After living in Tracy and California for 39 years, and previously in New Jersey for 18 years, you would think hot weather would not bother me. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

As I get older, I find that the heat, as it hits 106 degrees, affects me more and more. It totally zaps my energy and makes me irritable, grumpy and my makeup melts. Thank gosh when I get home, I can enjoy a cool house with a fully functioning air conditioner.

However, what happens when you come home and find yourself in a sweltering home with a broken air conditioning unit?

If you were smart enough to purchase a home warranty that covers your AC Unit, you know that cooler days are just a phone call away. A home warranty policy is coverage that you purchase with a home warranty company that may range in cost from $500 to $1000 per year, depending on coverage. When you have a home warranty policy you will also pay a trade call fee of $75.00 to the specialized vendor who will be contacted to complete the repair.

Ellen Peterson, Senior Account Executive with Old Republic Home Protection and MYNHD shares, “Life is consistently full of surprises and so is homeownership. When the Air Conditioner stops working, the water heater goes out or any system or appliance decides that today is the day to breakdown, the home warranty steps in and either repairs or replaces the problem item. Surprises are handled and the home is protected. Peace of mind and pocketbook protection is why everyone who owns, rents or property manages needs a home warranty in place every year. Anyone can put on a home warranty by contacting their Real Estate Agent, who can refer them to a company. Optional coverages are designed to make the policy fit the needs of the home. 92% of all resale homes have a home warranty in place at close of escrow.”

Jamie Eager, Account Manager with First American Home Warranty shares, “Home Warranties can be obtained when purchasing, refinancing, or even for existing Homeowners (which is called the Family & Friends Warranty … F&F … offered through First American Home Warranty). This valuable coverage either begins when the escrow closes or for the F&F Plan once the payment is received. There is no waiting period with the Plans mentioned and all we ask is that all Systems and Appliances are in good working order at the start of coverage. Of course, we encourage reading the policy because not everything is covered.”

A home warranty is sometimes compared to any catastrophic type of insurance such as health insurance, life insurance or homeowner’s insurance. The home warranty policy covers the major systems of a home such as electrical, plumbing and the HVAC system to name a few. Of course, depending on the policy there will be some exclusions. It is always important to read the fine print of any contract to know what is and is not covered.

Bottom Line:

So, the next time you are planning a function and your dishwasher or stove breaks down while you are doing preparations, it sure is cool to know that you have one source to call. As always, depending on what service you are calling in, you should have repairs done in a fairly timely manner. However, if it is 106 degrees outside and the company is bombarded with multiple air conditioning repair calls, please be patient and know that your home warranty representative is working diligently to get you cooled off.

Donna A. Baker, CRS ABR SFR CDPE is the Broker-Owner of At Home Real Estate Group selling real estate for 21 years. Her memberships include National Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, Certified Residential Specialists, Central Valley Association of Realtors, Accredited Buyer's Representative, Certified Distressed Property Expert®, and Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource. In addition, Donna teaches monthly at the Central Valley Association of Realtors New Realtor Member Orientation and serves as the Chairman for the Tracy Real Estate Marketing Council and as a Board member for the McHenry House a local rehab shelter.

Donna has lived in Tracy since 1989 with her patient husband Tom of 32 years and has two awesome children, Trevor and Ally. Contact her at

Recommended for you

(1) comment


Why is this not marked as a ad. Having a home warranty may provide you with some peace of mind. But you should realize that providers of these plans build in wiggle room that can make it easier for them to deny payouts.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.