When people are purchasing a home, there are a lot of things to think about. Appliances and home systems breaking down and needing repair should not be one of them. The family probably invested everything in the purchase and closing process for their home. There will not be much extra money for a while. One way to limit repair costs for a year at a time is to purchase a home warranty.
What is a Home Warranty?
A home warranty is different from homeowner’s insurance. It might be a good idea to purchase both for at least a couple of years after purchasing a home. You are required to have homeowner’s insurance by the mortgage company. It protects them as well as the home buyer. But a home warranty protects the homeowner by covering the cost of appliance repair or replacement for one year at a time. Home warranties can also cover home systems like heating, cooling, electrical, and plumbing.
Homeowner’s insurance covers damage to the home structure and contents when there is a disaster like flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, or a fire. It may also cover damages from vandalism or robberies. But it does not cover systems and appliances that break down with normal use. That is what a home warranty is for. A guaranteed home warranty is best.
With a home warranty, appliances and systems listed on the policy are covered when they break down. They can even be replaced. The home warranty company has its own appliance repair people and sources for replacement appliances. There is little choice for the homeowner there. But a broken-down refrigerator or range can cost hundreds or more dollars to repair. The repair person will want to be paid at the time of the repair. With a home warranty, the homeowner pays one small service fee for each repair, and it can be budgeted in advance.
If an appliance is not covered for some reason, the homeowner still pays the service fee and then must find their own repair person and pay them. Be sure to read the home warranty policy carefully and ask questions before signing. Appliances or systems not covered in the basic policy can often be added.
Who Needs a Home Warranty?
Not everyone needs a home warranty. However, it is a good investment for people who do not have the skill or time to make home appliance repairs. Older people who may have lived in their homes for years may benefit from a home warranty if they are experiencing limited mobility or other debilitating health problems. Younger handicapped people would also benefit.
People buying an existing home with older appliances and no repair experience could benefit from a home warranty. There is a growing trend for the seller or Realtor to include a home warranty in the sale of existing homes. These are basic policies, but they can be helpful and give a buyer peace of mind. People on a fixed or limited budget who can’t afford expensive surprises might also benefit from a home warranty.
There are people who do not need a home warranty. They include people buying newly built homes with warranties of their own and people who feel they can take care of most repairs on their own. If the home has been or will be extensively remodeled with updated systems and new appliances, the buyer probably does not need a home warranty.
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