real estate keysMuch like appliances and gadgets, a residential property may be insured in the form of a home warranty. This is a form of insurance that protects you from potential defects that you may find in the house after the closing of the sale. Ask your real estate agent about the available options for a home warranty in the location of your house, and inquire about the warranty coverage and premium costs. Some companies also offer home warranty packages online.

A typical home warranty includes coverage for repair of appliances in the home, leak repair on roofing structures and plumbing lines, maintenance of heating / cooling and electrical systems, and other problems in the physical structure of the home. Judging from these provisions, it’s becoming increasingly clear that a home warranty is a necessity when purchasing a home.

If you have found a home that you’re interested to buy, ask the seller if a home warranty is included. If not, don’t hesitate to ask for it to be included in the purchase. You may also arrange to split the costs of the warranty with the seller.

As a buyer, you need to be aware of what the home warranty covers in your area. Here are some typical stipulations in a home warranty policy:

For refrigerator or subzero unit

  • Covered: All parts that directly affect the unit’s standard operation
  • Not covered: Dispenser, crusher, ice maker (unless explicitly stated), racks and shelves, independent freezers (unless noted), and food expiration

For built-in microwave oven

  • Covered: All parts that directly affect the unit’s standard operation
  • Not covered: Door glass, interior lining, shelf, meat probe, rotisserie, lighting fixture, and portable units

For garage door opener

  • Covered: Motor (including switches and wires), receiver
  • Not covered: Garage door and accessories (remote transmitter, sensor, track drive)

For electrical system

  • Covered: Main panel and subpanels, breakers, switches, outlets, junction boxes
  • Not covered: DC components, intercoms, fixtures, fiber optic and cable wiring, power failure or surge, low voltage, wiring access, insufficient wiring capacity

Warranty policy content

Making a close scrutiny of the home warranty stipulations is a very important part of finalizing the policy. You may back out from the warranty provider and choose your preferred policy if you are not satisfied with the provisions.

The following items must be declared in the warranty policy:

  • Duration of the warranty (typically one year but may be extended)
  • Persons and entities under the protection of the warranty
  • Details on transfer of warranty from seller to buyer (if applicable)
  • Process of filing a claim
  • Complete details and description of coverage
  • Person or entity responsible for repairs

All in all, it’s definitely a good idea to take out a home warranty, if it means giving you and the seller peace of mind.

Are you ready to buy? Do you have more questions?

I’d love to assist you on your next home purchase!

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