What’s on your “must-have” list for a new home? As you search for the perfect location, great schools, and plenty of storage space, don’t forget another important consideration. Insurance. With so many other items on your “wants-and-needs list,” you might overlook this particular need. It may be a costly mistake. Avoid buyer’s remorse, keep the following in mind as you choose your dream home:
- Location: Is the home near the coast? This typically makes insurance more expensive. You may also need a separate hurricane deductible. For inland locations – is it in a floodplain? This requires separate flood insurance.
- Age: Older homes are often quite charming. However, they can cost more to insure. Plaster walls and outdated electrical systems can be expensive to replace. Check to see what has been updated and research how these antique features may affect your insurance rates.
- Roof: What is the condition of the roof? What type of roof does it have? If it’s been recently replaced with high-quality materials, your insurance will be much simpler and cheaper.
- High-risk features: The gorgeously appointed swimming pool may look inviting, but it will require additional liability insurance. If the home has a pool, hot tub, or other special feature, keep this cost in mind as you consider making an offer.
- Building codes: Not every home is built to meet current engineering standards. For both safety and insurability concerns, make sure your home-to-be complies with current codes. (Note: Your real estate agent may help here.)
- Minimize unpleasant surprises: As you shop the market for your new home, consult with your insurance agent. He or she can help you assess any issues that may exist in the properties you are considering. And it will save you from any insurance surprises after you close the deal.