Many of us are guilty of plopping on the sofa and binge-watching reality TV home flipping shows. The allure of buying and selling homes for big profits with no boss looking over our shoulders has major lifestyle appeal.
Shows like “Love it or List it,” “House Hunters,” “Flip or Flop” and others make it look incredibly simple. Even when they face adversity such as rotted wood or bad pipes, the way the reality TV stars overcome adversity is more of an inspiration than a deterrent. And plenty of everyday people do manage to succeed in the house-flipping industry.
But many of the myths these ratings-driven shows perpetuate could use a little busting.
Consider these four common house-flipping myths and the true facts behind them.
1: Three Viewings And A Closing
Reality TV shows tend to show viewers the industry professional looking at no more than three homes before making a flipping decision. That may play into the limited time slot they have but it’s far removed from reality.
True Facts: It’s not uncommon for potential home buyers to fall head over heels for the first property they view. After all, buyers often already like the neighborhood, school system, and home style. But the National Association of Realtors reports that the average person looks at about 10 properties before making a decision. Home flippers are additionally tasked with developing a return on investment plan. Three and done is not reality, it’s just TV.
2: Homes Linger On The Market
TV shows follow home flippers who seem to have all the time in the world before making an offer.
True Facts: Most of the purchase and sale process is simply staged for television. The homes have been pre-purchased before filming. Today, we are experiencing a seller’s market, meaning there are more buyers than inventory. Homes move quickly.
3: Open Houses Are A Sure Thing
On real estate reality TV shows, the fully renovated home is amazingly staged and sells during the first open house. Multiple offers are often floated.
True Facts: Only in a perfect world or on TV does this happen. Matching properties with potential buyers requires hard work from real estate agents. They must align purchase limits, pre-approved house shoppers, family size, school systems, location, and other expectations. Most homes are sold by real estate professionals setting up appointments and making multiple showings.
4: Homeowners Make Fast-Sell Decisions
On real estate reality TV, homeowners seem to take just moments to decide whether to love it or list it. This certainly doesn’t mirror the process of ordinary homeowners.
True Facts: Homeowners sell their properties for a wide range of reasons. These may include downsizing, retirement, relocation or an expanding family among many considerations. The vast majority of people mulling over a sale also take a long look at their next home options. It’s completely unrealistic to think someone made such a major life decision in five minutes or less.
Reality real estate TV shows are wonderfully entertaining to watch. So is science fiction. Enjoy your binge-watching and speak to real-life mortgage and real estate professionals before making any major decisions.
The average homeowner feels secure knowing they have insurance in the event of a severe weather calamity. Most people believe that no matter what happens, they have paid for protection against disaster.
Unfortunately, not every homeowners insurance policy provides full reimbursement from severe weather losses. Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and other rare catastrophes may not be covered under your current policy.
Consider the impact of these extreme events and whether you are fully insured for the subsequent losses.
1: Hurricane Damage May Not Be Fully Covered
The recent national mobilization to deal with the fallout from Hurricane Florence highlights just how catastrophic severe weather can be to people and property. That being said, homeowners generally anticipate calling their insurance carrier to file a claim after returning home and assessing the damage.
It may come as a surprise, but many policies limit reimbursement to damage attributed to high winds. For example, a tree falls on a garage or vehicle and the insurance outfit writes a check.
But damage attributed to water can be tricky. Many policies do not cover flood insurance. That could mean that water backed up in the street or a stream, lake or pond overflowing into your home might not be covered. That’s why homeowners are advised to clarify water-related coverage.
2: Floods May Not Be Covered
People living near bodies of water may be required to carry flood insurance when applying for a mortgage. Flooding represents a high risk that can result in a total loss. Lenders are often apprehensive about approving mortgages for properties in so-called “floodplains.”
FEMA offers coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program. Homeowners living just outside a flood zone may not be required to buy additional coverage. However, you are taking a significant risk.
If your policy does not cover flooding, you could be on the hook for the full cost of the home’s repair or replacement. Considering the average flood insurance policy runs about $700, it may be worth the expense to protect your investment.
3: Tornado Insurance Coverage Can Be Murky
Although most policies cover damage from tornados, premiums can run higher in regions prone to these severe weather storms. But, like hurricanes, tornados that additionally bring about flooding can pose a problem for homeowners who make a claim. A carrier may conclude that the high wind and impact damage enjoys coverage. Water, however, can be a very gray area.
4: Earthquakes Often Not Covered
Like people who live in flood plains, earthquake riders may be required in certain areas of the country. Without additional coverage, the destruction caused by these catastrophic events may not be reimbursed. It’s imperative that people living in or around regions prone to earthquakes carry specific coverage. Imagine losing your home and still owing a monthly mortgage payment.
The important thing to glean from this overview about severe weather claims is that homeowners are wise to dig deep into their policies and have a clear, concise understanding about coverage. Keep in mind that water damage from flooding, rain and even sewer back-ups pose a significant threat to your home. For a few dollars more, enhanced severe weather insurance may be worth every penny.
Homeowner’s insurance is a requirement for most home loans. It’s important to note that some properties at high risk may not qualify for financing or you may find that insurance for high risk properties adds too much to your bottom line. Consult your trusted home mortgage professional to find out what specific insurance is necessary to finance your new home.