Home Buying in 32605>Question Details

nicasdreamje…, Home Buyer in Gainesville, FL

Are there issues with insuring an older home in the Gainesville area?

Asked by nicasdreamjester, Gainesville, FL Mon Sep 10, 2012

My husband and I are interested in buying a house in Gainesville. We have family in South Florida (Coral Springs area) that recommends we either go with new construction, or with a resale that was built in 2007 or newer. Their concern is getting home owners insurance on a home built before that last major code changes in 2007. I understand that finding insurance in South Florida has gotten really difficult with all the hurricanes they've been having. But is it as much an issue up here? If the house is solid, has a new roof after 2007, and the electrical is up to code, I don't see why it would be a problem. The majority of houses in Gainesville don't even fit that category and I haven't heard of anyone having problems getting or keeping insurance on their homes. Is there anything on the web that I can read that addresses this issue?

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All these answers are great, but I wanted to add, that most insurance companies are requiring 4 point inspections. It is a simple form that is filled out by a licensed home inspector. Usually it is included in the home inspection fee. The cut-off ages vary by insurance company, but I am seeing them more and more for homes built before 1970. Although one carrier required a point inspection for a home built in 1978.

The four point inspection covers the following:

1. Roof and verification there a no active leaks and that there are a certain number of years left (also varies by insurance company).

2. Plumbing, as discussed below, certain types of pipes are excluded and verification that there are no active leaks.

3. Electrical systems are up to code and no known issues.

4. Heating and verification that the system is working and, in the case of gas, venting properly.

I hope those help, Mike
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 10, 2012
This is a great question! The information regarding insurance issues from the Coral Springs area applies to most "coastal" areas due to the building construction codes that are directly related to hurricane force winds. Here in Gainesville, we have a much better location and are not as big an insurance risk as a coastal home. The only issue in the Gainesville area for insurance issues have been the age of the roof. I have had a couple of buyers in the last year that were advised that they would pay a higher rate for a roof that was at the "end of it's useful life". So, my best suggestion is for you to ask about the age of the roof on the homes you like the best here. All homes for sale must provide potential buyers with a form called the Seller's Disclosure. If the owner cannot verify the age of the roof, then you must have your home inspector give his professional opinion about the roof.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 10, 2012
Hello, and thank you for considering Gainesville as your new home! These are very good questions, and it sounds like you're doing you due diligence in researcing your options. However, it's true that just because one market (South Florida) has certain property issues doesn't mean that another market will, too. In my experience we don't see many code problems here that would cause a house to be uninsurable. We occasionally see specific things like changing flood zones, polybutelene pipes (uninsurable after home is 20 years old) and of course if the insurance inspector feels the roof is past its lifespan. Gainesville being in the middle and north of the state, and one of the highest elevations in Florida, we are typically off the direct path of most hurricanes. We have many local insurance agents who know our market and work hard to find you the right coverage with the right company. We also work with our sellers up front to try to defray some of these things before they become an isue to a buyer under contract. There's no need to restrict yourself to homes of a certain age if one of those might actually be what you're looking for. Older homes typically have significantly more square footage for the price, and features like bigger lots and bigger bedrooms, more developed landscaping, increased tree shade, etc. Plus, many have been beautifully renovated inside and out to feel like new.

You can always include a homeowner's insurance addendum on your contract which states that if you are unable to get insurance for the home for a maximum amount that you choose, you can cancel the contract.

Hope this helps! I would love to assist you in finding a home in Gainesville if you choose to move here.

Kaley Shorter, REALTOR
Allison Ables Real Estate
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 10, 2012
There aren't problems insuring older homes in our area as long as the plumbing & electrical have been updated; also the roof has to be within 4 to 5 years new.
You might want to look at my website: http://www.carolynmcpherson.com and check out any questions you might have.
I can also put you in touch with an insurance company here in our area that would be qualified to answer any of the insurance questions you might have.
Let me know if I can be of any futher help.

Carolyn McPherson

Carolyn H. McPherson
Multi-Million Dollar Producer
Prudential Trend Realty
Mobile: 352 538-3556
Office: 352 375-1021
Fax: 352 332-1114
Email: carolyn.mcpherson@prudentialtrend.com
"Real Estate Excellence...Pure & Simple"
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 10, 2012
Hello, the best advice is to get a couple quotes from difference insurance companies when you find the property you are interested in buying. The quotes are free and they will tell the story. In gainesville it is much easier and inexpensive to get homeowners insurance than in south florida. Many of the issues regarding purchasing homeowner's insurance in south florida do not correspond directly/relate to obtaining homeowners insurance in gainesville. It is easier and cheaper to obtain homeowner's insurance in gainesville than in south florida.

Once you find a property you would like to purchase feel free to contact me regarding the mortgage. I have all the goverment loan programs that will give you the lowest fixed rates and the lowest mortgage payments for the home you are buying. Also i will get the mortgage aproved for you quickly (10 business days!) and make the loan approval process simple. You can obtain my contact info at http://www.javiermortgage.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
Thankfully Gainesville does not face the same issues that South Florida does when it comes to homeowners insurance. A home built in 2002 and newer in the Gainesville area should be quite easy to find insurance for. Insurance carriers are still looking to grow in the Gainesville area and most are still writing new homes and maintaining their current homes insured in the area.

If you have any questions or need a homeowners insurance quote, please feel free to contact me.

Kaitlin White
McGriff-Williams Insurance
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012

We own and sell many homes that are built in early 1900's to 2012. You are right about the roof, electric panel, etc. I would recommend you get in touch with a local insurance company and discuss your concerns, they are the experts and can easily ease your mind with this isse. If you want some recommendations, let me know.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 16, 2012
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