Home Owners Resources

Owning a home is exciting, but can be overwhelming at times. Below are some resources to help you when beginning your home buying journey.

Florida Homestead Exemptions
9 Steps to Buying a Home
First-Time Homebuyer Wizard

Pre-Moving "To-Do" Checklist

  • Visit www.protectyourmove.gov, a federal website dedicated to protecting homeowners from rogue movers. They provide several great documents regarding moving restrictions, facts, and making sure you are prepared.
  • Once you have a mover in mind, check them out on the Better Business Bureau website to see if they have complaints.
  • Notify service providers of cut-off and/or start-up dates:
  • Utilities (electric, water, sewer, trash)
  • Cable and internet, satellite
  • Telephone
  • Newspapers, magazines and other delivery services
  • Lawncare services
  • Update your address online at the U.S. Postal Service's website: 
  • Send change-of-address notifications to:
  • Family and friends
  • Credit card companies
  • Cell phone companies
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Investment firms and pension funds
  • Professionals such as your lawyer, accountant, and realtor
  • The IRS, Social Security office, and government or military pension offices
  • Your current and past (within last year) workplaces
  • Schools and alma mater
  • Public Library
  • Associations and clubs
  • Health clubs or fitness centers
  • Voter registration office
  • Motor vehicle bureau
  • Doctor's Office or Pediatrician
  • Dentist's Office
  • Pharmacy
  • Optometrist
  • Veterinarian

Moving Day Checklist

  • Create a list of tasks for each family member
  • Clearly mark and set aside items and luggage you don't want loaded
  • Have each family member pack a special box of items they'll want immediately after moving
  • Dispose of trash often
  • In crowded areas, reserve a space for the moving truck
  • Remove obstructions from walkways and hallways
  • Point out items that need special care or attention
  • Keep water and snacks on hand for movers and family
  • Read the moving company's paperwork before signing
  • Be available to movers to answer questions and oversee loading
  • Consider taking kids and pets to a sitter while items are being loaded
  • Provide current contact information and confirm new address
  • Color coordinate by using different-colors stickers for each room
  • Safeguard valuables and important documents
  • Dispose of all combustibles and spray cans (spray cans can explode or burn), and pack cleaning materials and tools separately
  • Turn off air conditioners, fans and appliances before leaving old residence, and lock all doors and windows

Home Owners Insurance Q&A

Who decides on the type of insurance, the mortgage company or me?
You do. The mortgage company collects a set amount from you each month in order to protect their investment. This money is put in escrow and covers your insurance and taxes. However, the policy is still yours and you might select the insurance you feel offers the best coverage at the best rates.

What exactly does a Homeowners policy cover?
"Exact" coverage is impossible to define because there are different policies and about 900 insurance companies writing Property/Casualty business in the United States. However, 80% of Homeowners policies are based on a standard form. All Homeowners policies cover two important areas: Property and Liability.

Property insurance covers your structures and possessions. Personal Liability, as its name implies, means you're legally obligated to pay money to another person for actions caused by you, your family, or your property. That liability extends to medical payments to others for injuries caused by you or your family.

Are floods, earthquakes, and other natural disasters covered?
Most catastrophes are covered. Flood and earthquake damage, however, are not covered by a standard policy and both perils are more common than many people realize. We can advise you on such normally excluded conditions as floods and earthquakes.

Are there exclusions I should know about?
Exclusions listed and defined in your policy might include neglect, intentional loss, "earth movement", general power failure, and even damage caused by war. If you fail to take care of your property (e.g., a leaky roof), you might not be covered. Obviously, if you intend to lose an object or damage your property, there's no coverage.

Renters Insurance Q&A

How expensive is renters insurance?
Renters insurance is typically available for as little as $100 a year.

Does my landlord's insurance protect me?
Generally, no. The property owner's insurance covers the building itself and seldom a tenant's possessions or liability. Clarify this with your landlord be