Shopping for a home? Who are you going to call?

    Realtor? Check. Loan officer? Check. There are a handful of people who are absolutely crucial to the home buying process. But what about your insurance agent? Your agent may be one of the last people you think you need to consult with when shopping for a home. But it’s someone you’ll want to call earlier in the home buying process than you may think.

    Why? Some homes cost significantly more to insure than others, which can drive up your monthly house payment. In other cases, there may be needed repairs before you can get coverage. That’s something you don’t want to find out a day or two before you’re scheduled to close. Here are some types of properties that can be costly to insure:

    Distressed homes. Bank-owned properties can be great deals. But they also can have a number of issues, such as peeling paint, a roof that needs to be replaced or a crumbling patio. These would all have to be addressed before the property would qualify for homeowner’s insurance coverage.

    Older homes. Older heating, cooling and wiring systems or anything that doesn’t meet construction code could be a concern.

    Homes with safety issues. Some homes have safety concerns, such as stairs and steps without handrails or a lack of fencing around swimming pools.

    A quick call to your insurance agent when you find a home you’re thinking of buying is a good first step. Happy house hunting!

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