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How to Protect Yourself When Purchasing a Home
When you are purchasing a home, whether it is your first or not, it is important that you protect yourself and your investment. Many people will make sure their appliances have warranties, as well as their vehicles. Most people will not make a big purchase like those without a warranty, so why is it that so many people make the biggest purchase of their lives (a home) and do not get a warranty?
There are many things you can do to protect yourself when you buy a home but probably foremost is ensuring that you have a warranty on that home. A home warranty is not a new product – in fact, home warranties have been around for quite some time. In the past, however, most people thought that home warranties were only offered by builders on new homes, but that is not the case. In fact, you can purchase a home warranty on any home, new or used.
Usually, either the buyer or the seller will purchase a home warranty. A buyer purchases a home warranty on an older home to safeguard themselves from any major repairs that need to be done that can’t be seen on inspection, or foreseen. It’s hard to tell that the water heater or furnace is about ready to kick the bucket and need replacing from looking at it. A home warranty protects from those repairs and replacements for the term of the policy. A seller will purchase a home warranty for the home they are selling as a selling feature. A home warranty helps secure their pricing near where it’s listed at. Also, many homes that come with a home warranty will sell much quicker than one without.
With this, it is important then that when you are purchasing a home that you ensure you have a home warranty. A home warranty will save you a lot of time, money and trouble if something major should go wrong. In most cases, a home warranty will cover:
- Air conditioning system
- Built in dishwasher
- Built in microwave
- Built in trash compactor
- Ceiling fans
- Central heating unit
- Duct work
- Electrical systems
- Garbage disposal unit
- Plumbing systems
- The oven or range
- Washer and dryer
- Water heater
Here is a list of things that are generally not covered with a home warranty:
- Outdoor sprinkler systems
- Outdoor water systems
- Faucet repairs (unless otherwise stated in the policy)
- Spas (you can request/add this coverage in some cases)
- Pools (you can request/add this coverage in some cases)
- Hot tubs (you can request/add this coverage in some cases)
- Permit fees
- Hauling away debris
- Hauling away old appliances
There are items that are often not covered by some plans, which are covered by others, including:
- Washers (because they are not built in to the home and are not always included with a home.)
- Dryers (because they are not built in to the home and are not always included with a home.)
- Garbage disposals
- Garage door openers
The best thing to do is to talk to the agent you are dealing with and ask what is and isn’t covered in detail with your policy. Anything you talk about should be put in writing and signed by the agent. If he says the garbage disposal is covered, then ensure it is written in the policy.
It’s best to take some time and do your research if you are purchasing your own home warranty package for a home. The rates, coverage and deductibles vary from company to company, and from state to state. There are many options available to you, so talk to a qualified home warranty agent to discuss what type of home warranty program suits your needs the best.
If you are buying a home that comes with a home warranty, it’s important to remember that this type of warranty is non-renewable; whereas if you purchase your own, it is likely able to be renewed when the initial year-long period is up. Again, it’s important to ask of the seller what is included and not included in the warranty before purchasing the home. Read through the policy to be sure you are clear on what is and is not covered.
Buying a home is an exciting time, but it can also be quite daunting. You never know what you are getting when you purchase an older home, but a home warranty can help dispel any misgivings you have.