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Builder Warranties: What Home Buyers Need To Know

Builder Warranties: What Home Buyers Need To Know

The Myrtle Beach area is hopping with newly constructed homes going up in several communities and at multiple price points. If you are in the market for one of these new construction homes, you’ll want to brush up on builder warranties, what they cover and what to look for.

What is a Builder’s Warranty?
A builder’s warranty is warranty coverage on a newly built home that is backed either by the builder or a third-party warranty company to cover the repair or replacement of certain elements of that home. Coverage can vary quite a bit depending on the builder and in some cases, the type of home loan you have. For example, FHA and VA home loans have specific requirements that need to be included in the builder’s warranty before they will finalize and approve the purchase of a newly constructed home. In situations where the builder’s warranty doesn’t meet the lender’s standards or if the homebuyer would like additional coverage, the buyer can purchase a supplementary warranty from a third-party warranty company.

Questions Every Buyer Should Ask About the Builder Warranty
If you’ve never purchased a newly construction home or are a first-time buyer, it’s important to know what questions to ask and what to look for in a builder’s warranty.
1. What does the builder’s warranty cover and what is not covered? Make no assumptions about coverage. Get everything in writing and review thoroughly.
2. Should you need to file a claim, what documentation is required and what is the process you would need to follow to properly file your claim?
3. What are the timelines for filing a claim on various elements of the home? Different elements of the home could have different coverage terms and therefore different timelines for filing a claim.
4. If there is a dispute between you and the builder or the warranty company (provider of the builder’s warranty), what is the outlined dispute resolution process?
5. If a repair or replacement is needed and performed, what homeowner expenses, if any, are covered by the builder’s warranty? For example, if you’ll need to store your belongings in another location during the repairs, such as a storage unit, does the warranty include reimbursement for this cost?

What Do Builder Warranties Typically Include?
Keeping in mind that what is included and for what duration can vary depending on builder or warranty provider, there are some general terms you’ll likely see. Typically, a builder’s warranty will cover the following for either one or two years: doors, windows, siding, roofing, HVAC system, electrical and plumbing. However, some major structural components could be covered for up to ten years. The builder’s warranty also might list who is authorized to provide any repairs. It’s important to make sure you closely review all of these details and raise any concerns you have. A builder’s warranty generally does not include appliances, cracked or broken tiles or cracking of drywall. A builder’s warranty will often also exclude any component that comes with its own manufacturer’s warranty.

Buying a newly built home is an exciting experience. Your Century 21 Broadhurst agent can help you ensure the recommended or even required coverage is included in the builder’s warranty for your brand-new home.

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