Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What You May Not Know About Homeowner’s Insurance

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Homeowners insurance is an important way to protect one of the largest investments you own. In addition to providing assistance should you need to repair something in your home, it can also protect your financial future. Knowing what to expect when seeking out homeowner’s insurance is an important step in ensuring you are covered if the unplanned happens.
 
Policy types
While homeowner’s insurance is standard in most areas of the United States, there are special considerations depending upon where you live and your specific requirements.
 
  • Perils coverage is an important insurance rider that protects against many types of disasters including theft, tornadoes, and fires. If you have named perils coverage, it will define the specific disasters that are covered. Open perils coverage protects both your home structure and personal property, while condo or co-op owners should select a policy that covers the structural parts of the building that they own as well as their belongings.
  •  Cash value coverage will pay for or repair property and possessions based on the policy limits minus a deduction for depreciation.
  •  Replacement cost coverage will pay to repair or replace your property or possessions based on the policy limits without a depreciation deduction.
  •  Guaranteed replacement cost coverage gives homeowners the highest protection on their belongings because it replaces your home to its pre-disaster state even if it costs more than the policy limit.
 
Type of damage
It is important to know that not every type of damage will be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. For example, some policies will only cover something sudden or accidental but will not cover incidents that occur over several months such as water damage from a leaky faucet. Additionally, certain natural disasters might also be exempt if you do not have an additional rider. These might include earthquakes and floods.
 
Personal belonging coverage
It is important to ask if there are any limits on the amount of coverage for your personal belongings. Items of high value may only be covered for a certain amount. Additionally, possessions that are damaged or stolen while you away from your home also may not be covered.
 
At Alaska Management Group and Bonanza Realty, we provide our clients with guidance to make the right decisions about everything related to home buying and home management. Contact our team to learn more about our management services. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Be Prepared Before the Next Earthquake

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One fact of life about living in Alaska is that we have more earthquakes than any other region of the United States. While it is impossible to predict the timing or severity of the next seismic event, it’s a sure thing that major earthquakes will continue to happen here. Take the time now to prepare and protect yourself, your family, and your home. Your future self will thank you.


Practice, Practice, Practice
Just like the fire drills in elementary school, earthquake drills will help you and your family feel more prepared as well as improve your chances of survival. In most instances, you’ll have a better outcome if you practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On. This means that, the moment you feel a tremor, DROP to your hands and knees, COVER your head with your arm or crawl under a sturdy table or desk, and HOLD ON until the shaking ends. Prior to an earthquake, it’s important to identify safe spots in every room, like under desks or sturdy tables. Practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On in all of the rooms of your home, and make sure that your children’s school is holding drills as well. 

Build an Earthquake Kit
Actually, it’s best to build 2 or 3 - one for home, one for your vehicle, and one for your workplace. Your kit should include information on medications, first-aid supplies, a whistle to help rescuers find you, bottled water and snacks, a flashlight, ID cards, cash, a radio with extra batteries, medications, glasses or contact lenses, personal documents (medication list, passport, birth certificate, insurance information, and mortgage or lease information) and a list of family contact numbers. If you have small children, include a favorite toy or game, or other things to keep them occupied and calm during the emergency. 

After the Quake
As soon as the shaking stops, it’s critical to get away from large bodies of water and move to higher ground as soon as it’s safe to do so. Tsunamis can occur almost immediately after an earthquake, so residents will need to stay away from the coast for at least a few days. If you’re trapped underneath debris, use your whistle or cell phone to alert rescuers, or knock loudly every few minutes on something solid. If you are able, check to see if anyone is injured. Offer help or call 911 to report serious injuries immediately. 

Communicate 
If possible, let your family know that you’re safe by registering on the “Safe and Well” site. Text family members to let them know you’re ok, then stay off the phone so that the phone lines are available for first-responders. 

Bonanza Realty has been providing exceptional management services to homeowner associations and planned communities since 1978, the longest running association management company in Anchorage and surrounding areas. Contact us at 907-333-1244 or visit us online at https://www.bonanzarealty.net/

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Gain Peace of Mind by Having the Right Condo Insurance

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Imagine coming home from work and finding your condo’s front door broken and your new television missing. Once you recover from the shock, you’ll probably think to call your condominium association about replacing the door and lock, but what about your personal property and any damage inside the condo? Typically, the condo association’s policy will cover external areas and, depending on the association, may help with the interior damage. Personal property, however, must be insured by the condo owner. 

Some condominium associations offer coverage  referred to as “all-in”, which covers not only the exterior of the unit, but also some of the things inside the condo, such as carpeting, appliances, and fixtures. Other associations offer coverage for only the exterior, which means that the condo owner is responsible for essentially everything within the unit. It’s critical to know what type of insurance coverage your condo association offers before you speak with your insurance agent. 

Not only will condo owners’ insurance cover loss or damage to your property, it should also cover damages in the event that someone is injured in your condominium. This would include someone slipping and injuring himself on a wet floor, for example, including resulting medical bills and possible legal actions. 

When purchasing a condo policy, first determine the value of your belongings. The best place to start is to make an itemized list of those belongings that would need to be replaced. Keeping serial numbers and photos of items will make things much easier if you ever need to make a claim. Bear in mind that most policies will pay “Actual Cash Value” (or ACV) for your belongings, which means that depreciation is taken into consideration. Replacement cost coverage is also available, typically at a somewhat higher cost. If you have items of very high value, like jewelry or artwork, you may need to purchase additional coverage. Insurance will cover loss or damage to your property for some weather events, with the exception of natural disasters like earthquakes, floods and landslides. If your area is in a zone that is prone to these events, you may need to purchase extra coverage.

Condo ownership is different from traditional home ownership in many ways, including insurance requirements. Your insurance agent can help you select the right policy and give you the peace of mind so that you can enjoy your condo. 

For over 35 years, Alaska Management Group has been meeting the property management needs of associations and planned communities throughout Alaska, including Anchorage, Palmer, Eagle River, Wasilla, and more. To learn more about us, please visit http://www.bonanzarealty.net/ or call (907) 333-1244. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Water Conservation In and Around Your Property

Each year, we hear about ongoing droughts in various regions of the United States and around the world. Even if you live in an area where water still seems abundant, inefficient water usage can rack up large costs to your household budget as well as to your community. Taking steps to reduce water consumption protects an increasingly scarce resource.

Water conservation in the home


According to Eartheasy, three-fourths of the average American’s indoor water consumption took place in the bathroom, with toilet usage accounting for a large share of the total, at 28%. That’s why it is especially important to check for leaks in bathroom plumbing - one of the most common sources of water waste in the home. A leaky faucet or toilet can waste anywhere between 20-150 gallons of water per day.

  • Test your toilet.
    • Use food dye to color the water in your tank. Check back within an hour. If you see colored water in the toilet bowl, you have a leak that should be repaired.
  • Fix leaky showerheads and faucets.
  • Install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators to reduce the number of gallons per minute. These do not require hiring a plumber, and oftentimes can be done without having to break out the toolbox.
  • Only run the dishwasher when full.
  • Don’t let the water run while brushing teeth, shaving, or rinsing dishes.

Yard conservation tips

Depending on you water your yard, green-space, or garden, these spaces can account for 60% of a household’s water usage.

  • Keeping pools covered when not in use saves hundreds of gallons of water per month from evaporating.
  • Consider replacing grass with native plants that need less water.
  • Planting more trees, tall plants, and bushes increases shade and reduces the need to water as often.
  • Grass cut too short dries out much more quickly and requires more frequent watering.
  • Water your lawn only once per week when needed, using a deep soak method in the early morning.

Doing the math: it all adds up  

Maximizing efficient water usage can cut the gallons of water you use by tens or hundreds per day. When a community commits to water efficiency, it can avoid sewage spills that pollute local lakes and streams, as well as ease the burden of your local water infrastructure system. Treating used water takes a good amount of electricity, so when you reduce water waste, you can reduce your community’s electricity usage.
To learn more water usage facts, such as how many gallons it takes to produce a cup of coffee,do laundry, or even fly across the country, see here.

For over 35 years, Alaska Management Group has been meeting the property management needs of associations and planned communities throughout Alaska, including Anchorage, Palmer, Eagle River, Wasilla, and more. To learn more about us, please visit http://www.bonanzarealty.net/ or call (907) 333-1244.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Alaskan Earthquakes: They’re Denali’s Fault

Did you know over 7 million earthquakes occur in the world each year? Many of these earthquakes are so small they go undetected. A few may knock over knickknacks or cause a picture to go crooked. According to USGS, only 152 of these 7 million earthquakes are considered “large” earthquakes. The Unites States has some of the strictest building standards and quickest emergency response times in the world. What you choose to do with the interior of your home is up to you. There are plenty of precautions that must be made to ensure a safe environment for your family. With 16 states in the earthquake danger zone, it is important to do this before a tragedy occurs.

Preparing your home for an earthquake is not something we always think of as homeowners. The biggest risk during an earthquake is being struck by a falling or broken object. This can be prevented with some simple precautions like

  • Securing the water heater with an anchor kit
  • Installing flexible pipe fitting so they will bend, not break
  • Don’t skimp on latches! A good latch will keep your cabinets closed

Create an earthquake survival kit. These are items are in addition to the typical home safety kit:
  • A shovel
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Rope
  • A whistle
  • Compass

The safest place to be during an earthquake? Outside! Unfortunately, earthquakes tend to happen with no warning. This means you may only have mere seconds to get to your established safe spot. Pick a place in your home without windows, glass, tall unsecured furniture, or overhead fixtures. Look for an area near interior walls with a nice sturdy table or desk to hide under. Being under this will keep you and your family safe from debris should the home crumble. If you feel the ground shake, get to your safety spot, drop, cover, and hold on!

What is the most earthquake prone state? Alaska. From all of us at Alaska Management Group, stay safe when you are in your home! Since 1978, we have strived to provide exceptional management services. It has always been our goal to ensure a safe and comfortable lifestyle in the community. To find out more, give us a call at (907) 333-1244 today.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ward Against Winter Burglars

“Oh the weather outside is frightful…”  Winter weather can conjure up images of cozying up indoors with a hot bowl of soup, a mug of hot chocolate, and a warm blanket.  Braving the cold can be a daunting task.  While crime decreases overall during the winter months, certain factors such as increased utility costs and seasonal unemployment can engender a different kind of desperation. 

Time Your Lights: With darkness falling long before most people get home from work, set some of your home lights to a timer.  Keep your blinds closed so burglars can’t notice the ruse.
 
Close Your Blinds: This one is worth repeating.  With the increased darkness, open blinds when you are home is an advertisement to anyone passing by.  You can’t see out, but they can see in to your new plasma screen TV, expensive laptop, or pricey portable coffee maker.
 
Secure All Doors and Windows: While leaving a window open in sub-freezing temperatures isn’t a risk, forgetting to lock them is.  Lock your windows and doors, including the interior door from the garage to your home.  Reinforce the security of sliding doors by laying a wooden dowel or two-by-four in the groove.
 
Don’t Hide a Key: This is a golden ticket for burglars.  It’s a risky enough measure during the warmer months, but what about after snowfall?  If you need to dig around for the spare key even once, the conspicuous patterns in the snow is a give-away.
 
Secure Your Yard: Avoid giving burglars extra coverage.  If you notice overgrown shrubs and trees now, add it to your maintenance list for the warmer months.  Keep things well-lit during all seasons and consider installing a motion-sensitive floodlight.
 
Know Your Neighbors: Neighborhoods that are closer-knit are more likely to keep an eye out for one another and notice suspicious persons.  If you don’t know your neighbors yet, fight cabin fever by hosting an indoor block party!
 
Report Anything Suspicious: Odd footprints in the snow at your neighbor’s house?  Give them a call.  At your own home?  Let the police know.  Police are more likely to drive through neighborhoods with reported crimes, but alert them to suspicious actions  and they’d be happy to drive through the neighborhood to keep an eye on things.
 
From your friends at Alaska Management Group, stay warm and stay safe during this winter season!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Home Security During the Holiday Season

home security for the holidaysThe holidays present a festive season full of giving and gratitude, but unfortunately many people fall victim to giving more than they bargained for through home burglary. The holiday season presents such an increased risk of experiencing a breach in home security that the popular comedic film Home Alone was based around it. At Alaskan Management Group, we take the work out of maintaining your external community and it is our mission to ensure that you and your family have the most pleasant experience possible.

Below are some tips to ensure that you have the safest and most secure holiday season possible this year and every year to come.

  • Be home, even when you aren’t: Kevin from Home Alone wasn’t playing around by taking measures such as turning lights on and playing films to make it appear as if the house was crowded. Statistics show that most burglaries occur when thieves believe that a house is unoccupied. To make it seem like someone is home, leave lights and a radio or television on while you are absent. If you have the ability, set your Christmas lights on an automatic timer.

  • Ask your neighbor: If you have a trustworthy neighbor, inform them if you are leaving for any extended length of time and ask them to notify you (or the police) if they notice any conspicuous activity occurring around your home. It is also worth asking them to collect newspapers, mail and other deliveries so they do not accumulate. They can also relocate yard items such as trash cans to make the premise appear more occupied.

  • Don’t vocalize absence: For reasoning such as that listed above, do not make announcements that you will be leaving and make certain that your family does not either. It may be tempting to post a Facebook status such as, “Visiting the family,” or changing your voicemail so loved ones are aware of your absence, but avoid doing so. It is easy for burglars to attain access to this information and know that they have a prime opportunity to take your valuables.

  • Out of sight, out of mind: Be mindful of what you leave out, especially if it is visible through your windows. Items such as Christmas gifts, elaborate decorations or electronics can be incredibly tempting for potential thieves. Also, do your best to avoid leaving opened boxes outside for your trash collector to pick up. Potential burglars could see the new laptop box or drone package that a family member received and will know that the item is most likely in the house.

  • Consider installing layers: If you have the additional money, it is worth investing in some additional security measures such as a camera, solid locks, security door braces, longer door hinges, heavy doors, light timers, reinforced window glass and polycarbonate or Plexiglas windows.

Although Kevin from Home Alone deserves a lot of credit for his creativity, as you can see it is not actually necessary to devise elaborate contraptions to protect your home. The holidays can remain a safe and joyous time of year simply by taking some simple safety measures. For more tips or information, please visit our website and have a safe and secure holiday season!