Home Builder Warranties

100 Real Estate & Relocation Tips in 100 Days (Day 70)

Colorado does not have any statutory law requiring a new home builder to provide a construction warranty. There is, however, considerable case law that provides for common law warranties for specific issues:

There is a warranty that the home has been built according to local building codes, and A warranty that the home has been built for its purpose as a residence, and that construction has been completed in a workmanlike manner.

These "implied "warranties are considered to be valid for up to two years, and never more than six years in certain circumstances. Any buyer of a new home is well advised to speak with an experienced real estate attorney before agreeing to purchase a new home. Remember that most builders draft their own contract to purchase, and, while those contracts must contain legislatively mandated buyer protections, are still drafted to favor the builder.

Beyond the common law warranties implied in Colorado, builders provide product warranties for mechanicals, appliances, and any materials that have a manufacturer's warranty. The wise home buyer will take the time to have at least a cursory understanding of those warranties.

It is also true that most builders provide an "express" warranty for their product. The purpose of such an express warranty is multifaceted, but in simple terms such a warranty is specific about service terms, excluded conditions, and potential waivers of responsibility. Again, a copy of such a warranty should be reviewed by an attorney skilled in Colorado real estate law. Such a review is well worth the investment of the attorney fee, and, the consumer is cautioned that the consumers licensed real estate agent cannot legally offer advice on the specifics or value of such warranty issues.

The best "warranty" is, of course, the implied one of public opinion. Any potential new home buyer should perform some personal due diligence and knock on the doors of both recent and longer term owners of the builder's product. While one may find the occasional displeased homeowner, a consistent pattern of frustration should give a buyer pause for consideration.

It is important to note any new home warranty should not be confused with a "home buyers warranty", sometimes purchased at the time of the closing of a previously owned home. Such warranties are usually effective for one year, and cover mechanical breakdowns and sometimes appliances in the resale home.

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