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real estate: buying, selling, renting, etc.

Ready to find your first home, or in the market for an upgrade? You’re on the right track -- we’ve got plenty of real estate advice for how to handle the house hunt, manage your mortgage, and how to tackle new home to-do’s. Our easy-to-use tools and helpful tips will help ease your way into a new place. Looking for a place to live forever, or an opportunity for real estate investing? Search thousands of listings near you with our home finder tool. Once you spot a few you like, browse our local pages to find a real estate agent who can help make your home-owning dreams a reality. Want even more help than that? Don’t worry, we’ve got all the basics of buying your first home. Use our mortgage calculator to find out how much house you can really afford. We can help you sort out the pros and cons of condos and co-ops versus houses. Learn what all those real estate terms really mean, and how to find the best interest rate on your mortgage. There’s advice and tips for every step of the way, from hitting open houses to making an offer. You can also find tips on selling your home and on real estate investing. And when you need a pick-me-up or a space to vent, you can chat with other Nesties and share real estate advice, tales from the house hunt, and more. From your first phone calls to putting up the sold sign, we’re here for you!

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Homeowners Insurance 101

Make sure your personal property is covered if (ugh) anything were to happen.

The Nest 101 Series

Don't know the first thing about insuring your home and all those registry good in it?  We've got the basic so you're covered, you know...in case. When you're moving in together you should take inventory of your home. And who knows? Your stuff may be worth more than you thought.

What Is Homeowners Insurance?

Now that you have valuable goods (from wedding rings to all those presents), it's time to protect them. A standard homeowners policy generally covers four categories:

  • The structure of your home: if it's damaged or destroyed by fire or most other natural disasters
  • Your belongings: if they're stolen or destroyed by fire or other insured disasters
  • Liability: if you, your family members, or pets cause damage to anyone else or anyone else's property
  • Additional living expenses: if you have to live away from home due to fire or other insured damage

Do We Need It?

Not by law, but if you're getting a mortgage, your lender will most likely require it. Even if it's not required, do you want to risk losing the investment you’ve made in your home?

How Do We Get It?

Do a room-by-room inventory, taking photos of valuable items (write the relevant info on the back of each picture) or make a video (give important details camera). Note products' make, model, and serial number, and include receipts and appraisals to the list. Make a copy of your inventory and store it with a relative or in a safety deposit box.

How Do We Choose?

Shop around; get quotes from at least three companies and compare them. The Insurance Information Institute can give you more information about companies, policies, and other basics. A little homework goes a long way.

How Can We Save?

  • Get a higher deductible. The higher the deductible, the lower your rate.
  • See if you can get a lower rate if you buy your homeowners and car insurance from the same company.
  • Ask about discounts (for having home-security devices or for staying with the same company for a long time).
  • Most policies cover personal property even when you’re not at home, like if your wallet gets stolen at the mall -- make sure your policy is one of them. 

-- The Nest Editors

See More: Insurance , Money , Money Q&A , Real Estate , Real Estate Q&A