If the "wind and hail" of a hurricane came along and replaced your house with a pile of sand from the beach (as simulated in the photo above), you would need a good homeowner's insurance policy. The problem is that it can cost a lot of money if you are in Zone 1 or 2 of the "Windpool" as determined by the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association.
Ryland Homes passes on their buying power to their new home buyers by having a relationship with Balboa Insurance Company. Even though my wife and I are located within Zone 2 of the S.C. "Windpool", our Homeowner's Insurance policy is only $958 per year which includes "wind and hail" insurance. We got this insurance as a result of a contingency by Ryland Homes that we had to buy homeowner's insurance through them if we wanted up to $3,000 in non-recurring closing costs, and $10,000 in free upgrade options on our new Ryand Home.
When sellers pass on their buying power on anything which results in saving for the consumer, this is a "win-win" situation. Of course, those savings are not passed on when it comes to the pricing of those upgrade options. When I comparison shopped some of them, they were very high priced by Ryland Homes (as they are with all new home builders). But, you do have the convenience of having them in your new home when you close escrow vs. having to deal with them afterwards. The plus side to doing the upgrades afterwards is that your property taxes will be lower, since they are based on the selling price you pay a builder. The downside is that you should contact your homeowner's insurance company to make sure you are not under-insured.
Before you finish reading this post, please be aware that my wife and I did not enjoy our first year of Ryland Home ownership. See "My Last Ryland Homes Blog Post & My Attempt To Help Ryland Homes!" to get a better overview of our Ryland Home complaint to the BBB, and links to the over 100 Ryland Home problems that were all eventually fixed after 13 months of having much of our time wasted.