Tips for First-Time Home Buyers
You’ve decided that you’re ready to purchase your first home. This will likely be one of the most exciting times of your life. However, because of the complexities of financing and real estate, it could also be one of the most stressful. Before you dive in, it’s obviously wise to discuss the process with your loan officer and real estate agent. Though these experts are helpful, they may not have all the answers, especially when it comes to homeowners insurance. That’s why we’ve put together these 5 useful tips for first-time home buyers.
Research the Area
Because your real estate agent is motivated to sell you a house quickly, they may leave out certain details about an area. So before you make an offer on a seemingly perfect home, take some time to research the area. Look at crime rates, school ratings, and amenities. This information will show how safe and convenient the area is. Also, high crime areas often have higher homeowners and car insurance premiums.
Check the Zoning
You can find information about flood, wind, fire or evacuation zoning on the county or city government websites. You can also search through federal agencies like FEMA. If a property is at a higher risk for natural disasters, this could put you in harm’s way. It will also affect your homeowners insurance. High-risk homes could be uninsurable or subject to expensive premiums. You also may need to purchase additional policies to cover things like flood, earthquake, or sinkhole damage.
Ask the Owner For an Annual Expense Report
Unfortunately a mortgage isn’t the only expense you’ll need to prepare for. Some owner’s are willing to disclose specific information about their annual home expenses. This includes property taxes, homeowner’s insurance premiums, HOA fees, and utility bills. Knowing this will give you a clearer picture of what the home will actually cost each year.
Order a Home Inspection
Most mortgage and insurance companies require a 4-point inspection to validate the home’s roof, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. It’s also wise to request a wind mitigation report to examine how well the home will withstand high winds. A home inspection could also prepare you for potential disasters or unexpected repairs. On the other hand, it may also prove that the home is in great condition. A clean report should make you eligible for certain homeowners insurance deductions.
Shop For Homeowners Insurance
Purchasing homeowners insurance is an important step in the home buying process. For one, mortgage lenders require it. You will not be able to finance a home without a homeowners insurance policy. However, even if you’re buying a home with cash, it’s still wise to insure your investment. Bugarlies and unforeseen disasters can happen to anyone at any time. Homeowners insurance can protect you from financial ruin and give you some peace of mind.
Before you select an insurance provider, shop around to make sure you’re getting the best rate and the proper coverage. Reach out to a few insurance agencies and come prepared with questions. An agency will search through their carrier network to provide you with the lowest quote. Once you get a few quotes, you can make an informed decision about which is right for you.
First-Time Home Buyer? Trust Nickerson With Your Homeowners Insurance
At Nickerson Insurance Services, Inc., we want to make sure you’re protected when the unexpected occurs. Over the past 60 years, we’ve built a network of partnering homeowners insurance carriers with outstanding reputations. Our agents will be able to match you with a comprehensive policy at a reasonable rate. Request a quote and get the protection you need and deserve.