Sometimes, you’ll buy a house and they’ll tack on a home warranty as a bonus. You can also buy your own home warranty for about $400 or $500, to cover appliances, electrical systems, plumbing systems, heating and cooling, and all the components of house that keep the place running. A home warranty can be a good thing if you’re willing to work with these warranty companies. However, we don’t recommend them for rental properties.
Longer Repair Times
If you do have a warranty, we’ll use that warranty as much as possible. But we have found that especially with larger items or things that are important to the house like heating, the repair time is really drawn out. We have to start by calling the warranty company, and then we have to wait for them to call us back. Then, whoever they assign to the job has to call us. There’s no sense of urgency on their end because they’re only going to get the $75 deductible, which isn’t a lot of incentive.
Tenant Customer Service
We consider repairs like a broken heating system to be emergencies, and we want these things taken care of right away. But there are more layers to go through when you’re dealing with a warranty company. Think about customer service and how this affects your tenants. They have to wait and wait for important repairs. Whether it’s the heat or the hot water heater or the refrigerator, your tenant needs these things to work. They are time sensitive, and the home warranty does not work as well for time sensitive repairs.
Repairing Rather than Replacing
Sometimes the warranty company will send out their vendor and they will do whatever they can to fix the problem, even if it’s a better idea to just make a replacement. An air conditioning unit that’s 15 years old should just be replaced when it breaks down, but the warranty company will keep throwing parts at it, trying to get it fixed. This will further inconvenience your tenant. The time keeps passing and each time approval is needed for a new part. It’s a hassle to fix things that aren’t worth fixing.
We use the home warranty when we can, but a lot of times it becomes poor customer service. We’re trying to save money and it doesn’t always work out that way. If you have any questions about home warranties, please contact us at McGrath Real Estate.