Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 8/28/2019

Photo by: Caleb Woods via Unsplash

Home repair insurance is an optional service agreement also known as a home warranty. It is put in place to save costs when there may be a need for repairs or replacement of any major system or household appliances. Often added as an incentive to sweeten a sale, a great home warranty is a valuable option to have.

Items covered by this insurance might include the refrigerator, dishwasher, HVAC, plumbing, washer and dryer, electrical systems and plumbing. These appliances and systems may break down and need repair at some point due to daily use.

Apart from home repair insurance, there are other types of home protection plans that take care of expensive home repairs. Some of these policies are utility insurance, homeowner’s insurance and manufacturer’s warranties. Though they sound similar, each of the home protection plans is helpful in different situations.

What is covered by home repair insurance?

Note that home repair insurance covers items written clearly in the contract; it does not take care of anything outside the contract. Many home warranty providers have three coverage levels. They are the basic plan, an enhanced plan and a customized plan. The basic plan is the first level of coverage that takes care of appliances that you use every day. It also covers systems like garage door maintenance and dishwashers.

The enhanced plan is an upgrade of the basic plan; it covers extra items like a washer and dryer, jetted bathtub or water heater. You may also opt for a customized plan where you have the option of including specific features like a pool heater or well pump.

How to make a service request

Before submitting a service request, endeavor to call the company’s customer service line. Better still, you can often file a claim online. 

Follow these procedures when making a service request:

• Check your contract to be sure that the insurance plan covers the broken item.

• File a claim when covered items malfunction or stop working.

• Do not hire a contractor on your own, instead allow the home warranty provider to supply you with one of their professional contractors.

• Pay the technician a service fee.

• Ask if they will replace items that are not repairable.

There are a lot of benefits that come with home repair insurance. Go through the different plans available and opt for the one that is suitable for you. When you’re ready to start your home-buying journey contact me to go over the best strategy for securing a home warranty with your offer.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 6/24/2019

These days, homeowners are very busy renovating and improving their property, according to a HomeAdvisor survey. The homeowners who participated in that survey admitted they had spent an average of over $6,600 on repairs and improvements in 2018, and almost 50 percent of these homeowners were thinking about doing more renovations.

What is driving all this home improvement? Part of the reason is that a lot of potential buyers are buying places that need work as home prices are becoming so high. So, many people are remodeling rather than moving when they want more or better space.

Home renovations are a serious project. Many individuals renovate to update and upgrade their homes as well as increase property values. There are many ways you can pay for home repairs. Below you will find the three smartest ways to cover those costs.

1. Saved-up Cash

This option can be effective if you have a separate emergency fund saved and can save what you need before renovations become critical.

If you had saved up enough cash, you probably would not be reading this post as you are here to know how you finance your home repairs with your available funds! But still, the best way to pay for a home renovation is with the cash you've saved over the years so that you can keep your total debt at the lowest level. 

Of course, your patience can wear down when you see your core rooms like the kitchen and the bathroom going down the drain. You know waiting until you have cash is not realistic at all as you should not delay critical repairs for a long time. If you neglect a leaky roof, it might turn into a bigger and more expensive problem.

However, if you are not sure how critical a repair is, especially for something like the roof or anything structural, consult a real estate professional such as a licensed a home inspector.

2. Home Improvement Loan

If you do not have enough cash in your savings to fund your renovation project, there is still hope; you can get a personal home improvement loan. This option allows you to secure loan money without putting your house at risk. If you go for an unsecured personal loan, you will probably get more than you can on a credit card. 

However, pay attention: it is more sustainable not to borrow more than you need for your repairs. No matter how much you borrow, make absolutely sure that you know the amount of your overall monthly payments.

3. Home Equity Line of Credit

Using home equity is a viable option if you have at least 20 percent equity in your home and do not need over $25,000 as well as want to make a series of smaller home improvements.

The HELOC or home equity line of credit works in the same way as a credit card. You do not have to borrow and pay interest on the complete sum all at once. Instead, you borrow and pay as you go. With this arrangement, this option makes a HELOC an excellent choice for not-too-large renovations or a series of small home improvements.

Wrapping Up…Home repairs and renovations can be expensive to handle, but there are many ways to pay for them. So, you should plan your budget before embarking on a home renovation project as the cost of most repair works can increase considerably.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 1/28/2019

If you've lived in your home for very long, you know that lots of places collect dust, lint, grime, hair, fuzz and, well, gunk. Often, we become so busy in our daily lives that we neglect to remove the gunk until it causes a significant problem such as a clogged drain or even a fire in the dryer vent.

So, what to do? Get out the gunk, of course.

Put your gunk patrol on a schedule. Once every month, or more often if needed, check these areas and remove any debris built up there that can cause expensive calls to a plumber, electrician, or the fire department.

  • Vanity drains: In the bathrooms, the vanity drain collects hair, fuzz, slivers of soap and other junk that causes clogs. To clear the plug area, push the plunger in as far as it goes, reach into the drain area with tweezers and pull out any hair and slimy gunk hiding in there. New quick-release plugs with removable baskets make this job a snap. If the drain already has a clog, turn off the water access under the sink. Then gently remove the trap—the curved piece of pipe—to see if you can locate the clog there. If the trap is stuck, you’ll want to call in a plumbing professional.
  • Shower and tub drains: Similar to vanities, these drains clog with hair and other debris that washes down. Pull what you can from the upper side. If your shower grate has removable screws, you can loosen them and lift it off to access any clog. Tubs are more difficult because you cannot access the drain or the trap, so you may need to call a plumber for a plugged tub. To protect against this problem, place a hair screen (available at hardware stores) over the drain and clean it out daily.
  • Dryer lint hose: In the same way that lint builds up in the dryer lint trap, it also collects in the hose leading to the outside vent. Often, dryer hoses become kinked when pushing the dryer into place, so carefully pull out the unit and carefully unhook the hose from both the dryer side and the wall. Carry the hose outside and shake it out over a trash bin. Look through the hose to make sure you've removed all the collected lint. If necessary, use a bent wire coat hanger or broom handle to remove any lint you can't reach. Carefully replace the hose, making sure the clips are in place, and the hose remains un-kinked when you push back the dryer. Remember, built up lint causes more than just an inefficient dryer, it can also cause house fires.

Just a few moments each month can save a homeowner from tons of costly repairs. If you'd prefer to hire someone to take care of servicing these items for you, reach out to your real estate professional for a referral.




Categories: homeowner   maintenance   home repair  


Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 10/25/2017

A home repair checklist can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time. With this checklist in hand, a home seller can prioritize assorted home repairs. Plus, a home repair checklist helps ensure that a seller can enhance his or her house before adding it to the real estate market.

Ultimately, there are several items to include in a home repair checklist, such as:

1. Inspecting and Repairing the Roof

If you notice damaged, loose or missing roof shingles, you'll want to repair or replace these shingles immediately. That way, you can improve your home's roof – something that may make your house more attractive than others to dozens of potential buyers.

Remember, many homebuyers don't want to deal with the hassle of roof repairs. If you allocate the necessary time and resources to repair your roof today, you can include details about your upgraded roof in your home listing. Thus, roof repairs may help you increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.

When it comes to roof repairs, it often pays to hire professionals. Reach out to local roof repair companies, and you should have no trouble upgrading your house's roof.

2. Sealing Cracks and Gaps in Windows and Doors

Cracks and gaps in windows and doors can cause warm or cold air to leak outside a house. As a result, these problems can drive up a homeowner's monthly heating and cooling bills.

Fortunately, sealing cracks and gaps in windows and doors can be quick and easy. In most instances, caulk or weather stripping can help minimize these issues. Or, you can always reach out to local contractors for professional assistance as well.

3. Power-Washing Windows and Siding

Your home's curb appeal can have a significant impact on how quickly your residence sells. If you power-wash your residence's windows and siding, you can instantly boost your home's curb appeal and help your residence stand out to potential buyers.

Oftentimes, you can rent a power-washer from a home improvement store. You also may choose to buy a power-washer; by doing so, you can use your power-washer both now and in the future.

A home repair checklist is a must-have for home sellers, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. If you need extra help determining which home repairs to complete prior to listing your residence, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent too.

By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive expert guidance throughout the home selling journey. A real estate agent can put you in touch with the best local contractors to help you finish myriad home repairs. In addition, a real estate agent will help you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers and ensure that you can generate substantial interest in your house.

Ready to sell your house? Include the aforementioned items in your home repair checklist, and you can upgrade your residence in no time at all.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 10/12/2017

A home inspection represents a key stage during the homebuying journey. This inspection enables you to examine a house with a professional property inspector. And if you discover minor or major property issues, you can ask a seller to perform repairs. Or, you may choose to reduce your initial home offer or rescind your proposal.

Ultimately, it pays to be diligent during a home inspection. If you perform an in-depth assessment of a house, you can understand whether this residence is the right choice.

On the other hand, there may be property problems that you identify during a home inspection that you won't ask a seller to repair. These issues may include:

1. Cosmetic Problems

If you ask a home seller to perform cosmetic repairs, the seller may choose to walk away from your homebuying proposal. And if this happens, you could lose your dream house to a rival homebuyer.

There is no need to jeopardize a home sale due to a cracked floor tile, a deck that needs to be stained or other cosmetic problems. Instead, plan to perform cosmetic repairs on your own.

In addition, keep in mind that many cosmetic issues are quick and easy to fix and won't require you to break your budget. This means you likely will have no trouble completing myriad cosmetic repairs after you close on a home.

2. Loose Fixtures

A loose doorknob or light fixture can be frustrating. And as you walk through a house during an inspection, you may feel like repairing a loose fixture is a top priority.

Loose fixtures generally require simple hand tools to repair, and problems with these fixtures frequently can be solved in just minutes. As such, you may want to focus your attention on bigger and potentially more expensive home repairs as you determine which property repair requests to submit to a seller.

Of course, if a loose fixture creates a safety hazard, you should not hesitate to ask the seller to fix this problem. Because if a hazardous fixture remains in place, it may put your health and safety at risk.

3.Non-Functional Light Switch

A non-functional light switch may raise red flags as you inspect a house. But in many instances, this problem is minor.

If you notice a non-functional light switch during a home inspection, there usually is no need to worry. In fact, a property inspector typically can tell you whether a home's electrical system is safe to use and up to code.

For homebuyers who are uncertain about how to proceed with a residence following an inspection, it pays to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer expert tips to help you make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Consider your potential property repair requests following a home inspection. By doing so, you can prioritize major property repairs and increase the likelihood that you and the seller can find common ground as you work toward finalizing a purchase agreement.




Categories: Buying a Home   home repair