If you are considering buying a new or used home and if you already started your search, then you probably have already been offered a home warranty. The truth is that a home warranty carries extra costs but it also brings some benefits. After all, you can see it as a way to protect yourself from unforeseen and sometimes expensive repairs.
If you think about it, it is terrible to discover after moving to your new home that the dishwasher doesn’t work or that the air conditioner is broken. Not to mention the inconveniences, these problems do add a lot of stress to your life not to mention they may leave your pocket emptier.
While buying a home warranty doesn’t cover all the situations, it can surely get you some relief when a home system or appliance goes out.
What Is A Home Warranty?
As we already mentioned above, a home warranty is a safety net that ensures that if some major appliances break down, you won’t pay for their repairs or replacements. Overall speaking, it is a contract between you (the home buyer) and the home warranty company and it can cover a wide range of appliances such as refrigerators, dryers, washers, among others. In certain cases, it may even include swimming pools. Notice that a warranty doesn’t cover windows, doors, or other structural features.
One of the main ideas that are important to keep in mind is that a home warranty is different from insurance. Ultimately, insurance can cover property crimes, fires, some water damage, hail, among others. On the other hand, the home warranty covers major appliances and systems that are broken such as electrical systems, plumbing, HVAC, among others.
Not All Home Warranties Are The Same
While you may be delighted with the idea of a home warranty, you need to ensure that you know exactly what it offers. The truth is that most planes tend to include only the basic coverages. However, you can always add extra components that will give you more peace of mind. Obviously, the more components you include, the higher the cost.
In most cases, you are the one who needs to buy a home warranty. However, some sellers are willing to pay for the home warranty on your behalf.
Now that you have a better understanding of what a home warranty is, it is important to know that like everything in life, it has benefits and drawbacks.
Understanding The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Home Warranties
#1: The Benefits Of A Home Warranty:
Overall speaking, the main benefit of a home warranty is peace of mind. The reality is that most homeowners don’t keep a lot of money on their pockets after buying a new home. With a home warranty, even if a major system or appliance breaks down, they don’t need to spend a lot of money repairing or replacing it. You will only need to pay a small fee to the home warranty company and they will do the rest. But this isn’t the only benefit.
The truth is that it is hard to find a good, reliable contractor. So, when you want to avoid this, a home warranty is also a great option.
While you may have checked your new home lots of times before you purchased it, you may still have doubts regarding how the maintenance was done or regarding how the home was actually built. In this case, a home warranty can be a good reassurance that you made the right decision in buying a home.
As we already mentioned above, it is becoming more common to see home sellers offering a one-year home warranty with the purchase. This is clearly a good gesture that will make the process to be completed sooner.
#2: The Drawbacks Of Home Warranties:
There’s no question that home warranties have a lot of advantages as we just referred. However, they do also have some drawbacks.
One of the main reasons why a lot of homebuyers don’t want a home warranty is because it doesn’t cover items or systems in the property that haven’t been properly maintained. However, how can you say if an item or system has been properly maintained or not? This is certainly a very gray area and it is usually one of the main causes of disagreements between homebuyers and home warranty companies. So, it is easy to understand that when you do want to buy a home warranty, you need to carefully choose the company. After all, you don’t want to have a contract with an unscrupulous company that excludes all the systems and appliances that get broken because they weren’t properly maintained.
Another major drawback that may lead you to consider if a home warranty is worth it or not is that warranties do have exclusions and limits. While we already mentioned that you can get extra coverage for specific systems and appliances if you want to, there are also limits in the number of repairs per year. So, if you decided to buy a used home and the HVAC system already has some years of use, it can break down in just a few months even though the previous owner performed all the maintenance that it was required. But this doesn’t mean that your home warranty actually covers it, especially if other systems or appliances have already been replaced in that same year.
Buying a home is expensive. Though some homeowners want to get the peace of mind with a home warranty, you need to also keep in mind the years where you only pay the premium but you won’t need to have any system or appliance repaired. So, in these years, you will only be losing money.
Overall speaking, a home warranty is a contract that new homeowners should consider. However, it is important to find the right home warranty company and to ensure that you have the major systems and appliances covered.
While there may be some years when you only pay the premium, there are others where you would need to spend a lot more to repair or replace the systems or appliances on your own.