Posts Tagged ‘ homeowner ’

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


Hawaii Act 182 – Revamping the Foreclosure Process

Signed into law by Governor Abercrombie on June 29, Act 182 received little media coverage yet its effect on the foreclosure process in Hawaii is sure to have significant ramifications. The new Act is meant to resolve unintended consequences (‘flaws’, as scrutinized by the media and public) of Act 48. To provide a brief background, Act 48 was intended as a solution to protect owner-occupants at default from facing what was widely considered to be antiquated non-judicial foreclosure procedures. However, lienholders chose to skirt the new protections afforded by Act 48 by implementing policies whereby all new foreclosures were processed judicially. Hence, although some owner-occupants were ‘saved’ from non-judicial foreclosure, now through judicial foreclosure they can face deficiency judgments – not to mention that under-staffed, under-funded courts are now backlogged by the wave of judicial foreclosures.

With that said, the 2012 legislative session included efforts to address/remedy concerns from consumers, lenders, title companies, and HOA’s. As such, let us look at what Act 182 encompasses:

  1. Act 48 had placed a one-year moratorium on Part I of the non-judicial foreclosure law, now Act 182 has been completely eliminated Part I.
  2. Mediation, which is only available for non-judicial foreclosures of owner-occupant residential properties by lenders, has now become permanent.
  3. Borrowers can convert a non-judicial foreclosure to judicial. This protection becomes permanent under Act 182, whereas it was temporary under Act 48.
  4. Establishes a separate non-judicial foreclosure and assessment lien process for AOAO and HOAs. Very critical.
  5. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Alex Cortez on July 16th, 2012 under Guest Bloggers, Regional

1 Comment »

Consumers Want Consultants, not Cheerleaders – Position Yourself as a Market Expert

Today’s real estate market is different than just a few short years ago. Before the downturn, seller’s knew they could sell and buyers didn’t worry about risk in real estate because everyone believed prices would always go up. If Buyer A didn’t want the house, you need not wait long before Buyer B submitted an offer. When the market began the turn as demand shrank and prices began falling, many agents made, what I think was a big mistake – they acted like cheerleaders. Instead of offering professional advice to a growing number of upside down homeowners in a confusing market, it seemed as though agents across the country were using their marketing materials to look out for a paycheck more than trying to help consumers

You may remember ‘Baghdad Bob’ from the Iraq War days holding press conferences where he would tell everyone how the Iraqi Army was destroying the infidel Americans and pushing them back to the sea. You could also almost hear the American tanks rolling by in the background as he was on TV. He wasn’t telling the truth. Everyone new he wasn’t telling the truth. Jay Leno had a great video of Baghdad Bob if you don’t remember.

Even in today’s real estate market, it’s still common to see agents say “It’s a great time to buy!” That has to be the worst possible thing we can say in this market. It’s so transparent – and it appears to be looking out for the agent and not the consumer to market with this message. Don’t be a real estate Baghdad Bob. The market may not be great for many potential buyers. If a consumer asks about the market or you are trying to convince someone that this is a great time do buy, you have missed the mark. Consumers want and need information more now than ever. They seek out agents who can distill information in a way they can understand and they want the truth. They also can sniff out Baghdad Bob the real estate agent a mile away. The truth is, it may not be a great time to buy. Maybe it is, may it isn’t. Don’t you think you should find out a little more before spouting off like that? Be real.

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Posted by: Ryan Ward on March 11th, 2011 under Best Practices


What is a Strategic Default?

A strategic default is when a homeowner walks away from their home when they owe more on the home than it is currently worth. In some circumstances, the homeowner can afford to make the mortgage payments, but due to the decreased value of the home under the current market conditions, they feel it is a financially sound maneuver simply to leave their home behind and rent or try to find another home which has also lost value.

Thousands of homeowners have strategically defaulted on their homes and have left the mortgage company holding the bag. The mortgage company now has an asset for which they do not have a revenue stream. Plus, the property is now a liability because the mortgage company is obligated to maintain the property so that adjacent homes do not further lose value.

Due to the enactment of new Fannie Mae regulations, a strategic default will now have more severe consequences for the homeowner than in the past. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Peter McCullough on July 30th, 2010 under Financing, Mortgage and Home Loans, HomeGain


The June 2009 Mortgage Rates Massacre

Mortgage rates, prior to June, were stabilizing after a volatile first quarter.  Potential home buyers and existing homeowners were settling in to the fact that a 4.5% conventional mortgage rate could be had; some days you had to pay a couple of points, some days only one.  FHA and VA loans were about an eighth of a percentage point higher.

Brighter days in the real estate market seemed inevitable.

Volatility hit the mortgage rates market like an unexpected tsunami.  Here’s how it unfolded:

What does this mean to you, the professional real estate agent? Continue reading this post


Posted by: Brian Brady on June 8th, 2009 under Financing, Mortgage and Home Loans

1 Comment »

On The Home Seller’s Radar, Part 2: Home Staging

Part 2 – HomeGain’s Fall 2007 Home Sale Maximizer™ Survey

In part 1, I disclosed six of the top 10 most recommended home improvements (by real estate agents). Now here are the top four!

1. Clean and de-clutter
2. Lighten and brighten
3. Stage home for sale
4. Landscape front/back yards

In each of the four regions, West, East, South and Mid-West, all real estate agents agreed that cleaning and de-cluttering was the most valuable action in getting a home into “home selling condition.”

At a minimal cost of a couple hundred dollars, ROI of cleaning and de-cluttering your home may skyrocket into a high average of 578%. This is added home value in the range of $1,500-$2,000. The highest return on investment was in the West (837%).

Professional home staging came in second place in the South and Mid-West. On a national level, agents reported that home staging costs between $400 and $600 on average, potentially resulting in a $1,900 to $2,500 increase to the home’s selling price, and making the return on investment over 340%. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on December 26th, 2007 under Home Improvement, Home Improvement Surveys, Home Staging, HomeGain Market Data


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