Buying a home is the American dream. When you think of owning a home, you probably imagine yourself relaxing on your green lawn, surrounded by a white picket fence and loved ones, and experiencing perfect happiness. All you have to do to pay for that blissful vision is find an average of $395,000.
That means finding money flllor the down payment, closing costs, and monthly mortgage. If you can handle that, along with paying for health insurance, adding to your emergency savings fund and retirement accounts, credit card bills, groceries, and vehicle expenses, then you should be all set. Right?
Maybe not. There's more to home ownership than hosting holiday dinners and backyard barbeques.
Property taxes, homeowners insurance, and utilities can cost you an average of $6,300 each year. There are the optional and fixed costs of maintaining your property. The average homeowner spends $3,000 per year on such hidden costs as landscaping, pool services, house cleaning, and home security systems.
That may be fine, as long as nothing goes wrong. However, if you hear mice squeaking or see ants crawling; if a storm blows down a tree or shatters a window pane shatters. Or if your home's siding cracks or your downspout extension breaks, you can't just call your landlord as renters can.
It's up to you to deal with the problems as they arise, and the costs—in terms of time and money—can be substantial. That's why a home warranty can be invaluable.
What Is a Home Warranty?
Most things eventually break. That is true no matter how carefully you've chosen them, where you've bought them, how much you've paid for them, how old they are, how much you use them, or how diligently you've maintained them.
You don't know where, when, or how the items you count on will break. However, you know that, sooner or later, you will have to repair or replace them. Those extra, unexpected expenses can cause headaches.
To avoid those unpleasant surprises, you may want to purchase a warranty when you buy some of your higher ticket items. Your laptop, cell phone, printer, and other necessities probably come with a limited manufacturer's warranty. However, if you buy additional coverage, you will have the reassurance of knowing that, if an item needs repairs, you will be able to afford them.
A home warranty provides similar coverage for your home's appliances and major mechanical systems. These include:
Owning a home warranty that covers those inevitable appliance and system failures means that, as a homeowner, you have fewer responsibilities and worries.
If something goes wrong with your home's appliances or with a major part of your home's infrastructure, you can relax. The home warranty will cover it. You will not have to face a catastrophe. Once you have a home warranty in place, you can exhale.
What Makes Blue Ribbon Home Warranty Unique
Not all home warranties are alike. Blue Ribbon Home Warranty's website makes it clear that Colorado homeowners have trusted the company since 1985. It is the oldest, most trusted home warranty company in the state. As a leader and innovator, Blue Ribbon Home Warranty provides the most comprehensive, affordable coverage available.
Blue Ribbon Home Warranty aspires to be there when you need them. Their customer
service staff is available seven days a week, 365 days of the year, to serve
you. They have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the highest
quality of service whenever you need it.
Best of all, they have the home team advantage. Since they provide coverage to only
Colorado residents, they know the repair people who work in the state. They
have a better chance than their national competitors of providing you with
access to the most qualified, licensed, and insured local contractors.
Once you enroll, they dispatch a service contractor to your home as soon as
possible. They will pay the bill for covered repairs and/or replacements.
Blue Ribbon Home Warranty hopes to provide you with high-quality service. They focus
on what really matters:
They provide coverage for new and existing homes regardless of the property's age, or the condition of the house, systems, or appliances. If you sell your property, you can transfer your warranty to the new owner.
How Does It Work
A home warranty plan provides you with protection from unexpected repair problems. When your appliance or system that is covered under the warranty breaks due to normal wear and tear, you can call Blue Ribbon Home Warranty any day, at any time.
Blue Ribbon Home Warranty offers access to the most experienced service contractors in the state of Colorado. They will send the right vendor for the job to your home as quickly as possible.
Blue Ribbon Home Warranty will spare you the uncertainty of finding your own repair person to solve the problem. You won't have to rely on a search engine, app, or website to find the expert you need, and you won't have to worry about vendors who are too busy to return your phone calls.
The repair person will diagnose the problem. He or she will determine whether the item needs to be repaired or replaced. You won't have to worry about paying the entire repair bill or cost of a new appliance.
However, you will have to pay a small service fee to the service rep for performing the service. Also, you may have to pay a portion of the repair bill or the cost of purchasing a new appliance until you meet the deductible.
Home Warranty Policies and Costs
A home warranty isn't the same thing as homeowner's insurance policy. It is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of systems and appliances that you would typically find inside the home. The service agreement can usually last for a term of one year or more. Whereas buying homeowners insurance is mandatory, purchasing a home warranty is optional.
Although you can buy a home warranty at any time, the best time to purchase a home warranty is when you obtain the property. You may be eligible to get to pay the lowest
cost for the most comprehensive coverage at that time.
A home warranty plan is NOT a homeowner’s insurance policy. It is a service contract covering repair and/or replacement of the systems and appliances, usually within the home’s structure.
The 14-year (or longer) service agreement covers normal wear and tear on the homes’ systems and appliances. However, to be eligible to purchase a home warranty, your home's systems and appliances must be in good working order before the contract with the warranty company begins.
In other words, if you move into a single-family home or condo that was just built, and has all new appliances, you may feel that you don't need to buy a home warranty. However, by the time a few years roll by, and the home's systems and appliances begin to show signs of aging, it may be too late to purchase a warranty.
The best time to buy a home warranty, therefore, is probably before you believe you need one. By the time you feel as if your home's systems and appliances may need to be fixed or replaced soon, it may be too late to be eligible for a home warranty.
You may not be thinking about your long-term needs when you move into your home or condo. In fact, you may want to believe that your beautiful new home will stay just the way that it is until you decide you are ready to sell it.
That may be a comforting fantasy. But the reality is that nothing stays perfect forever. Appliances break. Systems decay.
With a little bit of planning, you can equip yourself to handle emergencies when they do emerge. Without that forethought, you may find yourself owning a home or condo that, someday, you cannot afford to maintain.
Home Warranty Policies and Costs
Blue Ribbon coverage provides 14 months of protection for the price of 12–that’s two months free. You can customize all of the available plans to meet your needs.
The basic, or Silver, 14-month plan costs $345 for a single-family house or $295 for a condo. That provides coverage for the electrical, plumbing, and heating systems; ductwork; sump pump; oven; built-in microwave; garbage disposal; trash compactor; dishwasher; water heater; a garage door opener; and more.
At the Blue Ribbon's mid-level, or Gold, 14-month plan costs $445 for a single-family house or $395 for a condo. It offers all the benefits of the Silver plan. In addition, it provides coverage for a washer/dryer, central air conditioning, evaporative cooler, heat pump, or whole house fan.
Blue Ribbon's premium, or Platinum, level, a 14-month plan costs $775 for a single-family house or $695 for a condo. It offers all the benefits of the Silver and Gold plans. Also, it provides your choice of coverage for three items from an additional items menu which includes:
What Others Say About Blue Ribbon Home Warranty
The company provides savings for two-year plans. For newly constructed properties, they offer four or ten years of warranty coverage protection. Be sure to review your options carefully, so you will understand what is, and what isn't, covered.
What Others Say About Blue Ribbon Home Warranty
Here's the interesting thing. When homeowners have problems, they become unhappy. They want quick fixes and instant gratification.
That may be reasonable. For example, Colorado gets cold. When your furnace breaks in sub-zero weather, you want your unit to be repaired or replaced within hours.
You don't want to wear multiple layers of clothing indoors. You will find it unacceptable to wear your winter jacket, hat, gloves, and a scarf to sleep. Using a space heater will not be a reasonable solution, either.
When your heating system breaks, you want someone to fix the problem for you immediately. You don't want excuses. You're not in the market for a discussion with your home warranty company. You don't want to hear about what is, and what isn't, covered under your policy. You just need for your heating system to work, and you want that to happen immediately.
The same thing holds true when your central air conditioning breaks
down during a heat wave. You will have little patience when you experience
plumbing mishaps during the holiday season, or when your refrigerator, washing
machine, dryer, garbage disposal, oven, or dishwasher stall any time of the
Perhaps the urgency of their problems has motivated some customers to question the value that Blue Ribbon Home Warranty provides. Although a few customers have turned to Yelp to praise Blue Ribbon Home Warranty for its five-star service, most reviewers have expressed dissatisfaction with the value they have received.
Some reviewers were dismayed by logistical issues. For example, homeowners may be confused about whether the manufacturer, or Blue Home Warranty, should pay to repair appliances that are still under the manufacturer's' warranty.
In any case, they don't want to pay the repair people, who may be caught in the middle. They expect Blue Ribbon Home Warranty to pay for the repairs and, perhaps, turn to the manufacturers for reimbursement.
Other customers have mentioned the fact that Blue Home Warranty refused to pay for repairs that should have been covered under their policies. Instead, the company pointed to loopholes that allowed them to step away from thousands of dollars worth of damage.
In fairness, perhaps the reviews are skewed because unhappy customers tend to be more vocal than their satisfied counterparts. Also, it's possible that customers who didn't fully read or understand their policies expected more coverage than they purchased.
What We Think
Your real estate agent may recommend that you purchase a Blue Ribbon Home Warranty as part of your transaction. He or she may even provide you with a home warranty, for a year or two, and Blue Ribbon Home Warranty, Inc. may ask you to extend the policy afterward.
Owning a home or a condo is a big responsibility, and you may be tempted to pursue the path of least resistance if you decide you would benefit from a home warranty. You may opt to extend the home warranty policy that your real estate agent recommended because it would mean less research for you.
However, based on the numerous customer complaints against Blue Home Warranty, Inc., we would advise you to read your policy carefully before you
enroll in, or renew, your warranty.