Home Insurance & Home Warranty…explained

by | Aug 1, 2015 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes:                                                                                                                                                                                                
***due to the Clark County Fair, our next classes are a couple of weeks out,
but if you need something before this….please let us know!  We can work
something out.  🙂

Thursday night, August 20 , from 5pm-8pm
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

Saturday, August 22nd, from 11am-2pm
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave)
If these class dates and/or times don’t work for you, please let us know.  We understand that you have lives, and families, and work.  We will work something out that works better with your schedule.  Just let us know….

….we also have home seller classes available too…link on left on website

Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner!  😀
Happy Saturday afternoon!

Who else is melting???  I am not a heat fan, I will be honest.  I look forward to cooler weather as I believe anything over 85 degrees is ridiculous!  LOL  My AC is my best friend right now, and yes, my house feels like a fridge….and I am ok with that!  😀   I hope you are keeping cool during this ‘another’ heat wave!  Don’t forget to drink a lot of water too as, for me, when I don’t in this heat it will always lead to getting overheated, and a migraine.  Blah…    So here’s to cooler weather coming our way, right?

Just a heads up,  Chris & I will be at the Clark County Fair from 8/7-8/16.  Our booth is directly to the right (second booth) as you enter in through the main doors.  Please feel free to come by and visit, or stop by for questions.  We are, as always, here to help you with your home adventure.  😀   I hope to see you!

I know last weeks was pretty short, but this week I am going to cover Home OWNERS (aka Hazard) Insurance & Home Warranties, so it will be a bit longer.  This is by request.  Please let me know if YOU have any topics you would like me to cover.  🙂  Thanks again!!

Home Owners Insurance (aka Hazard Insurance)

Home owners insurance always seems to be the last thing many buyers think of, but it should be one of the first things.  Remember that this is your first legal reason to back out of an offer.  After you, and your buyers agent, make an offer on a home, you should call your insurance company to verify that the home is insurable.  If there has been a previous claim on the property, the home may not be.  Remember that a claim follows the previous homeowners, and the expense will also follow the home to the new home buyer.

Shop around for home owners insurance….remember that you can often get a better deal if you ‘bundle’ your insurance.  Call your current renters insurance company, call your vehicle insurance company…maybe call a few more.  Once you have an agent and company you are happy with, contact your lender and give your lender the name and phone number of the insurance agent.  The lender will call your insurance agent to request an insurance binder. You can also give your insurance agent your lenders information and s/he can send the binder directly to them.

What is homeowners insurance?

Homeowners Insurance is often referred to by lenders as Hazard Insurance.  When you purchase a home, you are taking responsibility for that loan.  Homeowners insurance protects the bank, and it protects you.   If you have a fire, and your home burns down, you are still responsible for that loan….even if the home is no longer there.  I know that we don’t have enough money to re-build a home on our own, and that is where insurance comes in.  Your home owners insurance will pay to re-build your home, and often help you out with living arrangements in the meantime.

Three words you need to remember for home owners insurance is Care, Custody, and Control.  If the event that damages the home is outside of your Care, Custody, and Control…that is where homeowners insurance comes in.  Fire?  Yes?  Leaking Roof?  not so much.  If there was a violent storm in the last couple of days…maybe.  Technically roof leaks are considered maintenance of the home owner.  Is it a claim?  Yes.  Will you receive insurance funds to repair?  No.  A leaking roof is within your Care, Custody, and Control….unless there are extenuating circumstances….  A tree falls on your home?  Yes, call home owners insurance.  Busted pipes while you are on vacation?  Should be a call to your home owners insurance company.  What about if your dog bites someone?  Well, do you have a “beware of dog sign” on your yard/home?  If you do then you could be claiming responsibility and it would be outside your coverage!  I know you ‘think’ you are protecting yourself with this sign, but in actuality you have just negated your insurance claim because you are already claiming your dog to be dangerous.  Home insurance is all about those three little words…Care, Custody, and Control….

It is all very confusing, so I urge all of my clients to have a relationship with their insurance agent.  If you have any questions regarding whether or not you have a claim, call your agent and ‘hypothetically’ ask them the question of whether or not you have a claim.  🙂

Remember as well that you have a deductible.  Most deductibles are around $1000….so if you do have a claim be sure that it is going to cost more than that to repair.  You might have an insurance claim, but if it is going to cost less than your deductible to repair it, don’t make the claim.

Always remember…Care, Custody, and Control.  For more information, call your insurance agent.

Homeowners insurance is paid by your mortgage company, and is part of your monthly mortgage payment.  Your monthly mortgage payments covers Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance….aka PITI payment. Your mortgage payment also covers your mortgage insurance, but that would make it the PITIMI payment, and how much sense does that make???  🙂

Now home warranties are not required…but it is something I am a HUGE advocate for…..

Home Warranty

I urge all buyers to have a home warranty.  Home warranty typically covers everything but siding, roofing, windows, walls, and flooring.  There are the basic coverages, and additional coverages you can add after you close and move in.  There are three ways to get a home warranty….the buyer can pay for it, the seller (or sellers agent) can pay for it, or the buyers agent can pay for it.  Find out if you are getting a home warranty, which home warranty company it will be, and then do some research on it.  What is the basic coverage for?  How much are the co-pays/deductibles?  What are the additional coverages you can add?  What do they cover, and how much are they?

Why is a home warranty such a good idea?  Because things happen.  For example…in July of 2009, my water heater went out.  No hot water!!  We had to go purchase another one at $500.  This would have been covered for about $60 with a home warranty.
On 12/31/2010, my electric furnace stopped working.  It was very cold!!  And of course…new years eve, so no one was available to repair it until Tuesday…..that was 3 days away.  Luckily, our furnace guy had his assistant come by and drop off some space heaters for us.  Come to find out, the builder put in a furnace that was too small for my home.  The furnace is meant for homes 1200 sq ft or smaller…my house is almost 1700 sq ft….no wonder why it burnt out!  We still need a new furnace that is going to cost $2500, but in the meantime the band-aid cost to repair it was $600.  Home warranty would have covered the repair, and paid for a new furnace.  Sadly, even though I get home warranties for all of my buyers, I didn’t have one on my own home.  This has since been remedied.  😀 I now carry one on my own home, However I still don’t have a new furnace.  The band aid fix is still working so that works for me…for now.

I urge buyers to continue with a home warranty every year, but it is, of course, up to you to continue it after the first year.  That first year is always so important as you are painting, getting used to mortgage payments, utilities, yardwork, maintenance, etc….if something were to happen, it’s nice to have that back-up.

Some home warranty companies are:  American Home Shield, Fidelity Home Warranty, 2-10 Home Warranty, First American Home Warranty, Home Warranty of America, among others.  The one I typically set up for my clients is with Old Republic Home Warranty.  My clients have been very happy with their service, and they are very affordable.

Information is power, and I hope that I am able to help you.  Good luck, and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there….  If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.  
As always….this is just a quick overview…. please remember that your agent, and your lender work for YOU.  You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals.  Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure.  The goal is to be informative and non-promotional.  🙂  We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.

If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your home adventure, please call, email, text, or facebook me anytime.  I am, as always, happy to help!

Thank you again for your business and your referrals!!  …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.

.  ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…

Next Week:      Websites to find homes, and what status’s mean
or…  Escrow Accounts (what they do, and what they are)
Last Week:  The Five Parts of a Mortgage Payment         

Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,

Tracie DeMars / Realtor

ReMax Equity Group
License# 81289
Vancouver, WA

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