Month: May 2018

Buying a Home: 6 Due Diligence Tips

When purchasing property in Benton County, doing your due diligence is more than a turn of phrase. The period when a house is under contract is an essential part of the homebuying process and requires careful attention to detail.

The Basics

The due diligence process is the buyer’s opportunity to review all facets of a potential home sale. From home inspection findings to homeowner insurance costs, it’s when you’ll take the time to understand exactly what you’re potentially buying.

Here are a few due diligence do’s and don’ts to consider:

Do find out how long it lasts. Two weeks is fairly standard for the average due diligence process. However, shorter periods may be negotiated to gain a competitive edge in a seller’s market.

Don’t make assumptions about when it begins. In some cases, due diligence is conducted before a property goes under contract. In others, it begins after the contract is signed.

Do consult an insurance agent. Floodplain and fire-prone areas may require additional coverage. Make sure you know the estimated costs and what a new homeowners insurance policy will cover.

Don’t skim the home inspection. Make sure you’re familiar with every line of the report. You may want to get quotes from contractors or negotiate repair costs into your offer.

Do your research. Review neighborhood characteristics and check the area’s crime rates. Look at zoning laws to ensure they align with your long-term goals.

Don’t forget to review the HOA. If you’re joining a homeowners association, it’s not enough to simply read your HOA documents. Make sure the community is in good physical condition and the association is financially sound.

Being thorough in the due diligence phase will help you uncover potential issues and make the right choices for you and your family.

Please come by Vick Insurance, our team is always here to help.

Feel free to visit us online at 24/7.

5 Tips for Hiring the Right Contractor

Most major home repairs in and around the surrounding areas of Benton County will require the help of a professional, and hiring the right contractor can be challenging if you’re not sure what to look for. Here’s how to ensure you get quality work for a fair price.

1. Ask for referrals. Look to your network for contractor recommendations. Personal references are the most reliable, but you can also use trusted review-based websites. Be sure to consider contractors who’ve received positive feedback within the past year or so.

2. Do your research. Search for online reviews and check the contractor’s status with the Better Business Bureau or other professional association. Review any public information to see if there are complaints against their license, and if possible, inspect their past work in person.

3. Review their insurance coverage. At a minimum, contractors should have general liability coverage to protect against bodily injury and property damage. It’s even better if they pair basic coverage with a worker’s compensation policy that extends to any subcontractors.

4. Solicit multiple bids. Compare written bids from multiple potential contractors and consider eliminating outliers that seem too high or too low. If a bid is too low, it may be because they use questionable materials or hire inexperienced labor. If it’s too high, they could be overcharging for their work.

5. Put everything in writing. All written estimates should include specifications like material types and costs, established scope, anticipated project start and end dates and expectations for contingencies, cleanup responsibilities, warranty information and limiting factors like homeowner association bylaws or building permits. Everyone should make sure their insurance company approves the work before signing any formal agreement.

No matter how complicated or straightforward your home repair claim may be, knowing how to search for a contractor can simplify the selection process and bring you peace of mind.

Our Vick Insurance Team looks forward to helping you with all of your home needs. Please reach out if you have any questions.

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