Home Warranty Tips Before Buying
Home service contracts have always been a good way for sellers to entice buyers who may need a little more incentive to move forward while negotiating a sale. It’s not uncommon for a home to be advertised for sale with a Home Warranty included. Service contracts typically cover repairs to appliances, air conditioning and heating units and water heaters. As simple as that may sound, all service contracts are not the same and the cost can vary according to the age of the home and items covered. You should weigh the costs and check what the policy allows before deciding on one.
It is not easy to choose the best home warranty provider. Many homeowners are not satisfied with the coverage and customer service offered by home warranty companies. One of the reasons for dissatisfaction is homeowners do not realize that home appliance protection plans do not cover certain conditions such as pre-existing conditions, repair needs due to the lack of maintenance and care etc. Such conditions are generally mentioned in the small print in the contract it is easy to miss. Although you may not find a perfect company, there are reputed companies with good ratings.
Service contracts normally range in price from $250 to $500 per year. Here are some things to consider before buying on:
– Check customer reviews of the company and the contract at homewarranty.com
– Check the coverage and any exclusions it may have. Will the allowance cover the cost of a replacement if needed. Most offer a depreciated replacement value. If the appliance is 10 years old the actual replacement cost may exceed the allowance. Look for full replacement value.
– Verify what is and is not included. Are all appliances included?
– Are there extra add on services that may be worthwhile? Some have extended plumbing and electrical coverages.
– Are there any added service call fees that you should know about.
Service contracts are always loaded with exclusions and exceptions. Being aware of the exclusions can make a great deal of difference in deciding on one over another.
Average life expectancy of home appliances:
National Association of Home Builders brought out the following list of some kitchen appliances and mechanical systems and their lifespan. You need to replace the appliances after they reach their end of the life cycle, however, the maintenance expenses start raising long before they need to be replaced.
Item Expected life (years) Item Expected life (years)
- Central Air Conditioning 15+
- Dryers 14
- Window Air Conditioning 10
- Disposal 10
- Air Conditioning compressor 15
- Freezers 16
- Electric water heater 14
- Microwave ovens 11
- Gas water heater 11 to 13
- Electric ranges 17
- Forced-air furnace 15
- Gas ranges 19
- Gas or oil furnace 18
- Gas ovens 14
- Trash compactors 10
- Refrigerators 17
- Dishwashers 10
- Washing Machines 13
- Exhaust fans 20