Q: Are home warranty programs worth the money? I bought my condo a year ago this December and will need to buy an appliance warranty program soon. The building and appliances are all eight years old. I’ve looked into some programs on-line, including the one offered through my mortgage company.

I just can’t believe that a $400 annual premium is worth it. I anticipate having to pay more than what they say the premium will save me on for repairs and/or replacements.

My question is: Is a general home warranty program really worth the cost, or should I let things break, and just buy new appliances as I go?

Ultimately, I want to buy a new fridge, stove, and washing machine (next three years or so) so as to redecorate and improve the look of the place. My washer & dryer are new and have a Sears warranty. My A/C and heating units are old and those are what I am most concerned with. We’ve already had a backed up pipe, but it was a general building problem and the condo organization took care of the expense.

I guess I’m also worried about my toilet exploding at three o’clock in the morning.

A: Home warranty programs are NOT generally worth the money. It’s expensive and you still have to pay the service fee (anywhere from $50-100) for the service call. I’d save your money and you’ll be able to self-fund any home improvements or repairs you have.

By the way, even if the toilet did explode, a home warranty wouldn’t cover it.