When you buy a house, you know you are investing in something long term. This is probably the place you want your kids to grow up in and call home. It’s probably also the one place that you can use to show your “handyman” prowess.
You know, fix the faucet when it leaks, repair the roof when you have to, treat the windows and so on. There is no doubt that your home is going to come with a few repairs or replacements over the years. These repairs or replacements can be costly. That’s why you need a home warranty.
What is a Home Warranty?
A home warranty is very much what it sounds like – a warranty for your home. Except, in this case, it doesn’t behave like a typical warranty that covers you for a specific number of years set forth by the manufacturer. A home warranty is like an insurance that you have to renew every year.
An easier way to understand home warranties is to look at them as “home service contracts” where you have an agreement with the provider to cover specific areas of your home. Just like your home insurance, your home warranty stipulates what kind of issues are covered and which are not.
Unlike your home insurance, however, your home warranty doesn’t deal with big issues such as fires, Earthquakes, floods or any other form of disasters that may befall your home in general. The home warranty tends to focus more on repairs and replacements of home appliances and major home systems.
What Does a Home Warranty Cover?
A typical home warranty will cover repairs and replacements of major home systems and appliances such as:
- Your heating and cooling systems.
- Home appliances.
Most companies offering home warranties tend to cover these major areas as well as refrigerators, microwave ovens, dishwashers and clothes washers/dryers. Even though coverages vary from company to company and tiers, the general idea is that the company providing you with the cover will pay for the cost of repair or replacement of the insured items and areas of your home provided they break down from normal wear and tear.
If, for some reason, your home systems and appliances broke down because you didn’t properly maintain them: the HVAC system was cleaned of debris or the water heater wasn’t flushed, then your home warranty probably won’t pay for them. These covers exist to protect homeowners against systems that have been properly cared for breaking down or simply reaching “end of life”.
For that reason, you should always read your home warranty contract very carefully and take time to go through several reviews on home warranty before signing.
Is a Home Warranty Worth the Cost?
For the most part, home warranties cost between $200-$600 for a full year’s coverage.
Now, even though that might sound like a lot of money when all your home systems and appliances are operational, all you have to do is imagine a scenario where your HVAC system broke down from normal wear and tear in the middle of winter. You are dead broke and simply can’t raise the $1,500 needed to repair it or replace it. What do you do? Do you borrow or let your family leave in extreme discomfort?
If you had a home warranty that covers your heating, not only could they pay for the repair of the heating system but depending on the coverage you have, they could get you a brand new one and have a professional install it for you. All for the price of $200 – $600 a year.
Not only that, during that year, your dishwasher could break down or your plumbing could act up. All these repairs cost money and can get very expensive without the right kind of home warranty. So, yes, a home warranty is absolutely worth the cost.
How A Home Warranty Can Make Your Life Easier?
Some of the benefits of having a home warranty include:
- For buyers, having a home warranty means that you can move in without worrying about shelling out more cash to repair leaky faucets, broken down pipes and malfunctioning appliances worn down by the previous home owner.
- When you have a home warranty, you have peace of mind against surprise repairs that can cost an arm and a leg when you are in dire straits.
- As a seller, including a home warranty with the deal is a good way to entice buyers to bite and consider your listing over others that don’t over such additional perks.
- It also introduces home owners to reliable contractors. Typically, the company offering the home warranty coverage will have a list of professional contractors and repair companies that they can send your way whenever you need them. These companies are often thoroughly vetted and as such can be rightfully assumed to be trustworthy and professional. You can use that contact list whenever you need other non-warranty work done around the home.
So, do home warranties really make life easier? If you consider the peace of mind and the money they can save you then yes, home warranties really do make life a lot easier.