No Comments

Renters Insurance In 2019 Remains Cost-Effective

Imagine a worst-case scenario in which your living space has been devastated by a fire, flood or been completely burglarized and vandalized. Adding insult to injury, you don’t have any insurance to cover the loss or to start over.

That’s the all-too-common situation that renters place themselves in by shrugging off the necessity of securing a renters insurance policy. What makes matters even saltier is the fact that you could be adequately protected for less than one dollar a day, or less than the price of a small coffee.

If that reality doesn’t persuade you to get the cost-effective protection you deserve, I hope the following analysis sheds some light on why renters insurance is a must in 2019.

Importance of Renters Insurance in 2019

One common misconception that renters seem to believe is they just don’t have enough at stake to warrant this additional expense. Considering the high cost of today’s Smart televisions, computers and other devices that are targets of theft, renters may want to do a little math on how much it would cost to replace your possessions.

After tallying up your valuables, it may surprise you to know how few renters take steps to protect their investments. Only about 37 percent of renters have coverage compared to a whopping 95 percent of homeowners, according to a 2014 Insurance Information Institute poll.

The number of people renting living space has increased. Today’s Millennials are reportedly renting at a higher rate than other groups, according to reports. The currently tight housing market and rising interest rates are expected to result in more everyday people renting instead of buying.

But the fundamental question renters continue to ask — even in facing potential losses — is, “why do I really need renters insurance?” These are three things I strongly urge renters to consider.

1: Affordable Protection

The average cost of renters insurance continues to trend at less than $20 per month in most states. In some states, coverage can be secured for less than $10. That’s about the cost of a good Netflix subscription and far more enjoyable if you can be reimbursed for a loss.

2: Personal Property Protection

It’s important to understand that most homeowners with a mortgage get coverage because they are required by their lender. The portion of that coverage that covers loss of personal property is generally factored in as a percentage. A renters insurance policy covers similar items such as electronics, furniture, jewelry, clothing, and other valuables. Like homeowners insurance, your coverage would reimburse losses due to things that include the following.

  • Fire
  • Smoke Damage
  • Explosions
  • Lightning Strikes
  • Severe Weather Impacts
  • Aircraft Crashes
  • Civil Riots
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Water Damage and Flooding

Although people often think about losses in terms of burglary and theft, there are a wealth of conditions that can result in substantial or total loses.

3: Liability Coverage

Along with direct financial losses to your personal property, many renters insurance policies also include a liability provision. This coverage is often overlooked by renters who assume any slip and fall, or another injury would be referred to the property owner’s insurance carrier. Unfortunately, we live in a culture where lawyers push to sue everyone and sort out responsibility later.

In the interim, you could at least be on the hook for hefty legal bills in the thousands. For less than $20 per month, standard policies usually offer $100,000 or more in total coverage. Ontario home insurance policies also tend to have a line item specifically for medical bills. Liability insurance amounts to pennies when you consider the possibility of getting embroiled in protracted and expensive civil litigation.

What Makes Renters Insurance Additionally Useful?

Beyond the direct losses renters too often suffer from theft and damage, renters insurance usually includes many of the helpful perks found in homeowner and auto policies.

Consider for a moment that you were in an automobile accident. In all likelihood, your car, truck or SUV will be spending time at the dealer or mechanic undergoing repairs. It may even be a total wreck. Despite the fact that you feel secure knowing the loss will be covered under your policy, how exactly do you get to work, school and important life appointments without a vehicle?

The answer is often a line item in your policy that provides additional coverage for a rental vehicle until your automobile is restored. That often proves to be an invaluable aspect of auto insurance and renters insurance can offer similarly useful benefits.

Often called “disruption” or “relocation” insurance, many renters insurance policies will pay for extended stays at a hotel or motel while your living space is not inhabitable. Policies also offer coverage for relocation in the event your rental space suffers a complete loss. Although many landlords are liable to pay for such out-of-pocket expenses, getting a check from your insurance company and letting them chase the property owners makes your life keenly less stressful.  

Calculating A Renters Insurance Policy

Given the incredibly low cost, it’s almost mind-boggling to think that less than half of all renters protect themselves with a policy. The average renters insurance policy runs about the same cost as a decent cell phone charging cable or set of earbuds. Not having a policy seems almost silly when you consider how many of those items you lose or replace each year. That being said, these are the critical factors that can save you even more money on a policy.

  • Location: An insurance company calculates premiums based on the risk of loss. People living in urban areas are considered at a higher risk of those living in rural areas, generally speaking. The state you reside in will also impact the premium amount.
  • Rental Type: Houses, condos, and duplexes are usually considered at a higher risk of loss than apartment buildings. Expect a lower rate if you live in an apartment complex.
  • Credit Score: There’s little doubt that credit history plays a substantial part in our culture. Just as the landlord probably checked yours before signing a lease, the insurance carrier generally rewards good ratings as well.
  • Total Coverage: In calculating risk, insurance outfits also factor in the maximum potential payout in a total loss. Lower coverages are generally less expensive ones.
  • Deductibles Matter: A deductible is an amount the policyholder is responsible for paying out-of-pocket before the coverage begins. One of the reasons that insurance organizations generally require these policyholder costs is to avoid being flooded with nuisance claims. With that in mind, insurance companies tend to charge even less for policies with higher deductibles. The average renters insurance deductible runs between $500 and $2,000. When opting for a higher deductible, remember that you will be called upon to pay that amount if you suffer a loss.

Contact a Renters Insurance Company Today

If you are renting an apartment, condo, duplex or home, the value of renters insurance far outweighs the nominal cost. Although premiums vary between urban and rural landscapes and even state-to-state, the differences are hardly worth considering not having full protection. I hope this overview of the cost-benefits of renters insurance in 2019 inspires you to get the secure coverage you deserve.

No Comments

Maintenance Tips for Condo Owners

Maintenance Tips for Condo Owners

Condo living doesn’t have a lot of maintenance responsibilities. This is because condos have property management tips that take care of the grounds care, external maintenance, repairs and major building renovations. However, the basic internal maintenance is your responsibility.

Like filling a PTO request form sample, basic maintenance is hassle-free for condo owners. However, a little maintenance is important if you are looking to enjoy your condo all year. Here are tips to help you keep the maintenance hassle free:

  1. Proof-Check Your Warranties

All major appliances come with manufacturer instructions and warranties. You need to read and follow the instructions. Check if your appliance has any issues that fall within warranty conditions, in case they don’t bring it to the manufacturer’s attention. Following the warranty will save you potentially heavy maintenance fee if the appliance breaks down.

  1. Door Hinges

You can never evade the classic squeaky door hinge. If you happen to hear squeaking, the first thing you should do id buy some silicone lubricant. Get a multi-purpose lubricant like WD-40. To apply the lubricant you have to remove the hinge pins first then re-insert into the door hinge after applying.

To avoid undue stress on the door, remove one hinge pin at a time. Do not make the mistake of buying oil lubricants because they will attract dirt or dust.

  1. Circuit Breakers

Once you move into your new condo, make sure you find and familiarize with the circuit breaker. The condo has a standard circuit switch, therefore if a circuit breaker trips, turn it off before you turn it back on.

  1. Drains

Maintaining your drains is cost-free which saves you a lot of money. At least once a week, pour boiling water into the drains to wash away built up junk and keep them clean. You can also clean it using a garburator using citrus rinds and a few ice cubes every couple months.

  1. Appliances

To avoid future headaches, check your home appliances every once in a while. Inspect the supply lines to the dryer and washer to prevent water damage that could go undetected in case of a slow leak. Check the deep freezers and refrigerators for the same issues. Inspect and clean major appliances every few months.

  1. Smoke Detectors

You need to make sure that after installing a new battery, you understand how the alarm should be tested. You should also make sure the smoke detectors are cleaned monthly. It is also a good idea to always have extra batteries at hand.

  1. Ventilation

This is one of the most impactful maintenance tips. Make sure the vents and fans of your condo are always clean and clear of dirt, dust, and debris in order to keep it well ventilated. You can do this by constantly airing out your condo when the windows are open. A well-ventilated condo is easy to dust and sweep.

  1. Paint Colors

Keep track of the condo’s paint colors. Try and find the exact paint used on your walls from a local hardware store. Each time you decide to re-paint, make sure you keep track of the paint colors choices.

  1. Furniture Pads

Taking care of the furniture pads will help you avoid scratched floors, especially if you have hardwood floor. Invest in felt pads for the furniture legs. You can find them at most hardware stores. They will save you maintenance costs in the long run.

No Comments

5 Summer Health Tips for 2017

5 Summer Health Tips for 2017

Credit: Luke Michael

Just because summer’s in full swing doesn’t mean it’s too late to finish off our beach bodies. Much of our beach body success comes from an overall state of well being and not just skimming down on carbs. Don’t worry, we’re not going to tell you to hit the gym pick up a full workout routine either. Our goal is to give you quick and simple tips on making your 2017 summer the healthiest one yet!

1. Eat Breakfast:

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, eating breakfast is one of the healthiest things you can do. Start your morning off right with fruit, whole grains, and lean protein. To make things simple you can find great breakfast wrap recipes on Pinterest. For those who don’t have much morning free time you can make your breakfast the day before.

2. Get a Massage:

Getting a massage relaxes your muscles and helps you to destress from hectic weeks or work and being souped up all winter. You’ll notice an instant improvement in your happiness and feel more comfortable. If you’re in the area, swing on by to get massage therapy in Toronto. You’ll be able to get a variety of massages to suit your needs, such as a deep tissue massage, prenatal, Swedish, or Sport.

3. Stay Active:

Staying active doesn’t have to be a boring workout program at the gym. Dance it up with a local Zoomba class and get your sweat on. Head out for morning or evening jogs and listen to music or your favorite podcast. Spend the day in the water or playing volleyball. Aim for a little bit of activity each day or a block of time a few times a week. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests adults should get two and a half hours of exercise per week.

4. Explore New Foods:

Staying healthy shouldn’t be about eating the same chicken and veggies every day! It should be about exploring new foods and restaurants. When you eat new foods you’re introducing yourself to new sources of nutrition which your body may not be getting enough of. What better is there to head out to the newest ethnic restaurant?

5. Veggie Challenge:

Eating a lot of red meat isn’t great for your body, but it’s an easy go-to. Instead buy a new cookbook or two with vegetarian plates and try them out. It’s amazing how mouth-watering veggie tacos can be. Plus, it’s a fun way to experiment with new spices.

Staying healthy shouldn’t be difficult. It should be a fun adventure. Stay healthy this summer by trying new foods, getting in breakfast, and staying active!

No Comments

5 Things You Must Know About Vancouver

5 Things You Must Know About Vancouver

Credit: Paolo Macorig

Vancouver, British Columbia is one of the coolest cities on the face of the earth. It’s known for it’s aromatic coffee scene, the eclectic night life, and for being surrounded by gorgeous islands.

But if you plan on moving to Vancouver, there’s some lesser-known facts that are only really known to the locals.

Here are five things that you should know before you move to help you feel like a local on day one.

Stanley Park: An Environmental Mecca

Vancouver is known for being a haven for outdoor lovers and environmentalists alike, but did you know that the city’s first ever green space is one of the largest urban parks in North America? Stanley Park is 1001-acre’s large and is home to many fun attractions and walking paths, making it perfect for a day out away from the bustle of the city.

It’s Known As “Hollywood North”

The amount of movies and TV shows which have been shot in Vancouver is impressive. Between the government providing tax credits to producers and a favorable exchange rate from the USD to the CAD, it enables producers to film movies here on the cheap. A few notables made here are the tv shows Arrow, The Flash, and The 100. It was also the location for Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

Everyone Knows About Diamond and Diamond

The Diamond and Diamond Law Firm has been a recent phenomenon in Vancouver. They originally started in Toronto, but now Diamond and Diamond are in Vancouver. Having recently opened up their law firm here, they have put ads all over the city, making it difficult to go anywhere without catching a glimpse of Jeremy Diamond and crew.

The Great Fire of Vancouver

In those departed days of 1886 when the city had only been founded for a few months, the city was completely burned down and this is known as the Great Fire of Vancouver. Out of the entire blaze, less than five buildings survived the demolition. It’s estimated that around $1.3 million was lost in property. This prompted the town to raise money for their first firehall.

We’ve Held The 2010 Olympic Games

To top all of this off, the city of Vancouver also held the 2010 Winter Olympics. These games featured 82 countries and more than 2,500 athletes. The games lasted for 17 days and was watched by an astounding 3 billion people on television. The games took place all over Toronto and created an exciting atmosphere across the city.

Vancouver is hands down one of the neatest places on earth. It’s an eclectic city with a personality all it’s own. It’s been home to contest by Olympians, large fires, and some of the biggest shows on TV.

No Comments

4 Tips On Finding The Perfect Office Space

4 Tips On Finding The Perfect Office Space

Credit: Marc Mueller

If you’re about to purchase a retail space for your new office, it’s important to understand what to look for. Here at Condo Move we want to help you find an office space that’s comfortable, professional, and has enough room for you to grow as a business. Here are some of our best tips on what to look for in your new office.

Space to Grow

If you’re a new business, you need to make sure there’s space for you to grow. For instance, if you’re a firm of injury lawyers in Vancouver, then you need to be able to handle increased client loads by hiring more staff. Where you’re moving, is there enough office space available to allow for more staff?

Location, Location, Location

Discovering the right location for you can be a bit of a challenge. You need to juggle price ranges, traffic volumes, and the nearby competition. Wherever you move, make sure that you’re nearby a lot of foot traffic so that you can be sure enough people will see your building to develop increased brand awareness.

You should also research how close competition is for your services and products. If competition is too, it may negatively impact sales so that it’s difficult to afford both fixed and variable costs.

Remember Your Tax Deductions

Come tax time you’ll be able to file for tax deductions for new businesses, so don’t forget as this can be a large sum of income for your business to continue to grow. Tax deductions are viable on many business expenses such as office equipment and occasionally even payments regarding your rent such as utilities.

Sublease Some Office Space

If you do take up some extra space to give your business that extra room to grow, you can sublease it as additional office space in the mean time while you’re not using it. This will allow you to receive an additional income and it helps give you more potential options for leasing office space because you’re not as worried about a space being a little too big.

Work With a Trusted Agent

A trusted agent will be able to show you all the best spots in the city so you know that you’re taken care of. Before you hire an agent, look into their background in order to see what people have to say about them. The better agent you find, the better experience you’re going to have while shopping for your new retail space.

Finding an office space to lease is an exciting time, but one that can be pretty stressful. By focusing on these tips, you’ll be more fully prepared to take on your new task!

No Comments

The Vancouver housing market is in trouble with a 40% plunge in sales – prices are expected to follow the same downward trend

The Vancouver housing market continues to show signs of anxiety with only 444 detached homes selling in January and prices down more than six per cent in the past six months. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said Thursday there were 1,523 sales in January 2017, down from 2,519 sales a year ago and a drop of 11.1 per cent from the 1,714 sales in December. The January sales figures were 10.3 per cent below the 10-year average for the month. Metro Vancouver’s detached properties are thought to be highly sought after by overseas buyers. However, the slower pace of sales, represented a 57.6 per cent decline from a year ago. This leads us to believe that the Vancouver region’s real estate market could be headed for its first year of price declines since 2012 as home sales extend their slide. New principal tax rules surrounding capital gains exemptions could also create further tension within the real estate market. David Rotfleisch, Toronto Tax Lawyer, quotes “If you don’t fall into the non-resident category, your headache will be the new reporting requirements on the sale of property. Not doing this right will open you up to audits and bring the risk of significant penalties.”

As far as prices are concerned, the board said its MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver was $896,000 in January, a 3.7 per cent decline over the past six months and a 0.2 per cent drop from December, 2016. The falling numbers come as Vancouver continues to deal with the impact of a 15 per cent foreign property transfer tax the province began imposing in August.

“From a real estate perspective, it’s a lukewarm start to the year compared to 2016,” Dan Morrison, president of the board, said in a statement. “While we saw near record-breaking sales at this time last year, home buyers and sellers are more reluctant to engage so far in 2017.”

Supply of new housing units on the other hand appears to be ramping up quickly. The total number of new listings for detached, attached and apartment properties in Metro Vancouver was 4,140 in January, 2017. That figure represented a 6.8 per cent decrease from a year ago but was up 215.5 per cent from December, 2016. The total number of homes listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service in Metro Vancouver climbed 9.1 per cent over the last year to 7,238 in January, 2017. Total listings jumped 14.1 per cent from the 6,345 listings in December, 2016. The sales-to-active listings ratio of 21 per cent in January, 2017 was 21 per cent, the lowest ratio for the region in two years.

“Analysts say that downward pressure on home prices occurs when the ratio dips below the 12 per cent mark for a sustained period, while home prices often experience upward pressure when it surpasses 20 per cent over several months,” the board said in a statement.

Morrison said property type is defining activity in the Greater Vancouver market. “The townhome and condominium markets are more active than the detached market at the moment,” Morrison said, adding while detached home prices are falling, townhome and condominium prices are holding steady.



No Comments

We’re ready for the TRID rules!

At 5 p.m. EST June 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a statement that the effective date for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules would be pushed back to Oct. 1, 2015.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a prepared statement: “The CFPB will be issuing a proposed amendment to delay the effective date of the Know Before You Owe rule until Oct. 1, 2015. We made this decision to correct an administrative error that we just discovered in meeting the requirements under federal law, which would have delayed the effective date of the rule by two weeks. We further believe that the additional time included in the proposed effective date would better accommodate the interests of the many consumers and providers whose families will be busy with the transition to the new school year at that time.”

Rainier Title has been working towards the TRID implementation for over a year and felt prepared for August 1st. However, with the proposed delay we will be taking this opportunity to continue our education and training of TRID. While we believe that we have been proactive and ready for this change, there are still so many unknowns that will have to be addressed at the time of implementation. The industry should still prepare for 45-60 days for transaction to close due to the new timing parameters of the forms.

We’re working hard to be ready for all changes!


Real Estate Roundup

Active Home-Building Industry Will Lead to More Demand for Warehouse Space

Strong consumer spending and the rise in housing construction activity are currently the prime factors for the incredible rebound of the U.S. industrial real estate sector, and experts say as home buying continues to increase, so will demand for warehouse space. — From NRE Online

To Buy or Not to Buy: That Is the Developer’s Question

Read more