OUCH.... Ok, I can actually see the mean looks I'm getting through the internet.  Alas my friends, I'm not here to judge your home buying acumen, rather just advising  of a rarely used report that can be extremely helpful in the purchase process.

OK, now that I have your attention, what the heck is a C.L.U.E. Report anyway?  It stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. The 'exchange' part is the sharing of information among home insurance loss underwriters regarding homeowner insurance claims. The information concerning claims will have data going back five years.

Is this something you should want? A recent Zillow.com article mentions that the Insurance Information Institute reports one in fifteen homes have insurance claims every year.  The top five reasons for claims are:

  • Wind and hail - Probably not many here in Southern California, but those Santa Ana winds can wreak havoc.

  • Water damage -This does not include flood damage as that is generally a separate policy. However, burst pipes and other plumbing issues are major causes of water damage to walls, floors, ceilings, and window sills.

  • Vandalism - This also encompasses damage done during break-ins where the home is ransacked.

  • Theft - Actual burglary is also common. Homes are typically broken into when owners are away and personal property stolen. If there is more than one claim in five years, that can indicate a high crime area.

  • Fire - This is the most expensive category and often requires much construction to remedy.

Any of these claim types could be information that would influence whether you want to continue the purchase or adjust your offer price.   Another issue is that you're going to have to apply for insurance coverage, and this history could result in refusal of coverage or increased premium.

Why haven't you heard about this C.L.U.E. Report, as it's been around for a long time? It really isn't advertised, though it is mentioned on many state government sites as something buyers should consider.  The cost is generally only $20, but, as a buyer, you can't request it because the homeowner is the only one who can get this report due to privacy issues.  What a buyer can do is put it into thier contract as a contingency, stating that if they are not satisfied with the reported information, they can exit the deal and get their earnest money deposit back. So, in a very warm and sincere way, tell the listing agent to 'get a C.L.U.E.' if they want to sell you the home! 

If you, or someone you know, is looking to buy or sell real property in Woodland Hills, West Hills, Calabasas, Encino, Tarzana, Agoura Hills, Sherman Oaks, Studio City and other neighborhoods of the San Fernando and Conejo Valleys... Contact David today at (818) 489-3385 or email at David@DavidBeckerHomes.com.  You can also visit David's website at www.DavidBeckerHomes.com.

If you have an agent... great.  If you want a great agent... CALL DAVID!!