Budget More for Home Insurance

Home insurance rates are climbing due to a rising number of natural disasters. As a result, homeowners, particularly those located in some at-risk markets, will need to brace for higher costs.

Last year, there were 850 “natural catastrophes” worldwide that totaled some $350 billion, up from 500 disasters a decade earlier, the Insurance Information Institute reports.

Oklahoma homeowners are seeing some of the largest increases in home insurance rates in the nation. Costs have surged by 78%, or $821, since 2007.

Read more HERE.

Wish List of First-Time Buyers

Millennials tend to have higher expectations than older homeowners did about their ideal starter home, according to a new survey by Clovered, a home insurance resource. Millennials tend to want larger homes with modern designs.

More millennials are entering the housing market for the first time. Clovered recently surveyed more than 1,000 consumers about their first home to learn which features and amenities mattered to them the most.

Read the results HERE.

Cybersecurity Advice Shuns Complicated Passwords

Cybersecurity experts used to recommend adding random characters to passwords to make them stronger. However, such a tactic also makes passwords harder to remember—so security advisers are now backing off that advice. Bill Burr, a former manager of the National Institute for Standards and Technology, led this change in 2017 guidance in which he started touting easy-to-remember phrases as a better password strategy.

Read more HERE.


Design Trends to Watch in 2020

From shiny kitchen cabinets to wooden ceiling beams, several home design trends aim to liven up neutral interiors in the new year. Home remodeling website Houzz recently asked designers to chime in about what design trends they expect to grow more popular over the next few months. HERE are a few trends they flagged.

Most Common Siding Used on Homes

The most common siding used on new homes can vary by geographic region, but nationally, vinyl and stucco are the overall favorites. The most common exterior wall materials on homes started last year were vinyl and stucco, at 26% each, followed by brick or brick veneer at 21%, and fiber cement siding (like Hardiplank or Hardiboard) at 20%. Only about 1% of homes had stock or rock used as their principal exterior wall material, the National Association of Home Builders reports on its Eye on Housing blog.

In the Middle Atlantic and New England region, 74% of new homes started used vinyl siding. However, in the Pacific, Mountain, and South Atlantic regions, the most commonly used exterior wall coverage was stucco. In the West South Central division, brick or brick veneer was the most popular choice.

Read more HERE.

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