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August 22, 2016

Home Warranties – A Primer for Home Buyers

When you’re considering a purchase as large and as important as a new home, you need to make sure you protect your investment. Warranties are a key component of caring properly for your new home. Repairs and replacements can be costly, and many families don’t have thousands of dollars socked away in an emergency fund to cover the expense. Although some home builders may lead you to believe that one warranty is just as good as another, the “one size fits all” mentality just doesn’t work in this situation. Warranties can and do vary widely in terms of coverage, duration and how quickly your problems are addressed once they are reported. So what exactly is a new home warranty? Simply put, it is a form of insurance offered by the homebuilder that will protect you from defects or malfunctions that may occur after your home is built. Most reputable home builders will offer an automatic warranty on the homes they build, but you can also purchase a home warranty from an outside company. Commonly covered issues include structural problems, repairs of built-in appliances, electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems and roof leaks. Warranties may specifically exclude certain after-market items such as pools, spas, decks and appliances that are not provided by the builder. Make sure you read the fine print to get the full picture of what is covered by your warranty and what is not. Also, the terms of your warranty may state that covered repairs can be made by any qualified technician, or you may need to use a specific provider or company specified by the builder. You should also know if you will be expected to cover the cost of the repair and then be reimbursed, or if the repair will be done without money actually changing hands. Your warranty should also give you detailed instructions on how to file a claim, state if there are deductibles that must be met or if a premium will be charged during the term of the policy. Some home builders include the warranty in the price of the home, while some offer the warranty for a nominal fee. You should also ask if the warranty on a home is transferrable; in other words, if you decide to sell the home, could any unused portion of the warranty term be made available to the new owners. You also need to keep in mind that as a homebuyer, you do have some responsibilities when it comes to preserving your home warranty. You must keep your home well-maintained. If you ignore issues when they first appear, there is a good chance that you may be violating your warranty by allowing the problem to persist. You may be responsible for repairs that are the result of unusual wear and tear or if you make changes to your home that violate existing building codes or install after-market items incorrectly. At Ernest Signature Custom Homes, we offer the best new home warranty of any homebuilder in the Savannah, GA area. We provide a comprehensive homeowners manual – “Caring for Your Home”, which provides a full description of your responsibilities as a homeowner in Section 8. When you complete the purchase of your new home, you will receive our exclusive 2-10 Homebuyers Warranty. It covers workmanship issues for the term of one year, systems coverage for two years, and a ten year structural warranty. Specific coverage details are available in our exclusive warranty booklet. For a sneak peek at our warranty program, visit our Warranty Information page. If you have questions that aren’t answered on this page, please call our Sales Team at 912-756-4135 or send us an email, if it is more convenient. We’ll be happy to give you the answers you need!
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