Search: staging

Many of us tend to think all home insurance policies are pretty much the same. That’s not true though. There can be distinct differences as I recently discovered when I decided to sell my house.

My mom and I chose to move into an apartment during the selling process. This allowed me to be closer to help with the caregiving needs of my grandkids and freed her from having to deal with drop-in real estate agents and prospective home buyers. This made for a much less stressful environment for both of us.

I let my homeowner’s insurance agent know about the change and added rental property insurance to the new apartment. While we did move most of the furniture out, we left a few pieces to help with the home staging. The great staff at my insurance agency touched base with me a few times over the 4 1/2 months the house was on the market, but we had no problems.

I was quite surprised when I read an interesting article recently suggesting hiring house sitters for a vacant house on the market. She made the suggestion in order to save a large surcharge her insurance company charged her when her elderly parent’s house sat vacant and for sale for a few months.

When I called my insurance agent to happily inform him that my house had finally closed escrow, I asked him about the article. He explained that yes, there are definitely differences between insurance companies. In addition, various state and county laws can have different requirements as well. He also explained that his company does require at least one piece of furniture in the house. Apparently if it is entirely empty, it is considered more susceptible to vandalism. Because of that, they do recommend a vacancy endorsement for vacant houses, which I believe could cost extra. Since I am a big believer in home staging, believing it is a core component to being able to sell your house fast (or in this market, faster than others), that’s never been an issue for me.

In Roseville, California, I used a different insurance company for each property investment there with equally good results. I always worked closely with my agent there as well, staged the home and never had an extra fee tacked on then either.

When you call around to select your homeowner’s insurance I would encourage you to ask about your options if you ever need to leave your house sitting vacant while selling it. You never know when caregiving needs may require you to do that, for your own property investment or that of your aging parents.


Did you know that Twitter is an excellent resource for those involved in or interested in property investments. I have been active on Twitter for several months. As you may guess, based on SandwichINK, I have several interesting “Tweeple” I regularly read who write about all things caregiving. But I also have many who write about real estate.

From real estate agents to real estate investors to real estate blog-geeks, there are plenty on Twitter with great ideas and info. When I searched Twellow, the Yellow Pages for Twitter, the key words “real estate” show over 25,000 listings! Most of the ones I follow are in the real estate business and I find plenty of useful items of interest, even for those of us who aren’t real estate agents. I’ve learned great marketing tips, encouraging real estate info, and home staging ideas from different tweeps. Here are just a few of the ones I’m following and enjoying:

@BlogBoy2 – The infotech for Sugar Pine Realty in Sonora frequently has fascinating bits of info.

@PChaney – A social media expert who writes on a wide variety of issues, including real estate. I’ve enjoyed his real estate book, Realty Blogging: Build Your Brand and Out-Smart Your Competition, as well.

@nik_nik – Her site is an excellent real estate technology knowledge base and her tweets show that.

@realtors – As you can imagine, the National Association for Realtors (NAR) tweets plenty of interesting links on real estate, including a great article on the 2009 first time home buyer tax credit. That’s a great article to pass on to our adult kids and grandkids!

@TerriMurphy – Author of the real estate agent’s book, Terri Murphy’s E-Listing and E-Selling Secrets: For the Technologically “Clueless,” which I have and enjoyed, she posts about marketing in a wide variety of areas

@RemaxFoothills – a real estate company from South Carolina with some real estate tweets of interest.

@StagingFlorida – A home stager with  interesting links and info primarily centered around staging your home for sale. I’m a big beliver that home staging can help sell a home fast, so I’m always on the lookout for new tips in that area.

@Aging_In_Place – And last, but not least, one of my caregiving Tweeple who shares my real estate interests. His site is an excellent resource for helping you help your aging parents stay in their own home, or be more comfortable and safe in your home.

This is just a handful of all the great real estate tweeters out there. I’ll keep my eyes open and add to this list down the road. In the meantime, enjoy their tweets, and do follow me as well.   🙂    @SandwichINK.  I write about real estate, caregiving, and other items of interest from the multi-generational perspective as a member of the Sandwich Generation of caregivers, grandparents, and more.