“A Background Check For Your Home”
“The depth and accuracy of data required to properly evaluate property risk is much greater than what most carriers have readily available. At BuildFax, we help bridge that gap. With over 84 billion data points on residential and commercial structures, we’ve developed actionable insights that enable our customers to stay on the pulse of property risk, and the evolution of that risk over time” – BUILDFAX
“At the height of the 2008 financial crisis, BuildFax established a previously non-existent class of data after identifying a gap in the market: across industries, there was a need for validated property risk and a way to monitor the evolution of that risk. Over the last 10 years, BuildFax filled this need by transforming unstructured data into market-transforming insights. These include underlying property insights, including roof age and property condition, as well as macro-economic analyses of the housing market.
Today, BuildFax property condition and history data is considered the industry standard, trusted by the largest insurance and investment firms in the world to deliver business-critical property intelligence solutions. With more than 84 billion data points on commercial and residential structures, BuildFax delivers under-the-hood insights on remodeling, solar installations, new construction, roof age, major systems, maintenance history and more.”
Elevate your underwriting from onboarding to renewals. Our insights enable underwriters to drive faster and more accurate decisions at scale. Capture the right risk, optimize inspections, ensure eligibility and validate premium-impacting changes with ease.
BuildFax can also..
Improve your negotiating position and reduce reinsurance risk exposure. Enter increasingly robust catastrophe reinsurance discussions armed with insights from a trusted third-party data source and validated modifiers for increased transparency into the risk on your book. Capture significant property changes that influence PML assessments.
To Place Your Order
Speak with your home inspector prior to inspection day to have a BuildFax property history report added to your home inspection for a one time fee of $29.50, to be included on your invoice.
What is BuildFax?
BuildFax is the leading provider of residential and commercial property condition and history data in the U.S. With the nation’s most comprehensive building permit database, BuildFax delivers property insights to the insurance industry, lenders, realtors, appraisers, industry analysts, home inspectors, consumers, etc. With over 84 billion data points on residential and commercial structures and proprietary predictive analytics, we understand how building permit data predicts loss and tells the story of property history, improvements, structural risks, and changes over time. Some of the world’s largest insurance carriers are our clients.
We collect permit history data on a national basis and currently cover over 70 percent of the US and over 90 percent of major metropolitan cities inside the US. This means that our database contains permitted residential and commercial construction activity in over 9,000 cities, counties, and townships in all fifty states. We continue to add new footprints monthly. We also take requests.
Where we have data coverage, we collect 100% of permit records between two specific date points. The dates shown on the report timeline represent the earliest and latest dates where electronic permit records are available through BuildFax. These two dates are shown on the timeline of every BuildFax Report.
Why Use BuildFax Property History Reports?
Access to BuildFax Property History Reports provides property inspectors with deep insights into a property, including all details of permitted home improvements and renovations made to the structure. This includes additions, electrical/mechanical/plumbing updates, roof replacements, renovations, demolitions, and more. In addition to permitted updates, BuildFax can also show spans of time when updates haven’t occurred (often great indicators of aging systems).
BuildFax Q & A:
- Where Does BuildFax Get Its Data? BuildFax data is primarily sourced from permit data and collected directly from the source – the building department. This collected data is standardized into a common report format and mined using advanced data analytics to highlight the information that matters to inspectors and weed out the cryptic “noise” often found within permit text. The net result is an easy-to-read report that arms inspectors with the life story of a property.
- How Can I Better Understand Coverage in My Area? BuildFax has permit information on the majority of permits issued in the U.S. In some areas, coverage is 90% or higher. In other, more rural areas, permit information is still being gathered, and more data comes online every day. It’s important to note that areas where an inspector may do business may have differing levels of coverage. Just because one address cannot be found, don’t stop searching.
- What Does “Address In-Coverage, No Permits” Mean? The address was in our coverage area, but no permits were found. Not finding permits can be valuable information. When a permit is not shown in the BuildFax database, it can indicate work has been done without a permit. This suggests the work was not inspected by a qualified city/county inspector during the construction process. In addition, if someone goes around the system and does not get a permit, the work will not be represented in the BuildFax database.
- What Does Permit Status Mean? Data on the BuildFax Property History Report is primarily sourced from permit data. Permit life cycles are represented in a field called permit status. These are often things like “applied” – when the permit application is under review, “issued” – when the permit has been approved and work can begin, “co issued” – when the structure can be safely occupied, and “final” or “completed” – when all the work on the structure is done and the permit is ready to be closed. All of these statuses are shown on the BuildFax report, so anything in the final stages (or any stage) that’s noted by the building department can be seen on the report in the permit status field. The status shown on the reports is the status as of our last collection from that jurisdiction. Statistically, 95% of all permits complete; however, anything that has changed statuses will not be reflected in our data until our next update from that jurisdiction. Sometimes jurisdictions are not diligent about changing these statuses.
- Why Can’t I Get Reports on Individual Units in a Complex? We report all permit activity on the structure, rather than the individual units themselves. The permits for the units in the complex are issued under the “hub” address. Many times there will be a single address used by the apartment complex which encompasses the permits of all the other units/buildings.