A new property-data service offers online home reports to help consumers research properties before they make offers on homes.
The reports, available for $59 each from Housefax, provide histories of building permits, mortgage activity, fire, flood, sink hole and other important property information.
"Though we're in the midst of a housing rebound, many homes have been neglected, rented, foreclosed or left vacant, and today's buyers are far more cautious," Housefax founder and CEO Eddy Lang said in a press release. "When finalizing a contract on a home, inspection reports often threaten closings too late in the process, and can miss hidden red flags like mold, fire and flood damage, or even meth labs, sink holes, earthquake fault lines and other hazards."
Lang organized a team of technology, real estate and marketing professionals in 2012 to build the database and buyer-beware reporting format designed to provide consumers with consolidated, affordable information.
The company said he got the idea for Housefax about 10 years ago when he read about the toxic mold case involving the late Ed McMahon. McMahon sued insurers and others claiming toxic mold in his Beverly Hills home sickened him and his wife and killed his dog. The suit was settled for $7 million.
Standard home insurance generally does not cover the cost to clean up mold, unless the mold is the direct result of a covered peril, such as a burst pipe, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Housefax said it aggregates a variety of public and proprietary data from accredited sources. Sample reports are available to view on the company website.