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.
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: www.firstamericanhomewarranty.com
American Home Shield: www.americanhomeshield.com
Old Republic Home Protection: www.orhp.com
Please consider having a home warranty. Remember, your REALTOR does not fix dishwashers.
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