When buying a home many young couples end up with an older, potentially more run-down and lived-in home to stay in their price range. Although there's nothing wrong with buying an older home with older appliances, it can be frustrating and costly when those appliances stop working, even with proper maintenance. That's why Landmark Home Warranty always advises that individuals who are moving into an older home with older but well-maintained appliances get a home warranty! Of course, here at Landmark Home Warranty, we like to be a little creative from time to time… so please enjoy this home warranty fable!
Once upon a time, not too long ago, there were two young couples who were looking to purchase homes. Greg and Sandy had known their friends Kevin and Laura for a few years now, and they were excited to move into new homes. After a few months of searching, Greg and Sandy found an older home in an older neighborhood that was perfect. They purchased the home and encouraged Kevin and Laura to find a home nearby.
Kevin and Laura took Greg and Sandy's advice and started looking in the neighborhood where their friends were living. They found a home they could afford that was built in the same year as their friends' home. Of course, as all good friends do, Sandy came over to welcome Laura to the new neighborhood and help unpack boxes. While the two friends chatted, Sandy asked Laura about the state of her home’s appliances.
"Oh, they're the ones that were built with the home," Laura said "They're fairly old, but we haven't had much trouble with them yet."
Sandy looked worried for a minute, and said, "Well, do you have a home warranty? Greg and I got one when we moved in, and it has been the best thing so far!"
Laura was confused. "What is a home warranty?" she asked.
"Well, you pay a yearly premium, and they will repair parts of your home’s systems and appliances as long as they’ve been maintained and taken care of," Sandy said. "Since we have an older home with older appliances, it's perfect for us! The couple who owned our home before us took great care of the appliances, but they've just reached their lifespan. It gives me a lot of peace of mind to know if something goes wrong, I can fall back on my home warranty company."
Laura told Sandy that she would talk to Kevin about getting a home warranty thanked her for her advice. With that, Sandy left.
Later that evening, when Kevin came home from his book club, Laura told him all about home warranties. Kevin scoffed.
"We don't need a home warranty!" he said, emphatically. "We just spent a lot of money on this place, and I'm sure I can fix anything that starts to go haywire. Especially with my new book I got from book club: Home Ownership for Dummies!"
Laura quickly pulled up some prices on her phone and showed Kevin.
"But, look!" she implored her husband. "They start as low as $350-$400 a year for coverage. That's not that much money, and we can feel less stressed about our older appliances! We fixed everything that raised a red flag on our home inspection and our appliances are well-maintained… I think it would be a smart decision.”
"Laura," Kevin said, "That's $400 a year that we could spend on our yearly vacation to Malibu with George and Sandy."
Laura, not wanting to start a fight nor wanting to get rid of their annual Malibu tradition, shrugged and let it go. She didn't see the point of arguing about it and, indeed, didn't see the point of worrying about a home warranty until a few months later, when their dishwasher broke.
The day after the dishwasher broke, Kevin was excited. He took apart the appliance, attempting to figure out what had been going on with it. Laura, on the other hand, was concerned.
"Kevin, are you sure you should try and fix that yourself?" she asked, leaning over the counter looking at her husband who was going between looking at parts in the dishwasher and comparing them to diagrams in the owner’s manual. "Why don't we just call a plumber?"
"No, no,” Kevin said, trying to reassure her, but failing as he pulled a plastic piece off the bottom of the dishwasher with a cracking noise. "I totally have it under control. I... think this is the float switch. Or was. Maybe."
Laura retreated to the bedroom, feeling extremely concerned about the state of her dishwasher. She called Sandy.
"Hey Laura!" Sandy said, answering. "How is everything?"
"Not so good, Sandy. Say, did you guys say you had a dishwasher problem a few months ago?" Laura asked.
"We sure did! We had something strange going on with spray arm and motor. It had to be repaired," Sandy replied.
"Oh no," Laura groaned. "I knew moving into an old house was a bad idea, because now we're having problems with our dishwasher too!"
Sandy was quick to reassure Laura. "Oh, we didn't have to pay for it, though! It was so well maintained, with our home warranty, we just paid our service call fee, and our home warranty company sent out a contractor who fixed it up.”
Laura gulped, glancing out at Kevin's behind, his front half almost fully swallowed by the open dishwasher.
"Uh, yeah, now that you say it, we probably shouldn't have skimped out on the home warranty bit. Geeze, I wish I would have listened to you."
"Wait…" Sandy said her voice full of regret. "You didn't end up getting one? Oh no! I'm sorry, I hope that it's just a small repair for your dishwasher."
"Me too, Sandy," Laura said, "Me too."
Kevin shouted from the kitchen, "I FIXED IT!"
And indeed he had. He fixed it for three days.
The second time the dishwasher broke, Laura wouldn't let Kevin touch it. She called a plumber and asked her to come out right away and see what the matter was. After the plumber had taken a look inside and tried running the machine, she brought Laura the bad news.
"Sorry Ma'am, looks like you're going to have to get a new one," she said, empathetically. "These older homes will get ya like that."
Laura and Kevin ended up paying $150 for the plumber to come back and install the new machine that they had purchased for $550. After the plumber left, Laura wrote in her checkbook and showed Kevin the prices.
"See, Kev, we just spent $700 on a new dishwasher. If we had listened to Sandy and George, we would have gotten it fixed for only $100 or less with our home warranty," she said, looking at him disapprovingly.
Kevin looked sheepish but was as stubborn as ever.
"Laura, it's all good! It's only going to happen once, we'll be fine! Why spend extra money now that we've just spent $700? It's silly, and a waste of our money."
Three months later, Kevin and Laura's water heater stopped working.
Three days after they stopped having hot water, Kevin pulled out his Home Ownership for Dummies book, went down into the basement, and started tinkering around. Laura came downstairs, phone in hand, and told him to call a plumber.
"Aw, come on, Laura!" he said. "I don't want to call a plumber, they'll just make us pay so much money, and I'm sure I can find my way around a water heater! Now, I think this is the temperature and pressure release valve."
Kevin pointed to the top of the tank where the anode rod went into the metal.
"No, the temperature and pressure valve is that one," Laura said, "The one with the label "'temperature and pressure.'"
She left to call Sandy.
Once again, Sandy answered happily and asked how everything was going.
"Well, Sandy, our water heater stopped working a few days ago, and we haven't wanted to call a plumber," Laura said. "Didn't you have something like that happen a few months ago?"
"We did!" Sandy said. "Unfortunately, a part stopped working, and we didn’t have hot water for about a week!”
"Surely that wasn't covered with your home warranty, was it?" Laura asked, half hoping that her friend would say no.
"You bet it was covered!" Sandy said, " It was so well maintained and the part that broke was covered under our home warranty plan, so the repair was covered. We have the best home warranty! Don't tell me you haven't gotten one yet, Laura!"
Laura grumbled and said "If it had been up to me, we would have one by now, but no. I'm going to call the plumber again."
After Laura had pulled Kevin away from the water heater, she called the plumber. The plumber looked at the water heater (which Kevin had effectively reduced to scrap metal in the short time of Laura’s phone call) and told Laura that they would have to get another one.
The new water heater cost them $500 and the plumber felt bad for their trouble, so she gave them a discount on the installation, charging only $250. After putting the $750 down in the checkbook, Laura turned to Kevin.
"Listen, Kev. We need a home warranty. This is ridiculous!" She said, pointing to their bank account balance.
"Come on, Laura!" Kevin said, laughing. "There's no way we should spend anything else right now. Think of how much money that's going to be, and we're not going to end up having another appliance go out for a long, long time, now."
A week later, their furnace went out.
Kevin looked at the furnace, looked at his home ownership book, gave it to Laura, and went off to the bedroom to cry. Laura poked around inside, figured out what was wrong, and realized that the only way to fix their furnace was to call a contractor. She called a specialist, and then immediately called Sandy.
"Sandy," Laura said, so frustrated she could barely get the words out. "Tell me: Furnace. Covered in home warranty?"
"Yes, so many parts of the furnace are covered!" Sandy said, excited. "Have you gotten one, then?"
Laura gritted her teeth. "No," she growled. "But I will. Right after we finish fixing our furnace.”
Sandy and George showed up at their door a half hour later, right as the HVAC specialist was leaving Laura with a large bill.
George handed Laura a large casserole dish, and said, "I just made this! Broccoli and cheese. We figured you guys might need to take a break. Where's Kev?" He went up the stairs looking for him.
Sandy gave Laura a hug. "Laura, I'm so sorry. I wish that we could do something to help! All of these repairs are so expensive for you!”
"Yeah,” Laura said, helplessly. "I don't know how we're going to pay for this! Let alone go on our trip to Malibu."
Sandy smiled. "Listen, Laura, don't worry about the trip to Malibu. We can go next year. What you do need to do is get the best home warranty. Look at all of the home warranty companies. Read the home warranty reviews. Then, call them and get signed up. We went with Landmark Home Warranty, and they're amazing!"
She handed Laura a phone, and Laura took it without hesitation.
"You're right, Sandy. I'll call them right now."
And she did.
Three months later, when their oven broke, Kevin and Laura looked at each other, laughed, and whipped out their phones, trying to see who could reach Landmark Home Warranty first. A contractor arrived a few days later, looked at their oven, and made a quick call to the home warranty company. After paying their service call fee and waiting a few days for a part to be delivered, Kevin and Laura enjoyed their completely repaired oven that baked George's broccoli and cheese casserole recipe perfectly.
Luckily, with all the money they saved, Kevin and Laura were able to go on their annual Malibu trip with Sandy and George, and they always remembered to renew their home warranty every year.
The end. If you find yourself in a similar situation to Kevin and Laura, make sure to get the best home warranty plan first… before your system and appliances begin to fail from normal wear and tear; especially if you end up living in an older home. If you’re interested in a home warranty plan, get a quote here, or take a look at our plans and pricing for homes you’ve lived in for over 30 days here.