Make sure you get your money’s worth from your home warranty – Daily News

on Dec23
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When you buy a home in Southern California, it usually comes with a home warranty policy that covers most of the working parts of the house.

This usually includes things like your hot water heater, toilets, oven, heating and air conditioning, among other things. Most companies that issue these kinds of policies also give you options to add on roof, washer and dryer, refrigerator, pool and spa coverage.

Now understand, these items are covered up to a certain monetary limit, up to a certain functionality limit and come with a service charge each time they send out a technician.

This will all be outlined in your policy. Which, of course, you will read as soon as your escrow closes, just like you did with your purchase contract and all your disclosures.

What you might want to keep in mind is this policy covers the house for one year from the date of issue, which usually coincides with the close of escrow.So here are a few suggestions to get the most out of your coverage.

1. Use everything in your house. Perhaps your new abode is a three-bedroom two bath place and it’s just the two of you in the primary bedroom. Even if you don’t need to use the hall bath, you should. Use the toilet, sink faucets (hot and cold for all faucets), tub and shower, fans, every electrical outlet and all the lights.

Do this regularly. That way you are not caught off guard when the kids come to stay, and they discover the shower diverter doesn’t work and they are stuck taking baths until the home warranty company can send a service technician.

2. Run your heater and your air conditioner. All your air conditioners, if your McMansion has more than one or your tiny house has individual room units.Even if the weather doesn’t warrant it during the first year, do it any way. If it doesn’t work, your home warranty will cover most if not all the repairs under the cost of a single service fee.

3. Run the pool and spa heaters, the pool lights, and all the spa jets. Do this at least a few times during your one-year warranty period. You know why.

4. If there hasn’t been enough rain to really drench the roof, attach a hose to every hose bib and water down the house in month 11 or the beginning of month 12.

If staining or drips appear inside or in the garage, you know what to do. If you are really clever, you’ll go up in the attic with a flashlight and check to see if there’s any dripping or new stains.

If you need to use your home warranty, do not call your go-to plumber, electrician or appliance repair service. The home warranty folks won’t reimburse you for their bills. It doesn’t work that way. Call the home warranty people and they’ll send one of their folks.

Just do it within the first year.

Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with RealtyOne Group West and a member of the California Association of Realtors’ board of directors. She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or

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