Monthly Archives: December 2016

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5 Things You Should not Hide from Your Landlord

Living in a home means you have to deal with some particular problems – a leaky roof, a broken shower, a damaged window, or lost keys, maybe. Things are similar when you are living in a rental. Read More →


5 Ways to Get a Good Deal on Rental Apartment

Renting an apartment does not involve the hassles and tremendous prep work involved in buying a house. However, it does not also mean that you’ll just shift into the first apartment where the landlord offers you cheap rent.

Choosing a rental apartment requires you not only to consider the monthly rent but also to consider the whole picture such as the neighborhood, median rent prices, proximity to workplace, etc.
We’ve discussed some factors that will help you determine whether you’re getting a good deal on your rental apartment:

Work on Rental Websites

Searching for rentals does not mean that you have to be out in the street and check every single unit that seems reasonable. Physical searching isn’t practical, and it consumes more time and money than online searching.

Many rental websites are there, and some of them have generous listings of rental units. These sites give you the option of searching with customized variables such as monthly rent, neighborhood, size of the apartment, etc. Some sites even allow the users to analyze and compare rent prices. Many local sites are there too that will help you finding the best deals in your chosen area.

Know the Neighborhood

Knowing the neighborhood is an essential prerequisite for making a good deal. Even if you find a rental in a nice apartment complex within your budget, the neighborhood may fall short of your expectations.

If you’ve fixed eyes on an apartment, drive around the area a couple of times at day and night. It will help you figure out about the traffic, noise, and parking condition of the area. You may also find out if it has a branch of your favorite diner or retail shop.

Calculate the Tax Rates

Some of you may have raised eyebrows because taxes are a concern for the buyers and homeowners. Right? Well, not exactly! Wage taxes are applicable in many cities and states. So, if you are moving to a new city such as Philadelphia, you’ll have to deal with a 4% wage tax, which is likely to make a sizable chunk of your paycheck.

Find out about the taxes and other fees before moving into a new county or city so that you face no problem covering up your monthly expenses in the new place.

Check the Building’s Maintenance

Even an old apartment can make a good deal if it’s well maintained. You surely don’t want to trade low rent for peeling paint, leaky roof, broken showers, or drafty windows. Ask the property manager when the building was last renovated or updated. Besides, take a good look around the apartment to find out if there’s any damage or if any area needs repair.


Asking your landlord to lower the rent won’t cost you anything. However, just asking or making a simple request won’t do the trick sometimes. Find out some points that the owner is likely to consider in exchange for cutting the rent. Flaunt your good credit score or offer the landlord to stay longer than one year. Most homeowners will negotiate if the renter is willing to sign a long-term lease.


Insurance Facts that First-Time Home Buyers Should Know

You can legally purchase a home without buying insurance. However, if you’re going to apply for a mortgage, your lender will likely require you to buy an insurance policy as a way to safeguard its investment.

Buying home insurance for the first time can be overwhelming because you can choose from a wide variety of options. So, knowing some basic information on the coverage and other facts can help removing much of your confusion.

Check these common insurance facts before shopping for coverage:

Coverage in a Standard Home Insurance Policy

Standard home insurance policies cover some natural and man-made damages that are known as covered perils. You can expect compensation if your home is damaged by fire, lightning, windstorms, hail, explosions, vandalism, theft, and riot. Some water damages are also considered as covered perils.

However, damages caused by some natural disasters including earthquake and floods require separate insurance policies.
Let’s take a look at the typical coverage provided by a standard home insurance policy:

  • If a covered peril destroys or damages your home, your insurer will pay the cost of repair or rebuilding. However, the structure coverage for such damage will be different from the price you paid for your home.
  • If you need to live in a separate place during the rebuilding of your home destroyed by a covered peril, coverage for additional living expenses will pay for your food and hotel bills.
  • You’ll get contents coverage for your destroyed or damaged belonging. The typical amount of such coverage is fifty to seventy percent of the structural coverage. Talk to your insurer to get more coverage for high-value items.
  • The liability coverage will have your back if someone is injured on your property. It will cover the legal, medical, and other related fees.

Insurance Policy Cost Determining Factors

Some factors are there that determine the cost of your insurance policy. The insurance providers pay particular attention to the following factors:

Credit Score – A good credit score is likely to help you get
insurance with extended coverage.

History of Claims – If you’re not a first-time home buyer or owner, the providers will consider your previous claims before approving the insurance. In addition, the claims history of the area where your home is located will also influence the cost.

Location and Age of Home – You need to pay more or may need to buy additional policies if your home is located in a disaster-prone area. The same is applicable if the house is old, as it may require frequent repairs and renovations.

Additionally, the cost may depend on the type of coverage you choose and some other factors such as owning pets, proximity of your home to a hydrant or fire department, etc.

You need patience for buying your first insurance. Shop around and compare the rates and coverage provided by different providers to figure out the best option for you.


Unique Benefits of Listing Homes during Holidays

Is anyone going to buy a home between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve? Most homeowners believe that potential homebuyers will be busy doing parties, shopping, or spending their vacation in an exotic destination. Read More →


The Impacts of Mortgage Rate Hike in the Housing Market

The mortgage rates took a significant jump after the U.S. presidential election. Donald Trump’s victory and his pro-growth agenda have likely affected the borrowing costs, resulting in some fluctuation in the country’s housing market. Read More →


How to Break a Rental Lease without Penalty

Last week, we discussed the valid reasons for not renewing a rental lease. However, sometimes you just need to move out before the due time because of drastic changes in your life plans or something else. Read More →

home buying negotiation

Home Buying: Negotiation Strategies to Win a Real Estate Deal

Successful negotiation is critical to a real estate deal. Buying a home is not as simple as making an offer and waiting for that offer to be accepted. The negotiation process can go for weeks before both the parties find a middle ground. Read More →