Did you know you can buy a home warranty at any time? Even if your old one has expired. They are no exclusive to purchasing a home.
As a homeowner, you will eventually be faced with the need to repair or replace expensive appliances and home systems such as the A/C, heating unit, washer, dryer or possibly your refrigerator. And when that time comes, a home warranty can save you thousands of dollars. A home warranty can help cover most, or even all, of the expense for some of the most common household repairs.
So what is a home warranty? A home warranty provides repair or replacement coverage for mechanical failures of major systems and appliances such as air conditioning, heating, electrical, plumbing, refrigerator, washer, dryer and more. And a Home Warranty isn’t just for Buyer’s, it can also provide protection, savings and peace of mind for sellers during the listing period and then be transferred to the buyers after the sale of a home.
Most often we negotiate a one-year Home Warranty for our Buyer’s in the initial purchase. But then what? Many homeowners struggle with the decision of purchasing/renewing a home warranty plan. At this point, you’re probably already paying a mortgage, and utilities too. So it’s understandable if adding another monthly payment is unappealing. But investing in the safety of your home with a home warranty could make a huge difference in your family’s financial security and peace of mind.
By the way, note that we said “monthly payment” above. Most Home Warranty companies allow renewing homeowners to break the warranty plan cost down into convenient monthly payments. So if you’re worried about paying a large one-time expense, just ask if they offer a monthly plan.
So is a Home Warranty REALLY worth it?….
Consider your appliances. When considering a home warranty, it’s important to first think about your systems and appliances. How long has your washing machine been washing and your air conditioner cooling? You may be surprised that decades of use aren’t necessarily required before a breakdown occurs. According to the Huffington Post, 25 percent of front-loading washing machines and 20 percent of dishwashers break within three to four years.
While home insurance will typically cover appliances in the case of theft, fire or other disasters, they will not cover problems caused by normal wear from use over time. If your appliances are several years old or get a lot of use, a warranty could be a critical investment.
Consider your finances. While new appliances are less likely to break down or have problems, you can’t predict just when you’ll run into problems. So whether your home and systems are old or new, it’s important to consider your finances. While a monthly fee may be unappealing, did you know that the San Francisco Chronicle reported that in 2013 the cost of a new gas furnace was anywhere from $1,700 to $12,500? Or that Consumer Reports magazine reported in 2010 that tests showed that top-loading washing machines that cost less than $500 don’t wash well? That means you’ll be looking at a bill of more than $500 to replace your model if it breaks. If you’re at a financial position where you can’t afford that kind of lump sum payment, you might want to give a warranty some serious thought. Chicago Now reported that if one of these major repairs would break the bank, you should probably consider purchasing a home warranty.
If you’re still unsure, give us a call. We’ll talk it through with you. We’re ALWAYS here as a sounding board. I can share dozens of stories where having a Home Warranty saved my client’s thousands of dollar’s, but let me share with you my own personal story. Within the first few months of purchasing our home we had a complete HVAC failure and needed a new unit. Had we not negotiated a Home Warranty, and also with the additional upgraded coverage, we would have been looking at more than $6,000 in expenses. And each year since then, we’re had some sort of mechanical failure, where having a Home Warranty has saved us. In fact, I dare say that the Home Warranty company has paid out more each year than we have paid them.
Let me also add that there are several Home Warranty companies you can choose from. In making your decision make sure you read and fully understand the coverage and any out of pocket expenses you might be responsible for.
Now, the Lee Gosselin Real Estate Team will provide you with multiple Home Warranty suggestions, and their brochures, for you to review the policies and compare apple to apple to make an informed decision regarding which Warranty is best for you.
However personally, I have an HMS Home Warranty on my home. I also pay the additional charge to buy down my deductible, as well as add the Premium Upgrade coverage. I most appreciate the relationships I have developed with the local representatives and I know without a doubt if I, or my clients, ever have an issues I can call them directly for assistance. It is such a comfort to know that they are there AND that they advocate for their customers. For me and my family, that is the difference and that is why they earn our business. However, the real estate professional in me know that everyone has a different experience and while I can suggest a particular vendor, ultimately it is up to you to review your option and decide what is best for you.
Additionally, the Lee Gosselin Real Estate Team isn’t JUST here for you during your transaction, we are ALWAYS here for you. If you ever have any questions or problems that we can help you navigate, don’t hesitate to call, I mean it. Often times we help client years after a transaction, and we can do so because we’re in the thick of it, every day, we have information and experiences, we’re connected to other professionals, and we crave the opportunity to help our clients, and even their friends and family, navigate their way to a solution. Allow us that opportunity.
Lee Gosselin, REALTOR
Team Leader, Owner & Associate Broker