Realtor: Prepare for unexpected costs when buying a home


By Dayv Morgan

Dayv Morgan

With the average home in Maricopa at least 10 years old, it is imperative for homebuyers to budget for unexpected home repair costs.

If something fails, the cost and time can be a shock. The water heater may be nearing the end of its life span, the cooling system may have been installed in 2006 or you may not know the condition of your roof underneath the exterior tile. Do you even know how old your plumbing is?

The exterior paint can show signs of fading after only a few years, and your homeowners association may ask you to repaint after you’ve been in your home only a few months.

A home warranty plan is an important part of buying a home. While home insurance can cover you against structural damage and theft, a home warranty can repair or replace systems and appliances that stop working due to normal wear and tear.

A study by Zillow found homeowners spend $8,000-$9,000 a year on unexpected home maintenance costs. Studies also found a quarter of Americans have saved less than $500 for home repairs.

Many homes in Maricopa were built in 2004 or 2006 during the boom. Even if you are dutifully changing your filters and oiling your garage door mechanism, age will catch up with your systems. Appliances have a certain life expectancy.

A good home warranty plan helps off-set these unexpected costs.

What does a home warranty cover?

Plans vary, and it depends how much you want to pay. A basic plan costs $400-$500 and covers:

Garbage disposal
Water heaters
Electrical systems
Inside plumbing
Ceiling fans

Upgrade options

Spa/Pool systems
Garage door openers

What is not typically covered?

Outdoor items/systems
Faucet repairs
Pre-existing conditions
Code violations
Improper installation

Typically, when something does break or wear out, you can call your home warranty representative first, and they will send over a repair professional in their network. Some companies, like America’s Preferred Home Warranty, lets you pick your own repair company. Always examine a home warranty carefully and discuss it with your agent before signing.

Dayv Morgan is a Maricopa Realtor and owner of HomeSmart Success.


This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.