Home Safe Home ….. Home is a place you should feel safe and secure. Sometimes, we take it for granted and unfortunately, we do need to remain vigilant about things we do that could compromise our safety. Here are a few tips to consider:
- Everyone loves an inviting home including burglars. Make sure it looks occupied and is difficult to break in.
- Always lock outside doors and windows even if you’re only gone for a brief time.
- Lock gates and fences.
- Leave lights on when you leave; consider timers to automatically control the lights.
- Keep your garage door closed even when you’re home; don’t tempt thieves with what you have in your garage.
- Suspend your mail and newspaper delivery when you’re out of town or get a neighbor to pick it up for you.
- Posting that you’re out of town or away from home on social networks is like advertising your home is unprotected.
- Equally dangerous could be allowing certain social network sites to track your location.
- Don’t leave keys under doormats, in flowerpots or the plastic rocks; thieves know about those hiding places and even more than you can think.
- Trim the shrubs from around your home; don’t give criminals a place to hide.
- Use exterior motion detectors and yard lighting.
- Have an alarm system and use it when you leave home and go to bed.
- Put 3 ½” deck screws in door plates and door hinges.
- Have good deadbolts on all exterior doors.
- Exterior doors should be solid core.
A Parade Of Homes Gold Winner, The “Lillypad” is a 4-bedroom, 3-full bath and 2-1/2 bath home built by L and L of Raleigh, Inc.
Gleaming hardwoods greet you in the foyer and continue thru the living room, dining room, family room, staircase and upstairs hallway.
The property offers a transitional floor plan that delivers a striking living room with a coffered ceiling, an impressive dining room with a tray ceiling and an inviting family room with a fireplace with gas logs flanked by built-in bookcases.
The master suite is huge with his-and-her walk-in closets and a master spa. All of the secondary bedrooms are also spacious and each has a walk-in closet with wood closet systems and brand new carpeting in all bedrooms.
First floor guest en-suite is perfect for visiting parents or friends.
Great storage with both a walk-in and walk-up attic.
Arches, detailed woodwork and ceilings thru home.
If you haven’t heard of a CLUE report, it has nothing to do with the table game searching for a murderer. It is a report showing the insurance claims on your home and car for the past five to seven years.
This database is used by insurance companies to evaluate risks and determine rates. C.L.U.E. stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. Rates can be increased not only due to legitimate claims but data entry errors also. Sometimes, simply asking a question without filing a claim can be logged as a claim.
For that reason, similar to verifying the accuracy of your credit report, it is important to check out the CLUE report on your home and car. The reports are free and there is a process for correcting mistakes.
An interesting and sometimes costly surprise occurs during the home buying process. The claim experience of the prior seller could impact the price of the premium of the new buyer. For that reason, you can ask for a copy of the CLUE report on the home you’re interested in buying prior to writing a contract.
Most subdivisions around The Triangle in North Carolina have HOA’s. HOA’s can be good for a community as they can and should enforce the covenants for the subdivision. They are not supposed to discriminate against homeowners and are supposed to enforce the covenants.
Most HOA’s also have to comply with other NC laws that govern HOAs.
Before you purchase a home in a subdivision with covenants make sure you read them and find out how the HOA is managed.
I personally live in a 10 lot subdivision with covenants. The HOA has been run by 2 officers and we have not had an HOA meeting in 3 years.
Recently one of our homeowners in the subdivision erected this shed facing our house. The shed is erected in violation of our covenants and is also in violation of the City of Raleigh codes concerning sheds. The homeowners have applied for a waiver from the City and the HOA officers are favoring these homeowners over other homeowners in the subdivision.
So as in any situation “buyer beware”. Investigate and make sure you are making the right decision about subdivision to live in.
An eyesore like this is not something you want to embrace and endure.
Good Info – Good Decisions
While low inventory is certainly challenging buyers, not having a clear understanding of mortgage financing is also causing issues. By having good information, they are able to make better decisions as well as compete favorably.
Most buyers don’t realize how the mortgage rate is determined for a borrower. While annual income is important, a good credit score, low debt-to-income ratio, loan-to-value ratio and ability to repay the loan are vital concerns.
A variety of myths seem to permeate the market such as rates are set and released once a day; FHA loans are for first-time buyers only; pre-qualification commits the lender; lender fees are not negotiable and adjustable rate mortgages always go up.
Misunderstanding of actual mortgage practices may be a contributing factor to why more buyers are not taking advantage of what are still historically low mortgage rates.
While getting solid information about mortgages and being pre-approved from a lender are very important, it is only one step in the home buying process. Success in buying a home in today’s market should begin with a real estate professional who will coordinate all the different parts of the transaction including mortgage, title, insurance, inspections.