Cincinnati Home Buying Tip #17 - Home Warranties Can Give Peace of Mind!

Real Estate Agent with Comey & Shepherd Realtors
When purchasing a property, is it worth getting a 1-year home warranty plan?

I say "Definitely, YES"!

Prior to a few years ago, home warranties were available for purchase, but weren't always selected, because sellers wouldn't always offer them. Now, in the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors purchase agreements, home warranties are included in the paperwork and negotiated into an offer with the buyer having the option to ask a seller to purchase one on their behalf or the buyer can purchase a policy themselves.

What's often covered in a home warranty plan?
  • heating system
  • air conditioning system
  • plumbing system
  • water heater
  • electrical system
  • kitchen appliances

It's important to read the policy to make sure you know exactly what's covered and what's not covered? Most plans don't cover roofing systems and basement foundations.

When I write up an offer for my clients, we ask the seller to purchase a policy for the buyer to have coverage for one year after the closing. Most of the time the seller will oblige. There are also times when a seller has already activated a home warranty policy on their property when it's first listed and they get seller coverage too.

There are several, national home warranty companies in the market. The cost for a 1-year warranty can range from $375 - $435. There is also a service call fee ranging from $55 - $100 for each time a company-approved contractor handles a claim.

It's important to review the home warranty plan's fine print, because you aren't getting a blank check for anything that breaks to be replaced. There are limitations on all policies - you're looking at repairs and replacements of covered items that break down due to normal wear and tear. The best thing you as a consumer can do is keep the mechanical systems in your property maintained and serviced, so that if a covered part does break down, it should be repaired or replaced.

I believe that for the most part, home warranty plans are effective and worth the investment. They can help protect you from unexpected repair expenses that can be very costly.

It's even becoming more common for homeowners to extend the policy beyond the first year, at the company's option. Some lenders even have partnerships with home warranty companies to offer them to homeowners for an ongoing monthly premium.

So when you make an offer on a property, make sure that a home warranty plan is written into your offer.
At your service,

Posted by

Dan Weis
Real Estate Consultant since 1985
Comey & Shepherd Realtors

Cell/Text: 513.615.1890

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Dan Weis

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