One of the benefits of choosing a new construction over a resale home
is that the new home will come with a warranty to cover potential
problems. But donâ€™t assume that a new home warranty will cover
everything in your new home. Itâ€™s important to find out just what is
covered and for how long. You may also want to check the reputation of
the builder with the Better Business Bureau to see how well they have
handled disputes with homeowners in the past.
When considering a new construction home, here are seven questions to ask the builder about its included new home warranty:
1. What is covered, and what isnâ€™t?
While this may seem like a simple question, you will want to be clear
about exactly which items are covered â€” and which items are not. Most
new home warranties will cover structural elements and major home
systems, but they may not cover other items such as household
2. How long will the coverage last?
The length of coverage often varies for different parts of the new
home. Many warranties offer protection from major structural defects for
up to 10 years, but only cover HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems
for a much shorter period. Items like siding, doors, trim, drywall and
paint may be covered for as little as one year.
3. Do certain home systems or major appliances have their own warranties?
While household appliances are often not covered under the builderâ€™s
warranty, they may have their own protection plans. If they do, you will
want to find out the details from the builder so you will know who to
contact if there are any problems during the coverage period.
4. What is the process for filing a claim?
Your new home warranty should include clear instructions for how to
file a claim if something goes wrong. To avoid problems down the road,
you should make sure you understand the process upfront and ask
questions before you buy.
5. Is there a deductible?
With any warranty or insurance plan, itâ€™s important to look for
hidden costs. Be sure to ask if there will be a cost to file a claim or a
deductible that will need to be paid before the repairs are covered.
6. How are disputes handled?
Though you hope that any future issues will be resolved easily, there
could be disputes over coverage or the method of handling a repair.
Builders often prefer arbitration over a potential lawsuit, so their
warranties may include the cost of arbitration if disputes arise.
7. Is the warranty issued through the builder or a third-party?
The builder generally covers structural elements themselves, but they
might also include a third-party home warranty for other elements such
as HVAC, plumbing, electrical systems or even major appliances.
Between the builder warranty, a possible third-party home warranty
and any additional manufacturerâ€™s warranties, a new construction home is
likely to have ample coverage from defects. However, donâ€™t make
assumptions about what will be covered. Ask questions before you buy to
avoid expensive, time-consuming disputes down the road.
This article originally appeared on 55Places.com. For more articles like this or for information about hundreds of 55+ active adult retirement communities across the country, please visit 55Places.com.
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