Looking for the best home warranties as a home buyer?
Great, you’re in the right spot. In this guide, you’ll learn:
- What are home warranty plans for home buyers?
- How much does a home warranty service contract for home buyers cost?
- Is coverage for buyers worth it?
- How do home warranties for buyers work?
- What are the best home warranty coverage plans for new home buyers
- And much more!
We’ve reviewed and rated 68+ home warranty companies, and below are our top picks for buyers specific to your state. Curious how coverage can save you money on your new home? Continue reading!
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Our Top Picks Overview
If you’re looking to buy a home, you have a lot on your plate. Not only are you trying to find your perfect dream home, but you need to apply for mortgages, learn the real estate process, and prep for moving.
What's In This Guide?
Needless to say, the last thing you want while buying a home is another thing to worry about. But, just because you’ve found and purchased a new home doesn’t mean the house buying process is over.
In fact, it’ll be months or even years before you fully get used to your new abode. Plus, a major appliance or system could malfunction in your new home, leaving you with a huge repair bill to deal with.
With a home warranty protection plan for buyers you don’t have to worry about getting saddled with the cost of major repairs. Home warranty plans can do a whole lot to protect buyers from unexpected costs in the months and years after purchasing their home.
But, with so many great plan options out there, it can be tricky to determine precisely which one is best for your needs. To ensure that you get the best coverage for your new home, here are our home warranty reviews, complete with a guide to everything you need to know about the top home warranty plans out there today.
If you’re looking for a trusted, industry-leading home warranty company, we recommend Choice Home Warranty. They’re a top-rated brand and right now you can take advantage of their current promotions that get you $50 off, plus one free month and free 30-Day cancellation. Get a free online quote or contact a specialist at 929-400-6169 before these deals end. Another great option is American Home Shield which offers $50 off. Get a free quote online or you can call a home warranty specialist directly at 866-464-7521.
Top 5 Best Home Warranty Companies for Home Buyers
What Are Home Warranties Meant For Buyers?
A home warranty for buyers is a way for new homeowners to protect themselves against unexpected repair and maintenance costs on their house. While homeowners certainly expect to repair their home systems and appliances every once in a while, few realize that these issues can crop up within weeks or months of closing on a house.
In many instances, these issues aren’t detected by your standard home inspection. But, they’re still serious and need to be dealt with before the problem gets worse.
When this happens, you’re left with a massive bill from a service provider that’s just not covered by your homeowners insurance or a manufacturer’s warranty. So, you’ll have to pay upfront for the cost of issues that potentially started long before you owned the home.
With a home warranty plan, though, you simply pay the cost of an annual premium and a small service fee every time you submit a claim. Then, the home warranty provider will send a repair specialist to your home to assess, diagnose, and repair any damage while you sit back and relax.
It’s important to research which companies offer the best coverage plans in your city and/or state. To help, we’ve written essential guides to purchasing a home warranty in cities like Dallas, Chicago, Charlotte, Kansas City, Fairfax and Atlanta.
What Does A Home Warranty For Buyers Cost?
On average, a buyer’s home warranty costs between $300 and $600 for a year of coverage. But, what you pay for your warranty will depend quite a bit on the size of your new home and where it’s located.
Moreover, the type of plan that you want and the coverage options that you’re interested in will greatly affect how much you pay each year. In fact, there are multiple types of home warranty plans, including:
Appliances Plan or Systems Plan
Most warranty companies offer plans that cover either appliances or systems individually. Covered items under an appliances plan usually include your dishwasher, built-in microwave, refrigerator, and stove/oven. Systems plans will cover your heating, electrical systems, air conditioning, and plumbing systems.
Some companies call these plans “basic plan,” because they cover your most essential home systems and appliances.
Best Home Warranty For Buyers?
Choice Home Warranty is our top pick in the rental home insurance market. Choice has more than 10 years of experience helping home buyers insure their properties, offers three extensive plans to choose from and customer service 24/7.
On the other hand, if you want to really maximize your coverage you can opt for a combo plan that includes protection for all of your major appliances and systems.
A comprehensive plan covers pretty much all of the major systems and appliances, such as your air conditioner, whirlpool bathtub, and refrigerator. As you can imagine, a comprehensive plan usually comes with a higher annual premium, but it’s well worth the cost if you want complete coverage for your home.
Build Your Own Plan
Finally, some home warranty companies allow you to build your own plan. With one of these policies, you can choose precisely which home appliances and systems you want to cover.
These plans will often also let you protect things like septic systems and well pumps, which are often optional coverage add-ons for a traditional plan. Build your own plans are usually the most expensive option, but they offer maximum flexibility and the ability to customize your protection plan fully.
So, they’re particularly useful for new homeowners that want a full coverage for their house’s most valuable aspects.
Is Coverage For Buyers Worth It?
If you’ve just purchased a new home, it’s understandable if you’re not quite sure that you want to commit to home warranty. You’ve probably just paid closing costs and moving fees so you might not be keen to tack on another expense.
But, a home warranty for buyers is definitely worth it. Here’s why:
Protects Your Investment
You just purchased a beautiful new home that you probably expect to live in for years to come. However, keeping your home in tip-top shape isn’t as easy as it sounds.
If you want your home’s value to increase over the years continuously, keeping it well-maintained and up-to-date is critical. That being said, regular repair and maintenance costs on your home can easily rack up huge bills over the year.
This takes a lot of money away from you that you could’ve spent on renovations, vacations, or on your retirement. With a home warranty, though, you can stay on top of regular maintenance and protect your house’s selling value without spending a fortune on your home.
This means more money in your pocket now, and more return on investment should you decide to sell your house down the line.
Shields You From Unexpected Repair Costs
Imagine this: You’ve finally moved into your brand new home after months of searching, negotiating, moving, and signing paperwork. But, as soon as you settle in and try to turn the air conditioning on, you realize that it just doesn’t work.
Unfortunately, this issue is much more common than you might think. Buyers frequently find that they need to repair and replace major systems and appliances in their new home within weeks or months of closing.
Home repairs are just one of the many joys of owning a house, but you probably didn’t expect to have to pay for them so soon. Thankfully, home warranty plans can protect you from these unexpected repair costs, even if they happen right after you move in.
Convenient, Simplified Repair Service
If you’ve moved to a brand new area, you may not know who to call if something malfunctions in your home. While you can certainly spend hours researching the best repair technicians in your home, doing so eats away at your valuable time and doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get great service.
Home warranty plans simplify the entire repair process by sending a home service repair specialist straight to your house whenever you submit a claim. They deal with all of the paperwork, research, and hassle on their end, so you don’t have to worry about finding an experienced service contractor when your heating breaks in the middle of the night in the dead of winter.
In reality, this convenient repair service is one of the biggest benefits of a warranty for new home buyers, particularly if you’ve moved to a new town from far away. Instead of worrying about your home repairs, you can have a warranty company will deal with them for you.
Full Year Of Coverage
Just because you closed on a house doesn’t mean that the new home buying process is over. In fact, your homeowner’s journey has just begun with your new house.
Home warranty plans recognize that homeownership is an ongoing process. This is why a full year of coverage from a home warranty provider is an ideal way to protect yourself from unforeseen repair costs long after you say au revoir to your real estate agent.
For more information of purchasing a home warranty as a buyer, watch this video!
Helps Avoid Disputes With Previous Owners
One of the most common disputes between home buyers and sellers is a failure to disclose any pre-existing conditions in the home. Hopefully, your home inspector was able to find any of these problems before you closed on the house. Still, if not, a buyer’s home warranty policy often provides repair coverage for these situations.
This can help you avoid nasty, time-consuming disputes with the previous homeowners and can help you calmly settle into your new house without fear of needing to pay for unfair repair fees.
Covers What Homeowner’s Insurance Won’t
If you have a mortgage on your home, you almost certainly had to take out a home insurance policy. These policies are super important for protecting your home in the event of a fire or natural disasters, like a flood, hurricane, or earthquake.
But, homeowner’s insurance will not pay up just because your refrigerator broke in your new home. At the end of the day, it’s not designed for this sort of protection.
On the other hand, home warranties will protect you if a covered item breaks from normal wear and tear. Combining a warranty with your insurance policy is the best way to ensure that you’re protected from any eventuality.
How Do Home Warranties For Buyers Work (Are They Unique)?
For the most part, buyers can choose from the same home warranty plans available to current homeowners. However, some companies will offer buyer-specific policies or upgrades to give you a bit of extra protection on your new home. Here’s how the process works:
Step 1: Find A New Home That You Love
First things first, you need to find your dream home and make an offer on the house. Since the cost of your home warranty plan is dependent on the size and location of your house, you’ll need to know what you’re buying before you commit to a specific warranty company.
Step 2: Get A Home Inspection
Your mortgage lender will almost certainly require that you get a home inspection before you purchase a home. Even if they don’t, an inspection is an important part of the home warranty process for buyers because you want to be sure that no pre-existing conditions are lurking lurking in your new home.
If you or the inspector notice anything amiss in the home when you do a walk-through, be sure to discuss this with the seller before closing. Safety issues and obvious issues with major systems or appliances beyond just cosmetics are often the seller’s responsibility, so it’s good to discuss these problems before closing.
At the very least, a home inspection will help you identify any potential problems with the home. Although they’re generally not required by home warranty companies, an inspection is highly recommended because it will likely find any pre-existing conditions in your new home that might not be covered by your policy. That way, you can work with the seller to fix these issues before it becomes your financial responsibility.
Step 3: Choose A Home Warranty Plan
Now that you have your dream home under contract and you’ve identified any issues for the seller to fix before closing, it’s time to decide on a home warranty plan. If you’re still undecided as to which plan you think is right for your needs, you can always request a free quote and a sample contract from prospective warranty companies.
Doing so can help you figure out precisely what’s covered under your plan and give you the best estimate of your annual premium.
Step 4: Submit A Service Claim
After you’ve purchased your home warranty and have moved into your new house, you can enjoy your new digs with the peace of mind that you’ll be protected if something malfunctions. Should there be an issue in your new home, you simply need to submit a service claim to your warranty company.
Most home warranty providers have a 24/7 call center that’s ready to help you deal with repair issues in your home. Keep in mind that you often have to contact your provider within a set time period (usually 1-3 days) after identifying an issue to be eligible for coverage.
Step 5: Pay A Service Call Fee
Once you submit your repair claim, you’ll have to pay a small service call fee. This is generally between $60-$120 and covers the cost of sending a repair technician to your home. You can think of this as similar to a copay at the doctor’s office.
Step 6: Get Prompt Home Repairs
The final step of this process happens when you receive a quick and efficient repair service that’s covered by your policy. Your warranty company will arrange for a contractor to go to your home to assess, diagnose, and repair any issues.
The warranty provider will then cover the cost of any home repairs or replacements up to the amount listed on your service contract for that particular appliance or system.
Top Home Warranties For Buyers Reviewed
There are plenty of great home warranty companies out there, so you have some excellent plan options available to you. But, figuring out which of these policies is the best for your needs isn’t easy.
So, here are our reviews of the best home warranty companies and their coverage options for your new home:
Choice Home Warranty Review (Best Overall Home Warranty)
Why Do We Like Choice?
Out of all the home warranty companies we reviewed, Choice Home Warranty has the most comprehensive plans, good payout limits, minimal number exclusions, quality customer service, and affordable cost.
Choice has two main home warranty plans. The “Basic Plan” and the more comprehensive “Total Plan” covering 15 home appliances (dishwasher, etc) and systems (duct work, water heater, etc). They also have “Optional Coverage” for add on items most homeowners don’t usually have, which include pools and spas, well pump, sump pump, roof leaks, other extraneous items.
Based on our review, Choice’s “Total” plan covers these items at a more affordable price point than its competitors although has a few more exclusions, which is how they can justify charging a lower monthly payment.
The thing about home warranties is that they are a bit complicated with a lot of moving parts that may confuse most homeowners on what’s covered versus what’s not covered.
A key deciding factor in our review looking for the best home warranty company is finding one with top quality customer service to help customers like you walk through the claims process so you don’t have to worry about nasty surprises when you need service.
That said, Choice has 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year availability and a 48 hour response time to get a contractor out to your home. Other providers tend to have slower response times and are less communicative about when technicians are assigned to your claim.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Choice covers appliances regardless of age or existing wear and tear, so you don’t need to worry about signing up and not getting covered due to age assuming you’ve properly maintained the item over it’s life.
What’s not covered is if you or someone else breaks the unit regardless of when it happens. All home warranties, regardless of company, won’t cover a unit you break through negligence or misuse (i.e., baby sticks chocolate bar into VCR).
- Good Limits (up to $1,500)
- Minimal Exclusions
- More Affordable
- Only 15 Home Appliances & Systems Covered
American Home Shield Review (Editor’s Choice)
Why Do We Like American Home Shield?
Far and away the most thorough and transparent home warranty company we reviewed is American Home Shield. They are the gold standard. If you spend any amount of time on their website, it’s clear that they are very upfront about what they do cover and don’t cover when compared to their competitors.
In fact, they go out of their way to tell you they cover things their competitors don’t like rust or plumbing stoppages.
They also have the best home warranty coverage with an astounding 21 systems and major appliances including trash compactor, smoke detectors, and clothes washer. They also have the fewest number of exclusions with the highest dollar limit payout amounts ranging from $1,000 – $3,000 per claim.
Think of American Home Shield as the “BMW” or “Mercedes” of home warranty companies. More expensive than Choice, but with better coverage and limits.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Very similar to Choice, American Home Shield covers old systems and appliances that break down due to wear and tear, but they do not cover pre-existing issues or negligence related to the misuse of your appliance or system!
- Highest Payout Limits (up to $3,000)
- Widest Coverage (21 systems and appliances)
- Fewest Exclusions
- Most Expensive
Select Home Warranty Review (Most Affordable)
Why Do We Like Select Home Warranty?
Select Home Warranty made our list as a best budget friendly home warranty option. They have lower limits ranging from $500 – $2,000 per claim but also lower service fee costs and potentially reduced annual premiums as low $325 per year if you opt into multiple year contracts, far below other competitors.
If you opt for their “Platinum Care” they are on-par with other providers in terms of what they actually cover.
Overall, a great budget option for people who want a home warranty but can’t afford Choice or American Home Shield.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Very similar to Choice and American Home Shield, Select covers old systems and appliances that break down due to wear and tear, but they do not cover pre-existing issues or negligence related to the misuse of your appliance or system!
- Most Affordable Service Contracts
- Roof leaks Are Covered In Their Platinum Plan
- Ultra Pushy Sales
- 3 Days To Submit Claim
- Weaker Network Of Contractors
Amazon Home Warranty Review
Why Do We Like Amazon Home Warranty?
The Amazon Home Warranty is one of the best options for homeowners. The Amazon Home Warranty has only been around for a little more than ten years. However, in that time, they have been able to put together some great coverage options across 46 states. At Amazon Home Warranty, you will get more of that small company feel that many of us look for in great companies today.
When you look at all of the companies out there, you will find that some stand out from the crowd. From the website to the customer service, to the plan versatility, Amazon Home Warranty has everything a homeowner could want. They have created relationships with over 50,000 contractors around the country. With a base like this, you can get your issues fixed quickly and without spending more of your time and money.
The most refreshing thing about this company is how simplistic its plans are. When you want to find out what the Amazon Home Warranty will cover and what they won’t, you can easily do so on their website. You won’t have to worry so much about fine print and exclusions with Amazon Home Warranty. Since this is a more modern and streamlined younger business, it’s very easy to stay on track with what they are offering and how they can help you.
In addition to the essential appliance and system plans, Amazon Home Warranty offers a combo plan option and add-on coverage for those homeowners with specific needs. When it comes to policy limits and exclusions, the Amazon Home Warranty will be very similar to other options on the market.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Like other home warranty companies, Amazon will cover issues due to wear and tear on older models; however, they will not cover problems that have already occurred to your appliances or systems. There is a 30 day waiting period when you first sign up for new coverage that you will have to abide by before your plan truly starts. If your refrigerator is currently broken, you will need to fix it before Amazon Home Warranty covers it. For a newly purchased home, Amazon Home Warranty is going to want to see an inspection report before they are able to fix or cover an issue in your home.
- Younger, more modern company
- Wide coverage
- Add on options
- Over 50,000 certified contractors Nationwide
- Easy to work with a smaller team of customer service agents
- Lost their BBB accreditation and are in the process of getting it back
Liberty Home Guard Review
Why Do We Like Liberty Home Guard?
Liberty Home Guard is one of the newer home warranty companies on the market. With Liberty Home Guard, you will be exposed to all of the latest and greatest theories and concepts in the industry. This attention to technology will be seen immediately on their website and when dealing with the brand new customer portal. If you like a streamlined and electronic process for your home warranty policy, Liberty is a great choice.
Liberty Home Guard has only been in the industry for a few years, yet they have grown a network of more than 10,000 certified contractors from around the country. These contractors have to go through a rigorous application to ensure that they are qualified to be making repairs in your home.
Like some of the other home warranty companies on the market, Liberty Home Guard allows you to customize your plan with add ons and additional coverages. When it comes to pricing, Liberty Home Guard will be right in the same ballpark as most other manufacturers. There is some customization of your plan to be able to work within your budget, but a basic plan will start around $49.99 a month.
We like that with Liberty Home Guard, you can use a contractor of your choice if you wish. The reservice fee will not be covered if you choose your contractor, but it is an excellent option if you have people that you trust to do your home repairs.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
If you are not moving into a brand new home, you will still get coverage from Liberty Home Guard. After your 30 day waiting period to begin coverage, all working appliances and systems will be covered from that point forward. If you have a broken microwave and you haven’t signed up for converge just yet, you will need to have that fixed before your coverage can start.
- State of the art customer portal system
- Rigorous testing for contractors
- Ability to use your own contractors
- Fair pricing
- Good customer service for a newer company
- Must report your issues within one day of noticing a problem
Final Thoughts On Home Warranties For Buyers
If you’re in the process of buying a new home, a home warranty is essential. Once you find the house of your dreams, you want to be sure that it’s well maintained for years to come.
A home warranty for buyers can help cover the cost of maintaining your new home while also protecting you from major repair bills. That way, there are no new surprises after you move into your new house, just years of happy memories and hassle-free repairs.