Homebuyers often forget about their car

NEW YORK – April 7, 2017 – In all the hustle and bustle of searching for a new home, it’s easy for clients to overlook their car. But there are important factors for house-hunters to consider when it comes to vehicles – mainly related to safety, security and convenience – that may impact their feelings about potential homes or neighborhoods.

1. Make sure the parking situation works
Whether a home’s parking space is in a private garage, a residential parking garage, a carport or simply on the street, it’s always a good idea to know where the car will spend its downtime. Private garages usually offer the most security against car thieves and bad weather, and carports and some garages are more open to the elements.

If street parking is the only option, a car faces a higher risk of getting damaged – whether it’s dings from other cars, vandalism or theft, or broken glass and storm damage. Taking preventive measures like antitheft systems and covering the car help safeguard a vehicle from both cosmetic and more serious damage.

For street parking, ask about any necessary parking permits, including the price and any conditions. Know which days street sweepers come by to avoid tickets, and have clients identify alternate places to park if their usual options fall through.

2. See what the commute would be like
While house hunting, note possible routes to and from the workplace. Does the house require taking strictly local streets to work or does it have freeway access? Even if the house has a freeway commute, buyers may want to consider the severity of rush hour traffic.

3. Get a car insurance quote for the neighborhood
Before closing, buyers should get a few different car insurance quotes for the potential address. Car insurance rates are affected by a number of factors, and one of them is the garaging address.

If the new neighborhood has a higher auto theft rate, they could see higher car insurance premiums due to the increased risk. Likewise, if clients are moving away from an area with higher crime or crash frequency, or if their new home has a garage, they could see their rates go down. Beyond saving money, car insurance quotes can tell them a little bit about the area they’re considering.

Buyer must contact their insurer anyway once they’ve decided on a home to ensure they have the right coverage and limits in place to properly protect their vehicles. By contacting the insurer before submitting a bid, they can also gain some insight into the neighborhood.

Source: Jeffrey Ill is the vice president of product at Esurance where he leads the homeowner insurance program.

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