You know that old phone prank...
Someone calls and says, “Is your refrigerator running?”
The person on the other end then says, “Yes. Why?”
And then the caller says something like, “You better catch it before it gets too far away!!”The joke worked because, for the most part, everyone has a fridge, and it is probably working. And that is when you should have a home warranty in place... when your fridge is working, not once it is broken.
Do you have a list of worries?There’s a lot of things you probably notice, but ignore around your house. Until it is too late, and becomes a much bigger problem. It’s not broken...but maybe you notice that your fridge is making a different sound lately. Your garage door isn’t working quite right. It goes half way down and gets stuck. The bathroom faucet is dripping. You notice a little leak in your bedroom ceiling. Little worries like these are super common for homeowners. Maybe you have an even longer list of little worries than those...
What’s the real worry?But worries like those aren’t the real worry. The real worry is the cost of getting them fixed. For a lot of people, it is hard enough just paying the mortgage and other household bills. It’s not like there’s tons of money sitting around to fix the little worries. So you probably ignore it for as long as possible. Then the little problem becomes bigger and bigger. And the little problems become more numerous. You figure you will deal with it when and if it becomes too big of an issue…which is usually once something is broken, or not working at all. You deal with it once you have to spend the money.
Get a home warranty before it is too late...If all of that sounds too familiar to you, a home warranty can solve a lot of your worries. But you need to get one before your appliance, your furnace, your air conditioning, or whatever else, is actually broken. They won’t cover your problem if it was a pre-existing condition… Part of the problem might be that you don’t want to spend the money to buy a home warranty. They can cost hundreds of dollars. Maybe even upwards of a thousand or so, depending on the plan and coverages. But in comparison to how much it could cost you if your furnace or water heater stopped working, the cost is really not so bad. And, it isn’t like you can go and just buy a $500 home warranty once the furnace goes kapoot, call them up, and presto, have them send someone over to install a new one. You can try... but they are gonna deny.
Expect some aggravationAs with anything... not all home warranty companies or plans are reputable or great. Just do a little research online, and you will see tons of complaints about home warranty companies. Enough to scare you away from even buying one. With that said, sometimes it is a matter of having the right understanding, expectations, or following the right protocol. For instance, a home warranty company won’t necessarily get you a new furnace...if the existing one can be fixed. A lot of people complain that they wanted something replaced, but the warranty company merely fixed the problem. They have that right. If it can be fixed, they fix it. If not, they replace it. Sometimes, people misunderstand what to expect, or simply want more than they should expect. Or, some people will feel that they should be able to call their own contractor to have a problem fixed or replaced, and expect that the warranty company will pay the bill. Most don’t allow that. The warranty company needs to be called first, and they will usually give you a choice of a few contractors that they have relationships with. Not necessarily contractors you know, or want to hire. A lot of times, people complain just because they presumed that something would be covered, when it really isn’t. You need to know what your policy will cover. (A pool, for instance.) There are usually a few options within each home warranty company. Obviously, the more and better the coverage... the more the cost. And it isn’t uncommon to have to fight a little bit (or a lot a bit) to get something covered. They certainly have their loopholes and language in the policies that allow for them to deny coverage if they want to. Or even just do things as cheaply as possible. So, do expect that just buying a home warranty is not a direct ticket to getting everything you want, at least without question or a little fight. It’s aggravating, but the old adage about the squeaky wheel gets the oil is probably a good way to approach dealing with your home warranty company. Expect to squeak.
A good, simple trick...Hey, you may find a great home warranty company who addresses you and your problems thoroughly, quickly, and with little hassle. Without needing to squeak, even. If so, that’s great. But probably not... judging by so much of what you read online. It is hard to find one that has an absolutely favorable reputation. So a good trick you might want to consider is this… ...call your real estate agent.
Ask your real estate agent for their advice.Advice on:
- Does a home warranty make sense for you, your needs, and your specific concerns?
- If so, what home warranty companies do they recommend?