In the Lakeland and Plant City areas, many homes have crossed the century mark. These beautiful old southern homes can be enticing, but restoring them can have hidden costs. Several factors should be considered prior to taking on a fixer upper; do-it-yourself or contracted home renovation.
A lower priced listing on a two-story Victorian home can be tempting. Restoring a fixer upper and increasing its value is an excellent way to increase your net worth. But, do you really know what’s involved? Renovating a home takes time, effort, and capital. The size of a renovation will dictate how long it takes; a fixer-upper can take up to a year to finish. As the home is worked on there will be hammers hammering, saws cutting, voices shouting and footsteps on the roof.
If all of this sounds like too much of a disruption for your family, you should avoid taking on the project. However, if you can take the bang and clatter of renovation, it can be rewarding both personally and financially.
The saying “location, location, location” carries just as much weight now as it did a century ago. You want to find a fixer upper to restore in an area where real estate prices are on the upswing, not the opposite. Factors like crime rates, school ratings, and undesirable things like liquor stores or strip clubs all should be considered before making your decision.
The condition of the home you are going to purchase makes a difference in the success of its renovation. Is weathered and only needs a coat of paint and new shingles, was it ravaged by termites, did squatters use it as a drug den before it was put up for sale?
The difference between cosmetic repairs and having to replace 70% of the structure can mean thousands of dollars more. Electric wiring should be factored into the cost if the home is over 50 years old. Fuse boxes and old wiring can’t handle the load that today’s electronics and appliances put on them and will have to be replaced.
Do you want a 19th or 20th-century floorplan in the 21st century? Do you like the charm of a room that is centered around a fireplace, or do you want wide open areas where a high definition TV is the center of attention? If the latter is the case, support walls in an older home may not be able to be knocked out for expansion. Air conditioning may not flow well in a house that was never intended to have it. Make sure the layout gives you enough square footage for your family to live comfortably. Lifestyle is a significant point to consider when deciding to live in a home that has been around since the Civil War.
Before you embark on your journey to restoring an old home, you should create a realistic budget. Make sure there are allocations for the cost of unforeseen issues, this will save you from going over budget. Here are a few of the things to consider in your budget:
Remember to shop for the best financing on your home; or seek a Federal Housing Administration 203k loan which lets borrowers purchase a property and also finances the cost of renovation. Once you have received financing, don’t gold plate your renovation project. Don’t add a new wing or an addition that will put you over budget and ruing the aesthetics of a home.
Saving a piece of history by renovating a home can be a rewarding experience, just be sure it is an experience you are prepared to have.Continue Reading
Whether its damage due to a natural disaster, an unexpected accident or break-in, knowing when you should file a home insurance claim and what the consequences will be either way, is important.
When should you file a homeowners insurance claim? What will that mean for your future rates or eligibility for a new policy with a new carrier? Here are some things to consider before contacting your insurance company.
The first thing to consider when making a home insurance claim is whether your current policy will cover the claim or not. You should know exactly what your insurance covers before you ever need to make a claim; however, checking on the specific claim you are going to make-before contacting your insurance company-will give you the upper hand.
Once you have determined whether you are eligible or not, the next thing to consider is whether a claim is necessary. There may be instances when the deductible for your particular claim is higher than the costs. In that case a claim would be a waste of time. You may also want to consider if the overall cost is worth any potential rate increases that may result from a claim.
If you do decide to make a claim, arming yourself with all the necessary information will make the process go quickly and smoothly. Be sure you have all your insurance policy documents readily available. You should also gather as many documents that relate to the claim-repair estimates, police reports, and photographs. It is also a good idea to keep track of all contacts with your insurance provider, in case a dispute occurs.
In most cases, making a claim on your home insurance is a good idea. Keeping calm, organized, and informed can make the process stress free as well, most importantly contact us for advice.Continue Reading
State Farm Insurance, a Florida insurance company is canceling some insured’s homeowners policies due to an increased cost of weather related claims.
In fact, State Farm has not written any new homeowner’s policies in the state of Florida since 2005 also the Office of Insurance Regulation said these are the average increases for the following counties:
State Farm has issued 632,000 personal, commercial and residential insurance policies statewide.
According to a report in the Sun Sentinel, some South Florida residents saw their homeowners insurance premiums jump from $2,246 a year to $8,524.
Don Westerfeld 6/7/2011 9:04:00 PMContinue Reading