Five New and Improved Ways to Protect Your Home

While most people know that the best way to keep your family and home safe is to install an alarm system, new innovations in home security have made older alarm packages nearly obsolete. Because of this, it is important to know about all the must-have features for today’s home security systems before you start looking to buy and/or upgrade your current home’s security features. This includes easy, do-it-yourself additions, as well as more complex systems that may require the assistance of a professional.home security

Security Feature #1: Video Surveillance Systems

While video surveillance systems have been in use for years, new advances have made them far more reliable and useful. You will be able to tap into your home’s video system from your laptop, phone or tablet, making it easy to monitor the interior and exterior of your home on the go.

Security Feature #2: Doorbell Cameras

Many newer doorbells are equipped with cameras or video surveillance. For example, one popular model will send a photo to your phone every time someone steps onto your front porch. This will let you know who is there before you even open the door. This can be useful for security purposes, but also for more mundane purposes. For example, if you know that your visitor is just the delivery man dropping off a package, you will not need to rush to open the door.

Security Feature #3: Door Chimes

Many security systems will allow you to set a door chime to go off every time a door is opened or closed. This is useful because it is active at all times — not just when the alarm system is armed. Having a door chime will let you know anytime an exterior door is opened in your home. This chime can alert you to any number of things — from unwelcome intruders to wayward children wandering out of the house.

Security Feature #4: Bluetooth Deadbolts 

Many newer door locks are Bluetooth-enabled. This makes getting in a snap — if you have your phone on you, simply tap the deadbolt and it will unlock due to the close proximity of your phone. This is more secure than a traditional lock that can easily be picked. You will also be able to remotely monitor your door using your smartphone. This way, you can double-check that the door is locked when you are at work or out running errands.

Security Feature #5: Floodlights

Having a motion-activated floodlight in your yard can help alert you to any nighttime activity outside your home. The threat of being detected can frequently scare away would-be intruders, so the floodlights alone are often enough to protect your home from a break-in.

Consider adding one or all of these features. They can provide you with both convenience and peace of mind.

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Umbrella Insurance Policies – Times They Could Save You

Umbrella insurance policies cover you “above and beyond” your regular insurance policy, and it is meant to help you if some type of accident occurs and the coverage needed exceeds the amount of your regular policy. umbrella insurance policy

Here are Four Examples …

1. Having the coolest Jungle Gym in the neighborhood, until someone gets hurt

Having the best jungle gym or the only pool in the neighborhood can be fun when you have kids and all their friends come to hang out at your house. (Such potentially dangerous delights are known in the insurance world as “attractive nuisances.”) Then a kid gets hurt and the fun stops. While we hope that parents understand things happen when kids are playing, sometimes it is not that simple for the parent of the child who got injured. This can result in them filing a claim against you and, depending on the severity of the injury, the costs could well exceed your regular policy. Your umbrella policy will give you a cushion to fall back on.

2. When your dog bites …

Our dogs are our friends, but sometimes they can act out of character for whatever reason, and we may not be able to control the situation or may not be around. This could lead to a dog biting another person on your property. If this results in bodily injury to that person and he or she files a claim, it could possibly exceed your regular policy. The person could take you to court as well, resulting in even more cost to you. An umbrella policy will give you the extra cushion to cover those expenses.

3. Landlord Liabilities

If you own rental properties, then you can have liabilities tied to those properties. Sometimes they may be things that you haven’t noticed, like a crack in the walkway. If something like this results in bodily injury, then it is possible that you will be held responsible and legal action could be taken against you. Just as in the other examples, the umbrella policy will cover you for additional expenses above your homeowner policy.

4. Being careful what you say about others

You may have been told that if you do not have anything nice to say, then do not say anything at all, but sometimes it is hard to hold your tongue. In these cases, it is important to be careful about what you are saying, as well as about what audience you are saying it to, or through what outlet. Something negative said or written could be considered slander or libel by the person it is being said about.

This could result in legal action taken by that person, and — you guessed it — an umbrella insurance policy will cover you.

Refinancing Your Home? Things You Might Not Think of ….

Are you planning to refinance your home? If you’re interested in lowering your mortgage payments, decreasing your interest rate or more, chances are you’ve probably thought about whether or not you should refi your mortgage. Refinancing Your Home

When you’re ready to learn more about preparing for a new mortgage, here are six things you might not think of when refinancing your home.

  1. You’ll have to get an appraisal. You’ll have to get an appraisal when refinancing your home, so keep your house’s value and your savings in mind when determining whether or not you should pursue smaller monthly mortgage payments or a lower interest rate.
  2. You’ll need to pay closing costs. You’ll need to pay closing costs a second time when refinancing your home, so make sure you have an adequate amount of money saved to pay these upfront fees and any other costs associated with a mortgage refi.
  3. You’ll have to think about the interest rate. Are rates higher than they were when you first financed? Are they lower? Even a small difference can mean a lot of money over time. Take into account the full picture: the number of months you’ll be paying the new mortgage and the rate you’ll be paying compared with your current timeline and rate.
  4. You’ll need to get your credit checked. The bank is going to want to check your credit score when you’re refinancing your home, so keep in mind that you won’t be able to negotiate a better deal if your credit score is lower than it was when you were first approved for a mortgage.
  5. You’ll have to go through the same process. To a certain extent, it’s like buying a house all over again, so think back to when you bought your house and make up your mind about whether or not you can dedicate enough time to the effort.
  6. You’ll need to live in your house a long time. Refinancing may not be worth it if you’re planning to move in the near future. Figure out how long you plan to live in your current place and how much your closing costs will be before making the refi decision.

These six things you might not think of when refinancing your home are important to take into account before you start shopping around for a new mortgage. Because a refi can lead to a number of benefits and costs down the road depending on the outcome, you’ll need to prepare for every scenario before making a commitment.

We’re here to help, so if you think refinancing might be right for you, we can help you decide what your next steps should be.

– To view the entire BobsHomes July Newsletter, click here.