View Full Version : Home Warranty Recommendations?

12-14-2012, 04:34 PM
We are actively looking for a home and may possibly close on one in the next couple of weeks. I'm wanting to look into home warranty providers and was wondering if any OKCtalkers have any experience with any home warranty companies and if you have any recommendations or warnings?

I've consulted a couple of friends that recently bought a home and all have said they were very glad they had the warranty. One friend bought from an Edmond company that now no longer offers warranties (CastleKeep). The other bought from Old Republic and they say they paid about $700 for coverage of a $500K home and have already made over $6,000 in claims that have been paid.

Any other input?

12-14-2012, 09:48 PM
We bought one for 2012 and won't renew. We had Old Republic. We won't renew because we did not use it and the premium really JUMPED for 2013. It was a waste of $500 for us. But I have heard that it is a good "insurance" policy when you buy a new home. We made a couple of calls on it and they just repaired things, no replacement on anything. The service calls were like $60 and for the next year I think they jumped to $100 per call. Just not worth it to me.

12-15-2012, 11:48 PM
For a brand spankin' new home, a home warranty makes sense. I joke that there are a gajillion people who get paid when a house is sold...

But for a used home, err existing home, it seems the home inspection, termite inspection, foundation report, roof evaluation etc., are out of pocket costs that are borne by a prospective buyer,no? Any issues should be part of the sale negotiation, no? Maybe I don't understand what the point is of a home warranty.


fwiw, you should get all this cleared beforehand if buying a new or used home, your realtor, or attorney, should get any issues cleared before you sign a contract. It seems like theres a gap between what a realtor might tell you and what might actually be the case and thats where a home warranty company may convince you that its services are necessary.

12-16-2012, 05:04 AM
The inspection process simply evaluates the condition of the home at that moment in time and is only as thorough as the inspector and nothing is subjected to any sort of continued use.

A home warranty insures the usability of covered items over a period of time and with continued use. Like I pointed out in my original post - one friend who purchased a home directly behind the home we are looking at now has had his warranty cover $6,000 plus in repairs that were not an issue during the inspection, but became an issue over the months that followed - sprinkler heads that stopped working, dishwasher stopped working, water well pump went out, garage door spring etc.

None of those things would be the responsibility of the previous owner. I don't see the down side in spending $500 on a home warranty. Just mainly wanting to avoid subpar or scam home warranty companies. Not sure where we are going to move, but right now we are looking at an older two-story home in Edmond that sits on 2.5 acres and I'm only imagining the little things that go out here and there and it adding up into a few thousand dollars.

12-16-2012, 09:01 PM
My realtor "threw in" a warranty for American Home Shield for me when I bought my 1930 house. Next time I purchase a home, I probably won't accept that...if rather them just give me $500 off commission or something.

I did get a new garbage disposal put in. I had to pay a $75 service call. And right before it expired, I had them come fix a drip in my bathtub faucet. They would only do it if they could put in a certain faucet, one that did not match the bathroom in the least bit. So I paid the service call fee for nothing on that one.

From what I have read, home warranties are generally a waste. But if you do decide you want one, just carefully read what it does and does not cover. There were a lot of things mine wouldn't cover.

12-16-2012, 10:50 PM
I second the negative review of American Home Shield. Not worth the hassle at all. Also had a lot of trouble with one of their contract service people.

12-17-2012, 09:58 AM
From what I understand, many/most home warranties are value-added items sold at substantial markup through real estate agencies. Many have some combination of extraordinarily high deductibles, exception lists, exclusions, and conditions. Think in terms of third-party (non-manufacturer) automotive warranties that are pushed by the dealer at the close of a sale. I personally would not recommend either. The key is that they will always have one outlier reference point to tell you how valuable they are; they just never relay to you a list of all the folks that bought one and couldn't/never had to make a claim against it. Or the troubles they had when they tried.

When I sold my previous home about 15 years ago, the "buyer" wanted a warranty and he wanted me to pay $500 for it. I declined.

A reputable builder should offer his own warranty for at least some period of time. The same builder built both of my homes, and honored a one-year warranty on each house without question. We had only minor issues that required addressing, the worst of which was a failed coolant line in the slab back to the a/c condenser. It wasn't discovered at closing as I took ownership in December, and didn't need the A/C until a few months later. Called the builder, said "no problem," and the AC guy came out and had it fixed the next day. That was one of the reasons I used the same builder again about a decade later.

To each his own, of course.

03-03-2013, 07:49 AM
SoonerDave - I don't believe, generally, there is any markup by a realtor for a home warranty. The realtor selling my house says I can add it if a buyer wants it (at the regular direct rate) and I bought one with the home we just bought in January. Same price if I bought as part of the home sale or if I bought directly from the coverage provider.

Gotta say, glad I bought it.

So far, new hot water tank, new washer/dryer hook ups, new water line to ice maker, and what would have been a $400 furnace repair. All for $500 and two $60 service calls and it hasn't even been two full months yet.

04-12-2013, 03:35 PM
Just did our third claim with Old Republic home warranty. This time for plumbing. One toilet would no longer fill properly and had a slow leak. Another would occasionally not fill properly and would often 'run' about every hour or two.

Placed the claim, plumber called and scheduled the repair for the next day (today) and fixed both and took a look at another issue - all for a $60 service call. Said the retail rate to rebuild the two toilets and address the other issue would have been about $220.

Can't say enough good things about Old Republic and the warranty coverage.

08-10-2014, 05:35 AM
Just resurrecting this thread to followup with my final thoughts/opinions on our home warranty experience.

Our home warranty expired early this year. We were given an opportunity to renew for around $700 (approx. a couple hundred dollars more than we originally spent).

The only reason we didn't renew was because by the end of our first year in the home we felt we knew it pretty well and hadn't needed any repairs for the last few months - also our heat and air were still pretty new, as are most all the appliances.

So far (about six months since the policy expired), we still haven't needed any repairs.

That said, the initial policy was well worth the price paid and the piece of mind it gave us.

As I noted previously, we used the policy to get at least a few thousand dollars in repairs for only about $500. Which is the same experience our neighbors had - only they had so many claims they were not offered a renewal!

I close on another house I own next month and I'm throwing the same warranty in for free. The new owners are a young military couple buying their fist house together and I want to give them the piece of mind that if anything happens, its covered.

So, in summary, I definitely recommend a home warranty and I felt Old Republic was a good company that did exactly what they said they'd do and never tried to get out of it.

08-10-2014, 07:32 AM
Brian, nice props for that HW group.
Kudos on the upcoming closing. I am glad that worked out well for you two, and for the military folk as well.