Buying a Home


Because home ownership is a substantial investment and a long-term commitment, it is important to become as knowledgeable as possible about the process of buying a home. Obviously, you want to avoid ending up with a home you are not happy with.

You will want to find out all you can about how much you need to save for a down payment, about the process of finding the right home for you, about negotiating the best possible deal, and about closing the deal. Click on the tasks to the left to get help.

Buying a home means you have more to protect. Time to think about insurance.

As a homeowner, you don’t want an unforeseen event to weaken your family’s finances. Make time now to identify—and fill—the gaps in your insurance program.

Now that you have a new home, make sure you have enough insurance. This will protect you against the major risks your family faces:

  • Dying too soon
  • Getting hurt or sick
  • Not being able to work because of an illness or accident
  • Having a visitor get hurt in your home or on your property
  • Having your home damaged by a storm or other event

Each of these events can have a strong negative impact on your finances. To protect yourself, know what your risks are, familiarize yourself with insurance against those risks, and get expert help.

As a first step, learn more about the five main types of insurance.

Homeowners or Renters Insurance

Remember to update your homeowners insurance or apply for a policy if you are buying a home for the first time. This may also be a good time to shop around and make sure that you are paying the best premiums for your policy.

Life Insurance

Think about the financial impact if you or your spouse or partner were to die. Could the surviving parent make do on one income? If the person had to find a job, how would he or she pay for daycare? And what about continuing to save for college or retirement? A good rule of thumb is to buy enough life insurance to equal four to five times your annual salary. Stay-at-home spouses may need their own policy to help pay for childcare in case of their death.

Disability Insurance

Although life insurance is important, you’re far more likely to get injured on the job than to die. So make sure you have enough disability insurance to pay your bills and maintain your standard of living in case you can’t work. You already may have coverage at work. Long-term disability plans typically cover up to 60% of your salary. Check with your employer to see exactly what’s provided. Then look at your budget to see how much of a disability benefit you’d need to meet your monthly obligations. If there’s a gap between what your employer provides and what you need, ask about supplemental or voluntary coverages. If your employer offers no disability benefits at all, consider purchasing your own individual policy.

 

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