Wedding season is underway and with that, many newlyweds begin the search for their first home together. With all of the excitement in the search for the perfect home, it is easy to forget important details, but one that cannot be overlooked is home insurance.
Whether you just said “I do” or you’re looking to upgrade for your growing family, there are important things to remember when it comes to home insurance. You need to be aware of the factors in a home that can affect your home insurance options and learn when you’ll need to have a policy in place.
Millhiser Smith provides the knowledge and support you need to choose the best home insurance policy for your new place. Below are six factors you need to consider while shopping for your dream home.
Insurance rates are generally lower when a house is located near fire stations or fire hydrants. Adversely, if the home is located in high-risk areas subject to vandalism and theft, the cost to insure the home will increase.
2. Age and Condition of Home
The condition of the home’s systems (electrical, plumbing, heating/cooling, and safety) and the roof determine the cost of insurance. If a home has been poorly maintained or has outdated systems, the insurance rates will be higher. With that in mind, older homes usually cost more to insure as they generally have older systems and are more prone to damages.
3. Vulnerability to Outside Factors
Along with the condition of the home, the way it was designed and built determine its ability to withstand wind, fire, and other natural disasters. Homes that meet current building codes and were built with durable materials like brick and stone are less vulnerable to disaster and cost less to insure. Location also comes into play here, as areas with higher probabilities for disasters (i.e. flood zones) will have higher insurance costs.
Insurance rates will be lower for homes with the proper safety devices installed, including security systems, smoke detectors, and sprinklers.
5. Special Features
Attractions like pools and trampolines may seem like bonus features, however, they also bring added liability which can increase your insurance costs.
6. Credit Rating
Just as the factors above assess the risk of a home, the risk of the homeowner also plays a role in the cost and availability of home insurance options. Home buyers with a clean credit history are considered low-risk and generally receive lower home insurance rates.
For additional information regarding any of these factors, contact us.
Don’t Wait on a Rate
You’ve been considerate of the home insurance factors throughout your house hunting process and you’ve found the place you’d like to call home. Before closing, there are two things that need to be done.
1. Get an inspection.
It is important to get a thorough inspection of the home to be sure there aren’t serious underlying issues that will prevent you from getting the insurance you need, and more importantly, from living safely in the home. If you make an offer on the home, be sure that it is contingent on the results of the home inspection.
2. Get quotes for home insurance.
You should also be shopping for your home insurance during this time as many lenders will require proof of insurance before closing. You want to be sure that you will be able to find an insurance option for the home you’re looking to purchase that will meet your needs in terms of protection and affordability.