Housing

The 3 Best Minnesota Homeowners Insurance Companies

Minnesota’s northern location in the Upper Midwest creates conditions for extreme seasons — and an increased risk of damage for homeowners. Hot summers and snowy winters have led the state to experience one of the largest hikes in homeowners insurance premiums, with the average rate in the state hovering above $1,100 a year. When shopping for …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

The 4 Best Pennsylvania Homeowners Insurance Companies

Despite unpredictable mid-Atlantic weather and some pockets of very high home values, Pennsylvanians pay surprisingly low homeowners insurance premiums on average. In fact, Keystone state homeowners saw one of the largest drops in average quotes in the last quarter, with the current average being just $804–significantly lower than the $1,034 national average. Though this may sound …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

How Bank ‘Buffers’ Can Make or Break Your Mortgage Application

By Peter Miller If you’ve got your mortgage application figured down to the penny, you may want to haul out the old calculator one more time. Lenders may not be playing with the same set of rules potential borrowers hear so much about. To understand what’s going on we need to add a new term …

Categories: Housing, Loans

The 4 Best Georgia Homeowners Insurance Companies

Annual homeowners insurance premium rates in Georgia are nowhere near as astronomically high as those facing its neighbor to the south — at $975 per year, the state’s average annual premiums are slightly lower than the national average. However, certain areas of the Peach State experience higher turbulence in weather than others. Georgia’s coastal cities, …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

The 4 Best Arizona Homeowners Insurance Companies

Fortunately for residents of the Grand Canyon State, the risk of a natural disaster is low, resulting in some of the lowest homeowners insurance rates in the country. In 2012, the average annual Arizona homeowners insurance premium was just $691 — more than $300 below the national average of $1,034. The dry climate does create opportunities for rare-but-possible …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

10 Reasons Moving Always Costs More Than You Think

If you’ve ever considered moving on up to a bigger, more expensive home or apartment, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent survey from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that a sheer desire to upgrade is the number one reason (14.8%) people packed up their belongings and performed the dreaded deed in 2013. Other reasons …

Categories: Family, Housing

The 3 Best Iowa Homeowners Insurance Companies

Iowa’s harsh weather conditions create an increased risk of property damage due to things like flooding and frozen pipes. Despite this, however, homeowners insurance premiums in the state remain lower than average. In 2012, annual premiums in the Hawkeye state averaged just $779, compared to a national average that exceeds $1,000. Iowa residents need to …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

What Common Home Repairs Cost (and How to Budget for Them)

Buying a home is the biggest investment most of us will ever make, and yet a shocking number of people drastically underestimate the costs that come with it. That’s right – far too many people jump into a mortgage without factoring in the costs of actually caring for their priciest possession. As a homeowner, you can’t just call …

The 4 Best Connecticut Homeowners Insurance Companies

Connecticut’s Northeastern locale puts the state’s homeowners at risk for wintertime damage like frozen pipes and snow-collapsed roofs, as well as summer flooding and wind damage from tropical storms and waning hurricanes. Due to these weather challenges and high property values, Connecticut’s average homeowners insurance premiums are pretty high. The annual average premium for the state in …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

Would You Trust Quicken Loans With Your Mortgage?

By Peter Miller There has always been competition in the mortgage industry, but now borrowers increasingly find themselves with a new option: financing from a nonbank. What’s a nonbank, and how do they work? Is it safe to get a mortgage from one? Go back to the 1980s and the mortgage field was largely dominated …

Categories: Housing, Loans

The 4 Best Ohio Homeowners Insurance Companies

Ohio residents don’t have to worry much about natural disasters, and homeowners insurance premiums in the state are low as a result. The average annual home insurance rate in Ohio is just over $721 — well below the national average of $1,034. That being said, rates fluctuate between cities and really depend on the condition of …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

The 4 Best New Jersey Homeowners Insurance Companies

The devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 stressed the importance of a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy, as thousands of New Jersey residents were forced to rebuild and recover their homes at astronomical costs. Although the average annual homeowners insurance premium in the Garden State is only about $981 — roughly equivalent to the national average — geographic location creates …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

USDA Loans: Not Just for Farmers

If your income level, credit score, or down payment (or all of the above) are a bit too low for you to qualify for a conventional mortgage, and you don’t insist on living in a major metropolitan area, you might want to look into USDA loans and their eligibility requirements. USDA home loans, which were …

Categories: Housing, Loans, Real Estate

Mortgage Rates: Current Trends and Historical Rate Data

Current mortgage rates are on the rise. The national average for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at the beginning of July 2015 was 4.08%. Rates hit a historic low of 3.31% in November 2012, according to Freddie Mac. Since then, they spiked almost a percentage point, fell back to 3.59% in February 2015, and have been …

Categories: Housing, Loans

The 4 Best Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance Companies

Located in the heart of New England, Massachusetts has a lot to offer by way of culture, history, and jobs, making it an attractive destination for homeowners. However, because of the high property values, consistently inconsistent weather patterns, and sometimes brutal winters — including a record 108 inches of snowfall in Boston last winter — homeowners insurance rates …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

The 4 Best Michigan Homeowners Insurance Companies

Michigan’s northern Great Lakes location can create harsh winter weather conditions, often leading to an increased risk of frozen pipes and flooding. It’s no surprise, then, that rates for homeowners insurance in Michigan are relatively high: In 2014, certain regions in Michigan saw annual premiums that were well over $1,500. Rates vary dramatically, however, between different cities …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

The 5 Best Illinois Homeowners Insurance Companies

Illinois is both a leading agriculture and manufacturing producer, and home to one of the biggest, most bustling cities in the country. This diverse landscape, combined with the tumultuous weather conditions of the Midwest, can make finding a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy in Illinois a tough task. While the statewide average annual premium is only about $881— slightly lower …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

The 5 Best Maryland Homeowners Insurance Companies

Despite its coastal mid-Atlantic location, the average annual homeowners insurance premium in Maryland was just $837 in 2012  — over $100 less than the national average for that year. That’s not to say natural disasters don’t occur in Maryland — both Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene hit the state pretty hard in recent years, with widespread flooding and snowfall causing significant …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

The 4 Best Colorado Homeowners Insurance Companies

Living in the Centennial State definitely has its benefits — from the beautiful Rocky Mountain landscape to over 200 craft brewery locations, it’s no wonder Colorado residents report higher satisfaction levels than nearly everyone else in the country. That is, however, despite Colorado’s high insurance prices. The average annual premium for homeowners insurance in Colorado is …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

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