Avoiding Weather Related Insurance Claims

Posted by lorihawkinsnc@me.com | General Knowledge,Real Estate | Saturday 8 May 2010 8:49 pm

In the Fall, while watching the birds and squirrels prepare for the coming winter one can assume from their activity if we may be in for some serious weather.  If that’s the case, we need to prep also.  During autumn we have a chance to clear dead limbs, clean up yard debris, and generally get our shelters ready for the coming winter months.  Although the Carolina Hurricanes pro hockey team have a home in Cary, their ‘icing’ problems are a lot different than the ones we can face during adverse weather conditions.
If icing occurs on our trees, and limbs break and fall; or the wind moves powerfully through our neighborhood causing trees to fall on either their property or ours creates an issue.  Avoiding the issue before it happens is best.  Complicating the situation is the unfortunate matter that insurance companies have recently adopted outrageously bad attitudes toward their customers of “You file a legitimate claim; we raise your rate or cancel your policy.”   If you have a large claim, unless you can pay it yourself, you really have no alternative but to file a claim and hope your insurance company is ethical and won’t raise your rate or cancel you.  An insurance company might “subrogate” and sue the neighbor if there is evidence of the neighbor’s negligence, such as failure to remove a diseased tree, which was leaning toward your property before a storm or adverse weather event.  In either case, being prepared can help eliminate potential problems.

e-Buying of Property

Posted by lorihawkinsnc@me.com | Articles,Buyers,General Knowledge,Real Estate | Saturday 8 May 2010 8:39 pm

From the Hawk’s Cry January 2001

It is quite fitting to share news and my view, of the continuing explosion of e-business in this new millennium. In particular, the electronic transfer of information in the Real Estate market.
The e-transfer of real property information is becoming quite popular. It is commonplace for purveyors of homes to do their ‘shopping’ on the Internet. Prior to entering the business as a Realtor, my wife and I explored the possibilities of finding a home on the Internet. The Internet can assist the purchaser(s) in viewing the house with a diagramed ‘virtual’ tour. The tour can visually help buyers in the decision making process.
Depending on the web-surfers’ criteria, the Internet can assist potential buyers in examining the possibilities of owning a home with two, three, or four bedrooms; understanding how the floor plan does or does not meet their needs and how to possibly plan to decorate the living room. This scenario is provided visually with the overall set-up of the house’s virtual tour.
What the Internet cannot do is help the buyer ‘feel’ the house. Is the house well constructed? Are there enough windows? Is the fireplace too small? Is the hallway really that small-it appeared larger on the virtual tour? I didn’t know the neighbor’s dog yelped all night! I thought my SUV could fit in the garage! The virtual tour went round & round, I couldn’t tell there was only one window in the master bedroom!
The Internet also cannot tell you the local market’s rate at that time. Nor can it replace the expertise of a Realtor who is familiar with the particular market that is being investigated and the neighborhood. This market knowledge provides additional guidance for the buyer(s). A virtual tour is a 360-degree picture that prevents the potential buyer from sensing the property other than visually. Stevie Wonder probably wouldn’t buy a house on the net & neither should you.
After working with Internet savvy clients this previous year, whom I had the pleasure of assisting to purchase homes, I’m finding it more difficult to say, sign an offer after viewing the virtual tour. I have spoken with other Realtors who have contacted and contracted clients on the net. I would greatly encourage my clients to touch/feel, see, hear ‘taste’, the property prior to purchasing.
E-commerce is quickly changing the pace of the business community. However, it is still the human touch that enlivens the statement-a house is not a home, until it’s lived in. If you, your family or friends are exploring the possibility of using the Internet to investigate home-ownership, either as a first time buyer, or a buyer who’s moving up or downsizing living space as the case may be, show up and the see the subject property in real-time! Case the joint. Cruise the neighborhood. Where’s the grocery store? Where’s the school? Where’s the firehouse? Who are the neighbors?
As a savvy consumer, use the Internet to your advantage and not to your disadvantage. See the place first on the Internet. But before you make an offer to purchase, see the place first-hand. And when you make the offer to purchase, use a Realtor such as Tony Hawkins, ABR, your intelligent choice.

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