When buying a home it might be the first time you have ever put together a personal budget. When renting, you know certain things will be taken care of quickly by a good landlord. But what happens when you aren’t renting anymore? And that responsibility falls on you now. Purchasing a home warranty or upgrading your current one might be a good idea.
This is a good time to consider how things will get fixed if they need to be, before you buy a home. If you have a good savings account, it could get used to replace or repair a water heater, but what if shortly after the water heater breaks, the refrigerator also goes on the fritz?! Your savings was depleted by the water heater and you haven’t had enough time to replenish your savings account. These are good things to consider when making a budget on what you can afford in the care and maintenance of your biggest purchase, your home.
I have bought several homes and only recently, in my last home purchase, learned of home warranty coverage. I have an average home with newer appliances. The kitchen has been remodeled. I have a fairly new washer and dryer. I could not however tell you anything about the heating and air conditioning unit. When I bought my home, I was given one free year of a home warranty coverage. This was my first exposure to such a service.
After one year of owning my home, I decided to renew the coverage. Good thing too! I ended up having to replace the water heater that same year. I was given one plan, it covered more than I thought it could. Which is fine for my needs because I do not have a lot of other reasons to add additional coverage. However in one of my previous homes, additional coverage would have been a fantastic idea.
My home in Kansas City had a sprinkler system, and garage doors that always seemed to act up. These are two items that can be covered additionally to the basic home warranty plan. While I was not aware of the home warranty coverage when I had my home in Kansas City, I can guarantee it would have been used, had I!
Our sprinkler system always needed to have sprinkler heads replaced after each winter, not sure if it was because of the age of the system or if that kind of maintenance is routine. I had never had a sprinkler system, and I don’t have one now.
We had two garage doors that just wouldn’t follow commands! I routinely had to park in the driveway, go in through the front door and hit the button on the inside of the garage to open my garage door. This completely defeats the purpose of having a remote garage door opener. I had several calls to different service companies to try and fix whatever was wrong with my garage doors. Eventually the problem was solved. I moved, ha! Had I had a warranty service that included garage doors, those doors would have been fixed no matter how many times I had to call someone to come fix them! But since I was paying for every service call, and all the labor, supplies etc. It got to be quite expensive.
Even if you are not a regular handy man or woman, it’s a good idea to have a home warranty because these home appliances and home systems can eat away at your savings at unfortunate or inopportune times. The home warranty is a small monthly fee. I liken the cost to replacing your high-end refrigerator and having a credit card payment on it, between $25-40. Paying the monthly cost of a home warranty is much easier to pay than an unexpected $800 for a new water heater.
If you are buying a home that has some more unknowns, like a sprinkler system, sump pump some of these additional coverage plans can be purchases a la cart with your home warranty provider. It just depends on your home on whether or not these should be added to your home warranty coverage.
- Does your home have additional home systems or appliances beyond the norm?
- Do you readily know how to fix them on your own?
- Do you have a savings account ready to fix any or all of these home systems or appliances?
These are some of the questions you should ask when considering your home warranty options and your budget.
If you have no working knowledge of any appliances or home systems, the home warranty is a great purchase! If you have no savings account ready to pay for repairs or maintenance of any or all of the appliances or systems in your home, then a home warranty is a great purchase. If you have additional appliances or systems in your home it is a great idea to have those system and appliances covered.
Your home is your largest purchase and biggest investment. You should want to protect your home and maintain it for your time in the home, and for when it is time to move on to the next home, knowing that your home is well taken care of can add value to the next one to purchase your home.
Before buying your next home consider a home warranty and the peace of mind it can provide for the unknowns.