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3 Tips for Insuring Your First Home

Buying your first home can be both an exciting and a scary experience. Many homeowners are appreciative of any bit of information that would help make the process less stressful and as painless as possible. Home insurance is usually a major contributor to the anxieties new homeowners’ experience. They are often confused about how much insurance they need. This post will give easy tips for choosing the best insurance for new home buyers.

Your House Should Be Fully Covered

The coverage on the insurance policy should reflect an amount that can adequately take care of the cost of rebuilding and refurbishing your entire house in the event that you lose it completely. Insurance companies may use a cost estimator to ascertain the cost replacement estimate, but you can have a home builder assess your home and furnish you with an estimate of the rebuilding cost. This should include the unique and/or expensive details of your home (if there are any). You do not want to end up being underinsured. Once you have the estimate for rebuilding, you will need to figure out which coverage to take. The choices are:

  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage – The insurer bears the cost for the rebuilding your home in spite of that cost. Very few insurers are offering these policies now.
  • Extended Replacement Coverage – This coverage involves the capping of the payout you would receive to approximately 125% of the insured value of your home.
  • Inflation Guarantee (or Guard) – This is a feature that ensures the insured value of your home stays on par with that of the marketplace.

Strive to get a reliable appraisal and extended replacement coverage along with an inflation guarantee. These will place you in a good position.

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Posted by: Guest Contributor on January 28th, 2013 under Guest Bloggers


Preparing Hardwood Floors for Home Staging

If you have recently listed your house for sale, then there is a good chance you are looking into tips for home staging in order to increase your chances of success when it comes to selling the home. If you’re not, then you should be! After all, there are all kinds of steps you can take to increase the overall appeal of your home to potential home buyers and those who schedule showings. One aspect that many people fail to consider when it comes to home staging, however, is the importance of preparing your home’s floors.

For starters, if you do not already have any hardwood flooring in your home, now would be a great time to have some installed. After all, this is generally thought of as the most appealing type of flooring in homes, especially in areas such as main living spaces and kitchens. You can have this type of flooring purchased and installed for less than you would expect if you shop around and choose the right company, too.

Of course, if you already have hardwood flooring in any space of your home, it is important to ensure that it looks its best prior to that first showing. And while hardwood is extremely appealing, the truth is that it can be very hard to care for. For this reason, it is important to know what steps to take in order to get your floors looking their best for potential buyers.

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Posted by: Guest Contributor on January 22nd, 2013 under Guest Bloggers, Home Staging


5 Things New Home Buyers Look for First

The real estate market is so huge these days that people that want to sell a house need to make sure that everything is in a perfect state. And not only that – they should also try to make the most important features stand out in order to make the potential buyers even more interested in their particular house.

Nobody buys a house without looking around for awhile, so it is necessary to get the property into the ideal state. Of course, there are some things that new home buyers look for first – and those are the things that you should focus on in your preparations the most. In this article, we are going to look at some of the top ones.


Patio might not be the most important feature for many buyers, but it is a feature that has a huge influence on the buyer’s first impressions and we all know how important that factor might turn out to be. Someone who will have to walk through a patio that is in a state of disrepair is surely not going to regard the entire property very highly. On the other hand, a well-designed patio with seasonal decorations that is kept in a good state might have the opposite effect on the potential buyer, so make sure that your patio is indeed going to start the inspection on a high note.


When it comes to exterior features, roof is one of those things that stand out the most and any deficiencies in that department are going to be noticed by everyone who will want to take an in-depth look at the property. This is especially true in locations that experience their fair share of bad weather and where it is a really good idea to have a roof of the best possible quality. You might not be willing to invest into a complete renovation, but you should undoubtedly fix the most obvious problems in order to make your house more attractive.

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Posted by: Guest Contributor on December 27th, 2012 under Best Practices, Guest Bloggers


Staging Your Property to Appeal to All Five Senses

Before you conduct your first open house, consider how you can stage your property so that it is more appealing to potential buyers. Most open houses appeal to only one sense – our eyes. This is extraordinary given how much our day-to-day emotions are influenced by what we smell and the fact that there is a high chance our mood can change when we are exposed to a positive sound. The importance of our senses has been completely overlooked when it comes to selling a home… until now.

Sniffing an opportunity…

Have you ever walked past a Subway sandwich shop where you can smell the aroma of warm bread? If you look carefully at the awning you will spot vents that are specially designed to disperse baking aromas. This has proved to be a profitable exercise for the Subway Franchise.

Studies show that smell is heavily connected to our memory and our mood. When the opportunity presents itself, I like to place a tangerine or a pinch of vanilla extract on a sheet of tinfoil and turn the oven to 275 degrees. I have observed that this subtle smell will put a smile on a visitor’s face and allow a buyer who has seen 15 similar apartments in one day to distinguish your apartment as the “vanilla smelling apartment”. The smell must be subtle and anything too strong could backfire.

Taste goes hand in hand with smell.
Who’s in a good mood when they’re hungry? In addition to creating a subtle aroma, pairing simple foods together could go a long way with changing your buyer’s mood. When I place a pinch of vanilla extract in the oven I generally like to offer foods that match this smell such as cookies, chocolate, and coffee that I have brewed. When I place a tangerine in the oven, chopped fruit with tooth picks and wine generally matches the aroma better.

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Posted by: Guest Contributor on December 19th, 2012 under Guest Bloggers, Home Staging

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5 Fall Lawn Care Tips to Keep Green Grass All Through Autumn

Fall has the ideal conditions for your lawn: warm days and cool nights, morning dew, and more rainfall. But even with these forces in Mother Nature working together, there are still things you need to do to recover your grass from summer damage and supply it with the nutrients it needs for growth.

Know Your Grass

There are two types of turf: cool-season grasses, like Kentucky blue grass, which thrives in cool weather and warm-season grasses, like Bermuda grass, which grow during the spring and summer months. Before you map out your fall lawn care schedule, you need to know which one you’re working with.

Cool-season grasses

  • Need enough water to keep growing all winter long
  • Apply 1 pound of nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet

Warm season-grasses

  • Avoid fertilizing in the fall
  • Overseed with annual winter ryegrass

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Posted by: Erin Everhart on December 3rd, 2012 under Guest Bloggers


4 Obstacles in the Way of Selling Your Home

Whether or not the market is in your favor, you may be self-sabotaging your home sale if you’re making some common mistakes. Simple errors can engage you in a real estate catch-22: wanting to sell your home, but making it difficult to do so. In order to save you from preventing the sale of your own home, here’s a list of four obstacles that may be in your way – and how to push them out of your path:

1. A Cluttered Home
Any potential home buyer wants to see his future space as a clean canvas, full of furniture and simple décor, but not muddled by all your worldly possessions piled on the floor. Make sure you do adequate cleaning, and to eliminate any extra clutter you want to keep, consider a self-storage unit. Companies, such as StorageMart, often have customers renting storage units to clear out clutter while their home is on the market.

2. Hanging Out at Home
Although you may be eager to see and hear the goings-on during showings and open houses at your own home – and simultaneously don’t want to have your regular at-home routine disrupted – you are standing in the way of your home’s sale if you stick around too much. It can be uncomfortable and awkward for potential buyers to view your space under your watchful eye. They won’t make honest comments about their feelings about your house, and their feelings themselves may be altered by your presence – and not in a good way. Take a step back and let your real estate agent do the work as you walk away for a short time.

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Posted by: Guest Contributor on October 31st, 2012 under Best Practices, Guest Bloggers


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