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How to Choose a Home Warranty

Are you buying a house and wonder how to choose a home warranty? Here are a couple thoughts for you to consider.

What is a home warranty?

When a home warranty is part of a real estate transaction it is typically a one year service agreement. This is typically paid in full through escrow when the property transfers owners, not billed monthly like commonly advertised. A home warranty is also not a home insurance policy. Insurance is a separate policy and tends to help cover catastrophic events to the home. Where a home warranty helps cover breakdowns of the major systems and appliances of a home by repairing or replacing the items covered under the policy.

Each home warranty company offers different options and exclusions.

When looking over plans you will clearly see that the pricing and service call fees vary between each company. This also seems to result in the coverages and exclusions varying. Look over the service agreements to help you find the one that suites your needs and your new home.  To get a 3rd party opinion on home warranty coverages and services check out the consumer affairs reviews.  Not all of the companies will offer coverage in Arizona so listed below are a few I like:

One Home Warranty by American Home Shield (AHS)

AHS is the highest reviewed company by consumer affairs and is the home warranty company that Realty ONE Group has teamed up with. They offer Spring/Fall HVAC Tune-ups and Rekeying as part of their services.  They have 3 different packages: ShieldEssential, ShieldPlus, and ShieldComplete. Each level covers additional items so it is important to review these coverages to see what will fit your new home the best. The prices will vary depending on single family home (SFH) vs. condo/townhome, what plan you choose, if you add any optional coverage, and the length of coverage time you choose. Standard is 1 year but they do offer 2 year plans at the discounted Real Estate Edition Plans so look these all over.

First American HW

What I like about First American is that they have been in the industry for over 30 years and are still one of the top reviewed companies. You can find similar services included in any of their three plans; including some optional coverage for pool, refrigerator, washer, dryer, and limited roof leak depending on your needs. They advertise their basic plan covers unknown conditions, no cap on refrigerant, and pest control services.

Landmark HW

Landmark also offers extra services like re-key, pest control, termite treatments, and annual HVAC tune-ups as part of their covered services. There are many optional coverages available for additional appliances, roof leak repair, and exterior pipe leak repair coverage, ect.  They offer 4 different plans to choose from depending on how much you want covered and how much you want to spend on a home warranty.

Choice HW brochure Choice is another highly recognized home warranty company that offers an array of options.

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