Appliances That Need Care Before Winter Hits

“Winter is coming” – Remember this famous dialog by the Starks from Game of Thrones? Well, it is true now. Winter is indeed approaching and that means homeowners have to prepare themselves for the chilly festive season.

While the idea of another Christmas is awesome, the idea of sub-zero temperatures and malfunctioning appliances is not. Fret not! There are some things that you can do to ensure that the chances of your appliances crashing are kept to a minimum. This article will provide you with a list of appliances that needs to be checked before winter sets in and also how to ensure that they don’t breakdown. Wondering why you need to check your appliances in advance? Well, like they say, a stitch in time, saves nine!

Appliances That Need Care Before Winter Hits

Appliances That Need Care Before Winter Hits

So here are some of the appliances that need a thorough check up before the temperature drops-

  • HVAC unit
  • Smoke detectors/ alarms
  • Fireplace (if you have one)
  • Dryer

Let’s take a detailed look at how these appliances should be checked. Don’t worry, the steps are quite simple and only require a very basic examination on the appliances listed above.

HVAC

This one is absolutely essential. If there is no heating in your home, you’ll probably get sick. Or worse, freeze. HVAC units are large appliances and they may require annual maintenance checks. If you have signed up for a warranty plan or similar arrangement that conducts frequent checks on your HVAC, now would be an ideal time. If you don’t have such an arrangement, worry not. Here’s what you need to do.

  • Examine the entire unit visually. Find out what you must look for in an HVAC unit.
  • Check the filter. If it appears old and worn out, replace it.
  • Check the thermostat. If you use a mercury thermostat, now would be a good time to shift to a digital one. They are said to be more accurate.
  • Examine the heating ducts. They may need cleaning to remove any dirt or debris accumulated in them.
  • Finally, keep the area around the unit clear and free of inflammable materials.

While you’re at it, you may want to read about common mistakes HVAC owners make.

Smoke Detectors

Personal safety is always a primary concern. With all the heating devices going in full swing, having a fire, although uncommon, is still possible. Check your smoke detectors to ensure that they are in working order. If they fail, you could risk the lives of everyone in your home.

Here is what you need to do to check your smoke detector –

  • Let the others in the house know that you are going to test the detector. You don’t want everyone panicking when the alarm goes off.
  • Press and hold the test button on your smoke detector. This should trigger the alarm. If it doesn’t. The device could be faulty.
  • If you want to test it in a more real scenario, try spraying some smoke detector aerosol on the detector.
  • If the alarm is triggered, suck out the test material using a small hand held vacuum cleaner. This should silence the alarm.

Dryers

These are appliances that can get really hot if their vents are blocked, making them prime fire hazard material. Leaving them to function unattended during the cold winter season may not be a bright idea. Make sure somebody checks on them at frequent intervals.

The following steps can help you run a basic exam on your dryer-

  • Take a look at the vent behind the dryer. It should not be blocked or damaged.
  • Clean the lint filter. Ideally, this should be done after every few wash cycles.
  • Make sure the area around the dryer is not blocked by objects that could easily catch fire.
  • Finally, if you are going to be away for a long time, unplug the dryer.

Fireplace

While it is lovely to have a fireplace, there are somethings that you just cannot overlook while using them. To ensure that your fireplace is safe for use, do the following –

  • Make sure that the damper opens and closes without hiccups.
  • Arrange a professional sweep to clear out any soot or particulate material that would have accumulated in the chimney.
  • Inspect the mortar around the bricks in the fireplace and chimney. There should not be any cracks or breaks in the bricks.

If you have a gas fireplace, look out for peeling wallpaper and eroding mortar. Ideally, get it inspected by a professional.

General Winterizing Advice

First time homeowners may need to do extensive research about making your home safe for winter. Apart from the appliance maintenance checklist we provided above, there are some general safety and wellness practices that you must follow. This would include things like keeping an emergency contact list ready, stocking up on food, check your car to see if it’s winter-safe and finally formulating a fire escape plan.

Also, do keep in mind that outdoor hose bibs may freeze in the winter and to prevent that, they should be shut off at the source or covered on the outside with an insulator. It should not be difficult to find an insulator as they are available at most home goods stores.

If you don’t have a home warranty, now would be a good time to think about one. Such appliance service contracts help you save money on repairs due to unexpected appliance breakdowns. You could also look into our general appliance maintenance checklist to ensure that your home runs smoothly always.

We hope you found this article useful. Let us know your thoughts. Cheers!






If you want your appliances to function in top condition, you must take care of them. This will help you save money on repair charges in the future. Here are a few maintenance tips that will help you take good care of you appliances:

Appliance Maintenance Tips

Let’s take a look at some basic yet important maintenance tips for keeping major appliances and systems in good condition.

1. RefrigeratorHome Appliances Maintenance

  • Cleaning is recommended every 6-12 months. Clean the condenser coil of your refrigerator on a regular basis.
  • Freezers should be located away from streaming sunlight or heat sources. Otherwise, they work much harder than necessary. Removing interior ice build-up improves airflow and helps to maintain proper freezer temperature.
  • Ensure that door seals are airtight
  • Always set the interior temperature to around 40° F

Follow the above steps and your refrigerator’s efficiency may increase by 30%! Want  more tips? You can read our Refrigerator Maintenance Guide for some cool information.

Washing machine2. Washing Machine

  • Check the connections where hoses meet faucets for both cold and hot water to ensure that they are not showing signs of leaking. Also check the drain line to ensure that leaks or overflow are not occurring.
  • Check hoses and screens for buildup.
  • Don’t overload the washing machine. If the machine is packed with clothes, it will need more energy to move them around. This means added strain on the washer’s motor, transmission, belts, and other parts.
  • Do not under-load the machine. Small loads can lead to off-balance cycles, which put a strain on the drive components.

Dishwasher

3. Dishwasher

  • Always set dishwasher’s multiple settings to save water.
  • Set the water heater to 120°F.
  • Use the ‘overnight-dry’ feature whenever possible.
  • You should inspect the condition of the door seal periodically and keep it clean. When water or dirt builds up on the seal, it can cause mold growth.
  • When loading your dishwasher, be careful to not damage the racks. Dishwasher racks are typically very expensive and often rival to the cost of a new appliance.

For more information, read dishwasher maintenance and repair guide.

oven4. Oven

    • Clean your range top often.
    • A gas oven with a solid ventilation system is the most energy-efficient choice.
    • Self-cleaning ovens use a lot of energy but are better insulated than other models.

 

  • Follow few basic checks before you call your home warranty people for service

5. Clothes Dryerdryer

  • Avoid overloading. When a dryer is overloaded, it puts a strain on the belt that turns the drum and that can lead to repair
  • Check exterior portion of the exhaust system to ensure that it is not clogged
  • Restricted air flow can tax the motor, but keeping the lint filter and the area below it clean, keeps the dryer operating more efficiently.
  • Clean out the lint filter before every load.
  • Every three months, use detergent to remove the chemical residues that can cling to the lint filter and restrict airflow.
  • Once a month, look at the dryer exhaust duct for crimps and obstructions.
  • Every year, remove and clean out the entire exhaust duct line from the dryer to the outside.
  • Reduce fire hazards by replacing vinyl with something else for flooring.

Troubleshooting Appliances

1. Washing machine: Washer Mold, Washer Vibration and Bubbles in Washing machine

final

  • WASHER MOLD

    – Any washer can develop mold if the lid is kept closed always, trapping moisture within. But more serious issues have been reported regarding mold in frontload washers, especially high efficiency (HE) washers. There are ways to reduce the risk of washer mold, but even with the best of care, some frontload washers tend to have mold issues. This can become a very serious health issue that requires constant attention to minimize the effects on the family. The mold is usually black – the worst kind and sadly it is usually a recurring problem that requires proactive care.

  • WASHER VIBRATION

    – When a washer vibrates and starts gyrating out of place, there’s an imbalance problem which could be due to the wash load, but it could also signal a problem with the laundry room floor.  An imbalanced wash load is easy to fix, just cancel or pause the cycle and redistribute the load. At the most, you may have to add a large towel or two to help balance the wash and resume the wash cycle.

  • BUBBLES IN AN HE WASHER

    – If you’re using a High Efficiency (HE) washer, but inadvertently used the wrong detergent (regular), you may have soap bubbles that are trying to escape from the washer. Turn off the washer and proceed to a rinse and spin, which may need to be repeated to clear out the high volume of suds. HE detergent is a low siding formula which is recommended for high efficiency washers.

2. Humidifiers & Home Moisture: Water Droplets on Windows, Mold

  • WATER DROPLETS

    – Water droplets or steamy interior windows are usually an indication of excessive moisture. This could simply be caused by a large pot boiling on the stove, but it could signal another problem. It can be caused by a humidifier which is over humidifying the room – not being properly sized for that area or is running on High, where Low would be sufficient. Either way, it’s giving off way too much moisture. You can easily correct that by turning it down or moving the humidifier to a larger area of the house.

  • MOLD

    – Mold in the high corners of a bathroom usually signals that you need a fan in that areas which exhaust the bath/shower steam to the exterior of the home. Mold can be difficult to remove and will often recur prompting another home repair.

NOTE: The above troubleshooting tips are of advisory nature only. If your appliance isn’t working properly and you are not comfortable attempting any of the following, you may contact your local home warranty company and they can surely refer you to a qualified service contractor. If you don’t have a home warranty, contact a local technician at the earliest to get your appliance fixed.

Performing these small tasks in your regular cleaning and maintenance routine will reduce operation costs and may even eliminate the need for professional repairs. When you take great care of your appliances and further safeguard them with a home appliance warranty, you’ll be able to extend the life of your home appliances and count on them to last for many years to come.




When it comes to appliance warranty protection plans, the choices are plenty. Should you buy a comprehensive home warranty or extended warranty at the point of sale? While home warranty is like an umbrella insurance that covers all major home appliances, extended warranty is purchased for each appliance separately.

extended warranty

Home warranties will charge annual premium and deductibles per repair incident but they can be purchased anytime during the life-cycle of the product. Extended warranties will charge up front fees, but no deductible per incident and these protection plans are generally sold during the initial stages of product’s use, although there are exceptions.

Generally, home warranties cover all used appliances, but extended warranties cover new items only. Recently, Warranty Week ran an article that questioned whether there is an overlap between the two. They interviewed several executives from home warranty and extended warranty companies. The general consensus appears to be that, there is some overlap, however two types of warranties serve different purposes.

Mike Frosch, president of The Warranty Group, North America, said “Home warranties are great, when you’re buying or selling a house and want to cover used appliances immediately. Service contracts are great, when you’re shopping for new appliances and want to extend the manufacturer’s warranty for additional years. So in a sense, the coverage may overlap, but the offers don’t really compete. When you buy a home warranty, for the sake of argument let’s say it’s $450. It’s a one-year coverage on used equipment. It’s providing some coverage on some amount of appliances, but it’s really about heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electric”

In our view, they do overlap if you are talking about big ticket appliances, but there is no need to buy both. If you are buying a new appliance, chances of it failing in the first 3-5 years is far less assuming you have researched the product before buying. So, there is no real need for extended warranties.

However, if homeowners still want peace of mind coverage, then they should simply go with home warranty as it covers all appliances in your home not just one specific product. The home warranty costs are higher than the extended warranty, however it covers far more items and you have a single point of contact for all repair needs.

Extended warranty companies argue that they provide better service and offer more economic protection plans. The argument is compelling on the surface, but keep in mind home warranties are useful where there is frequent need for repair such as old appliances.

We wonder what would be the service level if extended warranty companies offer maintenance service of 10-15 years old appliances such as heaters and air conditioners. The repair needs are much higher and their profit margins are much lower. Generally extended warranties are bought for new electronics items and repair incidents are much lower. For this reason, we think it is a wise decision not to buy extended warranty at point of purchase.




Are you longing for a home decorated with our green friends? You want a home that is eco-friendly and looks pretty at the same time? You have come to the right place!

Over the years plants have become much more than just a source of food. While being a very nutritious edible species, members of Kingdom Animalia are also very visually appealing. Even the prickly cacti are never an eye sore.

For all you homeowners out there who wish to add a hint of green to your home, this article shall give you all that you have to know about before you decorate your house with plants.

Benefits of Green Life

Decorate Your House With Plants

There are indeed a lot of benefits associated with gardening and using plants as decor. Let’s discuss about them.

  • Plants are cheaper than most other decor items.
  • They are eco-friendly. Read further about Bringing Nature Into Your Home!
  • During mornings, they release oxygen as a bi-product of photosynthesis. This means that the area around a plant has pure and oxygen rich air.
  • Growing flowering plants can help you save money when the need arises to gift/ make decorations with flowers. Did you know? Some of the best center pieces for dinner tables are made out of fresh flowers and T- light candles?
  • Spending time in a space filled with plants lifts your mood.
  • Plants come in a wide range of varieties giving you unlimited possibilities to use them as decoration.
  • Makes your house look fresh!
  • They are like pets that you can love and care for but don’t move around and litter your home!
  • Living in an environment filled with healthy plants, help cure disease. Ailments like Asthma and other respiratory diseases can be controlled by placing plants in our homes, so that we can breathe fresh air!

Common indoor plants

Norfolk island pine, peperomia, aloe vera, English ivy, peace lily, snake plant, spider plant, bamboo palm, golden pothos etc are the most common varieties of indoor plants. Among them, aloe vera is known for its moisturizing properties and so it can double as an ingredient for homemade face packs. The English ivy is said to be a plant that purifies air effectively, while the most common indoor plant is the spider plant, which is also known for its air purifying properties.

Did you know, the golden pothos has the ability to remove formaldehyde from the air, if you thought plants simply stood lazily in a corner?

You can visit a local nursery or look up on the internet to identify the plants that best suit your lifestyle and home decor.

Where to place your green friends?

plant2

Window sills, kitchen counters, living rooms and balconies make ideal locations for plants. You can even use an assemblage of different plants to create a great ambiance.

Most indoor orchids require humid atmosphere to thrive well. They’ll make excellent additions to your kitchen or a sunny bathroom.

Bedrooms are not really recommended because, as you know, plants release carbon dioxide at night. This leads to reduced amount of oxygen in the air and that is most certainly not good for health.

How to place them?

plant1Pots and containers for these plants are also decorative pieces themselves. So make sure that the pots you use are not only functional but also visually appealing. If you don’t want to spend loads of cash on fancy clay pots, you can simply buy some normal brown ones and paint them in a variety of colors.

If you have enough space, use big terracotta pots and paint them in a bronze or copper color. It adds a certain old world charm to the whole area. Although metal planters are ideal for this look, they are a wee bit expensive.

As much as possible, place your plants in sunny areas and avoid keeping them in places that are not frequently visited. plants like cacti can be kept in tea-cup sized pots and placed in smaller spaces.

Caring for indoor plants

This part is vital. Even though indoor plants require less maintenance as compared to their outdoor counterparts, they will still wither and die if you don’t care for them. Here’s how you should care for your indoor plants.

  • Ensure that they get sufficient light. This does not mean that you should keep them in direct sunlight always and get them burnt in the afternoon sun. Few hours of sunlight per week would do. If your plants are big, place them in wheeled pots. This way you can push them around to locations where they receive light.
  • Water them regularly. Water requirements of each species of plants are different. Hence do sufficient research to find out exactly how much water is needed for a plant. Also plants should never be stored in pots that lack even a single hole. Excess water should never be allowed to collect beneath a plant as it causes the roots to rot.
  • Keep pests at bay. Vegetation is bound to attract insects. Hence you should make sure that such pests don’t cause harm to your beloved plants. A mild pesticide should do the trick.

Plants are indeed a joy to have around living spaces. Having them in your home shall freshen the air and also lift the moods of people occupying that space. If you are someone concerned about environment, you should know about how green landscaping benefits the environment. Hope you found this article informative. Cheers!




Which home would you rather purchase? One that gives you no protection if the air conditioner, plumbing, furnace, garage door openers or dishwater go kaput or one the with a home warranty that fixes any repairs for less than $100?

Majority of buyers would opt for  the latter. It is simple to see why many sellers are making  home warranty part of the selling contract. Provide yourself a marketplace edge by giving buyers peace of mind.

Sell Your House Faster

A home warranty offers the buyer with peace of mind that helps in case there are any problems with major appliances, electrical or home systems. Generally there is a deductible service fee of about $ 60 payable per incident. The cost is generally around $300 to $400 in the form of an annual fee which buys peace of mind and adds value when you’re staring at selling your house.Sell Your House Faster

Additionally, some real estate companies may provide appliance and system protections plans to their customers at no extra charge. Nearly all real estate agencies will offer this service for free, which is generally built into the selling price of the home and brokerage of the realtor.

People who are procuring an older home will buy a warranty if there isn’t one already provided by the seller. This is where having a home warranty for your home is an excellent selling feature. Potential buyers are ought to be impressed if the home is already covered for its appliances and systems.

How to Compare and Choose the Best ?

You can effortlessly find a company that provides appliance protection on our website here or by asking your real estate agent. They will possibly have a list of good home warranty companies that they have used in the past and can advice. Your research also helps choose the best. It’s vital to find out what a company charges along with coverage and other clauses.

 

 

You must compare plans based on the categories below.

  • Systems and appliances covered
  • The cost of the home warranty
  • Service deductible fee
  • Exclusions
  • Other variables like add on’s and customization of plans

With a home warranty, you can give buyers with peace of mind allowing them to be assured that the home is worth their investment. This can be  an outstanding selling feature for any home, new or old. A home warranty can aid you to sell the home faster, standing higher than other homes for sale on the market that do not come with a home warranty.

Selling your home can be a daunting task. Providing appliance protection should do the trick. This service gives your home buyers the composure they look for.

Other Tips for Improving the marketability of Your Home

A few tips for you that will better the chances of finding a buyer for your house.

Kitchen Remodeling

One such improvement is kitchen remodeling. The key aspects you must bear in mind when remodeling are good floor area, sufficient storage space and other modern features. An agent in your locality will be the best person to advice. You can also look up on the internet for resources.

The most common reasons people go for kitchen remodeling are :

  • To improve materials, appliances and fixtures
  • To provide more floor space
  • To provide extra space so family members have a place to grab a quick bite or dine together

Putting back old kitchen cabinets with solid wood – whether cherry, oak or even something less pricey like pine and kitchen counter tops is a good way to increase the kitchen’s usability and appearance as well as the market value of your home.

Bathroom Remodeling

Like kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling needs the services of a professional contractor.

It is important  to have a comprehensive plan and know what type renovation work you want before beginning the project so that code compliance laws are met and essential permits obtained.

Be specific when making the list. Instead of just a lavatory, identify the type. Pedestal lavatories can cost over $300, while a simple wall-hung model can just be under $ 70. Designer toilets will be a little over $ 1,500 while a standard two-piece model will cost under $100. Shop for the finest quality fittings.

Besides, here is a list of 6 tips for selling your home that can change the way home buyers look at your home.

  1. Change the mailbox. The mailbox is one of the first items potential buyers see from the curb. A rusty mail box shows a poorly maintained home.
  2. Paint the front door.Depending on the type of door you have, it is prone to wear and tear making it look dull. The dirt from outside stains and the light it is exposed to fades the paint. A fresh paint can vary the image of the psychology of the buyer entering the house.
  3. Trim shrubbery. Shrubbery is good but overgrown shrubbery looks untidy. It makes the same impression – unkempt, not looked after and not clean. Sensible use of the clippers can make a huge difference in the curb appeal.
  4. Fertilize the lawn. Few things make a bigger impression than from the curb than a blossoming green lawn. And nothing will attain that for you than a little addition of fertilizer. Also apply a little seed to the balder patches of the loan and you can see improvements in a week.
  5. Change Light Switch Plates. Unavoidably, light switch plates and plates for outlets show signs of constant contract. Finger prints, dirt can be clearly visible. You could attempt cleaning them one by one but the plates are very cheap. However, clean plates would point to a home that is cared for to the last little item.
  6. Clean the windows. Dazzling clean windows make the house more attractive both inside and out while dirty windows showing hand prints, rain stains create a negative impression on the home buyer.

This list gives you a starting point on economical ways to improve your home’s marketability. Now you should walk your home and try to find the little things that could be made cleaner and brighter with very small expenses.




Home maintenance is an integral and expensive part of homeownership. Every homeowner worth his salt will swear that without proper maintenance of household appliances/ systems, the comforts of his home can be rendered ineffective.

It goes without saying that appliance repairs and replacements are costly. Not to mention the added trouble involved in looking for a trustworthy contractor and getting him to do the repair job at a reasonable price. While unexpected repairs can burn a hole in your pocket, preparing for them in advance may help you lessen the impact of the blow. Let’s see how you can efficiently manage home maintenance costs without hassle.

Home Maintenance Costs

Preparing the maintenance table

Step 1: Identify all the major appliances and systems in your home

The first and foremost step is to make a list of all the appliances and systems in your home. Follow this step by creating a table, you can use an MS Excel Spreadsheet or even a simple paper will do. Make 5 columns, mark the first one as “Item” and fill that column with names of all the appliances you own.

Step 2: Determine the date of manufacture

This is quite crucial. If you have the paperwork relating to the date of purchase like invoice, bills etc, it will be immensely helpful in determining the year in which the appliance was manufactured. Fill the second column with corresponding values of date of manufacture.

Step 3: Determine the life expectancy

Name the next column as “life expectancy”. Fill it in with average expected life spans of every appliance/system.

Step 4: Determine current age & years remaining

In the next column, write down the current age of the appliance. If you don’t know the exact year of manufacture of an appliance, use an estimate.

Deduce the number of years remaining for an appliances from the date of manufacture and the average life expectancy. If,for any component, the value of this field is less than or equal to 5, chances are high that that particular appliance/system may require repairs in the near future.

Step 5: Estimate replacement costs for each appliance

You can do some research online to find out about the cost of new appliances. Fill that out in the next column.

By now your table should look somewhat like this –

Appliance/ System Year of manufacture Life expectancy Current age (‘15) Years remaining
Refrigerator 2002 13 13 0
Dishwasher 2001 9 4 5
Air conditioner 2005 15 10 5
Washing machine 2008 10 7 3
HVAC heater 2000 15 15 0
Water heater 2009 12 6 6

Identifying failure prone appliances/ systems

Any appliance, whose years remaining value is less that 5 is likely to undergo faults and errors more frequently. Shortlist any such appliances and sum up values of their total replacement costs. The amount could be huge or reasonable. If it is huge, it is recommended that you purchase a home warranty plan to ensure budget protection.

Arrive at a conclusion

Once you make a table for every appliance/ system in your house, you will be able to predict which appliances will require repair services in the next 5 years. Avoid focusing on appliances that have more than 5 years remaining.

Look out for expense clusters. For eg, in the above table, both dishwasher and clothes washer have only 4 years remaining, which means they stand a chance to die during the same year. This could lead to an “expense cluster” as you will have to replace two appliances in the same year.

Achieving budget protection

If you feel that you will be encountering multiple appliance repair needs in the near future, we suggest that you invest in some form of appliance protection plan. Ideally, for any homeowner whose appliances or the home itself is over 4 years old, a home warranty is the best bet for budget protection.

These plans offer discounted repairs and replacements services. In most cases, the homeowner only has to pay nominal deductible fee ($40 – $100) for each service incident. Annual premiums for such plans are quite affordable too (around $250 – $500).

Home maintenance does pay off!

Like we said, without proper maintenance, even the best of homes will turn into an almighty mess. As the old saying goes, a stitch in time, saves nine, likewise timely maintenance could save you loads of money on appliance repairs later.

You can go through Home Maintenance Tips to become aware of the steps you can take to keep your home and its appliances healthy. You can also read about various Home Warranty Plans to secure budget protection and peace of mind.




Condos are a great substitutes to renting an apartment or possessing a single family home and they have their own unique insurance needs.

About Condo Warranty Insurance

Condo Warranty

Condo Warranty is similar to appliance warranty and provides condominium owners with coverage for repair of major appliances and home systems.

Appliances are intended to make your lives simple. Refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, and other kitchen compliments not only assist you in doing everyday chores and prepare food faster, but they take some of the monotony out of your day and allow you more free time, as well.

Unluckily appliances, like any other piece of machinery can stop working. When that occurs, instead of saving your time and hassle, your malfunctioning appliance can actually add to your stress. This problem becomes even bigger when the malfunction occurs soon after you buy an appliance. To avoid the extra stress of dealing with faults of a brand new appliance, an appliance warranty is a brilliant tool to have in your corner.

Condo Warranty Types

When procuring an appliance, inquire if the appliance is issued by the dealer or if the appliance is covered by a manufacturer’s  warranty. Some retail chains and dealers buy appliances from the makers without a manufacturer’s warranty, so as to lower their costs. There are quite a few disadvantages to this.

  • First, if the dealer or chain goes out of business, you will probably be left without warranty at all. Whenever service is required, the dealer will fix up for someone to service the unit at no cost to you. But if you are not happy with whom they have chosen, you are caught up with them.
  • Conversely, if the warranty is covered by the manufacturer, you must be able to address any of their official service agents to get the repairs done.

Comprehend Your Condo Warranties Systematically

In case you buy a product for commercial/store use for a boarding house, townhouse, or apartment building with an ordinary kitchen or laundry room, make sure to study the warranty limitations. The majority of domestic appliance warranties are only meant for single family use.

Bear in mind that the majority warranty companies, no matter at what condition your appliance is, they would still repair it than replace it.

Condo Warranty vs. Home Warranty

Condo Warranties are there to cover you when a trouble happens due to a defect.

A home warranty is planned to cover repair and replacement costs for major home systems and appliances (like wiring, plumbing etc.). Usually, a home warranty is bought as a contract for a year, with either annual, monthly or quarterly payments.

Even if you might have to pay a small deductible when you raise an issue, with a home warranty, you will have less worries about large, unforeseen bills caused by appliance or home system breakdown. When merged with your  dealer condo warranty, a home warranty must ensure that, one way or other, if something goes wrong you will be able to manage it without breaking the bank.

About Condominium Insurance

Condo Warranty Insurance

Condominium insurance is a unique insurance intended to fit the detailed needs of condo owners. Similar to renters insurance, condo insurance offers liability and personal property protection. However, condo owners need to consider additional coverage for the building based on their condominium association’s master policy and it’s coverage.

So take a look at this article, you can learn about condominium insurance below, and then obtain a free quote to see if it can help you get the coverage you need to defend your residence and your belongings.

Why Do I Need Condo Insurance?

Condo insuranceYou possess a condo and the association has insurance. So what’s the big deal? Well, your condominium association insurance covers the condominium building, commonly owned property, and liability insurance for the association.

Regrettably there are many instances where that insurance policy won’t cover you or your things – like water damage to your living room walls, break in, or someone gets injured by slipping on your wet kitchen floor. For this reason, you need condominium insurance planned specifically for condo or co-op owners.

If something happens to your condo or townhome, it may be up to you to put back things like flooring, drywall, light fixtures, cabinets and more. That’s where condo liability insurance comes into the picture.

Many condominium associations only insure the building’s structure and general areas, typically leaving each unit’s interior construction to the homeowner. However, condo insurance coverage may also vary by state.

What Does A Condo Insurance Policy Cover?

All-risk contents coverage insures the possessions inside your home for the most common types of losses. When you have this coverage, your contents are insured for the whole thing, unless it’s particularly excluded from your policy.

Named-Perils coverage includes a catalog of the most common types of items covered under your insurance. It includes theft, fire and water damage. All the items are clearly listed in your policy booklet so that you have a thorough knowledge of what your insurance policy covers.

A standard home policy usually offers for the Actual Cash Value (ACV) replacement of your possessions. This means you only obtain the value of the item, less reduction. For instance, if you bought a TV 5 years ago for $500, you might only receive $100 for it if it were damaged in a fire. Even if it may cost you $600 to substitute that same TV, your insurance would only give you $100.

Many people opted to add the Replacement Value option to their contents coverage. Replacement value coverage means that the contents of your home are insured for the amount it costs to replace them. When you substitute the item(s) with a similar kind and quality, within a definite time, the insurer will pay you what it cost you to replace the item(s). This means if your 5 year – old TV was lost in a fire, you would obtain the full amount it would cost to replace it.

When you replace the item(s) with a similar kind and quality, within a specified time, the insurer will pay you what it cost you to replace the item(s) not what they were actually worth in their used state. This means if your 5 year-old TV was lost in a fire, you would get the full amount it would cost to replace it, even if that is more than you paid for the TV in the first place.

Detached Private Structure. This type of coverage applies to structures that belong to your property, but that are not connected to your primary residence. For example, a separate garage could be integrated under this coverage. There is normally a definite limit to this kind of coverage, but you can always increase that limit by buying additional coverage options.

Additional Living Expenses. If you are compelled to leave your home because of a loss, this coverage pays for your logical and necessary expenses to momentarily live away from home. Hotel and food expenses would be covered under such circumstances. There is generally a limit on this kind of coverage.

Personal Liability. Liability insurance guards you from having to pay damages to people, if you have been found liable for accidentally injuring them or damaging their property.

Voluntary Payments for Medical Expenses. This covers medical costs if someone unintentionally hurts themselves as a result of your personal activities or the way you have kept your building. It also covers injuries caused by resident employees.

Voluntary Payments for Damage to Property. The unintentional physical damage to the property of others is covered. It may also be caused by your pets or animals, or by actions of your resident employees. This kind of coverage would also comprise the intended acts of other insured persons under a certain age.

Improvements and betterments. Investing money to get your residence better increases the worth of your investment. The Improvements and Betterments Protection recompenses you for all the additional you have put into your condominium – on top of what the builder initially provided for you, up to the limit of your replacement value.

For example, your unit was initially furnished with a $5000 medium-grade carpet. You want to upgrade to a high quality carpet, valued at $10,000. The ‘Improvements and Betterments’ protection will guarantee that you obtain the full value of your new carpet in the event of a loss. So if there were a fire, and the builder only gave you $5000 to cover the value of the original carpet, the insurer would give you the remaining $5000.

Supplemental Coverage. Aside from insuring your betterments, you may also need to insure your condominium unit itself. This will ensure that you are sheltered should the corporation’s insurance not fully cover a loss to your unit.

Loss Assessment. A significant feature of a condominium insurance policy is loss assessment. This is when you share liability with others for common property. The insurer will shell out, up to a set limit, your portion of any particular assessment that’s valid under your condominium corporation’s governing rules:

  • If it’s due to a direct loss that influences a shared part of the premises and if it has been caused by an insured hazard
  • If it’s due to legal liability arising out of shared ownership of common areas of the condominium premises
  • Providing that the assessment has not been made essential because of a deductible in the corporation’s own insurance policy

Condo Insurance Quotes ProvidersCondo insurance quote

You are likely finding out there are a lot of decisions to make and details to work out before you make a choice.

The home insurance agents recognize that a condominium is not a traditional home. However, it does need homeowners insurance of a particular type. In case you want to protect your condo, ensure to inquire about how condo insurance differs and what it covers.

Homeowners insurance agents who focus on condo insurance are an exceptional resource. In all reality, you are asking for tailored homeowners insurance quotes, when you ask for condo insurance quotes. So there is guarantee that you are receiving what you actually require in a policy.

Ensure you speak with a Condo Insurance Professional

All agencies or insurance types are shaped equal. Make sure that when you get condo insurance quotes,  you follow up with the insurance agents who offered you with the quotes, so you are alert about all the details before you invest in a policy.




Americans buy home warranty to protect themselves from repair and replacement costs of home appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear. Unfortunately a lot of policy holders feel let down by the result after filing a claim with their warranty company. Some people are ignorant that they have the power to dispute the outcome of a claim when one is filed; others are conscious that many customers succeed when they dispute a claim correctly. The procedure involved in disputing a claim can be extensive, but can be worth time investment.

Home Warranty Claims

A home warranty is a service contract that covers systems and items in your home that are usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Furnaces and outside air conditioning units, plumbing and electrical systems are items commonly covered under a home warranty protection plan. The homeowner requests a claim with the warranty company when a covered item requires repair. Some home warranty providers repay the homeowner for the cost of the repair while others send a contractor directly to the home for repairs.

Common Causes of Home Warranty Claims Denial

You should look at these factors carefully for any items that you estimated to be covered by the home warranty contract you aim to procure. Make sure you read the contract one more time and understand the reason for denial. In some cases, even courts cannot help you if the claim was denied for a reason clearly stated in the contract.

So what are some of the common reasons for denial of claims on home warranty?

  • Lack of Maintenance – You are supposed to take care of cleaning and maintenance of appliances. HVAC units must be serviced every year and you should keep maintenance records.
  • Code Violations – If any of your appliances violate safety and installation codes, they won’t be covered.
  • Unusual wear and tear – due to reckless usage etc.
  • Improper installation – This is where having a home scrutiny done by a professional is so significant. Paying out a few hundred dollars for this kind of assessment could save you thousands of dollars and years of annoyance. For instance, if the HVAC system was not installed properly, or if the defect existed before the new buyer takes ownership, the claim could be denied. If the seller is reluctant to deal with issues that are found in a home inspection, think two times before you close on that home.
  • Excluded appliances Clause – Not all appliances are covered. Your service contract lists all covered appliances. Make sure you are okay with the coverage.

How to Dispute Home Warranty Claim Denials

Always be polite and be friendly with customer service professionals. They will go an extra mile if they like you. The first step should always be that you speak to customer service supervisors and their bosses who make the decision. Assuming those steps did not result in a favorable outcome, you can follow these escalation steps:

  • Step 1: Verify your home warranty documents. The definite steps you have to take with the home warranty company to appeal a petition for denial must be listed in the documents.
  • Step 2: Make contract with your home warranty company. Keep a record of all dates and times you talk to a company representative. Obtain the names of every person you speak to. Inquire for the required paperwork to demand a denial of your warranty plan.
  • Step 3: Get the problem re-estimated by a third party. Speak to a local contractor or repairman and get a written estimate for the repair. Have the professional note in writing of what he thinks is the reason of the damage.
  • Step 4: Pursue the warranty company’s appeal process. Some companies want mediation actions be started by and finished by you before the issue can be taken further. Provide any documentation demanded by the company.
  • Step 5: Approach Better Business Bureau (BBB.) Most companies are willing to resolve your issues and close BBB complaints to have a clean record.
  • Step 6: Call your State attorney general’s office. The attorney general’s office normally deals with warranty fraud and service denials.
  • Step 7: File a complaint in small claims court if your claim is small enough. Small claims courts are confined on how much money you can file for a suit. Ensure with the small claims clerk’s office to settle on if your claim falls under the limit.
  • Step 8: Get hold of an attorney for larger claims. Verify with your local bar association to locate an attorney knowledgeable in real estate and denial of service matters. The permissible charge for an attorney differs by area, but usually you will be able to sue the warranty company for the lawyer charges you paid other than your claim.

 




HomeWarrantyReviews.com caught up with Gary Serbousek, the founder of HomeOneWarranty. This is an excerpt from that interview. HomeOneWarranty (HOW) provides its software solution to home warranty companies. In this excerpt Gary discusses the company, their product and their aspirations to bring changes to the industry.

Tell Us about HomeOneWarranty and why you decided to start the company?

HomeOneWarranty is a software company focused exclusively on providing a solution for home service providers. The company was founded to provide home service providers a comprehensive solution to automate and streamline their business. We have nearly 30 years’ experience in the warranty business and are committed to providing the industry a superior solution. Virtually every industry has access to systems designed specifically for their needs, we felt that the time was right to provide home service contract providers the time and cost saving advantage of a commercially developed application.

HomeOneWarranty

How many clients do you have currently? Which companies use your services?

We currently have six customers and are in conversation with several other companies. We believe our rapid growth validates that the solution meets the needs of the industry. What is particularly exciting is that our customers range from companies managing 10’s of thousands of transactions a month to “start-ups”  managing a few hundred transactions. The investment is structured to make the solution affordable for any size company. We plan to announce a few more customers shortly but are purposefully managing the company’s growth to ensure that all our customers get great customer service.

What features are you planning to add in the future?

Our customers and the market really dictate what additional functionality we add to the product. For example, we saw that many companies were struggling with the policy renewal process so, in our latest release, we included functionality to automate that process. The results have been fantastic. Many of our customers have doubled their renewal capture rate.

The Agency portal, a vehicle that allows Brokers and Agents to create new policy orders, was the result of our customers requesting functionality to help tighten their relationship with agents.

Currently, we are working on a Customer portal so that the end consumer can buy policies, request services, and track status of either claims or repairs. We are especially excited by this new capability as it will add further process efficiencies and, like renewals, we anticipate that it will result in increased revenues.

The ability to consistently deliver game changing capabilities “out-of-the-box” is why our customers have abandoned costly development efforts and instead rely on HOW. We offer our customers a more cost effective solution and significant time to market advantages.

What are some features of the product your customers like the most?

The HomeOne solution is a very comprehensive, end-to-end system that, we believe, provides value to every stakeholder. So, the features “liked best” is dependent on the role(s) one has within the company. The call center agents like that they have immediate access to homeowner and policy data, including history. Claims likes the ability to immediately determine coverages and entitlements. Marketing likes that they can create targeted outreach efforts, for example, notifying a customer of a pending renewal. Accounting likes that all critical financial data is captured and integrated to back-office financials. Owners and Executive Management especially like that they have immediate access to reliable information to easily measure the health of the business and what programs are performing or underperforming.

Home warranty software company

We are most proud of the fact that our customers have a single, comprehensive solution that enables them to manage their entire business enabling them to focus on providing great value to the customer. Most of the companies that we speak with are reliant on multiple systems that aren’t connected. We help companies streamline their business and to benefit from the efficiencies inherent in a well-designed solution. It is tremendously satisfying to hear our customers tell us “you have really made our lives easier.”

The Home Warranty industry doesn’t have the best reputation, why is that and can a company like HOW help?

Unfortunately, like any industry, there are the few whose goals and objectives might not align with the overall purpose of the industry, and the home service industry is no exception. Overall, we have been tremendously impressed by the integrity and honesty that the vast majority of home service providers deliver to their customers. We also believe that the complexity of the industry has caused some of the negative perception. It is extremely difficult to provide superior customer service when relying on antiquated systems or manual processes. There will also always be a few bad apples. For the vast majority of companies that truly strive to provide great product and customer support, HomeOne can help.

Where do you see the market going?

We are definitely seeing more companies expressing interest in the space outside of the traditional service contract companies. For example, utilities companies, while not new to the industry, are becoming increasingly active in offering home service contract options. This might create some concern especially with local service contract providers since utility companies have a captive market and are already communicating with, and marketing to, the home owners. Ultimately though, competition is good, It creates more product awareness and, we expect, will result in higher premiums. Generally, that should be a good thing for the local service contract providers. The challenge for the local companies is remaining competitive. A system like HomeOne will help them to reduce cost inefficiencies by streamlining their internal process while delivering a better customer experience. We think that’s how we can help ensure that all companies can compete successfully.

What’s unique about what you are doing and why should it matter?

We hope to make a difference in the industry, and the fact that we are the only company, that we are aware, exclusively focused on the home service contract business makes us unique. We have a long history in the market and have had the opportunity to meet with and speak with a countless number of business leaders. No one has ever told us “we went into the home service contract industry so that we could build software.” We believe that by enabling our customers to focus their time, effort, and people on growing their business and providing exceptional customer service, we can make a difference.

home warranty software

Select Screen Images of HomeOneWarranty Software

 

home warranty software

Select Screen Images of HomeOneWarranty Software

So HOW provides a benefit to the home service contract company but how does the homeowner benefit?

Providing a better solution to our customers enables them to provide better services to the home owner. Many of the complaints from homeowners are that claims and requests for service aren’t being addressed in a timely manner or to completion. Most home service contract companies don’t have solutions that give them easy visibility to a homeowners policy to determine entitlements, what claims should be covered, and the status of a service request.

With HomeOne a company can quickly determine whether a claim is covered and easily track the corresponding service request, including which company the work order has been assigned so that they can quickly follow-up to make sure that the work is performed. With the Customer Portal, we expect that many homeowners will track their service request without having to place calls to the home service company.

Anything else you would like our readers to know?

We have been very pleasantly surprised by the response that we have received. Typically, the first thing we hear when speaking with a company for the first time is “we had no idea that there was a company focusing exclusively on providing a software solution for home service providers.” Almost unanimously the comments on the system are extremely positive. Whether they end up as a customer or not, the comments after seeing the solution is that we clearly know the market and that it is reflected in the product. The best part is receiving a heartfelt “good luck, the industry has needed a solution like HomeOne.” We encourage people to take a look at the software. Even if they are not currently in the market for a new solution, we always appreciate the feedback on what we can do to deliver a better system.

About Home One Warranty

Home One Warranty software addresses the specific needs of Home Warranty providers. Founder, Gary Serbousek, has more than 15 years’ experience in the extended warranty and service market and has worked with many leading home warranty providers as well as a variety of industries that provide warranty and extended service contracts.

Web:      www.homeonewarranty.com

Email:   [email protected]

Phone:  (720) 381-2408


Would you like to see your company featured in one of our upcoming interviews? HomeWarrantyReviews.com is committed to bringing U.S. homeowners and industry experts the news and topics that mean the most and are most timely.  If you think your company has news or a story that home warranty consumers or the industry itself would be interested in reading then please contact us.




Can a Contractor benefit from the Home Warranty Companies? There may be universal consensus on the subject which is why this article is dedicated to show how work can be extracted and also examine the full scope of benefits a Contractor can draw from a Home Warranty Company.

Contractor looking for job

Why Work With A Home Warranty Company?

The better the reviews for a Home Warranty Company (New York, Virginia, Texas, California, etc.), the better your chances of earning and saving more at the same time. What makes it so attractive is the almost nullification of advertising costs for the contractor. All companies that work along with Contractors offer free referrals to Contractors, to all their home warranty customers.

In order to make the most of the significant market that exists, it is never enough to know the technical know-hows of how to repair electronic appliances but you should also be ready to expend a part of your revenue into marketing your brand.

Another reason it is beneficial to work with a Home Warranty company would be because it guarantees continuous work, and you are less prone to be out of work on a not-so-profitable season. With increasing work calls from the Home Warranty Company, the more chances you have at expanding your brand, either by hiring new technicians or buying new work-enhancing technology. With this sort of reliability, you could be fixing an AC and heater at any time of the year.

This can also prove beneficial to the Home Warranty company too as the contractors provide good reviews of the companies they are working with, increasing their chances of contacting them again or even spread goodwill by word of mouth.

When you decide to take on this relationship with a Home Warranty Company, it is also important for a Contractor to remember that he/she must be efficient in receiving calls from customers, who are directed from the Home Warranty company itself. Customer service is the lifeline on which the success of Contractor business can rely on, especially in the case where you are working with a Home Warranty Company where all your customers are directed from the contact number you provide the company.

Joining bigger Home Warranty Companies can give you a form of exclusivity if one outperforms all the contractors a company has hired. This will allow you to appear at the top of their list of contractors, especially if they provide reviews’ section.

How To Work With A Home Warranty Company?

Almost all leading Home Warranty Companies offer online applications which you can fill up in your leisure time and submit with all the relevant information typed in.

Some of these leading Home Warranty Companies include,

  1. American Home Shield
  2. Select Home Warranty
  3. Home Warranty Of America
  4. Choice Home Warranty
  5. One Guard Home Warranties  

The customer reviews’ section within our own website can also be found for some of the top rated Home Warranty Companies like American Home Shield, The Home Service Club, Secure Home Warranty, America’s Preferred Home Warranty-APHW, Select Home Warranty and First American Home Warranty (also picked as 2017’s Editor’s Choice, a brand new category introduced this year).

However, all contractors are requested to review the home warranty companies they’ve worked with on an exclusively dedicated space called the Vendor’s Area. Here, one can dish out all the good and bad experiences one’s had by taking up the jobs given by the home warranty companies.


Some of the benefits to the contractor by working with a Home Warranty Company like above, in addition to the ones already mentioned, would be:

  1. Phone claim approvals
  2. Detailed information of their employers / the company
  3. Administrative support
  4. Online invoice
  5. Ability to review payment history
  6. Cancel or resolve service fee
  7. General management of claims online

Renowned Home Warranty Companies also help their contractors in times of need, which include an experienced support team and a high limit on calls. Companies like Home Warranty of America also helps Contractors claim costs.

What To Remember Before Becoming A Service Contractor?

Before filling up your application form to become a Service Contractor, it is a necessary step to license your contractorship. Every Home Warranty Company expects the Service Contractor they are about to work with are certified contractors with a license and hence you are required to fill up your license ID in the application form.

Also you are required to fill in your Auto Insurance Policy Number, and your General Liability Insurance Policy Number (optional). Insurance Policies are in your own interest, hence even if some of them are optional we recommend you create one if absent.

Diversifying your skills can also be very beneficial before applying for a Contractorship with a Home Warranty Company. As you fill up your application, you are asked of your specialization and hence learning new skills can help you strike off more blanks, increasing your popularity among the reviews and consequently help increase your revenue.

Consistent work can be guaranteed when you are able to juggle with different kinds of repairs be it plumbing, garbage disposal, weed/lawn mowing, ceiling fans, gas fireplace or septic system. These numbers can go up to a hundred so a little bit of extra skill can only put you so much ahead of the rest of the contractors.

If you are looking to expand your presence in contractorship, applying to work with a Home Warranty Company is the best as it can get. You can save and earn more at the same time, a chance usually deprived for those working outside of these companies. There are many ways you can utilize such an opportunity, more so as there are numerous Home Warranty Companies and your chances at getting in at any one of them aren’t nearly dim. Go ahead and fill your applications now!

Our portal also lets you access some of the most sophisticated lists of best home warranty companies, ranked on a various different criterion. This is, in addition to the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) and Home Maintenance Calculator. Be sure to check them out!

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Most of us know how to identify a faulty socket, a home appliance that isn’t working right or a leaky roof panel. What about noticing a structural defect before it gets out of hand? By definition, any crack, fault or deviation in the structural integrity of the building is identified as a structural defect, one that requires immediate attention. And here comes the Structural Warranty for your aid, provided if you have carefully chosen the policy after going through the fine print of the contract.

Structural Defects in a home

Often these defects are noticed in load-bearing elements of the home – the beams, roof frames, support walls and the like. For example, a shift or crack in the foundation stumps could play a part in putting off balance the entire house, as can a fault line in one the walls along the perimeter that hold up the roofs entire weight.

What are Structural Defects

The first step to identifying a structural defect is knowing what it really is. A structural defect is any element of the building’s structure that shows signs of faulty workmanship or materials that results in or may in the future result in:

  1.   Destruction and damage of any kind to the building itself
  2.   Prevention of use of a part of the building due to structural defects
  3.   Need for a space in the building to be blocked or closed due to structural defects
  4.   Eventual collapse of the structure

Why Structural Defects Occur

The cost of repair is astronomical, as compared to fixing appliances or cosmetic non-load bearing partitions and frames. Accessing the foundation stumps can cost an easy $10,000; double if the house is large. While structural engineers and inspectors can be easily hired for routine inspections, it is important for you to be able to spot defects as well.

When it does come to a hired professional, you have the option between a Licensed Engineer and a Home Inspector, the former being advisable as he or she has the authority to not only notice a defect but also suggest plans of action in order to rectify the issue. If you plan on investing in a Structural Warranty or State Warranty for your home, then it usually comes with an inspection.

In the US, soil expansion and other elements of nature account for an easy twenty-five percent of structural defects, but improperly built structures play a large role as well. Bulges in walls due to temperature expansion or loose brick or wood beams, faulty roofing, slanting walls and their lack of load bearing capabilities, cracks – all add up when it comes to construction methods which did not follow the necessary precision and regulations.

Before purchase, a home inspection is considered mandatory for all practical purposes. For an investment that large, it makes no sense flying blind and taking a risk, especially when it comes to the reliability of the structure itself. Unfortunately, that is not the end of it. All statistics indicate to structural defects manifesting themselves 4 to 7 years post the completion of the building, which leads interestingly to why 10-year coverage Structural Warranties have become so common.

Identifying Structural Defects in Your Home

Faults in Foundation

The roots of the building that keep it grounded and steady with an equal distribution of load, a weak foundation can not only be the death of a home but can also be very difficult to fix. Just like a game of Jenga, the home stands firm on its foundation, load bearing frame of walls and roof. If the base shakes, it all comes tumbling down.

Foundation cracks and how to deal with it if you have a structural warranty

Now the tricky part is that faults in the foundation are difficult to identify early on. The first signs of these are seen in the floor – buckling or raised tiles and planks, ruptures, sagging of the flooring materials and crumbling or concrete. Improper sloping and drainage can be markers as well, often caused by roots of surrounding trees that are spreading under your home.

So check if you have a structural warranty in place and that it covers all the mentioned damages so that you can have a worry-free stay at your home!

Improper Technique and Materials in Flooring

Unless the fault is rising up from the foundation, defects in flooring usually owe their existence to faulty workmanship. If the inspection shows that the damage is only on the topmost layer – affecting the tiles, wooden planks or stone surface – then you needn’t worry about the integrity of the foundation below.

Seepage in floors and how structural warranty helps

Any seepages at the floor level, loose tiles due to the grout crumbling and wood warping or raising due to moisture and gaps between tiles are all signs of structural damage. It may seem like a cosmetic issue but left unattended the damage could cause faults in the foundation as well.

No wonder, the recommendation to have a structural warranty makes sense to have, ain’t it?

Cracks

Homes made of concrete can be easily subjected to expansion and contraction. Due to the increase and decrease in moisture and temperature, ruptures begin to appear on the walls and floor.

Cracks in your wall

Cracks on the surface are not usually a problem, especially if they remain static and do not increase or spread. Known as Hairline Cracks, they are less than a tenth of a millimeter and rarely grow or increase in length and width.

Ruptures that are around a millimeter in width can be more visible, but even these can be treated on the surface for cosmetic reasons. They almost never expand and mean no harm to the structure of your home, though depending on where they are positioned they may cause seepage.

Constant expansion and contraction in states that experience extreme changes in weather may cause cracks that are a lot more distinct, often around doors and windows. Not only do they alter the structure of the wall to a certain extent, they also are a few millimeters wide. This shift can cause windows and doors to jam or not shut at all, which may require attention.

A crack with a width of over 5mm is cause for alarm and needs to be inspected. While they can be fixed by reworking on certain parts of the wall, there is a chance that the crack may have damaged the wiring, plumbing, and service pipes which run through the walls.

More than 15mm and you can be rest assured that immediate attention is necessary. No doubt, there has now been some impact on the pipes and wiring inside the walls, and if it needs to sustain a monsoon then seepage is inevitable. Most often, cracks of this width are difficult to miss, and they cause windows, doors, and woodwork to warp and slant. Walls may bulge in certain parts, and floors may slope and rise, making the weight-bearing beams compensate for the load that the walls should be bearing.

Having a Structural Warranty in such instances is nothing but a big relief. The home is covered and the repair costs for such huge cracks are all taken care by the home builder.

Inspection from the Outside

Walking around the outside of your home can tell you a lot about its structure. Keep your eyes open for sagging roof ridges, external cracks, gaps between utilities like chimneys and the adjoining walls, and bulges or recessions in the walls.

Windows and doors must be tested for proper mechanics, as well as for cracks around them due to pressure. It helps to keep a right angle tool ready to check if the corners are clear and without slopes.

Another reason to look both outside and inside for defects in correlation. If cracks and shifts on the outside matchup with defects on the inside, rest assured there is a deep rooted defected that is definitely structural.

Home and Builder Structural Warranty

It may be a tough decision to make, but when you are hunting for a home then it’s a good idea to check if builder-sold homes come with Builder Structural Warranty to back up their reputation.

Home Warranty focuses on the houses appliances and interiors, while Builder Warranty usually takes care of all the heavy duty structural detail, windows, doors and internal systems. Though both their purpose and choosing a plan that offers both is a good idea, it may be best to have your house inspected before choosing one – Home or Builder.

So, it is always good to have the protection and peace of mind a homeowner gets when the home has a structural warranty in place and the appliances are backed up by a legitimate home service contract or home warranty policy!




As a landlord, legal responsibility is a bigger issue for you. You need to guard yourself against the losses that can potentially crop up to your properties and in general financial health. What if your occupant is hurt on the rental possessions? You want to be sure that if you are prosecuted, you have the adequate insurance to lend you a hand.

Insurance Landlord needs

As a landlord, you should guard your income stream and that’s your rental income. If the structure is adequately spoiled then it is not possible for the renter to dwell in your property, so you require a protection to your rental income so as to meet your obligations, together with the mortgage on the property, if any. This is where you have to reflect carefully on what your exact needs are and purchase the right coverage.

Take heart! While it may sound scary, insurers have previously designed policies for the landlord’s requirements. Always remember that there will be a dissimilarity in these policies, so you will have to verify the fine print and choose the one that suits your situation. By shopping around, you will get a better idea of what is obtainable in coverage and at what price.

Essential Insurance for Landlords

There are some forms of insurance you can take to make your life simpler and less of a burden. Here is a list of essential insurances that a landlord must have:

Get a Home Warranty

Landlords most likely take issue with this one, as it appears to take money out of their pockets-especially those with the ability to do repair work themselves. However, you can draw a better class of tenant if they recognize that there’s a warranty in place. (i.e., they won’t have to hunt you down and request you to come by to make repairs). Besides, it will free you up to truly manage your belongings as an owner rather than just a handyman. To end with, a home warranty policy will pay for itself with one or two repairs.

To get an estimate of home warranty costs for your rental properties, visit our home warranty price quote section

Landlord House Insurance

If you possess a home then you likely know the significance of ensuring that it is properly protected. Having the correct insurance for your property is a good step towards making sure that you have the guard you require. Landlord house insurance is essential for anyone who possesses a home. The key to home insurance policies is ensuring that you receive the best price for your insurance.

Below is a list of ways by which you can decrease the rate of your insurance policy.

  • Security System– If you set up a right security system that can sense fires or thieves, then you can find a reduced rate on your insurance policy.
  • Increase Deductible– You can ensure to pay a lower amount for your insurance plan by increasing your deductible payment. The deductible is the payment that you are required to pay once you make a claim on your insurance plan. Make sure that you find a good deductible rate for yourself.
  • Remove Potential Hazards– If you stay in an area that is bounded by trees then likely you have a high risk of a fire occurring. By clearing the trees you may be able to save money on the insurance. Based on the circumstances you may have to shell out a higher premium for your contents house insurance.
  • Find the Right Lender– The best way to save money on your landlord house insurance is to gaze around. Start a search online and hunt for different companies that provide reasonable insurance for your home. You can obtain free online quotes for house insurance from different companies but make sure that you get comprehensive quotes for your insurance. Get the details of the coverage and don’t be fooled by any company as the offer really low prices because they normally have high deductibles and bad coverage.

Landlords Contents Insurance

Many landlords believe that they do not require any insurance for the contents in their buildings. They hold the impression that these contents are taken care of by the building insurance they procured. However, that is not the actual case. To get the contents covered, they will have to spend extra in landlords’ contents insurance. Some landlords even feel that the contents will be covered by any insurance policy the tenant holds. But the actual fact is that the policies bought by the tenants will only cover possessions of the tenants and not that of the landlord.

If the landlords truly worry about the contents for which they put in a huge amount of money, they must procure landlords contents insurance. In this way, they can expect to get some reimbursement for the items in case they are damaged. Having no insurance for these items will leave them totally destructed if they face any incident causing damages.

Umbrella Insurance Policy

It’s called “umbrella insurance as it is intended to give liability protection beyond when the liability on other policies has been exhausted. Depending on the insurance company, you can obtain an umbrella policy with an extra one to five million in liability protection.

Umbrella Insurance gives an added layer of liability coverage. It’s isn’t just for rich and famous. Whether it’s an incident on your policy or a serious auto accident concerning costly medical bills, you can find yourself liable for damages that exceed the limits on your homeowners, auto or boat policies. A pricey judgment is the last thing you want to be anxious about.

Landlords habitually handle different types of policies, but one of the most significant and frequently unnoticed types of insurance is the umbrella insurance policy.

Consider these factors if you are not sure if you would benefit from procuring umbrella insurance or not.

  • Rentals– Though you carry an independent fire policy for each home, umbrella insurance can help you protect in case your tenant or tenant’s guest are injured on a rental property.
  • Vacant land-Your vacant land can be used by neighborhood children to play. If one is hurt it could result in an expensive lawsuit. In such situation, umbrella insurance can offer additional coverage.

Taking no notice of these insurance policies is not recommended anytime. The consequence of such ignorance could lead to serious losses that will be hard to recover. On the contrary, landlords are strongly suggested to make an investment in such policies that will save them a lot of money in case of any accidents.




New York Attorney General has sued National Home Protection home warranty company and its principals over an alleged warranty scheme that defrauded consumers in New York and other states out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The AG froze all of National Home Protection’s assets, so customers who got ripped off, can hopefully at least get back some money.

The company has been shut down for the time being and banned from selling again in New York until their problems are settled and they register with the State Insurance Department. If you signed up for a home warranty through National Home Protection, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office.

The New York attorney general says a New York City-based home warranty company cheated customers in at least 32 states out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Their home warranty plans promise to repair or replace household appliances and systems if they break. Pending court action, the company can’t sell any more out of New York.

Consumers with complaints against National Home Protection are urged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds hotline at 800-771-7755. New York consumers may also contact their local regional office. Contact information about the Attorney General’s regional offices can be found online at www.oag.state.ny.us.




There are few home warranty companies that do not charge service trade fee or “deductible”. If you are looking for such companies, please read on. Please note that we do not endorse any of these companies.

IMPORTANT: To read most recent list of companies that offer Zero dollar deductible, please visit our Home Warranty Plan Comparison section and sort the companies by Deductible (low to high)

Zero Deductible

Home Warranty Plans with No Service Call Fee

Following are the home service contract companies that offer zero deductible as of this writing:

  1. Complete Protection
  2. UtilPro Appliance repair
  3. HomeServe USA
  4. Stanley Warranty
  5. Hi Tech Home Warranty
  6. Certified Warranties
  7. AHPS Home Warranty

As a website dedicated to offering honest information about the various matters related to Home Warranty, we have collected the feedback of several appliance warranty customers in the form of reviews. Please check out our tool to find top rated home warranty companies in your area. There, you can sort through the various companies based on their premium amount, deductible amount, ratings and total reviews.

What is a deductible?

In an insurance policy, a deductible is the sum of money paid by the insured party before an insurer will pay any expenses. It is usually a fixed amount and is a part of most policies covering losses to the policy holder and must be paid by the insured before the insurance company’s own coverage plan begins.

For example, an auto insurance policy may bear a $500 deductible. If the owner of a car hits another car by mistake while parking and both drivers decide that the loss is minimal, he or she would pay the repair bill $500 out of his own pocket. Insurance companies would not support a claim for such small damages. Based on the incident, the deductible may apply per covered incident, or per year. For policies where we can’t restrict the incidences, the deductible is usually applied per year.

What is a premium?

An insurance premium is the definite amount of money charged by insurance firms for active coverage. Cost of a premium can differ widely for the same service, which is why experts strongly suggest getting several quotes before committing to an insurance policy. Insurance brokers or agents takes basic information from people and evaluate an insurance premium estimate depending on the answers and other factors.

The lowest quoted cost on a premium may be the better deal, but the level of coverage may also be lesser. Insurance premium is mainly based on statistics, while people’s habits and history can cause the premium to be lower or higher. For example, a 22 year old male looking for car insurance for a sports car can often predict a higher insurance premium than a 45-year old woman driving a mid-size sedan. Both may perhaps have excellent working records, but the insurance company considers the younger driver in faster car to be at more risk for accidents. Thus, the premium quotes will be clearly different.

In general, a faster car will cost more to insure, just because the owners of those vehicles tend to drive faster. The amount of a deductible is typically related to the amount of premium charged by the insurers. That is, higher deductible amount are usually related with lower premium rate and vice versa. Try to find stability between reasonably priced premiums and a fair deductible when buying insurance.




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.




2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is in the process of launching Green Advantage Warranty as part of protection assurance programs for new and upcoming green building initiatives.

Green Advantage Warranty

The 2-10 home appliance warranty company offers Green Advantage Warranty to builders who meet eco-friendly standards. Builders need to build homes that fulfill the requisites of Energy Star, National Green Building Standard (NGBS), or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Green Advantage Warranty includes repairs and replacement of Energy Star certified products and appliances. Coverage includes the replacement of green labeled items, engineered wood products, sustainably harvest lumber, low or no emission finishes and recycled products with accordance of applicable national certification standard.

Scott Cromie, Chairman and Chief Executive officer states that “With one in four homes now certified by green building standards, it is clear that home buyers want a more eco-friendly home, and that offering warranty protection that targets these values offers builders a clear competitive edge,” and also reports “Our new Green Advantage Warranty represents 2-10 Home Buyers’s Warranty commitment to greener business practices, and celebrates the home builders and home buyers who want a greener home and lifestyle. We’re proud to offer a product that meets these standards, while continuing to provide the same leading, trusted protection our company stands behind.”

Builders interested in participating are encouraged to call 877.777.1344 for more information. You can register to 2-10 HBW Green Advantage Warranty, just by adding up a minimal additional fee over the existing standard rate. It is as simple as checking a box next to the certification standard on 2-10 HBW’s Home Enrollment Application.

Green Advantage Warranty is an added policy to the company’s existing home warranty package, including one, two and ten years of coverage offering for new construction home builders. Company’s 10 years warranty covers structural warranty defect. Under the policy of 1-2-10 warranty one year of surety coverage of workmanship and materials. Two years of warranty also covers on systems.

About the company

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® is in market for more than 30 years, now the company has offered customers and their homeowners the most comprehensive warranty program available. Whether you’re building, selling or buying a home, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty offers a complete line of warranty, service contracts and risk management products. Since 1980, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has provided warranties and service contracts for more than 5.5 million new and pre-owned homes.




Claim Denial Reasons Found this useful? Share this with your friends and family, hit the share button and help someone out. Cheers!

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Claim denials are often said to be the most annoying experience for home warranty customers. Although most cases happen due to misunderstandings, we do agree that some companies do deny claims on vague grounds for their profit. But a reputable company would never do that. Let’s take a look at this infographic. It explains the common reasons behind home warranty claim denials and how a customer can verify if the grounds for denial are genuine or not. As shown in the infographic, the most common reasons for claim denial are:
  • Improper maintenance
  • Item not included in coverage
  • Improper installation
  • Damage resulted due to natural hazards
  • Damage resulted from crimes

Some of the above mentioned cases can be avoided, while some cannot be. In situations where the company says that the home warranty claim cannot be processed because the item is not covered or that the damage is due to improper maintenance, refer to your contract. If they say that the damage was pre-existing, there is hardly a way out unless you had a home inspection performed prior to purchasing the contract. Likewise for damages due to crimes and natural hazards, one needs a home insurance and not a home warranty. Which is one reason why you cannot replace a home appliance warranty with a home insurance or vice versa.

How to Minimize Your Chances for Claim Denials?

So now the question is, how do we avoid such incidents of claim denial? Simple, pick a great company. Like the infographic tells us, you have to do rigorous research before picking a warranty provider. This website could be a starting point for that. We have reviews of tens of thousands of customers which can help you choose a reputable company. Once that is done, review the contract or policy document thoroughly. Once you feel that the company is good and that the contract is drawn up pretty decently, you may proceed with the purchase.

How to Dispute Unfairly Denied Claims?

In spite of all the research that you did and picking a good company, if you still find that your claims are being denied unjustly, you can dispute the claim. This basically means to go behind them until they set things right and make amends. It’s quite easy, follow the steps mentioned in the last section. Keep in mind that companies won’t give up that easy, so you make have to make multiple calls to convey your point. While disputing claims, keep the following in mind:

  • Always be polite while speaking to the representative
  • Gather all the information required before making the call
  • If you are sure that your claims are being denied unfairly, inform the company that you will complain about them to concerned authorities like State Insurance Boards and small claims court.
  • You can also share your experience through review websites like HomeWarrantyReviews.com and through various social media pages.

Chances are high that the company will come around and accept you claim.




Hagerstown, Maryland is one of the prime cities in Western Maryland. The Hagerstown-Martinsburg urban area is home to almost 270,000 residents, while the Hagerstown suburban area has over 40,000 people and about 30,000 jobs. Currently, there are approximately 500 homes for sale in Hagerstown at a median listing pricing of nearly $180,000.

Washington-Best-Realtors & properties for sale

The top-rated realtors in Hagerstown are well aware of properties, neighborhoods, and newest for sale listings in the city. The experts can provide you with updated information about home buying and selling trends in Hagerstown. Below is the list of top 5 real estate professionals based on their recent activity, years of experience, and total sales volumes in dollars.

Tina Long

Best-Realtor-in-Washington-DC

Tina is a Realtor with Exit Preferred Realty and licensed in Pennsylvania and Maryland. With an experience of more than three decades, she specializes in short-sale, consulting, and buyer’s agent. She is a proud Member of Pen Mar Regional Association of Realtors, Member of Metropolitan Regional Information System, Member of Realtors Association of York and Adams County, and Member of National Association of Realtors. Tina is an accredited short sales and foreclosure resource (SFR) as she knows how to help sellers maneuver the intricacies of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities. Tina understands that buying or selling a home is one of the most significant things you do in life and she assists in making the experience as smooth and successful as possible. Her extensive experience and expertise in the Hagerstown, Chambersburg, Fayetteville, Greencastle, Mercersburg, and Waynesboro real estate market benefit her customers in their buying and selling process.

If you want to buy a home, Tina and her team can help you find the home of your dreams by patiently listening to your needs. She works untiringly to find the right home so that no one has to compromise when it comes to such a huge purchase and decision! Besides, her real estate knowledge ensures that you get the best price possible for your property. Her strategic marketing program makes sure the right people view your home. Whether you are seeking Homes for Sale or Mortgage information, Tina and team are always available for service by phone, email, or appointments. Experienced in all facets of real estate, Tina enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, gardening, riding horses, and taking a hike.

“So if you or someone you know is looking to Buy or Sell a home give me a call. Thinking Real Estate! Think Tina Long!”

Joan McLernon

Top-rated-realtor

Joan possesses more than 33 years of experience in the real estate industry spanning across Residential and Commercial Development in the Washington D.C. Cosmopolitan Area, Property Management, and Certified Buyer and Seller Representation in the Western Maryland and South Central Pennsylvania neighborhoods. A consistent multi-million producer, she can assist first-time buyers and people scaling up or down with their home size or moving to a new area. Joan is skilled in all facets of real estate including but not limited to equestrian or farm properties, urban, suburban or rural homes, historic properties, primary or second homes, and Country Properties. Currently a part of the management team at Coldwell Banker Innovations, she operates mainly in Hagerstown, Boonsboro, Braddock Heights, Clear Spring, Funkstown, Sharpsburg, Chambersburg, Mercersburg, Greencastle, Waynesboro, Knoxville, Fairplay, Saint James and more. Joan believes that experience and understanding are priceless when purchasing or selling a home and hence she provides the right guidance to attain your real estate goal.

An alumna of the University of Buffalo, Joan is constantly acknowledged as one the area’s leading real estate professionals. She has served as President of PenMar Regional Association of Realtors providing guidance for the local membership to boost their abilities and opportunities to prosper through cooperation, participation, promotion of professional integrity and moral standards, and providing educational opportunities to further their careers. She is also engaged in teaching the Introduction to Real Estate licensing course at Hagerstown Community College. Joan has steadily maintained a multi-million dollar award winning sales position in the top 10% each year. She has won the following awards:

  • 2007 Realtor of the Year, PenMar Regional Association of Realtors
  • Rookie Realtor of the Year, O’Conor Piper & Flynn

Call, email or text JOAN anytime with real estate queries you may have.

Mike Baldwin

Top-class-realtor-for-sale

Mike has spent more than two decades working in the real estate industry serving the needs of both the residential and commercial market. He is a resident of the Frederick and Washington County neighborhood and displays an amazing sense of leadership and integrity in everything he does. Mike received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland University College and operates mainly in areas such as Hagerstown, Adamstown, Saint James, Brunswick, Boonsboro, Middletown, Smithsburg, Keedysville, Ijamsville, Williamsport, Maugansville, New Market, Point Of Rocks, Thurmont, Cascade, Cavetown and more. After spending his initial 17 years with Mackintosh Realtors, a local independent firm in Maryland, Mike established Atlantic Real Estate in January 2013 and since then is building a business model that incorporates the customary services expected from a real estate brokerage firm while combining state-of-the-art technology and advanced ideas. Atlantic Real Estate manages all aspects of real estate including property management, buyer & seller representation, real estate investor strategies & planning, professional marketing & sales, consulting & advisory services, land development, and new home sales & marketing. He established Atlantic Home Construction in 2015 after renovating & remodeling investment properties for many years. The company builds custom new homes and remodels existing homes for resale.

In 2016, Mike established Atlantic Companies, recognizing the void between the real estate and building industries. Atlantic Companies is comprised of a real estate division (Atlantic Real Estate) and a construction division (Atlantic Home Construction) along with other ventures. This allows both divisions to work together providing superior quality and long-term value, forward-thinking ideas, and honest customer care.

Mike’s commitment to work responsibilities sets him apart from the rest and has helped him achieve the following:

  • Owner/Broker/Realtor® – Atlantic Real Estate
  • Accredited Certified Residential Specialist, CRS®
  • Accredited Seniors Real Estate Specialist®, SRES®
  • Accredited Graduate REALTOR® Institute, GRI®
  • Member of National Association of Realtors, NAR®
  • Member of Maryland Association of Realtors, MAR®
  • Member of Frederick County Association of Realtors, FCAR®
  • Member of PenMar Association of Realtors®
  • Licensed in Maryland & South Carolina

In addition, Mike has earned the following:

  • Acquired Associate Broker status obtained by only 1% of Realtors nationwide
  • Achieved sales consistently exceeding personal and company goals
  • Consistent top-producing agent in Maryland
  • Winner of numerous real estate awards: “1996 Rookie of the Year” and “Frederick County Hall of Fame”
  • Represent several local builders with marketing, sales, and planning
  • Consistent Top Realtor in Frederick and Washington County
  • Manager/Team Leader to include sales associate(s) and assistant(s)
  • Platinum Award
  • Platinum Team Award
  • Round Table Award
  • Gold Club Member
  • Silver Club Member

Karen Horejs

Real-Estate=Proffesional-in-Washington-DC

A licensed agent with Keller Williams Premier Realty, Karen serves neighborhoods such as Hagerstown, Clear Spring, Chambersburg, Fort Loudon, McConnellsburg, Mercersburg, Orrstown, Williamsport, Boonsboro, Shippensburg, Waynesboro and more. Whether working with a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, she believes in striving for excellence. Her specialties include short-sale, investors, senior real estate consumers, residential, distressed homeowners, luxury homes, listing agent, and relocation. After graduating from Mercyhurst College, Karen spent 25 years as a registered nurse in Erie, PA. When her husband relocated to the Cumberland Valley around 17 years ago, her 5 children were very young. Her passion for bringing the best to a community led her to get involved with the local Boy Scouts of America. She held numerous leadership positions such as Cubmaster and leading district training events. Later she also became a board member of the Mason-Dixon Council as Vice President of Cub Scout Program. Karen is a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award which is the highest Council award and her 4 sons have earned their Eagle Scout award. Her daughter is the pharmacist at the local Greencastle CVS and one of her sons is a pilot for the United States Coast Guard.

Karen’s expert skills along with hard working attitude and interest in marketing led her to pursue a career in real estate in 2004. In her very first year of service, she was awarded PenMar’s Rookie of the Year. Since then, she has continued to be a top volume producer. “Helping people with one of the biggest decisions of their life is such an honor. Being their advocate and making their move as easy as possible are my goals. People look to us for guidance with life changes and this is a responsibility that we cannot take lightly. I BELIEVE that Realtors who base their practice on the latest guidelines and marketing principles are “doing their best” for their clients and their client outcomes are then optimized.” Karen helps the first-time buyers by making them understand the assets and liabilities of a property. She believes that preparing the home for selling and staging the house are critical when buyers are so selective. Premium virtual tours are her specialty.

Finding Keller Williams, the second largest Real Estate Company in the US has been impeccable for Karen’s wish to be the best. Working at Keller Williams has offered her the following:

  • Top of the line marketing for her clients
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • An environment where agents collaborate and synergize and most importantly a culture of giving back through KW Cares

Karen has earned the following designations and certifications:

  • Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR)
  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
  • NAR’s e-PRO
  • Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI)
  • Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)
  • Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE)
  • Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS)

“My mission is to always “DO MY BEST” in providing professional real estate services to you the buyer or seller!”

Kari Shank

Realtors-REMAX-in-Washington-DC

Kari Shank is a full-time realtor with RE/MAX Achievers and licensed in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. She is keen in making your real estate transactions as seamless as possible. She is a permanent resident of Washington County, MD and also has great exposure to the Washington and Baltimore areas. Kari loves working with both buyers and sellers and always takes a tailored approach to the business. Besides, she works as a buyer’s agent emailing you with new listings, setting up custom home searches, negotiating deals, and setting up custom home searches on your behalf! She has a proven track record selling real estate and is available to you seven days a week to answer any of your concerns. Kari has a long list of clientele as she carefully listens to understand the goals and guides them through the complete process of selling their property from listing to sale.

With nearly 11 years of distinguished service, Kari has won the following awards:

  • REMAX Platinum Club Award 2014 & 2015
  • 100% Club Award 2013
  • REMAX Top Listing Agent
  • REMAX Top Sales Agent
  • Presidents Club Award
  • Executives Club Award

Kari is mainly active in neighborhoods such as Hagerstown, Middletown, Smithsburg, New Market, Falling Waters, Boonsboro, Adamstown, Chambersburg, Shepherdstown, Brunswick, Clear Spring, Fairplay, Frederick, Keedysville, Maugansville, Myersville, Sharpsburg, Williamsport, Greencastle, Waynesboro, and Martinsburg. Her skills include sellers, buyers, first-time buyers, relocation, condos/townhomes, short sales, foreclosures, investment properties, and new construction. She is very active in the real estate community serving on the PenMar REALTOR® Association’s YPN Group and as a presenter at the Hagerstown Home Store. As a certified distressed property expert (CDPE), Kari is proficient in effective short sale negotiations. “If you must sell and the current value of your home is no longer enough to satisfy your mortgage a short sale can be a wonderful opportunity to avoid foreclosure. I have worked on many of these sales and would be glad to help you consider your options.” An alumna of University of Maryland College Park, Kari is interested in historic properties, music, photography, traveling, animal rights, and vegetarianism.

“Just tell me what you are looking for and I will search all of my sources and provide you with a convenient report of all the properties that you may be interested in complete with photographs of the properties and detailed neighborhood information.” Kari guarantees to advertise through multiple sources, competitive commission rates, and guides you through your next move! Call her today for more information on the current market.

For Sale : Take Away

It is not surprising that homeowners often wonder whether home warranty is more cost-effective than the actual repair expenses. Top home warranty review, rating, and comparison website, HomeWarrantyReviews.com has introduced Home Maintenance Calculator to better make an informed decision in purchasing a home warranty. There is also a widget code for all the realtors out there to use it on their websites and blog posts. This is a nice to have feature and sends out the right signal for all of the potential customers coming your way! (<iframe src=”https://www.homewarrantyreviews.com/home-maintenance-widget”></iframe>)




Just the decision to take the task of building a home into your own hands can be daunting, keep aside the fact that liabilities are now yours alone to deal with. The joy of being there every step of the way and having a say in every brick, beam, and wall comes with a lot of responsibility. The smallest of injuries on site to a worker, accidental falls, natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances can put your budget off by thousands of dollars.

Time is a factor as well, having the plan pushed back by weeks, if not months; time and money that you cannot get back. Such accidents are what makes it prudent for you to invest in structural insurance, warranty and legal coverage for all the essentials.

What is Structural Insurance?

Structural insurance functions within the parameters of Builders Insurance and Site Insurance, covering claims regarding the foundation and architectural framework of the building, as well as the integrity of the site it is built on.

Structural Insurance & Home Warranty

As the percentage of self-built homes increase in the US, numerous companies now offer a comprehensive list of structural insurance for homes built without the assistance of building agencies.

If narrowed down to just structural claims, structural insurance covers the claim of any structural defects in a home for a fixed number of years after it is built. Often certain companies have a secondary set of rules, pertaining to the fact that the claim will only kick in 7 to 10 years after the house is completed.

That being said, structural insurance usually comes hand in hand with site and builders insurance as well, both essential and usually synonymous with structural insurance.

Site Insurance

Site insurance is offered to builders as well as individuals who have purchased land and intend to construct. It not only covers any natural disaster-related damage – fire, storm, flood – to the land, but also the temporary structures on it. The coverage puts aside a certain sum to take care of any unforeseen circumstances that may cause huts, caravans, tools and the building under construction itself to be partially or wholly damaged.

Certain insurance companies not only take care of the monetary side of things but also offer services to clean, repair and bring back the space to its former state.

Builder’s Insurance

In recent times, Builder’s Insurance has become a must for self-built structures, especially since it establishes a sense of trust between the homeowner and the bank or builder who is offering monetary assistance.

Builder’s insurance acts as the umbrella under which site and structural insurance fall, but often companies do cater to individual needs by offering them separately. These insurance policies even accommodate for theft of tools and valuables from the site, but usually, put a limit of the claim. That being said, it is important to pick appropriate coverage plans and not under or over-insure your property.

Allowing delays and pushbacks, any building or structural insurance for individuals who are constructing on their own extend to 18 months, as opposed to the usual 12-month coverage given for builders.

Why Insurance During Construction is Essential

Building a home isn’t only about the structure and integrity. Along each step of the way, you have to be aware of not only accidents and loss that are beyond your control, but also any harm that the process may cause to workers, the public and adjacent private and public property.

Structural Warranty for self built homes

As a homeowner, you are liable if any of your workers are injured during the course of construction, or even if they fall ill due to toxic substance exposure while they worked for you.

Even a trespasser walking into property can have a legal claim if he or she is injured due to any improper construction methods.

Damage to surrounding property can be another reason you are faced with a very large bill for compensation. Everything from a falling tree branch to heavy machinery vibrations that may cause harm to adjacent structures can be seen as cause for a lawsuit. Most often, such damage is seen to happen during the time when your foundation is being set, causing worry about underground water sources and support extending below the ground of other buildings in the area.

Home and Structural Warranty

Besides structural and builder’s insurance, warranty extends the coverage, claims, and care for years after the home is built – taking care of issues and damage that insurance does not address. While insurance deals with unforeseen circumstances and matters that were out of your control, Home Warranty offers solace when you need to deal with maintenance, repair, and replacement due to general wear and tear.

Usually put in place for a period of ten years, Structural Warranty covers defects in the foundation, load-bearing walls, beams, pillars and sometimes even wiring and plumbing systems. Not only does it keep you worry free, it also assures that any negligence on the part of the contractor is covered for without conflict.

 




If you are a homeowner in Ohio, this is an article that can’t miss! Your home is probably the biggest investment in your life and you know it takes time and money to keep it running well. We’re sure that you would’ve considered a home warranty plan to save yourself hundreds of dollars in repairs and replacements. But are you sure you know about the best companies in your locality? This is why you need to know about the best home warranty companies in Ohio.

Home Warranty Companies In Ohio

Best Appliance Warranties In Ohio

 

Being the 10th most densely populated state in the country, Ohio does have numerous players in the home warranty sector. Yet, some companies have managed to outshine others with exceptional services and great products. You may already be knowing that our website ranks companies based on feedback collected from actual customers. We have also used these reviews to come up with the best home warranty companies in the country. So, based on said reviews, here are the companies that top the list of best appliance warranty providers in Ohio-

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

We’d like to provide you some more details about the companies in this list. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a detailed page for every company listed with us and we also have a statewise list of companies. So if you have friends and family in other states, do tell them to pay us a visit for getting their home warranty needs to be addressed.

1. American Home Shield (AHS)

American Home Shield (AHS) is a company that laid the foundation of the home warranty industry, Since its inception in 1971, American Home Shield has always been a popular choice among American homeowners. AHS has a nationwide footprint with even some parts of Canada being included in their coverage.

Being one of the first companies to sell warranty products, their experience is close to unmatched. All AHS home warranty plans are designed to cover major appliances and systems at reasonable prices. A typical AHS warranty plan would cost somewhere between $249 – $500+ and the deductible per service visit would cost somewhere between $75 – $125. The company maintains a massive contractor network of over 11,000 skilled and licensed technicians who are selected after a careful screening process. AHS, like most of the top players, maintains around the clock customer service facility and also runs an online claims submission program. Backed by strong reviews, this is one company that totally deserves to be on top of this list.

2. The Home Service Club

Home Service Club or HSC, is a company who considers themselves innovators in the field of home warranty. HSC’s primary focus has always been on providing the best possible service to their customers. The company’s coverage spans 48 states across the country. HSC believes that the frequent surveys and customer feedback programs they conduct are the reason why they are able to stay on top of their game.

HSC’s plans do not mandate a home inspection, neither do they place a restriction on the age of the appliances. A standard plan from HSC will cost around $400 and the deductible per service visit is charged between $65 – $125.

3. Select Home Warranty

Yet another company with huge popularity in Ohio is Select Home Warranty (SHW). Select has a vast national network of contractors and is also a company with a commendable tenure in the home warranty industry. Headquartered in New Jersey, this company covers anything from rental properties and condos to mobile homes.

For homeowners in Ohio, SHW provides three types of home warranty plans each varying in the level of coverage. On an average, SHW’s plans are priced between $299 – $599 and most plans have a service call fee of $60. This is yet another company that does not place a restriction on the age of appliances, neither do they mandate a home inspection.

4. HSA Home Warranty

HSA is a company with close to 30 years experience in the home warranty industry and they also have immensely positive reviews from their customers. Headquartered in Wisconsin, HSA believes that their success is attributed to the problem-solving capabilities and the commitment of their team.

Their primary product, the appliance warranty plan, comes in two variants for Ohio homeowners and they cost between $589 – $619 and their deductible cost ranges between $75 – $100. Customers are also given the option to extend coverage by adding items from a pre-selected list of add-ons.

5. Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty (CHW) is a company known for providing comprehensive warranty plans to their customers. The company claims that they can cater to the needs of homeowners, real estate agents, buyers and sellers.

CHW offers transferable home warranties to homeowners, buyers and sellers alike. Standard plans are priced between $370 – $450 and the average deductible charge is $60. CHW has a 24/7 customer service facility and also an online claims facility through which customers can manage and track the progress of their claims.

Before You Buy A Home Warranty

While we have indeed provided you with a list of some of the best companies, we recommend that you conduct ample amount of research before you zero in on a choice. Our website would be an excellent place to find out insights about home warranty companies across the country. We suggest that you go through user reviews and go through our statewise list of companies before you decide. We hope you found this useful and don’t hesitate to contact us in case you have a query. Cheers!