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What is an implied home warranty?

When you have a new home built in Florida, the builder may give you what is known as an express warranty. Essentially, this is just a warranty that you agree to when you sign the contract. Builders will sometimes offer them as a way to entice buyers to pick them for the job, saying they stand behind their work for a specified period of time, such as five years.

However, even if you don't get an express warranty, you may still be covered by an implied warranty. This is basically a warranty that was established when legal cases were ruled upon in the past, and those precedents are referred to when deciding what you should expect.

For example, you're commonly covered by an "implied warranty of habitability." As you probably guessed, this just means that your new home will be a livable -- or habitable -- space. It is not going to have major defects that impair your ability to use it safety.

Things that could be covered include the roofing, the electrical system, the plumbing system, and all of the materials that go along with them. For example, if you get to your new home and find that you can't turn on the shower without a poorly installed pipe flooding the lower levels, that could be covered by the implied warranty. The builder doesn't have to tell you in writing that you'll get a functional plumbing system, as that's expected with a brand new house.

One of the huge benefits to buying a new build is that you expect it to be in perfect shape, so you're willing to pay more. If this expectation isn't met in Florida, you need to know what legal options you have.

Source: Realtor Magazine, "New-Home Warranties: The Basics," Andrew Dick, accessed July 26, 2016

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