Q: What is a home warranty?
A home warranty provides homeowners with quick, reliable, and inexpensive repairs to most appliances and systems in a home or condo.
A home warranty can be purchased for most homes in San Diego from several different home warranty companies. I encourage homebuyers to look at all the different home warranty coverages available to you to determine what you want covered on your home.
I typically recommend that you ask the seller to buy you a one-year home warranty (and many times a seller will agree to pay for this through the negotiations of the purchase contract). However, the seller usually agrees to pay only a certain amount or might not agree to buy one at all. It's still a good idea to have one in place, so you're covered for any unexpected repairs that are bound to happen at some point in your first year of owning your new home (you may also be able to extend the warranty each subsequent year by paying the renewal fee).
Home warranties typically cover electrical, heating, AC, plumbing, appliances, etc. Look through the details of your home warranty brochure and determine which coverages make the most sense for you. Whenever there are repairs needed for the covered items (let's say your dishwasher fails or a pipe is leaking under the kitchen sink), all you do is call your warranty company, and they send a local contractor out to perform the repair (and you pay a predetermined, discounted service fee for each claim you make).
Two Reasons to Buy a Home Warranty
The two things I like most about home warranties are (1) I know how much the repair is going to cost me (in many cases, just the service fee), and (2) I don't have to spend any time trying to find a contractor to do the work (the warranty company picks the contractor for you and sends your contact information to them to schedule an appointment).
Some warranty companies allow you to make changes to your warranty coverage up to 30 days after your home purchase has been completed, so you could potentially make changes after you're done buying the house. However, it's best to think it through early and make a decision about the coverages you want, rather than put it off for later. Call or email me if you need a copy of a home warranty brochure.
Two Things I Don't Like About Home Warranties:
I've said a lot of good things about buying a home warranty in this article, but there are a couple things I don't like about them.
(1) You don't get to choose the contractor. The home warranty company is going to pick whichever contractor they want to do the repair, and you might not be impressed with their choice at times.
(2) Home warranties can be a hassle at times. Sometimes, the home warranty company will try to get out of certain repairs (they'll say the warranty doesn't cover a repair you thought was covered), or you'll get charged by a contractor even though they don't fix the problem. Then you're on the phone with different reps at the warranty company and trying to talk to a manager. Ugh!
Now that I've been a homeowner for so long, I personally don't buy home warranties for my properties. At this stage I have a bunch of different contractors I've grown to like and trust over the years, and I'd rather be able to hire whoever I want to hire. That said, if a seller is offering to buy you a home warranty, you might as well accept it and use it for a year. You can always decide later if you want to renew the warranty or let it expire after the first year.
MORE INFORMATION FOR HOMEBUYERS:
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Also Read: How to Read Your Termite Report
Also Read: 5 Reasons You'll Be Thrilled at Closing
Justin Gramm is the founder and principal broker of Globella Buyers Realty, your San Diego Exclusive Buyer Brokerage. He also writes this blog, "For San Diego Home Buyers."
Exclusive Buyer Agents do not list homes for sale and never represent sellers. They have no "inventory" to try to sell you. They can represent you in purchasing any home. They are specialists at representing buyers only on the buyers' side of the transaction. Exclusive Buyer Agents work to get buyers the best price and terms when they buy a home.
If you have excellent credit and plan to buy a home or condo in San Diego County within 90 days, contact Justin Gramm to hire an agent on your side of the transaction. Call Justin at 858-779-2727 or E-mail.