Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Agent About Your Home Insurance Policy

Custom content created by Bennett & Porter Wealth Management + Insurance

 

Buying homeowner’s insurance is so much more than just filling in the paperwork and signing above the dotted lines. There are a lot of considerations that should go into making the decision — if you want to end up with the right policy, that is.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time home buyer or someone that has previously purchased home insurance; discussing these points with your insurance agent will help ensure that you get the level of coverage and protection that you need.

 

How much home insurance do I need?

Some homeowners purchase home insurance for the sake of compliance, without even knowing if they’re buying the right amount of coverage or not. You don’t want to buy too much or too little insurance — either way, you could be on the losing end of the deal. Make sure you have enough coverage to keep your home protected.

You can insure your home for its actual cash value or replacement cost value. An actual cash value policy factors in the depreciation cost of your home into the claim payout, which means you need to pay the deductible + shell out money out-of-pocket for the repairs/restoration. With a replacement cost policy, you’ll only have to compensate for the deductible to restore your home to its former glory.

 

What does my homeowners’ policy cover?

Standard home insurance policies come with four main types of coverage:

1. The dwelling coverage, which protects the structure of your home from specific types of perils, including damages due to fire, explosion, smoke, and vandalism.

2. A personal property coverage, which covers the repair/replacement of your personal belongings in case of loss, theft, or vandalism.

3. A liability coverage, which should take care of the legal and medical expenses (either in part or in full) arising from 3rd party injuries in your home or if you have inflicted damage on other people’s property.

4. An additional living expenses (ADL) coverage, which will cover your temporary living expenses while your home is under repair after sustaining serious damage from a covered peril.

Insurance companies typically offer additional coverages and endorsements that you can add to your core policy to increase its coverage. Discuss these options with your agent.

 

Am I covered for all types of damages and disasters?

Your standard homeowner’s insurance will protect you from most common perils, but policies typically exclude coverage for floods and other natural disasters, like earthquakes. Damages resulting from war, nuclear explosion, and power failures may also not be covered.

If you live in a flood-prone or earthquake-prone area, it should be in your best interest to add a flood or earthquake coverage to your portfolio for an extra layer of protection. Ask your agent if a flood or earthquake insurance would be necessary.

 

What if someone gets injured in my home?

Your personal liability protection coverage should kick-in in case of an injury in your property. It will pay for the medical expenses and legal bills and damages (if you are sued), but only up to the amount specified in your policy.

Standard homeowner’s insurance typically includes $100,000 worth of liability coverage but you may raise this if you think you need more. You’ll want to make sure you’re fully covered in case of accidents and injuries in your home. Your agent can help you determine the right amount of liability insurance to purchase.

 

How can I reduce my monthly premiums?

Opting for a higher deductible is the easiest way to cut the cost of your monthly premium, but it means you’ll have to pay more money out-of-pocket in the event of a claim. You may also further reduce the amount of your insurance policy by taking advantage of credits and discounts offered by insurance companies.

Most insurance providers give insurance credits to students, non-smokers, retirees, etc. They also offer a multi-policy discount to those who purchase more than one policy from them, for example: auto insurance and home insurance. One advantage of bundling your policies is that you only have to deal with one insurer for your insurance needs.

Insurance companies don’t usually advertise their discount offers, so make sure to ask your agent if you qualify for any.

 

Just Released! The Modern Luxury : Reimagined

Luxury Portfolio International® has released its latest report, which delves into luxury real estate trends and the effects of COVID-19. 

Findings include: 

  • Real estate is the next big buy:  61% of those surveyed indicated their next big buy will be a home-related investment.

  • The seller’s market:  The current ratio of buyers-to-sellers, on average, is 3 buyers for every 2 sellers.

  • Face-to-face preferred:  61% of affluent buyers and 57% of affluent sellers noted that they prefer face-to-face property tours, with the expectation that agents enforce safety protocols.

  • PLUS: Most popular amenities by home price and generation. 

 

View the entire digital version here!

 

Homeownership Is a Key to Building Wealth

from Keeping Current Matters

For years, real estate has been considered the best  investment  you can make.

A major reason for this is due to the net worth a household gains through homeownership. In fact, according to the  2019 Survey of Consumer Finance Data  from the Federal Reserve, for the average homeowner:

 

“…a primary home accounts for 90% of the total wealth of a family in the U.S.”

 

How do homeowners gain wealth?

 

Click here to read the entire article and find out! 

 

Landmark Advantage Transitional HELOC Program

Ready to buy but need time to sell? Move on your terms with a Transitional HELOC.

When you work with Colorado Landmark Realtors, you get access to the Transitional Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) program from Elevations Credit Union, the No. 1 credit union mortgage lender in Colorado.


Access your home equity without rushing to sell.

With this customized short-term loan that’s similar to a Bridge Loan, you get access to the equity in your current home so you can make an offer on your next home — without rushing to sell. After your home is sold, the proceeds are applied to pay off your Transitional HELOC.


A Transitional HELOC is a flexible solution.

While Elevations tailors each loan to the buyer’s needs and best interest, consider a Transitional HELOC if:

 

  • Your money is tied up in the equity of your current home.
    Fund the down payment or mortgage payments for your next home with a Transitional HELOC — a great option in Colorado where properties are in high demand.

 

  • You need to renovate your current home.
    Move out before your home becomes a construction zone so you can boost your home’s value and get ready to sell.

 


*Offers of credit are subject to credit approval. Available equity is dependent upon the difference between your current home value and your current mortgage balance(s) to include all loans that are secured by your current home.


 

Boulder Named Among Most Stable Housing Markets In U.S.

Boulder, CO has been once again named as one of the most Stable Housing Markets in the US, according to a study just released by Smart Asset.

Boulder was number 3 on the list, and according to the study, “The Boulder, Colorado metro area also had a 0% chance of a 5% drop in housing price in the 10 years after it was purchased, within the time period from 1995 to 2019. The overall growth in home prices in Boulder in those 25 years was 251.21%, the 15th-highest growth rate across all 357 metro areas in the study.”

Fort Collins, CO also made the list at #6, and Denver, CO at #35. 

8 Great Reasons to Buy This Home!

by Phil Booth

Hey there my fellow CLR folk,

 

I have this great property listed for sale at 775 Kalmia Ave, in Boulder.  This is a wonderfully secluded and peaceful spot, and with over 8500SF on 1.3 acres, there is plenty of elbow room.

 

I thought you might enjoy an easy look at the property by checking out this great new ‘Studeo’ interactive story-book.  Huge thanks to Alyssa for helping me produce this.  She did a great job of compiling and editing this great piece.  She pushed the boundaries of the ‘Studeo’ platform in creating this and, I think it came out really well!

 

Please click on the link to check it out, and please feel free to share this link with your buyers.

 

http://775kalmia.landmarkstories.com

 

AND NOW,  the 8 great reasons your buyers might want to buy this property.

 

A recent (April 2020) poll by realtor.com, revealed some interesting facts about what is really important in our homes, given our new ‘Stay-at Home’ perspectives!  Based on the poll, the following attributes surfaced as being really important to homeowners.
a quiet neighborhood
outdoor space
proximity to grocery stores and pharmacies
additional square footage
multiple flexible spaces with privacy
an updated kitchen
space for a home gym
OK, that is only 7… and the 8th, and BONUS reason…. AN INDOOR SWIMMING POOL!

 

Feel free to reach out with questions.

 

Be well and stay safe.

 

Phil Booth 

REALTOR

303-817-8307

Phil@ColoradoLandmark.com

Colorado Landmark’s Commitment to Safe Showings

As we begin to carefully re-open some areas of our lives, including showings, we remain deeply committed to the safety of our agents, clients, and neighbors. We are honored by your trust in us, and we take our responsibility to our communities seriously. We are taking the necessary steps to ensure we continue to provide the white glove service we have been known for for 43 years.

Here are some ways we are working to serve our clients while keeping our staff, brokers, and clients safe:

Virtual tours first

Before we schedule any in-person showings of properties, we will work to ensure the buyers are pre-approved and ready, willing and able to move.  This will include a thorough review of virtual tours, photos, online floorplans and disclosures, and when possible, a drive by of the neighborhood.

Safe showing protocols

Here are the steps we are taking for safe in-person showings:

  • Parties will drive separately and meet their agent at the property.
  • Showings will be limited to decision-makers who will be signing the contract, kids and other family members should stay at home whenever possible.
  • Both buyers and sellers will be asked to sign a disclosure stating that they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or have knowingly been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • No overlapping showings will be allowed, so only one set of buyers and their agent will be in the property at a time.
  • All parties will wear masks.
  • Your agent will wear a mask and gloves, and provide gloves and booties whenever possible if clients need them, and change gloves in between showings.
  • Your agent will unlock the door, and turn on lights so buyers will not have to touch anything in the home.
  • Buyers will tour the home with their agent while practicing social distancing.
  • All surfaces that were touched during the showing will be wiped down afterwards in preparation for the next showing.
  • Once the showing is complete, buyers can have a phone or video conference with the agent to discuss the next steps.

Safe, Easy Transactions from Beginning to End

For as long as the Colorado Safer at Home order is in place, we will continue to work with photographers, inspectors, appraisers and contractors to ensure safety is the priority, and much of the real estate transaction will continue to be completed virtually.  This includes virtual buyer and seller consultations, electronic document signing, safe practices during inspections and appraisals, and contact-free closings.

As always, we are available to answer your questions, address any concerns you have, and talk to you about your particular needs.  Through this uncertain time we have learned to adapt in new ways, and are constantly taking steps to make the entire process or buying or selling a home as easy and stress-free as possible.  Our agents and staff have used this time to sharpen our skills, learn new tools, and are emerging better and stronger than ever.

We are here for you, as we have been for the past 43 years, and as the world changes, that will remain the same.

Showing Update for Boulder County & Beyond

Our industry has been experiencing almost daily changes in the way we practice, and what we are allowed to do. This past week, after Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced the “Safer at Home” policy for the State, many individual counties updated their orders to extend “Stay at Home” policies for a longer period.

Here is an update on the current rules by county, (as of April 30, 2020) as it pertains to the real estate business:

Real Estate Showings: In-person real estate showings are permitted under the following conditions:
  • Unoccupied (vacant) homes and land only
  • Appointment only (no open houses)
  • Masks required for all participants
  • Number of in-person participants limited to the greatest extent possible
    • Participation by children is strongly discouraged
  • Social Distancing Requirements are met at all times
    • From the Order: Social Distancing Requirements. To reduce the risk of disease transmission, individuals shall maintain at least a six-foot distance from other individuals, wash hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, cover coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly clean high-touch surfaces, and not shake hands.
    • Must otherwise adhere to all guidance on social distancing
    • Must maintain 6 feet of distance from customers when showing houses
  • Must maintain a detailed log of customer interactions in case contact tracing becomes necessary. This log should include name, date, and location of contact, as well as the contact’s phone number and/or email address.
  • Must provide gloves and masks for any customer interactions
  • Should perform tasks remotely or virtually whenever possible, including pre- and post-visit conferences

Showings are not allowed until May 9th.

Tri-County Health’s website has some guidance that says showings can resume in Douglas County on April 27th but says nothing about showings for Adams and Arapahoe Counties.  This implies that showings may not be allowed in these two Counties but it is unclear as there is nothing specific stating showings are prohibited.
Real Estate Showings/Closings:
may continue in Denver subject to the following provisions:

  • Open houses are not permitted
  • Properties must be vacant, with no one living there, unless the only occupant in the home is the owner and not a rental tenant
  • Social Distancing requirements must be followed at all times
  • All commonly-used surfaces must be wiped down and sanitized before and after the showings.

At any time that we are showing properties, we ensure that:

-Buyers have thoroughly vetted the property online, reviewed all documents and disclosures, virtual tours, and floorplans, and if possible has driven by the property ahead of time.

– All parties are required to wear masks, gloves, and booties and sign a disclosure stating that they have not knowingly been exposed to or are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.  Buyers are also instructed not to touch anything in the property.

– Surfaces and doorknobs are wiped down in between showings.

Of course, these rules are changing frequently and may change again.  At Colorado Landmark, we are focused on adapting each day to make sure we can serve our clients safely and effectively, no matter what is going on.  Showings are just one part of the transaction, and we have procedures in place for the entire process including virtual buyer and seller consultations, virtual tours and showings, electronic document signing, safe and virtual inspections and appraisals, and no-contact closings.

If we can help you in any way, please contact us! 

www.coloradolandmark.com

Boulder County Updates Stay at Home Order to Allow In-Person Showings

Boulder County that has issued guidance regarding the extended Stay at Home order (which currently extends through May 8th), to allow Real Estate Showings.

Real Estate Showings: In-person real estate showings are permitted under the following conditions:

Appointment only (no open houses)
Masks required for all participants
Number of in-person participants limited to the greatest extent possible with participation by children strongly discouraged
Social Distancing Requirements are met at all times

This is great news for our buyer and seller clients who need to buy or sell during this time. Colorado Landmark has worked diligently to create safe showing protocols to protect our clients and the community, and we are thrilled that this order allows us to continue to do our jobs and serve our clients.

More information on the order can be found HERE.

For more information on the steps Colorado Landmark, Realtors is taking to ensure the safety of our clients and community, please contact us at 303-443-3377 or www.coloradolandmark.com.

Home Sales Are Still Up!

Showings are down starting in March, as you can see, due to physical distancing and safety precautions; but home sales are still up and title companies are busy!

 

We have had to become more creative in how we show and list homes. Virtual home tours have been our most effective, main creative platform.

 

Check out some of our most recent tours from CLR’s Candace Loving and 3rd Eye View Productions working with Marley Gagnon, to bring you high quality 3D virtual home tours from Matterport. If you have virtual reality goggles, you can even jump on and feel like your really in the living room or kitchen of your future home!

 


6030 Red Hill Road, Boulder

https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=ohSB8r2oc4

5 Beds | 5 Baths | 5553 Sq. Ft.

 

Listed by: Kim Thompson

303-641-2049

Kim@KimThompsonGroup.com

 


3850 Broadway Street #19, Boulder 

my.matterport.com/show/?m=EwbDki7mtA3

4 Beds | 3 Baths | 2132 Sq. Ft.

 

Listed by: Kim Thompson

303-641-2046

Kim@KimThompsonGroup.com


 

47 Chieftain Court, Lyons 

my.matterport.com/show/?m=anuZnFQobDJ 

3 Beds | 3 Baths | 2515 Sq. Ft.

 

Listed by: Joni Renee

720-365-7302

Joni@JoniReneeRealty.com

 


745 Highland Avenue, Boulder 

my.matterport.com/show/?m=NjHHgGAD28t&brand=0

5 Beds | 5 Baths | 4518 Sq. Ft.

 

Listed by: Candace Loving 

303-332-4530

CandaceLoving@gmail.com