Below are common renters insurance myths and truths:
Myth: A landlord’s insurance policy will cover a renter’s personal belongings in the event of fire or theft.
Truth: While a landlord’s insurance policy will likely cover the dwelling and infrastructure of that dwelling, that coverage typically does not extend to the possessions owned by the renter.
Myth: Renters insurance is expensive.
Truth: On average, renters insurance costs less than $20 per month.
Myth: Renters insurance coverage is limited.
Truth: A renters insurance policy typically provides coverage for the loss or destruction of personal belongings in the event of a covered peril such as:
Renters insurance may also provide coverage if:
Based on Nationwide claims data, the following were the most common renters insurance claims submitted by its members in 2017:
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If you’re thinking of buying or renting a townhouse or condominium, there are some important differences between the two that you should know about. To help you decide between a condo or townhouse, we’ve provided definitions and put together a comprehensive comparison to help you make an informed decision, before you buy.
Let’s start with condo and townhouse definitions.
What is a condominium?
A condominium, or condo, is a building or community of buildings in which units are owned by individuals, rather than a landlord.
What is a townhome?
A townhome is defined as conjoined units that are owned by individual tenants. They are architecturally similar to row houses in that owners usually share at least one or more walls.
Now that we have the definitions of townhomes and condos, let’s look at some of the factors you should consider when picking between the two. Below is a side by side comparison to help you make an informed decision.
Townhouse vs. Condo
Condo owners only own the interior of their unit. All other areas, including the building exterior, lawn and communal areas, are property of the Homeowners Association (HOA). In most townhome communities, owners own their unit’s interior and exterior, including the roof, lawn and driveway, but not the communal areas.
Condos come in many different styles. They may be part of a large high rise, a cul-de-sac of cottages or anything in between.
Townhomes are designed in rows, so tenants usually share at least one wall. It’s common for townhomes to have two or more stories.
Condominiums often have a community focus with a club house, pool, golf course and/or similar amenity.
Some townhouse communities offer the same types of amenities as condos, but others are more private.
Homeowners Association Fees
HOA fees for condos are typically higher than townhouses because they pay for exterior upkeep, such as lawn care, trash removal and pest control.
Townhouse owners pay lower monthly HOA fees because they pay for much of their own upkeep. Certain types of maintenance and trash removal are still handled by the HOA.
Home Insurance Rates
Home insurance rates are usually lower for condos because owners have to insure only the interior of their unit.
Townhouses may have higher home insurance rates, since most owners need insurance that covers both the exterior and interior.
Although condos come in many sizes and styles, they are generally smaller than townhomes.
Townhomes can be quite large and often feature multiple stories.
Condo owners often pay higher monthly maintenance fees, which go toward exterior and community space repairs.
As with HOA fees, townhome owners typically have lower monthly maintenance fees, but pay more out of pocket for exterior and interior care.
Depending on the style, condos could be private, individual homes or apartment-style units.
Townhomes share one to two walls with neighboring units, but don’t have units above or below them.
If you’re also considering co-ops, take our Condo vs. Co-op quiz and see which is right for you. And when it comes to deciding on location, take a look at our latest health of housing markets report to find out which U.S. metro areas are healthiest.
Remember, whether you choose a condo or a townhouse, Nationwide has you covered. Learn more about insurance options for condos and townhomes today or call us at 540-319-4229.
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Making big decisions about where and how you live isn’t always easy. Your space needs to meet your needs and remain comfortable for you for the unforeseeable future. However, you may find yourself having too much space — and it isn’t comfortable or convenient. In fact, 60% of Americans living in a 2,000-square-foot home said they’d like to downsize their living space, according to Trulia. That’s why finding the right apartment with less space might actually improve your quality of life.
For many, an apartment is the right size. However, deciding to downsize into an apartment requires some careful evaluation, especially as you’re considering how your lifestyle may change when you’re living in a smaller space. If you’re thinking about downsizing to an apartment, consider the following seven benefits of making the switch.
1. Less Upkeep
A major benefit for most people when downsizing from a house to an apartment is less maintenance. There are fewer indoor chores to manage with less surface area to dust and smaller floors to sweep. Plus, there’s usually no outdoor maintenance since landlords or the apartment’s maintenance crews will handle removing snow, landscaping and mowing the lawn. If you rent an apartment, it’s also likely that you won’t incur maintenance or repair costs for your appliances, furnace or air conditioning units.
2. Use Fewer Natural Resources
In addition to having fewer maintenance requirements, apartment living can be “greener” than living in a house, too. There’s no large lawn or garden you’re responsible for watering. If you move to an apartment in an urban area, it’s easier to walk or bike to nearby entertainment, and you’ll likely have better access to public transportation.
3. Meet New People
When downsizing to an apartment, there’s ample opportunity to meet new people and try new activities. Playing a hand of cards or going for a walk with the neighbors is easy and convenient to do in an apartment compared to a more isolated lifestyle in a country home, for example.
4. Avoid Unnecessary Purchases
Apartment dwellers are less likely to make impulse buys because they simply lack the space to store extra items. With a small space, you make purposeful decoration choices and only purchase what’s needed rather than what appeals to you on a showroom floor.
5. Pass Down Family Heirlooms
Downsizing your home means downsizing your belongings. It provides a good opportunity to pass family heirlooms down to younger generations. You get to see the appreciation your grandson has when he gets your old baseball card collection, for example.
6. A Fresh Start
Switching from a large home to an apartment often gives people a new outlook on life, especially if it’s your first time living in an apartment. The apartment represents a new beginning without home burdens such as high property tax payments and larger mortgage or rent payments, depending on the location of the apartment. It can feel liberating to start a new life chapter, and it may inspire you to make other freeing decisions, too.
7. Reduce Your Monthly Bills
If you’re able to find a good deal, an apartment usually offers lower monthly utilities than a home. You’ll use less electricity, heat and water in an apartment, and some monthly bills may be eliminated altogether. For instance, the monthly cost to rent a water softener to manage hard water is unlikely inside an apartment. Some of your utility costs may be included in your rent, too, such as your waste management or water bill.
After downsizing you have less clutter, but you’ll still have things worth protecting. See what renters insurance covers to help make sure your new smaller home and belongings are protected.
Homeowners should consider doing what they can to protect their home and property from hurricanes and tropical storms. Policyholders can take the following steps in preparation for hurricane season or when a storm is approaching:
These tips are provided by Nationwide.
During this hurricane season, Nationwide’s claim representatives and agents are prepared to help our members. Homeowners’ and auto policyholders can call the company’s claims hotline, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – 1-800-421-3535.
They can also file claims at Nationwide’s online claim center.
Is Homeowners Insurance Tax Deductible?
If your home is used solely for your personal residence, then your homeowners insurance is not tax deductible. According to the Internal Revenue Service, only private mortgage insurance can be deducted – and this does not apply to a homeowners policy.
However, there are exceptions. Here are some instances to consider that could, in fact, make your homeowners insurance tax deductible.
The personal liability coverage within your homeowners insurance will typically cover a dog bite, up to the liability limits of the policy. The medical payments portion of your policy may also help to cover medical expenses associated with injuries sustained by the individual.
However, coverage could depend on the breed of your dog or if your dog has a previous bite history. Check with your insurance provider to see if there are any breeds that are excluded from coverage.
68 percent of all young adult renters say they stand to lose more than an estimated $5,000 worth of belongings should an unfortunate event occur. If you value your belongings, renters insurance is something you should certainly consider. Fire and theft are two of the biggest fears among renters – both are covered by renters insurance. If your belongings are damaged or destroyed in a fire or if they are stolen, renters insurance may help replace your belongings. Two in five renters didn’t realize that renters insurance also covers stolen property.
Is renters insurance worth it?
When you consider that renters share many of the same risks as homeowners, the choice becomes that much easier: renters insurance is worthwhile, and it should be on your radar.
While it’s typical for a home inspector to find minor issues, there are eight problems that should warn you to proceed with caution or walk away from the house completely. Before you purchase, thoroughly inspect it for the following home inspection red flags to find out if they’re deal breakers.
The information uncovered in the home inspection can be used for negotiation with the seller. If the home has major issues, you may ask the seller to fix the problems or drop the asking price so you have extra money to take care of them yourself.
When you do decide to put a bid on a house, it's important to find the mortgage loan that best fits your family’s budget. We offer different types of mortgages to meet your borrowing needs.
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