A home warranty pays repair or replacement costs for the mechanical systems and built-in appliances that break down in a home. Warranties can be purchased by either the buyer or seller. When the seller is paying for the warranty, it is usually paid for and goes into effect at or before closing. The coverage period is normally one year. There are a lot of companies offering home warranties and coverage of individual policies can vary widely. Usually, central heating and air conditioning systems, electrical, plumbing and major appliances are covered.

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