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Is a home warranty on an older home worthwhile?

Three countryside houses amid tall trees in a warm sunset


Older homes have a special kind of charm. However, they also pose unique challenges and require more TLC than new houses. 

But whether you currently live in an older home or are about to purchase one, a home warranty plan from a good warranty company can still protect you. 

Yes, you can get a home warranty on an older home, and it can be a very good investment. 

Home warranties are not just for new homes. In fact, since older homes typically come with a lot more unknowns, warranty plans can help you save big on maintenance costs and protect against unexpected expenses.


When can you purchase a home warranty for an older home?

You can purchase a home warranty for an older home at any time. Even if you’ve been in the same house for decades, you can always choose to purchase a new warranty plan for your home.
But if you are a new home buyer, it’s smart to request that the seller or real estate company includes a home warranty plan in your closing transaction to avoid coverage waiting periods.
When you purchase a Cinch Home Services warranty plan as part of a real estate transaction, there is no waiting period applied to the coverage. If you include the warranty plan in your home purchase, Cinch coverage begins at closing. 
If you decide to wait and purchase a home warranty plan at a later date, you will have a 30-day waiting period from the day you purchase the plan before coverage begins. Of course, the rules may vary depending on the issuing company of your warranty plan, so be sure to read your coverage details.
Whether new or old, a home warranty service contract covers much of what your standard home insurance dwelling plan doesn’t cover. No matter the age of your house, warranties cover replacement and repair costs from damage due to daily wear and tear on covered systems and appliances in your home. Most warranty companies base their coverage options on the amount of coverage you need and the location of the home, not the age of the house.


What are the benefits of a home warranty on an older home?

As a seller, you give potential buyers confidence that your home has been well maintained by being able to offer home warranty coverage within the sale of your house. 
If you purchased an older home without a warranty, adding a buyer’s home warranty protects you from unexpected expenses and repair costs — even if you aren’t confident the previous owner was on top of the home’s maintenance. 
A home warranty plan has several benefits for owners of older homes:

  • Fill coverage gaps: The manufacturers’ warranty plans will likely have expired on the appliances and systems in an older home, and homeowners insurance doesn’t cover damage due to wear and tear from use over time. Home warranty plans do. Warranty plans cover repairing or replacing appliances such as your water heater, air conditioning unit and even plumbing or septic systems. 
  • Save on repair costs: A home warranty plan replaces large, unexpected costs with a small, predictable monthly plan. Even if you can’t predict when one of your built-in appliances will break down, you can ensure that you are covered for when it does. When you do need a repair, you only pay a small service fee to the service provider up front, and your warranty plan covers the rest.
  • Get qualified repair service and a low service fee: Even if you’re comfortable with DIY repairs, sourcing the supplies and doing potentially dangerous work may not be worth the cost savings of doing your own work. A home warranty plan connects you to a network of experienced contractors, and all Cinch plans guarantee their work for up to 180 days. 
  • Our customer service takes care of matching you with a repairman when you make a claim, so you don’t need to go searching for one yourself or spend a lot of time trying to assess their qualifications.
  • Secure your peace of mind: If you live in an older home, you probably already expect more maintenance and repair work than in a newly built house. But investing in a home warranty plan ensures you have the resources to keep your home running smoothly — even with out-of-date appliances and older systems. Inevitably, something will go wrong, but with a warranty plan, you won’t need to dip into long-term savings or credit to pay for it.


Coverage limits for an older home

Most warranty plan coverage requires you to keep up with regular maintenance. Damage due to wear and tear is covered, but repair costs from lack of proper use or failure to do standard maintenance may not be. 
Coverage on some appliances or systems may be limited if they are out-of-date or no longer comply with codes (for example, if asbestos is involved). Depending on how old the house is, some appliances or systems may need to be upgraded before they are covered. 

You also want to look out for replacement cost limits when evaluating a warranty company. For example, historic homes might have rare or antique appliances that exceed typical replacement costs, and you need to know what your coverage options are in those cases. 

Some older homes have had extensive renovations and upgrades. You can add extended replacement cost onto your home insurance to supplement regularly appraised dwelling coverage. But keep in mind that even extended insurance only covers you when major incidents impact your home. This differs from a home warranty, which covers you for day-to-day repairs when there’s no disaster.


How to get a home warranty on an older home

If the seller or the real estate agent has included a warranty plan in the sale of the house, they have already paid for it for a specific period of time, and the plan will simply transfer to your name on the closing date. You won’t need to worry about the cost until renewal time.
If you are a home buyer and need to purchase a new plan, it’s easy to find a warranty company online and get a quote. 
There’s no need to use a broker-dealer to purchase a warranty plan because a reputable warranty company will be transparent about their coverage and have customer service available to answer any questions. 


Related Article: How to Buy a Home Warranty That Fits Your Needs

Be sure to comparison shop and find the right package for your individual situation. Cinch offers choices in coverage from appliances only to systems, such as heating, plumbing and air conditioning, to comprehensive plans covering everything from exhaust fans to HVAC systems.

Since older homes typically come with a lot more unknowns, warranty plans can help you save big on maintenance costs and protect against unexpected expenses.