Providing Insurance and Financial Services
2690 Lawrenceville Highway Decatur, GA 30033
Providing Insurance and Financial Services
2690 Lawrenceville Highway Decatur, GA 30033
Snellings Walters Insurance Agency, 1117 Perimeter Center West,
A recent nationwide survey found that only 34% of tenants carry a Renters policy which means that most renters are taking a financial gamble with all of their belongings. The three leading reasons that respondents gave for not buying Renters insurance show that many people don’t understand what this policy covers – and doesn’t cover: Nearly three in five (57%) felt that their rented home has such effective security that they don’t need protection against losses from theft. However, without a Renters policy, tenants still remain highly vulnerable to other risks. A fire could damage or destroy their possessions, requiring replacement at a high cost. An accident might leave the unit temporarily unlivable, costing hundreds or thousands in living expenses. An injury to a visitor on the premises could result in costly medical bills – not to mention a lawsuit. The typical Contents policy will provide protection against these losses – and a wide variety of other risks. More than half (52%) believed that they couldn’t afford the coverage. Among respondents, 21% estimated the annual premium at $1,000 or higher, while another 60% pegged the cost as $250 a year or more. However, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average Renters policy costs only around $185 a year. Nearly half (48%) thought that the landlord already had coverage. Although the landlord carries insurance in the building itself, the policy does not cover risks to tenants’ property and liability.
There might be other additional benefits as well! In 2009, I had a renters policy. My computer crashed and I had to shell out $1000 for a new one. It was in the trunk of my car (I couldn’t go straight home). I was followed from the store, to a gated facility, where someone popped the lock on my car, then opened the trunk and walked off with my brand new computer, receipt, and purse (with all my belongings, including a camera and GPS). Normally you would think that your items are safe in the trunk at the gym, but since I was followed, the guys knew exactly which car to break into.
I was devastated. I called the credit card companies to cancel my cards and tried to see if the card I purchased the computer on was able to reimburse me. They didn’t actually cover theft out of a car. Neither does car insurance. However, the renters policy I had, that I thought only covered me at home, also covered me in this instance. I paid my deductible and was reimbursed for everything – the cash & gift cards in my wallet, the computer, camera, GPS, even the purse & wallet themselves. Having the renters policy literally saved me thousands of dollars, and I think the total cost for the year was about $202.
Contact your insurance agent to find out how much it’ll be to get you covered!
Making an investment is no easy task. Before you buy a property or spend some cash on opening your own business, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and do your math first. Any wrong move or miscalculations can throw all your hard-earned money to waste. Aside from your capital and expected returns, check which places are the best to invest your money in. And if it’s a property you’re looking for, one of your best options is Atlanta, Georgia. Here are a few reasons why:
Atlanta is one of the fastest growing metros. In fact, between the years 2010 and 2014, more than 200,000 people moved to the area.
Atlanta has a low cost of living, not only for groceries but also the low cost of housing. Interest rates on mortgages are comparatively low, which gives you a good opportunity to maximize your cash flow or quickly pay off your property.
While plenty of people enjoy living in the suburbs, the city itself is experiencing a period of enormous growth, thanks in part to the immense amount of development. The BeltLine is a former railway corridor around the core of the city, which has begun to be transformed into a multi-use trail. Much of it is already completed, and the entire project is slated to be finished by 2030. At the same time, old factories are in the process or have already been converted to mixed-use spaces. Ponce City Market is housed in the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. factory, and the Krog Street Market used to be a 1920’s warehouse.
Additionally, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest in the world. As a hub for Delta Airlines, the airport boasts nonstop flights throughout the US and internationally, making the city extremely easy to get to.
Several Colleges and Universities
There are more than 30 institutions of higher learning in Atlanta, ranging from Georgia Institute for of Technology and Emory University to Georgia Perimeter College. Students often live in off-campus housing, providing ample opportunity for renting properties to undergraduate and graduate students.
Older Homes Aren’t Expensive
Atlanta may be known as the city that constantly rebuilds, but there are many old home available to invest in. Older neighborhoods in the city offer ample choices for renovations, especially in Kirkwood, Edgewood, Old Fourth Ward, and other communities.
Many of these old houses are extremely affordable. Many were built in the first quarter of the 20th century. However, you can easily renovate them in a smart home to make them more attractive to renters.
Properties in Atlanta are fairly inexpensive. Depending on the area, you could invest in a three bedroom, one bath in a desirable area under $300,000.
High Capital Growth and Rental Returns
Atlanta is home to several large and popular corporations, namely UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, and more, offering many jobs and a consistent income growth rate. Additionally, Atlanta is now known as the third largest film industry in the country, behind only California and New York, bringing more growth to the city. Partnered with an increasing population and strong demand, capital growth in Atlanta is expected to continuously be on the rise.
Contact us today to talk about your options!
Disclosures are meant to protect each party by disclosing facts about a property. However, they can sometimes be incomplete or inaccurate, since sellers fill it out to the best of their knowledge. One part that is often filled out incorrectly or skipped altogether relates to Section G in the Community Association Disclosure section:
1. “Fees Charged to Buyer Upon Sale of the Property”.
The association may require an initiation fee, which was not the case when the seller moved in. Be sure to ask the community association about this fee prior to closing.
2. “Account Statement or Clearance Letter”
The buyer will be responsible for paying the $250 for an account statement or clearance letter if the seller does not check the box. See Section P to determine who is responsible for the fees and letters.
UPDATE FEB 3 –
The Atlanta REALTORS Association is working with GAR and a few interested parties to address the issue of HOA letters and accompanying fees. Currently, the law permits a $10 fee for an HOA to produce a closing letter. It has been brought to attention that there are apparently many instances where HOAs are circumventing the law by also adding accompanying fees (primarily expediting fees).
As we work with the state legislature to rectify this issue, if there are any experiences that you would like to share of either exorbitant fees, expediting fees (please state the time frame for the expediting), or any additional tacked on fees/requirements, that would be greatly beneficial to our efforts. Please follow this link to share your story. Provide as much detail as possible and any redacted documents that may evidence the abuse.
3. “Seller Warranty”
The seller agrees that they filled out the disclosure to the best of their knowledge, but it is up to the buyer to confirm what fees they will owe when they purchase the home. Contact the Association directly to also determine what services and amenities you will be entitled to once you move in.
While the disclosure protects all parties, the buyer suffers the consequences if it is inaccurate. Take the time to check over the disclosure so that you are aware of what you may be responsible for on closing day.
Basic Requirements for Homestead Exemption:
Deadline for Filing Homestead Exemption:
In most counties, the application must be filed by March 1 of the year the exemption is sought, but some counties have a later deadline.
How Long will the Homestead Exemption Last?
The Homestead exemption will remain on the property until there is a change in ownership.
What is the Homestead Exemption Amount?
These amounts are a reduction in what the amount that the taxed is based on.
How does this affect my bill?
Taxable Value (40% of Market Value)
|Less Exemptions (assuming $10,000)||
Multiply by Millage Rate
Without a Homestead Exemption, the county property taxes would be $1,725.00. In many property tax bills, there are also city taxes, school taxes, recreation taxes and other taxes which would amplify the savings that would be made by applying for the homestead exemption.
Ariel is a native Atlantan and has devoted her real estate career to the Atlanta community. She is a licensed REALTOR®, working in real estate for over 10 years. Ariel is a member of the National Association of REALTORS, Georgia Association of REALTORS, and the Professional Development Committee at the Atlanta Board of REALTORS. [Read More …]