Owner Tips

Here are a few home owner tips for the maintenance and care for your property.

HOME SAFETY Image HereTOP of page

Home safety is an essential part of keeping you, your family and your pets out of harm's way and secure. Here are a few tips.

  • Start: Make a list of items that require service checks and include service check intervals. Include any warranty expiration dates.
  • Pathways: Check and keep all walkways, entrance ways, stairwells and hallways well lit and clear of debris. Keep all steps and doors in good repair.
  • Fire Safety: If your home does not have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed, install them now. Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in hallways, bedrooms, kitchen and furnace area. Keep a fire extinguisher in an easy to reach location in the kitchen. Post the fire departments number at each phone location.
  • Poison Control: Throw away all expired medications. Store all medicines, household chemicals and cleaners in cabinets with safety latches that are out of the reach of children. Post the local poison control center number near every phone.
  • Electric Safety: Never overload circuits with too many plugs. Never run extension cords under rugs or carpeting. Install socket guards in all low-lying outlets not in use if you have small children. Check to see that electrical cords or wires are not draped over radiators. Check and have an electrician replace non-polar receptacles with three-pronged outlets. Check and have an electrician install ground fault circuit interrupter outlets in bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room and workshop where there are two and three pronged outlets near proximity to water.
  • Appliance Safety: Replace all appliances with frayed or damaged cords. Check your service contracts on major appliances such as furnaces, hot water heaters and air conditioning units to ensure that inspection and maintenance are being performed on recommended intervals.
Homeowners Insurance Rates Image HereTOP of page

It is always a good time to review your insurance policy to find ways to save money.

Here are a few tips:

  • Shop for your insurance. Get quotes from several insurance companies and evaluate them. Always remember that the cheapest quote may not be the best value. The most important element if you need to file an insurance claim will be the quality of service, not the insurance premium rate.
  • Question your deductible. Usually the higher the deductible, the lower the monthly premium. By raising your deductible you can save a bundle on your monthly payments.
  • Grouping policies. Many insurance companies offer price discounts when writing more than one policy. Fore instance, many companies will offer a discount if the insure your home and car.
  • Discounts for home security: Most insurance companies offer discounts for homes that have various safety features installed. Inform your insurance agent if you have smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, burglar alarms or dead-bolt locks installed.
Make Your Home More Energy-efficient Image HereTOP of page

Homes that are environmentally friendly are generally more energy efficient. Thus the home owner usually benefits from lower utility bills.

Here are a few tips:

  • Cleaner air. Using free-standing and furnace mounted air purifiers and humidifiers help maintain your inside air quality.
  • Energy efficient appliances. When purchasing a new home with new appliances or replacing your older appliances, look at their energy efficiency rating. There should be a yellow energy guide label on the appliance along with and energy star that certifies its' efficiency. Home owners benefit from dramatically reduced utility bills when using energy efficient appliances.
  • Conserve water. There are several ways to reduce water consumption. The most common ways include installation of low-flush toilets and low-flow showerheads and facets. Today's dishwashers and washing machines are generally more efficient and require less water to operate.
  • Replacement Windows. If you have an older home and are considering replacing your older single pane windows, consider the newer dual pane high efficiency windows. They will reduce your heating and cooling bills dramatically.
  • Building Insulation. If you have an older home with little or no insulation, you may consider having an insulation contractor install insulation in your walls or attic. Insulation helps reduce the cost of heating and cooling a home.