Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saving on Homeowners Insurance Can Help on Housing Costs

Forbes recently printed an article with tips for first time home buyers, but we found that many of the suggestions will help anybody that wants a bit more home for the money. If you want to cut down on the cost of homeowners insurance in Myrtle Beach or elsewhere, here's a blend of their ideas and ours...

Can you afford to buy?  Be sure to calculate the costs of owning a home, repairs, property taxes, and of course, insurance. If you haven't saved enough for a substantial down payment, it might be better to put off buying until you have.

Consider a condo!   If you aren't one who loves to mow the lawn, or you want a pool, consider buying a condominium instead of a house. Look for condos that are strictly residential - it's very hard to get financing for any unit that can be considered a rental condo in Myrtle Beach. It's also somewhat harder to insure a condo close to the ocean, but it may save you money in the long run.

Government Home Buying Credits?
Although the first time home-buying credit has currently run out, there are often other government incentives for buying homes. Areas with farming acreage sometimes qualify for grants. Some cities help with buyers who purchase and renovate downtown areas or historical sites. Check around to see if anything applies in your area.

Getting a Government-Backed Loan
FHA Loans recently became harder to come by, with requirements of a 10% down payment for those with a credit score less than 580. With the lower interest rates and easier qualifications, again it might be well to find the extra money for that down payment, either from family or by waiting until you save enough.

Be careful when borrowing from your parents
Before applying to the Bank of Mom & Dad, note that outright cash gifts can result in big tax bills. Forbes says that taxes can be avoided by setting up the cash give as a structured loan, and following miniumum interest rate requirements set up by the IRS. Information about this can be found on the website.

Consider buying a foreclosure
From property in economy-strapped Las Vegas, Florida, or California, to real estate in Albuquerque, NM, foreclosure purchases can be money saving transactions. It's best to find a Realtor that specializes in them, and to get a mortgage pre-approval letter before you begin to look.

Consider property taxes
In the Grand Strand area, taxes are much, much cheaper outside the city limits of Myrtle and North Myrtle Beach. Consider the outlying areas like Little River on the north end, or Hwy 501 and Socastee on the south end.

Title Insurance Savings
Here is a fantastic tip from Forbes! Some states mandate lower title insurance rates for a buyer if the home's previous owner purchased it recently. Shop around before going with the first policy, and you may save as much as $1000.

Consider a higher deductible on your homeowners insurance
If you've got the talent for home repairs or have an inexpensive source of help like a friend or family, considering a higher deductible might be a big money saver.

Cut insurance costs with safety devices
Buying a home security system, smoke alarms, and other safety factors can save on your homeowner's insurance. Allstate offers a substantial discount when you let us cover your car along with your home. It can even save you on any boat insurance, motorcycle insurance, or other personal policies that you add to the mix. Call us and inquire to see just how much we can save you by combining your policies!  We've got the best SC car insurance prices too!


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