Tim Houterloot – Broker/Realtor

What’s Included In A Builder’s Warranty?

Orig Post trulia.com | Re-Post Houterloot 11/12/2015

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Want to know what is (and isn’t) covered? This list will help.

The allure of buying a new-construction home is obvious: It’s new, it’s never been lived in, and it oftentimes comes with all the bells and whistles that go hand in hand with new construction.

New homes also usually boast a builder’s warranty, which, for many homeowners, are the proverbial icing on the new-construction cake. Those warranties, though, can be tricky when it comes to navigating what is (and what isn’t) covered. “Building warranties are definitely something to take note of,” says Josh Altman, a Los Angeles–based real estate agent and author of It’s Your Move. “Much like anything else in the world, these warranties vary across the board.”

Here are the top things you need to know about builders’ warranties, whether you’re shopping for new homes for sale in New York, NY, or Santa Fe, NM.

The difference between long- and short-term warranties

“Long-term [usually 10 years] is where you should have a structural foundational warranty,” says Altman. “So if anything [very bad] goes wrong, you are covered. Short-term [generally one to two years] may include things like stucco and drywall but may not include things like appliances that would not be a result of improper workmanship.”

But you’ll very likely have more than just two warranties

“In many cases, the builder will offer a one-year bumper-to-bumper warranty,” explains Keith Thompson, a real estate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty in Charlotte, NC. “This generally covers everything in the home with the exception of cosmetic, such as if the homeowner damages a wall while moving in. Beyond this, you’ll have coverage ranging from two to five years on mechanicals such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC.”

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