Closing Tips

Brendon Desimone, a Zillow blogger, gives up important information on what to do before and after closing.

Plan any work or maintenance on your new home well in advanced. That means as you’re walking through the house deciding if you like it, you should be taking mental notes and eventually jotting them down on paper of changes you need to make. You should have a painter and general contractor already lined up for when you move in to make any changes you see fit. New home owners should also have flooring and painting done before they move in so that there will be no hassle of having to move furniture again.

Have the utilities already set up because you may not have a grace period of having electricity. No one wants to move into a house and start decorating via candle light.

As soon as you get the keys immediately change the locks. No one is saying not to trust the seller, but you should automatically assume that over the time the previous owner owned the home, another set or two of keys were probably made. Not only that but during the selling process several different people were given copies of the keys to help fix up the house or show it, and you wouldn’t want them ending up in the wrong hands.

Hire a cleaning crew just in case. You never know if the seller cleaned the place before you moved in. When I moved into my home, the house had dog hair everywhere and the pool was green. If it weren’t for the cleaning crew I had already hired to start cleaning right before we came, it would have been a painstaking process to clean while moving everything in.

Handyman, small contractor or designer should be on call for you. Sometimes things happen during a move in process that we cannot predict and we need an expert to come in. Problem is, if you don’t have someone on-call or lined up, it could be days or weeks until you can get someone in to fix a problem.

There’s nothing wrong with thinking ahead and being prepared. The more prepared you are, the more control you have over any moving situation that could possibly go wrong.

Insurance Tips for Homeowners

Maintain a Security System
If you want to lower your insurance premium but as little as 5% and even more in some cases, get an alarm system that is monitored by a central station.

Install Additional Smoke Alarms
Installing additional smoke alarms will also reduce your insurance premium because it reduces the risk of a fire spreading in your home.

Raise Your Deductible
The higher your deductible, the lower the annual premiums will be. Small fixes usually don’t cost much so they will be absorbed by the homeowner.

Look for Multiple Policy Discounts
You can get more discounts for having multiple insurnace policies for different things like health insurance or auto insurance. This is because they are not responsible for anything.

Plan Ahead for Your Construction
Plan ahead for your construction by buying the materials for what you want because wood framing while being built is more expensive to insure while it is being built because it can be flammable.

Beware of Costly Recreation
Pools and trampolines can be very costly when it comes to insuring a home because they are known to cause injuries because of their nature. Consider all of this before you actually purchase a home if you want to pay more for this insurance wise.

Pay Off Your Mortgage
Your insurance premium will drop because insurance companies feel that if you pay off your mortgage and completely own your home you will take better care of it.

Make Regular Policy Reviews
Review your current policy and compare it to other insurance policies to make sure you are getting the best rate. Sometimes rates drop at other companies and you might just want to take advantage of that.

Guaranteed Replacement Value Insurance
This means that your home will be rebuilt no matter what the cost is during a disaster. This will provide homeowners with a cushion because of the rising cost to build a home

Get an Endorsement
This is an amendment to the basic homeowner’s policy. Let’s say a woman has a diamond ring she wants insured, she would send over the appraised value to her insurance company to make sure she get’s the full amount in case there is any kind of disaster

Spring Cleaning for Your Home

Spring is finally here which means you’re probably thinking about different ways to spruce things up around the house. Here are a few things you can do to get things done.

Remodel your home
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to re-do your home during the spring time, just check out a bunch of websites like bobvila.com, HGTV and even Zillow blogs for different pictures and ways to remodel your home this Spring.

Get new doors/windows
What better way make things look like they changed drastically than to get new doors or windows. If you decide to make energy efficient improvements you’ll save money in the long run too.

Paint
The best time to paint your house is in the spring time because it’s typically not as cold or hot during the other months so you can keep your windows open while you paint inside the house.

Clean out Your Closet!How good does it feel to clean our your closet? If you’re like me, you love to get rid of those old clothes and even replace those winter clothes with spring/summer looks.

Organize the Home Office
This can be a great project and will make you feel even better when you work from home. The less clutter there is the more you feel like you can get stuff done!

Different Ways to Save on Home Energy

Bob Vila shares some ways to save on home energy. Unplug devices regardless if they are turned off because they are still using up energy. This could be anything like cell phone chargers, laptops and counter top microwaves.

Another way to save is by lowering the temperature on your water heater from the normal 140 degrees to 120 degrees, which still allows it to operate at it’s usual. Replace the filters on your furnace and air conditioners at least once month depending on which one you are using. This will help cut the cost from 5 to 15 percent.

Load up your dishes as much as possible in the dish washer and don’t rinse them before putting them in. It takes more water to hand wash dishes than it does for a dishwasher.

Using cold water to wash your clothes instead of warm water still cleans your clothes and keeps the cost down of using hot water.

Program your thermostat and always circulate air no matter what time of the year. Using a fan helps circulate the air that is in the room if kept at a lower speed, so don’t worry about it creating cold air while the heat is on. A programmed thermostat will come on whenever the temperate drops or rises to a certain level and not stay on all day.

Also, fixed those leaks. A leaky faucet can end up costing you money by wasting money each time it drips.

Use better light bulbs that last longer and help keep energy cost down. Although the energy star light bulbs tend to be more expensive, in the long run they save a lot of money.

Seal your air leaks with weathering strips which help keep out moisture too.

HARP Refi’s Reach Over Two Million

More and more people are taking advantage of the Home Affordable Refinancing Program (HARP), with over two million people participating in the program since April of 2009. DSNews is reporting that the top state for HARP refinances is California with a total of 301,327 refinances under the program right now. The Federal Housing Finance said that most people being added to the program are doing it for their primary residence, which is almost 1.9 million loans.

This past December 18 percent of HARP refinances were for 15 and 20 year mortgages, and these options are better because they allow you to build more equity faster than that of a 30-year mortgage.