Ask an expert: I wish I knew (THIS) before I bought my house

March 29, 2020 by PEMCO Insurance

Even though your new-home shopping may be on hold for a bit (or at least confined to online video tours), you'll want to be ready once the need for social distancing has passed.


Have you ever wondered what PEMCO experts consider deal-breakers when shopping for their own homes? We reached out to managers in Claims, Product, Underwriting and other departments to find out. Their responses included a few surprises:

Views. Everybody loves a view, right? Unfortunately, view property (think water or hilly vistas) can be disproportionately susceptible to risks like flooding, erosion or landslides. Before you fall in love with that killer view (and pay that killer price), investigate the property's history. For example, PEMCO sometimes hires geotechnical engineers to answer questions about land stability and the causes of landslides.

Pools. Depending on where you live, a swimming pool can be a real drain at resale, deterring future buyers concerned about maintenance costs and safety for young children. A pool increases costs for insurance because of its potential for an accident. Worse, if it's not protected from unauthorized access, you may have trouble qualifying for coverage.

Wildfire potential. Homes bordering wildlands can be susceptible to wildfire, with some even being ineligible for insurance coverage. If in doubt, call us and we'll check for you.

Location. Insurance rates consider access to fire protection as well as crime statistics which, if on the higher side, can cost you more. Something else that can catch home buyers by surprise? Their car insurance rates can go up. That's because longer commutes affect the annual mileage you put on your vehicles.

Old homes. That vintage charmer could be harboring more than a friendly ghost in the attic. Hidden problems like failing pipes, overloaded wiring, potentially leaky oil tanks, lead paint and asbestos are some of the scary things that send our pros packing. Look for these tipoffs to trouble.

The neighbors. A perfect home that sits adjacent to one with junk cars in the yard is, sadly, a no-thanks. Those neighbors may be lovely people, but how long can you happily look at a '78 Chevy with blackberry vines growing through the grille? 

Do you have a "wish I'd have known …" home-buying story that you'd like to share? Tell us below in Comments

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