Beyond home insurance, there are a few things to ponder before embarking on home ownership.
Here are 3 super important things that might save you and your loved ones a lot of headaches and money in the future:
1) People talk about having a will, but a trust might be even more important.
Having a revokable trust in addition to a will can save a major amount of time and money for whoever is lucky enough to inherit your property. It’s a way to provide instructions about property, as Investopedia explains.
You can put your house in a trust usually after you own it, but if you already have a trust, consider placing the house in the name of the trust. (I am not a lawyer so please contact a lawyer or legal service for specific legal advice.)
Read this helpful article from Guideway Legal Services in Oakland and Walnut Creek, “Should I Have A Trust If I Am Unmarried Or Single?”
For less than $300 they helped me change the name of a house deed from an individual owner name to the name of a trust.
Nolo explains How Trusts Avoid Probate (and why it’s good for your heirs to avoid probate).
2) Before buying a fixer, check out energy efficiency upgrade rebates.
You might secretly learn that the fixer upper that isn’t selling can be updated more cheaply than it might seem on the surface!
You might discover that buying a house that doesn’t have central heating or that has old, single-pane windows might qualify you for huge rebates! There’s a guidebook on how to electrify your home.
3) Before closing escrow, seriously consider buying a home warranty.
A home warranty on an old house? That’s got to be a mistake! But it’s not.
That’s why I buy home warranties for my clients. It’s peace of mind not only for the home buyer but for me. 🙂
American Home Shield (AHS) describes a home warranty as “A home warranty is a year-long, renewable home service plan that covers home systems and appliances when they stop working due to normal wear and tear — like your air conditioning system, refrigerator, water heater, and washer and dryer.”
In other words, a home warranty covers that your home insurance does not: break downs due to normal wear and tear.
Does it sound too good to be true?
Some consumer groups say that warranties or home warranties are a waste of money. But some plans cost around $600 and cover re-keying which would otherwise be $85. However you may be completely changing to a new lock system, which would make re-keying irrelevant.
Every client who has had a home warranty has used it in short order. After all, Murphy’s Law proves itself with home purchases. No matter how many reports and disclosures you read, something unexpected always breaks or comes to light. (Ask me about the huge hole in my closet wall I discovered after owning my place for 10 years!!! No, it wasn’t on the inspection reports or disclosures.)