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Kim And Kristine's Blog

By Kim And Kristine | Agent in 90403
  • Is Homeowner's Insurance Important

    Posted Under: Home Buying, Home Selling, Home Insurance  |  July 17, 2014 2:18 PM  |  18 views  |  No comments

    The Importance of Homeowners Insurance

    Home insurance

    Recently we talked to Ed Rowin from Farmers Insurance to discuss with us the importance of Homeowner's insurance. Luckily he gave us this great response!

    Homeowners insurance is the best product you will ever buy and hope to never use.

    What would happen if your home was damaged by fire and all of your possessions were destroyed?  If your personal property was stolen or damaged?  Did you know that your homeowners insurance covers your possessions even in your automobile?  If your automobile is broken into and your belongings are stolen, without a homeowner’s policy your stolen items are not covered.  Could you afford to replace everything you own? It can be very expensive and for most of us the answer is "NO".  These are a few reasons why homeowners insurance is important!!!

    In a person’s lifetime, one of the largest investments ever made is the purchase of a home.  Most people work extremely long and hard to save for the American Dream...a home and everything in it.    However like anything else in life, your home and personal property are at risk from dangers that are often beyond your control.   All your hard work and effort can be wiped away in a moment’s time.  Therefore, you want to make sure that you protect your home, personal property and your family from dangers due to an unforeseen event.  This a the basic premise of all homeowners insurance...to protect you and your family from loss or damage to your property and its contents, but there are other reasons why having homeowners insurance is important!

    Although you may not be able to totally eliminate the risk of unforeseen dangers to your home or property, you can eliminate the financial risks involved by taking out homeowner insurance coverage.  A homeowner's insurance policy will provide several different types of coverage’s. There is coverage on the home, your contents, and safeguards you from lawsuits should someone get injured on your property.   Homeowners insurance will would pay for the costs to rebuild or repair your property if necessary because of damage by a covered peril. Most homeowners’ policies have coverage for your personal property from theft or damage resulting from a covered peril.  It is important to understand your policy as it pertains to personal property.   For instance, homeowners’ policies will only cover jewelry, silverware, firearms, etc. up to a certain amount.  Any amount over the policy limits will have to be covered with a floater. In addition to protecting your home and possessions from loss or damage, homeowners insurance provides you with liability protection.   Liability insurance is one of the most important aspects of your homeowner’s policy. As a general rule $100,000 of liability coverage is standard but can and should be increased for an additional expense.  Liability insurance will protect you and your family if somebody becomes injured while on your property. Liability insurance will also cover the legal costs to defend you if you are sued due to an injury on your property.  Depending on your policy, there are other expenses that can be covered under your homeowner's policy, such as reimbursement for basic living expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered peril.

    Most lenders typically require that you have homeowners insurance.  Lender’s want to make sure that their investment is protected from loss or damage.    It is important to remember that not all disasters are covered under your homeowners insurance.  For example here in California, earthquake, floods and landslides are covered by a separate policy that will provide additional coverage specifically for these types of disasters. Coverage’s varies so it is important to know what your homeowner’s policy covers and the limits of the policy.

    A common mistake made is the failure to correctly estimate the value of your personal property.   I suggest that you create a written itemized inventory of your belongings as well as pictures and/or a video.  It is also a good practice to update the inventory every year.

    As stated earlier homeowners insurance is a requirement for a lender and the best way to protect your assets. Here are a few ways to cut cost of your homeowners insurance!

    Raise your deductible on your policy.   Deductibles are the amount of money you have to pay toward a loss before the insurance company starts their claim.  Raising the deductible will affect you in the case of a small claim, however your saving over time out way that higher deductible.  For example, if you have a $500.00 deductible and you have a loss of $1200.00 you will receive $700.00 from that claim.   In the same scenario, if the deductible was $2500.00 you would not receive any money towards the claim, however you might save up to 25% on the yearly cost of the homeowner’s policy.

    Don't confuse the purchase cost of the home with rebuilding cost.  In most cases the dwelling should not be insured for the purchase price of the home.  The land is not at risk of the perils covered in your homeowner’s policy (such as theft, hail, etc.).

    Look for discounts that your insurance company provides.  This can be anything from combining your policies with the same company, home safety (central alarms, bolting the foundation, etc.), your degree and/or profession and even your age.

    As you can see, it is extremely important to have a homeowner’s policy that will protect you and your assets.  Without it, you could easily lose your home if disaster strikes.

    -Ed Rowin

    Farmer's Insurance

    http://www.farmersagent.com/erowin 

  • Family Town's With Good Schools

    Posted Under: Schools, Home Buying, Moving  |  May 12, 2014 11:04 AM  |  135 views  |  No comments

    An ongoing problem that many people have when they're moving is what about the school district? This question is not just families with kids but who want kids in the future or if you want a higher value on your home when your looking to sell. That leaves you stuck with the question of where can we move?

    There are many good schools in LA that can form a great place for a learning environment and were going to break it down. According to the California government websites were going to list where the top rated schools are found and then throw our own opinion in. That pretty much leaves us with this following list:

    • Santa Monica
    • Venice
    • Redondo Beach
    • Manhattan Beach
    • Beverly Hills
    • Culver City
    • El Segundo
    • Hermosa Beach
    • Malibu
    • Torrance

    So out of our favorite cities that we like to visit these schools all have a 10 out of 10 rating for either elementary, middle, or high school. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact us at 310-737-8173.

    Click here for Single Family Homes for sale in the above cities.

  • The 3 P's of Selling a Home

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Santa Monica, Curb Appeal in Santa Monica, How To... in Santa Monica  |  May 5, 2014 10:50 AM  |  169 views  |  2 comments

    Before you put a sign in front of your property make sure you have covered the 3 P’s of selling a home. There is much more to selling a home than being on the mls. Having these will set you up for a successful and timely home sale. Meaning, more in your pocket in the long run.

    Preparation

    “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” -Oprah Winfrey

    Preparing your home for sale is when you start the process of decluttering, repairing any deferred maintenance, and begin to let go of your home for the next owner. It is important for a buyer to be able to see themselves living in your home NOT see how you live in your home. This is a crucial Hire a home stager to review your home room-by-room. A good home stager will have a consultation and provide recommendations. For a more in-depth report, there will most likely be a fee. The report becomes an asset when preparing your home for sale and works as a guide to tackle each room. A staged home can sell faster and for more money than an empty home or a home highly personalized. If you are the rare homeowner, who keeps their home immaculate begin to de-personalize your home and complete any repairs that are

    Price

    Price will be the main motivating factor in drawing or repelling buyer’s to your home. If you decide not to prepare your home for sale, it will affect the price of your home. There is an art to pricing a home. Most buyer’s will see your home within the first 2 weeks of being on the market. If buyer showings and the open house attendance is low or minimal, it is a good indicator your home is priced incorrectly. Why is this important? Because it affects your net at closing. The longer your home is on the market, the offers you receive will be lower than your list price.

    Presentation

    Once you have prepared and priced your home. How you present your home through marketing & advertising will be a crucial step to bring buyers through your door. Over 85% of  active home buyer’s will see your home online before they decide to see your home in person.

    Having professional photography is critical. In her New York Times article To Sell a Luxe Apartment, No Ordinary Snapshot Will Do. columnist Christine Haughney says it best, “These photographs, the real estate equivalent of head shots, are the bait that lure buyers to Sundayopen houses. When these photos work, they help buyers picture themselves holding parties in their dining rooms.”

    Not sure where to begin? We can help get you started. Use this home seller’s guide and when you need the help of a pro, give us a call 310.737.8173

    Kim & Kristine Halveson
    SIsters, Realtors

  • North of Wilshire May Home Sales Update, 90403

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Santa Monica, Home Buying in Santa Monica, Home Selling in Santa Monica  |  May 17, 2013 12:32 PM  |  380 views  |  No comments

    North of Wilshire May Sales Update

    In the month of May there has been seven sales in the Wilshire Montana neighborhood. All seven were condos and townhouses.

    The average days on market are 81 days, and the highest sale was for $,1,568,000. The average list price to sale price was 100.99%. Meaning, sales prices are going for over list price.

    No single family homes have sold in April or May in the 90403 area code. This is the market seller's have been waiting for, with interest rates below inflation it's a no brainer for buyer's.

    For more homes for sale in 90403, click here.

    Kim Halverson is part of a dynamic sister team in the Prudential Santa Monica office. Together Kim & Kristine strategize with their client's to sell their home for top dollar, and get their buyer's in first offer position.

    To contact her, you can call 310-737-8173
    As seen on Patch, click here for original post.

  • What's Happening with Santa Monica Condo's, North of Wilshire?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Wilshire Montana, Home Buying in Wilshire Montana, Home Selling in Wilshire Montana  |  March 7, 2013 3:36 PM  |  388 views  |  No comments

    What's Happening in Santa Monica, North of Wilshire?


    Condo sales for 90403 have come to an early start in 2013. Multiple offers are driving condo buyers crazy in the Wilshire-Montana neighborhood of Santa Monica!

    Overall, there were 6 single family homes that sold and 20 condominiums that sold. Last year, only 2 homes sold and 19 condos sold during the same time frame.

    Compared to 2012, there has been a 200% increase in single family home sales North of Wilshire!

    For more information about North of Wilshire and Santa Monica real estate, call Kim at 310-737-8173


    Listed below are all of the condo sales for 2013 in 90403
    North of Wilshire in the neighborhood of Wilshire/Montana.

    Condos Sold North of Wilshire

    (Jan 1-Mar 4, 2013)

    Address

    Bedrooms

    Bathrooms

    Square Feet

    Sale Price

    Days on Market

    1.

    1007 Ocean Avenue #403

    3

    3.00

    2,010

    $2,221,000

    15

    2.

    101 CALIFORNIA AVE #1004

    2

    3.00

    1,501

    $1,695,000

    15

    3.

    1915 WASHINGTON AVE

    3

    3.00

    2,506

    $1,628,000

    19

    4.

    1917 WASHINGTON AVE

    3

    2.50

    2,306

    $1,567,170

    99

    5.

    939 20th ST #2

    2

    2.75

    1,954

    $1,545,000

    57

    6.

    838 19TH ST #1

    2

    2.50

    2,107

    $1,510,000

    30

    7.

    1111 10TH ST #101

    2

    2.50

    1,586

    $1,288,000

    17

    8.

    954 14TH ST #5

    2

    2.50

    1,872

    $1,200,000

    44

    9.

    843 12TH ST #3

    3

    3.00

    1,664

    $961,500

    8

    10.

    1044 20TH ST #N

    3

    3.00

    1,573

    $870,000

    39

    11.

    630 IDAHO AVE #101

    3

    2.00

    1,414

    $845,000

    102

    12.

    826 2ND ST #103

    3

    2.00

    1,250

    $839,000

    73

    13.

    1002 20TH ST

    3

    3.50

    1,968

    $810,000

    132

    14.

    1138 15TH ST #4

    3

    3.00

    1,351

    $730,000

    39

    15.

    1133 9TH ST #307

    1

    1.50

    1,212

    $725,000

    53

    16.

    834 6th Street #204

    3

    2.00

    1,321

    $645,000

    59

    17.

    837 LINCOLN BLVD #9

    2

    2.00

    956

    $612,000

    60

    18.

    937 12TH ST #109

    1

    1.00

    805

    $515,000

    34

    19.

    1032 19TH ST #5

    2

    1.00

    792

    $460,000

    125

    20.

    922 14TH ST #103

    1

    1.00

    811

    $447,000

    10

  • Is Home Buying Right For You? (Featured in Made Woman Magazine)

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Santa Monica, How To... in Santa Monica  |  June 21, 2012 12:58 PM  |  349 views  |  No comments

    Is Home Buying Right For You? As Featured in Made Woman Magazine

    Knowing when to buy a home comes down to one thing and one thing only: it’s time when you decide it's right. Yes, you have to deal with banks, real estate agents, saving money, and finding the best home for you wherever you are at in life. But the first step is being mentally prepared for the big decisions ahead.

    It’s common for a woman to see owning a home as a symbolic change -- it represents a new level of growth and responsibility. Choosing the colors you’ll paint your walls, the carpets, the furniture, and which appliances you’ll need are all big decisions that can feel extremely liberating to make! And most liberating of all? Putting your hard-earned cash towards your own mortgage instead of paying rent to someone else. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge, you might feel a little overwhelmed by the entire process. I’m here to make it all a little less scary for you with some simple tips to get started.

    Get Some “Home Buying Help”

    Buying your first home can feel like wild roller coaster ride into the unknown. But roller coasters are fun right? You can find help and inspiration by watching home buying shows (HGTV never fails!), reading the how-to guides, and asking your friends how they went about buying their home. Do it all. And if information overload sets in, don’t get stuck looking at other people’s homes on Pinterest. Sure, it might be fun, but it’s not getting you any closer to your goal. Take that next step; meet with a realtor and a loan officer.

    A realtor can answer all of your home-buying questions and help you determine the best plan of attack in getting your search started. The most obvious question you’re going to have to answer at the very beginning of this process is “what can I afford?” Ask your realtor for referrals to a loan officer. Figure out what you are willing and able to pay. Knowing your financial comfort zone will help guide and direct your search.

    Know Thy Realtor

    It is very important that you are comfortable and confident with your realtor and your loan officer; you will be working closely with them when you do decide it’s the right time for you to buy a home. Your realtor will be learning all about you, from details about your lifestyle, to how you want your home to look and feel. Your loan officer will be gathering all of your financial information; tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and running your credit. Eek! Before you hand over all of your financials, make sure you trust and respect this person. If not, don’t give up--there are others who will be glad to help you. Don’t settle!

    It’s Your Money, Honey

    When I bought my first home, I was so overwhelmed that I almost backed out, and I was a practicing realtor! You would think that since I spent my time helping others buy and sell their homes, it would be a piece of cake for me to do the same thing for myself. Not! The main issue was my loan officer. She spouted off all these numbers and loan options at me, and never took the time to figure out my full financial picture. Buying a home is more than just decimal points and percentages -- while money is a massive part of it, there are other factors that need to be taken into account. This loan officer missed that memo. Not cool. Like I mentioned earlier, if something feels wrong with either your realtor or loan officer, find someone else! You don’t want a dark cloud hanging over such a huge and exciting new step in your life.

    Luckily, my realtor talked me through all of my hesitations and I did end up buying a home. I learned a very powerful lesson from the experience, and I try to pass it on to my clients. The lesson is, quite simply, “it’s your money, honey!” Don’t let anyone tell you what to do with it unless you’re comfortable with the advice. If something feels wrong, it probably is. Knowing what you are comfortable with and financially qualified to buy will help guide your search and prevent you from overpaying.

    To break it down for you one more time: First, decide you are ready for the opportunity. Second, gather information. Third, find a realtor and a loan office that you trust. These three steps will create a solid jump off point toward buying your first home.

    To take the next step, contact Kim Halverson at 310-737-8173

  • $739000 / 3br - Best Street, 3 bed 1.5 bath, Open 1-4pm

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Westchester, Home Selling in Westchester, In My Neighborhood in Westchester  |  February 6, 2011 11:41 AM  |  806 views  |  No comments

    Open Today, Sunday, 2/6, 1-4pm. I will have the game on! Great location 3 bed 1.5 bath charming home with a formal dining and full sized living room. Comfy Den with Vaulted ceilings and fireplace which opens to both, the backyard and covered patio for alfresco dining. Outdoor seating has direct access from the kitchen. Nice size laundry room and eat in area makes this kitchen a great space to keep busy. Full size garage/xtra storage yard with fenced in backyard. Hardwood floors, updated electrical, and kitchen with custom cabinets. Attic storage and auto sprinklers front and back. Free

    Home Search Westchester: http://kimandkristine.tv/idx/zip/90045/

    Google Maps Street View: 7427 El Manor Avenue, Westchester, CA 90045


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