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To Home Warranty Or Not To Home Warranty...

My house is 10 years old.  I received an insert from the mortgage company.  It is an offer to purchase a home warranty.  Everything in my house is original except the disposal.

I have never purchased one!  My clients often do.  You are going to have to help me here.

This one is underwritten by HomeSure of Virginia.  I am not familiar with them.  It covers everything that my disaster insurance does not - appliances, systems, etc.  Everything.

Terms:  $38/month, added to my mortgage payment.  Deductible $60 per service call, 24/7.  (That is cheap compared to some I have seen)  They have their own "pre-qualified" service agents, of course.  Also, there is an offer to purchase anything at a 30% discount BEFORE it breaks.  Not bad it seems.

I have until Feb 28 to decide.

-- What do you think? 

-- Do you have experience with HomeSure? 

-- Should I wait another 5 years or so - 5x12x$38 = $2280, less than a furnace or AC system (which would need upgrade to a SEER 13)?

This is a really wonderful forum to ask questions like this!  ¡Tantas gracias!

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 14 commentsJay Markanich • January 26 2009 08:03AM

Comments

I believe in home warranties. Ours are normally $400 for the year paid at one time. Made my mom get one. She had to get both a new condensing unit and compressor. Only paid the $55 trade fee for each one. SAved thousands!!! Especially the older the home gets the smarter it is.

Posted by Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary, First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes (LemonTree Realty) over 9 years ago

Thank you Heather.  I also called a local realtor friend who thought this was a good policy.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Sometimes it depends on how thorough the warranty is in covering major items. I have had buyers purchase home warranties and then once something goes wrong, the company will do everything possible not to repair or replace the item in question, and then it becomes a major hassle. Some companies are good and others are not, so that is the most important thing when considering whether or not to get a home warranty. For $400 or so a year, I think it is worth having the peace of mind, but the warranty company needs to be known for taking care of claims.

Posted by Dan and Amy Schuman, Luxury Home Specialists (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) over 9 years ago

Dan and Amy - hence my second question!  Thanks for the response!  This one covers not only appliances, but systems, like plumbing and electrical...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

I will be curious what you find. I have heard both good and bad stories. I know a fair number of closings here involve them.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Steven - around here also.  Realtors often give a policy as a house-warming gift.  There is one company I do not recommend - they take inspector reports and try to twist them.  A clause, for example, in my report says that I do not test thermostats on appliances.  Then, if the fridge goes out in the first year, they claim I did not "inspect" it.  My fault therefore that it is not covered by their policy.  Lowbrow!  I have spoken with a couple of trusted realtors who tell me this sounds like a good policy.  I will further check around.  Thanks!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay, my wife and I have been getting lots of mail on this issue. She, of course wants one, and I of course wnat to keep my money. we will probably end up purchasing one, but not until I read over the fine print for each company. Before you do this, do your homework. As mentioned above, check out the company and how they handle claims. I compare these to the after market warranties to vehicles. Most are plain and simple garbage. A waste of your money. but there are several that are reputable and practice good business. If you find the right one, you will be very pleased. Good luck.

Posted by Ian Niquette (Square One Home Inspection) over 9 years ago

Ian - this one seems good, but I will investigate further.  Thanks!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Never heard of them before either.  My wife the realtor keeps getting these flyers that tell how wonderful their company is and then you get on line, oh well.  Not having heard any horror stories could be a good thing.

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) over 9 years ago

Jack - yes, I hear the horror stories, but so far not about this company.  And I often get calls from the various companies - did you test this or that?  Answer - "of course..."

The word I am supposed to type below is "chokecherry" -- omen?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay,

A home warranty is a valuable product to have, and everybody has their own advice on which one to purchase. My advice to you is to check into the stability of the company. In the past few months, a few of the "well known warranty companies" have ceased to do business in many states. (No profitability). Virginia Surety is also known as AON. Make sure you look at the maximum payouts of the AC or Heating system if that is one of the systems you are worrying about.

Posted by A friend over 9 years ago

Disregard the last comment about AON...HomeSure is HMS

Posted by A friend over 9 years ago

Thanks Friend!  I am not worried about the HVAC, but it is one of the systems covered.  I see nothing about any maximum payouts, but that is a valid question when I call them!  HMS is around here though I don't remember horror stories.  Know any?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 9 years ago

Jay,

The BBB gave them a C-.  This was because of number of complaints; 46 in the past 12 months and 116 in the past 36 months.  Also they said resolution of complaints took way too long.

Incidentally, your inspection business got a B+ with zero complaints...

Posted by ??? over 9 years ago

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