Buying a home can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be pretty stressful. From researching and viewing houses to figuring out if you can even afford the one you want, there seem to be a million things to think about.
Once you do get the house of your dreams, of course the stress continues! Suddenly there are new maintenance bills and a neverending list of chores. One thing that might ease some of the stress, however, is making sure you have a home warranty.
What Exactly Is A Home Warranty?
It’s actually quite simple: A home warranty protects your major appliances and systems in case of unexpected repairs or when they simply break down over time. Basically, it’s like life insurance for, say, your dishwasher and air conditioner. Unlike individual warranties on products, a home warranty covers multiple items in your home. It also protects your budget, so if something does break, it will be covered (which beats having to find extra cash to fix it).
It is important to note that a home warranty is not the same thing as homeowner’s insurance, which will cover structural damage to your house from things like storms or a break-in. Having a home warranty is totally optional, and will not offer the same big-picture protection that homeowner’s insurance provides, but will help out if your refrigerator decides to stop running.
What Are The Options For Home Warranties?
There are typically three options to choose from: appliance-only, systems-only or a combination of both. If you’re looking to simply cover major appliances (washer, dryer, stove, etc.), you’ll want to go for the appliance-only plan. The systems plan will cover things like your water heater and furnace. The whole home plan covers both. Most companies offer all three options.
As for the cost of a home warranty, basic plans hover around $300 while more comprehensive coverage can be up to $600. To cover additional things like a swimming pool, you could add extras to the plan.
How Can It Save Me Money?
In the event that an appliance breaks, it’s nice not to have to worry about suddenly drumming up a chunk of money to pay for its repair or replacement. According to Sears Home Services, the typical cost to repair a central air conditioner or furnace, for example, is about $1,600, while a replacement costs between $4,000 and $6,000.
While it costs less to repair or replace other items like a refrigerator or washer and dryer, it can still cost around $1,600 for a new fridge and hundreds of dollars for a new washing machine.
Is There A Downside To A Home Warranty?
The downside to any warranty is that you will be paying for it even if you don’t use it. If you would prefer to pay only when something breaks down, you would be better off not getting the warranty. If you like the peace of mind of knowing you can get a new appliance or system if something happens, the warranty might be your best bet.