A home warranty is usually purchased when someone is either selling their home or when someone has just purchased a home. However, a home warranty can be purchased any time. A Seller can purchase a home warranty at the time they list the house for sale and it will cover them until the house either sells or the listing expires. A warranty will usually cover heating, AC,duct work, plumbing, water heaters, electrical, dishwashers, garbage disposals, range ovens, cook tops, trash compactors and more. This can also be updated to include such things as septic system pumping, well pump, garage door openers, swimming pools, other appliances, etc. A Seller can also purchase an additional home warranty for the prospective Buyer for a small fee that would cover the Buyer from the time they purchased the home for one year. Normally if something on the list breaks down, a service call is around $60 which you would pay but replacing or fixing anything else covered under the warranty would be free.
So, as a Realtor in Medford Oregon, I decided to purchase a warranty for myself. I purchased mine from American Home Shield but there are other home warranties out there such as Home Warranty of America, First American and many others. Each one has their own separate coverage plan and costs. I purchased the warranty because I own an older home and still have the original heat pump in it. I was hoping that when the heat pump finally died I could get a new one. But the heat pump keeps working. I have had to replace some parts and added a digital thermometer and those things alone would have cost me more than the cost of the warranty. I also had to replace a motor on my dishwasher on a day that company was coming in. The repair service (ordered by the home warranty company) came out right away, ordered the part and replaced it the very next day. That was definitely worth the cost of the warranty.
So, a home warranty is like an insurance policy. In my opinion it is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. It has already saved me money.