It’s been repeated time and time that one’s house is the largest investment one will probably ever make. What can you do to protect this investment to its fullest? Of course, you have homeowner’s insurance to cover significant issues with the house, such as fire or other types of extreme damage. But what about all of those expensive to replace individual items throughout the house?

Most people these days are smart enough to have a home inspection done before closing. The problem is that home inspectors are not fortune-tellers. They can look at the HVAC, appliances, and roof and give you a decent estimate on their life span, but it’s just an estimate. What happens if you spend every cent you have on closing your house only to have the air conditioning go out two weeks later? Enter the home warranty. Home warranties have been gaining in popularity over the last decade. Once thought of as an unneeded add-on sold to you at closing, people are figuring out that they really provide a lot of value. And, more importantly, a lot of protection.  

You can choose to select a home warranty when you list the house, or you or the buyer can decide on purchasing one at the time of closing. Choosing to provide a home warranty upon listing the house can provide two huge benefits. One benefit is that with most companies, your home is instantly covered from the time of the listing. If anything breaks down, you are covered. The second is that buyers looking at homes might be more drawn to looking at your house because it includes a warranty. This can help get your home sold much sooner than one that does not include a warranty.

So let’s take a look at what’s covered and what isn’t. Most major appliances, HVAC, hot water heater, garage door opener, and roof are generally covered. Every policy varies, so be sure that all of your needs are covered on your policy.  Also, each policy can include separate riders for things like pool pumps and spa equipment. At the time of the home inspection, the inspector determines whether each piece of equipment is considered “in working condition.” If it is in working condition, it should be eligible and covered by a home warranty.

What is not covered? Anything deemed in “not working condition” will not be covered under warranty. Some other examples are the sewer pipe that runs from the house to the street and specific changes to the building code. Read the fine print carefully. You do not want to think that you are covered, only to find out that you are not.

Some home warranties include a deductible, and others do not. Ask your Realtor their opinion, and be sure to do your research on this one. Be protected!

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