Are you like most Columbia SC homeowners when it comes to their homeowners insurance? We buy our policy and stuff it away, never thinking about it again until something happens and we need to file a claim? As our renewal notices come, we may take note of the increases, reluctantly writing out a check for yet another year of protection.
Automatically assuming that your Columbia SC homeowners insurance coverage is sufficient year after year may be a given, but it can also cost you in ways you may not have considered. Let's look at some reasons why you just might want to pull out your Columbia SC homeowners insurance policy today for a fresh review.
Columbia SC Homeowners Insurance – What Changed?
Your Home Value
After several years of sharp retreats, home values are on the rise again. For many homeowners, the strong home values of years past may take many more years to reach again, but if you bought your home within the past year, you may be in for a pleasant surprise or a rude awakening.
That rude awakening can hit you if you were to file a claim following a total loss. For example, when you purchased your Columbia SC homeowners insurance, you paid $375,000 for your home, a steal in your neighborhood. To replace your home today, you might pay more than $475,000, a difference of $100,000. Your home may not have been properly valued in the first place and with the recent increases in the Columbia SC area home values, it may be worth a lot more than you think.
Market Value, Replacement Costs
Market values change, therefore it can be difficult for Columbia SC area homeowners to know what their residences are worth from month to month. Basing your insurance coverage on market value is not the best option, rather you want insurance that is based on its replacement cost.
Replacement cost is preferred because it allows you to rebuild a home at its current location with comparable construction materials that were used in the home that you lost. You aren't at the mercy of ever-changing home values. Instead, your home is replaced whether home values advance or decline.
Many insurance companies insure your home for replacement cost rather than current value, knowing full well that prices may vary a great deal more than the cost to replace, should tragedy strike.
The Inflation Guard Option
You have another option when it comes to your Columbia SC homeowners insurance: asking your agent to automatically include an inflation guard that adjusts your coverage to reflect changes in the cost of construction.
An inflation guard can be especially helpful if your home needs to be rebuilt and the building codes have been upgraded. Normally, you would have to pay extra to upgrade your home, but with an inflation guard in place so-called "ordinance" or "law" coverage would help close that gap.
If you're not sure whether your coverage is adequate for your needs, contact your insurance agent to discuss your situation. You may also want to shop around for insurance elsewhere, giving you the opportunity to compare prices and coverage options with competing insurers.
For more articles and tips on Columbia SC homeowners insurance, check out our Columbia SC Insurance section under Columbia SC Real Estate Categories to your right.
Selling your Columbia SC home? You may now have the upper hand, but to get your best price, you need to finesse your timing and list competitively.
Lower Your Sights When Selling Your Columbia SC Home
In a recent poll, brokers complained that 75% of homeowners think their agent's recommended listing price was too low. Pricing your property above recent sales to cash in on the momentum may slow down deals, and sitting on the market too long can stigmatize a house.
Catch buyers' attention — and get multiple offers — by pricing your Columbia SC home in line with comparable sales.
It's tempting to put off selling your Columbia SC home to hold out for a better price. But if you want to move to a larger place, act sooner rather than later. Although higher-end homes aren't rising as quickly, the gap is small. So while you'll be able to sell your Columbia SC home for more if you wait, the appreciation on the trade-up home will be greater.
Renovate Before Selling Your Columbia SC Home
Repair that leaky roof and address other obvious structural problems, or you'll have to subtract the cost of doing so from your price. In today's economy, many buyers don't have as much savings left over after their down payment for improvements.
Smaller fixes that pay off the most, according to a HomeGain poll of real estate professionals and consumers: cleaning and de-cluttering, brightening (adding lamps and clearing window obstructions), and solving electrical and plumbing problems.
The best time to glamorize: right before you post your listing online, where 90% of buyers look first.
When Selling Your Columbia SC Home, Appraisals Are Key
While rapidly rising prices may attract more buyers, the upswing can make it harder to close a sale. One-third of realtors polled in December reported setbacks from low appraisals, including delays in closing, lowered prices, and cancellations.
Appraisals can come in low because they're based on transactions as old as six months — out of date, perhaps, in today's market. Have your agent personally oversee the process, accompanying the appraiser to point out improvements and supplying data about the latest comparable sales.
The cards may be stacked in your favor if you're selling your Columbia SC home, but you need to use the tips we've mentioned here to keep from having a home that just sits on the market due to not conforming to what the market wants and demands.
We have more Home Selling Tips here at our website. Just browse the Columbia SC Home Selling Tips under our Columbia SC Real Estate Categories.
Columbia SC housing has been a tricky thing to predict over the past couple of years, with signs of improvement and then signs of economic retreat, followed by signs of improvement again. The big question is, is the crisis finally over, or are we on the verge of another bubble?
Columbia SC home sales are up, inventory is tight, mortgage rates are still low, Columbia SC housing starts and permits are up, and various indicators imply that Columbia SC housing is improving as the crisis has come to an end and everyone is trying to catch their breath before we begin running at full steam ahead again.
Even though signs point to the Columbia SC housing crisis being over, 58 percent of Americans believe we are still in the middle of a crisis, and roughly one in five people believe the worst is yet to come. These statistics come from the MacArthur Foundation. Their "How Housing Matters" research initiative involved a telephone survey of 1,433 adults, conducted between Feb. 27 and March 10.
With families and communities still reeling from the boom-and-bust cycle of the past decade, the public is recognizing that owning is not the only acceptable option anymore. 45 percent of current homeowners said they can see themselves renting in the future – not exactly a ringing endorsement for the housing sector. Fully 59 percent of homeowners and 67 percent of renters think "renters can be just as successful as owners at achieving the American Dream." Three in five said "the focus of our housing policy should be fairly equally split on rental housing and housing for people to own."
Is Another Columbia SC Housing Bubble On The Way?
Researchers at Redfin say the most common question their agents in the field are being asked is, "Is this another bubble?"
The company says that for now, it is not, but there are "mini bubbles" brewing in various parts of the country.
"Overall, the Columbia SC housing market this spring is hot, way hotter than any normal spring," Redfin reports. "For the most part, this is just the natural result of supply that is at record lows thanks to the price declines of the last few years."
To stay on top of Columbia SC real estate news… bookmark our Columbia SC Real Estate News page here found under Columbia SC Real Estate Categories to your right.
It's no surprise that things have been looking up for the Columbia SC housing market for several months now. But solid statistics now show that people are just as optimistic about mortgage rates as they are the Columbia SC housing market.
An analysis of Fannie Mae's monthly telephone survey of just over 1,000 homeowners and renters shows that views on the Columbia SC housing market stayed almost the same from February to March, which is good because they're optimistic.
Fannie Mae conducts its telephone survey each month to assess the attitudes of Americans toward owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeowner distress, the economy, and household finances. Both homeowners and renters are contacted for the survey which includes more than 100 questions.
71% of individuals surveyed believe that now is the time to buy a new home, while 26% believe it's a good time to sell; this is nearly double the percentage from this point last year.
Growing Skepticism Towards the Columbia SC Housing Market
There seems to be a growing skepticism towards the Columbia SC housing market staying this good for a while. There was a slight bump in the percentage of those surveyed who believe that home prices will increase over the next 12 months, and while those who think prices will go down hasn't adjusted much, those who believe prices will stay the same has decreased five percent in the past three months.
The survey shows a string of 17 positive one-year-ahead home price expectations through March, the average expected gains have remained below 3 percent. By comparison, main measures of national home prices in early 2013 posted year-over-year gains of at least double or triple that figure.
Based on this survey, it seems people are aware the Columbia SC housing market is getting better but are also concerned with it not staying this good for the rest of the year. People are speculating that the Columbia SC housing market may get more competitive by the end of the year.
Mold is a major health risk. We all know this. But in this special ABC News report, the health risk to babies from what is known as "bleeding lungs" should be a major concern for anyone thinking of buying a Columbia SC home.
Be advised, getting a home inspection before you buy has always been strongly recommended. But normal home inspections may not reveal mold if it is hidden.
As you saw in the video, mold can be behind wallboard, and not even visible to an inspector's eye.
Most home inspectors will look for moisture, which is the root cause of mold, but even moisture behind walls cannot always be detected. Make sure your home inspector is experienced in looking for hidden moisture.
If in doubt, and you think the Columbia SC home you're considering may have had moisture issues in the past, have it inspected by a trained mold professional who knows what to look for, and where. When it comes to mold and your family's health, you can never be too cautious.