Do you have a home warranty? We signed up for ours almost two years ago and we’re relieved we did.
When we were assigned to PCS (move) to Fort Riley a couple years ago, we knew that we desired to live on the west side of Manhattan. We quickly learned that the housing market is unfortunately quite expensive in this particular area, and we were bummed when we realized that finding anything decent to rent within our price range was completely out of the picture. Since we still were adamant about living on this specific side of town, we hired a realtor and got to work finding a house to purchase (albeit from 1,100 miles away while living in southern Arizona, so that was a real blast!)
In order to stay within our price range and find a home with qualities we were looking for, we had to look at homes that were at least 25 years old in order to eliminate the city’s “special tax”, which is hefty.
We found and fell head over flipping heels for the house that we now call ours, but since it was built in 1987, we knew we’d be dealing with our fair share of home ownership issues sooner than later.
My in-laws were big fans of their home warranty company, American Home Shield, and suggested we look into getting on board. We quickly purchased a one-year warranty and have used it more times than I can count.
Here’s how our plan works, if you’re interested.
We pay roughly $48 per month, and then when something brakes and we need a repair, we pay our deductible of $125. For example, when our washing machine broke last summer, we logged onto the website, put in a claim for a repair, and a contractor was at our home within three days. He ended up having to make a large repair, but our only expense was $125.
A couple other examples
When our oven broke (also last summer), we qualified for a whole new appliance since the needed part wasn’t being made anymore. American Home Shield offered to buy us the newest model of our broken range, but we wanted one that was stainless to match the rest of our appliances. We had to pay the $125 fee to have the handyman come out to our home initially, and then we had to pay the difference of $300 for our upgraded stainless range. We were very satisfied.
In mid-June our air conditioning unit stopped working unexpectedly, and with temperatures in the following days expected to reach 98, we felt anxious for a quick fix. We put in a claim for a repair, and within 48 hours had someone at our home to fix it. It needed freon, and our contract states that they only cover a certain amount of freon under the deductible and then we’d be responsible for paying the rest. In this scenario we ended up with a total bill of around $250 – half that went toward our American Home Shield deductible and the other half that paid for the amount of extra freon we needed. (More: My parents also have American Home Shield, and they actually got an entirely new AC unit last year valued at several thousand dollars, and their out-of-pocket expense sat around $700. They were happy to pay that three digit number instead of a large four digit sum.)
As far as paying the $48 monthly fee, we view it as paying for peace of mind. Our contract states exactly what’s covered under the warranty, and it’s a lot. We know that if something substantial happens in our house, we’ll only be out of pocket a small amount, and that’s a peaceful feeling when owning an older home.
The home we owned in Tennessee was a new construction, so we felt no need for a warranty. With our home its current age, we’re thankful for this financial back-up!
Do you use a home warranty? If so, with which company?