‘FREE’ 90 DAY HOME INSPECTION WARRANTY or GUARANTEE

There’s an old saying:  “You get what you pay for.”  Well, if it’s free, chances are you’re not going to get much.  We’ve all been there.

I ran across another inspector’s website some time ago that offered their clients a free 90 day warranty after the inspection to ‘cover’ any repairs that may come up after the home inspection.  When I saw this I thought it was a wonderful idea; it would be a great service for my customers and help me get new business.  All those warm fuzzies wore off quickly when I looked into what was actually covered.  What’s more, I lost respect for any inspectors offering these ‘warranties or guarantees’. 

I downloaded a flyer off a competitor’s website recently.  Here is a summary of limitations (there were many more):

  • $50 service fee for each occurrence and you foot the bill up front & wait to be reimbursed.  A limit of $1000 per occurrence (you pay anything over) and an aggregate of $2500 max for multiple claims on the warranty.  (It was only a $2500 warranty)  Warranty goes into effect the day of closing; however is retroactive to the inspection date at that point.  In other words, you could only have about 60 days of real coverage or less.
  • Structure coverage appears straight forward (assuming the home isn’t falling down) except for water infiltration.
  • Roof covering has to be less than 10 years old and > 9 ½ degree roof angle; in other words no flat roofs.  Water infiltration is not covered.  (I had to get my head around that one.  Some companies out there are offering a 5 year roof warranty.  I would expect the roof covering has to be 5 years old or less to qualify to be under a 10 year cut-off.)
  • A/C has to be less than 10 years old.  If you have a large home with more than one system, you’re out of luck.  It only covers the one that cools the living room.  Same for heating.
  • Appliances must be less than 6 years old; microwave 5; water heater 8.
  • Plumbing systems over 15 years old are not covered.  Furthermore; regardless of age, fixtures, water hammer (when the pipes rattle at turn off) & TPR valves are not covered.  Exterior systems are not covered.  If the home was vacant at the time of the inspection or was vacant for any 30 day period after the inspection, the plumbing system is not covered.
  • Electrical systems over 15 years are not covered.  Fixtures, outlets, ceiling fans & low voltage systems (doorbell, CA/SATV, phone, network, alarm) regardless of age are not covered.

So as you can see, if the home you’re buying is older than 10 – 15 years, the warranty is basically worthless.  Who needs protection on something that is not likely to fail? 

There is another saying:  There’s a sucker born every minute.  At Paramount Home Inspection of Texas, we’ll always be honest and respectful with you because we treat everyone like one of the family.  What’s more; you’ll always get what you pay for; a professional & comprehensive inspection all for a fair price.

Joe Krohn