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Control Mold!

DHREA 24/10/2019

Mold spores can be frustrating to homeowners, renters, and investment property buyers. From potential health issues to property damage, mold is often one of the most overlooked pain points for any property. Here is a list of tips and tricks to help reduce exposure and minimize growth inside your home and property. Some are common sense, some are things we all overlook. Whether you’re sensitive to mold spores and want to protect your health, or you simply want to protect your home or investment, check out the list I compiled below!

Exterior:

  • Avoid outdoor places where mold is likely to be in high concentration. These include shady areas, compost piles, kennels, and piles of leaves, grass, or straw.
  • Promptly repair and seal leaky pipes and roofs.
  • Have the yard mowed and raked regularly.
  • Keep rain gutters clean. Clear leaves and debris from drainage areas around your home and yard.
  • Store firewood away from the house.

Interior:

  • Cleaning your house regularly and properly can help reduce mold.
  • Clean with a commercial anti mold product. Choose a product containing a mixture of bleach and detergent or make your own anti mold cleaner. Mix 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach and 1 quart of water.
  • Clean carefully, especially in areas where mold is likely to grow, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
  • Empty refrigerator drip pans and thoroughly clean them with a commercial anti mold product.
  • Keep garbage cans and trash compactors clean and free of mildew.
  • Store things carefully. Don’t store newspaper, clothes, and other items in damp areas because they can become moldy. Store only completely clean and dry clothing and shoes. Even small amounts of grime can stimulate mold growth.
  • Throw away any moldy foods lurking in your refrigerator and cupboards.

Air Circulation:

  • Use a fan in the bathroom to remove damp air. If you don’t have a fan, open a window and consider having a fan installed. In bathrooms without windows, open a door when you’re finished, and consider using a dehumidifier.
  • Use a dehumidifier to dry out a damp basement, but be sure to empty the water from it and clean it regularly. Water left in dehumidifiers allows mold to grow.
  • Don’t use humidifiers or vaporizers. Putting extra moisture into the air encourages mold growth. If you choose to use these appliances, follow the manufacturer’s instructions about regular cleaning. Even special humidifiers designed to lessen mold growth require regular and thorough cleaning.
  • Ventilate closed rooms by opening doors and installing fans.

Miscellaneous:

  • Avoid sleeping in areas of the house that are below ground level.
  • Don’t put carpeting directly on concrete or damp floors. The carpet may become moldy.
  • When painting damp areas, choose mold-inhibiting paints. They can be found at most paint stores.
  • Remove all carpets and wallpaper with visible mold or mildew.
  • Don’t over-water plants. A few household plants probably will not cause problems if you’re mold-sensitive, but standing water promotes mold growth.
  • Keep windows sealed tightly. You may need to replace weather stripping on older windows.
  • Eliminate dark areas. Most mold needs darkness to grow. In the basement or in closets that tend to be damp, install a light on a timer. Add windows or skylights to dark rooms.

 

(Editor’s Note: These are merely suggestions and what has worked for others in the past. Results may vary.)

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Carnegie, PA
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Pittsburgh Landlord Group

Carnegie, PA
224 Members

This is a great venue for Real estate investors, real estate agents and property managers to expand your knowledge and to help others in the field of being a landlord. We will…

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Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Red Tree Mortgage: https://www.redtreemtg.com/

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Featured Blog by Bankrate! Guide to Flood Insurance: Here’s What to Know

DHREA 23/10/2019

If you’re a homeowner and you have a mortgage, flood insurance is recommended because flooding can happen anywhere. Floods are the nation’s most common natural disaster but the damage is rarely covered under your homeowners or renters policy.

Flood insurance is designed to restore your property to its pre-flood condition. It’s the best way to protect your home and belongings in the event of a flood, providing financial structure and peace of mind that your home will be taken care of.

Find the best homeowners insurance rate

Because of the increase in natural disasters, flood insurance rates are on the rise, but there are ways to reduce how much you pay for your flood insurance policy. The first step is to assess your home’s flood zone level. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides flood maps which show community flood zones. The FEMA Flood Map Service Center allows you to type your address into the tool to show your community’s flood map and better understand your risk.

I have homeowners insurance, isn’t that enough?

Homeowners insurance and renters insurance policies don’t offer protection against flooding as is. However, many homeowners insurance companies offer flood insurance, so check with your insurance agent first to see if your provider offers it.

No matter where you live in the country, it’s important to purchase flood insurance. Even if you don’t live in a high risk flood area, you’re still at risk of flood damage. In fact, 20% of flood claims are filed in low to moderate risk flood areas.

How does flood insurance work?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, “Flood insurance covers direct physical losses from floods and losses resulting from flood related erosion caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels and accompanied by a severe storm, flash flood, abnormal tide surge or a similar situation that results in flooding.”

Flood damage isn’t covered under homeowners or renters insurance so you’ll have to get the policy separately. The maximum insurance coverage amount available from the National Flood Insurance Program is $250,000 for the structure of the home and $100,000 for the contents of the home. You can also purchase “excess” coverage which covers properties valued above those limits.

What’s covered under flood insurance?

Building property flood insurance (coverage for your home) covers things like electrical and plumbing systems, carpet, foundation walls and appliances. Personal property flood insurance must be purchased separately and covers things like furniture, clothing, washers and dryers, curtains and artwork.

What isn’t covered under flood insurance?

Damage to your home or personal property caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner isn’t covered under flood insurance. Damage caused by earth movement, additional living expenses like temporary housing and vehicles are also not covered under flood insurance and require other types of coverage to be properly insured.

The two types of flood insurance

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

The National Flood Insurance Program gives homeowners access to federally supported flood insurance. NFIP insurance is available to anyone living in both high-risk and low to moderate-to-low-risk areas. Premiums start as low as $119 per year for low risk areas to $1,027 in high risk areas.

Flood insurance is easy to purchase directly from an insurance agent, with over 100 insurance companies who write and service NFIP policies. If you’re interested in buying flood insurance, the best place to begin is by asking your homeowners insurance provider to assist you. However, not all insurance providers offer these policies, so you may have to shop around if your provider is one of them. There is a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase until your policy goes into effect, so keep this in mind especially if you’re a new homeowner.

Private flood insurance

Private flood insurance also covers the structure of your home and its contents from water damage, except it receives no support from the federal government. Instead, private flood insurers are for-profit companies that either rely on a reinsurer or money collected from premiums to pay out damages. The waiting time to begin coverage is only 25 days, less time than it takes for NFIP coverage to take effect.

Private flood insurance offers higher coverage limits than the NFIP, with a max rebuild limit of $500,000 or higher and is more comprehensive. The NFIP plan will only reimburse you for the depreciated amount of your flood-damaged belongings, while private flood insurance covers personal property at its replacement cost, without deducting depreciation. While private flood insurance seems to be the best option, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, it may not be available in your area, and in high-risk areas where it is available, you run the risk of higher premiums. That will make a big difference in the event that you file a claim.

How much does flood insurance cost?

The average cost of NFIP coverage is about $700 per year and varies by home and state depending on several factors:

  • Type of coverage (federal or private)
  • Age and build of the home
  • Location and flood zone level

How to lower the cost of flood insurance

Whether you already have flood insurance, or you’re interested in finding a great deal as a first time buyer, here are a few ways to reduce costs:

Fix expensive errors in your flood insurance premium

  • Get an auditor – An auditor will help spot and correct information in your flood insurance premium that can heavily affect price like flood zone, construction date, etc.
  • Check if you’re eligible for Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) rates – This is a Standard Flood Insurance Policy that offers low-cost coverage to owners and tenants of eligible buildings located in the moderate-risk B, C and X Zones in the NFIP communities. The maximum coverage for residential buildings is $250,000 and $100,000 for contents.
  • Look into a community discount or Community Rating System (CRS) – This discount is calculated based on your community’s efforts to reduce the risk of flooding.
  • Increase your deductible – A higher deductible will lower your flood insurance premium but will also reduce your claim payment, which means you’ll cover the difference out of pocket.

Protect your property from flood damage

Building a new home or renovating yours? Here are a few ways you could help lower your flood insurance premium and reduce potential damage.

  • Relocate your home – One of the best options for protecting your home is to relocate your house to an area of your property that’s above the base flood elevation.
  • Elevation – You can save hundreds of dollars on flood insurance costs by elevating above the base flood elevation. Elevating one foot above the base flood elevation can result in a 30% reduction in annual premiums.
  • Utilities – Move any machinery that services your building somewhere above the base flood elevation such as an attic or a closet.
  • Flood openings – One common reason why flood insurance policies are rated so severely is due to a lack of proper ood openings. Garage doors, windows, and doors don’t count unless they have flood openings installed within them.
  • Basements – If you’re building a new home, back filling any excavated areas within the foundation will help you save money on your insurance premium. It can also be done post-build using pea-gravel or other suitable material to raise the interior crawl space floor elevation.

The bottom line

No matter where you live, flood insurance will help you protect your home and belongings in case of a natural disaster. Now that you know the differences between homeowners and flood insurance, the different types of flood insurance and how to effectively reduce your premiums, you can confidently protect your home from flood related damage.

(This article originally appeared at Bankrate.com)

Network with over 700 Real Estate Investors! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Group on MeetUp.com, and be one of the first to receive updates on upcoming events!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
738 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Join Alex Deacon’s fast-growing Pittsburgh Landlord Group on MeetUp.com! Connect with other Landlords for monthly seminars with Q & A! Click below!

Pittsburgh Landlord Group

Carnegie, PA
224 Members

This is a great venue for Real estate investors, real estate agents and property managers to expand your knowledge and to help others in the field of being a landlord. We will…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Red Tree Mortgage: https://www.redtreemtg.com/

Read More

Tara Mortgage Services Featured Blog: The Ultimate Guide to Closing Costs

DHREA 21/10/2019

Just like when you purchase a car, the listed price of the home does not include the additional fees. Essentially, the “sticker price” is not the out-the-door price. For home purchases, these additional fees are lumped together and called “closing costs.”

Here are the fees you can expect to pay in the final stretch of your home purchase. 

Closing Costs Explained

Closing costs cover the expenses that finalize your home loan, whether its a purchase or a refinance. Most of the closing costs responsibility falls on the buyer. However, the seller will pay a few as well, such as their real estate agent’s commission. 

If negotiated, the seller may also cover all or part of the buyers closing costs. 

How much will you pay in closing costs?

Average closing costs run between about 2% and 5% of the loan amount. So on a $300,000 home purchase, you can expect to pay between $6,000 to $15,000. 

The most cost-effective way to handle closing costs is to pay it upfront, out-of-pocket though some choose to finance their closing costs by rolling them into the loan. However, that’s not always an option, plus it’ll end up costing more since you’ll also pay interest.

List of Buyers Closing Costs

Property-related fees

Appraisal fee: A home appraisal checks that the property is worth the amount you are borrowing. The typical cost is about $300 and $400.

Home inspection: Home inspections are usually required, especially if you’re getting a government-backed loan such as an FHA. A home inspection is also a smart move for you, the buyer, as it will reveal any potential problems before the deal is final.

If the inspection finds problems, you can use it to negotiate a lower price. Depending on how bad the issues are, you may be able to back out of the contract. Home inspection fees are about $300 to $400.

Loan-related fees

Application fee: This fee covers the cost of processing the loan, such as credit checks and administrative expenses. This fee varies depending on the amount of work it took to put process your loan. 

Our office uses digital mortgage processing, which helps to speed up the timeline as well as lower our overall expenses. We pass these savings to our clients!

Assumption fee: This only applies if the seller has an assumable mortgage in which you are taking over the remaining balance. The amount depends on what that balance is.

Attorney fees: Some states require an attorney to be present at the closing. The amount depends on how much the attorney charges per hour and how many hours they are present at the signing.

Prepaid interest: In some cases, you’ll be required to pay the interest that accrued between the settlement date and the first mortgage due date. The fee depends on the amount borrowed and your interest rate. 

Loan origination fee: Also known as an underwriting fee, administrative fee, or processing fee, this covers the evaluation and preparation of your mortgage loan. You can expect to pay about 0.5% of the amount you’re borrowing. 

Discount points: Discount points reduce your interest rate and are especially attractive if you plan on staying in your home for several years. The cost of one point equals 1% of the loan. So for a loan of $350,000, a 1-point payment would be $3,500. This fee only applies if you purchase points.

Mortgage broker fee: Brokers usually charge a commission as a percentage of your loan amount. The amount varies. 

Mortgage insurance fees

Mortgage insurance application fee: If your down payment is less than 20%, you’ll have to get private mortgage insurance (PMI). This fee varies by lender.

Upfront mortgage insurance: Some situations require borrowers to pay the first year’s mortgage insurance premium upfront. Expect it to be about 0.55% to 2.25% of the purchase price of the home.

FHA, VA, and USDA fees: If your loan is government-backed, you’ll have to pay the following fees:

  • Mortgage insurance premiums for an FHA loan
  • Guarantee fees if it’s a loan funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Property taxes, annual fees, and insurance

Property taxes: Buyers usually pay two months’ worth of property taxes at closing.

Annual assessments: If your homeowners’ association requires a yearly fee, you might have to pay it in one lump sum upfront.

Homeowners insurance premium: Homeowner’s insurance covers your property in case of damage. Some homeowner’s associations include it in the monthly fee, so it’s worth asking before you purchase it separately.

The amount depends on where you live and the home’s value.

Title fees

Title search fee: A title search makes sure that the person selling the house is the true owner and that there are no claims or liens against the property. It’s relatively labor-intensive, especially if the records aren’t computerized.

It’s about $200 but varies among title companies. The search fee may be included in the cost of title insurance.

Lender’s title insurance: This protects the lender in case there’s a mistake in the title search, and someone makes a claim on the property. Coverage lasts until the mortgage is paid off.

Owner’s title insurance: Similar to the above, except this insurance helps to protect you, the buyer. It lasts as long as you or your heirs own the home and costs about 0.5% to 1% of the property purchase price.

Insider tip: A discount is sometimes available if you purchase the lender and owner policies at the same time.

It may seem like it’s a lot to handle, but with preparation, all of these fees are quickly taken care of. Plus, some may even get covered by the seller! Contact Tara Mortgage Services and let us show you how affordable homeownership can be. 

Network with over 700 Real Estate Investors! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Group on MeetUp.com, and be one of the first to receive updates on upcoming events!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
737 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Join Alex Deacon’s fast-growing Pittsburgh Landlord Group on MeetUp.com! Connect with other Landlords for monthly seminars with Q & A! Click below!

Pittsburgh Landlord Group

Carnegie, PA
223 Members

This is a great venue for Real estate investors, real estate agents and property managers to expand your knowledge and to help others in the field of being a landlord. We will…

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Congratulations to Our September Rock Stars!

DHREA 15/10/2019

Deacon Hoover Real Estate Advisors is pleased to announce our September leaders:

Congrats to Anthony Angotti and The Angotti Team for being the top producing team in the month of September, with over $2.185MIL in production!

Congrats to Gina Giacchino for being the top producing Advisor for the month, with over $255k in production!

Contact any of are Advisors to list or buy your home. Don’t forget to ask about our #90DayGuarantee and #OneStop!

Network with over 700 Real Estate Investors! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Group on MeetUp.com, and be one of the first to receive updates on upcoming events!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
736 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Join Alex Deacon’s fast-growing Pittsburgh Landlord Group on MeetUp.com! Connect with other Landlords for monthly seminars with Q & A! Click below!

Pittsburgh Landlord Group

Carnegie, PA
222 Members

This is a great venue for Real estate investors, real estate agents and property managers to expand your knowledge and to help others in the field of being a landlord. We will…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Red Tree Mortgage: https://www.redtreemtg.com/

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Tara Mortgage Services featured blog: Mortgage Mythbusters: First-Time Homebuyer Edition

DHREA 25/09/2019
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Entering the housing market as a newbie can be intimidating. Even more so when you hear rumors about how “difficult” or “expensive,” it is. But don’t believe it! As the experts in first-time home loans, we have all the answers and resources to make your home purchase happen with ease.

Find out the truth about buying your first home, and for personalized answers, contact us! 

Myth #1:

You need 20% downpayment.

While a 20% down payment means you won’t pay private mortgage insurance (PMI), you can buy a home with much less down. In fact, there are loan programs that require as little as 3% down. Are you a veteran, currently enlisted, or a spouse of a member of armed forces? Then you may qualify for zero down! 

20% down has its perks, such as no PMI and building equity a lot sooner. But that doesn’t mean you MUST have 20% now to buy a home. When it comes to how much you can afford to pay every month, an FHA loan with 3% may be the most affordable option.

Myth #2:

You won’t qualify for a home loan if you have student loans.

Got student debt! So do most borrowers! Student debt and credit card debt are different “in the eyes of lenders.” So even if you have substantial student debt, buying your first home is still very much possible. 

Myth #3:

Avoid adjustable-rate mortgages like the plague.

The 2008 housing crisis is still fresh on many buyer’s minds, and this may make you wary of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). But you shouldn’t be! The bust was more of an issue of too-lax qualifying standards and less about the loan program itself. 

ARM loans are an attractive option because of the low fixed interest rate it offers for the first few years. An ARM is a great option if you plan on refinancing or selling within 10 years. In fact, it could potentially save you thousands.

Myth #4:

You won’t qualify for any government home loan program. 

Government-sponsored loans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer numerous affordable lending options. Eligibility is much easier than other loan programs and could be based on the location of the home, your income, your military status, and even your first-time homebuyer status! 

Curious as to which government loan you qualify for? Contact us today to get started!

Myth #5:

Your pre-approval can be used on ANY home.

The property itself may impact how much you’ll ultimately be able to borrow, especially when it comes to the final cost. So even if you were approved for a specific amount, your pre-approval might not be work in that particular property. This is most often the case when it comes to properties like condos and townhomes that may have higher final cost due to property tax rates and homeowners association fees. 

Myth #6:

You don’t need a real estate agent.

Searching home listings via the internet is easy but presenting you a list of homes for sale isn’t the only thing a real estate agent does! They work as your advocate. They know the housing market well, know all the right questions to ask, negotiate on your behalf, and make sure that you are absolutely satisfied with your new home purchase. 

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced “flipper,” real estate agents offer an invaluable service in the homebuying journey. 

So what’s the truth about purchasing a home as a first-time buyer? It’s easier than you think! Contact us today to get matched with a home loan program that fits your budget and lifestyle. For the fastest response, use our contact form located on our site or give Tara Mortgage Services a call. We look forward to serving your mortgage needs!

Network with over 700 Real Estate Investors! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Group on MeetUp.com, and be one of the first to receive updates on upcoming events!

Analyzing your next RE Deal and the actions steps from A-Z to get to closing

Saturday, Oct 12, 2019, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

25 Members Attending

We will discuss the steps from start to finish in detail. From creating your business model, how to find the great deals before the other person does and the specific steps to get that deal under contract and to the closing table. We are going to cram in a lot in 2 hours but it will be worth every minute.

Check out this Meetup →

Join Alex Deacon’s fast-growing Pittsburgh Landlord Group on MeetUp.com! Connect with other Landlords for monthly seminars with Q & A! Click below!

Pittsburgh Landlord Group

Carnegie, PA
203 Members

This is a great venue for Real estate investors, real estate agents and property managers to expand your knowledge and to help others in the field of being a landlord. We will…

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The ABCs of Land-lording

Thursday, Oct 10, 2019, 6:30 PM
9 Attending

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Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Red Tree Mortgage: https://www.redtreemtg.com/

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