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If You Think You Don't Need Flood Insurance, Think Again!

by Home Action News

If You Think You Don't Need Flood Insurance, Think Again!

 

In the age of climate change running rampant, it is ludicrous to forgo protecting your property with flood insurance. Yeah, sure it's a nuisance when you are first purchasing a home; however, when a crisis strikes and a flood occurs, you won't have to stay up at night wondering how you are going to afford the costs of repairs associated with flooding. Many home loans even require proof of flood insurance in order to give your home loan final approval. 

Congress mandated that federally regulated or insured lenders require flood insurance on properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. If you want to see whether your home falls within a high-risk area, check out www.floodsmart.gov.

Even if, for some reason, your home loan is not contingent on flood insurance, get it anyway. Even if you don't ever use it, you always have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that if anything were to happen to your home in the event of a flood, you would be able to afford to repair the damage caused and get back into your home quickly. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, just one foot of water could cause up to nearly $30,000 in damages to your property.

If you do the cost-benefit analysis and realize that there is no alternative but to invest in flood insurance, government-backed programs are the best place to purchase it. The NFIP makes it easy for buyers to find the coverage they seek — painlessly and easily through a network of insurance agents. (Ask your current agents whether they sell NFIP insurance, or consult the NFIP website.) And although you may have a wide choice of coverage levels, a particular NFIP policy will be the same price no matter which agent or insurance company you use.

Once you get the flood insurance, if you find that the payments are taking a bit of a toll on your budget, there are ways to reduce the amount of the payments each month. Some specific home improvements may make the likelihood of flooding less likely and, in turn, you could save a little bit of money by getting those done. This could be anything from installing flood vents to raising the elevation of your home by setting it on stilts.

However, no matter how well you plan for a flood, the costs may be more than you anticipate and you may end up paying some money out of pocket. In order to alleviate some financial stress in this case, you and your family may want to think about creating an emergency fund specifically for use in the event of a flood. It's always better to be safe than sorry in the wake of a flood in your home. 

Here's How to Build Your Own Fire Pit

by Home Action News

Here's How to Build Your Own Fire Pit

Building your own private fire pit is easier than you think. While you can go out and purchase a fire pit, building one doesn't have to be hard — and it's a fun weekend project. 
 
The first thing you should do is check with your neighborhood association or investigate local ordinances to ensure a fire pit doesn't violate any of your neighborhood covenants or city laws. Assuming these are permitted in your area, local regulations can also state how far the fire pit must be from the structure of the home, its size and material requirements.
 
Once you've determined that you're able to construct a fire pit, you should decide what type of fire pit you'd like, as there are many different types and designs. Each type might require a different installation process.
 
Selecting your location and doing the prep work
 
When selecting the location of your fire pit, make sure the spot is an open area that's far enough away from your home. The area should also be clear of low-hanging limbs or bushes that could possibly catch fire. Consider putting your fire pit close to your woodpile to make it easier to restock with kindling when enjoying it on a summer evening.
 
Once you've determined your location, place a small flag in the center of the spot and watch it over the next couple of days to ascertain the prevailing wind direction. The last thing you want to do is have the perfect fire pit blowing smoke into your house or, even worse, your neighbors' property.
 
The building process
 
Once you've gathered your building materials, begin with placing the fire pit cover in the center of your location. The cover will help determine the size of your fire pit. Next, place the bricks around the fire pit cover and make sure the space between each brick is minimal. It's recommended that you use fireproof blocks to line the inside of the ring or use fireproof blocks for the entire structure.
 
Feel free to remove the cover from your work area since it was only being used to determine the size of the pit. Begin constructing the second layer of brick on top of the first, staggering the joints between the bricks to help strengthen the fire pit walls. Continue stacking the bricks until you have four or five layers of height.
 
Once you've completed the stacking of the bricks, you can install the fire pit bowl into the center of the pit. Make sure you remove the legs of the pit before installing it in the center. Lastly, install the fire pit grate and add the cover. You are now ready for your first fire!
 
Note: Fire pits should be constructed and installed on concrete patios or bare dirt. Fire pits should never be constructed on wooden decks or any other flammable material.
 
Constructing your own fire pit is easier than it seems, but if for some reason you're not comfortable doing this, you can always contact your local hardware store and speak with a professional for more tips and design options. Either way, you can enjoy the remainder of your summer nights in front of your very own fire pit!

 

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Contact Information

Photo of Frank Taglienti Real Estate
Frank Taglienti
Berkshire Hathaway PenFed REALTORS®
565 Benfield Road, Suite 100
Severna Park MD 21146
410-440-0824

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