Buy Alexandria Real Estate: Did You Know Your Home Can Come With a Warranty?

Alexandria Virginia Real Estate Blog

Did You Know Your Home Can Come With a Warranty?

Guarantee that smile!You've got a warranty on your car.  5 years, 50 thousand miles.  7 years, 70 thousand miles.


You bought the extended warranty on your new flatscreen t.v. and your computer.


Perhaps you even have a warranty on your smile from the dentist!



Did you know that you can get a warranty on your house?

That's right.  When you buy a home in Northern Virginia or D.C., you can opt to have the home come with a warranty.  In fact, in paragraph 33 of the Regional Sales Contract, you can decide whether you will pay for the home warranty yourself, or ask the seller to purchase it for you.

The home warranty is not provided and serviced by the seller of a home.  Once the seller has sold, they're gone.  They want nothing to do with that house anymore.  Thus, the repeated language in the contract that "the seller makes no warranties or representations..."  Home warranties are provided by third party warranty companies.

Home Warranty

Why a home warranty?

When purchasing a home, there are many unknowns, and home warranties can really help with peace of mind.  Like everything else, homes require maintenance.  Even with home inspections and disclosures, you can run into unforeseeable problems after your purchase.  If it's a heating or cooling system or a plumbing problem, costs can quickly mount (we all know how much plumbers charge these days).  This costs arise at the very time you can least afford them -- after you've just spent all that money on your down payment and closing costs.

What does a home warranty cover and how does it work?

The typical home warranty covers all the major systems and appliances in your home.  Whether it's the washing machine, the refrigerator, or the hot water heater, the warranty's got you covered.  Most warranty companies do not cover structural aspects of the home. 

So, if your stove breaks, the sink leaks, or the A/C system stops working, instead of calling your plumber, electrician, or repairman, you call the warranty company.  They will send out a licensed contractor to repair or replace the problem.  You get charged a small deductible -- they vary from about $50-$100.  That's all you pay whether it's a small fix or the entire appliance or system needs to be replaced.

How's that for peace of mind?

There are several companies that offer home warranties and you have your choice of who to use.  Costs vary, but typically a home warranty will cost around $400 -- that covers you for one year, and you have the option to renew in the future.  And, if you can get the seller to pay for it as part of the negotiations, then it's really a no-brainer.

Here's a few of the companies that provide home warranties:

First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation:

American Home Shield:



Old Republic Home Protection:


Please consider having a home warranty.  Remember, your REALTOR does not fix dishwashers.


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Comment balloon 6 commentsBrian Block • March 22 2009 08:00AM


I wouldn't sell a resale home without a one year warranty.  Hopefully, the seller will pay for it since it protects them too.  However, if they don't, I do.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 9 years ago

I have been selling homes for years, and I would always recommend a homeshield warranty.  Personally I am very satisfied with American Home Shield Warranty AHS.  They are fantastic!

Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (RE/MAX Paramount Properties) over 9 years ago

Brian, good basic information on home warranties.  A few years back an agent went "under the bus" with our state real estate commission for not offering home warranty information.

Posted by David Matney, Omaha, NE Real Estate | Omaha, NE Homes For Sale (BHHS - Ambassador Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Brian,Ii always recommend a home warranty. It just makes good sense.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker) over 9 years ago

I think you should write a comparison article (nice of me eh?) For example some home warranty companies will pay the repair costs directly and others want the home owner to pay the repair costs and then reimburse later. For an expensive repair it may be difficult for the home owner to fund the repair and then wait several weeks for the funds. Still the coverage is crucial for major repairs.

Posted by Ken Cook, Content Marketer/Creator (Content, coding, marketing, host.) over 9 years ago

I used to see a lot more home warranties offered in my area. This does not seem to be something that is pushed that often by most companies other than ERA.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 9 years ago