Buying a new home? Consider these insurance factors.

With home prices continuing to be competitive and interest rates low, many people are dipping their toes into the real estate market. Regardless of whether you are a first time home buyer, considering the purchase of a second home or an empty nester looking for a cozy smaller property, it is important to factor in the potential insurance costs of the home you are considering when calculating the overall price of owning the house, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

“When people look at homes, they tend to focus on factors such as property taxes, neighborhoods, school districts and available recreational and cultural opportunities,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I. “But an often overlooked item is the insurance implications of a specific house.”

“You will be paying for insurance for as long as you own it, so you should factor the cost of insurance into the home buying process. You don’t want to find out that your dream home is more expensive to insure than you thought after you own it,” pointed out Salvatore.

When looking at prospective new homes, the I.I.I. suggests asking the following questions:

A knowledgeable home inspector and your insurance agent can be helpful in answering these questions. “Keep in mind, that the size, location, construction and overall condition of the house can affect the cost, choice and availability of home insurance,” noted Salvatore.

To educate consumers about the insurance implication of buying a home, the I.I.I. has created a Home Buyers Insurance Checklist. It provides information on what do before buying a house, factors to consider when looking at homes and placing a bid, as well as tips to properly insure your new home.

For related video, go to Before Buying a Home: Insurance Questions Everyone Should Ask.

Source: Insurance Information Institute (