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10 Questions to Ask About Homeowner's Insurance

When shopping for a home insurance policy, it pays to ask questions to make sure the policy you’re going to get is one that’s right for your needs. The “right” home insurance policy doesn’t even necessarily mean it has to be the most affordable one available. Your coverage has to match your needs, and that could cost more.

In any case, here are 10 questions you need to ask agents and insurance experts you might know before buying homeowners insurance.

1. What is home insurance?

In all likelihood, you already know that home insurance is a type of property insurance that provides financial protection in the event your home and its contents are damaged or lost during a disaster.

Then again, you might want to have a better and deeper understanding of everything that comes with having home insurance. If that is the case, then pose this question to agents, and they will be more than glad to expound on the subject.

2. What perils does a homeowners insurance policy typically cover?

A basic homeowners insurance policy only covers loss and damages caused by the following:

  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Windstorms
  • Lightning
  • Hail
  • Explosion
  • Vandalism
  • Theft

3. Will my home insurance policy cover flooding and earthquakes?

Like all insurance policies, a standard homeowners insurance policy has its limits. While it covers several perils, it draws the line at damage or loss caused by flooding and earthquakes.

If your home is located in a flood-prone area, you might want to consider getting a separate flood or earthquake insurance coverage.

Home insurance also does not cover intentional damage or loss, as well as those caused by neglect, power failure, war, and nuclear explosion.

4. What about water damage?

A standard home insurance...

The Buyers Guide To Long-Distance Moves

According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 35.5 million Americans relocate annually and more than 11 times during a lifetime. Based on these statistics, there is a good chance that you or someone you know will soon need a reasonable, reliable long-distance moving company. Here is the new buyer’s guide to long-distance moves.


1. Plan Well in Advance

If you have ever experienced a move, you know it is a significant event that disrupts your lifestyle. The essential part of relocation is to begin planning three months before the move to handle the smaller chores that often have financial consequences when forgotten. Keep in mind that if you are moving during the peak summer season, you should make contact sooner.

2. Declutter and Downsize

Before contacting moving companies, you should declutter and downsize so that you know the weight or width of your moving requirements. Decluttering will significantly reduce your moving costs as well as the energy to pack it. If you wait to do this chore, it will complicate the estimate, which companies will not reimburse when based on “not to exceed” contractual weight.

3. Record Moving Items in Detail

Before beginning your research, you should make a detailed list of your property as well as their value and descriptions to ensure estimate accuracy. Take an image of each item for insurance purposes....

How To Beat The Competition In A Hot Housing Market

Louisville is one of the hottest real estate markets in America. Many of the homes in the area are selling at or above the asking price and staying on the market for an even shorter period. This has greatly limited the available inventory of for-sale homes. If you’re in the Louisville market to buy a home, you’ll most likely be facing increased competition and bidding wars.


Buying a home.jpg

With hot market areas in Louisville like St. Matthews, Germantown, Schnitzelburg and parts of the Highlands facing increasingly low inventory levels and 10-plus-year highs in sales, finding your dream residence can be a challenge. How do you beat the competition in a hot housing market like Louisville?

Get Preapproved

According to Nerdwallet, getting a pre-approval is a ‘must’ in a competitive housing market like Louisville. Don’t even bother putting in an offer if you haven’t taken the time to get pre-approved. Sellers in a hot market are looking for more than just your offer amount. Most look for interested buyers who are ready to complete a sale.

When submitting an offer, include a letter from your bank stating that your lender has already underwritten your application and is pending appraisal. Before you even start making offers, make sure that your lender already has a hold on your financial documents. This...

First Time Buyers Are Skipping The Starter Home

From Forget the starter home. Today’s first-time buyers want a place they’ll live in for a long time — possibly even into retirement. And this ideal home is most likely in the suburbs. That’s according to a new Bank of America poll of more than 1,000 adults 18 and older who would like to buy a home in the future. “Folks are waiting to buy their first home until later in life,” said Kathy Cummings, consumer education and consulting executive for Bank of America. Read more.


Security Considerations When Moving To A New Home

When you move into a new home it can often seem as though there is a long list of things that have to be taken care of. Not only do you have to pack all of your belongings up, transfer your utilities, decorate and arrange for removal company, but there is also a plethora of paperwork that needs to be carried out. With all of this going on there are always some things that get neglected and one of the most common is home security. 

Home security is incredibly important, especially when you move into a new home. What many people fail to consider is that there could have been several families who have owned the property before them and we can never be certain that every single copy of the door keys has been collected back in and handed over. Add to that the fact that if a security system is already installed, then the previous owners still have the access codes. These are all concerns that should be considered when moving house, especially considering the fact that approximately 4.6% of break ins occur within the first year of living in a property. So, what can people do to boost security when moving house?

Replace The Locks

When you move into a new property, ideally you should have the locks replaced as soon as possible. If your budget allows, then you might want to consider choosing patented key locks which will not allow anyone to make copies of the keys without your consent. This is more expensive than standard locks, but many home owners feel that the initial outlay is actually worth it in the long run because of the increased security aspect. Patented locks also allow the current key to be deleted from the system if the keys are ever reported stolen meaning that no-one...

When Will Millennials Start Buying?

(From First-time home buyers haven’t been much help in the housing recovery, but it isn’t because young adults stopped aspiring to become homeowners. “Though they see a tough road to affording Homeownership, younger renters [those between the ages of 18 and 39] still are very likely to say that it’s in their future plans,” wrote Sarah Shahdad, strategic planning analyst with Fannie Mae, commenting recently on Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey. “The vast majority still plan to own someday; about half plan to buy a home the next time they move.” It’s just that, right now, economic realities and life decisions are getting in the way. And those obstacles have repercussions for the broader housing market, because the absence of young buyers is one big reason why the housing recovery hasn’t been stronger. Read more.


Buyers Find More Housing Options This Spring

The number of homes for sale is on the rise, a long-awaited welcome to home buyers who are finding more selection than last spring and less competition, according to®’s National Housing Trend Report for March of the 146 markets it tracks. Inventories of for-sale homes on® in March increased 9.5 percent higher than year ago levels, according to the report. The median list price is $199,900 – 5.3 percent higher than in March 2013. The median age of inventory has also risen – 22.9 percent above year ago figures to a median of 102 days on the market. Read more.


Buying A Home Is Now 38% Cheaper Than Renting

Is renting or buying a better financial bet? Every six months, Trulia’s chief economist Jed Kolko runs the numbers to answer that question and help you stay on top of the trends.  So what does Trulia’s Winter 2014 Rent vs. Buy Report tell us? Although the gap between renting and buying is narrowing across the U.S., homeownership is still 38% cheaper than renting. Homeownership remains cheaper than renting nationally and in all of the 100 largest metro areas according to Trulia TRLA -1.26%’s latest Winter Rent vs. Buy report. Read more.


Planning Your Approach To An Open House

By Kurt Jacobson

Making the decision to purchase a new home can be rather overwhelming, especially if it is your first home or you are moving interstate. There is an awful lot to think about, particularly when it comes to thinking about financing, selling your existing home, finding an area to move to, and of course looking for potential new homes! It can be easy to get wrapped up in the financing details, and forget that you are actually looking for a new home to spend the next chapter of your life in and share with your loved ones. Keeping sight of this fact, and choosing the best home to suit your needs, is the key to homeowner happiness.

You will undoubtedly view many houses before finding one that is suitable. And indeed, this is recommended. Viewing numerous houses helps you to realize what you like, what you don’t like, what your price range will let you purchase, and which areas you are most drawn to. However, when you look at lots of houses in a short space of time, it is easy to lose track of what you are looking for. As you only have a short amount of time to view each property, it is important to take as much information in as you can from each home. So, what are the important details when you are viewing a potential home? Well, here are some of them.

First of all, there are several things you should bring with you to the open house. You will need a tape measure, a camera, and a notebook. Write down as much as you can while you are in the house, as it is easy to become confused when you are viewing multiple houses. By taking notes, you can remember which house had the spacious living room, which had modern kitchens, and which was bathed in afternoon sunlight. Don’t be afraid to take photos either, but make sure you check with the realtor...

Mastering the Art of House Hunting

Guest post by Tyler Robertson.

Investing in a home is a happy milestone for many, but it’s also a minefield of indecision and stress. How do you refine your search to find your perfect home?

Claire Hovey is a writer with a love of all that is green and country, but due to a twist of fate she also loves sparkling city lights and a whole lot of hubbub. She is currently looking to buy her first home in a heady mix of the two.

How to Master the Art of House Hunting

There comes a time when having the freedom to up sticks and move around starts to lose its shine. You begrudge lining someone else’s pockets with rent. You begin to long for something other than beige walls; you dream of having the licence to get hammer-happy put up as many picture hooks as you choose. You start to squirrel away more and more of your Friday Night Out fund for sensible reasons and then, lo and behold, one day you find you have a savings account named ‘Deposit’ and enough in it to begin the House Hunt. You want to own cushions. Life is good.

But how do you begin to tackle the mountainous task of finding your new home? Well, pack your best plimsolls and fetch your guide rope: here are a few important lessons for the house hunt.

  1. Need versus want: know the difference. Fairly self-explanatory; assess your needs as a priority – three bedrooms would be nice, but two is what you need. A conservatory is a possible future goal, but for now, you can make nice with the neighbours in the front room. A vegetable patch might be an absolute must, pronto, but tea on the lawn can wait until house number two.
  1. Take a camera to every viewing:  Sometimes you can walk into a house and just know. Most of the time, you can’t. You need to mull it over, compare and contrast and, above all, make an informed decision....

Beware The Dank and Musty Smell When Looking At A Home

Guest post by Liz Nelson at

Buying a home should be an exciting adventure. Although you'll be limited by the amount of money you're able to spend, you can take your time exploring all of the options you have available in order to find the perfect fit for your needs. Whether this is for a single residence or you're looking for a family dwelling, there could be options all over the city just waiting for you to find them. However, even recently constructed houses could have dark secrets.

A Home's Specific Smell
Every home has a kind of personality. You can almost feel if the home is perfect or not just by stepping through the doorway. While the home can have an inviting "feel" to it, the structure could have a different "smell." Although the look of the home is appealing, your nose could be trying to warn you as pungent smells are detected. One of the most distasteful ones are those that have a musty and dank atmosphere to them. It's akin to walking in the basement of an old house that experiences regular floods. It's a smell of potential financial hardship and possibly sickness.

Detecting Scents with Your Nose
One of the most common reasons of this type of fragrance is derived from water damage. The more severe the damage is, the greater the smell permeates through the air. Some sellers will try to disguise the smell with deodorizers, cleaners and flowery air fresheners. However, you can detect the aftermath of the damage if you use the nose in every room, closet and cupboard. If you use your nose in an inconspicuous manner, you may be able to root out the origins of the aroma without offending the seller or making yourself look weird.

Why is this Important?
Water damage can signify that there are structural integrity faults within the house. Weather rotted wood can become pliable and very dangerous to leave unattended. Water is also a signifier that...

Is Generation Y Holding Back The Housing Recovery?

Millions of young Americans are unemployed or underemployed, living with roommates or at home with Mom and Dad — instead of buying homes of their own, a new study found. And it isn’t just the economy that is holding them back, experts say: Many were also spooked by the property crash of 2008. The number of “missing households” — that is, Americans who would be owning or renting a home now if prerecession economic trends had continued — hit 2.4 million as of March, according to an analysis of raw monthly government data by real-estate marketplace Trulia. That is down slightly from its peak of 2.6 million in 2011, but up 100,000 from the year prior. And 18- to 34-year-olds account for more than half of the missing households, according to the data. “Household formation is the most important indicator of the housing recovery that isn’t making great strides,” says Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko, who did the analysis. Read more.


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