House on Fire!

By | Around the house, Buyers, Sonoma County info | No Comments

House on FireAs mentioned before, in Sonoma County, it is cheaper to buy than to rent. BUT there is a major difference between being the tenant vs being the OWNER… When renting, the landlord is ultimately responsible/liable for the house/asset. In the rush of buying, home owners insurance is often the forgotten stepchild. And after the home is bought and nothing happens, it’s something you pay for and never think about. See also a previous posting…

Home Owners insurance is quite often called fire insurance – insurance to rebuilt your house when there is a fire. I have written about this before. Important is for instance the type of roof. There is a surcharge for wood shake roofs vs composition shingle. Side note: many insurance companies are refusing to insure homes in a high fire hazard area.

Home owners insurance is also liability insurance: for instance when someone trips on your property and hurts himself, that is covered under your home owners insurance. Or the puppy that looks sooooo cute. Certain breeds can make you ineligible for Home Owners Insurance coverage. Others are acceptable only if the owners have taken the dog to a ‘Canine Good Citizen’ test through the AKC.

In our area  Animal RN (Robyn Kesnow) provides this service for a nominal fee.

Having a good insurance agent is crucial, for questions about Home Owners Insurance, I can highly recommend Erin Temple of Vantreo Insurance, she is my preferred insurance agent, she is extremely knowledgeable.

So when you decide to buy that cute puppy, call your insurance agent do this to when you are still renting, just to be safe.


Foreclosures, is it that bad in Sonoma County?

By | Buyers, Foreclosure, RE by the numbers, Sellers, Short Sale, Sonoma County info | No Comments

Foreclosure Netherlands - Sonoma CountyFollowing the news headlines might give you the impression that every home that is being sold right now is in foreclosure… As this might be the case in certain areas, this is not the case in Sonoma County. To give you an idea of this morning’s numbers in our local MLS:

As of 01/01/2011 up to12/04/2011 the total of all homes sold: 4949. Of these 1461 were bank owned and 1092 were short sales. This means that of the 4949 homes that were sold, 2396 were ‘regular’ sales. According to BofA, Sonoma County is fairly sheltered from the foreclosure crisis.

Every state has different laws as to foreclosures, the worst a home owner can do is to simply walk away from their house.  Right now as mentioned in my previous blog posting, a short sale is in general a much better option.

In the Netherlands, walking away from your house, will result in you having to pay all the remaining debt. There is an insurance you can buy for this purpose, yet you still have to contact your bank and take action.  This is a link to a great website about this subject in the Netherlands. Sorry the website is Dutch;)

By the way, because of these numbers in Sonoma Count, a foreclosure or a short sale is in general not sold below market value. The condition of the property is what determines the value. When you are looking to buy in Sonoma County, look at all the properties for sale not just the ‘distressed’ properties.

For those who want some more specific info/stats, please feel free to send me an email.