Home warranties are often offered to homebuyers before or during the closing. However, new homeowners may not be aware of what a home warranty can do or why they should want one. Home warranties cover major appliances and systems in the home and provide peace of mind to homebuyers. The new homeowner won’t have to worry about spending a ton of money if anything does break while their home is covered by the warranty.

Why Get a Home Warranty?

Money may be tight right after moving into a new home, especially if there are a number of renovations that need to be done, it’s a long-distance move, or it’s the homebuyer’s first home and they need to purchase furniture. While they’ll likely work to rebuild their savings as fast as possible, something may go wrong inside the home. It’s possible for the refrigerator to stop working, the electricity to have issues or a pipe to burst. All of these can be expensive to repair, but with a home warranty, the new homeowner doesn’t have to worry about paying for it out of pocket. The home warranty plans will cover these types of repairs.

What a Home Warranty Covers

Home warranties cover the major systems and appliances in the home and any repairs they might need. This includes the dishwasher, oven, refrigerator, HVAC system, electrical wiring, plumbing, and water heater. If any of these break down while the homeowner has a warranty, the repair will be covered. If the item cannot be repaired, a replacement may be partially or fully covered. Items like the water heater can be costly to repair or replace, and a new homeowner might not have the budget to deal with it right away. The home warranty, however, can cover the repair, so the homeowner doesn’t have to wait long before your water gets soften once again.

Adding Additional Coverage

Home warranties can be limited in the coverage they offer. Though they cover all of the basics, homeowners may have more items they want to be covered. If this is the case, they can upgrade to a higher plan that includes additional options. Additional coverage offered by a home warranty can include well pumps, roof leaks, an additional refrigerator or freezer, a pool or spa, the septic system, or other items inside the home that could break down. Homeowners can look at the coverage offered and see if they will want to upgrade the coverage to include anything additional in their home.

Covering Older Items in Home

A homeowner may worry about whether the items in their home will actually be covered by a warranty due to their age. The good news is, as long as the appliance or system is eligible for the plan, it doesn’t matter how old it is. The home warranty covers normal wear and tear, so even if the item is older, it should be covered under the warranty. It is a good idea for the homeowner to check with the warranty company if they have any questions about coverage, but the age of the item shouldn’t matter when it comes to having it repaired.

Using the Home Warranty

A few months after moving in, the homeowner realizes their refrigerator has stopped working and all the food has gone bad. This can happen to anyone, and it can even happen with newer refrigerators. As soon as this is noticed, the homeowner can contact the home warranty company and fill out a claim. The warranty company will send someone to do an inspection to find out what needs to be repaired, then handle the repair. The homeowner should be able to start using the refrigerator again soon. The same process is followed when any eligible appliance or system stops working in the home.

Combining a Home Warranty with Insurance

Home warranties and homeowner’s insurance are two different things. They can be used together to help minimize the financial cost of any disasters in the home, though. If a pipe bursts in the home, for instance, the homeowner will want to use both the warranty and the insurance to cover the damage. The first step will be to turn off the water before it causes further damage.

Then, the homeowner can contact the warranty company to enquire about repairs to the plumbing in the home and the insurance company to have a restoration company fix any water-damaged materials inside the home. Though both types of coverage are very different, they can be used together in situations like this to make sure the homeowner doesn’t have to spend a lot of money to get the house repaired and back into good shape as fast as possible.

How to Get a Home Warranty

For homebuyers, getting a home warranty should be easy. It is possible the seller will offer to purchase one when the home is sold. In some cases, the real estate agent will purchase the home warranty as a way to say thank you for choosing them. If the home is a new build, it’s possible the contractor building the home will offer a home warranty. In that case, the warranty may offer additional coverage, such as foundation or workmanship.

Homeowners who are not offered a home warranty during the home buying process may want to talk to their real estate agent before the sale is complete to find out how they can get one and if it’s going to be easy to do. In most cases, the real estate agent will be able to help make sure the buyer has a home warranty in place when the sale is finalized.

If you’re planning on purchasing a home in the near future, make sure you get a home warranty with it. Home warranties can provide you peace of mind that anything that breaks down in your home can be repaired without you having to spend a ton of money on it. Take a look at a home warranty today to learn more about what it covers and why it’s a good idea to have one when you buy a home.

Ellie Chen

Ellie Chen is a graduate of New York University with a Master’s in Real Estate who has been an expert in property market trends and real estate investment for over 12 years. Her previous roles include working in real estate brokerage and as a property analyst. She has provided insights into real estate marketing, property management, and investment strategies. Her background includes roles in real estate development firms and as an agent. Beyond work, she is a great hiker and a volunteer in housing affordability programs. She is also a passionate urban cyclist and enjoys participating in community development initiatives.

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