An Insurance Agent's Perspective On Purchasing A Home...

Buying a house from an Insurance agents point of view is different than a realtors point of view. After 18 years of experience an countless properties tours across the city of Austin, I have come up with a list of items to consider when purchasing a house from an insurance agents perspective.

1. The Clue report - I have seen countless times sellers who "forgot" about a 30 to 50 thousand dollar water loss from the prior year. My favorite is the 189k fire loss they "forgot" to disclose from the prior year. Clue report shows any losses the prior owner has filled in the last 5 years.

2. Flood insurance - with flood maps being updated in Travis county the flood map from FEMA is critical to use over the one provided by ABOR. Flood insurance in a non flood zone starts at 225 a year. I believe everyone should have it. I don't need to give the statistics on the people across Austin, Houston and the country who were not in a flood zone and still flooded.

3. Trees - Trees are beautiful. As an insurance agent I hate trees!!! They fall on houses, the limbs rub the protection off of the shingles, the roots cause slab damage and they roots clog up pipes. When buying a house with large trees you must be knowledgeable on how to prevent these losses from happening.

4. The roof - There has not been any major hail storms in the last 15 years in the Dripping Springs area. Roofs are beginning to get to their life expectancy. The average multi-tab roof has a warranty for 30 years but really only last 15 to 20 in Texas. The basic three tab roofs or 20 years roofs really only last 10 to 12 years. Be careful on older roofs, they may not be insurable.

5. Preventative maintenance - owning a house is just like owning a car. You must "change the oil" every year. Example is caulking around the windows, having a roofer walk the roof for damage, checking the septic tank or having a handyman walk the property with you look for issues.

I hope this helps you see a house from a different perspective!