Key Differences and Terms: Property Insurance vs Homeowners’ Insurance

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Often used interchangeably, the terms “property insurance” and “homeowners’ insurance” sometimes confuse new homebuyers. Homeowners’ insurance is a specialized form of property insurance. By “property” the insurance industry means anything that you own.

Under that category come homeowners’ insurance and even renters’ insurance. These products cover single-family houses, condominiums and a renter’s contents in the case of damage from fire, storms, water leaks and theft. Some coverage includes temporary accommodation if you can’t stay in your home.

Homeowners’ insurance typically includes a liability component in case someone suffers property damage or accidental injury due to happenings on your property or the condition of your home.

On a side note, homeowners’ insurance (HOI) should not be confused with Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Although you pay the premiums for PMI when you utilize a zero or low down-payment mortgage option, the coverage does not protect you or your home. It’s there to protect the lender if you default on your loan. Your investment in the home and any equity you’ve built up, however, is not covered by PMI. Additionally, mortgage lenders usually require that you carry HOI up to a certain percentage of the property’s value. Coverage for your contents is up to you.

Here’s How It Breaks Down:

  • Property insurance provides protection against risks to your home and property, like catastrophic and everyday weather damage, fire and theft. “Riders” are specialized forms of insurance or add-on endorsements to cover damage from floods and earthquakes, for example, or damage to or theft of high-value personal items such as antiques, jewelry, firearms, artwork, collectibles, specialized electronics and musical instruments. Some coverage even protects you from yourself. That is, if you’re accident-prone, it will replace your laptop if you trip and send your computer flying across the room.
  • Premiums are the amount that you pay each month, quarter or annually for the coverage. What you pay in premiums above the basic coverage required by your lender is largely within your control, depending on what you cover. You can also reduce some premium costs by installing a security system and avoiding frivolous claims. You can also increase or reduce your premiums by agreeing to a lower or higher deductible.
  • Your deductible is the amount you pay for damage before your insurance coverage kicks in. It’s a wise move to have a savings account with the amount of the deductible tucked away so that in the event of a claim, you can get right on the repairs as soon as the insurance pays your claim.

For advice and recommendations on homeowners’ insurance coverages, ask your real estate agent.

3 Factors to Consider Before You Attend an Open House

Looking to buy a house? Ultimately, you’ll want to attend at least a few open houses in your city or town. By doing so, you’ll be able to understand exactly what you’d like to find in your dream house.

Before you attend an open house, there are several factors to consider, and these include:

1. Your Homebuying Budget

With a budget in hand, you can narrow your search for the ideal home. That way, you can avoid the temptation to attend open houses for residences that fall outside your price range.

To establish a homebuying budget, take a look at your current financial situation. Then, consider your future expenses like those related to student loans or children and plan accordingly.

In addition, it never hurts to get pre-approved for a home loan. If you gain pre-approval, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and review a broad array of houses that match your budget.

2. Your Homebuying Checklist

If you’re living to a warm-weather climate, you may want to own a home with a swimming pool. Or, if you plan to reside near the ocean, you may consider houses where you can dock your boat nearby.

Create a homebuying checklist before you visit open houses. This will allow you to streamline your home search and accelerate the homebuying journey.

Also, it may help to separate your homebuying checklist into “wants” and “must-haves.” Although your dream house may not include all of your homebuying checklist “wants,” you can use these categories to determine exactly what you’d like to find in your ideal residence.

3. Your Homebuying Timeline

Are you planning to move next week or in the next several weeks? Some homebuying journeys are faster than others, and you’ll want to map out your property buying journey based on when you need to move.

For example, if you’ve accepted a new job in the city, you may need to move quickly to relocate. This may require you to act so you can get settled in a new home before you begin your new job.

Comparatively, if you’re in no rush to relocate, you can take a wait-and-see approach to the housing market. And if you attend an open house and like what you see, then you can submit an offer to acquire a residence.

If you’re unsure about how to approach open houses, there is no need to worry. In fact, many real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide to assist homebuyers.

A real estate agent can offer expert insights into a home before a homebuyer attends an open house. Plus, this housing market professional can provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations and will even negotiate with a home seller on a buyer’s behalf.

Get ready for an open house – consider the aforementioned factors, and a homebuyer should have no trouble exploring a broad array of residences and finding one that he or she can enjoy for years to come.

DIY: Removing Old Carpet

Photo by Rodrigo Souza from Pexels

Want to reveal that hardwood under your carpet? Or maybe you’re ready to lay down new flooring? In either case, carpet removal by a professional adds significant cost to the project. Fortunately, removing carpet is something you can do yourself with minimal cost.

It does require a little upper body strength and some patience. So be ready to put your back into it. 

And know that carpet removal is a "no harm; no foul" kind of job. If you find it’s more than you can complete, professionals aren’t going to charge you more because you did some work before they got there.

What you’ll need

  • Duct tape 
  • Utility knife 
  • Dust mask
  • Work gloves (on the thicker side)
  • Old towel and vacuum for cleanup
  • Empty trash bin or rental dumpster for disposal
  • Set aside at least two hours per room. But if you’re new to a home project like this one, it might take longer.

    Step one: pick a corner

    If the carpet is coming up in a specific spot like next to the door, start there. While wearing your gloves and mask, try to pull it up from the edge. In some areas, sharp tack strips hold down the carpet. So be careful.

    *Pro tip* Go into a wide stance and don’t put all your strength into the tug to avoid falling over if it gives suddenly.

    If there’s no right place to start pulling or it won’t give, carefully cut a 6" square into the carpet in the corner of the room. Then begin cutting and removing section by section. Be careful with the knife, especially if you want to preserve the flooring underneath.

    Eventually, you’ll get to a point where you can pull up a huge section.

    Step two: deal with the carpet scraps

    Fold and roll large pieces of carpet. Use duct tape to secure it for easy carrying. Then grab a friend to help you take it outside. Gather the smaller scraps and place them in a bin or dumpster.

    Step three: remove the padding

    The padding is tacked down with staples along the perimeter. The padding will already be shredded in places where you cut the carpet, so simply start pulling it up slowly. 

    The staples should come up with it. But if any remain, you can get them up with a regular staple puller or something similar.

    *Pro tip* If you need to use a prying tool, wear eye protection.

    Now, repeat step two with the padding.

    That’s it. You’re ready to have a professional lay new carpet or pull up your tack strips to lay a different type of flooring. 

    For more fun, DIY-friendly projects, follow our blog.

    What Does It Take to List a Home?

    Listing a home may be simple. In fact, if you know what it takes to craft an engaging house listing, you could speed up the property selling journey.

    Now, let’s take a look at three tips to ensure you can create an effective home listing.

    1. Evaluate Your Home’s Strengths and Weaknesses

    Your home likely has served you well, but it may be far from perfect. However, if you analyze your house from a buyer’s perspective, you can understand your residence’s strengths and weaknesses and craft your property listing accordingly.

    Oftentimes, it helps to make a list of your home’s strengths and weaknesses. You may want to allocate time and resources to correct any problems with your house, too. That way, you can transform a home weakness into a strength before you finalize your property listing.

    Don’t forget to accentuate the positive aspects of your home in your property listing as well. If your home boasts an amazing outdoor swimming pool, for instance, you may want to include details about your pool in your house listing. Or, if you recently improved your home’s roof, you may want to highlight this upgrade in your property listing.

    2. Be Honest

    There is no need to stretch the truth in your home listing. And if you fail to provide buyers with accurate information about your house, you may struggle to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience.

    Ultimately, it is important to provide buyers with the information they need to determine if your house matches their expectations. With an honest approach to a house listing, you can empower buyers with the insights they need to decide whether to pursue your residence.

    3. Include High-Resolution Images

    Your home listing should include relevant information about your residence, along with high-resolution images of different areas of your house. Because if you can show buyers the true beauty of your residence, they may fall in love with your house right away.

    Before you take pictures of your home, you should clean your residence and remove clutter. You also may want to hire a real estate photographer who can capture amazing images that you can incorporate into your home listing.

    Lastly, as you get set to list your house, you may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional knows how to craft an effective home listing, and as such, can help you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers.

    In addition, a real estate agent takes the guesswork out of selling a house. If you are unsure about how to proceed at any point during the home selling journey, a real estate agent is happy to assist you.

    For a home seller who want to accelerate the property selling journey, creating an effective house listing is ideal. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you should have no trouble crafting a home listing that hits the mark with buyers. As a result, you could use your listing to stir up significant interest in your house and enjoy a successful home selling experience.