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General Articles

sanitizing your home naturally

The coronavirus pandemic has made us realize the importance of personal hygiene. At the same time, it has also highlighted the importance of keeping your surroundings clean, and this is where home sanitization comes in.

Here are a few tips that will help you sanitize your home:

Get Ready

Before you start, you need to take stock of your cleaning supplies. If you plan to sanitize your home naturally, make sure you have natural cleaning agents such as vinegar, baking soda, borax, citrus fruits, cornstarch, essential oils, etc. You may also need equipment such as empty bottles and microfiber cloths.

Create a Sanitizer

Each ingredient is essential and has a purpose. For instance, vinegar is a disinfectant and cleans surfaces thoroughly. On the other hand, borax and baking soda are salts that absorb odor and remove tough stains. You can combine these and store them in containers. Remember to keep it fresh, as it can be effective only when it is fresh.

You need to combine half a cup of vinegar, a quarter of a cup of baking soda, and 4-8 cups of hot water to prepare a sanitizer. You can use this to clean mirrors and glass surfaces. For a more concentrated solution, consider mixing two tablespoons of borax, a quarter cup of vinegar, and two cups of hot water.

Heat half a cup of vinegar or 3% hydrogen peroxide solution.  Alternatively, you can mix club soda and vinegar in a 1:1 ratio and add a few drops of essential oil. Pour it into a bottle, spray it over surfaces and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping the surfaces.

Clean Your Drains

Sprinkle a spoon of baking soda over the drain and pour vinegar over it. Let it sit for a few minutes and wipe it with warm water. Scrub your toilet with the borax/baking soda and vinegar solution for clean tiles. Use the same solution for cleaning the bathroom and shower area.

Sanitizing Appliances

Combine lemon juice, water, and baking soda in a bowl and use it to get rid of food odor and residue in the microwave. For fixing your garbage disposal pipe, pour lemon juice (or peels) through it along with some ice.

Follow these tips to keep your home clean and disinfected. Another way to protect your house is by getting the right homeowners insurance. Contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, for all your coverage needs.

motorcycle insurance quote agencies

A motorcycle ride can be fun, especially in a group. Whether you are a passionate motorcyclist or just another person with a bike, a ride with your buddies can act as a huge stress reliever. These days, bike riding is seen as a recreational activity. However, riding is not 100% risk-free. The risks increase when you are riding in a group.

Follow these tips to ensure your safety:

Plan Ahead

Always plan your route and stops before you hit the road. Impulsive decisions will not work out well as you cannot communicate easily with other members while riding. Such actions will also increase the risk of road accidents.

Make Sure You Are Fully Equipped

Always double-check your gear and equipment before starting a trip with your motorcycle group. Make sure that your motorcycle is in excellent condition because if it breaks down in the middle of a ride, you will be slowing down all your fellow riders as well.

Additionally, a poorly maintained motorcycle will increase the chances of damages that may put you in a situation where you would need to claim your motorcycle insurance.

Learn to Communicate Via Sign Language

You cannot communicate easily with fellow riders while riding. Use hand signals and gestures along your ride when you wish to express something. Plan and discuss your gestures ahead of time so that both parties can understand the messages easily. Never forget to use your motorcycle’s indicator lights while making turns.

Get Motorcycle Insurance

In any activity, safety always comes first. Roads are becoming increasingly dangerous due to more number of people commuting for various purposes every day. Look for motorcycle insurance in Colleyville, TX, to secure your vehicle.

Group riding can be a great recreational activity, but make sure you never ignore your safety. Want to learn more about securing an insurance plan for your vehicle? Contact the experts at The Schwab Agency. We will help you get the best motorcycle insurance in Colleyville, Texas.

recreational vehicle insurance

There are numerous factors to consider before buying a recreational vehicle, from the model to the value of money. The seller will give you minimum information, so it is up to you to get more details. Inquire about various factors, most importantly, about the RV insurance quote. Keep the following factors in mind before purchasing an RV.

Do Not Rush

Purchasing an RV requires a significant investment. In the excitement of buying a luxury vehicle, customers tend to focus only on the appearance of the RV, failing to notice other essential components like the plumbing system, resale value, recreational vehicle insurance, etc. Do not rush and do adequate research before buying it.

Know its Real Worth

Whether it’s brand new or second hand, every RV has a value. The moment a new RV leaves the seller’s lot, its value drops by 25%. Therefore, consider buying a used RV, if you find one in good condition.

Costly Maintenance

You will need to spend a lot annually for the maintenance of an RV. Maintenance of the brakes, bearings, bushings, moldings, doors, etc. is expensive. If general maintenance is performed regularly, an RV can last up to 15 years.

RV Insurance

Once you purchase an RV, apart from the buying cost, you will have to pay for licensing, repair work, maintenance, etc. Thus it is advisable to buy insurance for your RV. Companies selling the best RV insurance in Colleyville TX will inform you about underwriting factors like the coverage available, requirements of the state, rates, etc.

Make sure you are aware of all these facts before purchasing an RV. Owning an RV goes far beyond just driving one around. It involves significant expenses and maintenance, which can gradually be tiresome. Contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, for all your questions about RV insurance.

house on hand

The home insurance premium rate varies from one location to another. Like the age and construction of your house, the location is another factor that the insurance agency uses to asses risk. Read on to learn more about the reasons why location influences home insurance rates.

Three Reasons That Affect Home Insurance Rates

Your Location and Neighborhood

If the location of your home has a high rate of crime, falls in the coastal zone, near a water body, or falls in a high-traffic zone, insuring your home can be expensive. If your home is located near the sea, a river, or a large water body, it may be prone to flooding, so you need to pay more for insurance, as standard home insurance policies do not cover flood damage.

Homes insurance premiums can also be expensive in high-crime zones. On the contrary, if your home is near a fire station, you may be able to secure a lower premium.

The City

Check if the city belongs to the bygone era. Old cities with old houses are more vulnerable to structural damage than modern apartments. Insurance premium also depends on the city’s accident rate. Since bigger cities with more traffic are prone to frequent accidents, it can significantly influence home insurance rates.

The Province

Some provinces in the US witness high-seismic activity or are more susceptible to flood or wildfire. The premium rates will be higher in these places. Your home insurance premium will be low if your province is safe and secure.

This is how location influences home insurance rates. If you are looking to get the right homeowners insurance with a low premium, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas. We are ready to help you get the coverage you need.

woman on phone and laptop

Helpful tips for female entrepreneurs.

International Women’s Day is coming up on the 8th.  As this holiday is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and contributions of women throughout history, now is the perfect time to take a chance and start building the business that you’ve always dreamed of.  For aspiring female business owners, here are some of the suggestions to consider.

  • Assess Your Strengths

Before jumping in headfirst, you need to have a clear idea of what your business will be.  Just because you can do a little bit of everything doesn’t mean that you should.  Rather than stretching yourself too thin, think objectively about what you are good at and what you would like to devote your life to doing.  Once you have a solid idea of what your business will specialize in, this will guide all your other business decisions.

  • Do the Necessary Research

As an entrepreneur trying to launch a business, it’s absolutely imperative that you do the proper research.  For instance, you should explore your potential markets, investigate potential competitors, and think of ways to set your company apart.  You should also work to foster connections with other entrepreneurs and local businesses and make the most of their practical advice and guidance.  The more you know about your industry’s professional landscape, the better equipped you will be to make an impact.

  • Make a Plan

Every burgeoning business needs a plan to get started.  For instance, you should set financial goals, create your value proposition, and map out the steps that you will take to achieve commercial success.  By setting concrete goals and determining the metrics you will use to measure success, you can keep your business moving forward.

These are some of the tips that female entrepreneurs should try when starting a business.  Once you launch your company, you need to protect it with the right business insurance.  For assistance with all your commercial coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

mother sitting with distraught teen

How you can support your teen if they are in a toxic relationship.

February is Teen Dating and Violence Awareness Month.  A major goal of this month is offering resources and support to young adults who are in or who have recently escaped a bad relationship.  If you are a parent who suspects that their teen is involved in a harmful relationship, then your child needs your support more than ever.  Here are some of the things that you can do to help your teen.

  • Listen and Withhold Judgment

Oftentimes, it can be difficult to get your teen to talk about a bad relationship.  The best way to get them to open up is by offering gentle support without judgment.  If your teen does want to talk, then be a good listener.  Do not interrupt to offer advice or make accusations.  Let your teen lead the conversation and only offer insight when prompted.  Of course, if your teen is in immediate danger, then contact the necessary authorities or emergency services.

  • Don’t Give Ultimatums

As a parent, you may have to resist the urge to order your teen to break up with their abusive partner.  While you are doing this out of concern, your teen may see this as interfering and shut you out again.  For a breakup to be successful, your teen needs to want it for themselves.  While it will be difficult, you have to accept the situation and trust that your child knows how to manage it.  Continue to offer support until your teen can find the strength to walk away.

  • Offer Resources

Sometimes, you cannot offer the support or help that your child needs.  If your teen isn’t comfortable talking to you, then do not take it personally.  Instead, do your best to connect your teen with counselors or other professionals that can help them manage their situation.  While it’s hard to step back, it’s important that your teen feels safe and empowered enough to make decisions on their own.

These are some of the things that you can do to help your child deal with a bad relationship.  Want another way to protect your loved ones?  Then make sure you have the right personal insurance in place.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, today.

cardboard home next to calculator and money

Have bad credit?  Then here’s how you can still be approved for a home loan.

If you have bad credit, then getting approved for a home loan can be challenging.  However, this does not mean it’s impossible.  With FHA loans, borrowers can secure financing, even if their credit score is low.  Here’s what you need to know about this bad credit home loan program.

What is an FHA Loan?

FHA loans were created by the Federal Housing Administration in 1934 as a way to increase homeownership across the U.S.  FHA loans are government-backed, meaning that lenders can offer these types of loans without assuming risk.  This means that lenders are safe to offer FHA loans to borrowers who would otherwise be considered too risky to approve.

FHA Loan Requirements

While traditional mortgage loans require borrowers to have a credit score of at least 640, FHA loans have much more lenient credit requirements.  FHA loans are available to individuals with credit scores as low as 500.  If your credit score is anywhere from 500-579, then you can secure a loan with a 10% down payment.  Individuals with a credit score of 580 or above can secure an FHA loan with a 3.5% down payment.

Please note that you will have to prove compensating factors that make up for your low credit score.  Common compensating factors include the following:

  • Large down payment (10% down or more)
  • Low debt-to-income ratio
  • High income
  • No outstanding debt
  • Large amount of cash reserves
  • Proof of significant amount of time with current employer
  • Proof of ability to make comparable rent payments

This is what you need to know about FHA loans and how they are providing financing opportunities for individuals with bad credit.  Are you looking to buy a home?  If so, then it’s time to start shopping for homeowners insurance.  For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, today.

couple holding hands and showing off engagement ring

Important financial steps for couples.

If you have gotten engaged or are thinking about getting engaged, then congratulations!  This is a major step for you and your partner.  However, before you advance your relationship, it’s important that you are both on the same page when it comes to your finances.  Here are some of the important financial matters that couples should take care of before getting married.

  • Provide Access to Personal Information

One of the most important things to do with your partner is tell them where to find your important financial information.  This includes things like your checking, saving, and investment accounts, as well as information on your insurance, loans, and so on.  You should also tell your significant other where to find important documents like your birth certificate, titles, deeds, safe deposit key, and so on.  Having this conversation now will help them know where to find important information in the event of an emergency.

  • Discuss Financial Responsibilities

To avoid arguments or misunderstandings in the future, you should determine your spending and saving habits now.  You should also decide if you are going to open a joint checking account, who will handle paying the bills, and how you will handle major purchasing decisions.  By having a clear plan, you and your partner will be far more likely to manage your money wisely and avoid major fights.

  • Write Your Wills

To ensure that you have a say in how your estate and assets are managed after your death, you should create or update your will.  When writing your will, include your partner as a beneficiary to ensure that they receive a portion of your assets.  Additionally, decide if you will give them power of attorney, which would give them the authority to manage your affairs after your death.

These are some of the financial responsibilities that you and your partner should take care of before getting married.  Do you need help securing the right life insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  We are ready to get you the coverage that you need today.

organized desk

Tips for getting your home organized this year.

If you are like many other Americans and have set a resolution to get organized in 2020, you may not know where to start.  While the idea of cleaning and decluttering may seem overwhelming, there are steps that you can take to get started and stay motivated as you clean up your act.  Here are some of the organization tips that you should try.

  • Start in One Place

While you probably have several disorganized areas in your home, it’s best to focus on one at a time.  Start your organization journey with the area that bothers you the most, or the area that others are most likely to see.  Once you have decided where to start, keep working on this area until you have completely cleared away the clutter and organized things to your satisfaction.  When you focus on cleaning up one area at a time, you will have an easier time staying focused and will be less likely to get overwhelmed at the prospect of organizing your entire home.

  • Take Your Time

Many homeowners get frustrated when organization projects take longer than a day.  However, cleaning and organization takes a considerable amount of energy, so it will likely take you a while to get everything done.  Rather than rushing through things and challenging yourself to get your home in order overnight, it’s better to slow down and be thorough.  By tackling your organization projects over a span of several days, you can take your time and avoid frustration and burnout.

  • Maximize Your Space

Some homeowners struggle to keep things organized because they do not have enough storage for their household items.  If you need more storage space, then you should look around your home and think about ways that you can make use of wasted space.  For instance, many homeowners overlook the additional storage space they have underneath their beds or over their doors.  By getting creative and looking for ways to repurpose your space, you can create more storage and keep your home organized longer.

These are some of the organization tips that you should try out this year.  Remember, the start of the year is also a good time to get your various insurance policies into order.  Are you looking for assistance with your insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

woman petting dog

Keep your furry friends safe all winter long.

As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to protect your pet from all the dangers that they face.  Unfortunately, during the winter months, your pet faces more risks than ever.  To keep your furry friends safe this season, here are some of the precautions that you should take.

  • Do Not Leave Your Pets Alone in the Car

While most pet owners understand the dangers of leaving their pets in the car during summer, many are not aware that it’s also dangerous to do so in winter.  When your car sits idle, it traps cold air, and the temperature inside your vehicle can actually drop below the temperature outside.  Obviously, leaving your pet in such conditions makes them susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia.  Remember, even dogs that are bred for cold conditions are at risk for these cold-weather risks.

  • Keep Them Warm for Potty Breaks

When your dog’s fur gets wet, it does not insulate well.  This is why you should protect your dog with a waterproof coat when taking them out in wet conditions.  When selecting a coat for your pet, look for one that will not impede their ability to go to the bathroom and also look for ones that provide much-needed coverage to their sensitive tummy area.

  • Schedule a Vet Appointment

If your pet has not gone for their annual vet checkup, then you should schedule an appointment this winter.  Cold weather can exacerbate your pet’s existing conditions, such as arthritis, or make them more prone to injury.  Having your pet examined by a professional will help you diagnose any medical conditions that you were not aware of and can also help you keep your pet happy and healthy this season.

These are some of the steps that you should take to keep your pet safe this winter.  Want another way to care for your pet and other loved ones?  Then make sure you have the right personal insurance protections in place.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, today.

COVID-19 Update:

Due to new increasing cases of Covid-19 our office will be closed to the general public until further notice. Our team will still be working full-time in the office and here to assist with all your insurance needs. Please contact us via phone at (817) 485-5050 or email: info@schwabagency.com.

We hope everyone is doing their part to protect themselves and their loved ones during these hard times, and thank everyone for understanding our decision to do our part to help protect our staff and those in our community.

Tim Schwab.
President and Managing Partner