A home warranty can be a useful tool for a homeowner. It provides an extra layer of financial protection when it comes to expensive home repairs. However, is a warranty always worth the money? Here are a couple things to consider.
Let’s look at the basics of how much a home warranty costs. Barbara Whelehan, a writer for bankrate.com states, “The cost of a home warranty ranges from $350 to $600 a year – more if you want enhanced coverage for such things as washers and dryers, pools and septic systems. In addition to the annual premium, expect to pay a fee for service calls – anywhere from $50 to $125, depending on the type of contract you purchase.” Some require you to pay a year upfront but many offer monthly payment options.
A home warranty is a worthy investment if you’re purchasing an older home with older appliances. It’s also worth the money if you don’t have thousands of dollars to replace items that may break down. However, home warranties can also be a good idea for newer homes. An article written by Amy Fontinelle for investopedia.com further explains this by saying, “A home warranty can provide reassurance to a home buyer who has limited information about how well the home’s components have been maintained or—in the case of new construction—how well the home has been built. A warranty can also be helpful for people who have just depleted their savings to buy a home and want to avoid any additional major expenses.” When purchasing a home, pay special attention to both the condition of the HVAC system as well as the roof. If any of these items are showing signs of their age and have been well maintained, write the cost of a home warranty into your purchase offer. This will provide you with an added measure of financial security and ensure that if unexpected repairs arise, they won’t break the bank.
Home warranty companies aren’t in the business of handing out money. There are rules homeowners must abide by. The protocols that need to be followed can take a while. If your heat goes out in winter for example, it could take a couple weeks to get an approved contractor out to fix it. Additionally, home warranty companies will only replace and repair items that have been properly maintained. The definition of ‘proper maintenance’ is open to interpretation by all parties. This is where many disagreements occur. If you purchase a home and you know the air conditioner hasn’t been well taken care of, it might not be worth it to buy a home warranty. Your best bet would be to set aside the money every month that you would have spent on a home warranty and save it for any future emergencies.
A home warranty can be a lifesaver. It’s important to consider the various factors that will determine whether it’s a worthy investment for you.