Whether you’re a homebuyer or seller, a home warranty can give you peace of mind. Also known as a home service contract, the home warranty typically covers mechanical systems and built-in appliances in the home.
Not to be confused with homeowner’s insurance, which covers damage from external forces, home warranties are designed to fill the gap between the original manufacturer’s warranty and normal wear and tear, according to HomeServiceContract.org.
Here’s how it works. If your AC goes out, or your dishwasher breaks, you contact the home service company and describe the problem. The dispatcher will send the appropriate licensed plumber, electrician, or appliance repair specialist to service the call. Expect to pay a service fee of about $50 or higher for each visit.
Remember that home warranties don’t provide blanket service. They don’t cover repairs or replacement for pre-existing conditions or for elderly mechanicals that are beyond their useful lifespan. But they are good for emergencies if your toddler clogs the toilet trying to “wash” his teddy bear.
For home sellers, home service contracts improve the home’s marketability to homebuyers and diminishes liability. For buyers, warranties can absorb the costs of unexpected repairs or replacements. Extended coverage for non-built-ins such as clothes washers, dryers, and stand-alone refrigerators is usually available.
When you think about the wide range of systems and appliances that it takes to operate your home, a home service contract is a bargain at approximately $400 to $500 and could pay for itself with one use.
No, you don’t need too but if you serious about buying a home you should. Most sellers won’t even look at an offer to purchase their home that is not accompanied by a pre-approval letter.
Mistake #1: Failing to have a plan
Deciding to buy a home is probably the biggest financial decision you will ever make. It is an exciting decision, but it is serious business too, and you deserve serious advice. With a game plan, you will eliminate many of the headaches involved in this complicated transaction.
You should have a clear plan when deciding to buy a home. Evaluate your current situation. Do you currently own a home? If so, will it be necessary to sell before making another purchase? Are you renting” How much time is left on your lease? What is important to you about the location of your home? How close do you need to be to schools, work, shopping?
Make a list of features that are important to have in your next home. List your desired price range, locations that you would like, number of bedrooms and baths, and any other amenities. Be specific and prioritize your list. It is unlikely that you will find a home that offers every feature you desire, but a list will help you identify homes that best meet your wants and needs.
Share your list with your real estate agent and review the details and priorities. Your agent will look for homes that best match your criteria, saving you time looking at homes that don’t fit your needs.
A proper game plan will save you time and reduce the stress of shopping for a home. Invest time at the beginning and you will have a more satisfying home buying experience.
The right real estate agent can make the home buying process a satisfying and profitable experience.
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As unfortunate as it can be when homeowners fall behind on mortgage payments and must face the possibility of losing their homes, short sales and foreclosures provide them options for moving on financially. The terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different, with varying timelines and financial impact on the homeowner. Here’s a brief overview.
A short sale comes into play when a homeowner needs to sell their home but the home is worth less than the remaining balance that they owe. The lender can allow the homeowner to sell the home for less than the amount owed, freeing the homeowner from the financial predicament.
On the buyer side, short sales typically take three to four months to complete and many of the closing and repair costs are shifted from the seller to the lender.
On the other hand, a foreclosure occurs when a homeowner can no longer make payments on their home so the bank begins the process of repossessing it. A foreclosure usually moves much faster than a short sale and is more financially damaging to the homeowner.
After foreclosure the bank can sell the home in a foreclosure auction. For buyers, foreclosures are riskier than short sales, because homes are often bought sight unseen, with no inspection or warranty.