Category: Buyers

Home Insurance – #1 source of claims: WATER

When looking for homeowner’s insurance in Texas, one must look at the #1 source of claims: WATER. Nearly 70% of the claims each year are water related. You may be thinking hurricane and storms, but that is a very small percentage. The four sources of the water claims are:

  • Sudden and Accidental (burst pipe) – This covers a “sudden” water related malfunction
  • Seepage and Leakage – slow leaks that you don’t see right away like the leaking hose at the back of a dishwasher or the discharge line on your a/c system is blocked and is dripping water through the attic into the house.
  • Water back up and Overflow – Water that enters the house through the plumbing caused by issues with the storm drain system and usually heavy rain which pushes disgusting water ruining anything it reaches.
  • Foundation Water Damage Repair – This is coverage that many companies cut or leave out but are the most expensive repairs to the homeowner. Coverage is for the foundation when it is damaged from one of the three water damages or from the repairs in response to the water damage.

Flood insurance is a separate policy and very inexpensive. No homeowner’s policy in Texas covers flood.

Blog Contributor

Do you have questions about home insurance? Feel free to contact me at my information below.

Karen Tannery 

Account Executive

281-712-7272

karen.tannery@goosehead.com

Roof maintenance, attic ventilation and attic leaks

Please note: I am not a home inspector. I am a home owner just like you. Being proactive instead of reactive to repairs can save you money. If you have concerns, a roofer will be able to look at your roof and attic and see if more ventilation is needed.

Deterred maintain in a home can cost you money. Many of items can easy be completed by the home owner. If you don’t feel comfortable, a handyman can usually tackle most of these items.

Attic leaks and lack of insulation (10-12 inches recommended) will make your home less energy efficient which in turn will cost you money in energy bills. 

Insulation makes a big difference in energy efficiency. Before you add insulation, take the time to check and make a few repairs as needed:

  • Attic leaks (attic bypasses)

Attic bypasses are air leaks from your living space into your attic. These leaks occur when wires, pipe and air ducts go through your ceiling and into your attic. This issue will not only allow cold or hot air to leak into your attic but it will also cause condensation; which in term causes moisture issues. These moisture issues will cause mold and wood rot.

Before adding insulation make sure to seal any potential leaks.

  • Attic Ventilation
Imagine source: https://www.nachi.org/blog/2009/10/07/attic-ventilation/

Your attic needs air flow. WHY?

  • Energy efficiency
  • Avoids moisture build up
  • Help maintain the life of your roof shingles and other roof components

This is critical for the home but also for the occupants. Anyone that has ever been in an attic knows how very hot it gets. This heats needs someone to escape to. If the heat is trapped in the attic, it will conduct heat into your home (not energy efficient) and will cause the home to deteriorate faster. You will experience moisture issues that will lead to mold, wood rot, rusty nails, among other things. Keep in mind that termites and carpenter ants love moisture and they thrive in environments like this.

There are two type of roof ventilation:

  1. Passive ventilation: These include ridge vents (at the peak of your roof), soffit vents (in the roof eaves), turbine (vents that driven by wind and penetrate the roof) and gable vents (at the top of a gable). At a minimum you should have a ridge vent and soffit vents. Soffit vents will allow air to enter the attic and ridge vents will allow air to exit the attic (heat rises).
  2. Active ventilation: These are systems that require power to operate. The most common are attic fans and whole-house fans. These fans are typically control by a thermostat. Attic fans are typically mounted to the roof and whole-house fans are mounted to the attic floor and they pull hot air from the living space and exhaust it to the outside through the attic space.

Your general maintenance should include looking for signs of problems. Our roofs are typically composition roof shingle covering wood decking. If the shingles are failing you will normally see signs of moisture on the wood decking. Here are a few things to look for:

Moisture damage or stains. Mold or water stains on wood, wet insulation and rusty nails. Is there a moisture smell?

Ducts must not be in contact with each or lay on top of the joists other or they will create condensation that is prone to mold and mildew issues.

The ducts must be elevated and supported from the rafters

Bowed Rafters

Damaged vent pipe

A dish installed on top of a roof needs to be sealed at the point it’s attached to prevent water damage.

Vents that have come loose and no longer vent outside

Dusty vents block air flow and create condensation and possible mold

Wood rot at facia board

Lifted shingles

Missing Shingles

Damaged roof decking

Tree limbs or vegetation that lay on the roof will allow moisture to accumulate and deteriorate the shingles.

Soffit damage

One of the most common issues that come up during a home inspection is a kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and similar exhaust systems that vent directly into the attic instead of exhausting to the exterior. The moist hot air after a shower will vent into the attic and deposit moist hot air that will lead to wood rot and mold issues.

Source: Family Handyman Magazine

Debris. The vents can only work if they are not covered. Make sure that your insulation is not covering the vents, clean around the vents to make sure other debris and dust are blocking the holes. Over time, soffit vents may be painted and paint might block the holes as well. Make sure to replace or unclog the vents.

Source: Family Handyman Magazine


Sources and more information:

https://www.familyhandyman.com/attic/how-to-seal-attic-air-leaks/

https://www.nachi.org/blog/2009/10/07/attic-ventilation/

https://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/manuf_res/salestraining_res/HS_diy_guide.pdf


What is a Make-Ready Cleaning?

A Make Ready Cleaning is also known as a Move-In/Move Out cleaning. Normally this is completed when someone is selling a home and moving in or out of a home. Basically you are making the home ready for the next owner (or to market the home). The make-ready cleaning will usually include cleaning and sanitizing the following items:

  • Bathroom (toilets, tub, shower/glass enclosure, sink, counters, and faucet)
  • Kitchen (sink, counters, back splash, faucet and all appliances) 
  • All cabinets and drawers (only for move out or move in cleanings)
  • Ceiling fans
  • Shelves/bookcases
  • Dust all services
  • Baseboards
  • Windowsills
  • Doors, knobs and casings
  • Light fixtures
  • Light switches
  • Air vent covers
  • Mirrors
  • Blinds
  • Flooring (normally an extra fee to include shampooing carpet or grout cleaning)
  • Windows (normally an extra fee)

For a move in/out cleaning all furniture, debris, clutter and other trash must be removed prior to cleaning. This is a clean-only service, not a trash-out service. The house must be vacant and the utilities (water and electricity) must be turned on.

Services that are typically not covered:

  • Remove rust stains
  • Remove Paint or Stains from Flooring
  • Remove Grout from Tile or Walls
  • Wipe Down Walls
  • Remove Mold from the Silicon Caulk Around the Tub
  • Carpet shampooing
  • Removal of pet stains
  • Grout cleaning or steaming
  • Window cleaning
  • Home exterior cleaning/power washing
  • Curtain cleaning
  • Laundry

The cost for this type of service will vary based on the home’s condition and size.

New Year, New Beginnings

They say that the chance of actually achieving your goals 👩‍💼 is greatly increased when you share it with others and be very specific. 
🌟🌟🌟 Make me accountable and I will do the same back! Let’s help each other achieve our goals for 2020! 🌟🌟🌟
Let me know how I can help‼️ I can be a drill sergeant when needed. I NEED YOUR HELP ON #4‼️🏘❤️😊

 

1. Self-care. Make this priority one. 

✅ I will fuel my body with beautiful, colorful and nutritious food 🥑🍐🥥

✅ I will exercise for 30 mins every day (just move!). I will not focus on a number, just overall health. 🏃‍♀️

✅ I will complete a 5K 🏅

✅ I will meditate for 10 mins every day 🧘‍♀️

✅ I will focus and surround myself with positivity. 

2. Lifework balance

✅ I will share a meal with a friend at least once a month. 👭

✅ I will be more present 

3. Time management ⏳

✅ I will learn to say no. Many times I agree to things knowing I might be tight on time. 

✅ If I commit, I will follow through.

✅ I will use my calendar to schedule both work and personal commitments 📆

4. Professional Goals

✅ I will help 25 families find their dream home! Do you know someone that is thinking about buying or selling a home this year? Introduce us. Help me achieve this goal. 🏠🏡🏘

5. Career

✅ I will obtain my The Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) designation. 👩‍🎓

✅ I will mentor my agents and help them succeed.

✅ I will complete my buyer and seller automation process

✅ I will offer/complete 4 new buyer/seller classes this year

6. Give back

✅ Give back in kindness, time and experience without any expectations.

✅I will offer/complete two classes this year on how to reduce property taxes and make homeownership more affordable.

7. Travel

✅ I will visit one new location this year.✈️

✅ I will re-visit one of my favorite places.

✅ I will plan a “sister” trip and a girl’s trip

8. Declutter and organization

✅ I will clear out the clutter and donate items as needed.

✅ I will get and stay organized. 

9. Be the reason someone smiles today ☺️

✅ Offer at least one compliment a day. 

✅ I will serve and help whenever possible

10. Be grateful

✅ I will write one thing I’m grateful for every day. 

I will check back at months 3, 6, 9 and 12. Yikes! 

Hold me to this!

2020 vision boards

Joy for Kids – Toy Drive Benefiting the Children of Fallen Heroes

Thank you for joining us! Below you will find a copy of all the guides we offered during the toy drive


Home Buyers

Home Sellers

Other Documents

COMING SOON! 37030 Cougar Dr, Simonton TX 77485

 

COMING SOON!

$260,000

  • 4 Bedrooms (master bedroom on the 1st floor)
  • 2 bathrooms
  • 2,505 sf home
  • 48,060 sf lot (just over 1 acre)
  • Horses allowed!
  • Corner lot
  • Completely renovated

Beautiful country retreat, within minutes of shopping and restaurants. 4 bedroom, 2 bath home with study, formal dining room and breakfast room. Master bedroom located on first floor, master bathroom with HUGE shower and double sinks. PLENTY of storage throughout the home. Two additional rooms located behind the home. These rooms would be a perfect office space, kennel, art studio or workshop. Completely remodeled, open and bright floor plan. Move in ready. Home located on a little over  1 acre. Bring your horses. Circular driveway and additional long driveway and huge carport. Plenty of parking. Gorgeous outdoor space with plenty of mature trees and gazebo. Additional storage shed within a small fenced area.

 

 

 

COMING SOON! 324 Delz St, Houston TX 77018

COMING SOON!

$250,000

Location, 🔥 Location 🔥 Location!! Property is located in an up and coming area minutes from downtown, the Galleria and, the Energy Corridor. Adorable 3 bedrooms, 2 bath home with a HUGE backyard. Enjoy the large fenced backyard with shade trees, just perfect for family BBQs. Ready For Move In! Laminate and tile floor throughout. Open floor plan. Ceiling fans throughout the home. Kitchen includes a refrigerator. Never flooded.

New construction within close proximity makes it attractive for future appreciation or new development. There is plenty of space for a single family home, or several single family homes. Buy and hold for future appreciation.

Pick Me!

I love halloween!

Halloween is so fun. I love admiring at all the creative costume and the kid’s love of the holiday is infectious.😀

This year I participated in Houston Magazine Fun Festival 2019. I knew I wanted something fun for my booth that kids would love…so I ended up on Pinterest. I found a monster that was created for a carnival. Kids had to reach into the monster’s nose to get candy. I knew that this was it! Kids love boogers and farts.

The online post had no instructions so I came up with my own version. Here are the instructions if you’d like to recreate it. I guarantee you that it will be a big success!

Shopping List

  • A large wood board ( you can decide what size you’d like.
  • A set of wiggle eyes
  • Spray insulation. I used 3 cans of this product
  • Water based craft paint. I used several shades of green, yellow, gold, purple and red.
  • 2 disposable cups. This will hold the space for the nostrils
  • vaseline
  • water
  • Serrated knife
  • Marker
  • Saw to cut out the circles. I used something like this
  • Sand paper
  • glue gun

This was the picture I found online. It looked like they might have used paper and maybe plaster of paris. It was hard to tell but I think the spray foam had to be easier.

First, I used a marker to draw the image of the monster of the board. It was rough drawing, something to use as a guideline to spray the foam. I used the wiggle eyes to trace the area I needed to leave open for the eyes. I also traced two circle where the nostrils would be. I used the disposable cups as a guide to trace the circles.

Next, I cut out the two circles for nostrils. I used a hole saw. See shopping list for the item. I then sanded the holes to avoid wood splinters.

I read that the spray foam will stick to the wood better if it was slightly damp. I wiped the wood with a wet towel. The wood was not soaked, just slightly damp on the surface.

I coated the cups with vaseline (be generous) and positioned them in the nostril holes.

Then the fun began! I stated spraying the foam. Take your time because the foam will expand. I did this in layers and in stages. I used one can at a time. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can later cut the foam with a knife to give it a better shape.

I chose to make the nose huge because I wanted it to be the main focus.

I let it dry over night.

Cups coated in vaseline will hold the space for the nostrils

The next day, I took a serrated knife and started to shape the foam. It doesn’t have to be completely smooth. In fact I found that the pits make it a little more gross.

I cut around the area where the wiggle eyes would be glued. Make sure that the eye will lay in the space. I cut out the cups that were hold the nostrils open.

Once shaped, you can now start painting the monster. Be warned, the wood and the foam will soak up quite a bit of paint. I used at least 16oz of green paint. Paint the entire monster in the main color, then you can start adding darker and lighter colors on top to give it dimensions.

Once the paint is dry, you can glue the wiggle eyes in their place. I suppose that you can paint the eyes in instead of using wiggle eyes but I really liked the fact that the pupils moved.

I added some text and a few “booger” images to add to the overall look.

The day of the event, the kids would reach into the nostrils and either get candy or they would stick their hand into slime (boogers). The look on kids faces when they reached into slime was priceless. 😂

I hope you enjoy this! If you have any questions let me know.

Shopping for a home? Let’s look at Needs vs. Wants

Needs vs. Wants

Housing is a need; wants are items that help you live more comfortably. Wants are not completely necessary but certainly nice. For example, can you live without a private pool? yes. Can you live without a kitchen? Probably not.

When starting your search, be flexible. Give yourself the opportunity to explore options. You will start with a list but more than likely this list will change as you are introduced to more homes.

Be prepare for the likelihood that you won’t get everything you want. There will be compromises, trade-offs and finding the best possible property for you and your family. One home might lack a game room but its in a perfect location. Another might have a great yard but will force you into a longer commute. Decisions, decisions, decisions…

The MOST important decision is location. This is something that cannot be changed. You can renovate a home, add a bedroom or bath, etc. but you cannot move the home. Explore the surrounding area. Do you like the proximity to work, shopping, school zoning, restaurants, friends and family?

Check out this worksheet that can help you through the deciding process.

 

What is PMI?

PMI, also known as private mortgage insurance, is a lender’s protection in the event that you default on your primary mortgage and the home goes into foreclosure. This is exclusively for the lender’s protection. Banks don’t like losing money, who does? They have determined that they can recover about 80% of a home’s value at a foreclosure auction if the buyer defaults and the bank has to seize the house.

If you fall behind on your payments, PMI will not protect you and you can lose your home through foreclosure.

When home buyer applies for a conventional loan a lender will feel more comfortable if they are able to put down at least 20%. If this is not possible, a lender will typically look at the loan as a riskier investment and require that the borrower take out PMI.

Note: Your loan estimate and closing disclosures will list PMI as part of your payment. Most of the times, this fee is paid monthly but on occasion you will see the fee listed as an up-front premium. Sometimes you will see a combination of month and up-front fee. 

The PMI is usually paid monthly as part of the overall mortgage payment to the lender. PMI may cost between 0.5% and 1% (depending on the type of loan) of the entire mortgage loan amount annually. For example: assuming your PMI is a 1% on a $200,000 loan. That fee would add approximately $2,000 a year, or $166 each month, to the cost of your mortgage.

PMI can sometime be cancelled once you have reached loan balance of 80% of the loan balance. You might have to contact your lender and request that the PMI payment be removed. Keep in mind that the lender might have other conditions, such has no past due payments. Normally the bank will require that your home be appraised before they would consider removing this fee.

FHA loans?

Look for Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP). If you are an FHA-insured borrower, the Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) you pay as a part of your monthly mortgage payment is what makes the reduced downpayment on your mortgage possible. FHA uses these payments to insure your lender against losses if the loan goes to foreclosure. 

Warning

Borrowers can request that monthly mortgage insurance payments be eliminated once the loan-to-value ratio drops below 80%. Some loan servicers will allow (but are not required) borrowers to cancel PMI sooner based on home value appreciation. If the borrower accumulates 25% equity due to appreciation in years two through five, or 20% equity after year five, the investor who purchased the loan may allow PMI cancelation after the home’s increased value is proved with an appraisal.

An alternative to PMI, is a second loan to cover the 20%. A second mortgage will typically come with a higher interest rate.

How to get rid of PMI?

Make extra payments towards you principal balance. Not only will this get you to the 80% balance faster but it will save you a tons in interest. Even the smallest payments makes a huge difference.