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Home Warranty
Old 03-31-2019, 02:43 PM   #1
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Home Warranty

I just bought my forever home in South Carolina. I did purchase new build with the hopes of not having any issues for a number of years. However, I am considering a home warranty for major components such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical, etc.

Any thoughts and/or experience with home warranties?
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:58 PM   #2
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Read the fine print on the policy. Better yet pay an attorney to translate the policy into plain English. My understanding is that for the majority of these the house has to be virtually uninhabitable before the insurance will cover anything. So if the ground settles and the house has a 20° list to port, you can still live in it and the policy won't pay anything.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:12 PM   #3
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I've got a couple of friends who have it and swears by the coverage. Both have had the a/c replaced with the coverage. I never have had a policy and probably won't.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:42 PM   #4
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DW is in real estate (did sales for a number of years and now is in property management overseeing 1,000s of properties) and doesn't recommend ANY of them. They are like most extended warranties...great for the warranty companies and not so good for the customer.

Our house has the following items that could cost a decent amount of $$$ if they were to break...

Geothermal Heatpump HVAC
Aerobic Septic
Swimming Pool
18 Zone Irrigation
Water Well

And no...we don't this coverage, even when available at a discount to my DW.

Plus, most new builds will have a builder's warranty, so check what your state laws say about that protection available to you.
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Old 03-31-2019, 04:27 PM   #5
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I looked into appliance/ac/heating insurance when we bid on a 20 yr old unit that had original appliances. It was like $1500. I asked for the seller to cover that as we did not note the age of appliances till second look at the unit which we were blah on.

The main savings was in that they tended to replace things with universal parts so they paid generic parts prices and had a couple employees going from place to place in a large city and did not cover say crane costs to get a new compressor to the roof of a multi story building.

We ended up buying a different unit due to a competing cash offer but would have got that if it had closed as expected.
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Old 03-31-2019, 05:50 PM   #6
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DS bought a home and had the seller pay for a 1 yr home warranty. The house had been empty for about a year. Dishwasher, microwave and leaky soil pipe were repaired under the policy. There was a lot of effort on his part to get them to cover it though. The home warranty co. used their contracted service people and they were not very prompt. One tried to fix the microwave by hooking a Rube Goldberg spring on the latch rather than repair using the mfgr's parts. They finally agreed to replace the entire microwave.

If an item was identified as non functional during a home inspection, it was not covered.
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Old 03-31-2019, 06:07 PM   #7
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on the first two homes I purchased I had the seller buy a one year warranty. I did not renew. I used it once or twice. Still had a deductable. My coworker has one and says he always has had one. He will go home occasionally to meet a repair person. He always comes back to work less than satisfied and always pays at least a $50 deductable. I believe he pays $200 plus per year for the warranty. Doesn't seem worth it to me. My latest house was 21 years old when I bought it. The HVAC, dish washer and stove were origional. I brought in my own refrigerator, microwave, washer and dryer. The HVAC lasted 3 years then I replaced with zero % financing. Everything else made it to October when I tore the house down. Saved the HVAC and installed it in the new build. Warranty is still good. I warranty nothing that I buy. New cars usually come with something so I just go with that.
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:02 PM   #8
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You're talking about another profit department for a realty company.

If they were so good to have, home warranties would be priced out of sight. And they're always paid for by you directly or indirectly in the price of the home.

If it's a new home, you'd think straight warranties would be good enough on the expensive items to repair. My appliance repairman charges $69 per service call, and his services are reasonable.
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:07 PM   #9
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Over the last 30 some odd years of home ownership, I have probably paid less than $3000 total on replacing home components. Do I really want to pay for insurance on $3000?
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Old 03-31-2019, 08:57 PM   #10
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Like all insurance, they are a net loser for the purchaser. Home Warranties can sometimes be useful in convincing a reluctant home buyer to take the plunge, but I wouldn't take out a policy on a home I owned.
My BIL/SIL had a policy on a house they bought, it was very hard to get qualified person to come fix their AC when it crumped out. I didn't get the impression they were sending out the A-Team to fix it.
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:35 AM   #11
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^^ I agree with Samclem. I will add, the most appropriate use for insurance is to insure against financial loss from infrequent, potentially large losses that you could not easily afford. Homeowners insurance, liability insurance and life insurance are common reasonable uses for insurance. If you insure everyday type losses, you will be swapping money with the insurance/warranty company and they will be adding profit and admin on top. (The same math applies to insuring large infrequent losses, but the value proposition changes. "I can afford to replace my AC but I cannot easily afford to replace my house.")
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Old 04-01-2019, 03:50 AM   #12
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IMHO, if you can't afford to replace a few appliances out of an emergency fund then you probably shouldn't be a homeowner.

I've watched too many friends adhere to the stringent requirements of their "home warranty" contracts. One was without his air conditioning for over two weeks while the one and only "approved" contractor could get to the job.

Not worth it!
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:40 AM   #13
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Our home came with it when we bought 6 years ago. We had an excellent experience.
The house was only 5 years old at the time but we used it for the furnace with no problem. We had a number to call and someone came out with in 24 hours. We had to pay $100. The repair person had us push some buttons on the unit to diagnose the problem before he came. (LEDs with different numbers came up with the diagnosis.) The problem was a circuit board but the repair guy said his experience was that the blower had also failed or was about to fail so he replaced the blower, too, even though it had not yet failed.

I figured it was partly a buying coop since we had to use their repair people, but that actually made it easier for us.

It was a good enough experience that we seriously thought about continuing the coverage. But it seemed a waste with such a new house. OTOH, we have GE appliances and our experience is that they are generally terrible. We did also use it that first year for the dishwasher, which they "fixed" but we replaced a year or so later anyway since it did a terrible job of cleaning.
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:54 AM   #14
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There was another thread about this recently which you may find helpful. We’ve had experiences with three different home warranty companies over the last 15 years. They seem to be standard in CA and since the seller pays for them, you figure why not.

Our experiences have ranged from meh, not worth it, to horrible. In our experience, the providers they work with are the bottom of the barrel. Our last house the guy they called our almost ruined our sub-zero fridge. The majority of the time, we end up paying the $75 service fee, they either can’t fugure out the issue or say they’ve fixed it and we end up having to call someone else out to fix it.

Having a problem with our gas range now. Rep came out two weeks ago, said the would be in touch a week ago to see if they had parts needed in stock. Two weeks later and everyone has gone radio silent, despite repeated calls. At this point, I just want our stove working!! And the guy they sent out to test/fix it was completely clueless. He was being walked through the trouble shooting procedures by someone via text and when he left the gas smell in the kitchen was nuts.
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Old 04-01-2019, 09:06 AM   #15
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Our experiences have ranged from meh, not worth it, to horrible. In our experience, the providers they work with are the bottom of the barrel. Our last house the guy they called our almost ruined our sub-zero fridge. The majority of the time, we end up paying the $75 service fee, they either can’t fugure out the issue or say they’ve fixed it and we end up having to call someone else out to fix it.
Our downsized home came with a one year warranty that the sellers paid for. It was a joke. You had to use one of their "approved technicians", which seemed to be an ever-shrinking number. Dishwasher leaking? "We'll have someone out a week from this Friday." They'd come, not be able to fix it out, and we had to pay the first $100. Then I'd call someone not on their list, they'd come out that afternoon and the bill was $125. I have numerous examples of this. We let the warranty expire because not one thing was ever fixed.

I can't imagine that outfit ever replacing a furnace or AC.

I'd love to have this coverage, if only it worked. I guess if it worked like I thought it should, they'd all be out of business.
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Old 04-01-2019, 09:31 AM   #16
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...........I'd love to have this coverage, if only it worked. I guess if it worked like I thought it should, they'd all be out of business.

I still like Homer Simpson's response, "Extended warranty! How can I lose!"
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Old 04-01-2019, 09:35 AM   #17
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The majority of the time, we end up paying the $75 service fee, they either can’t fugure out the issue or say they’ve fixed it and we end up having to call someone else out to fix it.
Yep. You pay the service call even when the incompetent tech they sent out can't seem to figure out what the problem is.

My biggest complaint though, is the lengths these warranty companies will go to to deny your claim.

We had a pipe start leaking. We called and the warranty tech said that it wasn't covered because the pipe had been "improperly installed". I pointed out that the house was built in 1945 and the pipe had been working fine for 70+ years. Didn't matter. Claim denied.
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