Buyer's Tip – A Home Warranty is Great to Consider When Purchasing an Older Home in Hawaii
Why Purchase a Home Warranty?
When buying an older home, it’s always best to consider purchasing a home warranty program. A home warranty package is one of the best programs you can buy when purchasing an older home, or an existing home that has appliances, or signs of age. Depending on the location and use of the property, these home warranty programs are typically good for one year after the purchase date.
This foreclosure (above) was being sold without appliances, but when we went to look at the property, we noticed it had new appliances in it with an existing hood microwave that was already there (from the pictures posted in MLS). So, we made sure to ask for the new appliances in the offer.
I always suggest to my clients to get a home inspection or a home warranty when buying an existing home, just to give them the options of learning more about the property before they buy it, or have some coverage just in case they didn’t know something about the property that may reveal itself at a later time.
What’s great about the home warranty program is that it covers items you can’t see, like the electrical and plumbing systems. This gives some ease when you move in, as you only know what a Seller’s Disclosure Statement from the seller reveals, or a home inspection may uncover, and if there were no issues prior to moving in, sometimes issues arise after a new owner moves into the property.
Though the water heater is an upgrade option on a home warranty, it’s usually one of the appliances that goes out first, especially if the house has been vacant for a while. Since the water heater is always used and does need to be maintained and serviced (not very many owners do)—it’s best to have the water heater covered under the home warranty.
A Home Warranty Typically Covers
- Built-in Microwaves
- Ceilings Fans
- Clothes Washer and Clothes Dryer
- Garbage Disposals
- Cook tops
- S/B Electrical System
Optional Coverage Offers
- Water Heater
- Pool & Spa Equipment
- Air Conditioning
- Garage Door Opener
- Trash Compactor
What to Look For When Previewing a Property
When previewing a property, I will look for visible evidence of anything “out of the ordinary” in terms of the way the property was used. If there are any cracks, signs of leakage, or discolorations in the walls, floors, and ceilings, I will automatically suggest a home inspection and home warranty.
These options will give the buyer more information about the property, and also give them peace of mind that once they move into the property if they find anything that must be repaired at least they may have known this information as up front as possible, and may be able to prepare or budget for it accordingly.
When using a home warranty for the first time, you as the new owner, will want to read the warranty coverage before making the call. Typically, the way it works is that when any of the covered warranty items go out, the new owner will call the toll-free number, and set up an appointment for a service provider to come out and analyze the problem.
Home Warranty Costs
There is an up front service cost of $55+/- that you would need to pay, but once the service provider analyzes the problem and finds a need to repair, the repair or replacement costs are covered under the warranty.
When I first moved into an older home in Kona Palisades, the agent gave us a home warranty as a closing gift. Within 3 months of living there, two of the ceiling fans went out. We called for service through the home warranty program, and their contracted electrician came out.
We gave her a check for the service fee, and she double-checked all the fans. As she was there, a 3rd ceiling fan went out, so she was able to replace all 3 ceiling fans under the warranty program…and all we paid for was the $55 service fee…it was so worth it!
Okay, I hope this information is helpful to you! If you’d like more information on how, or when to buy a home warranty, please give me a call! I’d be happy to send you the details!
Mahalo for your time! Aloha!
Claire K. Bajo, RS