Category Archives: Home Maintenance Tips

How Life Insurance Can Protect Your Home

Courtesy of Mark McDonough, New York Life Insurance Company

You and your family have worked hard to acquire your home, a rental property or other real estate holdings, and you qualified for that mortgage thanks to your income level, excellent credit rating and financial history.

But what would happen if you — the primary income producer or even as half of a dual-income partnership — suddenly died? Besides the emotional trauma, a surviving spouse may experience a significant decrease in household income that could lead to foreclosure. That’s why many banks and mortgage companies encourage homeowners to purchase mortgage life insurance.

Life Insurance from a Lender vs. an Insurance Company
Basically, you purchase mortgage life insurance so that in the event of an untimely death, funds are available to meet any outstanding mortgage balance. But the type of insurance you purchase can greatly affect your surviving family members’ options.

When you purchase insurance from a bank or mortgage company, you generally lose all ownership control of the insurance. In many cases, you pay the premiums, the lender receives the proceeds at the insured’s death, and your family receives the deed to the house. While this may seem like an equitable solution, the spouse may not want to remain in the home due to several factors:

• The daily memories may be too difficult to handle.
• The expenses may be too large to maintain.
• Your spouse needs to live closer to friends and family.
• Your spouse needs to relocate for a better job or school area.

With personally owned life insurance, you have more choices and control because your surviving spouse (assuming he/she is the beneficiary) — not the lender — receives the insurance proceeds at your death. Your spouse decides what to do with the money. He/she can pay the mortgage in one lump sum or continue paying it down periodically. Plus, personally owned life insurance is portable, which means if you move in a few years, you won’t have to replace your insurance, which could be a costly process. Furthermore, even after the mortgage is paid, personally owned life insurance can provide other valuable benefits.

Make a Choice Today
Whether you decide to purchase mortgage life insurance through a bank or personally owned life insurance, the key is to be prepared. There is a real chance that someday one person will be solely responsible for your family’s finances. Taking the necessary steps today can ensure your family’s financial future tomorrow.

This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Mark McDonough, New York Life Insurance Company, Boston General Office. For additional information on the information or topic(s) discussed, please contact Mark McDonough at 401.276.7478, Cell 617.827.3435 or e-mail mmcdonough@ft.newyorklife.com

For Real Estate Concerns, Contact Lew McConkey

I service the following towns in South Shore MA: Whitman, Hanson, Brockton, Rockland, Abington, Pembroke, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Easton, Weymouth, Braintree and Quincy MA.

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com

http://www.facebook.com/South.Shore.Homes

7 Tips to Winterize Your Massachusetts Home

With  the Massachusetts  winter coming, I thought it was important to review a few simple tips to help you winterize your home and save some money in the process. While most of these tips are really simple, cost little, and can help reduce your energy bill, they are important to do to to keep up with your home maintenance.

Insulate your attic. One of the easiest ways to save some money is to ensure that you have at least 12 inches of insulation in your attic. Hot air rises and through the attic is where it’ll go unless you sufficient insulate it. If you go into the attic and you can see the ceiling joists you know you don’t have enough, because a ceiling joist (wooden beams)  is at most 10 or 11 inches.”

Wrap your water boiler. Since it’ll be cold, it’s more important than ever to invest in a water heater blanket and warp your water heater so it loses less heat into the ambient air.

Open the blinds in sunny rooms. Be sure to keep the blinds open on any rooms that get a lot of sun, ever little bit of extra heat can help keep those bills down.

Get a programmable thermostat and consider lowering the temperature setting on your thermostat.   Programmable thermostats can help you save a ton of money by only turning on when you most need it. All HVAC systems work the same way – they are either on or off (there’s no low, medium, or high intensity setting). If you can keep your system off when you’re not home or when you’re asleep, you can save yourself a lot of money. They are easy to install and often break-even (cost vs. savings) within the first year.

A lower temperature means the system is on less, so try lowering the temperature a degree at a time. You’ll either adjust or reach a point where the temperature is far too low. There’s no sense dropping the temperature so low that you get sick, that just doesn’t make  financial sense. And put on a sweater.

Check the furnace and replace the filter
First, turn your furnace on now, to make sure it’s even working, before the coldest weather descends. A strong, odd, short-lasting smell is natural when firing up the furnace in the autumn; simply open windows to dissipate it. But if the smell lasts a long time, shut down the furnace and call a professional.

It’s a good idea to have furnaces cleaned and tuned annually. We have a service contract with our oil company that covers this.   Costs will often run about $100-$125. An inspector should do the following, among other things: 

During the winter, when the system will run more often, it’s good to replace it monthly so that you don’t have a dirty air filter ruining the efficiency of the system.

Turn off exterior water lines. Chances are you won’t be using any of the water faucets outside of your home, so shut the valve that allows water to those exterior bibs. This prevents the water inside from freezing and cracking your pipes.

Flip the switch on your ceiling fan.  “Reversing your ceiling fan is an easy6  tip that people don’t often think of.  By reversing its direction from the summer operation, the fan will push warm air downward and force it to recirculate, keeping you more comfortable.

 This home tips have been brought to you by Lew McConkey    

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise! Contact me today for a market analysis of your house!

 I service the following towns in South Shore MA:  Whitman, Hanson, Brockton, Rockland, Abington, Pembroke, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Easton, Weymouth, Braintree and Quincy MA.

Rosen Realty
(781)252-9789
Lewmcconkey@rosenrealty.com