Your Home Insurance Policy

Your UK home insurance is one of those things that you might be tempted to pay year on year without giving it a second thought, sticking with the same insurer at more or less the same level of cover out of a sense of inertia. The market in buildings and contents insurance, however, remains so keenly competitive that it might repay reviewing your current arrangements in order to arrange better value for money elsewhere.

Buildings insurance

Your home may well be the largest single investment you ever make. Unfortunately, the truism that nothing is as safe as “bricks and mortar” nevertheless disguises many risks and perils. Your expensive investment might be destroyed or badly damaged by fire, floods, subsidence, falling trees and other debris, vandalism or by vehicles crashing into it. Your UK home insurance, therefore, is typically designed to offer adequate protection against such risks to the physical and structural fabric of the building.

In terms of the adequacy of that cover, it is prudent to think in terms of the worst case and the need for the complete rebuilding or reinstatement of your home. Calculating those rebuilding costs, of course, is rarely a simple matter of the purchase price or market value of the existing home. Even when the land value is taken out of the equation, calculating the cost of rebuilding (especially an older style home) is relatively complicated. Professional surveyors and valuers, however, have ready-reckoners to make the calculation more straight forward.

Nevertheless, to make things even more straight forward, many companies arranging UK home insurance now offer a standard level of cover (that might typically provide rebuilding costs of up to £1 million) whatever the estimation of such costs. In that case, of course, the homeowner may want to be certain that the estimated rebuilding costs are within the insured maximum offered.

Some insurers may also extend very attractive discounts to customers who opt to buy a UK home insurance policy that includes cover not only for the buildings, but also their contents.

Contents insurance

It may come as a surprise to many people how valuable are the accumulated effects and possessions that make up the contents of their homes. The conventional way of calculating the level of cover necessary to protect all of these items against loss or damage is to go from room to room of the entire home, making a detailed inventory of its contents and valuing each item accordingly. This has been probably the most normal way of trying to ensure that the contents of the home are not under-insured (thus risking an inadequate insurance payout for the replacement of belongings totally lost or destroyed).

To overcome such a risk of under-insurance and to make the whole business of arranging adequate cover far easier, however, some insurers may offer an automatic total level of cover for all of the contents. In most cases, this is likely to be sufficient to extend cover for the entire contents of most homes (with a typical level of cover offered at £60,000, for example). Nevertheless, anyone seeking UK home insurance for their contents may consider it prudent to perform their own fairly regular evaluations and re-evaluations to remain confident that the limit automatically set by the insurer remains sufficient.

Home Loan Brokers

Searching for home loan brokers can be daunting. The average consumer has no idea what questions to ask in regard to the purchase or financing of their dream home. Home loan brokers are equipped to inform and guide the consumer through the arduous home finance process. We have obtained the following steps as a resource for prospective homebuyers.

The mortgage finance industry has been challenged over the past couple of years to say the least. Those mortgage brokers who have managed to not only “stay alive” but thrive through the challenges are customer service driven individuals. Additionally, they provide road maps for their customers. In an interview with a successful loan officer we have been able to find a few steps (that they provide for their customers) that make them successful.

1. Find the amount that you can afford to borrow. The monthly payment on your first mortgage will be only part of your monthly housing expense. You’ll also have to pay property taxes, homeowners insurance, and repair and maintenance costs. Make a budget and stick to a mortgage payment that you can afford. New home calculator and mortgage payment calculators can help you estimate the payment and come up with a maximum loan amount for your mortgage.

2. Keep track of mortgage rates. A lower rate can mean big savings on any home loan. Talk with your loan officer about current rates. If you’re worried that rates might rise before your loan closes, ask the loan officer about an interest rate lock, which can ensure you’ll be able to get the rate you were quoted.

3. Choose a mortgage broker. A well-qualified home loan broker can teach you more about how to get your first mortgage and what types of mortgage products should fit your needs. The home loan broker that offers the lowest interest rate might not offer the most hand-holding or best service — two benefits you’ll probably want when getting a first mortgage.

4. Save for a down payment. You’ll need to make a down payment to get a first mortgage. If your down payment is less than 20 percent of the purchase price of the home, you’ll also need to pay for mortgage insurance, which protects the lender in case you default on your loan. Some loan programs, like FHA, allow you to use a gift from a family member or other source as part of your down payment.

5. Have all of your documents in order. When you’re ready to apply for a first mortgage, you’ll need to give the loan officer copies of your recent pay stubs, tax returns and bank statements. Having these documents prepared in advance will make the process easier.

Home loan brokers provide a map for the individual to follow. Additionally, home loan brokers act as a tour guide. The right tour guide will be willing to spend the time making sure that individuals fully understand their options.

The tips above were provided by Tanya James of Caltexfunding. For more information regarding home loan brokers, mortgage protection, new home calculators or mortgage payment calculator see the caltexfundingresource site and search Tanya James resource.

Pricing Your Home to Sell

Perhaps the hardest task involved in selling a home is pricing the property right. However, there are some strategies you might want to consider in formulating your asking price.

First of all, you need in-depth evaluation of your home. Calculate its value basing on its physical attributes and the price you paid when you bought it. On the other hand, you have to be very objective in assessing its worth. Do not over nor underestimate the furnishings, landscaping and other improvements you have done for the property. Despite all the enhancements in it, you could not simply add every cost into the selling price. Otherwise, buyers would be easily thrown off by your expensive listing price. If you are thinking buyers would be easily interested in your home if it is priced too low, you are wrong. Buyers would actually be unimpressed. They might think that there are many attached liabilities to the property. So find the right balanced price so you could profit at the end of the deal.

Using comparative market analysis (CMA) would be beneficial in making up your selling price. This report would give you an overview of the prices of on-the-market homes. You could also see how long these stayed on the market before getting sold. If you are doing the CMA on your own, be sure that you could completely understand the market trends and patterns. It would also be an advantage for you if you evaluate what type of market is currently prevailing in your local area. Is it a buyer’s or seller’s market? The former is when there is an overflow of supply over demand, wherein there are more sellers than buyers. Thus, lower prices could be expected. The latter refers to the situation wherein there are more buyers than sellers. This is when you could safely promote your home for a higher price.

As you go along your research, you could visit other open houses. Once again, be very objective in comparing your home to other properties. You should compare your home against the location, size and accessibility to facilities of the other properties. If you see that your home surpassed all or most of the other homes’ qualities, then be confident enough to decide on a higher asking price. Conversely, if your home is in less favorable status, then learn from what the other homeowners did to improve their respective homes.

Another self-help measure to guide your home pricing is through using an online estimation tool. This is available via the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) site. This tool would present the average home price per location and the factors affecting such price. You would then be given the chance to see how other properties alike yours are priced.

However, simply knowing some details about the market may still not be enough. You could also seek help from licensed real estate agents to perform the CMAs. Having an appraisal done by a professional would also be helpful. A formal appraisal is dubbed as the most accurate technique to establish the value of a home. You could also use the guidance from these professionals as their experiences in handling various transactions would contribute to better judgment of a property. They could advice you how to create an irresistible offer for buyers. Then again, you must still trust your own instincts by taking part in deciding on the final selling price.

In pricing your home, you need to be realistic. You constantly need to be aware of the market. And lastly, do not be afraid to seek advice from professionals. These three main guides would make your home selling endeavor a rather profitable one.