By, Aimee Adams
Buying a home will likely be the biggest purchase you will ever make. But making a down payment and taking care of your monthly mortgage payment are not the only financial aspects when it comes to homeownership. In addition to your homeowner’s insurance, you will have to worry about paying for maintenance, upkeep, and repairs. Sometimes, these costs can be in the thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.
You know that eventually, parts, components, and systems in your home will begin to fail and break down. Thanks to a California home warranty, you can spare yourself a significant amount of financial stress. This plan will cover many of the costs to repair and replace many elements of your home. Before you buy one, there are a few things you should think about.
Understand What It Is
Before you get too serious about buying a home warranty, you will want to educate yourself. Understand what the warranty entails, including what it does and does not cover. Essentially, its coverage includes large appliances and systems, such as the HVAC, dishwasher, built-in microwave, oven and stove, refrigerator, water heater, and plumbing. It may also cover the roof and swimming pool if you have one.
The warranty is good for one year, so you must renew it annually. The costs can vary, but most run for around $500 a year. You will have to pay for a technician’s service call, which can be between $75 and $125. But the plan should take care of repairs and replacements up to $2,000 a year per item. The warranty is invalid if something fails due to misuse, deliberately breaking it, or lack of proper maintenance and upkeep.
How Old Is the Home?
You may not need a home warranty, depending on how long ago your home was built. For example, homes built within the last 10 years should still have the original warranty. Builders are required to provide such coverage. This will apply to the structural components as well as the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Any appliances in the home may still have their original warranties if they are a few years old or less. However, if your home is more than a decade old, chances are the coverage has expired on most elements. In this case, getting a warranty is probably a good decision.
Do You Have Remodeling Plans?
At some point during your homeownership, you will likely renovate the house to some degree. You may do this to update the look or functionality of your house, or you may do so to fix a problem. If you plan on hiring a contractor to take care of the work, you probably will not need a home warranty. In this situation, the contractor should warranty the remodel for at least a year.
On the other hand, if you are doing the renovations yourself, it is a good idea to purchase a home warranty before you start. This makes sense because the warranty may pay for certain areas you plan to remodel. You can save yourself thousands by choosing this method.
Do You Stay on Top of Maintenance?
One of the crucial points of a home warranty is that you have to perform routine maintenance of your home for the warranty to be valid. If you have not been good about tuning up your heater and air conditioner, or if you have never had a technician look at your appliances, a warranty company may not agree to cover you.
However, if you have been meticulous with maintenance and have stayed on schedule, you should be able to rely on this coverage, and you should buy a plan. Being diligent about upkeep will increase the chances of your appliances and systems working well. Still, items can be defective or break down suddenly due to no fault of your own. In these situations, a warranty can save you from a major financial crisis.
There are many benefits to having a home warranty. You can spare yourself tremendous financial stress with this coverage. You can have peace of mind knowing that replacing systems and appliances won’t put you in a bad position. But there are occasions when such coverage would not be necessary. Review these guidelines so that you can make the right choice.