Donna Moffett | Pikesville Real Estate


Homeowner’s insurance allows you to have financial protection if your home or the contents of your home have been damaged. If you or your family member are held legally responsible for injuries that have occurred on your property, you are also protected. Insurance is generally required by most mortgage lenders in order to secure a loan. 


There are many different types of insurance policies that you can use to cover your home. You can get anything ranging from a basic insurance policy that just covers your home overall or you can go for broader protection for your home. The types of coverage that you can get will vary from state to state.


Natural Disasters


Most insurance policies will cover damage caused by fire, wind, lightning, theft, or vandalism. Floods and earthquakes typically require additional coverage, so if you live in an area that is susceptible to these issues, then you should inquire about additional coverage. 


The Standard Policy


Most insurance policies include certain basic coverages like dwelling coverage which is the allowance for you to either repair or rebuild your home. This includes the electrical systems, the plumbing systems, and the HVAC systems. You need enough coverage for your home in order to rebuild in the event that such an event would cause a need for it. Your insurance agent can help you to find a comfortable number that will allow you enough coverage for rebuilding.


Standard coverage also may include “other structures” which can include fences, garages, cottages, and sheds. You’ll also be covered for your personal property which includes clothing, furniture, and electronics that may be damaged in your home due to theft or disaster. 


Loss Of Use Coverage


This type of coverage will pay for your living expenses if you need to move out of your home while it’s being rebuilt or restored. This would allow you to find alternative arrangements when you need it most, so it’s an important aspect of home insurance coverage. 


Liability Coverage


This coverage is one of the most important aspects of purchasing home insurance. Having liability will help to protect your assets and cover defense costs in the event that you have been held liable for causing and injury to other people or property. 

Additional Coverage Options


There are many different types of additional coverages that you can add to your homeowners insurance policy to help you get the right umbrella of coverage for you.



After you receive an offer to buy your house, you likely will have only a short period of time to determine whether to accept this proposal. As such, pressure can add up quickly, which often can make it tough to make the best-possible decision.

Fortunately, we're here to help you analyze your options and determine how to proceed with a homebuying proposal.

Let's take a look at three steps that every home seller should take after receiving a homebuying offer.

1. Weigh the Pros and Cons

Make a pros and cons list to examine a homebuying proposal – you'll be glad you did. With this list, you can assess the advantages and disadvantages of accepting a homebuying offer and proceed accordingly.

If you accept an offer, you can move forward in the home selling process. On the other hand, if you don't feel that an offer matches your expectations, there may be no reason to accept this proposal.

2. Evaluate Your Home Selling Goals

Consider your home selling goals as you evaluate an offer to buy your house. By doing so, you can determine whether an offer falls in line with your goals.

For example, if your goal is to sell your house as quickly as possible, the amount of the offer may not matter. In this scenario, you may want to accept a homebuying proposal to accelerate the home selling process.

Comparatively, if your goal is to maximize your profits, you will need to determine if a current offer is the best proposal that you could receive. If the answer is "Yes," then you may want to proceed with a home sale. Or, if the answer is "No," you may want to reject or counter a buyer's proposal.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – evaluating a homebuying proposal can be difficult, particularly for a first-time home seller. If you consult with a real estate agent, however, you can get the help you need to make an informed decision about an offer.

A real estate agent can offer lots of housing market data to help you understand the current value of your house. Plus, this housing market professional can provide recommendations about whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will serve as a guide throughout the home selling journey. He or she can keep you up to date about any offers on your house, perform deep analysis of all homebuying proposals and ensure you can determine the best course of action on any offer, at any time.

Let's not forget about the housing market expertise that a real estate agent possesses, either. A real estate agent understands there is no such thing as a "bad" question. Thus, a real estate agent will respond to any home selling queries that you may have.

Take the guesswork out of assessing a homebuying proposal – use the aforementioned steps, and you can determine whether to accept an offer on your house.



Becoming a home owner for the first time is an exciting milestone for Millennials! Going from renting an apartment to owning your own property represents a big transition from dependency to independence.

For many people, it even symbolizes making the leap from childhood to adulthood. Once you're a homeowner and a property taxpayer, there's often a newfound feeling of being more established and successful.

While home ownership may bestow upon you a boost in status, the added responsibility of paying for your own repairs, maintenance, and upkeep can take an unexpected toll on your budget. With a little extra planning, however, you can avoid many of the pitfalls of home ownership.

Looking at the Big Picture

Here's a misconception that sometimes creates a financial strain for first-time homeowners: "If we can afford to pay $1800 in rent, every month, then we should be able to afford monthly mortgage payments in that same amount!" While that premise may sound logical, there are a few crucial "missing pieces" from that equation -- pieces which could throw your household budget out of kilter!

In addition to the costs associated with purchasing real estate, such as a down payment and closing costs, there's also the matter of home repairs and property maintenance. Depending on where you decide to live, there could be other fees to absorb, too, including garbage collection, yard waste removal, and water usage. Other expenses that first-time homeowners may overlook include the cost of buying a lawnmower, a snow blower, yard maintenance supplies, tools, and furniture. That's why creating a detailed estimated budget, based on your income, debts, and anticipated expenses can help you determine whether you're truly ready to take the plunge into homeownership.

Enlisting Professional Help

A mortgage broker or bank loan officer can provide you with assistance in calculating your financial readiness for purchasing a home. A good real estate agent can also offer insights and guidance into the process of finding, buying, and owning a house you can comfortably afford. They should be able to provide you with vital information about school taxes, property taxes, average utility bills, homeowner association fees (if any), and any issues revealed in the seller's disclosure form.

One way to avoid -- or at least be prepared for -- costs that often accompany home ownership is to have a qualified property inspector take a close look at the condition of everything in the house from the basement and attic to major appliances and structural features. They can generally tell you whether there are any concerns about mechanical systems, water in the basement, foundation damage, issues with property drainage, the electrical system, potential plumbing problems, and dozens of other vital checkpoints

Whether you're a first-time house hunter or a seasoned homeowner, it pays to understand, anticipate, and budget for the many costs of being a property owner. While owning your own home can be a rewarding and satisfying experience, a guiding principle to keep in mind as you consider available homes on the market is "caveat emptor" (Let the buyer beware)!



If you want to buy a house, it pays to enter the real estate market with a checklist in hand. That way, you can streamline the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.

Now, let's take a look at three things to include in your homebuying checklist.

1. Your Budget

Your budget will dictate whether you're able to afford a condo, luxury home or something in-between. As such, you'll want to assess your finances closely as you determine exactly what type of house that you can afford.

Oftentimes, it helps to get a copy of your credit report. You are eligible to receive one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). If you know your credit score, you can determine whether now is a good time to enter the real estate market, or whether you should improve your credit score first.

You may want to consult with several banks and credit unions too. These financial institutions can teach you about various mortgage options and help get pre-approved for a mortgage. Then, once you have a mortgage, you'll know exactly how much you can spend on a house and tailor your home search accordingly.

2. Where You Want to Live

Living in the suburbs is very different from residing in the city. Therefore, you'll want to consider where you want to live so that you can search for a home in specific areas.

For example, if you prefer the peace and quiet of a small town, you may want to consider houses in small towns in the state of your choice. These towns may feature dozens of available homes. Plus, in many instances, small town houses are priced lower than big city residences.

Or, if you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the big city, you can search for residences in any city, at any time. These houses likely will ensure that you'll have quick, easy access to a variety of big city attractions and landmarks.

3. Real Estate Agent

There is no telling whether you're about to enter a seller's or buyer's market, as the housing sector often fluctuates. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can increase the likelihood of a quick, successful homebuying experience, regardless of the current housing market's conditions.

A real estate agent is committed to your homebuying success and will do what it takes to help you find the right home, at the right price. He or she will learn about your homebuying goals and offer expert insights into the real estate market. Also, if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is available to address them.

For those who want to streamline the homebuying process, it helps to hire a real estate agent. And if you hire a real estate agent today, you can get the assistance that you need to make your homeownership dream come true.

Get started on your homebuying checklist, and you can simplify the process of acquiring your ideal residence.



Let's face it – most homebuyers have limited time and resources at their disposal. As such, it is crucial for buyers to do everything possible to optimize their time and resources throughout the property buying journey. Because if a buyer maximizes his or her time and resources, this individual can boost the likelihood of enjoying a successful homebuying experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a homebuyer get the most out of his or her time and resources.

1. Craft a Homebuying Strategy

If you know you want to buy a home, you should develop a property buying strategy. That way, you can map out the steps you'll need to take to find and acquire your dream residence.

A typical homebuying strategy should account for your budget, timeline and other property buying factors. If you analyze these factors, you could streamline your quest to discover your ideal house.

2. Narrow Your Home Search

You plan to buy a house as soon as possible, but you still have no idea where you want to reside. Fortunately, if you hone your house search to a few cities and towns, you may be able to quickly and effortlessly find a great home in an area you can enjoy for years to come.

As you get ready to start a home search, consider your long-term plans. For instance, if your ultimate goal is to work in a big city, you may want to focus on houses in or near major metros. Or, if you want to raise a family, you may want to search for residences near outstanding schools and parks.

In addition, perform lots of research into various cities and towns. If you conduct plenty of research, you can find out whether certain areas match or exceed your expectations and tailor your house search accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a property buying expert who understands what it takes to find a terrific residence at a budget-friendly price. Thus, if you hire a real estate agent today, you can get the help you need to reap the benefits of a seamless home search.

Oftentimes, a real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your property buying goals and craft a personalized homebuying strategy. He or she also will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions throughout the property buying journey. By doing so, a real estate agent ensures you can receive expert support as you try to find your dream house.

A real estate agent will make it simple to search for houses that fall within your budget and correspond to your homebuying criteria too. Plus, if you want homebuying recommendations or suggestions, a real estate agent is happy to provide them.

Want to enjoy a fast, successful homebuying experience? Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble making the most of your time and resources as you search for your ideal house.