You know that old phone prank… Someone calls and says, “Is your refrigerator running?” The person on the other end then says, “Yes. Why?” And then the caller says something like, “You better catch it before it gets too far away!!”
The joke worked because, for the most part, everyone has a fridge, and it is probably working. That is when you should have a home warranty in place… when your fridge is working, not once it is broken.
Do you have a list of worries?
There’s a lot of things you probably notice, but ignore, around your house until it's too late and becomes a much bigger problem.
- It’s not broken…but maybe you notice that your fridge is making a different sound lately.
- Your garage door isn’t working quite right; it goes half way down and gets stuck.
- The bathroom faucet is dripping.
- You notice a little leak in your bedroom ceiling.
Little worries like these are super common for homeowners. Perhaps you have a longer list of little worries than these.
What’s the real worry?
The real worry is the cost of getting them fixed. For a lot of people, it is hard enough just paying the mortgage and other household bills. It’s not like there’s tons of money sitting around to fix the little worries. You probably ignore it for as long as possible and then the little problem becomes bigger and bigger. And even worse, the little problems become more numerous. You figure you will deal with it when and if it becomes too big of an issue…which is usually once something is broken, or not working at all. You deal with it once you have to spend the money.
Get a home warranty before it is too late…
If all of that sounds too familiar to you, a home warranty can solve a lot of your worries. You will need to get a warranty before your appliance, your furnace, your air conditioning, or whatever else, is actually broken. They won’t cover your problem if it is a pre-existing condition…
Part of the problem might be that you don’t want to spend the money to buy a home warranty. It can be quite expensive depending on the plan and coverages. But in comparison to how much it could cost you if your furnace or water heater stopped working, the investment in having one, is reasonable.
Expect some aggravation
As with anything… not all home warranty companies or plans are reputable or great.
Just do a little research online, and you will see tons of complaints about home warranty companies. Enough to scare you away from even buying one. With that said, sometimes it is a matter of having the right understanding, expectations, or following the right protocol.
A home warranty company won’t necessarily get you a new furnace…if the existing one can be fixed. A lot of people complain that they wanted something replaced, but the warranty company merely fixed the problem. They have that right. If it can be fixed, they fix it. If not, they replace it. Sometimes, people misunderstand what to expect, or simply want more than they should expect.
Other may feel that they should be able to call their own contractor to have a problem fixed or replaced, and expect that the warranty company will pay the bill. Most will not allow that. The FIRST STEP is to call the warranty company. They will usually give you a choice of a few contractors that they have relationships with. Keep in mind, these may not necessarily be contractors you know, or want to hire.
Sometimes people are unhappy because they presumed that something would be covered, when it really isn’t. You need to know what your policy will cover. There are usually a few options within each home warranty company. Obviously, the more and better the coverage… the more the cost.
Just remember, buying a home warranty is not a direct ticket to getting everything you want, at least without question or a little fight. It may be challenging but the old adage about the squeaky wheel gets the oil is probably a good way to approach dealing with your home warranty company. Expect to squeak!
Call your real estate agent for their advice.
- Does a home warranty make sense for you, your needs, and your specific concerns?
- If so, what home warranty companies do they recommend?
Here is the real “trick” to this trick…
Real estate agents often have affiliations with home warranty companies and they wish to retain a good relationship with those agents. Let your real estate agent know if you are having an issue with a home warranty company; they may be helpful in getting things done! Especially if it is one that they have an affiliation with, or recommend. If you have any little worry around your house…or a long list of them…call your real estate agent. and by the way, I hope your real estate agent is me!
Opinions expressed are solely of agent and do not express the views or opinions of Red Barn Real Estate.