Insurance Needs

5 tips for first time home buyers

Are you a first time home buyer? If so, here are five tips for how to go through the process with ease. Like this page for more helpful information!



Does your homeowner's insurance cover water damage?

Many a distraught homeowner has had to deal with water damage only to find out that their home insurance policy does not cover the damage. Here's how to make certain that you are not caught in that position.

Avoid water damage

Proper home and appliance maintenance is the best prevention to water damage. Have your heating, cooling and water heater serviced regularly. Don't leave an appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine running while you're out of the house for a long period. Check occasionally under the sinks for leaks and that the pipes are dry. Stay in the room while filling a bathtub, it fills faster than you think.


Get regular inspections of plumbing and drain systems. Whenever the plumber is at your home, ask him or her to check on all the plumbing. Turn off the water supply to outdoor spigots before the first freeze of winter. Make certain all drains are clear and operating.

Repair any leak promptly. Even minor drips can grow into bigger problems, possibly hiding pipe leaks or worse, plumbing issues behind a wall. Mold and mildew issues usually stem from undiscovered and unrepaired leaks because it needs moisture to grow.

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7 Essential Things Every New Homeowner Needs

Becoming a homebuyer is exciting. But now that it's happening, you'll need a few things to get you from buyer to owner. You may think you only need the stamina to unpack, but that's only the beginning.

1. A basic toolkit

You don't want to be sitting at home without a wrench when your sink is leaking. Or without a Phillips screwdriver when nothing in the house will accept a flathead.

2. A DIY spirit

You're going to be testing the limits of your DIY skills as a homeowner... a lot. Painting your walls, fixing a clogged drain, pulling up old floors, laying tile - they can all expand your skills, teach you new things, and provide a real sense of pride and accomplishment.

Read the Full List Here! If you have additional questions about the home-buyer process, contact us today.

New Homeowner Essentials

Protect your investment with maintenance and insurance

doorFor many people, their real estate is their largest single investment. Just like any other financial investment, it needs attention and tending in order to maintain and grow its value. Protecting your real estate investment is a combination of both maintenance and insurance.

You were required to purchase home insurance when you closed on your house but a majority of homeowners neglect to review their insurance policy over time. It is important to make sure that your insurance policy fully covers the current replacement cost of your home. At a bare minimum, that means your policy should include an inflation guard. Remodeling, renovating, landscaping, hardscaping and significant interior decorating projects are all reasons to amend your policy to cover value of your home and its contents to protect against a fire, explosion, storm, flood or falling objects.

Regular inspection and maintenance of your home protects the value of your house, prevents damage that can cost you money and increases your general enjoyment of the property. Inexpensive fixes can quickly turn into costly repairs if not identified and addressed promptly.

On a seasonal, or at least annual, basis homeowners should check the structures, systems and envelope of their house:

  • Roof: Examine for missing shingles, damage, cracks, soft spots and expanding seams.
  • Gutters: Clean and inspect.
  • Attic and Basement: Check for signs of pests, animals, leaks or water damage.
  • Chimney: Clean and inspect.
  • HVAC Systems: Clean vents and duct work. Replace filters. Inspect for cracks, leaks, efficiency, condensation and drainage problems.
  • Dryer Ducts: Clean.
  • Exterior Siding and Facia: Check for signs of wear, rot and pests.
  • Foundation: Inspect for cracks and signs of pests.
  • Doors and Windows: Inspect caulking and check for gaps.
  • Trees: Trim branches away from your home. Remove dead trees.

You can make the inspections and repairs for many of these areas yourself. Items like chimneys and HVAC systems should be inspected by a specialist. HVAC and gad companies offer maintenance contracts which will ensure inspections and repairs happen on a regular basis. Alternatively, consider hiring a maintenance company or building contractor to conduct all of the inspections year-to-year.

Managing your real estate investment with the same attention you apply to all of your other financial investments will ensure that its value continues to work toward the benefit of you and your family. Rutledge Properties has dependable, timely referrals for all the trades. Contact us if you need a recommendation for any type of house specialist or a maintenance company.