Posts Tagged: real estate

How to Get Cheap Renters Insurance Coverage: Ways to Reduce the Cost of Renters Home Insurance

The following is a guest post from Nigerian real estate developer Michael Chudi Ejekam.

A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that, because they are a tenant, it isn’t necessary to pay for renters home insurance. However, the coverage they are thinking of is taken out by the landlord purely to protect the building and its structure. It doesn’t cover the tenant’s household items or personal liability in the event of someone getting injured. It represents yet another expense that a family can do without.

Why Cheap Renters Insurance Coverage is Important

Although not the most expensive policy, many families are forced to work on a limited budget. This means that reducing the cost of renters insurance is fundamentally important if affordability is to be established. The most effective ways to reduce premiums are performing a more comprehensive search, increasing the deductible and selecting ‘actual cash value’ for claims on household goods. Polices are also cheaper for over-55’s and for those who pay annually.

Trawl the Market for Renters Home Insurance

A common mistake that tenants make is accepting the first offer that they receive. However, this is a very inefficient way of identifying a cheap renters insurance policy. Websites, such as moneysupermarket.com, allow the customer to search through hundreds of different providers. It is then relatively easy to look at the most competitive deals and compare the policy features – cheap doesn’t necessarily mean good.

Increase the Deductible on Insurance for Renters

The deductible is the amount an individual is prepared to pay before making a claim. This means that if a $500 deductible has been chosen and $1,500 of personal possessions are stolen, the policy will pay out $1,000. Selecting a higher deductible on renters contents insurance can significantly reduce the monthly premium. This is because insurers don’t need to waste time on small claims. However, it is necessary to put away a sum of money that can cover the deductible that is selected.

Actual Cash Value (ACV) vs. Replacement Cost Value

A policy that only agrees to pay out the ‘actual cash value’ offers a less expensive alternative for a family. This is because it doesn’t cover the cost of replacing the item, it pays out a sum of money equivalent to its current cash value. Whilst this is an excellent way of achieving cheap renters insurance, it also means that any payment is unlikely to be sufficient to purchase a replacement.

Other Ways to Get Cheap Renters Insurance

Insurers may be prepared to reduce the cost of renters property insurance for those who pay annually. Whether this is possible depends upon a number of personal and financial factors. Others will be able to secure discounts on their home renters insurance policy by purchasing several forms of coverage (car, home etc) from the same provider. Over-55’s may also be eligible for age-related discounts.

Tracy Suttles: Class Project – Build a Recycled Bottle Greenhouse

The following is a guest post from Houston, Texas real estate developer and entrepreneur Tracy Suttles.

A construction project is a great way to involve a whole class of children, and to encourage teamwork and co-operation. Building a greenhouse from recycled plastic bottles offers an ideal opportunity for this, as children can work together as small groups, contributing to the construction of the greater project.

Constructing Your Recycled Greenhouse

The greenhouse is constructed from plastic 2L pop/soda bottles. To construct the greenhouse:

  • Cut the bottom off each bottle (this should be done by an adult, as a craft knife is the most effective way to do this).
  • Stack the bottles on top of each other, passing a garden cane through each bottle neck as a support. The neck of each bottle should fit fairly snugly into the open bottom end of the bottle above.
  • Once the vertical sections have been constructed, they can be positioned by pushing the garden cane into the ground. Tape, string or rubber bands be used to hold the sections together.
  • Similar sections can be used to create a roof for the greenhouse however the bottom bottle in these sections should have its base left in tact, so that the end of the garden cane does not protrude.

This method can be used to create a range of temporary structures ranging from small scale cloches to full sized greenhouses. For a more sophisticated, and hard-wearing version of the plastic bottle greenhouse a timber frame can be added. An example of this type of structure was built by the Greenspace Education Project.

Cross-Curricular Links

The number of bottles required will depend on the intended scale of the greenhouse, and whether it is to be free standing, or a ‘lean-to’ against a wall. Conversely, the scale and design of the greenhouse could be decided once the number of bottles collected is known. This can also introduce an element of mathematics and estimation to the project. Designing the greenhouse, and deciding on the best location for it, can encourage children to think about the mathematical ideas of area and volume.

Knowledge of plant growth and the requirement for sunlight can be linked to the science curriculum, and to other disciplines, by recognising the best position for the greenhouse (South facing if in the Northern hemisphere). Compasses and maps of the school grounds can be used to link the project to the Geography curriculum.

Encourage Children to Recycle and Reuse

If the design has been decided prior to starting the project, an estimated target for the number of bottles required can be used as a class target. Children can increase their contribution to the project by collecting plastic bottles from the recycling bins of their family and friends. This has the added advantage of passing on information about the importance and benefits of recycling to the wider school community. A prize could be offered for the child who collects the most bottles.