Are Home Warranties in Massachusetts Worth the Paper They are Printed On?
Many homeowners in Massachusetts have never used a home warranty. And, some have never even heard of them.
During the real estate boom it was fairly common for a home warranty in Massachsetts to be included as part of a home purchase. Brokers often used them as listing tools as part of their listing presentation. Now, with home sales down and agents needing to cut costs the inclusion of a home warranty as part of the sale has become less prevalent.
What is a Home Warranty?
Not to be confused with a builder's warranty, a home warranty is a service contract that is typically purchased for existing homes. For an annual fee, which ranges from $300 to $600, a typical warranty will cover major mechanical systems and appliances, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical items.
Items of Coverage
A basic plan will usually cover:
- Heating systems
- Water heaters
- Plumbing systems
- Garbage disposals
- Ceiling fans
Upgraded coverage can be added for air conditioners, pools, spas and sometimes even roofs for an additional fee.
How Do Home Warranties Work?
When something breaks, the homeowner calls the warranty company and they send out a local contractor to diagnose the problem. You then pay the contractor a flat fee, typically $50 to $100 for the service call and the warranty company covers the cost of the repair or replacement.
Is the Purchase of a Home Warranty a Good Idea?
If you are buying an existing home, particularly an older one, a home warranty in Massachusetts can provide you with convenience when you are in need of service. When you need a repair you won't have to think about who to contact. However, it is important to be selective in your choice of companies.
- Choose a company that has a long track record and a good reputation.
- Check the contract thoroughly to make sure that you are getting the coverage you are expecting.
- If the home warranty is being included and is being paid for by a real estate agent make sure that the premium has been paid in full for the entire year.
A home warranty can provide you with a certain peace of mind, particularly for that first year of ownership. Just make sure that you have read all of the fine print to know exactly what you are getting.
"Are Home Warranties in Massachusetts Worth the Paper They are Printed On?"
This post was written by
Claudette Millette, Broker, Owner, The Buyers' Counsel - (508) 881-6230
An Exclusive Buyer Brokerage serving the Greater Metrowest area