Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Lately, several insurance companies (carriers) have offered “vanishing deductibles” for vehicles they insure.

Be certain to compare the price of a “vanishing deductible” insurance policy to another similar policy that is without the “vanishing deductible.”

National data indicates that the price of a one-vehicle “vanishing deductible” insurance policy may be $60 more than a similar one-vehicle “non vanishing deductible” insurance policy.

Contact your favorite insurance agent (Andrea Shearer, Tessa Everman, Burton Heginger, or Ryan Edgington) at the Triplett Companies (515/232-5240) for more information and price quotes. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Changing Your Air Filter Is Important

The benefits of regularly changing the heating and air-conditioning filters are obvious to homeowners; the real challenge is creating a system to make sure it gets done. 
A reasonable schedule would be to replace it with a new one-inch pleated filter every 60-90 days. Households with shedding pets should consider replacing them every month. Some people change their filters every month when they pay their electric bills.  A simple system would be to set a recurring appointment on your calendar like Outlook or Google.
Filters trap dust, mold and bacteria which can directly affect the air quality and play havoc with your iStock_000020770516XSmall.jpgallergies. When a filter is dirty, it prevents proper airflow and allows dust, dirt and allergens to blow through your home. Changing your filter regularly helps to avoid maintenance, improves equipment life and produces increased energy savings.
When shopping for filters, it’s understandable to look for the best bargain but the cheapest price may not be the best choice. When purchasing, recognize that HEPA-rated and HEPA-type filters are not the same thing. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. A HEPA filter meets or exceeds standards for efficiency set by the U.S. Department of Energy. Most HVAC contractors recommend HEPA filters.
Some filters need to be changed monthly and other types have manufacturer recommendations of every three months. An alternative to disposable filters are the permanent, washable types. These will cost more initially but because you can clean them and re-use them, eventually, you’ll recapture the cost and realize savings.

Being Truthful About Vehicle Issues

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Hubby say car ding wasn’t his bad?  Don’t believe him” suggested that spouses are often not truthful about traffic violation tickets they may receive, paying the vehicle insurance bill, putting a scratch or “ding” in the car, etc.

The actual statistics for such non truthful items follow.

1.  The percent of spouses who reported they did put a “ding’ in the car, yet did not report that fact to their spouse, but blamed it on someone else was 35 per cent!

2.  One fourth (24 per cent) of those surveyed reported that they did not report a traffic violation ticket to their spouses.

3.  Almost one fourth (24 per cent)of those surveyed confirmed that they did not report an accident to their spouses.

4.  Almost one fifth (19 per cent) of those surveyed admitted they did not tell their spouse when they forgot to pay a vehicle insurance bill.

5.  Almost one fifth (19 per cent) of those surveyed revealed they had knowingly driven a vehicle without a valid driver’s license but not shared that information with their spouses.

These above results were determined from a survey of 1,000 married couples completed by an insurance shopping and information site found at  >Insure.com<.        

Contact Andrea Shearer, Burton Heginger, Tessa Everman, or Ryan Edgington at Triplett Companies  (515/232-5240) for your insurance needs!  However, be sure to tell your spouse!     

Friday, May 17, 2013

Home Buyer/Seller

One of the most common reasons buyers want to deal directly with the seller is because they feel they can save the commission. It’s a valid consideration but interestingly, it’s the same reason the seller isn’t employing an agent.
Both parties cannot save the commission. The buyer feels they have earned it because they’ve had to find the home, determine its value and negotiate with the seller. They had to arrange their own financing, title and home price.pnginspections.
The seller equally feels that they have earned the commission because they too have had to research value, financing and title work.  They have incurred all of the marketing expenses and have invested hours upon hours to be available to show the property, hold open houses and answer inquiries. 
There is certainly value in all of the things that buyers and sellers are willing to do.  However, only one person can save the commission assuming the buyer and seller can reach a written agreement.
The Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey reports that 14% of sales were For-Sale-by-Owners in 2003 and 2004 compared to just 9% in 2012. The trend shows that agent-assisted sales rose to 88% in 2012 from 82% in 2004.
The three most difficult tasks identified by for-sale-by-owners is attracting potential buyers, getting the price right and understanding and performing the paperwork. When surveyed, sellers most value the home selling in an anticipated time frame and for an expected amount.
Experienced, third-party advocates helping buyers and sellers is a valuable contribution to the transaction which may determine whose commission it is.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

American Dream

It's estimated that 10% of the homes sold in 2013 will be to buyers who lost a home in the past five years. Approximately 500,000 buyers who may have thought they wouldn't own a home anytime in the near future will be homeowners again.
It's estimated that several million of these previous homeowners will purchase again in the next eight years. This kind of activity will contribute significantly to the housing recovery.
Some people thought that the housing crisis would cause a shift in values placed on owning a home but the boomerang buyers definitely don't support that theory. Having a home of your own, where you can raise your family, share with your friends and feel safe and secure is still part of the American Dream.
The rising rents, increasing prices and low, low mortgage rates are also influencing buyers into the market. In many cases, it is cheaper to own that to rent.
All new buyers, including those who have experienced foreclosures or bankruptcies, must have good credit history and the ability to repay the loan. It just may not take as long to reestablish the credit as some would-be buyers might have thought.
Read more about Bidding Wars This Spring, Spring's Wild Card and Boomerang Buyers.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist insurance coverage protects the insured if he/she is involved in an accident with a “non insured” or “underinsured” individual.

The level of uninsured or underinsured insurance coverage a client carries is normally equal to the bodily injury liability limits carried on your primary vehicle insurance policy.  These limits are often noted as “$100,000/$300,000” on the declaration sheet of your vehicle insurance policy.

The “$100,000” coverage is the limit payable by the insurance company per person.  The “$300,000” coverage is the limit payable by the insurance company for any particular occurrence. 

Contact your favorite insurance agent (Ryan Edgington, Burton Heginger, Andrea Shearer, or Tessa Everman) at the Triplett Companies (515/232-5240) for more information on such coverage and the pricing of that coverage. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Win Over the Buyer

It’s interesting that the housing climate has changed so quickly. Some buyers, who think they’re still in the driver’s seat, find the market is now going up and they’re losing the home that they really want.
Multiple offers are increasingly more common and buyers are frustrated because even full-price offers don’t guarantee that they’re going to get the home. In an effort to personify a contract offer and add emotional appeal, buyers are including a personal letter to the seller. iStock_000005895710XSmall.jpg
In most cases, the seller wants to maximize the net proceeds from the sale by getting the highest price with the least expenses and an assurance that the home will actually close on time without surprises. When a seller is faced with multiple offers that may be close to the same net, an emotional appeal might make the difference in them accepting a particular offer. That’s where the letter comes in play.
It should be a relatively short letter that gets to the point. The tone of the letter should be humble while positive and definitely, shouldn’t mention that you may have lost other homes due to multiple offers.
  1. Try to identify a common feature or characteristic of the home that is important to the seller and you.
  2. Don’t criticize the home or tell them about all of the improvements you need to make to justify your offer.
  3. Do verbalize why living in this home is important to you and your family.
  4. Assure the seller that you can indeed qualify for the home and that if they accept your offer, the sale will be consummated.
After writing the letter and eliminating the non-essential parts, read the letter a few times to your spouse or friend. Polish the verbiage and check the spelling and grammar. If your handwriting isn’t attractive and easy to read, print it. Use nice paper to appeal to the tactile senses. Attach the letter to the offer so they’re considered simultaneously.
Being pre-approved with good credit, adequate financial resources, good employment, sufficient earnest money and a reasonable offer with minimum contingencies will favorably position you. A personal letter might be the deciding factor in your favor.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Individuals seeking vehicle insurance coverage with numerous traffic violation (not parking tickets!), at-fault accidents, driving while intoxicated, etc. will find it difficult and costly to obtain adequate insurance coverage.

Most states maintain such records for at least three years, and even up to five years.

Check with your state vehicle licensing facility to ensure that the information on your driving record is accurate.

If your rate does rise, check for competitive pricing with alternative insurance companies.

If you receive a “cancellation” notice or a “refuse to renew” notice, take action immediately to ensure you have adequate vehicle insurance coverage by calling your insurance agent.     

Contact your favorite insurance agent (Ryan Edgington, Burton Heginger, Andrea Shearer, or Tessa Everman) at the Triplett Companies (515/232-5240) to obtain more information and several price quotes if you find yourself in this situation. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Reduce the Expense to Refinance

iStock_000016148905XSmall(er).jpgEvery single day, homeowners who are excited about lowering their rate have a tendency to ignore the refinancing costs because they’re being rolled back into the new mortgage. If the payment is lower than what they’re currently paying and there’s no money out of pocket, it seems like a good deal.
Refinancing your home because a lower rate is available is one thing but the closing costs associated with that new loan could add several thousand dollars to your mortgage balance. By following some of the suggestions listed below, you may be able to reduce the expense to refinance.
• Tell the lender up-front that you want to have the loan quoted with minimal closing costs.
• Check with your existing lender to see if the rate and closing costs might be cheaper.
• If you’re refinancing a FHA or VA loan, consider the streamline refinance.
• Shop around with other lenders and compare rate and closing costs.
• Credit unions may have lower closing costs because they are generally loaning deposits and their cost of funds is less.
• Reducing the loan-to-value so that mortgage insurance is not required will reduce expenses.
• Ask if the lender can use an AVM, automated valuation model, instead of an appraisal.
• You may not need a new survey if no changes have been made.
• There may be a discount on the mortgagee’s title policy available on a refinance.
• Points on refinancing, unlike purchase, are ratably deductible over the life of the loan.
• Consider a 15 year loan. If you can afford the higher payments, you can expect a lower interest rate than a 30 year loan and obviously, it will build equity faster and pay off in half the time.
A lender must provide you a list of the fees involved with making the loan within 3 days of making a loan application in the form of a Good Faith Estimate. Every dollar counts and they belong to you.