One of the most significant shifts in our culture through this pandemic has been the realization that people can work effectively from remote locations. This shift has caused a spike in migration out of the big cities and into the country. Homeownership of these newly sought-after ‘Shangri las’ come with special considerations that city dwellings do not. Here are few things to evaluate when picking that dream countryside home office.
1. When an insurance company evaluates a risk, one of the metrics they use is called protection class. Protection Class considers two things that can significantly help or hurt how much the homeowner will pay for coverage. The first is the distance to the nearest non-volunteer fire station. The closer, the better. However, it is good to know that if you consider purchasing a home there, and if your home is greater than 5 miles away from the nearest station; you will see a spike in your premiums. This will also eliminate many carriers who chose not to cover these risks.
2. Fire hydrants and water sources are also significant factors in determining eligibility. With an increase in wildfires over the recent years, we have seen many carriers tighten the reigns within areas they consider covering. Often times carriers will eliminate the entire zip code from their reach. If the house you are looking at is lucky enough to slip through the zip code filter, then the next test will be the nearest fire hydrant or water source. Simply put, anything over 1000 feet is not great and will likely not be written by any standard carriers.
3. Those beautiful trees that overhang the home will need to be trimmed back or removed. When an insurance company inspects a home either from a satellite view or in person, they often require that no tree limbs or branches overhang, touch, or come within a specific area of the structure. The main reason for this is because a wildfire breakout or heavy wind storm can quickly transfer branches or embers to the structure. If you have a fire-resistant roof and structure with a substantial gap from brush and trees, then you will be good to go.
As always, if there is any other question we can help with, feel free to hit that contact button. We hope this will help you avoid getting into escrow on a property just to find out that your insurance will cost almost as much as your mortgage. Happy shopping!