Ready to buy a home? Make sure you can cover future unexpected repair and replacement expenses with a home warranty plan. Laura covers six tips to get the most from a home warranty and save money.
Buying the home of your dreams is an exciting investment. But an often-overlooked part of being a homeowner is how you'll handle future home expenses, such as replacing a refrigerator that stops working or getting faulty plumbing repaired.
The best way to reduce unexpected and costly home repair costs is to buy a home warranty plan. It's a service contract that pays to repair and replace primary home systems and appliances.
Here are six tips for getting the most value from a home warranty.
1. Don't skip a home inspection
Don't skip a home inspection even if you plan to purchase a home warranty. You could miss severe defects that aren't covered by a warranty and end up costing you later on. Always hire a professional home inspector to identify and report problems so you can make your purchase offer contingent on a satisfactory inspection report.
2. Don't assume a property comes with a home warranty
If you build a new home, it may come with a builder's warranty. However, a typical seller may not pay for a home warranty. You can negotiate with a seller to buy a home warranty or purchase one on your own.
3. Read a home warranty's fine print
Whether a home seller offers a home warranty, or you purchase one, review it carefully. Double-check the price and coverage–-remember that not every component of your home may be under warranty. Be sure you know the quality of materials used in repairs, how long the coverage lasts, and how to cancel the policy if needed.
4. Research home warranty providers
Since there are many home warranty plan providers, consider reading company reviews to ensure you'll be satisfied with their customer service and plan coverage.
5. Pick the best home warranty plan
Consider your budget and potential home repair expenses to choose the best home warranty. For instance, if you buy an older home, you may need comprehensive coverage for its aging systems and appliances. But a basic plan may be suitable for a newer home.
6. Don't confuse a home warranty with home insurance
Remember that a home warranty and a typical homeowners insurance policy are not the same. A warranty provides coverage for major household systems and appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear. After meeting your deductible, your home insurance covers damages such as vandalism and various natural disasters, including fire, windstorms, and falling objects.
Should you buy a home warranty?
Purchasing a home warranty is an excellent way to protect your finances from high unexpected repairs and replacement costs due to normal wear and tear in your home. In the long run, those costs could far exceed the price of a home warranty. Therefore, getting a warranty is a wise investment if you aren't sure you'd have enough emergency savings to cover those essential home expenses down the road.