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Home Warranty? Get Home Inspected before it Expires

  • Transcript

    CAROL: Martin in New Jersey listening in on WABC. Welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?

    MARTIN: Hi, I have r-34 insulation in my roof.

    TOM: OK.

    MARTIN: An energy conservation pamphlet I received said I should have r-42. And I was wondering does it pay to do it, economically.

    TOM: When you say, Martin, it’s in your roof, do you mean in your attic space? Or is it up against your roof sheathing?

    MARTIN: It’s lying flat down on my attic ceiling.

    TOM: OK. Alright. And also, Martin, how old is your house?

    MARTIN: It’s about 10 months old.

    TOM: Oh, it’s fairly new then. Then it’s …

    MARTIN: Yes.

    TOM: I’m going to assume that it’s properly ventilated. And so, that’s actually pretty good. I mean maybe it’s not letter perfect, but I wouldn’t necessarily tell you to spend a lot of money putting more insulation in right now. If you’ve got a fairly new house and you’ve got r – more than r-30 in the ceiling and you’ve good ventilation I think you’re doing a pretty good job of keeping the heat in.

    MARTIN: Mm-hmm. OK.

    TOM: You might want to – you might want to concentrate on some of the other areas of the house. When you buy a new house I’m sure there’s a lot of decorating projects and things like that you might want to tackle. I think that you’re going to find that that’s a pretty efficient structure as it is right now.

    MARTIN: OK, thank you. Can I ask you one other question about the new house?

    TOM: Sure, sure.

    MARTIN: We have a year warranty here in New Jersey.

    TOM: OK.

    MARTIN: And I was wondering if it pays to hire an engineer to check it out before the warranty expires.

    TOM: Absolutely. Great suggestion, great idea. Because I will tell you that the year warranty that’s offered by the home builders doesn’t carry – doesn’t cover an awful lot to begin with. And after a year, that coverage that they started with really drops off. So it’s an excellent idea, before the year is up, to have an independent professional home inspection done to make sure you compile a list and get it to the builder.

    And I will tell you, Martin, that with these warranty programs – I actually used to be an arbitrator for some of them years ago – you have to give notice to the builder and to the warranty company if there are any issues that come up before that year is up. If you just call your builder, which many consumers may be accustomed to doing, that does not count as notice to the warranty company. So have the inspection done and send a letter asking for repairs on anything that comes up that’s covered by the warranty to both the builder and the home warranty company so that you can get it properly addressed.

    MARTIN: OK. Thank you very much for your help.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Martin. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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