Homeowners Insurance: Protecting Your Home

In addition to providing shelter and comfort, our home is often our single greatest asset. And it’s important that we protect that precious investment. Most homeowners realize the importance of homeowners insurance in safeguarding the value of a home. However, what they may not know is that about two-thirds of all homeowners are underinsured. According to a national survey, the average homeowner has enough insurance to rebuild only about 80% of his or her house.

What a standard homeowners policy covers

A standard homeowner’s insurance policy typically covers your home, your belongings, injury or property damage to others, and living expenses if you are unable to live in your home temporarily because of an insured disaster.

The policy likely pays to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by disasters, such as fire or lighting. Your belongings, such as furniture and clothing, are also insured against these types of disasters, as well as theft. Some risks, such as flooding or acts of war, are routinely excluded from homeowner policies.

Other coverage in a standard homeowner’s policy typically includes the legal costs for injury or property damage that you or family members, including your pets, cause to other people. For example, if someone is injured on your property and decides to sue, the insurance would cover the cost of defending you in court and any damages you may have to pay. Policies also provide medical coverage in the event someone other than your family is injured in your home.

If your home is seriously damaged and needs to be rebuilt, a standard policy will usually cover hotel bills, restaurant meals and other living expenses incurred while you are temporarily relocated.

How much insurance do you need?

Homeowners should review their policy each year to make sure they have sufficient coverage for their home. The three questions to ask yourself are:

·      Do I have enough insurance to protect my assets?

·      Do I have enough insurance to rebuild my home?

·      Do I have enough insurance to replace all my possessions?

Here’s some more information that will help you determine how much insurance is enough to meet your needs and ensure that your home will be sufficiently protected.

Protect your assets

Make sure you have enough liability insurance to protect your assets in case of a lawsuit due to injury or property damage. Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide a minimum of $100,000 worth of liability coverage. With the increasingly higher costs of litigation and monetary compensation, many homeowners now purchase $300,000 or more in liability protection. If that sounds like a lot, consider that the average dog bite claim is about $20,000. Talk with your insurance agent about the best coverage for your situation.

Rebuild your home

You need enough insurance to finance the cost of rebuilding your home at current construction costs, which vary by area. Don’t confuse the amount of coverage you need with the market value of your home. You’re not insuring the land your home is built on, which makes up a significant portion of the overall value of your property. In pricey markets such as San Francisco, land costs account for over 75 percent of a home’s value.

The average policy is designed to cover the cost of rebuilding your home using today’s standard building materials and techniques. If you have an unusual, historical or custom-built home, you may want to contact a specialty insurer to ensure that you have sufficient coverage to replicate any special architectural elements. Those with older homes should consider additions to the policy that pay the cost of rebuilding their home to meet new building codes.

Finally, if you’ve done any recent remodeling, make sure your insurance reflects the increased value of your home.

Remember that a standard policy does not pay for damage caused by a flood or earthquake. Special coverage is needed to protect against these incidents. Your insurance company can let you know if your area is flood or earthquake prone. The cost of coverage depends on your home’s location and corresponding risk.

Replacing your valuables

If something happens to your home, chances are the things inside will be damaged or destroyed as well. Your coverage depends on the type of policy you have. A cost value policy pays the cost to replace your belongings minus depreciation. A replacement cost policy reimburses you for the cost to replace the item.

There are limits on the losses that can be claimed for expensive items, such as artwork, jewelry, and collectables. You can get additional coverage for these types of items by purchasing supplemental premiums.

To determine if you have enough insurance, you need to have a good handle on the value of your personal items. Create a detailed home inventory file that keeps track of the items in your home and the cost to replace them.

Create a home inventory file

It takes time to inventory your possessions, but it’s time well spent. The little bit of extra preparation can also keep your mind at ease.  The best method for creating a home inventory list is to go through each room of your home and individually record the items of significant value.  Simple inventory lists are available online.  You can also sweep through each room with a video or digital camera and document each of your belongings. Your home inventory file should include the following items:

·      Item description and quantity

·      Manufacturer or brand name

·      Serial number or model number

·      Where the item was purchased

·      Receipt or other proof of purchase \Photocopies of any appraisals, along with the name and address of the appraiser

·      Date of purchase (or age)

·      Current value

·      Replacement cost

Pay special attention to highly valuable items such as electronics, artwork, jewelry, and collectibles.

Storing your home inventory list

Make sure your inventory list and images will be safe incase your home is damaged or destroyed. Store them in a safe deposit box, at the home of a friend or relative, or on an online Web storage site. Some insurance companies provide online storage for digital files. (Storing them on your home computer does you no good if your computer is stolen or damaged). Once you have an inventory file setup, be sure to update it as you make new purchases.

We invest a lot in our homes, so it’s important we take the necessary measures to safeguard it against financial and emotional loss in the wake of a disaster.

The post Homeowners Insurance: Protecting Your Home appeared first on Best Real Estate Agents in Northern Colorado.

Everything You Need to Know to Tear Down Your Concrete Patio

Concrete patios are often found in older homes, especially those built in the ’70s. But by now they’ve cracked and crumbled, leaving many homeowners wondering how to replace them, or even hoping to reclaim some of the green space lost by a particularly large patio.

If you count yourself in this group, here you’ll learn how to improve your outdoor space by removing or shrinking your concrete patio, or replacing an old cracked patio with a fresh new one that better suits your style today.

Concrete Patio 1Falling Waters Landscape, original photo on Houzz

Getting rid of a concrete patio enables you to replace it with a more attractive option — like pavers, stone or a modern combination, as with this patio by Falling Waters Landscape, featuring a grid of concrete rectangles divided by permeable plantings. It can also allow you to create more lawn or garden space.

Best time to do it: When the weather is dry and temperate enough to permit heavy-duty work outdoors.

Why: “Concrete cracks, it’s not a very pretty product, and there are a lot of better solutions on the market,” says Micah Dennis of Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design.

Who to hire: This project requires heavy machinery and can have hidden pitfalls (like rebar lurking in your concrete), so it’s only a DIY if you earn your bread and butter in home improvement. If that doesn’t sound like you, it’s best to hire a licensed contractor.

Related: Deck Builders in Your Area

Tip: Dennis warns that many contractors won’t take the project if they aren’t installing a replacement patio or garden, so have a plan in place when you start interviewing professionals.

Concrete Patio 2Hart Wright Architects AIA, original photo on Houzz

Cost range: Between $800 and $1,000 for demolition alone. The total cost of your project will depend on what you decide to put in the patio’s place.

Typical project length: One day.

Permit required: None for the project, although some municipalities require a permit for dumping concrete, so call ahead.

Project considerations: While your contractor will check with utility companies to make sure there aren’t any gas lines lurking beneath your patio’s surface, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing under there. If the crew discovers rebar or an unexpected gas line, the project may be slightly delayed or cost more.

Your contractor will also likely use a jackhammer to remove the concrete, so it might be a good idea to plan to be gone for the day so you aren’t disturbed by the noise. Give your neighbors due consideration as well.

Concrete Patio 3Mary Prince Photography, original photo on Houzz

First steps: Your contractor will protect your windows with plywood, as concrete chunks can spray up and crack or break the glass or cause pits.

Your contractor may also take some “before” photos to record the way the elevations worked for when it’s time to install the new materials.

Then it’s time to remove your concrete. If you’re simply reducing the size of your patio, the contractor will start by using a concrete cutting saw to cut the concrete joints out. “If you don’t cut it, then you’re going to start jackhammering, and the rest of the patio is just going to crack,” Dennis explains.

If you’re removing the entire patio, the contractor will use both the saw and jackhammer to break the patio into chunks that crews can then comfortably remove.

After that the only thing left to do is haul out the concrete chunks — or recycle them as pavers or a stacked garden wall — and start work on whatever you have planned to replace it.

Concrete patios are often found in older homes, especially those built in the ’70s. But by now they’ve cracked and crumbled, leaving many homeowners wondering how to replace them, or even hoping to reclaim some of the green space lost by a particularly large patio.

If you count yourself in this group, here you’ll learn how to improve your outdoor space by removing or shrinking your concrete patio, or replacing an old cracked patio with a fresh new one that better suits your style today.

Concrete Patio 1Falling Waters Landscape, original photo on Houzz

Getting rid of a concrete patio enables you to replace it with a more attractive option — like pavers, stone or a modern combination, as with this patio by Falling Waters Landscape, featuring a grid of concrete rectangles divided by permeable plantings. It can also allow you to create more lawn or garden space.

Best time to do it: When the weather is dry and temperate enough to permit heavy-duty work outdoors.

Why: “Concrete cracks, it’s not a very pretty product, and there are a lot of better solutions on the market,” says Micah Dennis of Paradise Restored Landscaping & Exterior Design.

Who to hire: This project requires heavy machinery and can have hidden pitfalls (like rebar lurking in your concrete), so it’s only a DIY if you earn your bread and butter in home improvement. If that doesn’t sound like you, it’s best to hire a licensed contractor.

Related: Deck Builders in Your Area

Tip: Dennis warns that many contractors won’t take the project if they aren’t installing a replacement patio or garden, so have a plan in place when you start interviewing professionals.

Concrete Patio 2Hart Wright Architects AIA, original photo on Houzz

Cost range: Between $800 and $1,000 for demolition alone. The total cost of your project will depend on what you decide to put in the patio’s place.

Typical project length: One day.

Permit required: None for the project, although some municipalities require a permit for dumping concrete, so call ahead.

Project considerations: While your contractor will check with utility companies to make sure there aren’t any gas lines lurking beneath your patio’s surface, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing under there. If the crew discovers rebar or an unexpected gas line, the project may be slightly delayed or cost more.

Your contractor will also likely use a jackhammer to remove the concrete, so it might be a good idea to plan to be gone for the day so you aren’t disturbed by the noise. Give your neighbors due consideration as well.

Concrete Patio 3Mary Prince Photography, original photo on Houzz

First steps: Your contractor will protect your windows with plywood, as concrete chunks can spray up and crack or break the glass or cause pits.

Your contractor may also take some “before” photos to record the way the elevations worked for when it’s time to install the new materials.

Then it’s time to remove your concrete. If you’re simply reducing the size of your patio, the contractor will start by using a concrete cutting saw to cut the concrete joints out. “If you don’t cut it, then you’re going to start jackhammering, and the rest of the patio is just going to crack,” Dennis explains.

If you’re removing the entire patio, the contractor will use both the saw and jackhammer to break the patio into chunks that crews can then comfortably remove.

After that the only thing left to do is haul out the concrete chunks — or recycle them as pavers or a stacked garden wall — and start work on whatever you have planned to replace it.

By Christine Tusher, Houzz

The post Everything You Need to Know to Tear Down Your Concrete Patio appeared first on Best Real Estate Agents in Northern Colorado.

Get the Perfect Outdoor Shower for Summer

Showering often feels like more of an obligation than a pleasure — especially if you exercise and have to take more than one a day. Which might explain the burgeoning popularity of outdoor showers. “You’re showering outside in the elements, and there’s something about that that intrigues people,” says Phil Regan, principal designer at Hutker Architects.

Outdoor showers have become so popular, Regan can’t remember a time he did a house without one. (Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that his office is in Martha’s Vineyard, an upscale resort island off the coast of Massachusetts.) But even if you’re not a block from the beach (or the nearest neighbor), outdoor showers can shake up your routine and make you feel closer to nature.

Outdoor Shower 1: John Kraemer & Sons, original photo on Houzz

Project: Add an outdoor shower.

Why: An outdoor shower makes a mundane ritual much more appealing, allowing you to savor fresh air, sky, birdsong and possibly even a view while you bathe. It’s especially handy for rinsing off before or after a dip in the pool, a trip to the beach or a grubby day of gardening. Many homeowners use them for bathing their dogs.

Related: Give Wildlife Shelter From the Summer Sun With a Birdhouse

“It’s a pretty sybaritic experience, but not everyone is going to be comfortable with that,” acknowledges architect Julie Campbell of CTA Design Builders in Seattle.

Outdoor Shower 2: brianvandenbrink.com, original photo on Houzz

Who to hire: Outdoor showers require excavation, slab work, plumbing and alterations to the existing walls of the home, so don’t just hire a plumber — go with a general contractor who has experience building outdoor showers. Without that, “you’re probably going to make a bunch of simple mistakes,” says Regan, whose firm designed the shower tower shown here.

Outdoor Shower 3: John Cole Architect, original photo on Houzz

Cost range: A simple shower with hot and cold running water, like this one, can cost less than $1,000 to install. A moderate setup with a fancier enclosure can run anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. And a more elaborate shower can cost $4,000 to $8,000 or more.

Related: Shower Stalls For a Luxe Experience

Typical project length: A simple installation can be done in two weeks; allow six to eight weeks for more complex projects.

Outdoor Shower 4: Charles Rose Architects Inc, original photo on Houzz

Permit: You’ll probably need a plumbing permit. Whether you’ll need a building permit depends on the design, cost and complexity of the project and the rules in your municipality. Many jurisdictions don’t even allow outdoor showers, so do your homework first.

Best time to do this project: Anytime the ground is not frozen.

Outdoor Shower 5: Hutker Architects, original photo on Houzz

First step: The most important thing to consider when planning an outdoor shower is the location. You want it to be somewhere that gets direct sun, not only because it makes the act of showering more pleasant, but because it’ll keep the shower walls and floor drier — and that’s critical to preventing rot and scum. For that same reason, don’t place the shower under a roof overhang or tree (which could also cause debris to accumulate on the shower floor).

The other big consideration is privacy. Locate the shower away from probing eyes or add an enclosure that assures privacy (but maintains air circulation). If your house is two stories or is flanked by windows that could look down onto the shower, consider a louvered roof that prevents views in but still allows views out.

“If you want to experience the outdoors, you want to find a way to create privacy that doesn’t take away from that experience you’re looking for,” says Campbell.

Outdoor Shower 6: CTA Design Builders Inc, original photo on Houzz

Considerations: If the shower abuts your exterior, that siding will get pelted with more water than it was designed to withstand, so go with a material like cedar, mahogany or teak and add a waterproof membrane underneath to guard against water infiltration. To avoid siding problems, locate the shower away from the house.

If you live in a climate that gets cold, be sure to locate the water shutoff valve inside the house, and have the pipes blown out at the end of the season to avoid any water freezing in the pipes.

The shower needs to drain into either the home’s gray water system or a French drain, consisting of a large pit filled with several feet of gravel that filters the water as it returns to the soil. (Expect to replace the gravel every five or six years.) Needless to say, you want to direct the drainage away from the foundation and basement, and if you plan to use soap in the shower, away from plants as well.

If possible, situate the shower to take advantage of the site’s attributes, such as views or rock outcrops. “If there are natural amenities as part of the site, that’s all the more fun you can have with it,” says Regan.

Related: Use Creeping Juniper as a Great Ground Cover Plant

By Fred Albert, Houzz

The post Get the Perfect Outdoor Shower for Summer appeared first on Best Real Estate Agents in Northern Colorado.

Luxury Living

837 Glenn Ridge Dr Fort Collins CO 80524

Here are the top 5 most expensive home sales in Northern Colorado so far this year…

  1. $3.3 Million – a 16-acre estate near Pinewood Reservoir with 6 bedrooms, 8900 square feet, and black walnut floors
  2. $2.2 Million- a 9300 square foot home on 5 acres in Hidden Valley estates near Loveland
  3. $1.9 Million – a 8100 square foot home in the Harmony Club
  4. $1.9 Million – this 29-acre property between Berthoud and Loveland includes a 6000 square foot home and a 12,000 square-foot shop building
  5. $1.9 Million – a 9000 square foot home in SE Fort Collins which backs to open space and trails

Click HERE to see current luxury listings in Larimer County or click HERE to see current luxury listings in Weld County.

 

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Custom Home With Incredible Views

Featuring 4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms And Room To Expand!

Beautiful custom home with amazing views! Main floor master bedroom with luxurious master bath, enormous shower and vaulted ceilings. Backyard is made for entertaining. Kitchen has ALL of the features you are looking for with custom range hood, pot filler and tile floors. One of the upstairs bedrooms has an en suite bathroom, along with a Jack-and-Jill bath. Laundry is conveniently located upstairs. Huge basement has a rough-in and room to EXPAND! Come see this beautiful home today!

For more information, please visit: http://windermerenoco.com/listing/66968938 or call Paul Hunter at (970) 460-3033.

 

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Hidden Gem With Acreage And Stunning Views

Featuring 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms And A Massive Wrap-Around Deck!

SPECTACULAR VIEWS! Perched on a hilltop overlooking the entire length of Carter Lake with stunning city views of Loveland and beyond, this beautiful custom home sits on 2+ acres. Backing to Carter Lake and open space, this home is a rare gem hidden away at the end of a private lane. Tastefully updated with hardwood floors, Corian and granite counters, new (enlarged) windows, refinished center-cut redwood decking and master suite with private deck. Privacy, seclusion and VIEWS! You need to see this to believe it.

For more information, please visit http://windermerenoco.com/listing/66665966 or call Will Flowers at (970) 460-3033.

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Greeley’s Major Milestone

The Greeley market is about to hit a major milestone.

We project that in the first quarter of 2018, the average price for a single family home in Greeley will surpass $300,000.

Today the average price sits at $289,870.

Just a year ago it was $262,828.

Guess when Greeley broke the $200,000 barrier? It was only about 3 years ago in June 2014.

So what ‘s going on?

Double-digit price appreciation is being fueled by a healthy Northern Colorado economy, low interest rates and local affordability. Greeley prices can look really attractive compared to Fort Collins.

We don’t see anything on the horizon that will significantly change the trajectory of the Greeley market. It is a fundamentally a very strong place to own real estate.

For a detailed look at what ‘s happening across Colorado, request our quarterly market report called “The Gardner Report“, written by Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner. You can download it HERE.

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Private Setting In Town With Pool

Featuring 4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms And .5 Acres!

Bright, open floor plan. Large master + 2 bedrooms upstairs and 3.5 baths. Stainless kitchen w/ eating area and dining room. Living room has stacked sandstone fireplace, views of the mountains and is open to the kitchen. Updated basement w/ rec room, bar, fireplace, workshop w/ space for an office and 4th bedroom/craft room. Home has circular drive, in a quiet subdivision on 1/2 acre w/ mature trees. Large deck and patio surround pool; perfect for entertaining. New roof in 2017, double lot w/ space for garden in side yard and private backyard.

For more information, please visit: http://windermerenoco.com/listing/66588080 or call Paul Hunter at (970) 460-3033.

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