Getting The Best Priced House Insurance

insurance brokers, independent insurance agents, cheap insuranceIf you want to get the best home insurance at the cheapest prices I would highly recommend working with an insurance broker. An insurance broker works with many different insurance companies and is able to shop for the best insurance for you.

An insurance broker is often referred to as an independent insurance agent. They do not work for a just one insurance company. Agents that work for just one insurance company are called captive agents. A captive agent can only sell the insurance their company offers. In other words you are force fitted into the insurance policies they offer.

The independent agent can shop your insurance to dozens of different insurance carriers at one time. This way you know you are getting the best insurance and the best coverage at the best price. This saves you a lot of time and trouble in trying to shop for insurance yourself.

Every insurance carrier has different underwriting guidelines. One carrier may not like your profile and thus offer you higher rates. While the other carrier may love your profile and offer you lower rates. That is the beauty of the independent agent in that they can really save you lots of time and money.

If you happen to live in Oregon I would highly recommend Focus 1 Insurance. They are an independent insurance company with two offices, one in Medford and one in Portland Oregon. If you want the best insurance at the cheapest prices they are the insurance company you need to call.

Build A New House or Buy An Existing House

house construction, home building, house buildersWhen it comes to getting a new house for you and your family you really only have two options. First you can buy a house that is already built. Or you can custom build your own house. Custom building your own home has numerous benefits when compared to buying a home that is already built.

As long as the house meets building codes you can pretty much build it any way that you want. You get to choose the style, how many bedrooms and bathrooms, living area, cabinets, type of flooring a great deal more. Build the house the precise way you want it so that it fits you and your families wants and needs. Building a new home surpasses buying an existing home any day of the week simply because it will have exactly what you would like it to have.

The largest downside to building your own home is there quite a bit of work, time, effort and thought that is put into building the house of your dreams. There’s a large amount of decisions that you need to help to make and more options for pretty much everything in the home then you could think of. And if you haven’t built a new home this may be a bit of a challenge.

That is where a good home builder and an interior design specialist can help out. The home builder can supply you with ideas as to lay out and options such as 10 foot ceilings, coffered and cathedral ceilings, design and style layouts, different levels of product quality you can have installed, and a whole lot. An interior designer will save you tons of time in helping you to design the perfect home from layouts to paint colors and cabinets.Working with each other as a team the interior designer, home builder and yourself will end up building a spectacular home. In many cases the only limitations on building a home is your budget. There may be things you want but don’t fit in your budget for example heated floors, copper rain gutters and solar power.

You definitely want a seasoned home builder on your project simply because they are able to handle any questions and concerns. Not only that but they are able to explain exactly why specific elements you would like in your house will work or why they won’t. If one of your ideas will not work they’re going to be able to offer concepts along with other ideas to get the appearance you are wanting.

There are several steps you need to consider while searching for a home builder. First make sure they’re licensed and insured. If your state requires contractors to hold a bond you need to make sure they are bonded also. Check with the state licensing board to find out if there have been any grievances or action taken against the contractor. Perform as much research online as is possible to see what other people are saying regarding the building contractor. Finally ask the building contractor for as many individual references as you need.

Shopping For Home Owners Insurance in Portland Oregon

home insurance portland oregonSo you need home owners insurance and live in Portland. Do you want to spend a ton of time and effort shopping for home owners insurance or do you want a quick and dirty way to shop and make sure you are getting the best deal? If you want the quick and easy way to shop keep reading.

For the longest time I though the best way to get my insurance was through the big insurance companies. Boy was I wrong. There is a much better way to get insurance whether that is home, auto, life insurance etc. And that better way is using an independent insurance company.

What do I mean by independent insurance company? I am talking about agents that are able to sell and market the products from a whole bunch of different insurance companies. They are able to get you some of the best rates for insurance products because they are able to shop around and make sure to get you what you need at the best price.

Independent insurance agents are the best because they are not ties to one specific company. They can sell you insurance from a whole bunch of different companies. Once I discover this I never went back to the captive agent again. It was that simple.

Since you live in Portland I have a recommendation for you. Give Todd Foster a call. You can visit his site at Portland Home Owner Insurance. Let him do all of the dirty work of finding you the best insurance policy. You’ll be glad you called.

Renting A Place To Live vs Buying A Place To Live

Renting Vs Buying

It always such a big decision. Should I rent or should I buy? There are definitely pros and cons to each of those. However, more often than not buying always trumps renting. Here is a break down of why it makes more sense to buy than it does to rent.

  1. You Own A Home – Pretty simple. But when you own a home you are able to do with it what you like. Paint it, redo the landscape, remodel, make additions, etc. Sure you can do some of those things with a rental but more than likely you landlord will not want you to do that.
  2. You Get Tax Benefits – Interest is tax deductible when you buy a home as is your property taxes. In other words for every dollar you spend paying off your loan in the form of interest, you will get a portion of that back. (consult with a tax advisor)
  3. Stability – If you have ever rented a home you have more than likely had to move out of it due to changes in your landlords status such as them selling the home or needing to move back in. When you own a home its yours as long as you make the payments and pay your taxes.
  4. You are building an asset. What do I mean by that. As you pay your home down and as it grows in value you are creating equity. You can use that equity to buy another house, refinance to consolidate debt, get a line of credit and lots of other really cool things. In other words that equity is helping your to build wealth.

Here is a very cool website you should check out. Watch the video and you will see what I mean. The videos bust some major myths that people have about buying a home or are using as an excuse as to why they are still renting.

Benefits Of Renting An Apartment – I Can Only Think Two

One of the biggest benefits to renting an apartment is that when ever something breaks it gets fixed and you don’t have to pay for it, at least in most cases. Secondly renting an apartment is cheap. Cheaper than renting a house and cheaper than buying a house. But there are some major draw backs to renting an apartment.

  1. You have neighbors next to you, above you, below you and behind you. And you get to hear everything they are doing. I had a fat guy living above me in an apartment. You always knew when he was home, thud, thud, thud, as he walked around his apartment.
  2. Stairs suck. If you have ever lived in apartments in Medford Oregon with stairs then you know how much of an inconvenience they are. Sure it’s a great work out and you burn some calories going up and down. But seriously, it sucks.
  3. Parking is almost always a nightmare at apartment buildings. Its nice when there is assigned parking but when there is not it is a complete joke trying to find a place to park.

Ultimately it is up to you to decide if you should rent or buy. Only you know if it makes sense for you and your family. My suggestion is that if it makes sense and you can afford it then go for it. Owning a homes is way better than renting any day of the week. There are just way more benefits to owning.

Your next step is to call a mortgage professional and a real estate agent. Just do it. Take that step to a better life. Good luck with everything you do.

Credit Scores and Mortgages

mortgageandcreditscoresFinding out a credit score mortgage qualification is of high concern when you are seeking to get the best interest rates. When you are applying, your FICO or credit score has become extremely important to potential lenders, reportedly it is virtually the only criteria that matters. Whether this is literally true or not, we do know that the credit score will impact the outcome of an application.

The implications of this, in these times of economic uncertainty are quite evident. Not only do potential applicants having a hard time trying to improve their credit score, they’re having a hard time maintaining what they already have and avoiding a downgrade.

Consider the ways in which a family struggling hard with their credit score can get an unfair shake. As just one hypothetical example, picture a single mother who wants to apply for a mortgage. She has $2000 worth of debt on a credit card that has a $4000 limit. She applies for mortgage, and while they are processing it, there is an advertisement that catches her eye – it is for a credit card by another bank, that charges her a lower interest rate. Of course, they only offer her a $2000 line of credit; but she figures that that’s as much that she needs. So she switches to the new credit card. Suddenly, her credit score shows that she’s used up 100% of her available credit. For that reason, the mortgage people consider her an unsafe bet, and they deny her a mortgage at the rate she was hoping for. Unfortunately this kind of scenario is a reality for many people.

If the way mortgages were underwritten used to be unnecessarily relaxed at one time, they are tightened up now. The days of subprime lending — risky loans given people with low credit scores – are over. Now that the pendulum has swung the other way.

If you are lacking in credit or need help rebuilding your credit check out this great site: How To Build Credit

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that the federal government owns now, are the most stringent of mortgage underwriters especially when it comes to credit scores If they require that you have a 705 credit score and you only have a 704, it is the government’s policy to require that you be denied a mortgage.

The credit bureaus — Equifax, Transunion and Experian — take a snapshot of where you are right at the moment you apply and your scores from the three bureaus will differ. Unfortunately, the credit score is just that, a snapshot, which does not indicate and upward or downward trend in your credit history. That said you must keep track of your reports and strive to make sure you can make the credit score mortgage qualification cutoff for the best interest rates.

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