Understanding The Cost Of Homeownership

You’re thinking about becoming a homeowner for the first time. What steps do you take in preparation, and what are some homeownership costs? 

Start With A Plan

Start by creating a realistic budget. Jot down your current expenses like car loans, monthly credit card payments and grocery expenses. But what new costs will you need to account for? 

  • Property taxes – Search local tax records on like properties to get an idea of the cost.
  • Homeowner’s insurance – A Mel Foster insurance agent can provide an estimate.
  • Utilities – Credit counseling agencies claim that owners spend 5-10% of their annual income on utilities, including electric, water, gas, garbage, cable and streaming.

Prepare So You’ll Be Ready

Take steps that will simplify the buying process when the time is right to begin your search.

  • Find a Mel Foster Co. agent and communicate what you’re looking for.
  • Continue to set money aside, so you have a down payment.
  • Check your credit score and work to improve it. 
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage so financing won’t hold up a sale down the road.

Financial Assistance Programs Are Available

First-time buyers often have access to state programs, tax breaks and federally backed loans that can be approved even if you don’t have the minimum down payment. For example, take time to search DPA (Down Payment Assistance) loan options that can help cover the upfront costs of a down payment. Government-sponsored and private programs can help you pay closing costs, which often represent 3-6% of the total loan amount.

Find more tips for homeowners.

Mel Foster Insurance Earns Leadership Circle Status

MF INSURANCE LOGOMel Foster Co. Inc. is proud to announce its insurance division, Mel Foster Insurance, has earned a spot in the 2017 Leadership Circle for Integrity Insurance, a property and casualty carrier.  This recognition honors the top-tier of agencies for their work in 2016. To achieve Leadership Circle status, Mel Foster Insurance met specific criteria based on premium, profitability and growth.

Integrity President Jill Wagner Kelly stated, “Mel Foster Insurance is among the best of the best. They are a strong partner who is committed to providing top-notch service and expertise to policyholders. It’s a pleasure to see them thrive and write profitable business with Integrity.”

“This recognition is truly an honor. While the criteria for receiving this leadership status include reaching milestones for premium, profitability, growth and loss ratio, it’s the staff we have at Mel Foster Insurance, that earns and keeps business from local clients, that really helps set us apart,” said Mel Foster Insurance President Marc Engels.

Mel Foster Insurance is located at 3218 E 35th St C, Davenport, IA. For more information on their services, visit melfosterinsurance.com.

After The Storm: What To Do When Your Home Is Damaged.

The first thing you need to do is assess the damage to your property. Always be sure that you aren’t in danger and that the storm is completely finished. Start by checking the outside of the home for any damage to the roof, siding and windows. You should also make sure that there are no downed trees or power lines in the area.

Step Two: Call Your Insurance Agent

After you have assessed the damages, your next step is to call your insurance agent to report any damage. Be ready to describe the situation and all of the damage that occurred. Make sure you also have your policy and account numbers ready when you call to speed up the process. Click here to find your Mel Foster Co. Insurance agent.

Step Three: Document The Damage

Before you begin making repairs, make sure you document the damages with photographs. This will prove that the damage actually occurred and will help your insurance agency help you. Once you have documented the damage, make your home safe and ensure no further damage is caused. Keep receipts for any work or materials that you are purchasing to repair your home. It’s important to note that if you must leave your home you should also keep receipts for hotel rooms and restaurants. Depending on your insurance policy, these expenses may also be covered.

What do I do after a storm hits?
What do I do after a storm hits?


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