When purchasing a home, no matter if it is a newly built structure or a pre-existing one, can come with a mountain of paperwork that can send even the mildest of buyers into a tizzy. Many realtors offer a Home Warranty and also recommend you invest in Homeowners Insurance. Both of which will cover the cost of replacing items in your home. There are, however, two major differences. A Home Warranty will cover repairs and replacements on systems and appliances due to normal wear and tear—no calamities required. While Homeowners Insurance covers your home’s structure and belongings in the event of a fire, storm, flood, or other accident.
A Home Warranty generally covers:
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing systems
- Heating and cooling systems
- Washer and dryer
- Kitchen appliances such as the oven, range, and garbage disposal.
But not everyone thinks home warranties are worth the cost. Typically, they aren’t necessary with new homes, since most of the appliances are already covered under manufacturers’ warranties. But in general, the older your home, the greater the odds are that something’s bound to break, and the wiser it is to get a home warranty. Best of all? Many companies don’t differentiate between newer and older homes in terms of cost, making a warranty an especially cost-effective option if you are purchasing an older home.
If something covered under your home warranty breaks, you just call your provider and it will connect you with a qualified contractor in your area. One thing to remember is that a home warranty does not mean you’re off scot-free; typically, you’ll have to pay for a service call or a certain amount of the bill up to your deductible first.
As a buyer it is wise to look at all the angles of a Home Warranty before purchasing. Ask the hard questions and be sure that you are comfortable with the fine print before you are caught up in the sale. The majority of Home Warranties last for a year, after which you will have the option to renew.
Home Maintenance is something entirely different. One could argue that keeping your home clean is maintenance, however, the appliances in your home need to have maintenance performed on a regular basis. Maintenance performed regularly and on schedule provides optimum longevity and helps prevent potential breakdowns or malfunctions. Beyond maintenance procedures for operational sake, the primary (and most important) reason for checking, inspecting, and constantly tuning up your home is to ensure maximum safety for you and your family. Lowes has a home maintenance list you can find here. Maintaining your HVAC unit is one of the most important things you can do in the south. Because of the mild winters and hot humid summers making sure your unit is ready for the coming weather is vital. Just like the maintenance of your vehicle is important so is cleaning your HVAC system and changing the filters around your home. A quality maintenance agreement will have the following:
*Thermostat operation & program
*Indoor coil condition
*Indoor blower assembly
*Control relays & contacts
*Outdoor fan motor
*Drain line & trap cleaning
*Reversing valve operation
*Ignitor assembly & standing pilot
*Refrigerant operating pressures
*Superheat / subcooling
*Control board operation
*System component amp draws & voltages
The purchase and upkeep of your home is one of the biggest investments you will have. A home that is not maintained can lose resale value in the thousands. But good maintenance can even add value. A study out of the University of Connecticut and Syracuse University finds that regular maintenance increases the value of a home by about 1% each year.
If you’re practicing maintenance on your home and appliances, you won’t need $2,000 per
Your house takes care of you — not just for shelter but as a financial asset. Return the favor and keep it hale and hearty by caring for it with regular maintenance.