So you’re a soon-to-be or new homeowner, congrats! You’ve taken a huge step. Gone are the days of dumping money into a rental for no return or living in a home that’s just not suited for yourself and your family. There are few bigger milestones than your first (or even latest) home purchase, but the excitement often wears off when you get hit with unexpected appliance or system failures.
Think it can’t happen to you? Think again. According to SF Gate, Global Home USA reported that a majority of homeowners experience at least two failures of a major item in their home within the first year of ownership. The stresses that come along with this responsibility, especially for first-time homeowners, can often be mitigated by getting a warranty for your home. What exactly is that though, and how do you go about getting one? Why exactly do you need a warranty for your home?
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What Is a Home Warranty?
Just like any other warranty, a home warranty is a policy that you purchase that helps you cover or reduce the costs to replace and repair important systems and appliances in your home, since you as the owner are responsible for keeping up on them.
You’ll generally purchase these when you purchase your home, and while cost varies (depending on a lot of different factors), it’s becoming a given for homeowners across the nation to make sure they have a policy when buying a home.
Why Do You Need a Home Warranty?
First and foremost, if you happen to be among the many new homeowners who have had to do some major financial legwork to get into your house, chances are you don’t have a lot of room in your credit or savings account for unexpected appliance and system failures. Especially in the first few months to few years of your home ownership. A warranty can greatly reduce the financial burden of these common but unexpected failures.
Additionally, while there are legal requirements that place disclosure of known issues with the home on the shoulders of the seller, there is still always the possibility that the seller doesn’t know about or hasn’t disclosed every issue with the unit. In this instance, you don’t want that shortcoming to become entirely your responsibility.
Warranties also tend to make routine maintenance and service calls to specialists cheaper. Everything in your home is part of the financial investment you made, and if you’re going to go out of your way to keep everything running smoothly (the way you probably should), it’s best to make that endeavor as cost effective as possible.
Are There Any Cons to Buying a Warranty?
Nothing is without its shortcomings. There are a few facets of home warranties that can be a bit tricky, even for long-time homeowners. Any warranty has its exclusions, and there is always the possibility that an appliance or system might not be covered due to a determination that it was not maintained properly, or for some other possible reason that is outlined in the fine print.
Additionally, you can’t guarantee a replacement over a repair every time something goes wrong. While the spirit of warranties are not so you can get a shiny new appliance every time something goes slightly wrong, this can sometimes be frustrating if the appliance is already old or has serious damage or functionality issues.
Is a Home Warranty Worth It?
With all of this in mind, it is absolutely worth it to make sure you have a warranty on your home. You’ll never find any warranty or coverage for your large assets that is perfect, and there are always downsides, but ultimately you’re saving yourself a lot of headache in the future when you get hit with unexpected system and appliance failures at an inconvenient time.
Don’t wait on important repairs, and don’t risk getting caught off guard. Keep your home in tip-top shape by expecting the unexpected with a home warranty.