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Do you need a home warranty when purchasing?

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In the home purchase process, the question of a home warranty and what is covered often comes up. Today we will examine key points you may want to consider.

Even when you purchase a new construction home, things can go wrong and therefore a builder’s warranty is often requested. A builder may back the warranty themselves or they may purchase a warranty from a third-party company that assumes responsibility for specific types of claims as they arise. Depending on your loan type and local county ordinances, a lender may require builders to purchase a third-party warranty to protect buyers of newly built homes, so investigate this with your lender at the beginning of t the process.

There are a variety of third party companies that provide home warranties on resell homes as well. They are generally 1 year in duration and can be renewed annually after this period. Typical items which are covered might include: built in kitchen appliances, hot water heaters, heating/air systems and plumbing/electrical systems. There may be opportunities to upgrade and add: pool equipment, refrigerators, septic tanks and limited roof repair. Here again understanding what is covered and any related deductible as part of a claim are key to avoid disappointments and misunderstandings.
In some cases, home sellers will offer a home warranty as part of the original listing for sale. This warranty offer can act as an incentive to home buyers and are particularly effective if some of the covered systems are older and approaching the end of their functional life span. It’s may be easier to accept a home when the buyer feels they are protected from major replacement/repair expenses for the first year.

Regardless of new construction or a resell home warranty, the key questions to ask should include: what is and is not covered, what is the process and timelines for filing a claim, how to handle any claim disputes, what is the extend (if any) of the home owners liability should a claim arise. You may also want to ask to see previous home owner’s reviews or check on line portals for ratings vendors have received from other home owners.
An experienced and educated member of the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors can be an excellent resource to help you navigate home warranty selection and claims process.

The Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,800 members and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors.
GCAR services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. Go to www.GCAR.net for more information

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