Elmhurst real estate blog archive


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Do You Need a Warranty on Your Elmhurst Home?

by Thomas Makinney

Your new Elmhurst home comes with everything you want—charm, a great neighborhood, and nice appliances. But unless you’re buying something newly-built, you probably don’t know the age or current condition of those appliances, so you might want to consider a home warranty.

Just like other insurance, a home warranty provides protection and coverage for things in the home that would be very costly to repair or replace.

Experienced Realtors® recommend this particularly to first-time homebuyers. First-time buyers often use every cent they have in reserve for a down payment, closing costs, and other fees, so they have little left to cover repair costs. Having the warranty provides some financial breathing room to handle any system or appliance failures that occur during that first year of ownership before funds have been replenished.

Typical home warranties cover things like air conditioning, heating and ductwork, electrical service, plumbing, washers, dryers, dishwashers, stoves/ovens, and refrigerators. Most warranty services will charge a small deductible and put limits on what they will fix, but they strive to keep prices reasonable.

In most cases a warranty can be very inexpensive and will pay for itself with one repair. In addition, it can generally be transferred to the next owner of your Elmhurst property, a great potential selling point.

When considering a home warranty, plan to do some research. Find a company with good customer service and phone support, and be sure to thoroughly review the contract before deciding. 

Some warranties require an annual maintenance fee, and most do not let you choose the contractors who will perform the repairs in your home. So if you have a favored repair company, it may or may not be in the warranty company’s network of contractors.

The one possible time you may not need warranty coverage is when buying newly-built Elmhurst real estate. Experts say that most appliances last about 11 years on average, and brand new items are less likely to need repair. But given that current appliances are filled with expensive computerized as well as mechanical components, the warranty may still be a better choice—and it will last well beyond the manufacturer’s single year of coverage.

Many real estate agents believe that researching a home warranty is as important as finding the lowest interest rate. It’s certainly worth checking to see if it’s right for your home-buying situation.

We can help you make the best choices possible when buying your next home. If you’re looking to buy or sell Elmhurst real estate or properties in the surrounding area, contact the Gracik Makinney Group, or call (630) 567-5902.

Does Your Elmhurst Home Have the Right Insurance?

by Thomas Makinney

When it comes to disasters, some are region-specific, while others are equal opportunity destroyers.  The specific risks for your area determine the kind of insurance needed to protect your Elmhurst home and belongings.

Take some time to review the insurance on your home against the following threats, and remember that supplemental insurance may be necessary for complete coverage.  While not all of these issues are common, they do happen, so it’s worth knowing and covering your risk.

Flooding - Pretty much every region has a flood risk.  You’re even more susceptible if you live in a low-lying area, near a pond or lake, or downstream from a dam.  Flood damage is not covered by most regular insurance policies, so check with your insurer about extra coverage.  On average, flood insurance costs $540 per year—a lot less than the average flood claim of $33,000 without it.  If you’re in a high-risk flood area, know that your coverage could cost more.

Earthquakes – Although Elmhurst, IL is not a high-risk area, earthquakes are still possible since fault lines run through most U.S. regions.  Check with your carrier for coverage and cost options.

Tornadoes – Opinions differ, but most folks consider Illinois part of Tornado Alley, and peak tornado season is around the corner.  Tornadoes are usually covered in a general policy, but check with your agent to be sure.  Living in a high-risk area, Elmhurst residents might pay more for this specific insurance.

Wildfires – This disaster can affect everyone. In 2008, homes in every state but Hawaii had wildfire damage from flames, soot, smoke, and water.  Most standard policies cover fire, but verify your specific coverage regarding cleanup costs and replacement values.  Price varies by region.

Mines – This one is not often addressed but is worth checking out.  It deals with homes built over or near abandoned mines where, if the ground shifts, homes can suffer structural damage.  Though generally not part of a homeowner’s policy, this coverage is available through state-sponsored pools.  Where you live determines cost, so check with your insurer.

Once you have the right coverage for your area, create your home inventory list and store it somewhere other than your house.  It’s also a good idea to have both a family evacuation plan and an emergency kit with supplies of food, water and other items to keep you going if you’re in a shelter.  Good insurance and solid preparation can help you better handle any disasters that come your way.

We’ll help you find that place of peace and safety.  If you’re looking to buy or sell Elmhurst real estate or properties in the surrounding area, contact the Gracik Makinney Group, or call (630) 567-5902.

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2