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.
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:
1. Choice Home Warranty
Choice Home Warranty is our number one pick when it comes to protecting buyers from unexpected expenses on their new home. With Choice Home Warranty, you can choose between a Basic Plan and a comprehensive “Total Plan”.
The basic plan offers coverage for your most essential systems and appliances, such as:
- HVAC system (heating and cooling) and ductwork
- Dishwasher and garbage disposal
- Oven, range, cooktop, stove, and built-in microwave
- Plumbing and stoppages
- Hot water heater and whirlpool bathtubs
Additionally, the total plan will protect you from repair costs on your clothes washer, clothes dryer, and refrigerator. We particularly like these plan offerings for buyers because they offer good all-around coverage for your home’s most important aspects.
Since you’re new to your home, it’s often best to cover all your bases and get protection for appliances and systems, just in case. Plus, Choice Home Warranty won’t deny you coverage just because you bought an older home with aging appliances.
We also like that the company’s two plan options both have affordable annual premiums and a low service fee. This means you save money upfront and whenever you need a repair. Choice Home Warranty also has a helpful call center that’s ready to help you process repair claims whenever issues occur.
- Won’t deny coverage for an older home or appliances
- Both plan options protect appliances and systems
- Affordable annual premiums and low service fees
- Does not allow you to customize your plan
2. American Home Shield
American Home Shield is a great choice for home buyers that want super flexible coverage options for their new house. They offer three standard plans that you can choose from, including one for appliances, one for systems, and a combo plan that includes coverage for nearly everything in your home.
Both the appliance and systems plans are good options if you want a very low annual premium and are okay with sacrificing a bit of coverage for a smaller upfront cost. Alternatively, the combo plan is a solid deal for comprehensive coverage of your house.
If you’re looking for even more flexible coverage for your new house, American Home Shield also has a Build Your Own Plan. This is a nice choice if there are very specific appliances or systems that you’d like coverage for that aren’t normally included in standard plans, such as a pool or spa.
We also like American Home Shield because they allow you to choose your own service call fee. If you pay a slightly higher annual premium, you can get a low service fee whenever you submit a claim, which can save you money down the line. Alternatively, if you’d rather save the money now, you can opt for a slightly higher fee and a lower premium, instead.
- Ability to choose your own service fee
- Great plan options that can suit any new home buyer
- Good selection of optional coverage add-ons for custom coverage
- Slightly higher annual premium costs than the industry average
3. Select Home Warranty
Select Home Warranty’s plans offer home buyers the ability to have maximum control and flexibility over the actual repair process while also getting financial protection from large service bills. They offer three different tiers of plans to suit different home buyer needs.
Select Home Warranty’s Bronze Appliances Plan includes coverage for:
- Clothes washer and dryer
- Garbage disposal and dishwasher
- Built-in microwave, oven, and stove
Meanwhile, their Gold Systems Plan covers the following:
- Air conditioning and heating system
- Plumbing system
- Electrical system
Finally, if you want more comprehensive coverage Select Home Warranty’s platinum plan protects everything in both the Bronze and Gold options, plus plumbing stoppages and ceiling/exhaust fans.
These plans provide a good range of coverage to suit the individual needs of your new home. Select Home Warranty also provides home buyers with the unique ability to choose their own repair technician. So, if you’re familiar with your local repair options, you can still get help from contractors that you know and trust.
- Can choose your own repair technician for any malfunctions
- Different plan options to suit the unique needs of home buyers
- Higher than average annual premium costs for some plans
4. Total Home Protection
Total Home Protection has two plan options for buyers that want coverage for both systems and appliances under one policy. Their gold plan offers protection for the following:
- Garage door opener
- Ductwork and exhaust/ceiling fans
- Water heater and interior sump pump
- Plumbing system and stoppages
- Whirlpool bathtubs
- Garbage disposal and trash compactor
- Electrical system
- Dishwasher and built-in microwave
- Oven, stove, range, and cooktop
They also have a comprehensive platinum plan covering everything in the Gold Plan plus heating and air conditioning systems, clothes washers and dryers, and refrigerators. For buyers that want even more coverage, Total Home Protection has a great list of different add-on items that you can choose from to further protect your new home after closing.
Total Home Protection’s plans have a reasonable annual rate and low service fees, which makes them an attractive option for home buyers that don’t want to spend too much out of pocket. But, they also offer emergency repair service and a 24/7 call center so you can keep your expenses low without sacrificing the quality of your home repairs.
- Both plans are affordable options that cover appliances and systems
- Lower service fee saves you money long after closing
- Emergency repair service when something critical malfunctions at night or on the weekend
- Coverage limitations in certain states
5. First American Home Warranty
First American Home Warranty made our list of top warranty providers because they offer cost-effective plans that don’t break the bank. Their basic plan covers most of your new home’s major appliances, such as
- Clothes washer and dryer
- Garbage disposal and trash compactor
- Oven, cooktop, and built-in microwave
If you want even more protection, you can opt for First American Home Warranty’s premier plan which gives you coverage for everything in the basic plan, in addition to the following systems:
- Heating system
- Electrical system
- Plumbing system
- Central vacuum system
For further coverage, you can choose from a small list of add-ons for protection of your air conditioning, pool, septic system, or spa.
Where First American Home Warranty really shines, though, is in their protection upgrades for home buyers. These coverage options vary by location, but they can include protection for things like code upgrades and building permits if you need a repair soon after purchasing your home.
- Special protection upgrade options for home buyers
- Affordable annual plans that don’t skimp on coverage
- Low service fees to keep more money in your pocket
- Protection for air conditioning is only available as an add-on
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.