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Posted on April 14, 2014 at 8:35 pm
Tracie Gulit | Category: Uncategorized

Drip, Drop, Flood Insurance

 

Drip, Drop, Flood Insurance

Hurricane Katrina and other local natural disasters have been an eye opener for FEMA and homeowners alike.  There are many things that need to change to help protect people and their investments when it comes to flooding. On March 21, 2014 President Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act into law. Please read on for some valuable information on flooding and how the upcoming changes might affect you and your home. Learn more about Flood Insurance Reform>

Do you live in a flood zone?

Currently, FEMA is in the process of changing the flood maps, so if you live near a water source and are not  in one now, you very well may be included in the future.  There are different categories that determine the severity and likelihood that your home may flood. What does that mean for you? See FEMA's flood map to see if you're in a flood  zone. 

Selling my home that’s in a flood zone

If you do live in a flood zone, future buyers will be required to purchase flood insurance.  Recently, flood insurance policies are generally provided by FEMA, however they can be sold through regular insurance brokerages costing anywhere from $80 to $1200 per month.  This means that it’s an added cost to the buyer at the end of a mortgage payment breakdown. This added cost may make or break a transaction so it is important to know upfront whether or not you live in a zone and what the costs are.

Flood Certificates are required, but why?

In the past, FEMA provided insurance based on a pooled risk of an area. Now, insurance rates are based on actual risk; for instance, if your home is built above the elevation that is considered high risk your insurance premiums might be lower. As of October 2013, in order for insurance brokerages to get a quote, they’re now required to provide a Flood Elevation Certificate.  A state licensed surveyor will visit your property and conduct an elevation analysis that assesses the risk of your home flooding.  Learn more about Elevation Certificates now.

Quick Action Tips for Homeowners:

·         Research your home’s flood status now

·         Protect your home from flooding by researching insurance

·         Prepare your home and family now in case of flooding or other natural disasters  – Learn how to build disaster kits here.

What to learn more and see if you’re living in a flood zone? Or would like a review of your property?

Please give Tracie Gulit a call at 360-201-6433

 

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm
Tracie Gulit | Category: Uncategorized

Spring has Sprung






Have ANY questions about Real Estate?  I'd love to chat- (360)201-6433
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Love Your HOME

Real Estate News, Tips and Inspiration to help you love your HOME

Spring is almost here… and this last week has helped me see it is close.  Sunshine and warmer weather ALWAYS helps, right?!  

Below is some news, tips and inspiration to help you get to feeling Spring- Enjoy

Money-Saving Spring Cleaning

Whether you love or hate spring cleaning, here’s some good news: Cleaning could save you money. Make the following tips part of your spring cleaning list and you’ll cut your energy costs by getting better performance from your appliances, exhaust fans, and lights.

Spring tips to save energy at home

  • Dry clothes faster.

    Clear lint from your clothes-dryer exhaust hose. Have a flexible hose? Replace it with smooth metal ducting to improve air flow, dry clothes faster, and reduce drying energy use.
  • Don’t make your fridge work so hard.

    Clean dust from under your refrigerator, the front vent at the base, and any exposed coils at the back. Another tip: Make sure products aren’t blocking the fan vents inside the fridge and freezer.
  • Clear the air.

    Dust bathroom ceiling fan covers and fan blades. Clean dust and grease from the kitchen stove hood and exhaust fan.
  • Plug your home electronics into an advanced power strip.

    While you’re dusting your TV, computer, gaming equipment, and other home electronics, take a look at how they’re plugged in. You can stop overpaying to power these big energy users (many draw electricity even when off) by plugging them into an advanced power strip, which automatically cuts electricity to any idle equipment you choose.
  • Use your bath fan.

    Do you have mildew on bathroom ceilings? This is a sign of insufficient ventilation. If you have a bath fan, use it. If you need a fan, look for an ENERGY STAR® qualified model. These fans are very quiet and use little electricity. Be sure to vent bath fans to the outdoors, or you’ll risk moving your mildew problem to another part of the house or attic.
  • Step outside.

    Take a look at any accessible exterior vents, such as for the clothes dryer, central-heating system, water heater, kitchen-fan exhaust, or bath-fan exhaust. Clear them of any blockage or buildup of dust, webs, leaves, and lint.
  • Keep bulbs and fixtures clean.

    Dirt will absorb the light and reduce the efficiency. Another tip: Replace incandescent light bulbs with CFLs and use up to 75% less energy for lighting.

  • Find a contractor.

    Before the busy construction season starts, now is a great time to talk to a contractor trained to help you find and fix causes of high energy bills, drafts, and more. A Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor can do a whole-house assessment and make recommendations about money-saving improvements within your budget. 

 

DIY- Printable Spring Cleaning Checklist
DIY- Spring is a great time to think about improving your home's Curb Appeal- take a peak at Home Depot's Curb Appeal Pinterest board for some Fabulous Inspiration.
LOCAL NEWS- Bellingham Takes Steps Towards Improved Water Treatment
WHATCOM REAL ESTATE– It's that time of year— our 2013 Annual Market Review is out! Click over to my website to check out what the Real Estate Trends were for 2013!
NATIONAL NEWS- How to Price Real Estate

Copyright © 2014 Tracie Gulit- Windermere Real Estate- Whatcom, Inc., All rights reserved.

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Posted on March 19, 2014 at 6:34 pm
Tracie Gulit | Category: Uncategorized

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