Temperatures Rise And So Do Repair Costs Of Home Appliances?

Summer 2016 is on track to break records for high temperatures. According to The Weather Channel, some U.S. states will see temperatures well beyond their normal summer levels.  And with the brutally hot weather comes a strain on air conditioning systems with added repair costs if it fails.  Unlike certain appliances in the home or even major systems, heating and cooling systems serve a uniquely important purpose during extreme high or low temperatures.  So downtime longer than a few hours can turn a comfortable house into one that is unsafe to stay in, under the worst of weather circumstances of course.

How-To-Manage-Soaring-Repair-Costs?

Most of our readers on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are familiar with the benefits of home warranties and how it helps in reducing the repair costs.  But even having a home service contract may not be enough protection in the event that temperatures run consistently higher than an air conditioning system can counteract.  Excessive short-term demands on local HVAC repair companies can result in long wait times for customers desperate to get help restoring their A/C operation to normal.  Supplies at the local level of parts and other materials essential to restoring operation of broken air conditioning systems can quickly run out, leaving customers without cooling in their homes for days at a time.  And home warranty companies can find themselves running out of available contractors to send to their customers’ homes when claims for service are filed during these high demand time periods.

In this situation, preparing ahead of time is absolutely essential to a homeowner’s safety.  Here are some key things readers will want to consider, going into what may be for them the hottest one they’ve ever experienced.

Maintain the air conditioning system to reduce Repair Costs!

There is no failsafe trick to beating a rush on air conditioning repair services.  Unless the reader has the luxury of being able to fix the A/C without assistance, there probably isn’t much that can be done to get ahead of other customers when demands exceed supplies in the local area.  So waiting for the cooling system in the house to break down isn’t wise at all.  Instead of finding out the hard way that the system isn’t up to the task of maintaining a safe, livable temperature in the home during extremely hot outdoor temperatures, it pays to have the system maintained at least twice each year, ensuring that part that looks like it’s reaching the end of its life is replaced preemptively.  Home service contracts may not cover this type of preventive repair, but when it comes to safety, it never pays to nickel and dime household repair decisions.

Location, location, location!

Under regular demands, an HVAC system may not show that it’s not well maintained or optimally configured.  But put that same system under heavy demands, from really hot weather that lasts days or weeks at a time, and suddenly the flaws become obvious.  One aspect of optimal HVAC configuration that is easy to overlook without professional knowledge is the placement of the external parts of the cooling system.  

The parts of the system that reside outside the home function best when kept clean and out of the way of climatic or other interferences.  Long daily exposure to direct sunlight is not great for a cooling system that is already working overtime to keep the inside of the house cool.  Knowing how much sun exposure the unit is receiving and compensating in some way for units that are overexposed to the added heat coming from a lack of proper shade from the sun can be an integral part of avoiding system breakdowns during periods of very high outdoor temperatures.

Also, it is important to avoid any object being too close to the outdoor unit of the cooling system.  In particular, high grass, other landscaping, fences, foundations, and other obstructions can hinder air flow or block it entirely.  Loose debris from these types of obstructions can clog the unit.  It’s always best to keep the area around the unit clear.

Give the cooling system some help, a break even.

Though sustained high outdoor temperatures may give homeowners no choice but to run the air conditioner non-stop, it’s still possible to do many things to reduce the workload on the system.

Were you raised in a barn?  

Depending on a reader’s age, chances are this sarcastic question is pretty familiar.  But it lived on the tongues of many a mom and dad over the years for good reason, it hits the bullseye for the person paying the electric bill!  Opening and closing doors, leaving garage doors open, opening curtains or blinds that might have helped keep the house cool if left closed, all of these are ways that making bad decisions can heat up the house.  In a summer like the one the U.S. is now facing, it makes that much more sense to do anything and everything to lighten the workload on the air conditioning system.  Check out the list below of ways to lessen the heating effects inside the house of outside high temperatures.

  • Consider putting heat shielding film on windows that get a lot of direct sunlight.
  • Look around the house for electrical or gas devices that contribute to increased indoor temperatures and reduce the usage of those as much as possible.
  • Avoid leaving any exterior door open for longer than absolutely necessary, especially big ones such as garage doors.
  • Close vent louvers in rooms that stay cooler on their own, in order to keep cool air flowing where it’s most needed.
  • Be sure that any ceiling fans in the house are set to the correct direction for the season.  If it’s not clear on the device which way to set the rotation direction switch in the summertime, just remember that the blades should be going in a counterclockwise direction in order to cool the room.  When it’s really hot outside, turn the fan all the way up, so it can give the A/C the most help possible.

Keep it clean, please.

Filters for the air conditioning and heating system are typically not in view all the time.  Things that are out of sight are easier to forget.  So it pays to keep filter replacement on a calendar, where it’s routinely reminding a homeowner to put in a fresh filter.  Anyone who has ever called for HVAC service, thinking the unit was broken, only to find out a clogged filter was all that was wrong knows that it’s cheaper to buy a bunch of filters and keep them on hand than to assume that filter replacement isn’t a big deal.  

Clean filters help keep the air flowing into the interior part of the system freely and cleanly.  Clogged filters clamp down on airflow, which can result in the interior part of the system freezing up and the house heating up, even as air is still blowing out of vents.  One way to avoid forgetting about filter replacement is to sign up for a service like FilterEasy.  With an auto-shipment subscription, homeowners don’t need to try to remember when it’s time to replace the filter or add the filter to a shopping list.  And it’s far cheaper to keep the filter fresh and clean than to wind up with a repair bill.

Don’t wait until it breaks!

Readers who know it’s been too long since the last maintenance visit should stop right here and get to the phone.  Call a reputable HVAC service company before the chance passes and the busy season is in full swing.  If the company offers any type of discount for customers who pay upfront for annual service visits then give those deals some serious consideration.  Even a home service contract probably won’t cover every dollar of an air conditioning repair.  So every dollar saved counts when the system needs expensive labor and parts to get it running again.

Regular maintenance visits typically check for signs of age or unusual wear and tear.  And in some cases, this type of inspection can identify parts of the system that are near the breaking point.  Whenever this happens, readers are encouraged to make the repairs immediately if funds are available.  Though it’s always hard to know that playing it safe resulted in a real benefit for the homeowner, the old saying is true, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Look out for each other when the heat becomes dangerous.

Readers who are qualified to give advice, either because of professional expertise or personal experiences are encouraged to share in the comments below!  Don’t hold back.  You never know when a moment of your time spent sharing comments with other readers might result in saved money, time, or suffering from a house that is miserably hot.






Home protection plans, commonly known as a Home Warranty or appliance protection plan is a service contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of your household appliances. It means that if any of your covered appliances breaks, the home warranty company shall provide you with a qualified technician who will repair your device and cover the cost of repair as well.

Home Protection Plans

Ideally, appliance protection plans are best suited for people who have appliances that are fairly used and above 4 years in age, as this is the time where most of the functional issues arise. It is highly recommended that you purchase a home service contract if any of the following are or all are true.

  • Your appliances are over 4 years
  • You don’t have a trusted service vendor
  • You don’t have time for DIY repairs
  • You are a first time homeowner
  • You can’t afford frequent repairs and replacements

If you were to ask if these plans are worth the money, then we would have to admit that there is no straightforward answer to that. There are quite a lot of happy customers out there who swear that purchasing home warranty was the best decision they ever made and yet there are people who think otherwise. It is up to you to decide if you will benefit from a home protection plan.  If you are in need of more guidance, please read the Home warranty buyer’s guide.

This is how a home warranty works

You purchase the appliance protection plan from a home warranty company for a certain amount of coverage. This coverage could be vast and cover almost all the outside and inside appliances or it could be the basic version. If a device covered by the plan fails to operate properly, you simply place a call to your home service contract provider. They will then call up a service vendor with who they have contracted and tell them about your issue. Service vendor then collects your contact information and contacts you to fix an appointment.

He/she then comes to your home to take a look at the damaged gadget. If the repairs needed are minor, they will oftentimes be fixed on the spot. Major repairs and part replacements need approval from the home warranty company. If parts are to be replaced, the home warranty company shall procure them for you and get the appliance fixed. Sometimes, if the technician determines that the device can’t be repaired, depending on your coverage, the home warranty company may replace your device.

Hence, one can say that the benefits of Home warranty are the following:

  • Discounted repairs and replacements of household appliances
  • Qualified and experienced technicians at your doorstep
  • Protection of your budget against expensive repairs
  • Peace of mind
  • Covers all major appliances and systems.
  • Additional coverage can always be purchased
  • Affordable
  • Covers damages resulting from wear and tear

As mentioned before, there still exists a school of thought that home warranty plans are not worth the money. Hence, we must discuss the drawbacks of these plans.

  • Not free of cost. In addition to the annual premium that ranges anywhere between $250 to $1000, you will have to pay a service call fee each time you raise an issue. The amount is typically nominal, around $50
  • Home warranty companies will almost always try to repair and not replace the damaged gadget.
  • Some may feel that there is no flexibility. You usually cannot select a service vendor of your choice and sometimes conflicts may arise on the diagnosis provided by the vendor.
  • Claims can be denied on vague grounds or by stating fine print from the contract.
  • Pre-existing conditions quite often are not covered

Because of these reasons, we suggest that folks who fall under the following categories, don’t purchase a home warranty. This is only a suggestion, if you believe that you shall benefit from a home warranty plan, you should go ahead with it.

  • Your appliances are fairly new and are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • You have a trusted repair vendor.
  • You have time and skill for DIY repairs
  • You have money for frequent repairs

You can consider an extended warranty to protect your new devices. You can read about the differences between home warranty and extended warranty to clear your doubts.

If your devices are new, chances are low that they may need repairs often. Also if they are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, any damage will be covered by them, provided it is not an excluded case. And all of this is unnecessary if you are a repair vendor yourself!

The bottom-line

Home warranties can be a great way to protect your budget and your appliances. As mentioned before, if you fall into the former category where your devices are old and so on, we highly recommend that you purchase a home warranty. Otherwise, you can do without one.

A lot of unpleasant instances occur due to lack of understanding of the working of the plan. Hence, we urge you to read the policy booklet and the offer document carefully before you make a commitment. These documents are highly significant and have to be studied and preserved carefully.  If you are certain that you want to purchase appliance warranty, please go through our reviews section to choose the best provider out there. Good luck!




In a quite short period of time, home protection plan have grown considerably in recognition. Today, the plans are almost standard in every city real estate transactions, where 8 of every 10 homes sales are covered. Homeownership can be one of life’s many pleasures, but it’s not always cheap. Most likely the last thing a homebuyer wants to do after closing on their new home is to shell out even more money on appliances or systems that unpredictably break or malfunction. It’s a usual part of being a homeowner, though, and procuring a home warranty protection plan is one way you can attain some peace of mind.

When your appliance breaks down, don’t worry about whom to call to fix it, or what it will cost. There are various options by which you can protect your budget from pricey emergency repairs.

  1. Home Warranties
  2. Extended warranties on expensive appliances
  3. Appliance Service Contracts
  4. Service contract for specific items such as HVAC
  5. Hire a pro when something breaks down

Want to know how home warranty works? Watch this video –

Home Warranties

Home Protection Plan

Home warranty plans, also called home protection plans, are basically service contracts or insurance policies that cover major appliances and systems of a home. It’s a good idea if you are a first time home buyer without any understanding in maintaining a home or property. Homeowners insurance does not cover breakdown of a home’s major systems or appliances, but a home warranty protection plan can help with repair expenses such as refrigerator that stops running, or your air conditioning system breaks down in the middle of the night.

When a breakdown happens that involves a system covered by the home warranty plan, the homeowner calls the insurance firm and desires a service call. The cost of the service call, which ranges from $35 to $95 per visit based on your location, is salaried by the owner. The warranty company allots the call to an approved contractor, and the home protection company shells out for the system repair or replacement.

What parts of a home are covered by a Home Warranty?

Home warranties naturally cover the mechanical systems of a home such as heating, plumbing, water heater and most built-in appliances. Structural components and pre-existing conditions are usually are not covered. For instance, if the water heater hasn’t worked properly for some time, it possibly that it won’t be covered in the buyer’s home warranty plan. Other items which are typically not covered include faucet repairs, sprinklers and permit fees. Some home warranty cover roof repairs and garage door openers with certain limits.

Another common problem with home warranties is that you will not be able to decide the repair provider that will care of your problem while the warranty is in effect. Normally, if a covered item breaks down, you will put notify your home warranty company, which will select a service provider with which it has an agreement.

Additional coverage is accessible under most home warranties at an extra charge for a spa, pool, air conditioning and freestanding appliances, such as washer, refrigerator and dryer.

Coverage usually runs for a year, but it may be extended at the owner’s choice for a renewal fee. Some people keep their home warranty policy in position for years and years. If the home protection plan is ordered at the time a home is bought, inspections are normally not required.

If you don’t want to have to be anxious about repairs in your first year of home ownership, a home warranty may be a good idea. However, it is imperative to weigh up your warranty, to ensure that you will be properly covered.

Know the basics of home warranty.

Extended Warranties Protect Appliances from Expensive Breakdowns

Extended warranties, by providing protection for pricey purchases and increasing the span of a product’s original warranty, have become the standard for many retailers. These warranties often appeal to economical consumers, for whom purchasing big-ticket items like appliances and electronics can be a challenging decision.

An extended warranty or service contract is like an insurance policy – your savings buys off only when the most evil happens. But do you actually want one? These days, almost all the brand – name appliances are sturdily – built and generally last their usual life span with few or no repairs, rendering extended warranties pointless. In case you do choose to get one, ensure that you do your homework.

Buying Extended Warranties on Appliances

Are Extended Warranties For Expensive Appliances Worth It?

There might be instances where an extended warranty is affordably priced and makes up for a limited warranty that covers little ground and has short period of time, and thus, is worth it. But too often, they are a waste of money. Before you purchase an extended warranty, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the odds that this appliance will break down in X amount of years,
  • What will the price of a replacement or repairs to this appliance be in X amount of years?

You frequently forget that while your product may certainly break down later on, the price of the product will also depreciate later on. Only when the forecasted cost of replacement or repairs become considerably greater than the present cost of the extended warranty, should one consider buying the extended warranty. And still, a warranty must only be thought out if there is also a significant chance that the appliance will stop working in the first place!

Certainly, warranties are significant and you must always ensure that when you buy pricey appliances – like clothes dryer for example – that it has a warranty to follow with it. But if a salesperson is attempting to get you to buy an additional extended warranty, be doubtful. Think about sales and advertising. There is always an income motive and retailers and merchandisers can regularly make money off consumers when they purchase extended warranties than when they buy replacement products or pay for repairs! This is why third party companies and retail stores provide extended warranties, not the manufacturers.

Think about sales and advertising. There is always a profit motive and retailers and merchandisers can often make more money off of consumers when they buy extended warranties than when they buy replacement products or pay for repairs! This is why retail stores and third-party companies offer extended warranties, not the manufacturers themselves.

The moral of the story is that you must do a little math and significant thinking prior to buying an extended warranty. Possibly it will be a wise purchase, and may be the money will be better used up toward other services or products.

 

Appliance Service Contracts

Appliance Repair Professional

Don’t lose your cool over unforeseen home repairs; call the experts for a home service contract. One such company that provides Service Contract is Service America. Never again will you have to worry yourself with the hassle and high cost of unforeseen repairs.

Service America is protecting its customers from unpredicted air conditioning, appliance and plumbing repairs for over 38 years saving them a ton of money, time and unnecessary frustration. When something breaks down at home, it becomes necessary for you to rush and find the right technician to fix the problem. Many times it’s an urgent situation and you don’t have the comfort of shopping around for the best price. But you can avoid these types of stressful circumstances, save money and experience peace of mind at the same time by buying a Service Contract.

A Service America Service Contract covers all these appliances and services for just one low yearly cost.

Quoting and buying a service contract takes a few minutes but expectantly you will find it effortless. In order to obtain the best possible coverage you need to give basic information about your home.

 

Service Contract for Specific Items such as HVAC

HVAC-Fort-Lauderdale

In the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, equipment servicing is generally headed by the issuance of HVAC service contracts. The key purpose of this is to describe the terms of service as well as the cost, the length of service and what requires to be done, and each package of contracts is exclusive to each type of service. These service contracts incorporate full-coverage, full-labor, preventative-maintenance, inspection contracts, and end-use contracts.

All of these HVAC service contracts cover the tasks of each party, material cost, wages and how to decide arguments with a complete document. The equipment, procedures, tasks, unique descriptions and reports on the precise work to be done ought to be covered as well. Every contract also sketches processes and details the responsibilities of the contractor and owner. Regardless of which contract is signed, there can be several contracts put into practice for the same parties at any given time.

 

 

Hire a Pro When Something Breaks Down

Appliances are a vital component of a well running home, as they are utilized every day. When they stop working, an appliance repair professional is able to restore the item to full working order. Along with repairs, professionals will regularly service your appliances to make sure that they run as safely and efficiently as possible.

Appliance repair professionals can render the following services amongst others:

  • Parts and labor warranty
  • Supply and installation
  • Emergency services
  • Service or repair several brands of appliances
  • Safety checks

While hiring your appliance repair professional, make sure that you get a quote on the work that needs to be performed. Ensure that the quote incorporates the call out fee and the cost of any parts that must be replaced. The professional must also be ready to give assurance of their work for a certain period of time. It’s good idea to investigate several repair pros in your area and pick the one that offers experienced technicians, reasonable prices, and good customer service. Always make sure that the professional is insured and licensed.




Okay, so you have decided to start a garden in your home. Congratulations, it is a very good decision indeed. Plants are the backbone of our environment. The more you plant, the better it is. Before you adorn your gardening gloves, soak up some gardening basics that will help you save a lot of time and money if you follow them strictly. Gardening is an activity that requires some serious effort. You can’t simply plant a few saplings one day and then expect it to turn into the Versailles.

Gardening Beginners

Beginners guide to gardening

Here are 10 basic steps any gardening beginners must follow to achieve best results.

Step 1 – Allot time

Ask yourself how much time you can dedicate for your home and garden work each week. If you have sufficient time in your hands, then you can go ahead and start a garden that requires quite a bit of maintenance. It can be a mood-lifter as well. But if you can spare only 2-3 hours a week, look for plants that need very little care. And for the extremely ambitious ones  who have only a few minutes to spare and still wish to start a garden, I suggest that you get yourself some cacti. They will survive even if you to water them just once a month.

Step 2 – Decide where the garden should be

Decide where you will start your garden. Once you do that, evaluate the area well. Determine factors such as sunlight, moisture, soil type, area and location. Or, better, do all the things that are mentioned below.

  • Get the soil checked. You soil could be alkaline or acidic. Sometimes soil may even contain trace amounts of lead. As you know, lead is poisonous. Its not the best thing your kids can play with. Remember to remove all the rocks and lumps you see.
  • Determine the drainage of your soil. Dump some soil in a flower pot and pour water into it. Pay attention and find out if the soil retains water well or if it simply lets the water run through it.
  • Mark the shady and the sunlit areas. If you are planning to start a garden in your yard, find out if any underground pipes or other utilities are present underneath your yard.
  • Try to find out how much rainfall your locality receives in a year. It would be great if you get a lot of rain, it means that you can spend less time watering your plants and more time enjoying your garden while you hold an umbrella.
  • Also decide the location of water sources like taps.

Step 3 – Do some groundwork

Prepare a clean bed. If you are starting with a clean bed, your plants tend to be healthy and less susceptible to pests and other harms. If there is grass and other vegetation, remove them. It is not a very pleasant task but you can’t overlook this step. You can buy pre-fertilized soil these days. If you don’t have sufficient soil, buy some and lay them around your yard.

Step 4 – What type of garden?

You know what they say, as you sow, so you reap? Decide what kind of garden you want. If you need help with this decision, ask yourself the following questions.

  • What do you wish to reap? Flowers? If you want flowers, decide their color combination.
  • Do you want a space where you can relax or do you want a play area for your kids?
  • Do want to grow vegetables in the garden?
  • What plants are suitable for your soil? (I hope you obeyed my instruction and got your soil tested, soil testing is not a DIY task.)

You can even discuss with your family and make a joint decision about what you want your lawn to be turned into.

So, once you scrutinize  all the above steps, you can get down to the actual process of gardening.

Step 5 – Procure the saplings/ seeds

Get the seeds and saplings based your decision about the type of garden you need. Local stores often stock up on these things and so they may not be difficult to find (unless you are looking for the kind of plants you seen in Harry Potter movies.)

Step 6 – Buy some tools

Get the basic gardening tools. You may not need all the tools in the beginning. Just get a spade and a rake. You can buy the rest as and when the need comes up.

Step 7 – Start planting

Plant them! Oh, you have to get flower pots too. You can reuse your old pots if you want. As long as they are not totally dilapidated, they will do just fine. There are no rules when it comes to the time that is ideal for planting seeds, however it is considered best planting them on an overcast day as it yields better results.

Step 8 – Give them a drink!

Once you plant your seeds/saplings, water them immediately. Give them a deep soaking. If water is insufficient during the initial stages of a plant’s life, chances are that they won’t survive long.

Step 10 – Extra nourishment

Deciding on fertilizers and manures can be a difficult task. Since these things often cause more harm than help, it is suggested that you use them in a limited manner. You can avoid them altogether if you want.

Alternatively, you can substitute them with natural compost or your regular kitchen bio-wastes. If at all you decide to use fertilisers, make sure you use them in the fall or autumn season. That’s it. You are done with the planting part.

 

Troubles May Brew

Planting seeds alone doesn’t do the job. There is much more you should know as a budding gardener. You are likely to encounter a few hiccups and troubles soon. Read ahead to know more about them.

Likely hiccup # 1 – Maintenance

Or the excess of it. All plants require quite a bit of maintenance. They can’t survive on their own and will need your attention several times a week. Otherwise they will wither and die. If that happens, you will have to live with the fact that you actually killed a living organism.

Likely hiccup # 2 – Misconceptions

If anyone told you that perennial plants require less maintenance as compared to annual plants, they are wrong. All plants are more or less the same when it comes to metabolism. Don’t believe all the stuff your fellow gardeners tell you. Perform adequate amount of research if you want to take good care of your plants.

Likely hiccup # 3 –  Weeding

I’m sure that this is a familiar word. The happy news is that the more often you tend to your garden, lesser will be the time you need for weeding it out. For those of you who don’t know a thing about weeds, here’s the explanation. Weeds are any kind of unwanted vegetation. You may be thinking “What’s the harm in letting a strange plant grow in my garden along with my other plants”. Let me tell you this, weeds are often parasitic in nature. They quickly absorb nutrients and moisture from the soil, leaving your beloved plants to starve and eventually die. So, remove all strange plants lurking in your garden as soon as you see them.

Likely hiccup # 4 – Deadheading

This is the process of removing your spent blossoms. It ensures that your plants have a longer lifespan. Also, tall plants often need to be staked to avoid flopping.

Almost there!

This pretty much summarizes everything you need to know about gardening as a beginner. It is always wise to have a gardening catalog with you. Also, it would help you immensely if you keep records and journals about your gardening activities. For those of you who are devoted to saving our environment, green landscaping could be an option. It is a healthier, greener and cost-effective approach to gardening.

If you loved the idea of gardening but you do not have the space or time to start one, make do by adding a few indoor plants to your home. Read about some cool guides on how to keep indoor plants!. You can also read about how you can decorate your home with indoor plants.

Whatever methods you choose, starting a garden of your own is an admirable thing to do. So why don’t you start one soon and do your part in saving our environment? Best of luck!

 




Buying a home is a cherished dream for many first time home buyers, a sort of milestone if you will. A home will probably be the most expensive purchase you ever make in your lifetime, which is why a lot of thought and consideration is given to it. For most home buyers, especially, first timers, the financial cost alone is monumental. If you are someone who is planning to buy a home for the first time, we’d like to warn you about some of the biggest challenges that you will face.

First time home buyers

For convenience, we’ve sorted the challenges into two categories – Financial challenges and maintenance challenges. Let’s begin with the financial challenges.

Major Financial Challenges: For The First Time Home Buyers 

Down Payment

Most buyers cannot afford to pay the entire price in one go. They will typically opt to get a home loan. However, even if you do opt for a home loan, you will still have to pay the down payment, which is a lump sum anywhere between 3%-20% of the sales price of the house. This is often a rather big amount which you will have to arrange yourself. The rest can be paid off with a house loan.

Credit Score

Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness. It is often used to estimate risk involved in lending money or resources to a person. Credit scores also decide at what rate of interest a loan should be given to you. So if you do have a house loan, your credit score will be hugely affected. Should you require a loan before your home loan is paid off, the chances are high that such a loan would either be difficult to get or would come at a high interest rate.

Tight budgets

It goes without saying that purchasing a house will take up a huge chunk of your savings. Since you’ll also be using up money to furnish/decorate your new home, you’ll most probably be left with a very tight budget leaving very little room to afford holidays or other recreational activities. You’ll also be paying monthly installments to the bank to pay off your house loan for the next decade or so which would mean that the tight budget will remain tight for a very long time.

Home Maintenance Challenges: For The First Time Home Buyers

Maintaining a home in good condition is no easy task. It is not pocket friendly either, especially when the home is 4+ years old. First time home buyers find home maintenance very taxing, mostly because they are new to this. So, if you are one among the first time home buyers, then here are some things you should worry about-

Leaks and Squeaks

Leaking plumbing is a messy and inconvenient event. It could also cause further damages to the house. Fixing one requires skill and sometimes hefty sums of money. Leaks are one of the most common issues reported by first time home buyers and handling it will require the services of a skilled plumber.

Appliance Breakdowns

Possibly the most expensive kind of maintenance challenge that you will encounter is an appliance breaking down. Big appliances like built-in refrigerators or the HVAC units cost a lot and replacing them could cost you heavily. Sometimes a repair job could fix the issue, but even that requires the skills of an experienced technician and some amount of money.

Preparing Yourself For That Big Purchase

Houses or any kind of property are often considered as solid investments with a very little scope for depreciation. Hence, buying a home is often positively encouraged. Although they are expensive, they could be an asset unlike any other in the long run.

If you did buy a home, your homeowner duties don’t end there. Home maintenance, like we said before, is not an easy or cheap task. This is why most American homeowners swear by a home warranty plan. For older homes, an appliance warranty plan is your best bet for budget protection. They are affordable and come in wide range of coverages. All you need to do is alert your home warranty company when there is a breakdown and you can get the repair done at a nominal fee! Also, it is strongly recommended that you get a home inspection done before moving in to reveal potential damages with the house. It will also help you in deciding whether you need to look for another house if the damages are too many. We also recommend that you read up on whether your need a home warranty or not.

If this article got you worried, we would like to sincerely apologize. We were merely giving out pointers on what to expect when you don the shoes of a homeowner. And like we said, buying a home is a serious step and it comes with an immense sense of accomplishment for many. So if you’ve found your dream home, go ahead and get it! We wish you all the very best with your new home. Cheers!




When it comes to acquiring plumbing skills, there’s no time like the present. The idea has crossed your mind before, but you did not make the time to do it. Study the great advice in this article, and you will be happy that you finally took the time to do so, if you ever have plumbing issues.Fix Home Plumbing Problems

Learning how to put off plumbing problems such as bursting pipes, leaks, and clogged drains is simple with the right tools. Old and new homes similarly require year-round attention to plumbing details, so watching for the signs of plumbing troubles is a must.

Plumbing services can be pricey. Most homeowner want to do what they can to reduce how many time they have to call for help with their drains, pipes and other plumbing features. There are a few easy tips that you can pursue on a usual basis to lessen the need to use plumbing services in your home.

Always explore plumbers thoroughly before you make a decision to use their services. Sometimes plumbers will not be very good at their job, and can even make problems worse than they are. Ensure to look at online reviews, or ask for a referral from a family member or friend. To know more about these things check out our Home Maintenance guide.

If you pack a little knowledge and a few actions of the plumbing trade into your home care toolbox, you will be able to keep away from the kind of plumbing problems that can literally soak you.

Here are 8 tips for spotting and avoiding plumbing problems before they cause serious damage.

1. Leaky toilet. Leaky ToiletToilet repairs are one of the most common plumbing problems. While the toilets themselves don’t tire out, the working parts inside them can. Leaks are a frequent result, and one leaky toilet can waste around 78,000 gallons of water a year, sufficient to fill up a backyard swimming pool!

In case you inspect a leak, test out your theory by pouring a bit of food coloring into the toilet’s tank and waiting overnight. In case the dye shows up in the bowl the next morning, you have got a leak and it’s time to put back the flush valve, an simple job that requires only a few dollars’ investment and a little of your time.

2. Clogging shower, tub or bathroom sink drain.  Bathroom drains can get clogged quickly with hair and soap residue, which is not only a plumbing problem, but a cluttered one as well. Before you find yourself with a flooding backup, clear the way with a dry or wet vacuum, a useful trick of the trade that definitely beats time-consuming extraction with an auger.

3. Kitchen sink backup.  Grease, cooking oil and other fats can literally gunk up the pipes in your kitchen sink, causing serious plumbing problems. In its place, be smart about waste disposal and outfit sinks with strainers to catch errant items and keep them clean. Occasionally flush the drain with a few gallons of boiling water to soften accumulated soap and grease. Applications of products like Roto Rooter’s Pipe Shield can also stop kitchen clogs.

4. Main shutoff valve.  Water shut off valveYour home’s plumbing system can have hundreds of different valves, but knowing the position of just one can avoid thousands of dollars in damage to a home. The main water valve regulates the flow of all water into your home and should work properly to prevent disaster.

To keep away from severe flooding if a plumbing problem were to occur, find the main water valve, which is generally located at the lowest level of your home near the street, then test the valve to ensure it turns off properly. Suspend a large tag labeled main valve from the valve handle to make sure all members of your household can find it before the flood sets in. In case the home will be vacant for a prolonged period of time; it’s smart to shut off this valve before leaving so as to avoid a plumbing problem when you return.

5. Laundry connection.  Another important plumbing point that can be a possible problem is the set of rubber connection hoses on your washing machine, which can be a hazardously weak link in the system. These hoses can dry out, burst and allow thousands of gallons of water to rush into your home. In order to avoid this plumbing problem, check the hoses frequently for blisters and cracks, and be sure to turn off the water supply valves to the washer before leaving home for an extended period of time. Better yet, put back the hoses with steel models, and consider about installing an easy-to-reach, single-lever shutoff valve just for the washer.

6. Outdoor faucets. Keep an eye on outdoor faucets year-round to make sure they are not watering the property without your knowledge, and make repairs and replacements as needed. Once the freezing season begins, turn off all faucets and drain them for winter by loosening the brass cap on the side of each faucet’s valve.

7. Water heater.  Leaking Water heaterWater heaters have quite long life expectancies, but when one leaks, bursts or otherwise breaks down, you can be in for a waterlogged disaster. Check your water heater regularly for signs of rusting or leakage at tank fittings, and if you spot potential problem, call in a certified plumber for a more thorough check to decide whether repair or replacement is in order.

8. Old pipes.  Based on the age of your home and the water lines running to it, pipes made from bygone materials can be main sources for leaks and clogs. Old terra cotta waste lines can be broken and invaded by roots, and steel pipes are apt to internal rusting that can create quite a buildup, ultimately bursting or reducing water pressure to intolerable levels.

Broken-down waste piping can be treated with two methods:

  • Relining, where damaged pipes are left in place but lined with a fiberglass reinforced epoxy, and
  • Pipe bursting, in which a specially designed machine pulls a replacement pipe through the old pipe, dividing the old pipe separately to make room for the new.

As for steel plumbing pipes, take every chance to substitute them with up to date materials. The main horizontal pipes running through the crawl space, running from your home to the street, and pipes leading to bathrooms should be at the top of your substitution list, and sectional upgrades can be done anytime you’re making a home repair that involves opening walls or floors.

Learning a bit about plumbing can be a priceless tool to have in your possession. With the right awareness about plumbing problems and the appliances that they involve, plumbing problem prevention is easy. It can even minimize the need to call a professional for repair services.




Next to the so important health insurance each individual should have, there stands as second in line the home insurance. For homeowners, the home insurance is a specifically well tailored preventive measure any damages should happen to their property. The most important fact before you settle for one certain type of home insurance policy, is to ask yourself which kind of insurance do you actually need.

Home insurance

For example, if you live in a high risk area where floods happen quite often, then you should take an extra option for flood insurance. Certainly because your property lies in a high risk area, the flood insurance for your home is an extra option, it will not be included in the policy, and it will cost more. It is you, who should decide whether you need it or not. Bear in mind that it is not only the physical property which needs protection, but also your personal belongings (i.e. jewelry), and don’t forget about personal liability issues. Find the quickest way to get insurance quotes compared online.

The market offers you plenty of choices, and that is why it is so hard to make a choice. Settle your priorities first, see how much you can afford to pay for the insurance premiums and which are those aspects which definitely need insurance coverage. You have to watch out for the advertisements which offer too high discounts, but little or not effective coverage for you. The points where you can save when buying a home insurance is basically if you apply for one online (can bring you up to 15% savings), there are also certain new buyer discounts, plus if you make no claims for a number of years since you have the insurance, that could lower the price of your insurance with as much as 50% in some cases.

Some of the main coverage factors within a home insurance policy should contain:

  • Buildings cover
  • Contents cover / Contents lost or even damaged when moving
  • Theft from garages
  • Lost/damaged business equipment
  • Alternative accommodation for the insured when needed
  • Food in the freezer / money in the house

Certainly the amounts to which the above mentioned situations are covered for, differs from one insurer to the other, but these should be contained in a standard home insurance plan. As for the extra options you may choose, these are plenty, and each homeowner chooses according to his needs and best interest. On the extra options list you may settle for Accidental Damage, which simply means protection for accidental damage of your stereo equipment for example. Then, the personal possessions cover is yet another extra option, which compensates you for loss of money or credit cards up to a certain coverage

limit, or accidental damage loss or theft of personal items. The family and legal protection extra option will offer coverage for almost any legal costs up to a certain amount, disputes revolving around employment issues, or property and inheritance related ones. Plus, the home emergency option will offer a helping hand in case your door lock breaks, your electrical heating fails, so that you don’t have to worry about the incurring costs a professional would charge for an emergency repair to your home. Check and discus with your family all the available options pertaining to home insurance in general, and settle for the one which is the most affordable and efficient regarding your personal needs.




Since you searched for this online, it is possibly true that you are frustrated beyond possible limits, because your Insurance Company, that you hired to make your life easier, is in fact annoying you. Let’s not waste time, this article explains the strategy that you must adopt in the event that your Insurance company acts tough on your claim.

Let’s take you over the essentials first. The points that follow must be adhered to , otherwise you stand a chance to lose the fight against the Insurance company.

General guidelines

Pursue Insurance Claims

 1. Information

Gather all the information you can regarding your damaged device eg Manufacturer’s name,  model no, batch no, claim center’s details, basically anything that is required. You should have them ready before you call up the Insurance Company. Keep the info that you gathered in the same place, this is will make accessing them easier. Keep your policy booklet and contract ready as well.

2. Maintain Call logs

Once you have gathered all the required information, call the Insurance company. It is suggested that you don’t place your call on Mondays as it is the busiest day of the week. You should keep records of the following:

  • All communication with your Insurance company must be noted down precisely. Details about the following are most significant.
  • Time, date and duration of the call.
  • Name, ID and call center location of the representative you spoke to.
  • Name of the supervisor to whom your call was transferred.
  • Details about the content of your communication.

3. Be nice and pay attention

Remember that being rude is not going to reap any rewards. The Representative on the other end of the line is possibly more frustrated than you are as they have to deal with annoyed customers like you all day.

  • Greet the Representative back, make sure that you have gotten his name and other details right.
  • Politely explain your grievance, ask for their help, give them details that are required.
  • Tell them why you think your claim should be processed.
  • Always keep in mind that your fight is with the Company and the representative has nothing to do with it.

If you follow the above two rules, you might get a positive response from the Insurance company soon. But there are cases where even good manners and genuine claims fall on deaf ears. If you are experiencing something like that, read on.

They still won’t listen- What to do ?

Call them up at a later time:  This may help if the representative you talked to is a kind fellow. Or they may decide to help you just so that you stop annoying them with constant calls. Give it a try.

Speak with a supervisor:  We are not sure how much this would help, but it is still worth a try.

Threaten them: Yes, you read that right. You probably had thought about it already. First, tell them that you had been a loyal customer and that you will be disappointed if your issue is not resolved. If that does not work, threaten them by telling them that you will terminate your contract if your grievances are not solved immediately. When you do this, they will ask you why you want to terminate your contract. Proceed on telling them how your constant pleas and calls were ignored.

Threaten them some more: It might be helpful if you threaten them by saying that you will tarnish their reputation by bad mouthing them. Declare that you are going to publicise the details of how you were treated and you can even tell them that you will announce the same through various social media.

BBB: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one such institution that mediates between the customers and the businesses to resolve issues. Place a complaint with them . The BBB is not a government run organization, however they are advocates of integrity and ethics. They do keep records of all the complaints. No institution wishes to be in the bad list of the BBB.

Attorney General’s office: If you genuinely feel that you are being victimized, you can complain to the Attorney General’s office. They will conduct enquiries and try to resolve the issue. If you do not wish to do this, then simply threaten the Insurance Company by telling them that you will complain to the Attorney General’s office.

Last resort: The lawsuit threat. This should not be used unless your case is that compelling. Most biggies in the Insurance field have their positions covered legally and you may lose unless you have a strong case against them.




HomeWarrantyReviews.com provides readers with a free resource unlike any other online.  Our reviews and articles about home warranty companies are unbiased, unlike other websites you might visit these days.  We do not give preferential treatment in our ratings, reviews, or articles to companies based on what the companies pay us in marketing fees.  Due to that objectivity, readers like you can count on what appears here to be fair and in most cases free of editorial content.  

In this series of articles, we let members of the home warranty industry talk about their companies.  Please keep in mind that these interviews are not endorsements of companies.  They’re meant to be a forum in which readers can get to know the companies direct from the source.

Select Home Warranty

 

In this piece, we’ll share a conversation with a New Jersey based home warranty company, Select Home Warranty. Recently Home Warranty Reviews talked with Joseph Shrem, a manager at Select Home Warranty about their home warranty offering.

What is it about Select Home Warranty’s offering to homeowners that makes it so valuable?

Your home is most likely the biggest purchase you make in your lifetime. At Select Home Warranty we understand this and our job is to protect this investment.

With service costs rising and newer appliances having more sophisticated electronic parts and not built to last as long as they did decades ago, home warranties are viewed more as insurance, giving homeowners the peace of mind of knowing their costs are controlled and not having to go without a working appliance or dipping into savings to take care of an unexpected breakdown.

What sorts of items are covered in Select Home Warranty’s home warranty plans?

Coverage Details

Select Home Warranty offers coverage on a wide variety of services nationwide such as air conditioning, heating, plumbing, electrical, and appliance repairs. We also offer flexible programs to custom-tailor the amount and type of coverage to meet our customer’s specific needs. Homeowners can also obtain coverage for their pool equipment, septic systems, lawn equipment, sump pumps and more!

Home warranty customers are obviously looking for cost savings when things around their homes break down.  But do you find your customers are also looking for convenience?

Along with financial security, comes the peace of mind of knowing that the hassle of dealing with a break-down is taken care of as well. Select Home Warranty has a large network of independent service technicians who are on standby, ready to help you with your home. Our technicians are well trained to assist you with any type of issue you may have. We are partnered with top of the line contractors around the country.  We don’t want our customers to scramble to get a service appointment or find the right contractor. As the provider, we also want to make sure the job is done quickly and correctly.

Automation is the buzzword in almost any industry these days.  Do you feel like automated customer service is the right approach?

Select Home Warranty’s top priority is servicing our customers. With around-the-clock professional staff, we strive to make ourselves available to answer questions, whether it’s regarding coverage or a claim.  

If you represent a home warranty company and would like to see your company featured in a future interview on HomeWarrantyReviews.com, please let us know!

If you are a reader with questions about this home warranty company or other home warranty companies, please visit our top home warranty companies page or our home page, where you can search for any company by name.

Select Home Warranty was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey.  The company markets its service contracts to current owners, sellers, buyers, and real estate professionals who regularly assist their clients with decisions about home warranties.  Select Home Warranty provides a number of web services on their corporate site, including information for contractors who wish to join the company’s network of service professionals.  Existing customers can also submit claims online via a brief form on Select Home Warranty’s website.  Readers who are interested in obtaining a price and coverage quote from Select Home Warranty may do so here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com, via the company’s website, or by phone.




I know it’s not normal to admit it, but I’m a warranty nerd. I spend a lot more time researching the home warranty industry than most people. But it’s sort of my job, so I feel less awkward admitting that I get excited over talking with people who are not familiar with home warranties, also called home service contracts. I like telling people about the service and helping them with their questions.

One of the questions I hear most often is “how do I choose a home warranty?”

The answer is initially easy but gets more complex as I go on with explaining the process. So I like to break down the process to five easy steps in order to make it all more manageable.

Step one: Do you need it?

Before you buy anything you really should decide whether you need it or not. With home service contracts it’s pretty simple to do this. First, is the home you want to cover with the contract brand new? If so then are you only looking to cover the appliances? If the answer is no then you probably don’t need the contract. If the answer is yes then the next question is whether or not the appliances you want to cover are out of the manufacturer or retailer’s warranty or service contract. If you say yes to this one then it’s time to shop for a home warranty. If not then you should probably wait until your appliances are no longer covered and then look into getting a contract to provide repair services.

Steps to Choose the Right Home Warranty

Step two: How much do you need?

This part is really important! Your livable square footage and the items you want to cover should be known before you begin shopping for a home warranty. Knowing these things ahead of time will allow you to get the most accurate price and coverage quote.  Do not go with a generic price and coverage quote or buy online without speaking to a company representative unless you are absolutely certain that the contract you are purchasing is exactly what you need.

Step three: Which companies cover your zip code?

Maybe you live in a highly populated place, or maybe you don’t.  This can affect how many service technicians are in your area.  And that can affect how many home warranty companies will offer to cover your home.  It pays to know whether or not a company covers your area before you get into examining price and coverage quotes.  You’ll waste time talking with the wrong companies if you’re not careful.

The easiest way is to go online to find home warranty companies that serve your area and short list them.

Step four: Do you already have things breaking or about to break?

This part is extremely important.  Some companies have periods of time after you sign up when they will not cover repairs.  You should ask if this is the case.  And you should also ask if things that were already broken or about to break are still covered by the home service contract.  Many companies in the home warranty industry have exclusions in their contracts for things that were not working properly or not properly maintained before you became their customer.  And in some cases the fine print in the home warranty contracts may require you to submit maintenance records or otherwise prove that something that breaks was not poorly maintained or repaired improperly prior to becoming a customer.

Step five: Read reviews and contracts carefully!

Along with understanding the exclusions mentioned in step four, this is the most important of all steps.  Do not buy a home warranty until you have read a number of reviews on reputable consumer review websites.  And do not trust websites that rank companies based on advertising dollars those companies spend with the websites.  You can usually trust services such as Angie’s List to provide objective information based on real consumer feedback.  But many fly-by-night websites cannot be trusted and will steer you toward whatever company is paying them the most for advertising or other marketing services.  The ultimate and best resource is a friend or family member who has experience buying home service contracts for their own homes.  Once you’ve gotten reviews or first hand experiences from other consumers you need to read the contracts you are considering buying, word for word.  Don’t skip things just because the contracts are dull reading material, and don’t overlook things that you think are not clear or worded suspiciously.  If you talk with a company representative about parts of the contract which concern you then you should either get a better feeling or an intuitive feeling that this company is not the right one for you.  And that’s how you make the best decisions when buying any product or service.

As you shop for a home warranty please keep in mind that these contracts do save some homeowners money, not to mention time finding a screened contractor on short notice.  But in some cases it makes just as much sense to put away money in a savings account that earns interest and leave that money for emergencies.  Ultimately the decision is up to each individual homeowner, and it’s not always an easy one to make.  If you are not sure you understand how best to calculate your potential savings on home warranty, you can use this excellent calculator provided here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com!

About the Author

Kevin Wallach is a freelance writer and marketing professional. His focus is on performance based marketing services for the home warranty and home service contract industry.




Is the increasing price of home warranty and insurance your concern?

You may be wondering why appliance warranty costs are always on the rise. We know that it is a huge financial strain to keep your expenses within your budget. It therefore comes as no big surprise that the yearly increase in your annual premium or just the cost of procuring a home service contract makes you want to scream.

Naturally, you begin to wonder if it is a good idea to drop home warranty. My dear friend, that may not be a very wise move. With the prices of everything around you skyrocketing, what makes you think that the prices for appliance repairs would drop? Labor charges, material charges and every other charge on the surface of Earth has gone up.

This means that if your appliances stop working, you will be paying quite a huge sum of money to get it repaired. And in another two years, the price may vary significantly. Now, if you had an appliance warranty, you wouldn’t have to pay so much. We suggest that you keep your warranty.

Now we can’t alter the prices for you, that would be difficult (read impossible). But we can explain why the prices have gone up over the years. Before that, let’s tell you what an appliance warranty does.

How A Home Warranty Works

Home service contracts are usually bought for a specific period of time during which expenses incurred for repairing your household devices will be covered. As long as the damage occurs for a covered device in the designated time frame, your only expense will be a nominal service call fee while the expenses for the repairs will be paid by the warranty company.

Why Prices Rise

So, with prices of materials and labor rising each year, is it not natural that the annual premium rises along with it? Yet another significant reason for annual price hike goes like this. As each year passes, your house becomes older and so do the appliances in it. Which means that the chances of them breaking down are also increasing.  So you see, the risk of malfunctions and system damages increase with each passing year. Hence to keep up with things, the warranty companies often hike the rates by a certain percentage. Also, if you make a claim, the annual premium may hike by a small margin in the next year.

We don’t have precise numbers from the appliance warranty industry, but we can get you a glimpse into the hikes in the homeowner’s insurance industry. The figures are often comparable.

Let’s take a look at the places where there is highest hike after a claim is made

Rising Costs of Home Warranty

Now let’s take a look at the places that have lowest hike following a claim.

state with lowest premium

Source – insurancequotes.com

The reasons for these differences are many. The labor and material costs vary from one region to another and contribute to the premium.  The state regulatory requirements can also add to increase in costs.

The average increase in annual premium varies from company to company and therefore you can get price quotes for home warranty companies and compare. Most companies determine the annual premiums based on your location and the age of your house. Sometimes it is also dependent on the number of service requests they take each year.

How to keep your premium low?

  • Make fewer claims. For smaller claims, get the repair done out of your pocket.
  • Get your appliances inspected regularly; especially the heating and cooling appliances should be professionally inspected once every year. This will improve the life expectancy and reduce repair needs. Remember, issues caused due to lack of maintenance are not covered.
  • Do comparison shopping if the premium is excessively high. But make sure you stay with a reliable home warranty company

Numbers from the Industry

The appliance warranty providers industry has exhibited a decent growth over the last few years. The industry revenue is expected to increase at annual rate of 0.4% to $1.8 billion. Their profit stands at $197.4 million with wages amounting up to $176.1million. Over the years, a few providers were acquired or merged by/with their peers.

In the next five years, the industry is expected to show an annual growth rate of 1.8% to become a $2.0 billion industry. It is believed that the recovery of the housing market, home sales and homeownership rates will increase. This in turn may lead to an increased demand for appliance warranty. Also, as the economy improves, incomes and consumer confidences are expected to rise leading to an increased spending on home appliances and other fixtures.

The final word

We certainly hope that you found this article helpful!  We have presented a true description of the industry and its working in the most honest way possible.

Yet we have to say that inspite of all the costs, a home service contract is indeed a very wise purchase if any of the following are true. You can also read our Guide to Home Warranty buyers for further assistance.

As a quick advice, if any of the following are true, it is recommended that you purchase appliance warranty.

  • Your house is over 4 years old.
  • You don’t have time for DIY repairs.
  • You don’t wish to pay up for frequent and expensive repairs.
  • You don’t have a trusted contractor.

Keep in mind that the policy booklet and the contract documents are vital documents. They have to be studied and preserved very carefully to avoid future conflicts and annoyances.




Freddie Mac has started offering free home warranty coverage for 2 years when you buy bank owned or foreclosed real estate property. The “Smart Buy” program was started in late August and is expected end at the end of October.

free home warranty

The promotional program applies to real estate owned homes sold through the agency’s HomeSteps unit, which deals with foreclosed properties that have been turned over to the lender. Called SmartBuy, the program seeks to address one of the major concerns homebuyers have about buying foreclosed property, namely, the potential cost of repairs on a home that may have been poorly maintained or allowed to deteriorate.

A typical home owner’s warranty costs anywhere from 300 to 600 dollars and will have a deductible per incident. There are several companies (AHS home warranty, Old republic home warranty, First American home warranty etc.) that offer home protection plans.

Freddie Mac will also pay closing costs of up to 3.5 percent of the purchase price. For example, on a $200,000 home, the program would pay up to $7,000 in closing costs, however it does not cover down payment.

Freddie Mac plays a critical role in the mortgage industry. Serving as one of the nations largest agencies that securitises conventional home loans, they have been in a precarious financial position over the last two years as home foreclosures have swept over the housing markets. Freddie Mac, along with Fannie Mae, another large national agency covering the mortgage markets, have both received billions of dollars of capital from the U.S. government in the last twenty four months. The companies financial problems escalated as they were leveraging the value of their loan portfolios in multiples over ten percent

Second and vacation homes, investment properties or property purchased solely for rental purposes are not eligible. There is a minimum purchase price of $25,000. More information on the program, including localized listings of eligible HomeSteps properties, are available through www.homesteps.com web site. Local real estate agents can also provide information on which properties are offered through the program.

As an advice, if you are buying a home make sure you hire a professional home inspector. They will inspect appliances, backyards, plumbing, electricity etc. to make sure everything is in good and working condition.




Home warranty is a service contract that offers discounted repairs and replacements for your household appliances. If you have an appliance protection plan, and if one of your covered appliances breaks down, the home warranty company will repair it for you at a very nominal price.

Home Warranty Plan

In general, such plans are considered a wise purchase for those

  • Who have fairly old appliances, ie 4+ years.
  • Have no time for DIY repairs.
  • No budget for expensive repairs and replacements.
  • Do not have a trusted contractor.
  • Is a first time home owner.

If any of the above mentioned conditions are true, it will be a good idea to purchase an appliance protection plan. Folks who fall into any one of the categories stated above stand a high chance of encountering frequent damages leaving their pocket empty.

Several types of appliance protection plans are available in the market today. Most of them differ with the extent of coverage. Most of the first tier or basic plans cover only major systems and appliances in your home. This usually excludes outdoor appliances and systems and second sets of devices. Eg spa and pool units, sprinklers are common things excluded from coverage. Also second air conditioning unit, second cooler etc are also omitted. However, the best part about these plans are that their coverage can always be extended. Accordingly the annual premium you pay will be higher.

How Does the Plan Work?

If an appliance crashes while the warranty plan is still valid, all you have to do is to inform the company about the damage. Once you give them all the necessary details, they will call up a service vendor with whom they maintain business ties. The vendor then contacts you to fix an appointment and on the agreed time he arrives to take a look at your appliance. If the damage is minor, the technician will fix it right away.

However, major damages or part replacements may need approval from the home service contract company. Any parts that require replacement will be procured for you by the company.

Advantages of a Home Warranty Plan

  • It offers some amount of protection for your budget.
  • It is the closest thing you can find to peace of mind.
  • You get the service of experienced and qualified technicians.
  • You don’t have to look for a service vendor, they will be sent to your doorstep.
  • Flexible coverage. You can purchase as little or as extensive coverage as you need.
  • Affordable. Most plans have annual premiums that range anywhere between $250 to $600.

Disadvantages

  • It is not a free of cost arrangement. In addition to the annual premium, you will also be paying a service call fee each time you raise an issue. The fee is nominal, usually around $50.
  • You cannot raise multiple issues in a single claim.
  • Claims are sometimes rejected based on vague and unclear grounds and often stating fine print from the contract which customers usually overlook.
  • Conflicts may arise on the diagnosis given by the technician.
  • The home warranty company will always try to repair and not replace your damaged appliance.

Final word

Home Warranty plans are a great way to insure your household appliances if they are old or aging. However, people often tend to confuse this with homeowner’s insurance, which is quite a big mistake. Homeowner’s insurance can never be replaced with a home service contract or vice versa. Though they both offer protection for your appliances, their grounds for placing a claim are totally different.

May it be reminded again that the policy booklet and contracts are vital documents and should be studied and preserved carefully. If you have decided to go ahead with a home warranty, check out Top Home Warranty Companies listed on our site.




There was a news report covered by HomeWarrantyWiz.com regarding recent developments with regard to fake Internet testimonials, company reviews, and ratings being detected and penalized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  HomeWarrantyReviews.com was involved with the research behind this article, particularly by sharing our experiences with home warranty companies that have attempted to use our ratings system to post fictitious consumer reviews.

Fake Reviews

Home warranty is a highly complex product and many consumers rely greatly on the information they find on the Internet in order to choose a home warranty company.  Fake Internet reviews make finding accurate information about companies more challenging and can sometimes lead consumers to making misinformed decisions.

The recent FTC fine levied on an advertiser outside the home warranty industry for advertising that involved fake reviews posted online is a good sign for home warranty customers and for all consumers who use the Internet to shop and research products or services.  Websites like ours which are actively monitoring the reviews posted on them are an additional resource aside from the FTC and state attorneys, working in the consumer’s corner.

Penalizing Companies Posting Fake Reviews

There have been instances where we have blacklisted companies for repeatedly posting fake positive reviews. Some companies employed some sort of advanced techniques to make the review look legitimate. But we have built a  sophisticated rating system over the years and will catch any attempt to manipulate the reviews. On top of that we have a team of experienced staff members who make sure the review passes through their litmus test. So, if you are company that relies on such tactics, take a note!

Ensuring that fake reviews and ratings are caught and removed and that the offending parties are warned is just one way in which reviews sites can police reviews and ratings and keep them as accurate as possible.  Consumers also have a responsibility as well. Consumers must be diligent to make their reviews as factual as possible in order to make the fake reviews easier to spot.  Detailed reviews stand apart from general ones and often fake reviews give only the most basic details, focusing more on glowing compliments about the service or product.  Leaving emotion out of reviews is also important because the same companies that post fake reviews or attempt to deflect blame whenever customers post highly emotional testimonials.  Ultimately the task of spotting fake reviews falls greatly upon the consumer’s shoulders but now that the FTC has thrown its hat into the ring things will be much more complicated and risky for companies that prefer false advertising over legitimate customer testimonials.




Life is certainly unpredictable, you cannot control the outcome but surely can prepare yourself through careful planning and minimize the risk and be on the safer side. Insurance is one such protection mechanism which covers major expenses with an understanding that you will pay a smaller fee as a premium.

Insurances

An insurance is a contract in which an individual receives financial protection or reimbursement against losses from an insurance company against the payment of a premium.

We have an inherent need to protect ourselves and our family, so why not buy insurance and secure the unknown future. According to needs you have various insurances. Some are a must while others are worth. Here is a quick tour into the world of insurance policies.

Insurances That You Cannot Miss To Have For Your Home And Family

Life Insurance

As the term suggests you are insuring your life with a certain amount. It is an insurance that pays out a sum of money either on the unfortunate death of the insured person or after a set period.

Benefits of a Life insurance

  • Risk Cover – Insurance ensures that your loved ones continue to enjoy a good quality of life against any unforeseen event.
  • Planning for life stage needs – Life Insurance not only provides for financial support in the event of untimely death but also acts as a long term investment which can reap benefits once it reaches a maturity period.
  • Assured income through annuities – Life Insurance is one of the best instruments for retirement planning. The money saved during the earning life span is utilized to provide a steady source of income during the retired phase of life.
  • Tax Benefits-Insurance plans provide attractive tax-benefits for both at the time of entry and exit under most of the plans.

Health Insurance

It is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses that are incurred by the insurer. Health insurance can either reimburse the insured for expenses incurred for illnesses or injury or pay the care provider directly.

  • Protection against rising health expenses – Life Insurers through riders or stand alone health insurance plans offer the benefits of protection against critical diseases and hospitalization expenses. This benefit has assumed critical importance given the increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases and escalating medical costs.
  • Provides peace of mind – You don’t have to worry about the huge bills when you visit the doctor or an unfortunate accident or an expensive surgery your insurance will take care of unpredictable medical needs.
  • Regular health checkups – Insurance gives you various benefits and one of such is that you can avail regular health checkups and keep a tab and stay healthy.

Auto Insurance

It is an insurance for all your automobiles against theft and accidents.

Benefits of Auto- insurance

  • With a high cost of living there is hardly much room for savings in case of an emergency. Unfortunate auto accidents are the kind of emergency situations that can easily drain your bank account. A premium according to the specified period can be of a great help.
  •  Even in case of a minor accident with no injuries, cost of paying for another person’s vehicle and your own can burn a hole in your pocket and an insurance is a friend in need to bail you out in such a situation.
  • It helps you in case of automobile thievery, you can claim the insurance with some existing terms and conditions whereas getting the complete value might not be possible.

Home Warranty

A home warranty is a contract for repair and replacement of major home appliances such as refrigerator, washing machine, garbage disposal etc. on payment of a premium.

Benefits of home warranty

  • Saves you huge cost of repairs
  • A Home Warranty will repair or replace any covered item. It adds value to your property and benefits everyone from a buyer, seller to homeowner has an advantage.
  • Assures you peace of mind

Home Insurance

This insurance covers the home including the structural elements as well as the valuables inside the home. However, you can claim this insurance only where there is a natural disaster such as flood, fire etc. Please note that this does not cover the appliance repair and replacement costs.

Benefits of home insurance

  • Protects your biggest investment that is your home in case of natural and manmade disasters.
  • Covers accidental damages to your interiors and exteriors as well.
  • Takes cares of any third party damages and legal issues if any incident occurs while in your property.
  • Assures you peace of mind and gives you a feeling of safety and security.

Often Home warranty and insurance are thought to be similar but they are completely different in the coverage they provide. Home insurance is a must to have whereas home warranty you can choose to get.

When it comes to insurances you have a plethora of options to choose. From travel insurance to disability insurance etc, you can choose and plan according to your needs. All insurances have advantages and disadvantages but insurance no matter which protects your peace of mind. While buying insurance always make sure to do a background check of companies you are dealing with and read the reviews and fine print thoroughly.

Click here to check for Home Insurance and warranty companies.

Future is unpredictable yet securable therefore get insured stay assured.




HVAC Maintenance Checklist

 

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HVAC appliances are one of the most vital components in a home. Naturally, unexpected crashes and breakdowns of HVAC units disrupt a peaceful living. And once they crash, boy! They are really expensive to repair (or replace).

Any homeowner, in his right sense would therefore make sure that the heating, cooling and ventilation units are well taken care of and maintained. For all of you who are wondering how to extend the life of your HVAC appliances, this checklist is just the right thing for you!

Monthly maintenance routine

Yes, all HVAC appliances will do well if you give them some basic cleaning every month. Ensure that you do the following two steps at least once a month.

  • Check thermostat settings
  • Clean out the vents, replace filters, and keep it dust free as much as possible

Annual maintenance routine

The U.S. Dept. of energy advises homeowners to carry out a maintenance routine at least twice a year. This ensures that the power consumption is optimized and hazards are avoided. Here are the steps that you should carry out yearly to ensure healthy running of your HVAC appliances/ systems.

  • Hire a professional inspector to perform checks on your HVAC units
  • Hire a professional to clear the air ducts
  • Re check and tighten all electrical connections
  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Use suitable lubricants to lubricate moving parts
  • Clean the area around HVAC units and ensure that it always remains dry

If you think that these tasks are difficult and that your warranty plan will save you, here’s some incentive for you to get going in the right direction.

Home Warranty Companies usually DO NOT cover damages caused due to lack of  maintenance. Which means that if your system stops working and the technician diagnosis says that the damage was caused due to lack of maintenance, your claim may be denied.

If that is not compelling enough, here are some more things that will happen if you are careless about HVAC maintenance

  • Excess power consumption. Man! those electric bills are going to shock you (literally)
  • Unclean machinery heats up abnormally, this leads to fire hazards.
  • If vents are clogged with debris or other particulate matter, efficiency of the system drops
  • If you don’t monitor your gas/ fuel connections, health issues and fire hazards may happen

Appliances and systems in our home and around us help us lead a happy and easy life. So it is only fair that we do for them at least a fraction of what they do for us. Take good care of your appliances, don’t use them roughly and above all, purchase a home warranty plan to protect your budget against unexpected appliance crashes.

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Whether you are seeking to buy a home in the Phoenix area or sell one, you definitely need a real estate professional that you can trust. Some real estate agents perform better than others with regards to a number of homes sold but there are plenty of other factors such as good knowledge of the city of Phoenix, an established professional reputation with former clients to look for while choosing a trustworthy real estate professional. The leading Arizona real estate agents continue finding unique ways of marketing home listings and work diligently to educate homebuyers and sellers.

Top-Class-Real-Estate-Professionals-In-Phoenix

Below is the list of top 5 real estate agents in Phoenix who can assist you with their innovation, their sales production and their proficiency in short sales, investment properties, relocation, second homes and/or vacation homes and much more!

 

Joani Frankel

Trustworthy-Realtor-in-Phoenix

With more than 38 years of experience as an Arizona realtor in the greater metro Phoenix/Scottsdale area, Joani Frankel has watched the neighborhood grow from almost a million people to over 4 million people. Frankel moved to Arizona to escape the cold of the Northeast and was lucky to have a realtor who excelled in “people” services. This know-how framed her skills and values as a Real Estate professional. As a proficient realtor, Frankel is empowered to research solutions and is backed by two skilled assistants to provide supportive, informative and resourceful information. Over the years, Frankel has been active and successful and have acquired a strong network of experts that support her services and help treat each new client with respect and courtesy. Frankel says, “I love life and try to live each day with care, courtesy and consideration for all I meet and all I do.”

As a graduate of Syracuse University, Frankel puts her degree and business background to work for you each and every day. Frankel is a Buyer Broker Specialist at Realty One Group and has consistently listed and sold multiple millions of dollars of property each year. Whether you need a home inspector, a lender, an interior design consultant, a cleaning service or personal concierge, you can avail the best support team to work for you! Since 1978, Frankel has been serving as a dedicated Buyer’s broker and is well versed in problem-solving, contract negotiation and above all, fair, ethical and caring client support and service. Frankel says, “My career goals are only met if YOU are satisfied as I serve as your Buyer’s Representative. You may be looking for your 1st home or your 10th! It might be a condo or a mansion. If you are an investor I’ll help you increase your bottom line!”

Frankel operates mainly in neighborhoods such as Cave Creek, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Sun City, Surprise, and Tempe. She is a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and her specialties include:

  • Representing Buyers
  • Representing Sellers
  • First-Time Buyers
  • Relocations
  • Luxury Properties
  • Senior Housing

Frankel is knowledgeable on reverse mortgages, real estate planning, 1031 exchanges, and housing options and has also been educated on all aspects of 50+ buying and selling.

 

Jacqueline Moore

Best-Realtor-in-Phoenix

A native to Phoenix, Jacqueline Moore is ardent about everything in business, from marketing products to streamlining processes and evolving technology. With a strong eye for detail, Moore knows how to drive initiatives for both the organization and the management team contributing to long-lasting operational brilliance. Her commitment to charitable organizations and the community stem from her background in education. Whether it is monetary support through each real estate transaction, events, and awareness, or daily help involving contact and participation, Moore has become prominent by identifying the communities that support and need support too.

Moore has lately taken the position of leading the Phoenix Operations for Opendoor. Recently listed on the front page of The Wall Street Journal Business section, Opendoor is changing the way homes are bought and sold by bringing top class software, data science and design to an old industry. Based in Silicon Valley, Opendoor is on a mission to help alleviate some of the pain points of one of the more complex, hectic processes; the residential real estate transaction. Every decision in Opendoor is led with honesty, certainly impacting one of the greatest assets around; homeownership.

Before Opendoor, Moore was the Vice President of HomeSmart managing 20,000+ transactions and $4.2 billion in sales volume yearly. Over the years, Moore has been helping her clients through the entire buying process and with the professional standards that her customers expect while selling their homes. Passionate about helping house hunters, Moore is devoted to delivering quality homes to the market. A proud graduate of the Grand Canyon University, Moore enjoys traveling, cooking, and creating the next best finger painting!

 

Dorothy Harrison

Realtor-in-Arizona

Over the past 30 years, Harrison has been committed to bringing happy buyers and sellers together. Whether it’s buying or selling, she ensures to make the process as stress-free and enjoyable as possible! A full-time Associate Broker, Harrison dedicatedly helps her clients by the implementation of effective sales strategies and marketing tools to best market their homes. Harrison has expertise in relocation services (Small or Large Corporate moves), pre-owned, luxury, vacation, and new construction residential homes and is also experienced in real estate investments and 1031 tax deferred exchanges. She has even had the honor of being a pre-licensing Real Estate Instructor for the State of Arizona for almost a decade. Besides, Harrison assisted Bank United of Miami Florida with their REO properties for 2.5 years before their FDIC closure. She has also successfully owned and operated her own real estate company in Texas. As a reliable multi-million producer, Harrison approaches her business with determination, enthusiasm, and passion.

Harrison moved to East Valley in 1998 and concentrates her practice in cities such as Chandler, Phoenix, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Sun Lakes, Mesa, Tempe, Gold Canyon, San Tan Valley, Ahwatukee, and Maricopa. An Alumna from The University of Texas at El Paso, Harrison is proud to hold the following designations sponsored by the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) – a designation held by less than 5% of the Realtor population.
  • E-Pro – E-Pro recognizes that the newest commodity in the real estate business is information. By obtaining the E-Pro designation, Harrison now has the internet skills to boost your transactions faster with more efficient technology.
  • Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) – Harrison meets strict educational and practical necessities set by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC)
  • Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource Agent (SFR) – Harrison knows how to help sellers maneuver the intricacies of short sales and also help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities
  • MRE – Masters of Real Estate Society 2007-2010 (Arizona Designation)

Harrison is well aware of the latest real estate developments and knows how to discover the finest properties and negotiate the best deals. She embraces strategies to identify desirable properties for buyers and implements innovative marketing techniques for the sellers. As a Licensed Arizona Real Estate Agent, Harrison skillfully manages clients’ transaction details to include inspections, deadlines, title work, loan procedures, and professional recommendations. Harrison’s awards include:

  • International Diamond Society – 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008
  • International Sterling Society – 2014, 2010
  • Bronze Circle – 2006, 2007, 2015
  • Customer Satisfaction Award 2012

She has the following relocation certifications:

  • Cartus Affinity Specialist
  • Cartus Network Inventory Specialist
  • Cartus Network Referral Specialist
  • Cendant Mobility Referral Specialist
  • USAA Mover’s Advantage “A” Team Certified
  • NFCU Certified Specialist
  • SIRVA RELOCATION – Certified Agent Advantage Specialist
  • ALTAIR Relocation Specialist

Harrison’s interests include football, cooking, gardening, and movies.

 

Liz Harris

Top-selling-realtor-in-Phoenix

Liz Harris has a true passion for real estate. Whether working with Arizona first-time buyers, new home buyers, short sales, luxury home buyers, Harris guides her clients through every step of the real estate process. Harris is one of the highly respected agents and keeps her updated with the newest trends to impart the necessary real estate information to her clients in this rapidly changing industry. Founder of Liz Harris realty, based in Chandler, Arizona, Harris is an 11 year veteran of buying and selling six and seven figure properties in the Phoenix metro area.

A resident of Maricopa County, Arizona since 1999, Harris always goes the extra mile whether it is finding buyers for her listing or placing a buyer in a dream home. She has carved a niche for herself in the Phoenix Metro real estate by specializing areas such as Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, and Tempe. As a Certified New Home Buying Specialist, she expertly negotiates with new home builders to get the terms and conditions they want. Harris employs knowledgeable marketers who use cutting-edge marketing tactics to get maximum exposure and increase online presence in minimum time using Facebook, YouTube, Google and more!

Harris symbolizes the perfect blend of positive energy, integrity, and vision while maintaining a strong determination to get the result you want. This has helped her acquire the professional designations such as Certified Short Sale Negotiator (CSSN), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and the following:

  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) – Harris has met strict educational and practical requirements set by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC)
  • Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) – Harris demonstrates her international experience and participates in international programs offered by National Association of Realtors
  • Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) – Harris knows how to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales as well as assist buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities
  • Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) – Harris meets specific educational and practical experience criteria in representing sellers and can guide you through a successful transaction

As a proud wife and grateful mother of 3, Harris finds fulfillment both in her personal life and her business life. She enjoys roller coasters, hot bubble bath and roller skating. Consistently ranked in the top 2% of producing agents, Harris would love to hear from you!

 

Rosa Janssen

Top-Realtor-in-Phoenix-Arizona

With over 25 years of experience in the real estate industry, Janssen’s goal is to help her clients in every phase of buying, selling or investing in real estate. Her experience with RE/MAX, one of the world’s prominent franchisors of real estate brokerage services, help provide the most powerful real estate brand, recognition, and resources to the clients. As a resident of the Valley of the Sun for the past decade, Janssen relocated to Arizona from Park Ridge, Illinois, where she held a Broker’s license and was a legal assistant in a law practice focusing on real estate. Bi-lingual in Spanish, Janssen also holds Florida’s broker license. “My pledge is to provide superb professional services and an exceptional experience!” says Janssen.

Janssen is a very detailed and studies properties thoroughly to obtain the best selling price possible. She is a delight to work with and mainly active in areas such as Apache Junction, Carefree, Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Cave Creek, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Queen Creek , Rio Verde, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Her professional designations and certifications include the following:

  • At Home with Diversity (AHWD) – Janssen adapts to increasing cultural diversity in the real estate market and prudently plans to meet the requirements of varied clients, gain a competitive edge, and expand opportunities
  • NAR’s e-PRO – Janssen is dedicated to making the most of today’s technology to help clients with their real estate needs
  • Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI) – Janssen has an increased knowledge and skills in a broad array of technical subjects and the fundamentals of real estate
  • Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR) – Janssen knows how to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales as well as assist buyers pursue short sales and foreclosure opportunities
  • Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) – Janssen is knowledgeable on reverse mortgages, real estate planning, 1031 exchanges, and housing options and has been educated on all phases of 50+ buying and selling
  • Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) – Janssen has met specific educational and practical standards in representing sellers and can guide you through a successful transaction

Additionally, Janssen has earned the Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) designation and the Green Certification. She was recently acknowledged into to the Master of Real Estate (MRE) Society by demonstrating her commitment to excellence through professional education and practices. Less than 1% of REALTORS in Arizona belong to this elite Society.

Janssen along with her husband Sascha, an expert helicopter pilot and also multilingual in German and Dutch are active in local organizations including Christ Church of Fountain Hills and Fountain Hills Sister Cities. She enjoys the outdoors and spending time with family, friends, and her two sons. “I look forward to meeting and working with you, and welcome the opportunity to demonstrate professional services that get results!”




An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.

What is Structural Warranty?

Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.

It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.

It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.

A Middleman

If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.

Value of the Home

If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.

How Structural Warranty Works

Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.

What Structural Warranty Covers

If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.

Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.

As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

  • Beams, Pillars, and Columns
  • Girders and Lintels
  • Foundation of the home
  • Masonry arches
  • Roof beams, and framing systems
  • Flooring
  • Walls and partitions that bear the load and contribute to the building’s structural validity.

The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.

Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.

Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.

The Cost

Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.

When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.

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If you’re a resident of Oregon, this is an article you wouldn’t want to miss. Every homeowner worth his salt must be well informed about the best home warranty companies in the state they reside. Being a coastal state in the Pacific Northwest region, Oregon has a diverse landscape which makes it a very popular choice for potential home buyers. All the more reason why you should go through this article because who knows, you may settle down in Oregon one day!

Home Warranty Companies

Oregon’s Best Home Warranty Companies

 

As you know, our website hosts reviews from actual customers of home warranty products from across the country. These reviews form the basis on which various companies are ranked on our site. For your convenience, we also have a list of top ten home warranty companies in the country. And based on the reviews collected from the customers in Oregon, here’s a list of top home warranty providers in this region-

  1. American Home Shield
  2. The Home Service Club
  3. Select Home Warranty
  4. Landmark Home Warranty
  5. HSA Home Warranty

In more detail, here’s the list of top competitors.

1. American Home Shield

Considered as the founder of the home warranty industry, American Home Shield, or AHS as it is commonly called, is a company that has over 40 years of experience. AHS has come to be a company that has a nationwide footprint with many customers praising its services. AHS claims that their plans are designed to help out homeowners, sellers, buyers and Realtors alike.

With plans that cover most appliances and systems in the home that too at compelling prices, AHS has garnered many rave reviews. On an average, a standard plan comes at an annual premium of $249-$500+ and the deductible per service visit charge ranges between $75-$125. AHS claims to have a massive contractor network with over 11,000 technicians who are selected after a stringent screening process. With positive reviews flowing in from all parts of the country, AHS rightly deserves to be called one of the best home warranty companies.

2. The Home Service Club

Serving across 49 states in the US, The Home Service Club (HSC) is yet another major player in the home warranty industry. HSC, like its counterparts, have designed plans that are suited to cover major appliances and systems in a home at affordable prices. The company believes that they are innovators who constantly come up with new ways to help improve customer satisfaction and the quality of the services they provide.

A standard plan offered by HSC costs around $400 and the deductible charged per service visit ranges between $75-$125. HSC is also one of the few companies that don’t mandate a home inspection prior to purchasing a warranty product from them. The company’s contract network is extensive and like most of their counterparts, HSC too has around the clock customer service facility and also an online claim submission feature.

3. Select Home Warranty

Yet another tough competitor in the state of Oregon is Select Home Warranty or SHW for short. Select Home Warranty is headquartered in New Jersey and has quite an extensive coverage across the country. And like other companies on this list, SHW too takes pride in its massive contract network with over 10,000 carefully selected technicians.

For homeowners in Oregon, select has three main plans to offer. They come in varying levels of coverage and are priced between $299-$499. Service call fee per visit is on an average around $60. SHW does not place a restriction on the age or the size of the property to be covered, neither do they mandate a home inspection prior to signing the home warranty contract. This is a rare feature and it makes them all the more loved.

4. Landmark Home Warranty

Landmark Home Warranty(LHW) is a company that provides services in the states of Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Texas alone. Despite the lack of nationwide footprint, LHW has managed to garner rave reviews in states that operate in. They also offer pest control, re-keying and heater tune-up services in certain states.

LHW too provides plans that are designed to provide peace of mind to the homeowners. With most of major appliances and systems being covered, the plans come at reasonable prices, ranging between $425-$625. Deductibles too are charged nominally, at around $60 per service visit.

5. HSA Home Warranty

Home Security of America Home Warranty or just HSA Home warranty, is the final company on our list of top 5 companies in Oregon. With over 30 years of experience in home warranty sector, HSA has grown to become a popular choice among American Homeowners. Headquartered in Cross Plains, Wisconsin, HSA is a company that claims customer satisfaction is their prime area of focus.

Home warranty plans by HSA come in two variants each with varying levels of coverage and priced between $589-$619. The deductible per service visit charge ranges between $75-$100. The company also allows customers to customize and extend their coverage by adding items from a select list of add-ons. The annual premium would then vary based on the level of coverage picked by the customer.

The Final Word

What we have provided you is just a list based on the reviews that we have gathered on our site. There would be other companies in the local market who are equally commendable. So the only way to make a wise choice is by doing ample amount of research. Our site offers profound insights about various companies across the country. You could also take a look at the award winning home warranty companies to help with your decision. As always, we welcome your questions and would be more than happy to help you out. Cheers!