Everyone likes peace of mind. Not having to worry. It’s why we drive a newer car (with hopefully less maintenance issues…or they are UNDER WARRANTY!) Or why we buy anything new, vs. used. Buying a new home or condominium or a resale….you still want piece of mind.
What Is A Home Warranty?
When you purchase a home or condominium, one step you will take is to have a home inspection. That’s some of that “piece of mind” we just mentioned. You want to know that the house or condo is in good shape and hopefully you won’t have any major problems in the foreseeable future. But hey…life happens, right? Enter the home warranty. Let’s talk about What a Home Warranty is…and is not.
A home warranty is typically a one-year service contract, that is renewable, and is designed to protect you and your budget from when life happens….and a home system or appliance has a problem.
Every warranty company (and there are many of them) has numerous plans and options that will work best for you, based on the type of home or condo you are buying. Basic plans usually have coverage for: kitchen appliances, water heaters, plumbing, electrical, heating systems and more. Optional coverage may include washer/dryer, kitchen refrigerator (so I’m thinking the beer fridge in the garage may NOT be covered!) air conditioning and more.
When you are purchasing your home or condo, we look at the Seller’s Disclosure Statement to see the age of systems like the water heater and the HVAC. Also, how old IS the stove and such? It might LOOK great, but…. And this is when we may try to negotiate a seller-paid home warranty. But if the Seller does not agree, you may hear me telling you that a home warranty is a wise spend of your money.
How Much does a Home Warranty cost?
Prices vary greatly, and so does the service call fee. If the warranty is paid by the Seller, you need not worry. But you still want to know about the warranty for when your renewal comes due…you may choose to upgrade, or downgrade the warranty based on any number of factors. If you are shopping for a warranty, any company will give you a free quote. (We can help you here as well….see Your TEAM page for our preferred Home Warranty Partners)
A home warranty will cover your systems or appliances, regardless of age, provided they are in working order before you start your contract. Remember that home inspection we had? If something is not working when you purchase your home, your warranty is not going to repair it. However, there are also plans that include coverage for unknown pre-existing conditions.
Will you replace my system or appliance if it cannot be repaired?
I’ll say yes….conditionally so as to not get myself in trouble. But the warranty company should replace any covered system or appliance if it is beyond repair, with a brand new unit with like functionality. Sometimes you will be offered a cash payment in lieu of the repair or replacement. Here is where you may not get enough to actually buy what you need.
Personal experience …. I had a dryer fire in my home (Yeah…that will scare the crap right out of you!) I also had a mis-matched washer/dryer. My warranty company at the time gave me a cash payment and I used that towards the purchase of an entire new set…but of course I had to pay part of it out-of-pocket. And another word of experience…don’t buy the cheapest washer/dryer. You really DO get what you pay for!
You can request service as many times as you need, of course paying the service call fee for each call.
We should note….home warranties are NOT JUST FOR BUYERS!!! We offer our Sellers a Home Warranty policy during the listing period. So if an issue arises DURING the listing period, you can have the repair made!!!
A home warranty is a piece of mind. Whether you are a first-time buyer (when I STRONGLY encourage you get a warranty even if you pay for it yourself) or have owned several homes, a home warranty is a great thing to have!