Dr. Kool‘s

Where Good Neighbors and Good Servicemen Meet

Home Warranty

One of the worst ideas to hit the real estate market is the Home Warranty. They treat repair services like merchandise, and the results are often pretty bad.

For 25 years, I have carefully attended to the repair needs of my customers. I keep good ongoing records, and watch my men carefully. We routinely pick up the pieces after other repairmen, and that includes home warranty repairmen.

Talk around, and you'll find people who are pleased with their home warranty results, but it's like a gambling casino. Some people leave happy, but most people don't.

Under no circumstances would I allow a home warranty repairman in my home. Hey! I'm not a gambler. Many of my customers value my judgement, and won't find it necessary to read the rest of this article.


Real estate agents like the home warranty because it gives the buyer a sense of security, and that helps them close the deal. The fact that the buyer of the house is given unrealistic expectations seldom gets the attention of the agent.

The buyer of the policy is usually the seller of the house. He doesn't want to worry about repairs after the sale. The fact that the new owner has a false sense of security is not his concern.

If you're a home buyer, I recommend you tell the seller you don't want the policy. Instead, ask him to lower the price. Let me explain why.

The Details

The typical policy includes heating/air conditioning, plumbing, built-in appliances, and electrical.

The insurance company gives many glowing reasons to purchase, but there's a multitude of exclusions—things they don't cover.

Any licensed contractor can sign up as a home warranty subcontractor—they have called me more than once. The warranty companies pay less, but for many repairmen half a loaf is better than none.

For the new home owner, it's like going standby on an airplane—you get what's left over:

  1. Home warranty repairmen take care of their regular customers first.
  2. The serviceman may be inexperienced or less competent.
  3. There's still a deductible charge for each call.
  4. For the service provider this can be the foot in the door that allows him to sell repairs that are not covered by the warranty.

Insurance is supposed to protect against major losses, but this policy is just the opposite. Coverage is minimal.

You Lose Your Freedom of Choice

All repairs must go through the warranty company—then you go standby. When your air conditioner breaks, and your house is hot enough to melt candles, most people want a quicker response.

When it comes to your comfort system, my advice is to plan carefully for the future. The home warranty repairman may just patch things up, or even lock you into a low efficiency situation.

Much Ado About Nothing

Before a home can be sold to a new owner, inspectors go over the place with a fine-toothed comb. After inspection, repairs are made. So why the need for a warranty that pays little and comes with many restrictions?

Very Unkool,

Dr. Kool signature

Dr. Kool

p.s. Angie's List is an online service that helps people find good repairmen. They operate in 124 markets, and their advice regarding home repair warranties is, "Steer Clear!"

Case Histories

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