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Down Payment Assistance Programs

Home Buyer Warranty

A couple years ago I helped a first time home buyer close on a home here in Florida. Yes, we used down payment assistance from a local grant agency and everything went quite smoothly. One of the things we required of the seller was a Home Buyer Warranty. It cost the grand sum of $382.00 for the first year. Doesn't seem like much unless you don't have the money to pay for it.

Wouldn't you know it, but two weeks after my client moved into her first home, the air conditioning unit went out. Since it was April and just hitting the summer time, you bet it was important to get that fixed right away. Well, she contacted the warranty people, they provided the contact information for a local approved repair company and within 24 hours she had a Brand New air conditioner for a grand sum total of 80 bucks.

Seems the A/C unit was toast, even though we had a full home inspection done, at the cost of $450.00, just prior to the closing. I must say, that inspection cost the seller $3,000 for a required new septic system that replaced an existing system which failed to meet county codes.

As first time home buyers, if you are purchasing an existing home, be sure to ask for a home buyer warranty. Even if you have to pay for it, it is well worth the investment Vs. the risk. No matter how careful during the pre-purchase inspection you may be there is always a possibility that something may break. Depending upon the value of your home, you can typically get a home buyer warranty that will cost anywhere from $300 to $600.

Naturally, it's ideal to negotiate this into your purchase agreement where it is the responsibility of the seller to provide a home warranty for you. Regardless of your success in this tactic, I do encourage you to research available options and programs prior to contracting so you can include this into your purchase package.

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