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How to Save Money on Your Homeowners Insurance

by The Mike Parker Team

How to Save Money on Your Homeowners Insurance

In today’s economy, homeowners need to save money wherever possible. If you’ve been the victim of damage this winter, thanks to Mother Nature, you may be confronting the not-so-pleasant realities of your homeowners’ insurance policy. From high deductibles to lack of coverage to rising rates, many homeowners have been left to foot a big—unexpected!—bill.

As a member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I am well versed in some of the ways you can save money when it comes to homeowners insurance. For starters, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars a year by shopping your homeowners’ policy around, so please e-mail me if you need a referral or two. Also, here are some great, money-saving ideas from the Federal Citizen Information Center (
www.consumeraction.gov):

Increasing your deductible is an easy way to save money on a monthly basis. Even raising it by just a few hundred dollars can make a big difference in your premium.
Ask your insurance agent about discounts. You may be able to get a lower premium if your home has safety features such as dead-bolt locks, smoke detectors, an alarm system, storm shutters or fire-retardant roofing material. Long-term customers and those over age 55 may also be offered discounts.
Insure your house, not the land under it. After all, your land will still be there even if your home is damaged. If you don't subtract the value of the land when deciding how much homeowner's insurance to buy, you will pay more than you should.
Don't wait until you have a loss to find out if you have the right type and amount of insurance. Discuss with your insurance agent exactly what types of damage are covered, including natural “acts of God.” Many homeowners are caught offguard by this loophole.
Purchase enough coverage to replace what is insured. "Replacement" coverage gives you the money to rebuild your home and replace its contents. An "Actual Cash Value" policy is cheaper but pays only what your property is worth at the time of loss - your cost, minus depreciation for age and wear.
Consider any special coverage you may need for valuable and/or unique items, such as computers, cameras, jewelry, art, antiques, musical instruments, stamp collections, etc.
Remember that flood damage may not be covered by a standard homeowners’ policy. If you live in an area prone to flooding, take advantage of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Bottom line, make sure you are working with an insurance agent who is experienced and trustworthy. Feel free to e-mail me for further information and please forward this e-mail to family and friends to keep them in the know as well.

Top 5 Reasons Why Now Is the Best Time to Buy a Second Home

by The Mike Parker Team

Top 5 Reasons Why Now Is the Best Time to Buy a Second Home

With all the negative news about the economy and the real estate market, in particular, there’s a good chance you’ve put any ideas of buying a second home on permanent hold.

As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, however, I can tell you that just the opposite is true. The reality is that now is the best possible time to shop for a second home, whether it be the vacation spot you’ve always dreamed of, a retirement home or an investment purchase. Or, if you’ve thought that a second home was not a possibility for you, it just might be now. Here’s why:

1. Just about across the board, prices are down…in some spots, they are actually down to 2001 levels. Those of you who may have been priced out of the market in past years are suddenly back in.

2. Mortgage rates are sticking at about 5%. This won’t last forever, however, especially as the market slowly starts its climb upwards.

3. If you're able to itemize deductions on your tax return, then the interest expense on your second mortgage is tax deductible.

4. If you’re buying in a popular vacation spot—such as on the shore, in the mountains, near a lake, in the city—then you can rest assured that your investment will increase as the market continues to recover.

5. If you’re not ready to retire or take advantage of a second home yet, bear in mind you’re creating an excellent source of additional income in terms of rental revenue…something we can all use in today’s economy. Consider making this purchase now, while conditions are favorable for buyers, rent it out, and then enjoy your home when the time comes.

I’ve seen many a savvy client take advantage of today’s market to make a desired lifestyle change or an investment that will pay dividends when the market picks up. Don’t let the media negativity prevent you from missing this great opportunity to buy a second home. Please e-mail me for more information and pass this article along to friends and family who might also find it helpful.

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Photo of Mike Parker - CRS Real Estate
Mike Parker - CRS
HUFF Realty
60 Cavalier Blvd.
Florence KY 41042
859-647-0700