Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Schlage LiNK™

by Samia S. Morgan

The latest technology offered from Schlage gives homeowners the ability to monitor and control their home from anywhere. Schlage LiNK™ lets you remotely control and monitor access to your home 24/7 from any Internet enabled computer and most web enabled cell phones.  This new remote home management offers many benefits, below are some of the things you can do.

•Check the status of your lock and set temporary codes to your home from your Internet enabled computer or cell phone
•Change, add, or delete access codes to your lock remotely
•Access a 90 day history of who has accessed your lock

Some of the benefits:

•No key to hide, lose, carry, or forget
•Ready to use out of the box. Installs quickly, usually in less than 30 minutes
•Powered by a 9-volt battery. If the Internet goes down or the power goes out, the lock still provides you secure access to your home
•Use the keys provided with the lock as a standard door lock
•Ability to program up to 19 unique user codes
•Add, change, or delete user codes in seconds

The system can be accessed via computer or cell phone and you can send a command to your home using the password-protected Schlage LiNK online interface on your cell phone or computer. The command travels to your home via the Internet, using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption technology, the same security used for online banking

Many cell phones support the Schlage LiNK application. Currently, Blackberry and Windows Mobile phones are supported with the Schlage LiNK phone application on Verizon. A Schlage LiNK application compatible with other Verizon phones is undergoing testing and should be available by the end of 2009. To see if your phone is supports this system, text “phone” to 695465 (MYLINK) on your cell phone to see if it’s compatible.

Home Warranties

by Samia S. Morgan

When your purchase a new home, the expenses can add up and the last thing you need to worry about an unexpected expense. If you are concerned about potential repairs or appliance malfunctions in your new home, you might want to consider purchasing a home warranty. A home warranty is a service contract which helps protect home owners against the cost of unexpected covered repairs or replacement on their major systems and appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear. A home warranty is a good idea for first-time home buyers with no experience maintaining a home.

The cost for these warranties are fairly inexpensive, typically ranging from $250 to $600, depending on coverage. The policies are usually prepaid for a year in advance, at which time they expire or can be renewed. There are many different plans with different requirements, most tend to operate the same way. If an  appliance or item covered breaks or stops working, the home owner calls the home warranty company. The home warranty company calls a provider with which it has an arrangement and they contact the homeowner to come out to fix the problem.  Typically if the problem can be fixed per the contract coverage than the warranty company pays the contractor directly.

Below are some of the items typiclaly covered by these types of warranties. Each company is different so always obtain a list of items covreed before purchasing a policy.

  • Air conditioner system/ Furnace / heating
  • Dishwashers
  • Doorbells
  • Water heater
  • Garbage disposal
  • Inside plumbing stoppages
  • Ceiling fans
  • Electrical systems
  • Range and oven

Typically outdoor items such as sprinklers, or pool filters/spa systems are not covered unless specific coverage requested

Moving into a new home is expensive and having an unexpected repair can easily drain a budget. While part of home ownership requires dealing with unexpected breakdowns and repairs, having a home warranty can help to covered repairs or replacement easier and less costly.

First Time Homeseller Tips

by Samia S. Morgan

Buying a home for the first time can be a stressful experience but the same is true if you are selling your home for the first time. Homeowners who are selling for the first time will have many questions. Will my home sell? How should I price it? What do I need to do to prepare to sell my home?  Below are some tips and answers to these common questions.  

Hire An Experienced Agent.  When selling your home for the first time it is a good idea to have someone on your side who can answer your questions and provide you with the guidance you need. Selling your home on your own, especially for the first time can be a very difficult process.  By using an experienced real estate agent that you feel comfortable with, you can set a fair and competitive selling price for your home that will increase your odds of a quick sale. Another benefit in working with an agent is that they will work with potential buyers so you don't have to. Agents will also have more experience negotiating home sales.

Prepare Your Home Properly. It is vital to prepare your home for sale and to show your home at it's best. A clean, uncluttered house is the first place to start, Also all repairs need to be addressed, from major to minor. It is not wise to try to hide any problems as they will be found when the potential buyer does the home inspection. Failing to do these things will not only reduce your sale price, but may also prevent you from getting a sale at all.


Be Flexible On The Asking Price. It is important to prepare yourself that you probably wont get the asking price. Most all buyers will negotiate to get the best price, especially in a buyers market. And if you want to sell your home you will have to work with them, especially in a soft market where competition is stiff. It is important to list your home at a price that will attract buyers but you will need to leave some breathing room for negotiations. A successful sale is one where the buyer feels like they aer getting a good deal and the seller feels that they received an amount that they needed as well. 


Because this is a buyers market and competition is tough, it is a good possibility that your home may not sell quickly and may sit on the market for far longer than you expect. Do your research and work with an experienced agent who can help you avoid costly mistakes and help you to achieve a seamless, lucrative sale every home seller hopes for!

Saving On Homeowners Insurance

by Samia S. Morgan

There are many costs involved when you own a home. From repairs, upkeep and insurance it all adds up. Homeowners insurance can be a big part of your budget but the price you pay for your homeowners insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars, depending on the insurance company you buy your policy from. Here are some things to consider when buying homeowners insurance.

1. Do your homework and shop around

Check with several different companies for the best rates and what type of service they offer. You can look online for different companies and their rates quickly to compare. Check with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (www.naic.org) for information to help you choose an insurer in your state, including complaints. States often make information available on typical rates charged by major insurers and many states provide the frequency of consumer complaints by company.

Also check consumer guides, insurance agents, companies and online insurance quote services. This will give you an idea of price ranges and tell you which companies have the lowest prices. But don't consider price alone. The insurer you select should offer a fair price and deliver the quality service you would expect if you needed assistance in filing a claim. So in assessing service quality, use the complaint information cited above and talk to a number of insurers to get a feeling for the type of service they give. Ask them what they would do to lower your costs.

2. Raise Your Deductible

Deductibles are the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before your insurance company starts to pay a claim, according to the terms of your policy. The higher your deductible, the more money you can save on your premiums. Nowadays, most insurance companies recommend a deductible of at least $500. If you can afford to raise your deductible to $1,000, you may save as much as 25 percent. Remember, if you live in a disaster-prone area, your insurance policy may have a separate deductible for certain kinds of damage. If you live near the coast in the East, you may have a separate windstorm deductible; if you live in a state vulnerable to hail storms, you may have a separate deductible for hail; and if you live in an earthquake-prone area, your earthquake policy has a deductible.

3. Make payments electronically.

Many companies now charge up to $5 for mailed or phone payments, so have your payments automatically deducted to shave that cost. Sometimes the deductions can come from your credit card, so you don't have to worry if the money is in your bank account when payment time comes.

4. Buy your home and auto policies from the same insurer

Some companies that sell homeowners, auto and liability coverage will take 5 to 15 percent off your premium if you buy two or more policies from them. But make certain this combined price is lower than buying the different coverages from different companies.

5. Make your home more disaster resistant

Find out from your insurance agent or company representative what steps you can take to make your home more resistant to windstorms and other natural disasters. You may be able to save on your premiums by adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof or buying stronger roofing materials. Older homes can be retrofitted to make them better able to withstand earthquakes. In addition, consider modernizing your heating, plumbing and electrical systems to reduce the risk of fire and water damage.

6. Improve your home security

You can usually get discounts of at least 5 percent for a smoke detector, burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks. Some companies offer to cut your premium by as much as 15 or 20 percent if you install a sophisticated sprinkler system and a fire and burglar alarm that rings at the police, fire or other monitoring stations. These systems aren't cheap and not every system qualifies for a discount. Before you buy such a system, find out what kind your insurer recommends, how much the device would cost and how much you'd save on premiums.

7. Seek out other discounts

Companies offer several types of discounts, like senior discounts. Insurance companies have found that retired people stay at home more and spot fires sooner than working people. Older people also have more time for maintaining their homes. If you're at least 55 years old and retired, you might qualify for a discount of as much as 10%. Some employers and professional associations administer group insurance programs that may offer a better deal than you can get elsewhere.

8. Maintain a good credit record

Establishing a solid credit history can cut your insurance costs. Insurers are increasingly using credit information to price homeowners insurance policies. In most states, your insurer must advise you of any adverse action, such as a higher rate, at which time you should verify the accuracy of the information on which the insurer relied. To protect your credit standing, pay your bills on time, don't obtain more credit than you need and keep your credit balances as low as possible. Check your credit record on a regular basis and have any errors corrected promptly so that your record remains accurate.

9. Stay with the same insurer

If you've kept your coverage with a company for several years, you may receive a special discount for being a long-term policyholder. Some insurers will reduce their premiums by 5 percent if you stay with them for three to five years and by 10 percent if you remain a policyholder for six years or more. But make certain to periodically compare this price with that of other policies.

10. Review the limits in your policy and the value of your possessions at least once a year

You want your policy to cover any major purchases or additions to your home. But you don't want to spend money for coverage you don't need. If your five-year-old fur coat is no longer worth the $5,000 you paid for it, you'll want to reduce or cancel your floater (extra insurance for items whose full value is not covered by standard homeowners policies such as expensive jewelry, high-end computers and valuable art work) and pocket the difference.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Syndication

Categories

Archives