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How to know if you need a home warranty or not

In many situations after a successful home purchase, the new homeowner is presented with the option of getting a home warranty. While in a general sense, a home warranty could be quite beneficial as a backup plan for times when your home appliances and systems break down – and they will, eventually – there are certain instances when it may not be necessary.

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty covers repairs and replacements of most home systems and appliances that break down due to use and age. These usually cover:

  • Electrical systems (wirings, circuit breakers, etc.)
  • Plumbing systems (pipes, water heaters, etc.)
  • Heating and cooling systems (thermostats, air conditioners, etc.)
  • Dishwashers
  • Built-in microwaves
  • Garbage disposals
  • Kitchen ovens
  • Furnaces
  • Garage door openers

Depending on your home warranty policy, coverage for refrigerators, septic systems, and even swimming pools can be included, as well. Note that not all parts of these systems and appliances are always covered, so read your contract thoroughly before getting one.

You should get a home warranty if…

  1. You’re buying a previously-owned home
  2. It’s not uncommon to buy a previously-owned home with many used appliances like 10-year-old TVs or ovens. Some of them may have significant wear and tear so before closing, make sure to have a professional home inspector look at the home you’re looking to buy. The result of their inspection will include the state of the home’s appliances. That will tell you the extent of the coverage you’ll need for a home warranty.

  3. You want to plan your budget
  4. You can’t tell when your home systems or appliances will break down. It could happen at a time when your finances are low. With a home warranty, you’ll be prepared for these unforeseen costs because you know what your policy covers. As a result, you’re more likely to keep your finances intact. And speaking of keeping some things intact other than your finances…

  5. You want peace of mind
  6. This is arguably the biggest benefit of getting a home warranty. Should something break, you’re guaranteed to have a professional coming over to check it out for you. If you’re not good at repairing things or you have several home systems that you’re not completely familiar with, getting a home warranty is a smart decision that can save you a lot of money.

You might want to hold off on a home warranty if…

  1. You’re buying new construction
  2. If you’re buying a newly constructed home, you might be better off putting your money elsewhere. These homes come with brand-new appliances that won’t be showing signs of wearing down for at least 5 to 10 years. Instead, you can get special home insurance that would cover force majeure events or what’s called acts of God like natural disasters or human conflicts.

  3. You won’t be using your appliances much
  4. You may have appliances that deem worthy to be placed under a home warranty. However, if you don’t use these said appliances often because you’re usually out of town, then think twice before getting one. Instead of a home warranty, you could put your money in an emergency fund or pay for repairs or replacements yourself if these are not that expensive.

  5. You want the freedom to choose a contractor
  6. Getting a home warranty automatically ties you to a set of contractors. While this can save you time, you won’t have the liberty to choose who repairs or replaces your appliances. It’s great if the contractor has a good reputation but this isn’t always the case. You might also end up in an argument on whether to repair or replace an appliance. Also, communicating with the home warranty company first for repairs or replacements can be more tedious than simply going straight to a specialist or repair person.

The bottom line

If you are to consider the costs involved with repairs and replacements, getting a home warranty can be worth the investment. It can give you peace of mind, knowing that you won’t have to cough out a great deal of money the moment issues with an appliance or home fixture come up. However, know that a home warranty is not always the best choice for everyone so carefully study your situation very well as you contemplate getting one.

Whether or not you decide to get a home warranty for your future home, there’s no denying the value of hiring a professional Realtor when buying a new home. I’m Tacoma Realtor Lori Lewandowski, and I can help you get the perfect home. I can even recommend the best home warranties and home insurance policies available. Give me a call today at 253.617.5922 or send me an email at lorilewandowski(at)gmail(dotted)com. You can also leave me a message here.