Thursday, December 29, 2011

What is a Public Adjuster?

Where to Start

It's 2:00AM and you hear a rush of water. You awake to find a burst pipe in your bathroom streaming gallons of water across your floor, onto your belongings, and into the room below. After the plumber and emergency services have stopped the leak, you call your insurance agent (assuming you have one! Another reason to get an HO-6 NOW). They send an adjuster out to price out the claim on what they believe the damage is worth. But who will ensure that you are getting the money you deserve to return to home to it's original form? The insurance company is a profit driven firm and wants to minimize the payout they have to give you. You need someone to fight for you, and that is where a public adjuster comes in.

What They Do

By definition a public adjuster is an insurance claims adjuster who is an advocate for the policyholder in appraising and negotiating a first party insurance claim. A good PA will be onsite almost immediately after the loss. They will control the situation and ensure the right people are on site and doing the right work. The next step is that they will meet with the assigned insurance adjuster and work with them on a fair price for the claim. By nature, insurance will low-ball the price and the PA will aim high. There is a series of offers and counteroffers until an agreeable price is reached. Almost always, this price is considerably higher than what you would receive if you tried to fight insurance yourself.

Why We Use Them

You might not have time to meet with the assigned insurance adjuster every time they come to your home. You might not know the price per square foot of the drywall or the cost of redoing a tile floor. The public adjuster does. They work for you to ensure that you get the money that is rightfully yours to rebuild your home. If needed, they re-open a claim and negotiate for more money if a discrepancy is found after the claim has been settled.

Final Thoughts

Remember, if you chose to use a public adjuster, be sure to call them as soon as possible after the loss. The more time that passes, the more discrepancies that can occur that affect your claim. If you need a referral for a good PA, please contact our office and we would be happy to assist you.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Boston Christmas Tree Recycling

Compost Your Tree

Public Works will collect Christmas trees for composting from January 3 to January 13. Remove all ornaments, decorations, and stands from trees and place trees at the curb by 7AM on your recycling day. Do not put trees in plastic bags.

Back Bay

Pick up in the Back Bay is the week of January 9, 2012. (Monday for Arlington Street to Mass. Ave. and Tuesday for Mass. Ave. to Charlesgate).

More Info

Not sure of your recycling day? Check out the City of Boston Website to enter your address and find out your area's recycling day.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wacky Weather

OH the Weather Outside Is...

...Balmy? This unseasonably warm weather around Christmas has me thinking about some other weird weather phenomenons in Boston history during December...

Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose

On this day in 1883, it was -12 degrees! Quite a difference from the mid 50s we are experiencing today. The only recorded day in December colder was on December 30th, 1933 when the temperature dipped to a chilling -15. Hope you didn't forget your mittens that weekend. Also, who could forget the 13 inches of snow that fell on the 12th in 1960. Wonder if they got a white Christmas that year?

Christmas in the Tropics

This warm weather might not be THAT unreasonable if you remember the 80s (but who does?). In 1984, the temperatures soared to the mid 70s on the 29th and 30th, both record highs. That same month, we saw temps averaging around the mid 50s, almost 20 degrees warmer than the historical average. That almost makes the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Walden Pond appealing! Not quite though.

Some Other Boston Weather Facts:

  • On average, the warmest month is July.
  • The highest recorded temperature was 104°F in 1911.
  • The average coolest month is January.
  • The lowest recorded temperature was -30°F in 1946.
  • March is the average wettest month.

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Years Resolution

You Have One...Does Your Condo?

Every year, people make the same resolutions: go to the gym, eat healthier, spend more time with family. This year, it might be time to consider a New Years resolution for your condominium. What have you been putting off for years? What needs to be done? With 2012 budgets still being finalized, NOW is the time to start the discussion.

Where Do I Start?

Speak with your board or management company. See if you can look over the budget and financial health of the condominium. Go over the projects that you want and present them to the board in a letter or at an annual meeting. Simply by getting owners thinking about these projects is the first, most crucial step. How will these benefit the entire condominium? Safety, curb appeal, increased value on their investment? These are important questions to address.

Can We Afford It?

If the board and owners know what to expect over a calendar year, it is much easier to fund large capital improvement projects. Make sure you have an adequate reserve contribution for emergencies, but perhaps set up another account for "capital improvements". A 5%-10% increase in condominium dues for a year can yield large reserves for projects. Perhaps a one-time special assessment is more appropriate. These are questions your board and your management company can and should address!

Need Ideas?

Nothing coming to mind right aware about goals for 2012? Is the fire system up to date? Security system? Do the interior walls need to be painted? Perhaps some landscaping at the front entrance? Spend 5 minutes walking your building and make a list of things that you believe need attention. With a plan set in place, you could be relaxing on that beautiful roof deck you've always wanted in 2012. And besides, the gym will still be there in 2013 right?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Curb Appeal

Small Changes..BIG Impact

When walking down a luxury street like the Back Bay, it is the small touches that don't immediately catch your eye that make all the difference. These subtle nuances are what truly separates a good property from a great one. A polished brass buzzer system, a stained door, well maintained landscaping: These are tangible investments for owners, and go a long way to improving your curb appeal.

A Prime Example

Premier Property Solutions' Back Bay portfolio is a testament to curb appeal enhancements. Take a look at the front entrance to this Back Bay luxury condominium below. The door is warn, the brass is faded, the stairs are cracked, and nothing stands out. After Premier took over this building we completely overhauled the front entrance. This is an investment that all owners benefit from as they use the front door daily. It increases property value and often goes a long way to improving building relations.

The Results

See the finished product below! Through a combination of vendors and projects, this now looks like a completely difference building.

Have any great renovation stories or questions about the vendors we used?
Leave a comment below, shoot us a tweet @MAcondoMGMT on Twitter or post on our wall on Facebook. We look forward to hearing from you!