You see the signs when you drive by a Pittsburgh home for sale that says “Home Warranty Included.” It sounds good, but do you know how it can benefit you as a new homeowner?
A home warranty will cover the homeowner for a period of time, usually one year. It will cover the cost of repair or replacement for components of the home. Each home warranty company will detail what they cover and what they do not cover. There are also options for extra coverage that is not included in their basic plan.
A home warranty plan may cover heating and cooling systems, water heaters, plumbing, and some electrical items. Some policies will cover roof leaks, appliances, and the cost of re-keying locks for a new homeowner. You must read the seller’s home warranty to understand what is covered.
Upgrades would cost an additional fee and include septic systems, pools, washer/dryer, hot tub, well pumps, and electronics. The seller may only offer a basic warranty, but the buyer will have an opportunity after closing to pay for additional upgrades if they choose.
A home warranty has a deductible, like an insurance policy; the homeowner must pay.
The deductible may also be called a trade fee or service fee. When you have an item covered by the warranty that needs repair, you must first contact the home warranty company to provide you with a service provider who is authorized to repair it. The deductible will be paid at the time of service. The amount of the deductible varies from company to company. It can be anywhere from $75 – $200.
The designated service provider is familiar with the warranty policy and will evaluate the problem and provide a report to the warranty company. The home warranty company will decide whether they can repair or replace the item.
A claim may be denied for several reasons.
The first is that there was known damage that existed before the warranty went into effect. Your home inspection may reveal issues that need to be addressed. It is best to ask the seller to repair before closing on the property and not rely on the warranty to cover the item.
A warranty may not cover poorly maintained, improperly installed, or misused household components. You need to read the contract’s fine print to understand when that could be an issue for you.
The seller will usually pay for a home warranty as an incentive to the buyer. If the seller offers the home warranty when they list their home, they will also be covered under the warranty during the listing period. The seller is usually not covered for everything that is covered for the buyer.
A home warranty cost ranges from $350 to $600 plus the fee for any additional coverage. The prices can be different from state to state. The price also varies on the type of coverage selected.
When purchasing a home, many buyers request a home warranty if one is not offered upfront from the seller. It gives buyers some peace of mind knowing that specific components will be covered for repair or replacement, especially when purchasing a resale home.
Another benefit to the home warranty includes having access to qualified professionals, particularly if you are new to the area, which reduces the time of finding someone to help you.
When you need a service call for a covered item, you know your cost is limited to the trade fee.
Home warranties are renewable at the end of the term if you would choose to extend the contract.
Again, it is important to understand what is and what is not covered under a home warranty. Understanding the policy is key to getting the best advantage from it.
The Judi SAYHAY Team is always ready to help you with your real estate needs. If you have any questions about the home buying process, we would be happy to answer them for you.
Contact us at 412-303-3600 or SAYHAYTeam@gmail.com.