It happens like clockwork, you decide to buy a property, have a home inspection, negotiate repairs and head joyously towards becoming a homeowner! After closing, inevitably something will break that wasn’t an issue on the home inspection. It’s one of the main principles of buying and owning a home, a house needs things, needs maintenance, TLC, and without warning, something will break. Last week, my own A/C stopped working – makes for a very unhappy 90 degree day! Prior to that, one of the valves on our dishwasher decided to crap out. It happens. If you mentally prepare yourself, along with some other protections, you shouldn’t find yourself in a hard place:
1. Consider a Home Warranty. Here’s what I tell all of my clients – if you never need it, it’ll be a waste of money. If you do, you’ll be glad you bought it. Just like any other insurance right? A home warranty generally runs between $400-$500, can be paid for by you at closing or by the seller. There’s a trade call fee, usually something around $40-$75 to get a technician out to look at the problem. The coverage varies by company and policy, but it will generally save you money when something needs to be fixed or replaced. Check out Old Republic or AHS. They usually cover systems (like A/C) and appliances. They’re annual policies which you can renew or let expire.
2. Have a handyman to call. Ask your agent for a list of service providers they recommend. Whether it’s a handyman, plumber, HVAC company, etc. Having a couple of names to call will help you compare prices and availability. It’ll also leave you with some peace of mind that you won’t be stuck without anything but Google to go on.
3. Keep some cash in reserves!! I can’t stress this enough, never, ever put yourself in a position that you’ll be house poor. Keep some cash on hand for those “just in case” moments, because you just never know! If you bought a place, you want to enjoy it! Not resent it for being a money drain or have something that’s not working properly.