CLEVELAND - We're quick to spend money on fancy televisions, computers, smartphones, and gaming systems, but have you invested any money in protecting those items?
It takes just one storm for your electronics to go from treasure to trash as our viewers showed us in 2010.
Solon, Ohio-based Erico works with utilities to give consumers protection from surges.
"You have a much higher sensitivity in the electronics so it doesn't take as much of a power strike or power surge to create damage in your home," Michael Gassman of Erico explained.
The company makes whole-house surge protection units.
"It stops the surge right here and takes the energy to the ground," Gassman said.
Many large utilities are not currently selling the device, but consumers can buy the device on their own and hook it up to their breaker box. It offers the same amount of protection and will cost you just a few hundred dollars.
Saving money on your investment
How about saving a few hundred dollars each month? It's possible if you refinance. It's a consumer trend from 2010, but few people are reaping the benefits.
Recent President of the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association, Jeffrey Steed, said, "If you're thinking about a refi there is no reason to wait."
Jennifer Forshey is one of the smart consumers who refinanced in 2010, and it's saving her $150 a month.
"You have to talk to a professional and see where the math falls out," Forshey explained.
Steed dropped her payment when interest rates dropped in early summer. They've been up and down the past few months, but they're down compared to years past and have reached historic lows.
Steed said consumers can save significantly, but some are not even trying because they think they won't qualify.
"The value of the home at least for us in Northeast Ohio has improved dramatically from where it was two years ago," Steed explained.
Just expect a different experience than a few years ago. Be prepared to discuss your debts, credit, and income and expect a lot of paperwork. The new regulations also doubled loan files.
If you're a Veteran or have an FHA loan, you can refinance the loan in most cases without an appraisal.
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