Purchasing a new home is an exciting milestone in your life — but it also can be an intimidating responsibility. Most buyers put an offer on a home that appeals to them for a variety of different reasons, whether it's the location or the features inside the home or the land that surrounds the house. After their offer is accepted, they rely on the advice and insight of a home inspector who provides them with more details about the health of the home.
Despite the fact that buyers do their homework prior to closing on their new home, many are left with unexpected issues after the closing. There's so many anecdotes about buyers whose basements flood the day after they move in or who are faced with an HVAC system that doesn't work once summer arrives.
A home warranty may be able to provide some security and peace of mind, but these protection plans can carry with them a high price tag. This leaves many buyers wondering if they are really worth it?
Here's how you can decide if a home warranty is right for your home purchase:
Consider the Benefits of a Home Warranty
A home warranty provides an extra layer of protection for buyers who may have used much of their cash to fund the purchase of a home. Most people are not prepared to put out a significant amount of money for repairs and replacements immediately after closing on a house, so a home warranty protection plan may be appealing.
When a repair is covered by a home warranty, the homeowner is able to quickly call a representative who can provide a list of recommended contractors to complete the job. This can expedite the repair process, which minimizes the inconvenience to the new homeowner.
Home warranty benefits are renewable. Homeowners who invest in a home warranty plan can extend the benefits past the first year, which allows them to take advantage of benefits in the years to come.
Home warranties typically cover the repair and replacement of major appliances that often experience issues. Kitchen appliances, such as the refrigerator, and HVAC systems are commonly covered under home warranty plans. The costs of these replacements is significantly higher than the warranty plan itself, so many home buyers find it worth it to purchase a plan based on this fact alone.
Recognize the Disadvantages of these Protection Plans
Home warranty plans will typically only cover a repair if the homeowner uses one of their previously-approved contractors. This limits who can be contacted to complete the repair, and homeowners who use a contractor that was not approved by the warranty company likely won't get coverage for the repair or replacement.
Some policies limit the amount of coverage the individual will receive. If a homeowner has a particularly bad year with several significant repairs, they may not receive additional coverage if their quote has been met. Many plans cap coverage between $1,500 and $2,000.
Home warranty policies are notorious for their fine print. Home buyers who are considering purchasing one of these protection plans need to read the fine print carefully in order to fully understand what their coverage will be. For example, some repairs are only covered under specific circumstances that are outlined in the policy. If the failure of the equipment is the result of a circumstance that is not identified, it likely won't be covered under the home warranty.
Buyers who want the peace of mind that comes along with a home warranty but don't want to pay hundreds of dollars for the protection may consider using it as a negotiation tool. Many sellers are willing to include a home warranty with the purchase of a home, particularly if the home inspection highlights issues that may become larger problems in the future. For them, it might be cheaper to purchase a home warranty than to fix the potential problem. Sellers are able to appease the buyer and move forward with the purchase agreement, while buyers are able to rest easy knowing that they have the protection of a home warranty plan if an unforeseen issue arises shortly after the purchase of the property.
Ultimately, it's up to the individual buyer to determine whether a home warranty is worth the cost. Find out more about home warranty plans and the protection that these plans offer by contacting a real estate agent today.
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