Home History Report
For buyers and sellers, home history reports can be a valuable supplement to a quality home inspection. Most reports will reveal significant damage, especially damage that occurred within the last five years.
In Ohio, residents have a few sources of information regarding the history of a residential property. The most recognized of these is the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (C.L.U.E.), an all-inclusive database of personal property information that consists mainly of insurance claims on residential properties. The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange was created in 1992 and it is currently administered by ChoicePoint, a data management company. There are about six hundred insurance companies that contribute claims data to its database. Another organization, Verisk Analytics, manages a similar database to which over one thousand insurers contribute. The reports generated by both of these organizations are commonly referred to as C.L.U.E. reports. The data in these reports is kept for five years. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average homeowner files one claim every ten years. Consequently, most homes have no C.L.U.E. record.
C.L.U.E. reports are excellent sources of information regarding insurance claims made on a residential property, and they are available in Ohio for only a nominal fee (around ten dollars). Unfortunately for those looking to purchase a home, though, C.L.U.E. reports are available only to the property’s owner, not to any potential buyers. Still, there is a growing trend among homeowners to get a C.L.U.E. report prepared before they sell their home. Getting a C.L.U.E. report can help a seller because a clean C.L.U.E. record can make a home much more attractive to home buyers and therefore make the home much more likely to sell. And in cases were homeowners haven’t requested a C.L.U.E. report on their own, homebuyers are increasingly insisting that sellers provide a copy of their C.L.U.E. report before they submit an offer on a home.
Another option for homebuyers is a Housefax history report. A Housefax report is similar to the more widely recognized Carfax report that is available to car buyers. Housefax reports are marketed specifically to homebuyers and are available for about twenty dollars.
You should keep in mind, though, that a Housefax report and a C.L.U.E. rely mainly on insurance claims filed on a property. In other words, if there was a fire, significant flood damage or a burglary, those things will appear in the report (if they happened within the previous five years). More often than not, homeowners will not make insurance claim for issues like structural damage, mold intrusion, faulty electrical wiring, etc. because (usually) they don’t realize these problems exist in their home or (sometimes) because they don’t want those issues to appear in any home history report. This is why a home inspection is still essential for a homebuyer, even with the added security of a home history report.
For a homebuyer, then, a home history report should be seen as one more tool to help you learn everything you can about a property before you buy.
For the seller, a home history report can supplement a pre-listing inspection as one more piece of evidence to prove that you have a high-quality home available for sale.
Homebuyers looking to purchase a Housefax history report can click here.
If, for whatever reason, you need us to help you order one of these reports on your behalf, we will be happy to assist you in whatever way we can – free of charge. Come to us first. We’re here to help.