In Scotland, homeowners paint their door RED when they pay off their mortgage.
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Chester, NJ
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Randolph, NJ
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Lincoln Park, NJ
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Plastic Bags Ban in effect in New Jersey: FREE tote bags from Doug Collinson Real Estate Group

Just a reminder, if you'd like 2 complimentary fabric Tote Bags, you can pick them up at 24 Aldebaran Drive, Randolph NJ. They are in the large plastic bin on the front porch.
Let's eliminate waste together!
In this issue of "Doug Talks..."

Tips to Help Lower Your Home Insurance
There are many factors that control your insurance premium cost and some of them are things you can control. Most insurers provide a variety of discounts and incentives that can help you lower your homeowners insurance premium. Here are a few:

Make your home more secure
Having a smoke detector, burglar alarm or deadbolt locks on your home can earn you up to a 5% discount. Adding a comprehensive sprinkler system along with an actively monitored fire and burglar alarm could save you as much as 15% to 20%.
Raise your deductible
Raising your deductible results in a lower premium cost. If you can afford to go from $1,000 to $2,000 for example, you’ll pay a bit less each month. That may allow you to put aside that extra monthly cost to pay the increased deductible if you make a claim. 
Smaller, less known discounts
Ask your insurance carrier if they discount for some of these discounts:
  • Loyalty discount: if you’ve been with the same insurer for several years, you may score a discount.
  • Welcome discount: for new policyholders. 
  • New home: if you are building a new home, you may be eligible for a discount.
  • Smoke-free home discount: if all residents are non-smokers
  • Payment discounts: most insurers will give you a discount if you agree to accept documents online rather than paper, and if you pay in full and by way of electronic funds transfer.
  • Senior discount: for those 55 and older
  • Roofing discount: some insurers offer a discount if you use impact-resistant roofing tiles.
Eliminate of high risk stuff
Even though it may be fun, having something deemed an “attractive nuisance” by your insurer (trampolines, swimming pools or playground equipment, etc) can add to your homeowners insurance premium.
An attractive nuisance is a feature on your property that children could be tempted to play on. If they get injured while doing so, you could be held legally responsible. Because insurers consider this a liability risk, getting rid of those items could save you money on homeowners insurance.
Shop around for quotes
Your insurance premium is unique — determined based on multiple factors, from the age of your home to your credit rating, and even whether there’s a fire hydrant near your house. 

Just as important, the quote from each insurer that you get will be different, since each company has their own processes for calculating risk. So it pays to compare more than one insurance quote.

Keep in mind there are other factors to consider as well:
• Insurer’s rating at AM Best or another rating agency to see if the providers are financially solid, able to pay out even after a large-scale catastrophe. 
• Evaluate J.D. Power rankings to see how each provider scores with consumer support.

MarketWatch rates these five NJ insurance companies as the best value:
Lemonade, Allstate, Travelers, Liberty Mutual and Progressive.

Bundling multiple policies with one provider
Bundling” is when you have more than one policy with a single insurer. Most people have two or more of these policies: home or renters, auto, and life insurance, so this is a fairly simple step you can take. It will generally be rewarded with a discount.
The "Doug Talks..." section will be featured in our monthly real estate email
and will include articles and/or videos showcasing some aspect of
home improvement, construction, or design.
Why Pre-Approval is an important for todays home buyer

Being intentional and competitive are musts when buying a home this season. That’s why pre-approval is so important today. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to know your true price range and how much money you can borrow for your loan. Peter Warden, Editor of The Mortgage Reports, explains “The lender will check out your personal finances and issue you a letter confirming the amount you’re eligible to borrow. This not only gives you a firm budget for house hunting, but also lets sellers know you’re qualified to make an offer.” Why does that matter so much today? There are many more here to read more.
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