SRES® Blog

Shop Around for Better Home Insurance Rates

Shop Around for Better Home Insurance Rates

During this time of inflation, you try to save money wherever possible. Since the cost of homeowners insurance can vary, it may be worth looking for better rates to protect your home. Here are three considerations. Shop around. Get quotes from at least three companies, and be sure to make apples-to-apples comparisons among them. Learn more about how to size up policies. Multi-policy discounts. Buy your home, car, and other insurance from the same company. Insurers often offer multi-policy discounts when you get more than one policy from them. Ask about discounts. Some companies may lower your

Tap the Inflation Reduction Act Incentives to Improve Your Home, Save Money

Tap the Inflation Reduction Act Incentives to Improve Your Home, Save Money

The Inflation Reduction Act will offer financial incentives to make home upgrades to reduce your carbon footprint and help you make your home healthier and more comfortable, and reduce your energy bills. Here are three resources to get you up to speed on the topic. 7 Simple Steps to Decarbonize Your Home Learn what decarbonization means and the steps you can take to improve your home’s comfort and performance. Electrify Everything in Your Home – This handbook makes a case for making changes at home. It covers the how-to and potential costs of replacing fossil-fueled appliances with electric

Factor in Cost of Alterations in Home Purchase: New buyers spend nearly $12,000 on Upgrades, Repairs.

Factor in Cost of Alterations in Home Purchase: New buyers spend nearly $12,000 on Upgrades, Repairs.

You may want to invest additional money for upgrades when budgeting for a new home. Home buyers spend close to $12,000 on alterations and repairs during the first year after closing, according to NAHB’s analysis of Consumer Expenditure Survey data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That figure includes over $4,000 on things like building outdoor patios, fences, pools, and driveways. They spend another $3,167 on landscaping. New appliances are another significant cost – an average of $4,254 – as are new furnishings, with an average spend of $5,122. Other projects done by new buyers include

ADUs for Aging In Place

ADUs for Aging In Place

This year’s AARP Livability Index (https://livabilityindex.aarp.org/) included information about accessory dwelling units (ADUs), often known as in-law suites and guest houses, for the first time. After all, ADUs may be an attractive aging-in-place option for the 88% of Americans between the ages of 50 and 80 who, in the University of Michigan’s National Poll on Healthy Aging, said it's very or somewhat important to live in their homes as long as possible. The rub is that in many places, zoning laws don’t permit ADUs. But that’s changing, and AARP has been advocating for ADUs. The District of

Millennials Compromise on Home Must-haves, Possibly Making Selling Your Home Less Stressful

Millennials Compromise on Home Must-haves, Possibly Making Selling Your Home Less Stressful

Not long ago, the perception was that Millennial buyers wanted move-in-ready houses. That placed a burden on sellers who felt like they had to invest considerable time and money to sell their homes. New research by Real Estate Witch (https://www.realestatewitch.com/2022-millennial-home-buyer-report/) suggests that Millennials, facing inventory shortages and stiff competition for homes, are compromising on their must-haves. For you, that may mean that you won’t need to invest as much in upgrades and deal with the angst and inconvenience of major renovation projects. Some ways that Millennials

Three Ways to Benefit from Low Interest Rates

Three Ways to Benefit from Low Interest Rates

Even if you’re not in the market for a new primary home, you can still cash in on the historically low interest rates we’re experiencing. Start with an online calculator (here’s one: https://www.bankrate.com/calculators/mortgages/refinance-calculator.aspx) to see whether it makes sense to refinance or take money out of your home. Here are three possible uses for your home equity. Buy a vacation or investment property. If you’ve been longing to be a snowbird or become a landlord, find the down payment for a purchase. Make your home age-friendly. Invest in some of the higher-ticket aging-in

Make Your Kitchen Age-friendly

Make Your Kitchen Age-friendly

The effects of aging start slowly, and often it’s all the bending and lifting in the kitchen when you start feeling some physical limitations. If you’re exploring aging-in-place kitchen solutions – modifying an existing kitchen or deciding what to incorporate in a renovation – Lowe’s Livable Home (https://www.lowes.com/l/shop/accessible-home-resources-and-guides), a collaboration between AARP and Lowe’s, gives you a good place to start. Though the site focuses heavily on products, those products can make life easier. They include: Pull-down cabinet inserts to make reaching items in upper

Easing Caregiving Stress

Easing Caregiving Stress

If you're among the battalion of unpaid caregivers, you're likely familiar with the physical, psychological, and financial toll associated with caring for a family member. November's National Family Caregivers Month, designed to recognize the day-to-day sacrifices caregivers make, features the theme "Caregiving Around the Clock" this year. Find ways to care for yourself and make your job less stressful. Here are some resources specific to the unique challenges you may be facing. Alzheimer's Association (https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/stages-behaviors) – Learn about the stages of

Five Ways to Make Your Computer a Tough Target for Cybercriminals

Five Ways to Make Your Computer a Tough Target for Cybercriminals

October’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a good time to review your computer habits to protect yourself from cybercrime. The FBI offers 5 ways to make your computer a tough target. Keep your firewall turned on. A firewall protects against hackers who could crash your computer, delete information, or steal passwords and other private information. Install or update your antivirus software. The software detects and protects you against malicious code like viruses and worms. Install or update your antispyware technology. Spyware is software secretly installed on your computer that lets

Design and Décor: What’s Trending

Design and Décor: What’s Trending

The pandemic has caused everyone to cast a critical eye on how well their home functions and looks. Recent research by Houzz illustrates trending designs and how people may be investing their home upgrade dollars. It compared searches on Houzz from April to June of 2021 to the same period last year and found a dramatic uptick in several categories. It’s not surprising that many who were locked down last year and might be anticipating another winter with lots of at-home time want space dedicated to their interests. Searches for art studios rose by 875%, as did home bars and wine cellars, up 277