Are You Properly Insured?

As a homeowner, it’s very critical for you to know that you have the proper coverage to get you protected, and today I want to talk to JP Hayes for Farmers, and I’d like to ask you, why is it so critical for you to have the proper coverage, JP?

JP: We’re talking on the auto insurance?

Cris: Yes.

JP: The biggest thing that most people are unaware of is that the liability limits on your auto policy are actually gonna protect everything you own, should you ever be liable for any type of accident.

Cris: Right.

JP: In California, the liability minimum, that’s required by law, is a very scary $15,000 per person, for all medical injuries. So that covers if an ambulance comes, has to take them, they end up staying a couple of nights in the hospital, any pain and suffering, any missed pay time from work, you have a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of high earners in California. You hit one of those, you hit a surgeon, and they’re missing pay time from work, if you only have $15,000 to cover all those expenses,

Cris: Right.

JP: You’re gonna be in a lot of trouble, because they’re gonna come after your personal assets. They can also garnish your wages.

Cris: Wow.

JP: So even if you don’t own any property, you don’t have any assets, they can actually garnish your wages until you’ve paid off all that debt.

Cris: Wow, okay. So if you’re a home owner, what happens if you have the minimum coverage that the estate requires, 15,000, you’re in an accident, what happens to your house?

JP: They’re comin’ after your house. You’re probably gonna receive, what happens, and I’ve seen it and going through it right now with a client, once the insurance company has fulfilled their obligation, they’ve paid the limits that you were asked them for, all right? Your insurance, you were paying them to cover you $15,000 per person. Once they’ve paid off the injured party from that accident that you’re liable for, that injured party will most likely seek legal counsel. They’ll hire a trial attorney, someone who deals with accidents.

Cris: Right.

JP: And that attorney is most likely gonna send you a letter, letting you know “hey there’s still an outstanding balance “of 40, 50, $60,000.” Your insurance company, this is the real awful letter that I’ve seen insurance receive, they will send you the letter, they’ll say “Dear Mr Jones, “we have fulfilled our requirements, “we’ve paid out $15,000 total, “we’ve received this letter from xyz trial attorneys, “and they’re letting us know “that there’s still an outstanding balance of 50 grand. “We wish you the best of luck, “we recommend you seek an attorney” We’re done.

Cris: That’s it.

JP: We’ve paid off.

Cris: Right.

JP: That thing that we agreed to pay.

Cris: Absolutely, so at that point you’re on your own to come up with that difference, right? Whether that’s selling your house, selling cars, and then–

JP: Exactly, exactly.

Cris: Okay. And what’s the best way, people are looking just to save on their monthly payment for car coverage, so what is the best way for them to save. I know the deductibles is huge, right?

JP: Mhm.

Cris: So what do you recommend will be the best deductibles and what’s the reason behind it?

JP: Most people like to go with $500 deductibles. Usually insurance companies are gonna make more money, if you choose a $500. There’s gonna be more premium coming in, right?

Cris: Right.

JP: If you just bump that collision deductible, okay, so the collision deductible is used when you collide with something, someone collides with you, bump that up to 1,000 because that actually has a huge impact on your premium, it will actually save you quite a substantial amount on a monthly basis. I usually recommend keep the comprehensive at 500, those are for the things that are out of your control.

Cris: Right, right.

JP: And it’s usually not as expensive to keep that $500 deductible on the comprehensive, versus the collision. So that’s one really good way, and what you’ll find is that for the people who are trying to up the liability coverage, but are finding it difficult to increase that monthly premium, you’ve just bought a house, you’ve got all these extra fees,

Cris: Right.

JP: There’s a mortgage, you now have home insurance, and now wait, some insurance agent’s telling you, “Hey we gotta increase your auto insurance as well.” Increase the collision deductible, bump that up to 1,000, that’s usually a good spot. I don’t usually recommend going any higher than that.

Cris: Mhm.

JP: But that’ll bring your premium down enough to be able to combat that increase in raising your liability limits.

Cris: Right.

JP: Make sense?

Cris: Absolutely, and personally, I’m following his advice, and I see quite some savings on my monthly payments. And last but not least, JP, let’s talk about umbrella policies.

JP: Mhm.

Cris: Why are they so important when you are a homeowner?

JP: An umbrella policy is going to give you excess liability coverages, for those real catastrophic examples, where the liability limits either on your auto policy, or on your home policy have been completely used up. All right? There is one new case I’d like to give you, where it was used in a home insurance policy, where there was this gentleman. He was just, it was on a regular Sunday, he’d been out cleaning his yard, the front lawn, he’d been raking up the leaves, it was just him and his dog. He went inside and he was watching a football game, and there was a neighbor’s kid running around in the neighborhood. And I think they were only four years old, five years old. They ran into this gentleman’s neighbor, or into his front lawn. Tripped over, and fell on the rake. The rake had the prongs sticking up.

Cris: Right, yes.

JP: And that kid fell face-first, eye went right into one of those, okay?

Cris: Oh, okay.

JP: That gentleman is inside, minding his own business, watching a game, dog by his side, but he is liable because it happened on his property.

Cris: Wow.

JP: He only had $300,000 on his home insurance policy. That kid’s damages, going in and out of the hospital, taking care of all the surgery, $950,000 is what everything came out to be. Okay?

Cris: Okay.

JP: So that $300,000 on the home insurance policy, gone like that.

Cris: Yes.

JP: He did have a million dollar umbrella policy, okay? So the home insurance, the 300,000 liability is gone, but he has this million dollar umbrella covering it, so that million dollars kicks in, taking care of the excess 650 plus. That make sense?

Cris: Yes, absolutely.

JP: As a homeowner, especially here in Southern California, it is absolutely essential that you seek out the coverage and you get at a minimum, million dollar umbrella policy.

Cris: And usually those are very affordable, right, when you buy your car, home, and then you get umbrella, those become really affordable.

JP: That umbrella policy itself is usually about, if you were to get a million dollar umbrella, you might be looking at about two to 300 a year, for that extra million dollars. And if you do have requirements, you have to bump up your bodily injury,

Cris Right, okay.

JP: On your auto insurance to 250,000 per person,

Cris: Okay.

JP: 500,000 per occurrence.

Cris: Okay.

JP: You have to have property damage at 100,000, and then your home insurance, of course, has to be 300,000, but once you meet those limits, the extra million dollars on top is only about two to $300 a year.

Cris: A year.

JP: Mhm.

Cris: And that’s pretty affordable. And also those guidelines, they change based on the insurance carrier right?

JP: Correct.

Cris: So right now we’re talking about Farmers.

JP: We’re talking about Farmers, we’re also talking about just the average household, maybe two cars, two drivers and a home, but of course you have, if you’re throwing in younger drivers, if you’re throwing in a few more cars, maybe you got a motorcycle, maybe you got rental property.

Cris: Right, rental property.

JP: That’s another good time to also have an umbrella policy, because the umbrella will extend coverage to not just your auto, motorcycle, home, it’s gonna go over your rental property as well, so should anything happen where you’re liable, that million dollar umbrella policy, two million, three million, is gonna kick in and take care of the loss there as well. Know that I have some clients, and they have six plus properties and their personal umbrella’s covering it.

Cris: Oh, okay.

JP: Yeah.

Cris: And does that matter where those properties are physically located?

JP: As long as it’s in the US, but as far as Farmers is concerned, they can extend coverage anywhere in the US.

Cris: Great, awesome. Well JP, I wanna thank you for your time today, and I hope this has been very useful for you. If you want to know more, JP is a Farmers agent, and what’s your contact info?

JP: So office number 760-681-0023, and then email, you can just reach me at

Cris: Thank you guys. This is Cristobal, Coldwell Banker.

#1 Reason To Sell In The Winter

There is always a debate about the best time to put your house on the market to get the most money for it. Most of the buyers are ready during the summer there is no doubt about it, however during the Winter even though there could be less buyers they are more serious about buying.

I have sold most of our properties (primary residence) during the Winter, November-January and it has been a great experience. Many sellers think spring is the best time to put their homes on the market because there are usually more buyers out at that time of year.

What they don’t often consider is that every other homeowner is thinking the same thing, which means they’ll have the most competition. The #1 reason to list your home in the winter is there’s less competition. Inventory usually is at its lowest point in the winter, so the options buyers have are limited.

The ‘sweet spot’ for listing your house to get the most exposure happens in the late fall and winter months, typically November through January. When spring rolls around, temperatures aren’t the only thing that rises. So do the number of listings. Don’t wait for all of the competition to show up before you decide to put your home on the market.

There is an added bonus to selling during the winter: the buyers who are out looking tend to be very engaged and serious. You will be much less likely to be inconvenienced by those casually looking or just wanting to get decorating ideas for their own home. You might be surprised how often that happens during more active markets.

In the winter, the lookers are at the malls or online doing their Christmas shopping.If you’re been thinking about whether or not to sell your home or are curious about the market conditions in your area, contact me today.

I’m Cristobal Jimenez with Coldwell Banker, and I’m here to provide you with a smarter approach to real estate.

Questions? #CallCristobal now!

Sewer Inspection: How Important is it?

Often we tend to bypass the condition of the sewer line, have you ever done any maintenance to your sewer line? Do you indeed know what the condition of your sewer line is?

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When the time comes to buy and/or sell, this could be a critical item during the buy and sale process. Especially if you want to buy/sell an older property. Based on my conversation with Jerry, Roots are a big culprit on damaged sewer lines, or the residue in the line, like grease, starts to solidify and makes the pipe thin, and it clogs, and it could result on sewer back-flows.

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Read: Real Estate Blogs

Some of the repairs could be costly depending on where the line is located, if you have slab, it could be underneath the concrete and it has to be cut open to get it fixed, however before they go that route there is another technique to get it repaired and is that they insert a solution within the pipe that after some hours it solidifies and creates a pipe within the pipe.

Cris: Hello, San Diego. So today, I’m here with Jerry from Drain Mode. We just finished the sewer line inspection of our property that one of our buyers is purchasing. I want you guys to know about what Jerry does and all the services that he offers. So Jerry, could you please introduce yourself and let us know your experience in what you guys do.

Jerry: OK, well, first off, I’m Jerry. Good afternoon. Drain Mode San Diego. We do all drain cleaning, camera inspections, hydro-jetting, preventative maintenance in all the sewer lines.

Cris: Awesome. So what do you recommend people doing inspections on their drain lines, and what’s the best way for them to service them?

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Jerry: OK. I ran in the past and with my experience, and I always say it’s nice when they’re out buying a new house and everything. I say, “yes, it’s a beautiful thing, beautiful house,” but in the inside, that’s what sometimes counts, so that’s what the camera inspections come to place. So we can check the integrity of the line, make sure that you’re not buying a beautiful house, but then you have a sewer line that’s broken. When you have to remodel the tile floor and whatnot, you have to break that up so, very important for the camera inspections. When it gets times too, having like sludge or root build-up, you know there are always ways to clean our mouth besides breaking up the line or deep piping. You could always hydro-jet, which is using high-pressure water, snaking with the roof, throwing the cable down there, busting that up, and we’re looking at it with the camera at the same time so, yeah.

Cris: And Jerry, how can we get ahold of you and what’s the best contact information.

Jerry: OK, well, we’re Our number is available 24/7. That’s 619-240-0203.

Cris: Thank you, guys. This is Jerry with Drain Mode.

Jerry: If I don’t get to answer, I always have my partner, the same number, that will be Tony. Thanks again.

Cris: Sounds good. Thanks, guys.

What is Title Insurance?


During your real estate transaction, you will have to purchase title insurance whether you know it or not, it’s one of your closing costs, and as a seller, you have a cost for title insurance. As a buyer, you also purchase a policy for the lender if you are getting a mortgage. I decided to reach out to the experts and let them answer these questions for me. Here’s our conversation:

Cris: Today, I’m with Haylie Collier and Ryan Lipsey. We’re going to talk about Title today. I usually get this question asked a lot, and a lot of people want to know what Title is, and I want to get experts so they can answer that questions for us today.

Ryan: For the purposes of this video, he uses the word “expert” very loosely. (laughs). I’ve been doing Title for 20 years, almost, started 2001 and have seen everything under the sun including good markets, bad markets, crazy liens, vanilla deals, short sales, probate transactions, you name it. So we’re well-versed and have done a lot of transactions. Haylie, herself, was a title clerk.

Haylie: Yeah, I worked on the National Title Unit so I know the ins and outs of what, as you, as being a seller or buyer would get on a preliminary report that gives you all the ins and outs of your properties. So I actually ran those. So I had about 5 years of experience from the desk doing that, before I met this crazy guy.

Cris: Very cool. So, what’s Title?

Haylie: Do you want to start, or should I?

Ryan: So Title, I’ll give you the layman’s version, Title is, unlike GEICO and All-State and these other providers, so we insure the past, so we ensure the health of a property as it pertains to previous title search and to the current day transaction. So if they’re selling, we search back to when they refinanced last or the last time there was a title search done to make sure there were no liens or encumbrances or easements or any type of debt, monetary or judgments that might have survived and not shown up on the title report and we clear those items prior to a transfer, purchase or a new lender coming in a refinance, more or less. Right?

Haylie: Right. So a title insurance is a required fee, it is required for Haylie real estate transaction in the state of California. Unlike most insurances, it is a one-time fee that you pay through the close of escrow so if you’re a seller you’re paying for the owner’s policy which is insuring that buyer coming in, as Ryan said, looking back on the property making sure that there’s no liens or judgments. Because could you imagine being that new buyer of that property and 3 months down the road, having someone knock on the door and say, “I have interest in this property” or “We have a mechanic’s lien on this property and now you owe me $30,000?”. It’s crazy, so that’s why in California, it is required to get this type of insurance so, like I said, the seller pays for the homeowner’s policy to ensure the buyers coming in, one-time fee through the close of escrow. It’s a very small fee compared to all the other fees that are being paid throughout the transaction and it’s ensuring those buyers coming in and then the buyers have to pay if there’s a loan policy if they’re taking out a mortgage. They pay for their policy that covers the lender being the first one to be paid off during anything. So when they sell their property or when they go to refinance it, that first deed that trust their mortgage is being paid off and they’re paying through that, through the lender’s policy, through a title transaction as well.

Cris: Got it. So if we understood that correctly, we have two types of title policies, one for the lender and the one that the buyer gets that the seller pays. Just to make sure that we have like, a term to call it, “clean title”.

Haylie: Exactly. A clean bill of health, a clean title making sure that there’s no encumbrances or liens for them.

Ryan: And the owner’s policy really protects the seller and buyer. The seller, in the sense, that, they’re washing their hands clean of that property and the title company is now on the chopping block. So to speak, should any, if they need to file any claims, the buyer, they’re protected in the sense that they know they’re coming in to clean Title, Title or at least it’s ensured that they had a clean title. The lenders’ protected by the secondary policy because they need to know that they stand in first position to collect, should they have to foreclose on the house, hopefully never comes to that but that’s what title insurance covers the lender for. So, everybody wins, it’s non-recurring, so I know its a line item. For sellers and buyers on the high, that they wonder what they’re paying $1800 for, that’s why. It’s peace of mind, and it’s no longer if you’re a seller having to defend yourself against erroneous claims or any of that type of stuff. The buyer knows you have a clean bill of health of a title and the lender knowing that you’re in first position.

Haylie: Yeah.

Ryan: Yeah. That’s kind of the function of a title, you know, we’re happy to take it up to your clients directly. We make ourselves available to all of our agents and their costumers and we have 60 people behind that wall that do title everyday. They’re happy to assist and make sure we reach you clarity which is rare sometimes, unfortunately, the real estate’s pace.

Cris: Right.

Haylie: I was going to say, it gets a little confusing, the preliminary reports come out and they have all these items on there, talking about easements and taxes and all that information. That’s all the information we’re more than willing to help and assist with. A lot of stuff is just, public records that’s just informing the sellers and the buyers about what is there on the property.

Cris: Perfect. I just have a question before we wrap it up. What is cloud in Title mean?

Ryan: A cloud is a general term that could refer to somebody that put a flower bed on the property and there’s an easement, oh no, just an encroachment on the neighbor’s property, that clouds title. There could be a mechanic’s lien for $20,000 that was unpaid for, that clouds title. So anything that prevents a clean title would be a cloud on Title. It’s more on a generic term.

Haylie: A generic term. You know, if there was some kind of uninsured deed that was vested back in the 90’s that may not have had a certain requirements on that deed to make it a clear transfer over to the new buyers so sometimes we’ll have to go back and find another party to make sure that that was their full intent that they really did intend to vest over their property to an incoming buyer. So just kind of, if you think about it as a cloud, just makes it a little murky in a sense and that its not a clear sky, clear blue sky. Oh that’s clear who’s that vesting is and they know their liens on there and that they’re good. So the cloud just kind of means there’s a little murkiness in the sky that Title and escrow work together to clear up.Cris: Ok. Perfect.Ryan: To get to the clear the clouds.

Cris: So I don’t have anything else for you today. So again this is Ryan and Haylie with Ticor Title. If you have more questions, let us know.

Any questions? #CallCristobal now!