My friend had a housefire last night, how can I help?
Everyone is safe, so they are so blessed, for sure.
The kitchen was gutted, and there is smoke damage all over the place. They have a place to stay for a little while, so they don’t need that, but they have a whole lot of friends who want to help. Insurance will cover their stuff once they start to rebuild, but I am sure there are people out there who have been through this before – tell me what you wish people would have done for you or your loved ones to help while you got the rebuilding done. We have relatively deep pockets and very deep hearts in our community, and I know we all want to help. They have 4 kids, and at the moment they are staying with family in the area.
James Conley answers:
My experience is that they won’t want to stay with family,as the family gets grumpy,& feel inconvenienced,& although they don’t say it,they’re affected too by the destruction,it’s turmoil.They need their own space,apt,etc.,& start from there.They need clean socks,underwear,towels,toothbrushes,& other sundry items.If they are with family the smell of smoke embeds itself onto them,try sending fresh flowers with lots of fragrance to the host family often or weekly.These victims are traumatized & not thinking straight,a form of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.They need rest & should visit their family Physician.It’s sad.There is no quick way to cheer them up.Insurance company will make it difficult for them,100% coverage means the structure will be repaired,but their appliances,personal items ect.,will be reduced to what it cost 2nd hand.(as low as 20%),these people will struggle with their finances for at least a year.Don’t lend money,gift it to them to help relieve stress.God speed.My hopes are with them.
possibly buying a condo, what’s the difference in home insurance and condo insurance?
i am possibly fixing to be buying a condo, but need to find out how much insurance is going to cost me every year. i noticed that there is “condo” insurance as well as home insurance. which one would be better or more appropriate. is condo insurance cheaper? what is the difference in the coverage ?
James Conley answers:
Your condo association purchases insurance on the building and premises. Broadly speaking there are two approaches condo bylaws take to insure the property.
One approach is the condo association agrees to cover only the exterior and common areas. You are responsible to insure the interior this can include walls, wall coverings, flooring, furnace, appliances, lighting, plumbing fixtures, kitchen and bath cabinets (basically everything inside your condo). In this scenario you are responsible not only for your personal property but also the entire interior of your condo. As an insurance agent I did not like this approach because it is very difficult to determine how much insurance you should have to be able to repair or replace everything in within the walls of your condo.
The other approach, which I always preferred, was more comprehensive where the association agrees to cover the entire unit as it was originally built. In this scenario you only insure your upgrades (i.e. Bookcases, upgrades, finished basements. Etc.) and your personal property.
You need to carefully review your condo bylaws or have a good insurance agent go over the bylaws with you. If you don’t insure the property that you are responsible for you could find yourself woefully under insured and perhaps unable to rebuild your condo.
In addition to insuring the part of the building you are responsible for you need to determine the replacement cost of your personal property within the condo.
Sorry for the long answer but it is a surprisingly complex question.
What would be a good rental property to invest in?
I wondered if a small condo for roughly $20,000 or a small house for more like $60,000. I’m very new to rental investing and I could use all the advice I can get. Thanks
James Conley answers:
You want to look at how much rent you can get for the property and how much your monthly expenses would be. Check ads for properties similar to yours that are for rent. For example, if the house would rent for $800 a month and your mortgage was 400 and the property taxes and insurance would come to 200, you would be left with 200 in “cash flow”…but you also need to be prepared for repairs like if you have to call a plumber or if the furnace conks out. Also, in a condo, don’t forget about the HOA fee. And consider that some locations are more desirable than others so try to buy in the nicest area you can. Also, are these properties in decent shape or would you need to do a lot of renovation? People like new kitchens, baths and appliances.
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