1. Install smoke/carbon monoxide alarms on every level. Test monthly and replace batteries each year.
2. Buy an A-B-C multipurpose fire extinguisher for the kitchen where half of all fires occur. Check pressure annually.
3. Plug major appliances into wall outlets, not extension cords, which can overheat.
4. Create escape plans for all rooms and place escape ladders in upstairs bedrooms.
5. Change locks on exterior doors and confirm all doors and windows lock securely.
6. Add security bars to sliding glass doors.
7. Trim shrubs near home to reduce spots where burglars might hide.
8. Install motion-detector lighting to illuminate dark areas.
9. Consider adding a home alarm system.
10. Place wireless water alarms under washing machine and sinks.
11. Install flood-safe hoses on washing machine.
12. When leaving on trips, turn off water at main value to prevent floods.
13. Confirm homeowners insurance covers water and mold damage due to leaks and sewer backups. Some policies don’t.
14. Trim trees and shrubs so weakened branches won’t fall on home or be propelled into windows by high winds.
15. Install downspout extensions to carry heavy rains away from foundation.
16. If you evacuate when a dangerous storm hits, turn off utilities to deter flooding and fires. (See https://www.ready.gov/utility-shut-safety for advice.)
WEAR AND TEAR PROTECTION
17. Inspect inside and outside of home monthly for signs of damage.
18. Replace/replace broken items before small problems become serious ones.
-The title company prepares the required documents, and then emails or uploads them to an online portal.
-The title company verifies personal information and identification by video.
- Buyers and Sellers sign documents electronically.
- The Notary Public uses audio-video conference technology to notarize a signers electronic signature on electronic documents.
*The ability to close remotely also depends on the buyer’s lender, and some don’t have the technology to offer a fully virtual closing or work with buyers in states that don’t allow them, says Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at LendingTree. “Most lenders are working toward trying to make this happen, lobbying to get laws in place to allow this, and focusing on how they can make mobile closings with notaries more safe,” he says.
23 states, including Florida, have remote online notarization policies
Here’s what you need to know about house hunting during this time.
Sources: USA Today, Business Insider, Realtor.com
REAL ESTATE has been deemed an essential service in Florida, and many Realtors are ready to assist you safely.
GET PRE-APPROVED for a mortgage ASAP. Interest rates are at near all-time lows (but they won’t be forever), and some lenders are extending lock-in rates for up to 90 days.
SHOP from the comfort and safety of your own home. Ask for video and virtual tours or schedule a personal video walkthrough with your Realtor.
BE PATIENT. The home-buying process is taking longer than usual.
NOTE: Moving companies are considered essential businesses!