February 17th, 2017

Robot Mortgages Still Far in the Future

Posted by at 11:18 am

In another “sign of the times,” Bank of America recently began testing three mini-bank branches – two in Denver, one in Minneapolis – that have ATMs and video-conference capability, but no actual human beings working there. But much like self-checkout at the grocery store or self-serve gas, customers can still conduct banking business of almost any kind. This news comes at the same time the country’s first robotic barista – nicknamed Gordon – came on line, serving up to 120 coffee drinks an hour in a San Francisco shopping complex. Today’s home loan consumers insist on the ability to conduct financial transactions electronically, as well. They search online for the right home, then email the real estate agent. After choosing a home, a potential borrower can power through pre-qualifying in just a few minutes via texts and maybe a phone call...
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February 10th, 2017

Many home buyers seek the best schools

Posted by at 11:47 am

For many home buyers, there is no factor more important than the schools their children will attend. Not all have the desire or the wherewithal to put their kids in the finest private institutions, so they go with the next-best option – moving to the best public school districts. For many home buyers, school quality ranks far above neighborhood quality or their commute. These buyers are willing to pay higher prices— and usually, higher property taxes — to live in “better” school districts. But opting for public schools isn’t always a dollars-and-cents decision. Some have missed deadlines or been rejected by private schools. Others are turned off by the small size or cultural isolation of some private institutions. Many parents believe public schools give kids a broader-based experience, including interaction with children of different races and socioeconomic status. Real estate agents aren’t...
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Know your fire insurance

Posted by at 3:58 pm

Despite constant public education, accidents – preventable or not – will happen. And thousands of American homeowners will eventually make claims on their home insurance. While claims related to weather are the most frequent, it’s home fires that do the most damage. “Partial losses,” where the home is not destroyed, are common. Damages can be difficult to assess. Make you know your policy well, and know how to handle a claim. Call the insurance company right away, and make an appointment for their investigator/adjuster to visit as soon as possible. The adjuster is legally bound to assess any “hidden damages,” including smoke, ash and air quality. If the fire required action by fire fighters, make sure foam and water damage is assessed, as well. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about things you don’t understand. Terms like “recoverable depreciation,” or...
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