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Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Here in Onalaska, we’re expecting temperatures in the balmy 30’s next week.

This Winter’s recent snow storms, polar vortexes, and negative temperatures has us ready for spring. Looking for ways to feel productive and shake off the cabin fever? Get outside and perform your Spring Home Maintenance Checklist.

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  1. Prevent mosquitoes - As the ice melts, your property may be left with reservoirs of standing water. These reservoirs serve as ideal breeding grounds for disease carrying insects. Perform a 360 degree walk around of your land, identify any standing water, and property discard it.

  2. Visually inspect your roof - Heavy snow build up and wind can cause a ruckus for our roofs. When the ice melts, perform a 360 degree walk around and look for any missing shingles or other obvious exposures on the roof. If there’s still snow piled high on your roof, it’s time to use the snow rake!

  3. Clean out the gutters - regular gutter maintenance prevents clogging, prevents rot, and prevents critters from getting into your attic space.

  4. Check for damaged cement - Take a peak at any foundation, driveways, or pathways on your property and look for any obvious cracks or damage.

  5. Give your home’s exterior a face lift - if the outside of your home is looking a little dull after winter.

  6. Clean out the chimney - Perform an exterior visual inspection of your chimney. Look for obvious cracks or damage. Call in a chimney sweep to remove the build up in efforts to reduce any fire hazards.

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All right home owners, we hope this Spring Home Maintenance Checklist has helped! Your home is one of the biggest investments you can make, and regular seasonal maintenance can assist you in protecting that investment. Our homes take quite the beating during winter months here in the Midwest, so it’s time for a little TLC!

Keeping Your Home Insurance Company Happy

Make Your Home Insurance Company Happier

Make Your Home Disaster Resistant

Homeowners insurance is something a buyer has to secure before the sale of the home can be completed. Mortgage lenders will require what is referred to as a binder. The binder spells out the address of the home being insured, the authorized users on the policy, and every detail of what the insurance policy covers.

Lenders may require you to include specific coverage on your homeowners policy. For example, if a home is located in a floodplain your lender will require flood insurance.

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The most common homeowners insurance policies will cover fire, windstorm, hail, smoke, explosion, vehicle collision, and theft. The common homeowners policies don’t extend coverage to flood, earthquakes, power failure, neglect, or intentional damage.

Though states don’t require homeowners insurance, most mortgage lenders do. Your lender wants to protect their investment. Even if you’re in an area where you aren’t likely to experience a tornado, it’s still unwise to take chances on a property that you’ve invested so much into.

Just like health insurance, we all hope we don’t need to use it. However, we can rest easy knowing that if ever an accident were to occur it won’t completely wreck out financial circumstances or financial future. Just like health insurance, homeowners insurance can seem like a costly monthly expense.

Fret not, future homeowner. Imagine Home Lending has a few tricks and tips on how to keep your home insurance company happy (read: earn discounts on your home insurance policy).

Loyalty Perks: A lot of insurance companies offer discounts to customers that choose to use multiple services. Using the same company for home, auto, and life insurance could save you some big bucks!

Benefits of Being A First Time Homeowner: Some companies choose to extend a congratulatory discount to those who are purchasing their first home.

Choose your deductible wisely: If you live in an area where hurricanes, heavy wind, or hailstorm are a matter of “when” more than a matter of “if”, than it may be wise to choose a lower deductible with a higher monthly premium.

However, if you live in an area with low risk of natural disaster or crime, one could choose to pay a higher deductible with a lower monthly payment.

If the homeowner never ends up actually having to pay the deductible (let’s cross our fingers that they don’t!), then a lower monthly payment will save the homeowner money.

Safety First: Most insurance companies offer discounts if the homeowner purchases a home security system. Typically, the insurance company will affiliate with one specific home security company, so you may only be able to receive a discount if you choose to do business with their affiliate security company.

As well, updating any smoke detectors, CO2 detectors, and fire extinguishers may earn the homeowner some brownie points in the form of discounts!

Automatic and Virtual: Auto-pay and Paperless Billing are excellent, easy, effort-free ways to receive discounts. Ask about programs or rewards like these when you’re cost-comparing.

Tobacco Free Home: Cigarette smoking increases the risk for property damage due to fire. Any sort of fire prevention measures will usually qualify you for policy discounts. If you have a smoke-free home, ask about these rewards.

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The last tip we have to offer is to make sure you listen as they explain the extent of coverage that each company is quoting you. After a few attempts at getting quotes, or being coll-called, it’s easy to get complacent. However, the fine print really does matter under these circumstances. If you have any questions about insuring your home, your realtor or lender are great resources to turn towards!