UNITED STATES—The housing market is hot all around America and the always-desirable place to call home, California is no different. California is known for its beautiful weather, travel destinations, Wine Country and its cost of living. People who live in California love it! Even though they pay a hefty price to live there. If you are not from there it can be quite a shock when looking to buy a home and what you can afford in California versus other parts of the country. The pricy housing market can be managed but a budget is in order to do so.

Before You Buy It Inspect It

When buying a new home it getting it inspected is key, in fact with certain types of financing it is required. What is the home inspector looking for that you can’t see yourself? Well if you haven’t owned a home before there are things you won’t know to look for. If you have owned a home before you might not know to look for other things that you haven’t dealt with before.

The inspection report will let you know about how they believe the home was taken care of and if they foresee repairs and or replacements in the near future regarding the home. While it is hardly a crystal ball, being able to predict future expenses can help better prepare the homeowner for what may be in store for them in their new home.

Unexpected Expenses

When buying a new home it usually comes with a few things included, like the washer & dryer, stove, built in microwave and refrigerator. Some homeowners prefer to start out in their new home with new appliances and sell the ones they received in the home purchase. Doing this can give the homeowner peace of mind that they are not going to have to worry about breakdowns or replacing an appliance. However if the home is coming with the appliances that the new owner likes and they can save money by not buying new they can still have the peace of mind of these little expenses not adding up by purchasing a home warranty. Home warranties in northern California can alleviate the need for worrying about unexpected expenses on those pre-existing appliances and home systems.

Living the Dream on a Budget

Mentioned earlier the cost of living in California (more Southern but also Northern) is high compared to most of the rest of the country, this is just the price per square foot and property taxes. Being on a budget is key to making life in California or other areas with high cost of living easier.

Budget Breaker

Unexpected expenses can be a budget breaker. The use of air conditioners year round is no surprise in warm weather climates and as such they tend to break down more often than they do in other parts of the country. Repairs and replacements of air conditioners can get pretty pricy and quick. A home warranty can help cover costs when an unexpected repair is needed in your home. It can help keep your budget in check by having a low monthly cost to help protect your budget.

Who Wants It?

Home warranty companies in Northern California know that their customers are in need of repairs to their air conditioning units and that these units are complex enough that most people will not want to work on them themselves. This means that home warranty companies know their target customer is in California and they expect to have repairs on their service plans. Californians pay a high price to live in the area they want and this means that comfort of life is a top priority to them. This also means that if something in their home is not working properly they will want to get it fixed right away to continue living life in the comfort they are used to.

What Does It Actually Cover?

Depending on the provider of the home warranty plan it may or may not cover everything you are looking for. Homes in California have been known to be a bit more extravagant than homes in other parts of the country. So the 2-story water slide into the swimming pool might not be included in the service plan, but the water pump on the pool is included. Be sure to understand what is covered and what isn’t before making your purchase of any home warranty. While it might not cover complete replacements of the air conditioning system in some cases it is important to note that repairs are much more likely rather than complete replacements of the systems.

Reputable Home Warranty Companies

Check out the reviews and see which company best suits your own personal needs. For instance not all of Total Home Protection’s plans cover air conditioning. Air conditioning is listed as an optional coverage. Pride Home Warranty has air conditioning coverage on their Platinum Plan but coverage only up to $2500. Endurance Home Warranty does cover air conditioning in their service plans. American Home Guard does cover air conditioning in their red and blue coverage options, but their white coverage plan does not cover air conditioning.

Is a Home Warranty Worth It?

It really depends on the homeowner and their personal experience and abilities on whether a home warranty is a good purchase. The LA Times wrote that according to Consumers’ Checkbook that homeowners would be better off starting a savings fund to cover unexpected expenses instead of purchasing a home warranty plan.

Agree to Disagree

While starting a small savings fund for unexpected expenses sounds like an ideal plan it isn’t quite in line with how most Americans live their lives, financially speaking. Yes if one could save money and not use it for other things it could be a great option for those unexpected expenses, but what if life happens and one thing after another start to break down and need repairs? What do you do after you replace your air conditioner in January and then you have exhausted your savings fund then your washer and dryer both break at the same time in March? Simple apply for a credit card to cover those unexpected expenses. OR instead of being worried you use all of your savings on one repair, use a home warranty to simply add the $35-45 a month into your budget and forget about it.

Bottom Line

If you live paycheck to paycheck like most Americans or you have a tight budget, having a home warranty can be a lifesaver if something goes wrong. Just like any insurance plan there are things they do not cover. *See your potential provider for exact coverage terms.