Homeowners Insurance: Things to Know Before Purchasing a Home

House With A Mortgage This post is contributed by Spencer Josan.

Buying a home is one of the single largest purchases you will make in your life. Protecting this investment often entails getting some form of homeowners insurance; however, there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” application of insurance policies. Depending on the type of home you purchase, your insurance company will give you different rates, policies and types of coverages.

Without further adieu, let’s take a look at all the things to know before purchasing a home.

Coverage When it Comes to Natural Disasters
There are instances when disasters simply strike without warning and can cause a considerable amount of property damage. For example, various states in the Midwest often have to contend with twisters and other forms of high wind damage, which can totally destroy a home. In cases like these, you need to be sure to have an HO-2 policy that specifically states that it will cover damage based on the type of weather phenomena that is common in the area that you choose. The reason why an HO-2 is better for you when it comes to particular areas is due to the greater potential for specific types of damage. While it is true that an HO-3 protects your home from a wider variety of different damages, this type of policy can contain specific provisions which do not cover damages related to certain types of natural disasters. That is why when you do purchase a home in an area that is known for having strong winds or weather patterns that cause specific types of damage, the HO-2 is definitely the best option.

Cash or Replacement Cost: What’s the Difference?
When it comes to purchasing home insurance, one of the most common questions clients encounter is whether they want a replacement-cost policy or a cash-value policy instead. This choice between the two depends on what sort of home you purchased and the type of furnishings you’ll have in it.

For example, one of the more common trends in home purchasing today has been to buy older homes that utilizing construction methods (i.e. columns, stained glass windows, etc.) that are no longer common today. Older homes have a unique appeal to buyers resulting in a rather brisk demand for this type of real estate. However, should an accident occur in a home, such as a fire or a natural disaster, the uniqueness of the home can actually go against the buyer. This is due to the unique moldings, castings and construction that went into it and that makes it rather expensive to repair or replace the home in question. It is due to instances such as these that a replacement-cost policy is often favored for older homes since, despite it costing more than 10 percent of the pricing of a cash value policy, it does help to cover the added cost of rebuilding an antique home.

Cash-value policies, on the other hand, have a replacement policy based on the current market value of the home and the contents within it. However, the Insurance Information Institute explains that while this type of policy is cheaper than the replacement-cost policy, it does have the caveat of the depreciating cost of the items within the home. For example, appliances such as a television, refrigerator or even the furnishings depreciate in value over time resulting in a lower recouped cost if they are lost in a fire or natural disaster. The cost of the home may increase over time but it also has the potential to drop considerably as seen in the market situation immediately after the 2007 financial crisis. Replacement-cost policies are often best suited for newer homes that already have a set value based on their current market price.

Additions that Can be Insured
While it was mentioned earlier that the location of your future home impacts the type of insurance coverage that you should choose, locations can also impact the type of additions that can be included onto a home. In the case of Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, there has been a growing trend of solar array purchases by local homeowners. This is due to a combination of the arid environment in these areas as well as the readily available sunlight. As a result, many homeowners install extensive solar power arrays onto the roofs of their houses so that they can reduce the amount of money they pay. U.S. News stated that what some owners fail to realize is that they can include “riders” onto their current insurance policies so that the valuable additions to their home can also be covered.

Need more information? Explore quote comparison and full-service websites like CoverHound for more information on how to get homeowners insurance. This will let you examine the various factors they take into consideration prior to purchasing a home. All you need to do is focus on getting the best coverage possible for a reasonable amount.

How To Host A Superbowl Party without Breaking Your Budget

How to Host a Superbowl PartyA Super Bowl Party is great fun for everyone. Two great teams slug it out on the football field. You and your friends get to visit and enjoy each other. And don’t forget the great commercials; sometimes, I think they’re the best part of the whole show.

What isn’t so great about hosting a Super Bowl party, however, is the cost. If you go crazy, you could spend a small fortune. Do you really have to break the bank to have a good time? No you do not! Remember the point of the party is to enjoy the game and hang out with your friends. Anything else is just gravy.

There are lots of ways to keep a tight rein on the cost of your Super Bowl party. Try these suggestions as you plan your big bash:

Serve basic snack foods. Does your family really expect mini-quiches and crudités while they watch a football game? Of course, they don’t. Simple appetizers are more than adequate fare for a Super Bowl party. Pour bags of chips into large bowls. Pop up some popcorn. Even health-conscientious party hosts can find favor by providing veggie trays filled with celery strips, carrots, and ranch dip. Stock up on hot dogs and burgers and do a cookout for the big game.

Provide one or two types of beverages. Don’t try to bring something for everyone; you’ll drive yourself insane trying to think of everyone’s drink tastes. Instead, provide one type of soda and one type of beer. (Don’t forget to shop the sales.) Tell all of your guests ahead of time what you’ll be serving; if they want something else to drink, they can always bring it themselves.

Divvy up food and drink responsibilities. While providing drinks and food for everyone may be burdensome for one person, the task is easy if all of the partygoers share the responsibility. Ask one or two friends to bring drinks. Ask others to bring snacks. By going potluck, you can all enjoy the party without enduring any stress over the cost. We usually just focus on one main dish that we will provide (this year it will be grilled hot dogs) and we ask our guests to bring other dishes to share such as potato salad, nachos, chips and dip, etc.

Skip decorations. None of your friends are expecting fancy decorations or place settings for a Super Bowl party. They just want to watch the game with you. Focus on having plenty of available seating around the television and plenty of snacks. That’s all you need.

Are you throwing a superbowl party this year? If so, what are your plans for food?