Spring or Houston TX Home Warranty

14 Replies

Hi Everyone,

I'm looking at purchasing a home warranty in this area and figured where else to have the largest pool of people to get dependable advice from than BP!

Now, to the property. It is my first home and my personal residence so yes I do want a home warranty. It's not a rental that I think I can risk/save on the repairs. The home was built in 2007 and seems to be very, very well taken care of. 

From what I've seen people get mostly frustrated with the quality of the contractors the warranty company sends out and the size of the downpayment.

What are your thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? Need to pick a decent company within ~7 days because the title company is asking for it.

Thanks everybody!

American Home Shield. I have used it a couple times and never any issues. I would highly recommend them. They also have a plan where you can pick the appliances/systems you want covered. That is the route I went. 

Thanks @Raky Patel .

I have been looking up reviews and overall they seemed to have positive ratings, but every single one I found from someone located in TX was 1 star! Good to hear it's not everybody.

What do you think you prefer most, low deductible, low yearly charge, or highest coverage limits?

I think I paid $20/month for the insurance. I bought it for my rental property because here in Texas A/C units are heavily used. I picked the plan that covered all major appliances. The way my lease agreement was structured is that the tenant has to pay the service calls so I think each one is like $60. The tenants had to use it once for the AC. Previously I had used it another time for the AC compressor. I have a good friend of mine that has a rental here in Houston that bought the warranty for his rental as well. They covered the AC repair and the tenant paid the service call. I prefer low cost coverage for the high dollar systems. As it is an expense for the property it should be tax deductible. 

I use home warranties on all of my properties and I have experience with most of the top companies.  You have to review what they cover and the limitations for payouts.  You have to understand their policy on "maintenance" and how you prove maintenance.  You can also look at just getting extended warranties on specific appliances which can cover more parts (home warranties do not cover many items in a refrigerator).  The ones that I am using now are (in order of preference) First American, Choice, and AFC (for my Boston property).  I have tried American Home Shield (AHS), Best, and Home Warranty of America.  First American gives me a multiple property discount.  The bad part of all of the warranties is that they are slow to respond and parts take much longer for them to order as they tend to buy in large lots to get the best price (for them).   You must read and understand what you are responsible for paying.  Overall my experience has been good and these warranties save me from unexpected repairs costing thousands.  Better to budget for a warranty than bust your budget with a major appliance malfunction.  Oh, and another benefit, I no longer buy new appliances since my home warranty covers everything so I buy used 3-5 year old appliances.  Currently, Choice just repaired a large Viking oven, FA is replacing my AC and a tenants microwave.

@Jess Hewitt

Thanks for the input Jess. Good to hear. I will definitely be buying warranties on my income properties as well then. And will be sure to ask around about multiple property discounts.

I reviewed the contract for AHS and noticed they only repair up to 1500 on A/C units/systems which I thought was pretty low... from what I understand these jobs can cost upwards of 5k.

Ugh! We HATE home warranty companies! We beg you to not use home warranty companies.

We have personally lost clients because of home warranty companies. Every time we coordinate maintenance with a home warranty company it is one problem after another. First, they never respond in a timely fashion, getting them on the phone is difficult and then there is the “he said, she said” between the resident and the home warranty company.

Next, they deny service either on grounds of lack of maintenance or abnormal wear and tear. When it comes to exclusions and small print, warranty contracts say a claim can be denied for lack of maintenance, improper maintenance, improper installation, pre-existing problems, code violations and numerous other reasons.

Warranties are typically purchased by home sellers or their real estate agents to avoid lawsuits if something breaks in the first year. Not to be confused with a builder's warranty, a so-called home warranty -- Actually a service contract -- is typically purchased for existing homes, especially homes sold by real estate agents. These service contracts generally cost $300 to $600 for a year-long basic-coverage plan that includes items like ceiling fans, water heaters and furnaces.

The contracts come with loopholes. You need to carefully read your service agreement to determine what is and what isn't covered. Coverage for plumbing, for example, typically ends at your home's foundation, so leaks or breakages beyond that would be your responsibility. "Pre-existing" problems typically aren't covered, nor are breakdowns that result from poor maintenance or improper installation. The contract also may require that a system be upgraded to current building code standards -- at the homeowners expense -- before they agree to consider repairs. People who have had problems with the home warranty companies say that the more expensive the repair or replacement, the more likely home warranty companies are to invoke these exclusion clauses.

You don't have control over who does the work. The home warranty provider contracts with local service companies to perform the actual inspections and repairs. You don't get to choose, and scheduling repairs can sometimes be a trial. The service technician may also try to sell you unneeded services.

Steve is right on target with his comments.  Two of my property managers know how to work with warranty companies and one does not.  I handle all of the claims for the inexperienced property manager.  And, you are correct on AHS limitations on single and total payouts - that and the maintenance requirements is why I don't use them any more.  

I think they can serve a purpose for big ticket items, I don't think they are as good as they used to be for smaller items.

Also I do have a contact for a warranty company that is directed to investors and landlords. I've never used them but I would be happy to make the intro if you like

Send me an email if you want and I can get you I touch with them

I recently started using a home warranty program on two of my out of state rentals. Oddly enough, my calls for service request have dropped significantly along with my cost for repairs.  

I switched to a home warranty program because of the absorbent monthly maintenance cost. My property manager handled all of my maintenance request before switching to a home warranty and it seemed to me that I was always being exsessively charged for repairs every other month.

Using a home warranty program is definetly a personal choice.  You should look at the cost/savings ratio to determine if having the warranty is going to be economically benifical.

I don't have a home warranty on my private residence because I have a reserve account set aside to cover my big ticket items and the smaller repairs I do myself (youtube is a beautiful thing).