Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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