Home Insurance and Replacement Costs

Home Insurance and Replacement Costs: How do you know if you have your home insured for the right amount? Your lender may require insurance to cover the loan amount, but what you owe and actual replacement costs can be vastly different.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), replacement costs are the amount it would take to replace or rebuild your home or repair damages with similar materials and quality, without deducting for depreciation. Actual cash value is the amount it would take to repair or replace damage to your home after depreciation. Standard plans require policy limits of at least 80% of replacement cost.

Home Insurance and Replacement Costs

Replacement costs should include loss of your possessions.  Create a room-by-room inventory of your possessions, including photographs and/or video, cost of goods, and how long you’ve had them. Give documentation to your insurer and keep copies in a safe place or on the cloud.

The NAIC advises that you compare cost-to-repair and cost-to-replace prices for your area with your insurer. There are different packages of home insurance that protect against specified damage-causing events, such as fire, windstorm, and theft. They also contain coverage for property damage, living expenses during repairs, personal liability and medical payments.

Review your policy annually. If you’ve made improvements to the home, or purchased more goods, you should inform the insurer. You may also get a premium discount for long-time loyalty, combining car and home insurance, raising your deductible, and other initiatives.

Are You Really Ready to Sell?

Are You Really Ready to Sell? If you find yourself saying any of the following to your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional, you may be hurting your chances of selling your home quickly and for the most money possible.

“I’m not making any repairs.” According to the 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report from the National Association of REALTORS®, 47 percent of buyers under the age of 37 purchased new homes to avoid renovations and problems. If many buyers don’t have the will, skill or time to make repairs, you’re eliminating a number of buyers who would otherwise love your home.

Are You Really Ready to Sell?

“My home has to be worth more than that.” You may believe your home should be worth more than you paid for it and provide you with enough equity to move. Your listing agent will supply you with tools to understand current market value. The comparable market analysis shows what homes have recently sold for and what other sellers are asking for similar homes as yours, as well as price and sales trends.

“Let’s price it higher and see what happens.” Pricing above comparable homes is a real risk. You’ll outprice buyers who would want your home. Buyers who can afford your home will quickly find that your home doesn’t compare to others.

In any of these cases, you’ll be looking at a price adjustment, and have lost valuable marketing time. Realistically, your home is only worth what the most qualified buyer is willing to pay for your home.

Home Design Trends Straight from the West Coast

Home Design Trends Straight from the West Coast sets the pace when it comes to housing trends and environmentalism.

The Mid-century Home

The first ranch-style home was built in 1932 in San Diego, CA by builder Cliff May, whose low, horizontal architectural design took unique advantage of the climate. Now known as the mid-century home, the ranch-style home is typically a one-level L-shaped box with all or most load-bearing walls on the outside, making the homes easy to decorate and remodel.

Spanish Colonial Revival Homes

For design inspiration, the West Coast utilizes Spanish and Asian influences, as well as indigenous native American Eskimo and Indian cultures. Of these the best known is the Spanish Colonial Revival.

Offering a mix of Spanish Baroque, Mexican Churrigueresque and Moorish Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival homes arose from centuries-old presidios and missions from Spain’s conquest of Mexico. The style features plaster and stucco walls, clay tiles, terracotta or cast concrete ornamentation, and decorative iron trim and is popular in the West, Southwest and Florida.

Environmentalism

Environmentalism trends such as green-building with sustainable bamboo and hemp and xeriscaping with drought-friendly native plants are not only socially responsible, but mandatory in many West Coast communities.

Pacific colors

From the warm waters of the South Pacific to Alaskan icebergs, the blues and greens and whites of the ocean are popular color choices, as well as the terra cottas and yellows of the desert and the deep greens and browns of the forest.