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Ultimate Guide to Home Warranties

The Ultimate Guide to Home Warranties

Curious about home warranties? We’ve put together this ultimate guide to answer your most pressing questions and help you discover the facts. Let’s dive in and find out if getting a home warranty is the right decision for you.

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is a bit like health insurance for your home. When you purchase a warranty, you will receive a one-year contract with a home warranty company, and if you have a major home system or appliance break during that year, they will either repair or replace it.

Warranties typically cover items like:

  • Refrigerators
  • Air conditioners
  • Washers
  • Dryers
  • Ovens
  • Dishwashers
  • Doorbells
  • Water heaters
  • Indoor plumbing
  • Electrical systems

Man fixing an oven with a home warranty - Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - Steinborn & AssociatesHow does it work?

Whenever an appliance or system breaks in your home, you’ll file a claim with your home warranty company. The company will then go over your contract and decide if your claim is covered.

After approving your claim, you’ll pay a small service fee. Then the home warranty company will send a qualified professional out to your home to fix the problem, and they will pay for the repairs or replacement.

If the repair falls outside of normal wear and tear or unusual circumstances are surrounding it, you may not be covered, but you may be able to appeal your claim if it’s denied.

What are the costs involved?

In order to receive home warranty coverage, you pay a monthly or yearly fee based on what appliances and systems you want covered. In addition, whenever you need something repaired or replaced, you will typically pay a service call fee to have someone sent to your home.
Appliances and air systems can be a major expense to deal with, especially if something breaks unexpectedly. A home warranty can help keep costs down when you aren’t prepared to make a large investment into new home appliances. However, if you have a home warranty but don’t need any repairs done during the year, you will still end up paying for coverage.

Is a home warranty right for me?

Home warranties aren’t right for everybody. If you have reliable appliances and systems in your home and the savings necessary to repair anything that breaks, then you may not need one. Similarly, if you have professional skills to repair your own home systems, then it might cost less to do it yourself.

But if repairing or replacing a major home system would be financially devastating or you simply want extra peace of mind and convenience, then a home warranty might be right for you. Many first-time homeowners find home warranties to be a good investment to help them avoid unexpected home repairs.

How do I purchase a warranty?

Man fixing a heater with a home warranty - Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate - Steinborn & AssociatesA home warranty can be purchased at different times. Some home warranty companies will only cover appliances and systems that were in working condition before the house was bought, so often homeowners will purchase one when buying a new house.

Some companies will also offer a special incentive, like a lower monthly price, if you buy a warranty within the first 30 days of owning a home. Talk to your REALTOR to find out what timeframe is the most advantageous for purchasing a warranty.

What if I buy a home with an existing warranty?

So you’ve found your dream home and the seller mentions that it comes with a home warranty. What does that mean for you?
Sometimes a seller will purchase a home warranty to use as a selling point. If your new home comes with a warranty, it’s important to talk with your REALTOR and find out exactly what is covered, when the warranty expires, and if you will be responsible for any fees involved.

If you want more information on buying a home with an existing warranty, talk to your REALTOR at Better Homes and Garden Real Estate – Steinborn & Associates, all of our REALTORs are equipped to help you successfully find your perfect home. You can call us at 575-522-3698 or check out our extensive online listings.

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