For many homebuyers – especially first-time real estate buyers – concerns about maintenance, problems and repairs linger on the mind. Those accustomed to renting who never had to fix a leaky drain pipe or clean out a dryer vent become panicked at the mere prospect of calling a repairman on Sunday night – and how old is that dishwasher again?
If this describes you, consider purchasing a home warranty. Often, sellers throw in a warranty to reassure skittish buyers who want assurances that appliances and fixtures will remain in tip-top shape post-close. Alternatively, buyers may purchase a home warranty for protection.
Home warranties cover a wide variety of appliances and systems and can save homeowners a lot of money should something break. Warranties protect everything from kitchen, laundry and bath appliances to bigger systems such as central air conditioning, pool fixtures and cracked foundations.
Purchasers buy plans that provide coverage for the following year. You can choose deluxe plans that include almost every system and appliance in your home or basic policies that cover kitchen and bath appliances only. They typically cost less than $400 per year.
In the event of a problem, contact the warranty company. It will send out a repair provider who will evaluate the situation and recommend a solution. If the problem is beyond repair, the warranty will pay for the replacement and installation of a new, comparable appliance or system. Policy owners only pay a small service fee, usually less than $100.
Before you agree to a plan, make sure you understand what the warranty does and doesn’t cover. For example, some plans may not cover refrigerators, garage doors or faucets. Hauling and permit fees may cost extra as well.
Nevertheless, for many homeowners, warranties provide an extra layer of reassurance. If your home contains older or unreliable appliances, a warranty may help you sleep at night.