Don’t Let Home Improvements Leave You Underinsured

By Ben Moore

a tree in front of a house: Don't Let Home Improvements Leave You Underinsured

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Don’t Let Home Improvements Leave You Underinsured

As many Americans face months on end stuck at home, some are using their time (and money) to create a change of scenery or upgrade their surroundings. Office equipment purchases are on the rise, and people are tackling more renovation projects than usual.


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But expensive new stuff and significant home improvements can leave you underinsured. If you’re considering making changes to your home — or if you already have — it’s smart to revisit your homeowners or renters policy. Here’s how to ensure it covers the new additions.

Tell Your Insurer About Your Plans

There’s a good chance you’re underinsured before you even make changes, according to Don Griffin, vice president of personal lines at American Property Casualty Insurance Association. Talk to your insurer before making any expensive purchases or changes to your home to inform the company of your plans and clarify your policy’s current coverages and limits. If your home costs more to replace after you’ve improved it, some insurers will pay the new expense to rebuild, but “that’s not every policy, and it may not cover everything you need,” Griffin says. He also recommends once a year reviewing what your home insurance policy covers.

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In some cases, you may need to change carriers to get the coverage you need. Frank Jones, an independent agent and partner at Mints Insurance Agency in Millville, New Jersey, has seen clients switch insurers because an addition wasn’t covered. “It’s in your best interest to have these conversations now rather than to have a claim denied,” he says.

A new desk and computer for remote learning, plus that monitor and chair in your home office will add up and could exceed your personal property coverage limit.

Renters insurance policies cover your stuff, but they have limits too. If you have new electronics or office equipment, check with your insurer to make sure you have enough coverage for them.

Make an Inventory of Your Property

To help you know if you’ve exceeded your policy limits, keep records of what you buy. In fact, Griffin recommends taking inventory of your belongings every year — a written inventory is best, but even a simple smartphone video tour of your home will suffice.

Losing a home is an emotional time, Griffin says. When it’s time to file a claim, “you don’t always remember what you have.” An inventory will clearly show what you had before a disaster and will make the claims process easier.

Add Sufficient Coverage

Structural changes, such as a full kitchen replacement or adding an in-ground pool, will have the greatest impact on your homeowners insurance. But even something as simple as adding a fence can change the value of your house, and if your home’s value increases, so should its dwelling coverage, Griffin says. Otherwise, in the event of

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Friedman Home Improvements & Masonry Is Offering Free Quotes

Friedman Home Improvements & Masonry Is Offering Free Quotes

Friedman Home Improvements & Masonry is now offering free quotes to people in the city of Fairborn, OH. They are offering these free quotes to homeowners who are looking for home improvement services.

Fairborn, OH – Friedman Home Improvements & Masonry is offering free quotes to homeowners within the city. Anyone can fill out a free quote on their website if they are interested in the services the company provides.

Friedman Home Improvements & Masonry is a home improvement company that is located in the city of Fairborn, OH. This home improvement company is now providing free quotes to people in the city that are interested in the services they provide. The types of services that the company provides that this free quote would help with include Fairborn roof repair, roof installations, remodeling, masonry, concrete, tree removal, deck and patio installations, porch installations, general plumbing, and more.

View Roof Repair Fairborn in a full screen map

Friedman Home Improvements & Masonry offers their free quotes right on their website! To get a free quote from this roof repair Fairborn company, they provide a form on their website for people to fill out. On the form, they ask for a list of general information including name, email, phone number, address, a message, and any necessary project documents that can be attached as a file.

About Us

Friedman Home Improvements & Masonry is a home improvement company that is located in the city of Fairborn, OH. This home improvement company is focused on helping homeowners in the city of Fairborn, OH with a variety of different projects and tasks. They provide repairs, installations, and replacements with many different aspects of people’s homes, such as their roofs, kitchens, bathrooms, decks, patios, driveways, pathways, and much more. This company provides free quotes for anyone interested in the services that they provide.

Media Contact
Company Name: Friedman Home Improvements & Masonry
Contact Person: Jason Friedman
Email: Send Email
Phone: (937) 536-0922
Address:1038 Cottage Ct Dr
City: Fairborn
State: OH 45324
Country: United States

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There’s a new DIY advent calendar perfect for home improvements lovers and you can get it from Wickes

IF there’s someone in your household who loves a bit of DIY then we have found the perfect advent calendar to buy for them this year.

The Draper Tools advent calendar includes a measuring tape, adjustable wrench, a selection of pliers, hexagon keys and a ¼” hex magnetic screwdriver with 31 different insert bits.

This Draper Tool calendar comes with 49 different surprises - perfect for creating a brand new tool box


This Draper Tool calendar comes with 49 different surprises – perfect for creating a brand new tool box

It also comes with a handy, sturdy case to keep everything safe and organised.

The limited edition calendar will be available from stockists nationally around the country and online, including Wickes, from end of October.

It’s Recommended Retail Price (RRP) is just £34.99, although individual retailers can set their own prices.

The full list of contents for the calendar is:

  • 1x 2m Measuring tape
  • 1x 100mm Adjustable wrench
  • 1x 115mm Combination pliers
  • 1x 115mm Diagonal pliers
  • 1x ¼” Hex magnetic bit driver
  • 1x 1/4’” Hex 60mm magnetic bit holder
  • 9x 25mm PZ TYPE insert bits: No.0, No.1 (x2) No.2 (x4) and No3 (x2)
  • 3x 25mm Cross slot insert bits: No.2
  • 4x 25mm Plain slot insert bits: 3, 4.5, 5.5 and 6.5mm
  • 7x 25mm DRAPER TX-STAR insert bits: T10, T15, T20, T25, T27, T30 and T40
  • 3x 25mm Square insert bits: No.1, No2 and No.3
  • 5x 25mm Hexagon insert bits: 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6mm
  • 10 x Hex keys 0 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3., 4, 5, 5.5, 6, 8, 10mm
  • 1x Storage case with EVA insert

Draper Tools says that you’ll end up with the sort of set that could be handy for anyone around the house, garage or even at work.

As you open each door, you’ll start to build a tool kit that could come in useful for all those little unexpected jobs around the house.

For every advent calendar that is sold, Draper Tools is donating £1 to NHS Charities Together – in recognition of hardworking NHS heroes who have done so much this year.

It’s still early days, but this the cheapest tool kit advent calendars that we have seen launched so far this year.

The calendar isn’t available until the end of October, but it’s limited edition so you might want to keep your eyes peeled for when it’s available.

We also liked this Wera 24-piece Christmas advent calendar which is on sale for £48.51 (38% more expensive than the Draper option).

The best advent calendars for men: From grooming to tool kits and boozy

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Freeport Mayor’s View: City seeks home improvements grant – News – Rockford Register Star

As we rapidly approach the end of the construction season, the City is quickly working to wrap up a variety of infrastructure projects. We had a busy year executing infrastructure projects and approving additional work that will be completed over the next year and a half.

In the past few months alone, the City completed the $3 million Float Avenue infrastructure project, repaved Sunset Drive, Hurd Street, Boggess Street, as well as portions of Ottawa Avenue and Winneshiek Street. Anyone who has driven over Locust Avenue between Lincoln Boulevard and Pleasant Street will appreciate the much-needed repairs that were conducted in the past week. We are also in the middle of milling the street and overlaying Highland Drive in its entirety and are planning on road repair on portions of South Demeter Drive before the weather, and leaf pickup season, prohibits us from further infrastructure improvement projects.

In addition to these water and sewer projects, the City also began utilizing our $2 million grant to replace lead service lines in the City. While all these projects can be an inconvenience to drivers attempting to navigate the construction zones, we appreciate the patience of the residents as this work is critical for upgrading our City’s infrastructure and improving our quality of life.

If you’ve driven along Burchard Avenue, you’ve no doubt noticed the long-term activity around the water tower, including a large drill. We are in the middle of drilling for our new water well #11. Once completed, this new well will allow us to draw water from the Mount Simon aquifer, which our testing has shown to have even higher quality water than provided by our other wells. Next year you’ll see construction on the water treatment plant that will be built adjacent to the well. Once operational, the well will be capable of producing 2,200 gallons of water per minute. This new treatment plant will replace our current Brick Street plant, which has been in service since 1882. We continue to seek supplemental sources of funding, such as grants, for this and all our infrastructure projects.

The City also implemented plans to aggressively continue infrastructure work next year. In addition to the work discussed above, the Council recently approved the Phase 2 Water Main and Looping project which will begin immediately and go through the next year and a half. This $2 million project, which is part of our longer-term Capital Improvement Plan, includes water main replacement along portions of the streets of Cleveland, Jefferson, Monroe, Santa Fe, Meadows, Sylvan and South. Approximately 20%, or $400,000, of this project will be forgiven by the IEPA upon completion, allowing us to stretch our capital improvement funds further. We were also pleased to award the lowest bid to a local bidder, providing an additional benefit to our local economy.

The City continues to pursue all sources of funding to stretch our local dollars and recently applied for two Community Development Block Grants along the Adams Avenue Corridor. If awarded, one grant

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Best 30 Home Improvements in Kalamazoo, MI with Reviews

YP – The Real Yellow PagesSM – helps you find the right local businesses to meet your specific needs. Search results are sorted by a combination of factors to give you a set of choices in response to your search criteria. These factors are similar to those you might use to determine which business to select from a local Yellow Pages directory, including proximity to where you are searching, expertise in the specific services or products you need, and comprehensive business information to help evaluate a business’s suitability for you. “Preferred” listings, or those with featured website buttons, indicate YP advertisers who directly provide information about their businesses to help consumers make more informed buying decisions. YP advertisers receive higher placement in the default ordering of search results and may appear in sponsored listings on the top, side, or bottom of the search results page.

Source Article

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Best Credit Cards for Home Improvements in 2020

The Discover offers on this page are no longer available via CNBC. As a result, Discover offers described on this page may be out of date.

Americans pay a pretty penny to upgrade their homes every year.

In 2019 alone, homeowners spent an average of $7,560 per year on home improvement renovations, according to a HomeAdvisor report.

It’s inevitable — no matter how careful you are with your budget, unexpected costs will always arise with renovation projects large and small. But, if you use the right credit card, you can save on these expenses and even benefit from added perks like cash back, promotional financing and more.

Below, CNBC Select rounds up the best credit cards for home improvements so you can earn rewards while remodeling your home (and potentially raising the resale value) — no matter what kind of project you have planned.

Best credit cards for home renovations

Best home improvement store card

Lowe’s Advantage Card

Lowe's Advantage Card

Information about the Lowe’s Advantage Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    5% off eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Save 10% on a qualifying purchase, up to $100. Valid though 7/31/20

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Who’s this for? Though store cards can have their drawbacks, such as low credit limits and high interest rates, homeowners who find themselves visiting home improvement stores often may want to take advantage of the benefits offered the Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card.

The Lowe’s credit card offers an everyday 5% discount on eligible in-store and online purchases. It can’t be combined with other promotions and discounts, nor can it be used to pay for service charges like delivery and installation fees. Yet, this 5% can go a long way when you’re racking up a large bill on expensive items like light fixtures, tiling and cabinets.

If you have a larger project to finance, the Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card can also provide a decent 84-month fixed payment plan that acts similar to what you may get with a personal loan. If your project is not large enough for such a long financing period, you can opt for a more basic option of no interest on purchases of $299 or more when paid in full within six months.

Like every promotional financing period, in order to reap the full benefits of this card you must be diligent with your repayment plan. Make sure you pay the balance in full before the six-month offer ends to avoid interest charges. Continuing to carry a balance after six months will cause you to incur deferred interest, which is a charge for all the interest you accrued since the date you made your purchase.

Though this card has no annual fee, it has a high 26.99% variable APR, making it crucial that you pay your balance on time and in full each month.

Check out how the

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Home Improvements That Add to Your Cost Basis

When you sell a property at a profit, you have to pay capital gains taxes on the sale. However, your capital gain isn’t the difference between the price you paid for the property and the price you sell it for. There are several other expenses that add to your cost basis.

Knowing what expenses can and cannot be added to your cost basis helps you accurately calculate your capital gain on a real estate sale. And it can save you significant money on your taxes over the long run. Here’s a quick guide to calculating your cost basis, what improvement expenses are included, what you can’t include, and why it matters so much.

What is your cost basis?

First, it’s important to know your cost basis when acquiring a property. This will be important in determining (and reducing) any capital gains tax you owe when you sell the property.

Your cost basis obviously includes the price you agree to pay for the property. It also includes certain settlement costs, such as:

  • title fees,
  • legal fees,
  • recording fees,
  • survey fees, and
  • any transfer or stamp taxes you pay in connection with the purchase.

However, your cost basis does not include hazard insurance premiums, moving expenses, or any mortgage-related charges. So mortgage insurance, credit report fees, and appraisal costs are out.

You want your adjusted cost basis to include as many of your property-related expenses as possible. A higher cost basis translates to lower tax liability later on.

For example, if you buy an investment property for $200,000 and sell it for $300,000, it may sound like you have a $100,000 capital gain. However, if you spend $5,000 on acquisition costs and $25,000 on renovations, your cost basis will be $230,000, which lowers your taxable gain to $70,000.

Home improvements that add to your cost basis

Besides purchase cost, the other big component of cost basis is the improvements you make to the property. These can be made immediately upon acquisition of the property or at a later date.

The IRS defines improvements as expenses that add to the value of the property, prolong its useful life, or adapt it to new uses. There’s obviously some gray area here. But examples will help clear it up a bit.

Basis-increasing improvements can include the following:

  • Additions: If you add an extra bedroom or bathroom, put a deck on the back of the home, add a garage, or construct a porch or patio, you’ve added value to the home.
  • Lawn and grounds improvements: Value-adding landscaping projects, driveway or walkway construction, building a fence or retaining wall, and adding a swimming pool can qualify as property improvements.
  • Exterior improvements: New windows, a new roof, and new siding are examples.
  • Insulation: This includes insulation in the attic, inside walls, under floors, or around pipes and ductwork.
  • Systems: Installing a new heating or air conditioning system, new ductwork, adding a central vacuuming system, wiring improvements, installing a security system, and putting in lawn irrigation are improvements.
  • Plumbing:
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Best Home Improvements to Increase Value

Whether you’re thinking of selling in the next six months or a few years down the road, remodeling with ROI in mind is a smart move. Your home is a huge financial investment, and any money you put toward it should not only increase your enjoyment of the home now but also add value that you’ll recoup when you sell.

According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018, sellers make an average of 2.2 renovations or improvements before selling. And 79% of sellers make at least one improvement, which means that only 21% list their home as-is.

How to budget for renovations to increase home value

Before researching renovations that might add the most value to your home, decide how much you can afford to spend and how you’ll pay for the renovations.

All-cash home improvements

If you can afford it, paying cash is your best option, as you’ll avoid debt and interest payments. But the drawback is that the money you spend will be tied up until you sell the home.

Using financing for renovations

Many homeowners opt to finance their remodeling project — especially if they’re planning on selling shortly after finishing the project — as they’ll be able to pay the loan back in full after closing.

There are a few different ways to pay for your project, but note that most lenders require that your remaining mortgage balance plus the amount you borrow total less than 90% of your home’s pre-improvement value. For example, if you owe $270,000 on your $350,000 home, lenders would consider loaning you up to $45,000 ($315,000 is 90% of $350,000).

Here are two common financing options:

Second mortgage

Much like your first mortgage, a second mortgage allows you to borrow a fixed amount of cash, in a lump sum, with a fixed interest rate.

Home equity line of credit (HELOC)

A HELOC operates like a revolving credit line, secured by the equity in your home. You borrow what you need as you go, but you’re borrowing with a variable interest rate, so costs can go up (or down) over time.

Best ROI home improvements in 2019

If you’re contemplating investing in a major remodeling project, the following 10 home improvement projects provide the best return on investment for homes nationwide, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report.

1. Garage door replacement

  • Cost: $3,600
  • Resale: $3,520
  • Recoup: 97.5%

2. Manufactured stone veneer

  • Cost: $8,907
  • Resale: $8,449
  • Recoup: 94.9%

3. Minor kitchen remodel

  • Cost: $22,507
  • Resale: $18,123
  • Recoup: 80.5%

4. Deck addition (wood)

  • Cost: $13,333
  • Resale: $10,083
  • Recoup: 75.6%

5. Siding replacement

  • Cost: $16,036
  • Resale: $12,119
  • Recoup: 75.6%

6. Entry door replacement (steel)

  • Cost: $1,826
  • Resale: $1,368
  • Recoup: 74.9%

7. Window replacement (vinyl)

  • Cost: $16,082
  • Resale: $12,332
  • Recoup: 73.4%

8. Grand entrance (fiberglass)

  • Cost: $8,994
  • Resale: $6,469
  • Recoup: 71.9%

9. Window replacement (wood)

  • Cost: $20,526
  • Resale: $14,530
  • Recoup: 70.8%

10. Deck addition (composite)

  • Cost: $19,150
  • Resale: $13,232
  • Recoup: 69.1%

Best low-cost home improvements for resale

You don’t have to

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Which Home Improvements are Tax Deductible? (2020, 2021)

home owner tax deductionsAre you looking to renovate your home? Usually, you can’t expect to deduct anything from your Federal tax return just because you decided to make changes to your home.

But certain home-improvements are tax deductible and can be utilized to reduce the amount of tax you pay to Uncle Sam.

There are both tax credits and deductions that can be taken when the purchase was made or afterwards. Let’s look at them.

Use Your Mortgage to Improve Your Home

mortgage interest tax deduction

If you’re buying a home, then you can reduce the costs of your renovation project by making the changes when you purchase the home.

Sometimes a mortgage will also include money for any changes you need to make.

But the key is this can be added to the price you paid for the home. Therefore, you can claim any mortgage interest as part of the mortgage interest deduction.

Making Improvements for Medical Reasons

There are home improvements you can also make that technically count as medical expenses. The catch is they must be considered a medical necessity.

For example, you can install entrance ramps, create modified bathrooms, lower cabinets, widen doors, add handrails, and create special doors. These are all improvements that can be deducted through the medical expense’s deduction.

The deductions must be considered reasonable and must have a practical use. Architectural and aesthetic purposes don’t count.

However, any improvements designed to increase the value of your home can’t be deducted through the medical expense’s deduction.

Get Tax Credits for the Way You Generate Energy

Certain energy-generating modifications can also allow you to lower your taxes. Energy tax credits can be worth up to 30% of the cost of installation.

These credits apply to improvements like solar panels, wind turbines, fuel cells, geothermal heat pumps, and solar-powered water heaters. All these credits were valid through the 2016 tax year. The solar credits, though, were extended to 2019 and then are available on a reduced basis until 2021.

Green energy systems may also be eligible for tax credits on second and vacation homes. Fuel cells are the exception to this.

The 30% tax credit applies to both labor and installation costs. There are no maximum limits on the amount refunded, other than for fuel cells. For example, if you spend $20,000 on installing new solar panels, you would get a credit for $6,000.

You must apply for this tax credit during the tax year that you have them installed. You must also submit a Manufacturer Certification Statement. You should visit the IRS website for energy tax credits for further information.

Exclusion on the Sale of Your Home

Capital Gains Exclusion for Home Sale

There’s also a home sale exemption to consider. A qualified seller can avoid paying any capital gains tax on any profits they make when they sell their primary residence. This applies to a profit of $250,000 in profit for a single taxpayer and $500,000 for a married couple filing jointly.

The reasoning behind this is that renovations will reduce the amount of profit

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Home Improvements and Your Taxes

Updated for Tax Year 2019


As a homeowner you may be asking, “Do I get a tax break for all the money I’ve spent fixing up my house?”; The answer depends on the kinds of improvements you’ve made and how well you’ve kept track of your expenses. Here’s an overview of how home improvements can affect your taxes.

Young Couple Using A Tape Measure On A Wood Plank.
When you make a home improvement, such as installing central air conditioning or replacing the roof, you can’t deduct the cost in the year you spend the money. But, if you keep track of those expenses, they may help you reduce your taxes in the year you sell your house.

Improvements versus repairs

Money you spend on your home breaks down into two categories, tax-wise: the cost of improvements versus the cost of repairs.

Capital improvements

You add the cost of capital improvements to your tax basis in the house.

  • Your tax basis is the amount you’ll subtract from the sales price to determine the amount of your profit.
  • A capital improvement is something that adds value to your home, prolongs its life or adapts it to new uses.

There’s no laundry list of what qualifies as a capital improvement, but you can be sure you’ll be able to add the cost of:

  • an addition to the house,
  • a swimming pool,
  • a new roof, or
  • a new central air-conditioning system.

Capital improvements are not restricted to big-ticket items, though. Other qualifying improvements include adding:

  • An extra water heater
  • Storm windows
  • An intercom system
  • A home security system

Certain energy-saving home improvements can also yield tax credits at the time you make them.

Home repairs

The cost of repairs, on the other hand, is not added to your basis. Examples of repairs rather than improvements include:

  • Fixing a gutter
  • Painting a room
  • Replacing a window pane

Tracking less critical than in past

In the past, it was critical for homeowners to save receipts for anything that could qualify as an improvement. Every dime added to the basis was a dime less that the IRS could tax when the house was sold.  But, now that home-sale profits are tax-free for most owners, there’s no guarantee that carefully tracking your basis will pay off.

Save when you sell

Under current law, if you have owned and lived in the home for at least two of the five years leading up to the sale,

  • The first $250,000 of profit on the sale of a principal residence is tax-free for single filers.
  • The first $500,000 of profit is tax-free for married couples who file joint returns.

Here’s how to determine the size of your profit when you sell:

  • Calculate the total of everything you paid for the house – the original purchase price, fees and so on.
  • Add to that the cost of all the improvements you have made over the years to get a grand total, which is known as the “adjusted basis.”
  • Compare the adjusted basis with the sales price you get for the
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