Chicago, Illinois (NAPSI) - For many, finding and buying the right home is still a big part of the American dream.

However, that dream home can turn into a nightmare when hidden costs from weather and other types of damage start adding up.

It’s not uncommon for consumers to find out about these hidden costs rather late in the process. That’s because until now, buyers had to wait until just before closing to receive a “seller’s disclosure.”

This is a document that reveals details about the house the buyers plan to purchase. At that point, it’s likely that a prospective buyer has already paid thousands of dollars for legal fees, inspections, deposits and title fees and may be reluctant to back out of the deal.

Fortunately, there is a resource that buyers can call on earlier in the process. Real estate tycoon and “Shark Tank” host Barbara Corcoran suggests going online to find property history and insurance claims on a home. An Insurance Claims report can give homebuyers and Realtors information that was previously only available to homeowners.

For instance, a company called Housefax offers online reports that provide a comprehensive history of a home, including building permits; mortgage information; insurance claims; fire, flood, hail and catastrophic history; and other residential property details.

The reports also include information on schools in the district, current property assessment values and inspector alerts.

For more information, contact Housefax at