One of the most frequent real estate questions I hear is “should I get a home warranty?” As with most things in real estate, advice really depends on the home and homeowner so I often say “it depends.”
What is a Home Warranty
In effect a home warranty, like the ones offered by companies such as HMS, warrant/insure your major home appliances and mechanicals for the duration of their expected life. Like an insurance plan you pay and annul premium and when something breaks you pay a deductible and the insurance usually pays the remainder of the repairs. Consider the cost to replace major home systems such as HVAC, Refrigerators, Dishwashers … a home warranty could be an investment that pays for itself the very first time that you require service.
When Should I Buy A Home Warranty
Most often I encourage my buyers to secure a home warranty when they purchase their home. Why? Because when you buy a home you also buy the potential problems that a home inspector may not see. A hose that is wearing out. A bearing that needs to be replaced. A furnace heat exchanger that is on its last leg. These are typical items that, if they fail, are covered under a home warranty policy.
What Should I Look Out For
A home warranty is a contract, and I always say – read the fine print! In every home warranty you will find exclusions. An example relates to HVAC systems: If the HVAC has not been serviced and maintained the warranty will not cover repairs or replacement costs. So if you opt for a home warranty you should get your HVAC serviced too.
Also remember Warranties cover the expected lifetime of an appliance. If you 50 year old dishwasher finally breaks, your home warranty is not going to replace it with a brand new one.
Is A Home Warranty Worth It?
Again – it depends. It depends on how reliable your appliances and systems are. It depends on how you do your budgeting, and if the appliances and systems have existing warranties on them. Finally it depends on how much you value knowing that if something fails there is a warranty that will help with the repair or replacement costs.
If you have other real estate questions just call me – I am happy to answer them! 518.1140