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We count on our trusted advisers to give us accurate and up-to-date information, and we also seek their professional opinion. Why? Because many of the people we rely on for advice have worked in their area of expertise for years. They’ve gained practical experience, and they’re in prime positions to provide guidance as well as data.
Consider these scenarios:
You’re thinking about enhancing your living space and adding to your home’s value. Whether you’re making changes indoors or outdoors, your choices can have a long-term impact. What should you do? Or, you might want to protect your assets and reduce your liability, but insurance can be complicated with its deductibles and exclusions. What are your best options? Maybe you’re thinking about saying “I do” — but how will you know you’re purchasing quality jewelry, and at a good value? Perhaps you’re simply looking for some input before you buy that fancy sports car. Is it a good fit for your lifestyle?
Saving money is only part of the equation. When you’re contemplating something big, experts can provide much-needed insight. A little bit of credible information and sound advice from a trusted adviser can help you make better decisions when it comes to your home, insurance, special jewelry, and vehicles.
Here are some trusted advisers who would be happy to share what they know.
Q: I’d like to install a chandelier in my two-story foyer, which has a large window. How do I determine the correct size?
A: To properly scale your lighting and create a balanced look, you should consider space and style. At Ray Lighting Centers, the rule of thumb regarding fixture width is to select a fixture that’s roughly 60 percent of the size of the window opening. Generally, they suggest hanging the chandelier 9 to 10 feet off the floor.
A fixture style that’s more open and airy, like an orb, is very popular and won’t fill the space as much visually, allowing you to choose a larger fixture. A style that’s more compact or solid is going to appear larger in the space, so selecting a smaller size is preferable.
Finally, think about the lighting fixtures in nearby rooms. The current trend is to mix complementary styles and metals. If you select fixtures from different designs but with common elements, you can create an interesting look that reflects your personal flair.
Q: When traveling, what should I be aware of when renting a vehicle?
A: You may know that your personal auto policy extends the same damage and liability coverage to the rental car. What you may not know is that many rental contracts also make you responsible for:
• Loss of Use to the rental company while the vehicle is repaired
• Diminished Value after it has been in an accident, and
• Reasonable Fees the rental company incurs to handle the claim.
Many auto insurers do not pay for these additional costs, while some do. Does yours? It’s just another reason to partner with a great independent agent like FIDA, which can advise you on your options and offer an array of top-notch insurance providers that can tailor coverage for you.
Q: What are the advantages of choosing a composite deck over a wood deck for my house?
A: There are many advantages to a composite deck. Each year, the cost of construction materials and labor increases. If you build a deck today, within five years it could cost as much as 40 percent more — and that automatically increases your home’s value. Material companies such as Trex also give you a 25-year transferable warranty, if you were to sell your home.
With composite decks being highly resistant to scratching, staining, and warping, your deck will look brand-new for years to come. The upfront cost pays for itself with virtually no maintenance, as there’s no need for sealing and staining like you would have to do with cedar. Not only is this environmentally friendly, but the cost of staining and sealing is very pricey, and it’s something that needs to be done every couple of years.
Another advantage of composite decks is the variety of color options. Composite decking comes in a range of colors that’s sure to make your outdoor living space exactly what you want.
Composite is the way to go.
Q: I’m in the market for an exotic vehicle. How important is my choice of dealership?
A: Exotic vehicle ownership goes far beyond your purchase. Not only is it about the brand you choose, but you should also feel confident that the dealership will take excellent care of both you and your vehicle. At Cauley Ferrari of Detroit, countless relationships are built with their clients, and these relationships often turn into solid friendships.
When buying an exotic car, it’s important to get to know the service team before you make a purchase. Cauley Ferrari’s service manager was rated No. 1 in the world by Ferrari. He’s been with the dealership, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, since Day One, and he knows the brand very well. The Cauley Ferrari team also includes two certified master technicians. In addition to new vehicle sales and service, the dealership also sells pre-owned vehicles, performs restorations, and has its own Ferrari- and Tesla-authorized body shop.
Ferrari ownership is a lifestyle. Cauley Ferrari truly encompasses everything about the brand through its newly expanded 53,000-square-foot dealership. The second floor is dedicated to Ferrari’s history and includes a museum space, library section, and a lounge that emulates the house of Ferrari’s founder, Enzo Ferrari. The Cauley Ferrari team is also very active in local, national, and global Ferrari events, and they all agree: It’s all about their clients becoming part of the Ferrari family.
Q: What’s the trend for men’s wedding rings in 2019?
A: Younger grooms, particularly millennials, are leaning more toward alternative materials in wedding bands — specifically tungsten carbide. Tungsten carbide is harder and less expensive than traditional gold, and it also tends to have a rugged look that men like.
Although this hard metal with a steel appearance isn’t new, today’s ring designs definitely are. Design options for tungsten carbide bands have expanded into incorporating other materials for layering and inlays, such as 14kt gold, gemstones, ceramic, colored enamels, mother of pearl, and wood. Hand-tooling and engraving can make the overall designs more ornate.
Simply put, in 2019, expanded options for tungsten carbide offer an appealing variety to men’s wedding bands.
Q: What actions can be taken for family wealth-planning, to prevent future arguments?
A: Families can take concrete steps now to ensure their financial affairs are in order, their intentions are clear, and everyone in the family is on the same page.
• Organize finance-oriented documents. This includes your will, power of attorney forms, health care proxy, trusts, and, if applicable, a “do not resuscitate” order. You’ll a need a list of accounts, including bank and brokerage accounts, 401(k) accounts, IRAs, safe deposit boxes, auto-pay accounts, pension documents, savings bonds, life insurance policies, and long-term care insurance policies, as well as a plan to allow your loved ones access with minimal headaches during a stressful time.
• Communicate with your family members. Take time to talk with your children or other heirs about the “why” behind the choices you’ve made. By explaining your reasoning, you can nip potential quarrels in the bud.
• Establish your estate plan. After you’ve thought through the legacy you want to leave and all the potential implications, it’s time to get it on paper — or on a hard drive. Even if your plans change and evolve over time, the basics are likely to remain the same.
Q: Is now a good time to sell our luxury market home?
A: The real estate market is performing well on both the buying and selling sides. The luxury market is gaining traction. Interest rates are low and people are able to obtain appealing mortgage rates.
Now is a great time to sell if you’ve been in your home a while; you can finally sell at true or over market value! Lately, buyers have been making offers on homes over asking price due to a competitive market with our limited inventory. Sheel Sohal focuses on marketing properties globally in addition to locally, and we’re seeing more people make the move to Michigan to buy a home.
However, buyers are also particular these days. Whenever you’re selling, at any level, make sure your home has a fresh appeal. Paint, landscaping cleanup, and exterior work can all help. And our professional home stagers on staff can make your home more buyer-friendly.
Some buyers, not finding what they want, are opting to build their dream home instead. We specialize in new construction and waterfront properties, so if you’d prefer to build, we would be more than happy to help.