In Texas home buyers almost always get a free home warranty, courtesy of the seller. The average price is from $300-$450. Each company offers an opportunity to pay more so you can have extra items covered, like pipes and pool equipment.
When we bought our current home I opted for the pool coverage, and all it's equipment - so I thought. My main booster pump was covered but the Polaris motor pump wasn't. Guess which one went out? The next time we called a rep out we were denied because we hadn't changed out our A/C filter in what he said was... "recently."
So are all home warranty companies worthless? Do they all dodge replacing or fixing everything? I have to remind myself daily that they are only collecting about $400 a year from each customer. If they went around replacing water heaters and air conditioners at the drop of a dime there's a good chance they'd be out of business a lot sooner. So how in the heck are these guys profitable? What is the trick/game/secret?
Here's a little advice I've learned along the way:
1. After you purchase your home, SAVE your inspection report.
2. Get your a/c, water heater & other warrantable items serviced on a regular basis - save your paid invoices & receipts.
3. Change all filters on a regular basis, in accordance to the manufacturer.
4. Read your home warranty and every little letter on each page. Know what you're paying for so you can understand what to expect. The seller will only pay for one years coverage when you buy a home, rarely more.
5. Don't go cheap! You get what you pay for in real estate and more often than not, the "cheapest way" isn't necessarily the best!
6. Purchase the pre-existing coverage if offered.
Don't expect home warranties to automatically fix or replace anything. It's YOUR responsibility to read your documents and follow through with ongoing maintenance. Realtors have more exposure to home warranties than title companies.
Any Realtor who financially benefits from suggesting a Home Warranty is required to disclose such benefits. The Home Warranty company I often suggest, Home Warranty of America gives me nothing each time I refer them. I simply trust their good history and level of trust.
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