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What is a home warranty? Do I really need one?

Posted by Veronica On May - 22 - 2015

home-warrantyIf you are considering buying a home in Maine, you should look into buying a home warranty along with it. The point of a warranty is to ensure that if important parts of your home need repairs, you won’t have to pay full price for them. Before you buy a home warranty, you should get to know how it works and whether you would benefit from it.

How It Works
When you buy a home warranty in Maine, you can rest assured that the process of using it is easy. When you discover a problem with a particular appliance or home system, you simply call the company from which you bought the home warranty. The company then calls one of its service providers, who will call you to make an appointment for repairs. Once the issue is fixed, you will only pay a small fee, usually just a fraction of the entire cost of repairs. If the service provider cannot fix the problem, the warranty company will pay for a replacement.
What It Covers

A home warranty is meant to cover major home systems that are both necessary and often expensive to fix or replace. In most cases, you can expect your air conditioner, heater, ductwork, and water heater to be covered. Most major kitchen appliances installed in the house are also covered by home warranties, such as the dishwasher, oven/stove, and garbage disposal. In addition, you will probably find that electrical wiring and plumbing pipes are covered.

It’s just as important to know what is not covered by the typical home warranty in Maine. You will find that few warranties extend to the refrigerator, microwave, washing machine, or dryer. Also, outdoor features, such as pools, spas, and sprinklers, are rarely covered. You may be able to pay extra for additional coverage for these items, though. This is a good idea for anything that you use frequently and would cost a lot to repair or replace.

What it Costs
Of course, the cost of a home warranty varies depending on what it covers and which company is offering it. But in general, you can expect to pay $300 to $500. However, this only applies to when you buy a home that is already built. If you buy a new build, you should get a warranty for free. For one year, home systems and appliances will be covered by this warranty, while the structure itself will be covered for ten years.
How It Differs from Insurance

You might wonder why you need a home warranty when you have homeowner’s insurance. But the two are a bit different. Homeowner’s insurance is meant to cover the structure of the home, along with its contents, and usually only in the case of a disaster. For example, your insurance will pay for repairs after a fire, and it will pay to replace your belongings after you are robbed.
On the other hand, a home warranty is meant to cover normal wear and tear of home systems and appliances. This is why you need both a home warranty and insurance if you want to make sure you’re completely covered.

About the Author

As a broker specializing in multi-units and single family homes in Southern Maine, Veronica Schneider joined the real estate industry in August of 2004 bringing with her over eight years of experience in real estate management. You can find Veronica and Green Tree Realty on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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As a Portland Maine real estate agency Green Tree Realty specializes in Residential and Investment real estate for southern Maine buyers, sellers and investors looking in the Androscoggin, Cumberland and York counties residential and investment markets.


We're Located At:
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Portland, ME 04103
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