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Old 03-28-2013, 09:27 AM
 
418 posts, read 1,318,606 times
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We are looking to purchase a home warranty. I've done some reading and as always, there are differing opinions. Some people don't recommend it owing to their experience of home warranty companies not sending the best contractors, their service fees, etc., but others recommend getting it for peace of mind.

Living in NoVA where the cost of living isn't necessarily low, I would rather not have to spend 1000s of dollars on home maintenance. We moved to a new home that is an year old, but that doesn't mean it comes without issues (we've already seen them!).

Thoughts on whether or not to purchase one? And if you think we should, any companies you would recommend?
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
4,489 posts, read 9,555,817 times
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The sellers gave us one when we bought the house. We never used it (wanted to several times, like when plumbing backed up, but what we called about was never covered). We opted not to renew it. Our house was built in the 70's.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:53 AM
 
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I would not recommend one for a new house. We have one on our rental property only because the HVAC systems are end of life.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:23 AM
 
813 posts, read 1,105,592 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vauser View Post
We are looking to purchase a home warranty. I've done some reading and as always, there are differing opinions. Some people don't recommend it owing to their experience of home warranty companies not sending the best contractors, their service fees, etc., but others recommend getting it for peace of mind.

Living in NoVA where the cost of living isn't necessarily low, I would rather not have to spend 1000s of dollars on home maintenance. We moved to a new home that is an year old, but that doesn't mean it comes without issues (we've already seen them!).

Thoughts on whether or not to purchase one? And if you think we should, any companies you would recommend?

There's no such thing as a home without maintenance issues, even a brand new one, as you seem to have realized.

I had a home warranty that came with our then-30 year old house when we bought it, but we dropped it after a couple of years when the annual premium began to skyrocket. Between that cost, deductibles, our preferred service providers who didn't accept the warranty, and the fact that the policy covered a large number of items our house did not have, I decided it wasn't worth the price.

I'd instead suggest setting aside, if possible, at least several hundred if not a couple of thousand dollars each year in a "stuff happens" account that you will use only for extraordinary house maintenance and/or repair costs. Hopefully you won't have to touch it for a while, so if you're still in the same house and have been adding to the account each year, you should be fine when typical or unexpected maintenance problems begin to crop up a few years down the road.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Censorshipville...
2,679 posts, read 6,239,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ICS67 View Post
I'd instead suggest setting aside, if possible, at least several hundred if not a couple of thousand dollars each year in a "stuff happens" account that you will use only for extraordinary house maintenance and/or repair costs. Hopefully you won't have to touch it for a while, so if you're still in the same house and have been adding to the account each year, you should be fine when typical or unexpected maintenance problems begin to crop up a few years down the road.
That's exactly what we do. When my brother and I bought our house we got a free yr of a home warranty. I renewed it once and thought it was a waste of money since we never utilized it. Instead we budget a little more for home repairs. We have nearly 20k in our house fund at this point, better than a bunch of receipts for a home warranty.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:21 AM
 
418 posts, read 1,318,606 times
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Looked at a couple of options, and they cost about $600 (give or take a few) per year, and service fees run about $55-75 per service call. But, appliances (replacement or fix), plumbing, etc, may cost a bit more than that if we ran into issues, correct?

Also, I am NOT handy around the house, so, unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of a "do it yourself" person. That might make some amount of a difference, I would assume.

I am leaning towards getting one but certainly I don't want to go against the majority (especially, folks in this forum almost always appear to know a whole lot more than I do, so I respect your opinion!).
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:32 AM
 
Location: NOVA
269 posts, read 591,556 times
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OP, you should definitely go ahead and get it for exactly the reasons that you mentioned. Can't go wrong.

I am not a professional handyman but sort of "handy"--I've built a bathroom from scratch. We still asked the seller to get us a home warranty when we recently bought our home. Even with this warranty, I still started to work on several projects on my own, because I feel more comfortable doing it myself rather than sub-par contractors. But there are numerous work items that I don't feel comfortable doing myself--including HVAC, when the need arises I will call them for help.

In the homes that we have previously lived, we mostly had the home warranty--not continuously, though. Whenever we had it, it was good.

After one year of experience, you will have a pretty good idea whether to keep it or not.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:40 AM
 
7,927 posts, read 9,642,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sequon View Post
OP, you should definitely go ahead and get it for exactly the reasons that you mentioned. Can't go wrong.

I am not a professional handyman but sort of "handy"--I've built a bathroom from scratch. We still asked the seller to get us a home warranty when we recently bought our home. Even with this warranty, I still started to work on several projects on my own, because I feel more comfortable doing it myself rather than sub-par contractors. But there are numerous work items that I don't feel comfortable doing myself--including HVAC, when the need arises I will call them for help.

In the homes that we have previously lived, we mostly had the home warranty--not continuously, though. Whenever we had it, it was good.

After one year of experience, you will have a pretty good idea whether to keep it or not.
Do not be so naive to think that they will be willing to replace something easily. They will continue to bandage all appliaces until they, literally, die. What this means is that you will have inefficient systems and appliaces during the bandage period. And, by some miracle that they do move towards replacement, don't expect to have any "say" into the brand, model, options of the replacement item. And, most people would rather replace systems and appliances BEFORE they die, so you are not sitting for weeks without an AC or your refigerator.

Please note that the repair companies they use (some are good, some are bad) have other business as well. And knowing that your call will likely only result in a $75 bill, there's no good reason to schedule you immediately. It's not uncommmon to wait a week or so for the repair appointment.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:55 AM
 
301 posts, read 585,538 times
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I actually had pretty good luck with my home warranties over the years but I didn't renew my contract about a year or two ago b/c the premiums kept rising. When I look at how much I spend on the warranties along with the repair history of my home, it made more sense to not pay for the warranty and to set aside a little extra cash for home repairs. If you're not comfortable with this, then I don't think a home warranty is that bad of an idea. Just keep in mind to read all the Ts & Cs as many things are not covered.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:15 PM
 
181 posts, read 368,529 times
Reputation: 110
Get the individual warranties on certain appliances, like the washing machine and dishwasher. It seems that the HomeDepot type warranties are slanted towards the homeowner, which is nice. I just got rid of some section 8 renters, and the only broken thing covered was the washer. The tweakers kept using it, after theybroke the fill knob, and also burned out the motor. three years old, Home Depot fixed it, and didn't even attempt to weasel. Avoid Home Warranty companies.

Last edited by bluegrey; 03-28-2013 at 12:29 PM..
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