Home Warranty a Waste of Money?

Recently I heard another Realtor say, “Do you know what I call home warranties? … a ‘do-not-call-seller policy’ – they are a wast of money.”

I could not agree more. The home warranty gives peace of mind, but like the home inspector, it doesn’t cover much [See previous Blog on home inspectors]. If the seller is willing to pay for it, great, but I would not make this a deal breaker (or spend one cent on a home warranty).

In my first home I broke a glass in the sink, which in turn jammed the garbage disposal. “Ah ha,” I said to myself, “surely this is a job for the mighty home warranty.” The company sent out a plumber the next day. Here’s the catch – for a repair person to show up, there is a deductable or fee that you the warranty holder pays. No big deal, right!? I certainly wasn’t going to stick my paw down the sink into a mixture of glass, razor sharp garbage disposal blades, and gook [again 🙂 ].

So the plumber shows up the takes one look and says, “I can’t touch that thing [jammed garbage disposal]!”

“Why not?”

“It’s too old. I’m liable to punch a hole through the bottom, if it’s rusted out. And I can’t do that, because then I’d be liable to buy you a new one.”

I reasoned, “Look, the thing doesn’t work now, and I’m liable to do the same thing. What’s the difference if you do it or I do it?”

“Nope I can’t touch that thing,” he insisted.

“Okay, if you break it I will take on the responsibility.”

“Sorry…. By the way, that’ll be $40.”

In shock I said, “You mean to tell me that I have to pay you $40 for you to come out and tell me that you can’t work on ‘that thing’! Not to mention, I could buy a new garbage disposal for about $40 more!”

“Well, uhhh… that just the policy.”

This is so typical. Finally I had him at least show me how to use a crow bar to dislodge the glass. It worked! And I had to pay $40 for nothing. And I vowed to never buy a home warranty again!

The other home warranties I’ve had have gone unused. I’m only reminded one year after the purchase, as they warranties company then solicites a renewal – yeah right.

Save your $350 and home visit deductables and put it toward the repair person who may or may not have to come out when your appliance breaks. Or better yet, put that money toward a the new appliance that you really wanted to begin with (e.g., front loading clothes washer, Bosche dishwasher, Jenn Air Gourmet cook top, flat screen TV [hey this this an appliance], etc.)

Talk to me about your good experiences with home warranties – I love to hear ’em.

One response to “Home Warranty a Waste of Money?

  1. I had numerous run-ins with a home warranty company.

    They wouldn’t replace a broken faucet that tied into my washing machine because the previous person had used a hose bib and their “policy” didn’t allow replacement of hose bibs.

    I also had an issue with my drain-line that the home warranty handyman couldn’t fix (I refused to pay the deductible on that one). He tried for about 10 minutes with a hand-snake to root it out. Then I called roto-rooter and they had it working in about 20 minutes. I had to pay $125, of course.

    Never again…


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