Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Putting Cash Back in Your Wallet.... The Chris Matthews Way. DISCOUNTS ON INSURANCE!

With every sold property comes a need to obtain property insurance. I, Chris Matthews, always aim to ease the burden of my client's wallets so I had a list compiled of some common discounts you can get on not only your property insurance, but your car insurance as well.

- Multi-line discounts (typically the largest discount)

Multi-line means multiple policies, such as when you have your property insurance and auto insurance or two cars with the same carrier. Most companies will recognize an umbrella policy with things like personal articles (ex. jewelry), flood policy, renter's insurance, condo, boat, or yacht when giving a discount.

- Paperless (small discount for no paper bills)
- Mature Homeowner (55+ years of age)
- Early Quote Advantage (receive quote 8 days prior to closing on auto policy)
- Good Student (A or B average, grade needed varies with carrier)
- Defensive Driving Class taken
- Security Systems (Deadbolts, Monitored smoke alarms, Security Systems)
- New Home Discount (what age qualifies as "new" varies by carrier)
- Home Buyer Discount
- Continuous Insurance (3+ years with the same carrier)
- Green Home Discount (Home has particular energy efficient features)
- Hybrid Car Discount
- Claims-Free Discount (haven't filed any claims for a certain length of time)

Not ALL carriers provide all of these discounts, but the easiest way to find out is to call them up! Important to remember when choosing an insurance carrier: Make sure what you need protected is covered first, then look for best price. Don't purchase based on discounts because policies that are heavily discounted on price usually have been heavily discounted on coverage.
Special Thanks To: Sarah Delaune of Carroll & Delaune Insurance Services. www.carroll-delaune.com

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Round Rock Ranks As One of America's SAFEST Cities!

Round Rock, TX ranks as the #2 safest among cities with populations from 100,000 to 499,000 in Texas and #9 safest city in the nation according to a survey conducted by CQ Press! Texas has 32 cities with populations over 100,000 and only Frisco, TX outranked Round Rock as being "safer." In addition, Austin, TX ranked #6 lowest crime ranking of 34 cities of populations of 500,000 or more nationwide.

The crime rate rankings of the cities and metro areas are calculated using six categories: aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, murder, rape, and robbery. Among cities with 75,000 population or greater, Round Rock ranked #25 overall in the 2010 survey.

This is the sixth consecutive year Round Rock has ranked among the 20 safest cities in the nation. In 2005, Round Rock ranked #8, in 2006 and 2007 Round Rock was #13, in 2008 it was ranked #19, and in 2009 Round Rock ranked #18 in the survey. This is a remarkable series of rankings for a city to achieve. 

The city of Round Rock conducted a survey of their own in March and April 2010 via a seven page survey administered to random residents by mail and phone. The results of the 459 residents showed that 90% said they feel "safe" or "very safe" in Round Rock and that 93% feel the city is "headed in the right direction."

Not that I associate myself with criminals, but I've heard through the grapevine that Williamson County in general, brings the hammer when sentencing punishments for crimes. Perhaps, the stiffer penalties could be a reason that criminals shy away from committing their law breaking in the county.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Remodeling Projects That Pay Off

Some interesting numbers have just come out for those who are interested in doing some remodeling to their homes. According to the 2009-2010 Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report, exterior projects add more value than interior ones. Here are some numbers specific to the West South Central Region of the United States (Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma). Keep in mind that these are averages and that the rates of return can be effected greatly by location, neighborhood, scope of project, and quality of materials used.

Percentage of cost recouped by replacing an entry door with new steel unit, the highest return of any project in the report.

Percentage of cost recouped by adding a 16' x 20' composite deck.

Percentage of cost recouped by adding a 16' x 20' foot wood deck.

Percentage of cost recouped by converting an attic to a bedroom, the highest return of any interior project.

Estimated return from adding a master suite, the most expensive project in the report with one of the lowest rates of return.

For more remodeling project numbers go here: http://www.remodeling.hw.net/2009/costvsvalue/national.aspx

Monday, January 3, 2011


HAPPY NEW YEAR! I don't know about you, but I have a special resolution for 2011. I am going to set up the weight bench that has been gathering dust in my garage and get this finely tuned machine oiled up and back into lady killing mode....well maybe just one lady....my wife, but she's gorgeous...so that's as good as two ladies. That's me above conquering the real estate globe with my new ripped body. No photoshop needed.

Once upon a time, when my wife and I first met, I was a colossus of strength. My wife would say my gigantic arm muscles were too big to display in public, but I beg to differ. How does one quell his desire to be vastly superior in every physical realm? God blessed me at that time with veins the size of bamboo shoots and a neck as thick as two bricks bound together with twine. What was I supposed to do? Drape a blanket over myself? No, I will not. I didn't work hard to be modest.

So I aim to get back to that in the year 2011. Jealousy will come, but it is natural and we must show respect for each other as a community. When you see me at the pool, you will stare....and you will say, "Oh my gosh!" and maybe whisper to your friends. I just want the people of Austin to know that God hears you, and he knows. He wiped sweat from his brow when he finished making me....a physical marvel.

I'm sorry. I go off in day dream tangents. I'm 5'11'' and 160 lbs. and to be honest, my wife says I need to wax my chest before I go to the pool or my hair will clog the filters. Whatever! She is exaggerating! My hair is minimal, soft, and beautiful, some say like a Chinchilla.