10 Giant Mistakes Buyers Make When Buying a Home

Buyers make these 10 mistakes every single day. This is your first step to ensuring you don’t fall victim to these common pitfalls.

1. Not choosing an associate who is committed to forming a strong business relationship with you. Making a connection with the right professional is crucial. Choose an agent who is dedicated to meeting your needs – not only before, but also during and after the sale.

2. Not getting prequalified before writing an offer on an Edmonton home. Prequalification will make your life a whole ‘lot simpler. Take the time to speak with bank or mortgage reps. Their qualified evaluation of your income, financial obligations and other variables will help determine a price range that will fit your budget. This is one of the most important steps on the path to owning your very own Edmonton home.

3. Not knowing the total costs involved. Early in the home buying process, ask your real estate agent or mortgage broker for an estimate of closing costs. All expenses including title insurance, homeowners association dues and prepay responsibilities should be considered. Remember to examine your settlement statement prior to closing.

4. Not searching beyond open houses, ads or the internet. Many Edmonton properties listed in magazines or on the internet have already been sold. Your best course of action is to contact a real estate agent. They have up-to-date information on the Edmonton market that is unavailable to the general public, and are the best resource to help you find the home you want.

5. Not considering alternatives for what you think is the perfect home. Buying a home in Edmonton is a process of elimination, not selection. New properties arrive on the market daily, so be open to all possibilities. Ask your real estate agent to provide a comparative market analysis for information about other available Edmonton homes.

6. Not contemplating long-term needs. It is important to always think ahead! Will the home and the terms of the mortgage suit your needs in 3-5 years? How about in 5-10 years? Plan, plan and plan some more.

7. Not following through on due diligence. Make a list of any concerns you have relating to the home and the community, such as crime rates, schools, power lines, neighbours and environmental conditions and don’t forget the amenities. Ask the important questions before you make an offer on a property. Be diligent so that you can have confidence in your purchase.

8. Not having a home inspection. I will always recommend an inspection. There are far too many potential problems that are invisible to the naked eye… Trying to save money today can end up costing you tomorrow. A qualified home inspector will reveal potential issues that may affect your purchase decision. Your real estate agent should be able to hand you a list of quality inspectors.

9. Not examining insurance issues. Nobody likes paying for something they don’t need, nor do they enjoy missing out on specifics that should be included. Consult an insurance agent to make sure you choose the policy that best fits your needs.

10. Not purchasing a home warranty. This is essentially a mini isurance policy that usually lasts one year from the date of sale. It typically covers the repair of a home’s major systems and appliances, and can be purchased for a nominal fee with the option to renew annually. Talk to your agent to help you find the right home warranty.

Remember to refer back to this list to make sure you don’t overlook anything. Your agent should be more than aware of all of these things. However, it is a wonderful idea to educate yourself. A diligent buyer is a happy buyer.

5 Benefits Listing Your Business in Internet Directories

You can enjoy a lot of benefits if you have your business listed in an internet directory, such as Top5Biz.com. In fact, the more directories you use the greater number of benefits you can enjoy. Given below are some of the prominent benefits of using these directories. Read on to find out more.

Exposure

We know that proper exposure is required for all types of businesses. The more exposure your business gets, the higher number of visitors will know about your products or services. On the other hand, if your prospective customers can’t find your site, they won’t be able to buy your products or services.

By listing your business website in these directories, you can get the exposure you need. As a matter of fact, a large number of people search these directories in order to find what they are looking for. Their goal is to look for a specific product or service.

Better Ranking

We know that better ranking is important for any website. If your website is indexed in many web directories, it will send a signal to search engine crawlers that your website is authentic. And this will help you get your website ranked on major search engines. As a result, you will be able to enjoy better rankings in major search engines.

These directors get your website ranked better and get the word out about your business. And this is a huge benefit.

Inexpensive Advertising

If you run a business, you know the importance of advertisement. The primary purpose of advertisement is to help clients find your business and know more about it. You may not have a big budget for your advertisement campaigns. This is where you can spend a little money and achieve the purpose by getting your website indexed in internet directories.

Unlike the conventional advertising, business directories are much affordable. Therefore, they can help you save tons of money on advertisement.

Professional Opinion

If you want your business to look professional in the eyes of your visitors, we suggest that you try internet directories. This will help you improve your business status. In other words, this technique will help you make buyers have a professional opinion about your business.

Once your site is listed in these directories, it will look as professional as the top business enterprises out there. Aside from this, your website will be considered an authority in the niche. As a result, you will be able to get more and more customers and clients.

Search Engine Optimization

Internet directories offer another great benefit, which is called search engine optimization. Basically, these directories allow you to get a lot of inbound links. When a visitor finds your site in the directory, they will click he link and get directed to your website. So, this is an effective way of getting a lot of traffic.

The AM Best Rating – A Consumer’s Indispensable Tool

In this time of economic upheaval, consumers are searching for footholds to aid them in scaling the mountainous terrain of choosing insurance products. An AM Best rating is one tool that trendy consumers are using to guide their decisions.

What is an AM Best rating? It is an independent, third party evaluation of a company’s financial strength based upon qualitative data (or data that describes the characteristics of an organization) as well as quantitative data (measurable and verifiable data based on statistical analysis). It includes a thorough evaluation of an organization’s balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile. Why is that important to the consumer? It is a strong indicator of the insurance company’s ability to meet its financial obligations to its policyholders. An insurance policy is only beneficial if the company is able to pay claims after a loss.

Founded in 1899, the AM Best Co had as its mission “To perform a constructive and objective role in serving the insurance marketplace as a source of reliable information and ratings dedicated to encouraging a financially strong industry through the prevention and detection of insurer insolvency” (2008 Best’s Insurance Reports). Since that time, AM Best ratings have been the benchmark worldwide for assessing insurers’ financial strength. In this article, we will examine the two primary components of the AM Best rating for consumers: the financial strength rating and the financial outlook score.

AM Best evaluates insurance companies according to financial strength and performance much like our educational institutions grade students. These ratings range from
A ++ to F and indicate to the consumer if a company is a prudent choice to handle his/her insurance business. Following is a breakdown of ratings:

A ++ and A+ Superior
A and A- Excellent
B++ and B+ Good
B and B- Fair
C ++ and C+ Marginal
D Poor
E Under regulatory supervision
F In liquidation

Since the rating is one predictor of a company’s ability to handle financial obligations to its policyholders, the higher the ranking, the greater the ability to sustain financial commitment during adverse changes. I don’t know about you, but when I have a loss, I want excellent or superior chances that my insurance company can pay me to cover it.

A second component to understand is the company’s financial outlook. AM Best uses three criterion to gauge a company’s financial outlook.

1. Positive. This indicates that the current rating may be upgraded in the future.
2. Negative. This indicates that the current rating may be downgraded in the future.
3. Stable. This indicates that at this time it is unlikely that the rating will change in the future.