Mortgage News Roundup

July 17th, 2014

Mortgage and credit conceptHow has your week been going? The homes in Southern California are being snapped up by wealthy Chinese home-buyers. Buyers from India, the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and Russia were also most likely to search here. For Mexican buyers, San Diego was the top choice.

This week, we’ll look at some apps to download when you’re house hunting, how to boost your home’s value without breaking the bank and some interesting thing you may not know about your home’s insurance policy.

House hunting? Download these apps first

From enabling us to virtually walk through an open house to instantly learning about the social scene in a neighborhood we’re thinking about moving to, a new generation of apps and other technologies are taking the real estate shopping experience to the next level.

  • 3D Showcase produces high-quality, 3-D images of homes that can be embedded in online listings. This takes the slide show concept to the next level because you can virtually walk through how the house is laid out. Also, you can add in or remove furniture to see how your stuff would look in it.
  • Beamly helps out real estate agents during crowded open houses. It uses small Bluetooth-enabled devices located throughout the home to send shoppers information via their cell phones giving them more information about appliances or what type of counter was put in the remodeled kitchen.
  • CO Everywhere allows you to set up boundaries on an interactive map. Then it shows you an array of local social media content from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as well as local Meetup events, and deals and coupons from local businesses.

How to Boost Your Home’s Value the Smart Way

A properly researched remodel will pay off down the road. How far down that road depends upon the money you’re putting into the remodel, when you intend to sell, and your geography (location location location).

Did you know the number one best upgrade for your money, per Remodeling magazine, in 2014 was a 20-gauge steel front door. The magazine estimates the total cost of the new door for a midrange home at $1,162, but says the improvement adds $1,122 to the home’s value, a whopping 96.6 percent return on investment when the home is sold.

Lighting fixtures are another modest investment that can have a strong rate of return. Specifically look at the light fixtures in the entryway and dining room.

Home office conversions and sunroom additions, on the other hand, were near the bottom as they could only be expected to return half of the investment.

So how do you know what’s best for your home? Talk with a trusted contractor and real estate agent to find out what pays off well in your neighborhood.


11 Things You Don’t Know About Your Home Insurance Policy

You probably know some of these, but maybe not all of these items on your home insurance policy. If any of these makes you scratch your head, call your insurance agent and talk with them about your particular policy.

  1. Your house is covered if it’s struck by lightening, but you still have to pay for your deductible.
  2. If power goes out in your neighborhood, you’re not covered for items ruined in your refrigerator or freezer. But, you could pay extra for coverage if you live in an area where this happens frequently.
  3. If an airplane crashes into your house, you care covered for all the damage to your home.
  4. If it’s your airplane being stored on your property and it gets damaged through vandalism, fire, or a tree falling on it, a homeowner’s policy typically won’t cover repairs.
  5. If a satellite crashes into your house, you are covered. And that includes non-manmade items like meteors.
  6. Like floods, earthquakes are typically excluded in a standard home insurance policy.
  7. But if you live near a volcano, damage from ash spewed during an eruption is usually covered.
  8. Sinkholes are not covered, however.
  9. If your house is damaged during a riot, you are likely protected.
  10. If your house explodes due to a gas line, then you are probably covered. If your house explodes due to an act of war, it’s not.
  11. If you cause bodily injury to another person when they are on your property and they sue, you’re covered. However if they visit you when you have a communicable disease like whooping cough, and they catch it and sue you for medical costs, your policy wouldn’t cover it.

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