The paperwork that comes with new homeownership can be daunting. Warranties for heating and cooling systems can seem especially complicated. But before you freak out and plan for your first therapy session, take a deep breath and don’t let it diminish the excitement of purchasing your new home.
Home warranties don’t have to be intimidating when you understand what they offer. Here are five common home warranty questions to ask now if this is your first time with homeownership. It will be important to ask these things before you sign on the dotted line. Doing so will ensure a good match that will help you enjoy your property instead of worrying about issues that may arise down the road.
Do your research now, and your warranty may come in handy later on. You will thank yourself when you discover a unit continually cycles on and off or other problems easily addressed by HVAC system professionals and covered under your warranty.
Before you rush off to call that therapist, it’s important to understand what is covered in your home warranty. It’s a good idea to ask questions when you initially sign up for coverage. Whether your concerns are about general HVAC maintenance like furnace repairs, airflow or a broken thermostat, or more serious problems that may arise with older homes, knowing what’s covered will be important in getting the most out of your home warranty. A full heating system, for example, is much different than a minor furnace issue like dirty air filters.
Most home warranties cover major home HVAC systems and some appliances. Many offer additional coverage on septic systems but do not usually cover roofs, flooring, walls, and other structural home elements. If you are unsure, it’s important to ask your real estate professional for clarification and look into all coverage options available.
Who to Call
One of the most stressful things about home warranties is understanding who to call in the event of a repair need. Like it or not, thermostats break, blowers die, and air conditioners don’t last forever. It is important to know who to turn to in the event of any of these issues in your home. While warranty coverages differ, it is generally recommended to call your home warranty coverage company directly for direction on how to file a warranty claim.
Length of Coverage
Understanding the terms and length of your home warranty coverage is important for peace of mind. While you may not need your home warranty at all in the first few years of homeownership, problems will crop up as the house ages, and it will be important to be sure your warranty is a good fit for you and your home’s needs. Most home warranties come with new homes and only last about a year. Many have the option of yearly renewal, and this is something you should ask about ahead of time.
For those who have an existing home warranty looking to sell their home, it will be important to find out about your coverage transfer options. Most companies will transfer current warranties to new owners without any issues. Others may charge a small service fee for this option.
Some home warranty companies will charge a fee to cover the labor cost for an industry professional to come to your home to assess the situation. This estimated fee may be charged to you unless that company waves fees for job hire. This is something to ask about ahead of time but often not a deal-breaker for new homeowners.