Lisa Bradley - Re/Max Vision



Posted by Lisa Bradley on 10/10/2017

Home insurance is something that every homeowner needs, but not necessarily something that everyone understands. It’s a great idea to have homeowner’s insurance because it protects your home and all of your possessions. Yet, this insurance is in fact a requirement. Mortgage companies require borrowers to have this protection when they buy a home. You’ll need protection for the amount of what is deemed the “fair value” of your home. This fair value is usually based on the price of purchase. Some renters are even required to have insurance for their property. As stated above, this type of protection is a smart idea. 


What A Home Insurance Policy Covers


The terms of home insurance can be very confusing. Most policies will cover damage to the outside of your home. This will include vandalism, fire, lightning, hurricanes, or down trees that may hit the home. The insurance company will estimate the amount of damage and provide you with funds so that the damage can be repaired. In extreme cases, your home may need to be completely rebuilt. Home insurance does not typically cover floods, earthquakes and home maintenance issues. You may need separate policies or extended policies to get these items covered based on where you live. The interior of your home is covered by home insurance as well. This includes clothing, appliances, furniture and electronics if they are destroyed by something that affects your home. 


Off-Premises Coverage


Some home insurance policies have coverage that includes items that belong to you, no matter where you are when something happens. If you lose jewelry on a trip to Europe, for example, you can get a homeowner’s policy that will cover that. This type of coverage does have strict limits, however, so don’t expect your insurance company to give you 100% of the value of your gold necklace that you lost in Paris! This type of coverage is great for items like engagement rings. 


Liability


Your homeowner’s insurance also includes a liability clause. This includes injuries that occur on your property that have been caused by you or your family. This will even include any problems caused by pets in the home. Beware that insurance companies can limit this type of coverage based on the type of dog breed that you own. Insurance companies may even decline to cover you based on the type of dog you own. If a dog bite does occur on your property and you have a breed that works within the insurance company’s limits, you’ll be covered. If anyone is hurt on your property and files a lawsuit, you’re protected.     

 

Rates


Your insurance rates will be determined by many factors including the neighborhood, crime rates and the climate of the area. Before you choose a place to live, you may want to investigate the insurance costs before you settle on a place to buy.





Posted by Lisa Bradley on 10/3/2017

Looking to purchase your first home? Not sure if you want to purchase a single-family home or a condo? What you purchase will be determinant on your thoughts about the below information. Take a look at the various differences between single-family homes and condos and decide the pros and cons for yourself. Location: Based on your price range, you will typically be able to purchase a condo in a location where you would otherwise not be able to purchase a home. But in return, you are often getting less square footage, closer by neighbors, and smaller outdoor living space. If you sacrifice a downtown city location for a location right outside of the city, you will get more for your money. Do you want to be able to walk to restaurants, shops and maybe work or is a home with free parking a more attractive option to you? It all depends on what is most important to you. Privacy: There will be less privacy when owning a condo versus a home, as neighbors are much closer. Condos typically share a wall with one another, some on just one side and some on both sides. This is an important detail to take into consideration when deciding between a condo and single-family home. Additional Costs: HOA fees or homeowner association fees are monthly fees that condo owners must pay. The fees cover things such as utilities, reserve and contingency funds, amenities, maintenance and repairs, which includes lawn care, snow removal, trash removal, exterior upkeep, etc. These costs vary depending on the condo amenities and policies. However, it’s important to be aware that there is the possibility that these fees increase if there is not enough in the reserve to cover unforeseen costs. When owning a home, there are no HOA fees. This means that a homeowner needs to be cognizant of the additional costs of owning a home. Will you purchase a lawnmower and snow blower or hire a service? Will you have the additional funds to pay for unforeseen expenses? These are important questions to consider. Restrictions: Owning a condo has some limitations as there will be restrictions that would not exist when owning your own home (unless you purchase a historical home). There are often restrictions dealing with the exterior of your home, parking restrictions as well as having certain barbecues on decks. Condos are an attractive choice for those looking for a low maintenance lifestyle. And owning and maintaining a home will take more work on the homeowner’s part. It’s important to figure out exactly what you want out of a home before you decide on one or the other, but knowing the difference between a single-family home and a condo is a first step.





Posted by Lisa Bradley on 9/26/2017

When looking at new homes, home buyers with high expectations can sometimes feel disappointed with their options. In a world where wood paneling, blue bathtubs, and wallpaper in every room have been popular trends it can feel like a lot of houses on the market are eyesores.

An important factor to keep in mind, however, is what parts of the home are merely cosmetic and which are structurally important. If a home is in a neighborhood you love with all the structurally important systems in excellent shape you can still add it to the top of your list. Poor design choices, or lack thereof, can always be changed down the line. 

If you were hoping for a home with lots of character and detail but the neighborhoods you love are filled with ranches and builder grade homes don’t despair. There are plenty of style upgrades you can DIY yourself to give your home the luxe look you’re looking for. 

Ready to make a dramatic first impression? Wow guests with just a few of these simple upgrades. 

If your entrance opens up to a staircase you can create a drastic difference with just a small change. The newel post, that is the first main post of the stair railing, can be swapped out for something more ornate and classic. With plenty of options ranging from boxy posts with molding to something sleek topped with an ornate finial ball. Add more drama by choosing a contrasting color for the finial, newel cap, and railing from the main post and spindles.  

A large mirror placed in an entrance or along the length of a hallway never fails to make a statement. Place a pier mirror between windows to create more light and dimension to the room. Create a built-in look by adding molding and wainscotting painted to match the trim of the room. 

Add elegance by installing a ceiling medallion. Not just for the foyer they are also a great detail to add to your dining room, guest bedroom or home office. With a wide selection at your fingertips, you can pair one with a chandelier for a chic look or for a more modern flair coupled with a contemporary style pendant light.

For a truly classic look wall trim instantly makes any room look more luxe. Keep it simple with box shapes or opt for an art deco touch with more geometric shapes. Paired with other vintage elements wall trim brings a sense of refinement. If you’re aiming for a more effortless yet modern theme pair with a mix of mid-century modern and minimalist pieces.

When house shopping keeping an open mind as to what can be changed and what is imperative for a safe home makes all the difference in your shopping experience. Print out pictures for inspiration or create a board on Pinterest to keep the ideas flowing. As you look at each new house keep in mind how you can easily add these elements to create a more luxurious home with a quick weekend project.




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Posted by Lisa Bradley on 9/19/2017

When you buy a home, there’s more to shop for than just the right place to live. Before you settle with a lender, you should shop around a bit. You want to be sure that your lender has your very best interests in mind when you’re in the midst of making one of the biggest purchases of your lifetime. Below, you’ll find some of the most important questions that you need to ask a lender while you’re in the process of buying a home.


Do You Offer Any Special Programs?


Choosing the right lender involves choosing a firm that offers the types of programs that will be helpful to your specific situation. You should look for a lender that offers a wide array of loans to suit your needs. Beware of any lender who tries to push you into a certain type of loan, especially if you don’t feel that it is a good fit for you. 


Do You Understand The Terms Of Certain Types Of Loans?


If you are seeking a certain type of loan, you probably should tell your lender that upfront. Of they seem familiar with it and have worked with the loan before, you’re in good hands. If the type of loan that you’re looking for is more uncommon, then you may need to shop around carefully for the right lender who understands your needs. 


Do I meet The Qualifications For Specific Loans?


The requirements for the same loan at two different lenders could be different. Things like your credit score could be a big factor. If you have a less than desirable credit score, this would also prompt you to want to look around a bit. You should know that different lenders have different terms and looking at a few lenders could be beneficial to you.


What Are The Mortgage Rates?


You’ll need a general ballpark idea of what rates will be for you when you finally secure that home loan. Keep in mind that rates fluctuate often and that an estimate will be just that. It’s not a number that will be set in stone, however, it will give you a good place to start as you shop around for a loan. 


Do You Help With Down Payments?


There are many down payment assistance programs available and your lender can help you to navigate them. The more you put down, the better your interest rate will be. If the amount that you’re able to put down on a home is a factor for you, definitely discuss it with your lender.


Can You Provide Pre-Approval Proof?


In hot real estate markets, you’re going to need some proof that you’re pre-approved in order to have the upper hand once you put in an offer on a home. Your lender should be able to provide your real estate agent with a certified letter of your pre-approval and the amount. 


Choosing the right lender is just as important as choosing the right realtor and the right home to buy. It’s just another part of the home buying process!




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Posted by Lisa Bradley on 9/12/2017

After you accept an offer on your house, it may be only a few weeks before you have to pack up your belongings and move. And if you know exactly which packing supplies to pick up, you should have no trouble getting ready to relocate to a new address.

Ultimately, there are several must-have packing supplies to pick up before an upcoming move, and these include:

1. Boxes of Varying Sizes

Transporting items of different sizes can be difficult. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to find moving boxes of varying sizes.

Typically, you can buy moving boxes at any home improvement or hardware store. Depending on how much you own, you may need to pick up tiny, small, medium and large moving boxes in assorted quantities.

For those who are looking to save money on moving boxes, you may be able to pick up various boxes from local convenience stores and supermarkets as well.

Contact local convenience stores or supermarkets to find out if they offer free boxes. Be sure to reach out to these shops at least a few weeks before your move; that way, you can pick up free boxes and still have plenty of time to pack up your belongings.

2. Packing Materials

Bubble wrap, polyurethane foam and other packing materials guarantee that your personal belongings will stay safe as you travel from Point A to Point B. Therefore, you should purchase a variety of packing materials to protect antiques, glassware and other fragile items during your move.

Of course, it never hurts to be creative with packing materials, either. And if you have old clothing or towels, you may be able to use these items as packing materials too.

3. Colored Markers or Stickers

If you commit significant time and resources to pack up your belongings, you surely want to know where to place these items in your new home. Luckily, colored markers and stickers make it easy to label your moving boxes.

Colored markers and stickers can help you keep track of your personal items during your move. Plus, these markers and stickers are inexpensive and easy to use, making them exceedingly valuable for those who want to streamline the process of getting unpacked at a new address.

Clearly, there are many essential packing supplies to pick up prior to moving day. If you require extra help as you prepare for an upcoming move, it never hurts to reach out to a professional moving company for support.

A professional moving company can help you pack up your belongings and take them to your new address. Also, this business employs friendly, diligent moving professionals who will help you take the guesswork out of getting ready for moving day.

Lastly, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent for moving advice. This housing market professional can help you sell your house, put you in touch with professional moving companies in your area and much more.




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