Monthly Archives: April 2012

Make Sure Man’s Best Friend is Protected by Your Homeowner’s Policy

Check with your homeowner's insurance policy holder about pet coverage

Check with your homeowner's insurance policy provider about pet coverage

When we think of

homeowners insurance policies, we think of protections in case of disaster, but there are other aspects of the policy which you should be aware of. One of these additional aspects is coverage for your pets. Equifax has a great article explaining how pets and homeowners insurance interact, titled “

Your Homeowners Insurance Policy and Fido.”

Unlike pet insurance, which covers pet health, your homeowners insurance typically covers if your furry (or feathered or scaled) companion causes damage to property or other people. The costs of this damage can be quite high, as the average

insurance claim for an ER dog bite visit amount is $19,000. With such a high price and the potential for even mild-mannered dogs to be protective of their owners or territorial, some carriers limit the amount of coverage they offer or charge additional rates for pets on what they deem to be a high-risk animal list.

It is important to know what pets are on this list and what your insurer’s policy is. This can help you make sound decisions when you are looking for a new pet or help you know your liability. Many large dog breeds are on the common list, including Rottweiler, Pit Bull, Great Dane, Mastiff, Siberian Husky and more. There’s another list entirely for exotic pets, including snakes, alligators, skunks, non-human primates and many more.

Know that the list varies among insurers, so shop around to find the best policy for you and your pet so that your animal companion doesn’t become a financial risk. For other great information about insurance as well as knowledgeable articles about credit, taxes, retirement, real estate and all other matters of

personal finance advice, explore the Equifax Finance Blog.

GreenFiber Makes Builder Magazine Editor’s Pick List

InsulationGreenFiber, a company that produces insulation products with multiple environmental benefits, made Builder Magazine‘s 2012 Editor’s pick list. This company, which is headquartered in Charlotte, is one of the ten companies and products on the list.

GreenFiber Insulation is environmentally-friendly insulation that is made for use in attics, floors and walls. Benefits of the product include amazing thermal performance, fire-resistance and sound control. The insulation itself is made up of 85 percent recycled content and is created in a virtually waste-free manufacturing process.

GreenFiber is made and sold for use by everyone from the homeowner to the architect. Homeowners, retailers/dealers, contractors/builders and architects/building officials can all find the benefits and information they need to know on the company’s website. Consumers can also find out about the weatherization assistance program.

Baldwin, Broan-NuTone, Plain & Fancy Cabinets, Kreg Tool, Upono, Caroma USA, Nuheat and Ann Sacks also had products which made the editor’s pick list.

For more information on how you can use GreenFiber when building a new Carolina home, doing home maintenance or increasing energy efficiency, visit their website.

Nine Carolina Cities Make Improving Markets List for April

US MapNine cities in North and South Carolina made the list of housing markets showing measurable improvement in April. Compiled by the National Association of Home Builders and First American Improving Markets Index (IMI), April’s list included 101 metropolitan areas across the nation.

Seven North Carolina cities:  Burlington, Charlotte, Goldsboro, Greensboro, Greenville, Rocky Mount and Winston-Salem made the list. Charleston and Spartanburg made the list for South Carolina.

The IMI identifies metro areas that show increases over a six month period for each of the respective lows related to employment, housing permits and house prices. The data is collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US Census Bureau and Freddie Mac. The list of 101 cities is up from the 99 listed in March, with 11 slipping from the list and 13 new ones being added.

“While housing markets across the country continue to struggle under the weight of overly tight lending conditions and other challenges, the April IMI indicates that at least 101 individual metros are showing measurable and consistent signs that they are headed in the right direction,” said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg. “A total of 35 states are now represented on the list, with 10 states having four or more entries. This positive news is in line with what our builder members have observed regarding firming conditions and improved buyer interest in certain locations.”

The National Association of Home Builders is a trade organization of 140,000 plus members involved in multifamily construction, home building, subcontracting, remodeling, housing finance, property management, building product manufacturing, design and more. NAHB builder members are expected to be involved in 80 percent of new housing projects this year.

If you’re interested in buying a home in one of these booming cities in North Carolina or South Carolina, visit Carolina Real Estate Forum.

Charlotte Ranks in Top 25 U.S. Cities with the Most Energy Star Buildings

Energy Star LogoCharlotte was recently listed as one of 25 cities with the greatest number of energy efficient buildings that earned the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star certification in 2011.

These buildings sprawl over a combined 25 million square feet, and are expected to save almost $15 million annually in energy costs and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions of 2,600 homes.

Buildings and plants that carry the Energy Star label are the best in terms of energy efficiency. They save the most money, use the least amount of energy and significantly reduce green house emissions. Across the nation, the 16,500 Energy Star certified buildings have helped save $2.3 billion in utility bills annually and have prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to 1.5 million homes.

The list of the top 25 cities with the greatest number of energy efficient buildings was first released in 2008. Since that time, Los Angeles has remained the top city. Other top cities include Washington D.C., Atlanta, Boston, Tampa, Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City and Riverside. This year, California was the top represented state, with six of its cities making the list.

The Energy Star rating was launched by the EPA in 1992, and is a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Over the program’s 20 years, $230 billion has been saved on utility bills and 1.7 billion metric tons of carbon pollution have been prevented. There are a total of fifteen types of commercial buildings in addition to new homes that can earn this designation including office buildings, retail stores, K-12 schools and more.

If you’re interested in buying an energy-efficient new Carolina home, visit our website.

Lakefront North Carolina Home is Up To Par

Bubba Watsons Home For Sale

So maybe your golf game is not quite up to par with Masters champion Bubba Watson, but your North Carolina home sure could be. Forbes recently reported that the newest Masters champion’s lakefront home in Lexington, N.C. is selling for $1.45 million.

Watson’s home has been on the market since February, but his newfound notoriety is sure to help this home become a highly desirable commodity. The home, which was purchased a few years ago for $1.1 million, is situated on High Rock Lake. This gated, 5,000 square foot home has four bedrooms, five bathrooms and two indoor kitchens. The two-thirds of an acre lot also contains a detached three-car garage, aluminum pier with covered boat life and entertaining area. This entertaining area is sure to be a hit for any occasion with its location over the lake and features such as a heated salt water pool with spa, outdoor kitchen with stainless steel appliances, exterior television and outdoor fireplace.

This has historically been the summer home for the Watson family, with their main place of located in Scottsdale. However, the couple has decided to sell the home after adopting their one month-old son. They will be residing with him in Orlando until the adoption process is complete.

Interested buyers can view pictures of this gorgeous home here, or if Masters-style lake living isn’t your thing, check out the rest of the Carolina new homes on our site.