Buying a House

Ahhh just got pre-approved for a home loan, now the fun can begin. It’s time to pick out your dream house, and get a taste of that sweet American dream.

Congratulations on the decision to go forth and buy your very own home. In the next few weeks you and your real estate agent are going to become close, spending weekends going from potential dream house to the home of your dreams has that effect on people. In the midst of your euphoria, keep in mind buying a house is a big undertaking that shouldn’t be taken lightly. To find the house you’ve been looking for, you’ll need to focus on what you need and what you want and of course research. Remember, it takes a lot to make a house your perfect home.

Some things you just know, and when you find the house you’ve been looking for, you know it. And when you know it, well, you do what you can to get it. Late nights with your real estate agent, signing documents making offers, things are going to move fast, its go time, let the negotiations begin. From this point on it’s a race to the finish, once you’ve signed every document, and presented the best offer you can fathom and afford, you wait.

Hopefully before you’ve begun serious negotiations and the escrow waiting game, you’ve thought of home and property insurance, if not no worries but there’s no time like the present. This is where the team at Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation can be of help. Home buying is expensive and time intensive, so to avoid wasted dollars and wasted hours, Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation has prepared some home buying tips and financial pitfalls to avoid that can help you along:

  1. Select your own insurance
  2. Where’s the fire station?
  3. Don’t get bounced by the trampoline
  4. Homeowners associations
  5. Flood zone, you might need some insurance against Mother Nature.

Select your own insurance

Serious negotiations behind, and an offer has been made and accepted. It’s time to celebrate, well almost. You thought you had paperwork before, but now you have even more. Sign on this line and that line, what’s this? All questions are quickly explained by your broker in terms barely understandable to you the new home buyer. With all the papers it’s easy to sign without getting specifics, but not so fast, what you’re signing may be costing you thousands of additional dollars.

Thousands of additional dollars, how so you may ask? Well homeowners insurance when selected by a mortgage broker is often at a much higher rate than a policy might be when selected by say, you. And because homeowners insurance like property taxes are commonly combined with the escrow account and made part of a mortgage payment, it’s easy to miss. When securing your loan all lenders require homeowners insurance be in place, this is a good thing, however the insurance selected should be selected by you (the home buyer) not the mortgage brokerage.

Here is where Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation can help; we can find you the perfect protection at the best rate, and the earlier you get us involved in the process the more we can help save you money. Home negotiations and escrows move quickly by allowing us to take care of your insurance needs so we can ensure everything is in order for that closing date, with a great rate for your needs.

Where’s the fire station?

All you've wanted for as long as you can remember is a couple acres, some place away from it all, just a little bit off the grid. It’s beautiful - you’ve got tall trees and fresh air, no subways, honking horns, or even neighbors to speak off. Seems perfect except for one thing: where’s the fire station? Ok that’s probably not what you were thinking but if your dream home is a bit off the grid and miles from a fire station, you can count on homeowners insurance rates that are higher than they would be for a similar sized house in a suburban or urban area, but why?

In a fire every moment counts and it only takes minutes for a fire to devastate a home, if the fire station is miles away, the time it takes for the fire department to get to your home may be time enough for your country home to be a total loss. In a total loss your insurance company is responsible for reimbursing you the homeowner the total worth of your home and insured valuables, so in a way the higher insurance rate makes sense as painful as it may be. So in this instance time really is money and insurance companies charge higher rates for this increased risk.

Don’t let this information scare you away from the home of your dreams - give us a call at Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation, and we will provide you with all the insurance rate information you need to feel secure in your home wherever your dream home destination.

Don’t get Bounced by the Trampoline

So you’ve found your dream house, and a few added pluses, a large backyard, a play set, and even a trampoline, this home is ready made for kids. The nostalgia starts to kick in as you remember swinging to great heights, bouncing and flipping on the trampoline, feeling as if each bounce could last forever. This home is starting to feel like perfection and it may be, but before you jump in think again, you don’t want to get caught in the bounce of the trampoline.

Trampolines like pools are considered “attractive nuisances” and although they can be of great enjoyment and amusement they are also considered to be a major source of backyard injuries. It is estimated that there are 3 million trampolines within the backyards of America and that each year 240,000 people are injured by them, most of these injuries involve the head and spine and sadly the majority affect children under the age of 14.

Based on these grim statistics it’s easy to see why trampolines are difficult or even impossible to insure on a homeowners policy even if they are within a fenced enclosure. If the trampoline is not included within the umbrella of the homeowner’s policy, you the new homeowner are left exposed and are fully responsible for damages suffered by persons using your trampoline. This can equate into a financial nightmare, leaving you the homeowner to pay years of medical expenses. So before you buy a home with a preexisting trampoline or install your own make sure you talk to us at Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation and get all the details regarding this attractive nuisance so you don’t get bounced by a trampoline.

Homeowners Associations

Homeowners associations the good, the bad, and the ugly; chances are if you’re buying a condo, town house, or are living within a gated or exclusive community your property will be bound by the rules and regulations of the homeowners association. The good with this, every effort is made to keep all the properties within the homeowners association looking appropriate for the neighborhood, in an effort to keep up property values. The bad, well you’ll most likely be responsible for an annual fee. The ugly, some parts of the community in which you live (sidewalks, parks, and playgrounds) are considered communal property of the association, and if someone is injured in these areas the association is held liable. To protect you and other homeowners, home owner’s association offers a Master Policy.

Master policies are supposed to protect you personally from liabilities occurring within the homeowner association community in which you live. The problem not all Master policies provide enough protection, which may mean that you the homeowner may be left financial responsible when accidents and injuries occur within the homeowners association community. This may leave you, new homeowner responsible for paying your share of the liability which may amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Here is where we at Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation can help; we can work with you to find the appropriate insurance policy for your community, one that offers peace of mind and pocketbook. We can also read through your master policy to assist you in specifying coverage’s, so give us a call at 765-452-8000.

Flood zone, you might need some insurance against Mother Nature.

Water has a relaxing quality to it, streams, rivers, oceans they all bring a sense of peace and calm. To be lulled to sleep by the sound of the tide, and awaken a picturesque view, it’s like the vacation that you as a homeowner get to live all year long. Many consider a home close to water (river or ocean) to be the epitome of perfection. However due to their close vicinity to the water many of these homes are considered to be in a flood zone.

If this is your situation you may need to get flood insurance as well as property insurance in order for your lender to approve your loan, since some water related incidents are not included within the standard policies. But have no fear, come get a quote from us at Killingbeck Insurance & Tax Preparation or call 765-452-8000 and we’ll help protect you from the high tide that Mother Nature can bring.