Top Home Warranty Companies In New Jersey

Here’s a write up about top home warranty companies in New Jersey. Now all you need to do is scroll through the list of companies, visit our site for a free quote and user reviews to pick your home warranty! We guarantee you that you’ll find that it is very useful!

Home Warranty Companies In New Jersey

Located in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of U.S.A, New Jersey is indeed a popular state. Fondly called as the Garden State of America, NJ has much to offer for its residents. No matter where in New Jersey you are, if you are a homeowner, your primary concern would be caring for your family and your home. Like most homeowners, it’s natural that you’ll worry about the expenses of repairing unexpected damages and replacements of your household appliances.

So here’s our list of top home warranty companies in NJ based on user reviews and ratings-

These companies have been around for several years and are on this list because of the feedback they have received on our site from their customers. Take a detailed look at each one of ‘em!

1. American Home Shield

American Home Shield or AHS as it’s commonly called, is a company that founded the home warranty industry. Naturally, this is a company with unparalleled experience and a nationwide footprint. AHS also has a massive contractor network where every single technician is selected after a stringent screening process.

AHs offers plans that are designed to suit the needs of homeowners, Realtors, buyers and sellers alike. Their plans are reasonably priced and standard plans start from as low as $250 every year. The company also has an online claims facility and a customer service facility that runs around the clock.

2. Home Service Club

Yet another popular home warranty company in NJ is the Home Service Club (HSC). This too is yet another company with nationwide footprint and with coverage in over 48 states. HSC too screens each technician in their contractor network and follow up with the customers to ensure that they are satisfied with the services.

HSC’s plans start from $400 annually and the deductibles are charged between $65 to $125. Warranty purchases can be made through their website which also has the facilities to allow homeowners track their account. Online claims can be made just as easily as claims can be made with their round the clock customer care service.

3. Select Home Warranty

Headquartered in NJ, Select Home Warranty is one company which has plans to cover anything from rental properties to mobile homes and condo units. They have three main warranty plans which vary in the extend of coverage and comes at affordable prices. This is one company that does not place an age restriction on the house or mandate a home inspection prior to purchasing a plan.

Select Home Warranty’s plans start at $299 annually and the average deductible is charged at $45 per service visit. Customers can purchase plans through their website and even place claims online to schedule to a repair.

4. HSA Home Warranty

This is a company with close to 30 years experience in selling warranty products. Like the others on this list, HSA too offers competitive plans at compelling prices to its customers. More than just home warranty plans, the company also has a host of other services and even a newsletter for homeowners, sellers, buyers and real estate agents.

Annual premium for plans sold by HSA range between $589 – $619. The deductible varies depending on the kind of plan you chose but is usually between $50 – $100. HSA too has a 24/7 claims facility and also the facility to place claims through their website.

5. Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty is a popular choice among NJ homeowners owing to their comprehensive warranty plans and affordable pricing policies. With policies that will add to the value of your home, CHW has managed to garner a lot of positive feedback from their customers.

Standard plans are available at premiums ranging from $370 – $450. Deductibles are charged starting at $60. CHW too has an online claims facility and has a massive network of skilled, licensed and experienced technicians ready to be dispatched when claims come in.

The Bottom Line

This list has been prepared based on actual user reviews submitted on our site. Therefore, there is a good chance that we may have missed out on an awesome company due to insufficient reviews. We welcome inputs from readers based in NJ to know more about companies there. Do let us know what you think. Also, you can take a look at top home warranty companies in various states across U.S.A. Cheers!






Maintenance has never been about just appearance and aesthetics – more than anything, it is vital to maintaining your home and its appliances for safety. From electrocution to sparks, and short circuits to full blown fires, faulty electrical wiring can be extremely dangerous and must be dealt with caution and professional expertise.

What To Look Out For In Your Electrical Wiring System

Wondering how you know when to check your electrical wiring systems? Besides the fact that a routine check of all your sockets and circuits is recommended at least once a year, there are a few signs to look out for when it comes to possible electrical damage

Electrical wiring maintenance tips

  1.   The presence of live current in switch boards and sockets, however mild they might be, can be a sign that your wiring has been exposed to water or is not getting earthed right. If a switch in the washroom or kitchen gives you even a tiny shock when you turn it on and off, chances are that there is an issue.
  1.   Notice frequent dips in voltage, flickering lights once in awhile or bulbs fusing more often than they should? Definitely a sign of internal electrical wiring damage.
  1.   Appliances can get damaged by short circuiting, but there are times when the only sign of the fluctuation or short circuit is through the appliance malfunctioning itself. If your plug sparks when it is in the socket or an adapter heats up and doesn’t work even though the voltage is appropriate, then there could be a problem with the electrical outlet.
  1.   Each circuit board has a specific limit to the load it can take, but within that limit, the appliances connected to it should function perfectly. If the turning on of the dishwasher or air conditioner causes lights to dip, the circuit may be damaged and unable to take the load.
  1.   Besides visible signs, make sure that you keep an eye out for open wiring being chewed by rats or raccoons in the attic, or rainwater accumulating around the circuits in the basement. Even though the impact may not be immediate, any noticeable damage to the wires can lead to serious internal havoc.

The far-reaching effects of faulty wiring bring to mind the much used saying ‘better safe than sorry’. A small investment in a professional, DIY check-ups of your electrical wiring or getting the home warranty for your home can be imperative to keeping you and your loved ones safe. Repairs are costly and maintenance is no doubt an easier way to prevent future problems, so we bring to you seven simple tips to keep track off and maintain your entire electrical wiring system.

Routine Testing

Mark your calendars and keep a monthly check on your electrical outlets, you can do this by yourself and won’t need any assistance. The testers are inexpensive – you can find them at any home hardware store. A three-prong plug, the tester will have indicator lights on each prong. As you plug the tester into each outlet, the lights indicate any problems with the individual outlet. The earlier you know the problem the easier it is to get it solved and the risk of fire or a greater electrical malfunction is avoided.

Out With The Old, InWith The New

Damaged and worn out wiring should be replaced immediately. The process is very simple and you might be able to change the wiring outlets on your own. If the problem seems to be more complicated do not hesitate to call a professional electrical who can perform the work. In fact, if such handy-work isn’t your cup of tea, a home warranty is a simple preemptive measure to rid yourself of unnecessary worry!

Original, Branded, Tested And Certified Electrical Wiring

There are many occasions where it might seem preferable to procure a cheap knock off, but substituting your wiring outlets is not a place to economize. It is ideal to choose parts that are certified by a recognized safety certification institution, as you are rest assured that the product is completely safe and has gone through extensive testing.

Water And Electricity Never Mix

This might seem the most obvious one, but most cases of electrocution are direct results of electrical appliances close to water outlets – kitchens, outdoor sockets, garages, and washrooms especially. Keep appliances as far from the taps and showers, constantly check the wiring in such parts of the house, don’t multitask with things like your hair curler and washing your hands and immediately get outlets tested if the tap or any pipes give you a shock when you touch them.

DIY Isn’t Always The Answer

If the problem seems to persist and is more than your normal wear and tear, it is best to hand over to a professional electrician and in such situations, you should refrain from repairing your own wiring. Large numbers of electrical fires are likely to be caused by faulty repairs. By handing it over to the professional, you become risk-free and it is cost effective in the longer run.

Overloading The Electrical Wiring

To help prevent power outages, make sure there are not too many appliances plugged into one circuit. Overloading is one of the widespread problems of any wiring issue. When you have too many outlets working at once that exceeds your wattage consumption, the components heat up, causing your breakers to trip or spark up. So it is prudent to know which appliances are power hungry.

All’s Well Which Ends Well!

Electrical systems should be maintained well in its entirety – outlets, cords, trip breakers, circuit box, and bulbs amongst other things – and should be replaced if they show signs of malfunction.

Bulbs are especially prone to malfunction, especially when their wattage doesn’t match that of the outlet. Open outlets are dangerous, make sure that such ones are sealed and are untouched by seepage.

Do not disregard the wattage consumption, which is a common problem with bulbs. By putting high wattage consumption bulbs, it would increase your bills and cause the bulb to burn out faster, also causing the base to heat up and in turn risking a fire.  

While you are getting your home checked for faulty wiring, you should also check the wiring outdoors, in the attic and the basement. These are places that you might forget to get checked and unattended, they could cause greater damage.

Home Warranty And Added Benefits

Even with all the steps above, maintaining the entire home’s wiring can be a task – making home warranty a worthy investment, especially during the winter season. Similar to insurance but a lot more specific in nature, Home Warranty takes care of repair and replacement of your appliances and wiring systems, amongst other things.

Repair and maintenance as a task as well as a financial burden can kill the joy of being a homeowner. The responsibilities only pile up, however trivial the task may seem, and keeping track of servicing and fixing is never easy. Taking care of both regular maintenance as well as problem-solving when your electrical system may hit a snag, Home Warranty can be life changing when it comes to the keep up of your home’s electrical wiring and appliances.

In a typical Home Warranty scheme, central air conditioning and heating systems, all appliances however big or small in your kitchen, washer and dryer of both clothes and vessels, entire electrical systems, plumbing systems, leaks, and seepages are covered for all levels of repair and replacement. Nevertheless, it is a good idea for you to do some pre-research before signing the papers!

There are a few simple ways you can get a hang of how Home Warranty works, what it covers, whether or not you need it and what plan will suit you best. Besides asking for recommendations from friends and family, reading up on consumer research based websites can give you not only a clear understanding of what you are getting into, but also substantiate the information with honest reviews from consumers.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com is one such site, giving you a comprehensive list of reviews from users across the country – many of which are specific to the laws of each state. The buying and selling of a house and all the laws that go with it are essential to follow when it comes to such procedures, making it tricky if you land up getting into a deal which doesn’t go hand in hand with the policies of the state.

The website also brings you a Home Maintenance Calculator to help you understand the expenditure your home will require in the long run, as well as awards and ratings of different companies, across the country.




Do you have a trusted appliance lying around your household for the past few years that you don’t want to give away or replace? Yet you are worried that it’s going to crash pretty soon leaving you with no other option other than repairing it or replacing it with a new one? Fret not! This article will shed some light on how to insure your household appliances against potential breakdowns

Let’s begin by comparing Home Warranty from the Homeowner’s insurance policy. The primary difference between the two is that Home Warranty covers repairs and replacements of failed appliances and systems, while the the Homeowner’s Insurance covers damages caused to your home and its content by natural hazards or theft. You can always find a contractor to repair your damaged appliances, but more often than not the costs involved in such scenarios are rather high. The other option that you have is to apply for a Home Warranty plan.

The Home Warranty plan is a contract of service that covers repairs and replacement of appliances and systems in your home. Depending on the kind and extent of coverage you wish to avail, the annual premium for the Home Warranty plan can range anywhere between $ 250 to $ 450. In addition, each time you approach the warranty company for a service, you have to pay a service fee usually called as the deductible. This is around $ 50. You can take a look at the table below if you want to know he systems and appliances that are covered under the Home Warranty Plans.

Home Appliance Warranty Plans

If you have doubts regarding whether or not your appliances need a Home Warranty Plan right now, take a look at the following chart. It tells you what the average lifespan of the common household appliances.

Table2 for Appliance Warranty article

Now lets discuss the most important question.

What kind of plans are available and do I actually need them?

Let me clear the former first. You have two options, you can either avail an extended warranty for each appliance or you can get a Home Warranty which covers all your appliances. Although, getting extended warranty on each appliance is not a wise decision, the best way out is to get a Home Warranty.It is also suggested that if your appliances are not new and over four years old, getting a Home Warranty will turn out to be highly useful. However, if your home and the appliances you own are reasonably new and still covered by the Manufacturers warranty, you may want to consider taking an extended warranty. You can click here for further details and comparisons between the two.

If you are wondering how this works then here’s the answer. The company offering a Home Warranty plans often sign contracts with vendors offering repair services to appliances. Each time you approach your warranty provider with a claim, they  call up these repair facilities which in turn sends a technician to evaluate the condition of your appliance.He shall decide if your appliance needs to be repaired or replaced.Service charges(deductible fee) of the technician shall be paid by you and it is always nominal.

Things to know about appliance protection plans

If you have read so far, then it would mean that you are genuinely interested to know as much as possible about Home Warranty plans. Few hiccups that you may encounter are as follows:

  • Home warranty plans are a way to ensure security and to reduce maintenance costs. They don’t provide blanket coverage nor do they pay for pre-existing issues.
  • All companies do not offer the best customer service. Make sure that the Home warranty company you choose comes with high recommendations.
  • Ensure that you read the contract for Home Warranty thoroughly.This ensures that conflicts do not arise later.
  • Many a times, it is often seen that Home Warranty companies opt for repairs rather than replacement of the damaged appliance. Further, waiting period for this is also considerably long in some cases. Worst of all, claims are sometimes rejected on unclear grounds or by bringing up small clauses from the contract that are often overlooked by the customers.

It is again stressed that you read your contract carefully and have it looked over multiple times , paying immense attention to the monetary factors.

Do I really need Appliance Protection?

Despite the issues that were mentioned, it is advised that you insure your appliances by availing a Home Warranty Plan. Costs incurred during repairs and replacements can be considerably reduced if you have a sound Appliance Protection plan. Also, if you choose to sell your home while the Home Warranty plan is still valid, the value of the property is likely to be higher than when it is sold without a Home Warranty. Most buyers recommend strongly in favor of Home Warranty plans. You are likely to do the same if your choice of  home warranty provider is good.

Here is the summary of benefits you shall have if you avail a Home Warranty Plan

  • Confidence: This is something that can rarely be bought with money. Home Warranty Plans provide you a tension free life. It does so by relieving you from worries about unexpected expenses occurring due to damage of your appliances.
  • Broad coverage: Almost all your appliances and systems are covered by the U.S. Home warranty contract.
  • Affordable prices: The annual premium as well as the deductible you pay are both affordable to an average U.S. citizen.
  • Budget protection: To those of you who just purchased a new home and had to spend quite a lot on one time expenses like drapes, landscaping etc, the first year in your new home is not the ideal time to expect financial drains due to faulty appliances.
  • Lawsuit avoidance: Assuming that you sold your home while it was still covered by the Home Warranty, any appliance that sustains damages will be taken care of by the home warranty company. If the appliance was not covered by a Home Warranty, it may often result in the buyer suing the seller.

May it be reminded again that reading the contract well is of utmost importance. You can get a free estimate on home warranty from top rated companies on our website before you purchase the plan.




Extended home warranty provides warranty coverage for major home appliances after the manufacturer’s warranty period is completed.

Buying the home warranty, avoids unnecessary stress and to assists you in peace of mind. It is truly a best insurance for your investment. The costs are very low compared to repair bills of any of your appliances.

Extended Home Warranty

Before deciding on extended warranty

Homeowners are generally provided with home warranty coverage along with the purchase of new house by the seller. But when your original home warranty expires, you have the choice of extending your existing warranty. Before deciding on extension of home warranty it is essential to know whether it is really beneficial to consider the warranty to continue hence let us find the facts on this issue.

Cost consideration on home warranty

The basic home warranties are available at about just $400 per year. Let us assume that the warranty period has expired on any major appliance where the device may have lost manufacturer’s warranty.  Just an initial visit may be charged minimum of about $50 to $100. Repair companies will also bill on an hour basis, for the first hour they may charge you about $50 to $70 and sometimes the subsequent hours will be charged less but varies from case to case. Addition to it you are expected to pay for the repair job.

Planning for home repairs is not predictable. Charges on repair job will differ depending upon the system, duration of time since how long you are using the device. In the usual cases home warranty policies covers up the equipments insured for the period of one year once the warranty is about to expire you can just extend the home warranty just by additional payment and renewal of documentation on what all appliances the policy should cover.

Importance of extended home warranty

Extended home warranty can surely help homeowners in leading stress free life and saves tons of money. It is realistic if you have been repeatedly spending on maintenance and repairs. Usually the breakdown period of appliances starts just before or after your warranty expires because of its usability, if you want to avoid such hassles of contacting repair services. Extended warranty service just makes things easier you are already guaranteed of competent and licensed repair company.

If you calculate, you will surely save thousands of dollars on all the possible repairs, this is quite a big amount of money that you have to set aside if you choose not to opt on warranty. At the end of each passing year you would get a clear idea on how much you need to pay on the renewal of your policy to extend the assurance. There is no need to search for fresh home warranty companies to renew the scheme you can just pay the extra amount and set your life in calm. Any unexpected issue will also be taken care of such companies hence it is truly worth to invest money in affording extended home warranty plan.

Based on your choice, these policies can be extended online or in person. You may be able to find better deals on home warranties online. On the other hand, a benefit of this is that you can take your time to make up your mind without salespeople constantly pestering you. You do not even have to browse the pages of your directory and call them one by one to ask for availability, if you have this service. All it takes is one call to make your life simpler and relaxed.




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

Gardening Beginners

Beginners guide to gardening

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

Step 1 – Allot time

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

Step 2 – Decide where the garden should be

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

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

Step 3 – Do some groundwork

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

Step 4 – What type of garden?

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

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

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

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

Step 5 – Procure the saplings/ seeds

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

Step 6 – Buy some tools

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

Step 7 – Start planting

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

Step 8 – Give them a drink!

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

Step 10 – Extra nourishment

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

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

 

Troubles May Brew

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

Likely hiccup # 1 – Maintenance

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

Likely hiccup # 2 – Misconceptions

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

Likely hiccup # 3 –  Weeding

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

Likely hiccup # 4 – Deadheading

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

Almost there!

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

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

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

 




The dream of possessing a home has become increasingly non-achievable for many Americans, and the condition is not possible to get better soon, as the fall of the housing market and the downturn continue to take their toll. That is the worrying conclusion to be drawn from the U.S. Census Bureau’s lately released report which is an overview of the national home market at the end of the last decade.

Homeowners in the United States also tend to have higher incomes and the households staying in their own home were more likely to be families than were their tenant counterparts. The name “home ownership rate” can be deceptive. As defined by the US Census Bureau, it is the percentage of homes that are occupied by the owner. It is not the percentage of adults that have possession of their own home. The second percentage will be importantly lower than the home ownership rate as many households that are owner occupied contain adult relatives (most frequently young adults, descendants of the owner) who do not possess their own home, and because single bedroom multi-bedroom rental units can have more than 1 adult, all of whom do not possess a home.

According to Consumer Insights 2012, here is what consumers are thinking today about home ownership:

Reasons for Homeownership


In the U.S. the homeownership rate is shaped through Housing Vacancy Survey by the US Census Bureau. It is formed by dividing the owner occupied units by the total number of engaged units. This is a significant point to comprehend changes in the homeownership time over time. The bust of the housing bubble resulted in many houses becoming foreclosed. However, the decrease the in the homeownership rate from 3Q2007 to 4Q2007 mainly a result of an increase in the renter’s populace and less because of a decrease in the homeowner population.

The impact of the bursting of the U.S housing bubble is still being felt across the country. In the first quarter of 2012, the homeownership rate fell to a 15-year low as per the Census Bureau. The 65.4% rate in the 1st quarter of 2012 is down from the 66% rate in the 4th quarter of 2011 and from the rate of 66.4% in the first quarter of 2011. Prior to the housing bubble burst, the rate of homeownership in the U.S. had been as high as 69.2% in the 4th quarter of 2004.

U.S Homeownership Rate

Economists say the rate could trip further. While low mortgage-interest rates and declining home prices have made homes more reasonable than at any time in the past decade, mortgage-lending standards stay tight. Besides, more Americans may feel less confident about property ownership after the sharp price declines of the past 6 years.

According to New York-based Reis Inc. (Reis) the vacancy rate fell to 4.9%in the first quarter, an 11-year low. The Census Bureau said that the vacancy rate for rental homes was 8.8% in the first quarter when compared with a 9.7% a year earlier.

Home Vacancies

Of the expected 132.6 million U.S. homes, 18.5 million, or 13.9%, were available in the first quarter a year before, about 19 million homes were empty, as per a report. That comprises homes for rent or sale or held off the market, and vacation properties used seasonally.

According to Stephen East, an analyst with International Strategy & Investment Group LLC, the dropped rates of both homeowner and rental vacancy during the 1st quarter bodes well for housing as shrinking inventory will enhance rents and urge demand for new homes.

New Rental Households

Almost 6 million borrowers will lose their properties in the next five years because of inability to pay, creating 4 million new rental households.

The homeownership rate fell 3 percentage points from a year earlier to 61.4% in the 1st quarter for people aged 35 to 44, the highest drop of any age group. The Northeast has the largest regional decline, with the ownership rate falling 1.4% points to 62.5%. The West has the lowest ownership rate at 55.9%, down 1% point from a year before.

Ownership Society

In 2004, when President George W. Bush, running for re-election, called for expanding home – loan availability to create an “ownership society”, the U.S homeownership rate rose to a record. The present rate of 65.4% matches the average since 1965, when the Census Bureau began reporting the figures, according to data collected by Bloomberg.

Home prices fell 3.5% in February from a year earlier and are 35% below their July 2006 peak, as per the S&P/Case-Shiller index of 20 U.S. cities. The average rate for a 30 year fixed loan was 3.88% and reached 3.87% in February, the lowest level in at least four decades.

Homeownership Rates By State

Following are the home ownership rates of various states in U.S.

 

State  First Quarter 2012
Alabama 71.6
Alaska 66.1
Arizona 65.9
Arkansas 66.2
California 54.4
Colorado 64.5
Connecticut 67.2
Delaware 74.1
District of Columbia 45.7
Florida 67.8
Georgia 64.5
Hawaii 56.6
Idaho 74.9
Illinois 67.0
Indiana 71.0
Iowa 69.8
Kansas 63.6
Kentucky 68.6
Louisiana 68.3
Maine 72.9
Maryland 69.3
Massachusetts 66.2
Michigan 74.6
Minnesota 70.4
Mississippi 75.1
Missouri 71.0
Montana 67.6
Nebraska 69.0
Nevada 58.2
New Hampshire 73.3
New Jersey 64.4
New Mexico 68.0
New York 52.4
North Carolina 66.4
North Dakota 65.6
Ohio 68.4
Oklahoma 69.8
Oregon 66.3
Pennsylvania 70.3
Rhode Island 61.4
South Carolina 71.4
South Dakota 69.9
Tennessee 66.7
Texas 65.6
Utah 70.7
Vermont 74.4
Virginia 66.6
Washington 63.5
West Virginia 77.7
Wisconsin 68.3
Wyoming 69.2

 

 





These days, when people hardly have time to even talk with neighbors, cleaning the house has become a rarer activity. Yet, cleaning your home is a task that just cannot be ignored. The first rule of personal hygiene – keep yourself and your surroundings clean. Otherwise, germs may take up residence on you and in your home.

For those of you short on time and money for hiring a maid, this article would be the perfect cheat sheet to make sure that your home remains clean and well, disease free. If you think this article is too big, take a look at our quick home cleaning cheat sheet.

We’ve compiled a list of things that you can do to ease the task of cleaning your home. This includes tips and tricks that you may never have come across. So don your cleaning gloves and let’s begin!

Kitchen Cleaning Hacks

1. Cabinet Cleaning 

Home Cleaning HacksMost kitchen cabinets accumulate gunk, usually around the handles or the inside corners. Thankfully, they’re not difficult to get rid off.

Here’s what you need to do – mix baking soda and any vegetable oil. The consistency of this mixture should be like that of toothpaste. Use an old toothbrush and scrub away around the handles and corners of cabinets. You’ll have clean surfaces in no time

 

2. Cleaning The Sponges

Everyone has cleaning sponges in their kitchens. Without these soft friends, cleaning would be very difficult indeed. However, over time, they become ragged and home to a host of microbes and germs. If the condition is so bad that they are tearing in pieces, discard them. If they are still in a single piece, sanitize them before you use them again.

To sanitize kitchen sponges, sprinkle a few drops of water (lemon juice, if you have it) and microwave them on high heat for two(2) minutes. This should fry any germs in them leaving the sponges clean and bacteria-free.

3. Cleaning The Garbage Disposal

DrainGet an ice tray. Mix water and vinegar in the ratio 1:8. Chop up a lemon into tiny pieces. Pour the water-vinegar mixture into the ice cube tray and drop one piece of lemon into each square. Freeze this mixture.

Once frozen, drop the ice cubes into the garbage disposal and run it for several seconds (leave the faucet running). Make sure all the ice is ground. This is an easy hack to not only dislodge debris stuck between the blades but also to sharpen and deodorize the device.

4. Stove Burner Cleaning Hack

Stove-BurnerThis is an object that accumulates huge amounts of grime and grease and cleaning them is a task we often dread. Scrubbing them may be time-consuming, so here’s a no scrub routine to clean grime and grease from stove burners.

You’ll need basic ammonia and a zip-lock bag. Take around half a cup or less of ammonia and drop it into the zip-lock bag. Drop in the stove burner as well and seal the plastic zip-lock bag. The idea is not to soak the burner in ammonia, but to let it just sit in the ammonia fumes overnight. Ideally, leave the zip-lock outside, just in case it develops a leak and you don’t want your house smelling of NH3. You should be able to clean the grime off smoothly with a cloth. No scrubbing needed!

 

5. Cleaning The Blendershutterstock_84133486

Yes, there’s a hack for this one too. No, cleaning it in the sink with the help of a scrub won’t help much. Blenders are difficult to clean because there are many jutting edges which could cut your fingers if you try to scrub around them.

Here’s what you need to do. Add a few drops of dish-washing liquid to a cup or so of warm water. Pour it into the blender and turn the blender on. Pour the soap water out and repeat with clean water. Once this is done, you can clean the outsides and then give the whole jar a final rinse.

Bathroom Cleaning Hacks

6. Cleaning The Shower Head

Yet another beautiful, no-scrub hack to clear out hard water stains from the shower heads and other steel surfaces. You will need a leak proof plastic bag, rubber bands, distilled white vinegar and water. Pour the vinegar into the plastic bag and tie it around the shower-head with the help of rubber bands. Leave it overnight or at least for a few hours, rinse with plain water in the morning. All hard water stains will be magically removed.

For other steel surfaces, dip a cloth into the distilled vinegar or spray some on them. Rinse with plain water after a few hours.

7. Cleaning Grout From The ShowerCleaning Tile

Grout is generally a kind of filling used between spaces while laying tiles or similar structures. Over time, they often turn dark and become an eyesore, especially against light colored walls/tiles. To remove them, there is a very effective, homemade grout cleaner that works wonders.

You will need a scrub brush or an old toothbrush, baking soda and some bleach. Combine ¼ cup bleach with a ¾ cup of baking soda until it forms a paste. Apply this on affected areas and let it sit for a few minutes. Bleach usually does the job, however, scrubbing it will yield maximum results. Do remember to wear your protective gloves when handling chemicals like bleach.

8. The Bathtub Drain

Bathtub drains accumulate a lot of grime and debris and the most common culprit behind a clogged drain is (ewww) human hair. For clearing a clogged bathtub drain, you’ll need a screwdriver, skinny pliers, paper towels, vinegar and baking soda.

Remove the drain plug and pull out the insert with the screwdriver. You should see some really disgusting gooey debris there. Use paper towels to wipe around the area and then use skinny pliers to pick up the gooey mess. The gross part is now over. Finally, pour a cup or so of baking soda and then vinegar over it until the mixture bubbles up. Leave this for around 15 mins and then rinse with tap water. Put back the plug, and you’re done!

9. Cleaning Mold From The Shower

voegenschrobbenwebMold is a kind of fungus that happily grows in any region that is continually damp. Bathrooms are ideal for mold colonies. These fungi are not only unpleasant to look at but they are also high-risk allergens. Cleaning them is thankfully simpler than you think.

Get some straight bleach and cotton balls, the kind you use for cosmetic purposes. Soak a piece of coil in the bleach and place it over the mold-affected areas. Leave this overnight. Using skinny pliers or tweezers, pick up the coil pieces and discard them. Rinse the area with water. You’ll be happy to see that mold growth would be considerably reduced. Keep in mind that bleach is a harsh chemical and it must never be handled without appropriate safety measures.

10. No Scrub Tub Cleaner

Yeah, this one made a lot of people happy. Scrubbing a tub could be back breaking task for some people which is why this one is a big hit! All you need is dish soap and vinegar. Mix the two in 1:1 ratio and spray it generously all over your tub. Leave this on for an hour or two, wipe away with a soft cloth and rinse with water.

These days, cleaning grade vinegar has become available in department stores. The acetic acid content in cleaning grade vinegar is higher than the food grade version. This means the cleaning effect is improved.

 

General Indoor Cleaning

11. Carpet Cleaning 

Carpets take a lot of beating from the folks in the house and so it’s quite common that they end up with difficult stains and a lot of offensive particulate material. While dust can be easily removed with the help of suction, stains require additional tools.

Baking soda, liquid detergent, vinegar and warm water are the only things you will need. As step 1, drop baking soda/cornstarch on the stains. Let it sit for half an hour and then use a vacuum cleaner to remove it. Once that is done, mix liquid detergent, one spoon of vinegar with warm water. Using a sponge, wipe the stain with the detergent solution. Using a different dry sponge, absorb the vinegar-detergent solution out of the carpet. Your stain would’ve faded considerably!

12. Easy Mattress Cleaning

Dust that accumulates in the mattress can cause some serious allergic reactions in some people. It is generally advised that regularly used mattresses must be cleaned at least once in a few months.

To clean your mattress without breaking your back, you’ll need a few drops of your favorite essential oil, baking soda and your trusted vacuum cleaner. Open a can of baking soda and add a few drops of essential oil. Replace the lid and shake the container so that the oil and the soda mixes well. Sprinkle this all over your mattress and let it remain for an hour or so. Vacuum the entire mattress making sure that all traces of baking soda are removed. This is very effective in removing dust mites and other harmful microbes.

 

13. Cleaning A Microfiber Couch

Microfiber couches are one of the most comfortable couches ever. However, they become dirty quite easily and kids just love to create art masterpieces on them. Cleaning them may seem difficult and you may even consider replacing them. But do try this simple fix before you discard your lovely couch.

You’ll need rubbing alcohol, a sponge, a sprayer and a scrubbing brush. Pour the rubbing alcohol into the sprayer and spray it all over the stain till it saturates. The alcohol will evaporate quite quickly so spray continuously. Using your sponge, scrub vigorously till the stain starts to visibly reduce. Once you are done scrubbing, leave it to dry. Use your brush to ruffle the couch back once the alcohol has dried. We strongly recommend that you use a pair of gloves while handling the scrubbing alcohol and try not to drink it :).

14. Removing Pet Hair 

downloadHaving a pet is a wonderful feeling indeed.  If you have a furry friend, be warned that their fur has been known to cause a lot of diseases, including the very dangerous Toxoplasmosis. It would be a good idea to rid your house of their fur once in a while to avoid pathogens of various kinds.

Damp rubber works wonders for removing pet hair. You’ll simply need to dampen your rubber gloves and give the furniture and other surfaces a good scrubbing. For getting cat/dog fur off carpets, use a squeegee and wipe the fur away.

 

15. Cleaning tiny toys

Toys left unused accumulate a lot of dust and the idea of washing them all individually might seem time-consuming. If you want to wash them all together in one go, here’s something you can try.

Grab a small laundry bag and dump all the small toys into it. Hold them under the sink and run the faucet. The tiny holes in the laundry bag will allow water to come in and drain taking all the dust away.

 

A Word Of Advice

While you may not be able to do all of these at once, try going one section at a time – bathrooms, followed by the kitchen and so on. Remember – Safety first. Do not forget to use rubber gloves or overalls when necessary. Once you are done, put the chemicals away in a safe place where your kids cannot reach them. We also have a great guide on 10 ways to organize your home efficiently. You should read that too!

Home maintenance is no easy task. Keeping a home running does require some amount of effort. That said, there are some things that you just cannot prevent. Appliance breakdowns are a fine example. We strongly recommend that you purchase a home warranty to protect your budget and your appliances.

That’s all for now, do try out these hacks and let us know what you think. Don’t hesitate to ask us any questions, we’ll be more than happy to help. Thanks for reading, cheers!

 




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.




Recently, there was an interesting review posted at AHS warranty discussions page about dealing with insurance claims. The legal option suggested by the reviewer might be useful to some homeowners, who have difficulties dealing with home warranty insurance claims.

Insurance Claims

It is not practical and cost effective to take legal route to pursue your insurance claims and you may want to read How to pursue insurance claims article before you go that path. However, if you are fighting an insurance claim on a big ticket item, and you have exhausted all other options, this is definitely an effective strategy. Author of this post himself was an attorney and he effectively used the legal threat to beat the home warranty company.

Here is the excerpt:

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American Home Shield – how to beat home warranty companies at their own game

I have discovered how aggrieved homeowners can turn the tables on home warranty companies and beat them at their own game. Please share this with everyone you know.

I’m an attorney and after having a problem with my home warranty company, American Home Shield, I decided to investigate whether other homeowners had experienced the same or a similar problem. What I found were web sites devoted to consumer complaints on which numerous homeowners had recounted incidents of fraud, deception, and rip-offs by their home warranty company. I also found a blog written by a former American Home Shield employee and another written by a former plumber for a home warranty company. Both recounted situations that would not pass the “smell test” in a court of law.

I also investigated lawsuits that had been filed against American Home Shield in Georgia, which is where I live. I found about 15 cases. The majority of cases had been filed in small claims court. As I reviewed the cases, I discovered that none of the cases had been litigated. In every instance, the case had been settled to the Plaintiff’s satisfaction although the details of each settlement were not part of the case file. With the knowledge that all cases had been settled to the homeowners’ satisfaction, I realized that American Home Shield would settle with an aggrieved homeowner before allowing a case to go to trial. My conclusion is that the only thing aggrieved homeowners need to do to beat home warranty companies at their own game is to file suit. The last thing American Home Shield wants to do is litigate a homeowner’s claim and the reasons are obvious to me.

The most obvious reason American Home Shield would not want to litigate a claim is that in most instances, the cost to American Home Shield to settle a claim would be less than the cost to litigate. The average amount of a claim in the cases I found was $3,800.00. Two were for less than $1,000.00 and only one was for more than $10,000.00. I’m sure far more than the 15 homeowners who have filed lawsuits in Georgia have had their claims denied. American Home Shield wins when a claim is denied and the homeowner does not sue, which is exactly what American Home Shield is counting on homeowners not doing.

Another reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because the company does not want to have to defend its craftily drafted contract or its questionable business practices, which is exactly what it would have to do if a case went to trial. American Home Shield also does not want such information to become public knowledge, which is also likely to happen. Additionally, a judge or a jury would also be hard pressed to return a verdict favorable to a company that engages in questionable business practices.

The final reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because a lawsuit actually places American Home Shield in a precarious situation. American Home Shield would have a difficult time defending any claim by a homeowner because the company has no first hand knowledge about the claim; it would need the testimony of the service contractor who, for its own reasons, may be less than eager to testify. The only knowledge American Home Shield has is what the company has been told by the service contractor. And any testimony from American Home Shield about what it was told by the service contractor is hearsay and not admissible in court.

To defend a claim, American Home Shield would need to subpoena the service contractor who actually made the diagnosis to testify about the claim. If the homeowner has done his/her homework, he/she would subpoena witnesses who could dispute the witnesses for American Home Shield. The homeowner should subpoena one or more service companies who had been called either for a second opinion or to make the actual repairs to dispute the testimony of the American Home Shield service contractor. The homeowner might also consider locating one or more other aggrieved homeowners to testify about their problem with American Home Shield. Another good witnesses for the homeowner to subpoena would be a former service contractor for the home warranty company or a former employee of a service contractor.

Since American Home Shield has at least three significant reasons why it does not want to litigate, the best and easiest way an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game (and most likely any other home warranty company) is to file suit. The one thing for an aggrieved homeowner to keep in mind is that if he/she does not sue, the home warranty company will win. But if he/she sues, the homeowner will most likely win. And that is how an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game.

My advice to aggrieved homeowners is not to stress over a denied claim, the denial of a situation as an emergency, repeated “band-aid repairs,” or a delay in authorization or in the repair of an item. I would also advise a homeowner not to waste time arguing with American Home Shield but to set a reasonable deadline for the appropriate action. Upon expiration of the deadline without receiving satisfaction from American Home Shield, the homeowner should then proceed as if they did not have a home warranty and then sue American Home Shield for reimbursement. The homeowner should also remember to document every action or inaction by both himself/herself and American Home Shield. Although the disadvantage to the homeowner is initially having to pay for the repairs, the advantage is that the homeowner can choose the service contractor and the brands and quality of products. I won’t guarantee all aggrieved homeowners will prevail every time but I have good reason to believe most aggrieved homeowners will prevail the majority of time.

For aggrieved homeowners whose claims were denied at sometime in the past, you may still be able to sue for reimbursement. To make that determination, the homeowner needs to research the statute of limitation for suing on a contract in their state. In any event, a homeowner should be safe filing suit for a claim that was denied during the past twelve (12) months.

Within the next six months, instead of reading homeowner’s stories about being scammed and ripped off by their home warranty company, I want to read stories about how homeowners turned the tables and beat their home warranty company at their own game.
If anyone has any questions, I can be contacted at [email protected]

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Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G) is an energy company headquartered in New Jersey. They also have a host of products meant for homeowners across NJ. Here, we will be reviewing their appliance repair services.

WorryFree is an appliance protection plan covering a range of heating, cooling and appliance repair/replacement services. The protection plans are offered by PSE&G to New Jersey residents. The company claims that customers who move to Worry Free protection, experience peace of mind and budget protection.

Services Included in the WorryFree Protection Plan

  • Repair services when an appliance breaks down.
  • Replacement services when it is time to buy a NEW heating, cooling or water heating equipment.
  • Contracts for household appliances when you wish to enhance your coverage.

Repair services

The company is said to have a large team of skilled contractors who provide efficient repair services. Here is the list of heating and cooling devices PSE&G WorryFree plan repairs for you.

  • Gas Furnace/Boiler repairs
  • Central Air Conditioning repairs
  • Gas and Electric Water Heater repairs
  • Refrigerator repairs
  • Gas and Electric Range/Stove repairs
  • Dishwasher repairs
  • Washing Machine repairs
  • Gas and Electric Dryer repairs
  • Gas Grill repairs
  • Gas Pool Heater repairs
  • Gas Outdoor Lamp repairs
  • Gas Fireplace Log repairs
  • Gas Space Heater repairs
  • Heat Pump repairs
  • Ductless Heating and Cooling System repairs

To schedule a repair service, customers can simply visit their website and place a call to the customer service center number provided onsite. After providing all the relevant information, the representative will then schedule the appointment at the earliest.

Replacements services

All NJ customers receive replacement services when they sign up for the WorryFree plan. To avail this service, customers must call up the company to get a free estimate and information about the various replacement options. Customers may even qualify for N.J state rebates up to $900. For further details, readers are requested to visit their website.

Business protection services

PSE&G also offers business protection to N.J. business customers. A WorryFree Business Heating Protection Plan is said to be one that provides fast service when you are in need. It covers your water heater (gas) PLUS one gas boiler furnace OR one rooftop gas heating unit.
The company claims that you can avail additional benefits like the following:

  • Dependable coverage for repair service and certain parts that manufacturers’ warranties often omit.
  • Zero deductible or labor charge to replace covered parts.
  • Zero price increases because your appliances are aging.
  • No exclusions based on make or model.
  • Fast response for repair work from New Jersey’s largest fleet of appliance repair trucks.
  • Online account access and scheduling – 24/7!

Review

Reviews and feedback reported about the WorryFree plans by PSE&G are mixed to positive, with positive reviews being reported more often. Like most companies that sell home warranty services and products, PSE&G too will have their own set of hurdles. On the whole, the plans seem to be as good as warranty plans provided by other reputable companies. However, since warranty needs vary from person to person, only a customer can make a choice on whether the plans are suited for his needs or not. We suggest that our readers visit the website of PSE&G to gather further information about their plans and services before you make a purchase

Contact PSE&G

Official website: pseg.com
Contact number: 800-4367734
Address:
35 Journal Square Suite #2, Jersey City, NJ 07306 (corner of Bergen and Newkirk St.)
317 George St. New Brunswick, NJ 08901




Here at HomeWarrantyReviews.com we deliver thousands of new, free-to-read, customer reviews and ratings of home warranty companies each year, along with several Complaints.  Best of all, we don’t charge companies or our website users anything for those reviews and ratings!  Our service is still free after nearly a decade online, and we’re proud of that.  Our readers have come to know us as a place where a home warranty shopper or customer can find what they need on the internet.  Our reviews are objective, and though we do edit them to ensure that fake reviews or ones which lack value for readers don’t clutter up the website, we never make it possible for a home warranty company that is not keeping its promises to customers to cover that up by paying to have negative reviews hidden or removed.

CRP- How it Works!

 

We keep things real here, and our readers can tell by the mix of positive and negative reviews for each company.  And whether you’re posting a review in order to have your voice heard or shopping for a reliable home warranty company, the work we do here and the value we provide through our free service is immediately impacting tens of thousands of homeowners.  Reviews are only part of the way in which we help our readers and the home warranty companies who keep the industry alive and growing. That’s what keeps us doing what we do.

One of our lesser known services is our Complaint Resolution Program, and it not only serves customers in need of a way to resolve their negative experiences but also helps companies manage their online reputation, ensuring that the occasional mistake by one of their employees or contractors doesn’t result in a lost customer.

The Complaint Resolution Program is extremely simple for both sides of the relationship between the home warranty company and the customer.  There is absolutely no charge to use it, and there’s no obligation on the part of the company or the customer to use it.  It’s the best of both worlds.  But how does the Complaint Resolution Program, or CRP as it’s also called, work?

Making the problem known to someone who can help is how CRP works.

If you’ve visited many reviews websites online today then you are probably already aware of the trend toward companies posting responses to customer complaints.  Sometimes these responses appear to have a real, positive effect on the customer’s level of satisfaction.  A company might not have been fully aware of the problems the customer encountered with a home warranty claim or another service.  The company might have had a bad apple that poorly represented them to the customer or mismanaged the claim process.  Anything can happen after all.  So responses from companies sometimes lead to meaningful reactions between the parties, and problems get solved.  But other times a response from a company feels more like a defensive maneuver.  You’ve probably seen some of these yourself.  The company posts the same response under every negative review, and there seems to be no sign of resolution among any of the reviews.

CRP Process Flow

When a customer takes the time to post a complaint on an internet reviews website, the party posting the review typically has probably traveled through the company’s various routes of complaint resolution, but not always.  At times, a negative experience begins and ends with one person on the company’s team or their repair contractor.  And those situations might be resolved in many cases with action from people at the company who are higher up in the decision-making processes.  This is where the CRP process can really help the company and the customer.

When a user posts a review on HomeWarrantyReviews.com that has a low rating, the website prompts the author of the review to decide if he or she would like to have another chance at seeking resolution of the problem.  This very simple and free, and most of all optional, offer to the consumer is where the CRP process starts.  If the customer decides that it’s worth trying once more to resolve the problem then simply selecting to participate in the CRP is a single click away.  Once opted into the program, the customer will be able to correspond through private emails, hosted by HomeWarrantyReviews.com, with the company.  And the company representative assigned to handle CRP cases will be able to help the customer, sometimes with greater problem escalation abilities than the average customer service representative.

While this process is going on, the negative review is not visible on the website.  And this part is important to both parties.  Sometimes when we’re upset we make hasty remarks.  Later we regret those same remarks.  So for the customer and the company CRP presents a cooling off opportunity in which the consumer has the chance to have a problem solved before the review is out there for others to read.  If the problem is resolved then the party who wrote it may choose to not have it posted on the website.  In that case, the company’s reputation is saved a blemish, and the customer is afforded a chance to successfully resolve a problem.  Both parties win, and neither are out an additional dollar for the service.

Building a team of problem solvers can lead to a better company reputation.

Companies that use the CRP are not just solving one-off problems for their customers.  In some cases, they’re opening a new, cost-efficient, window to customer feedback.  Any company which pays for customer satisfaction surveys or other third party consultative services related to reputation management knows how costly these services can be.  What if a company could find a way to get the same kind of feedback without an additional expense?  Now they can.

Building the CRP was all about giving our reviewers and the companies they review a more productive experience and ensuring that the good companies don’t wind up looking bad, simply because of mistakes or unidentified problems that the company should be working to resolve for future customers as well as current ones.  We set out to build something that would help all the people we serve, the companies and customers alike.  And in the process, we aimed to help even more people, particularly the ones who will have a better customer service experience as a result of companies taking an active role in learning from their customers’ complaints.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com didn’t invent the concept of complaint escalation or creating specialized teams at companies that specialize in helping the most unhappy customers.  But we did bring the missing piece to the reviews process on our website, and we believe it makes all the difference.  Once you create a forum where unhappy customers can receive help from the most specialized customer service representatives at home warranty companies then the next step is for the companies to seize the opportunity to use that forum to its full potential.  We believe that companies that use the CRP the best are ones that empower their teams to react to the complaints received through the CRP in a way that satisfies reasonable customers who have honest and fair objections to the way they were treated by the company or those the company allowed to represent them, repair contractors included.

Companies that use the CRP are in a unique position in which they can not only reduce the number of bad reviews they collect on our website but also increase customer retention.  And keeping customers is something that companies that post a boilerplate response to complaints online probably are not doing.

Participating in the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) is easy.

Maybe you want to learn more about the CRP – Q & A and how it works to your benefit. But if you’re already sold on the idea then here’s what you need to do.

If you are a company representative then you can send us an email at [email protected], to address your queries for CRP enrollment and we’ll help you get started with the quick setup process.  Your company will need to designate an email address to receive the CRP case notifications and new customer correspondence notices at.  And you’ll need to make sure that you have team members checking that email inbox very regularly.

If you are a customer who has had a bad experience with your home service contract or home warranty, and you’d like help resolving the problem then please use the search box below to find the company you want to be contacted by.  If that company is not participating in the CRP then you can email us at [email protected], and we will forward your request for help to the company representative we have on file.  We will also let them know that it would have been great if they’d been participating in the CRP, so your problem could have been dealt with more quickly today.

 



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.




Mar 5, 2012 – Direct Energy confirmed that it has finalized an acquisition of Home Warranty of America (HWA), a chief supplier of home protection plans, giving it operating capabilities and licenses to provide household protection plans across United States.

Direct Energy

Direct Energy, one of the North American’s major competitive energy and energy-related service providers has over six million customer relationships in Canada and United States. The company was founded in Toronto in 1986 as an energy retailer and in the year 2000, it was acquired by Centrica, the UK based parent of British energy retailer British Gas.

The contract gives Direct Energy both authorizations and capabilities in all 50 states to provide protection plans to millions of US household seeking to save their projects in opposition to pricey breakdowns. This potential, along with the currently acquired operations of Clockwork Home Services, offers ability to sell protection plans nationwide and provide service coverage.

Home Warranty of America (HWA) makes us unique in that we can now provide competitively priced protection plans to our customers across the US home services market,” said Eddy Collier, President of Direct Energy Services. “We can also service their needs directly through our strong consumer brands of One Hour, Benjamin Franklin and Mr. Sparky, which build on the national network of HWA contractors already in place and providing excellent service.”

“Importantly, HWA also provides us with the systems and operations to offer protection plans and services to our residential energy customers,” added Collier.  “The potential for cross-sell opportunities further complements our North American strategy for growth.”

In 2010, Direct Energy had already acquired Clockwork Home Services which is a Sarasota, Fl.-based home services company, thereby establishing itself as the biggest home services company providing plumbing, HVAC and electrical services across 46 U.S states and Canada. Earlier 2010, Direct Energy said that it is shifting its headquarters from Toronto, Canada to Houston, but more than 2000 workers already work in Texas. Being a part of the entire value chain, right from sourcing to supplying to energy efficient products and services, Direct Energy is able to offer its consumers with steadiness and added value.

About Direct Energy Direct Energy is one of the North America’s leading energy-related services provider that offers customers with option and support in managing their energy expenses through a collection of products and services. Direct Energy functions in 46 states plus DC and 10 regions in Canada. To find out more about Direct Energy, visit www.directenergy.com




When you compare “promise contracts”, such as home warranties, you must first comprehend exactly what is being assured. You can then evaluate attributes. Fraction of the research should also be aimed at comparing customer’s ratings of the companies that offer the warranties.

Comparing home warranty companies facilitates you to find the policy that suits your budget and needs. A home warranty is an individual policy you can procure to provide coverage for your home’s important appliances and systems. The precise prices and coverage obtainable to you varies by each home warranty company functioning in your area, so comparing the exact rates and services from each company is a significant step when picking a policy for your home.

When buying a home warranty, you are not only giving capital to the supplier, you are also giving your belief that they are going to cover you when you need it most. That’s why it’s so imperative to verify into a company’s history, see how they function and what they ought to offer, plus learn how they entertain their customers. It’s worth exploring before you purchase.

Six Steps to Choose a Home Appliance Warranty

  1. Determine the Coverage: Jot down the kind of coverage you need. Include exact items you want to be covered. Electrical systems and plumbing are typically covered under a basic home warranty, but you have to shell out for coverage for some other main appliances such as spa or garage door opener.
  2. Shortlist companies:  Visit Compare Home Warranties section to make a list of companies that you like. You can also check with your friends and family members or with a local real estate agent for a list of suggested home warranty providers.
  3. Research Providers and Pricing: Note down the pricing and ratings info for each company. You can also get price estimate of appliance warranty policy in the same section. Visit the official website of each warranty company if you desire.  Jot down the overall annual price for your preferred policy from each company.
  4. Talk to Companies: Contact home warranty company and inquire more about pricing information and a quote if the information isn’t available online or to verify data you received online. Ask how much fee they charge for a service call, and make a note of prices for each company next to policy price information you already listed. Ask about the typical wait times for a technician to know if there will be someone available promptly to help you when you need it. Also inquire if emergency and 24-hour service is available. Observe how they handle their customers.
  5. Read the Fine Print: Evaluate policy and service fee prices as well as service terms offered in the contract. Don’t assume anything. Pre-existing conditions are generally not covered. Few companies also require you to get maintenance & inspection done on HVAC units by a professional every year. But some  companies add lots of fine print clauses so as to exclude coverage on many things. This is the MOST important step among all.
  6. Customer Service: Finally, remember to check the customer service of the company you choose. When you call to inquire, observe how they treat you. Are they well mannered and kind or intolerant and impolite? Do you have to waste a lot of time on hold before getting through to speak to someone? Realize what their hours so you can make out whether there be someone accessible to help you when you call for it. Also, discover who the company employs for repairs. Ensure it’s a company individual you are happy with, and that they are near enough that they will be able to facilitate your repairs in a timely manner.

This video will help you compare home warranty companies.




Are there scams in the home warranty industry?

When you look at the words most often used in emotional complaints about home warranty companies you may find that “scam” is a very common term. But if you look very closely at the home warranty industry it’s hard to find evidence of a scam rooted in the established home warranty companies.

Home Warranty Scams

Though home owners are not always happy with the speed or manner of the response to their claims it takes more than just complaints to make a true scam. So are there no scams in the home warranty industry? My personal opinion is that there are plenty of scams and if you look back you’ll find plenty more in the past. Does that make the home warranty industry unique? I definitely don’t believe so. Auto insurance, health insurance, home building, government, religion – you name it, there have been scandals and grounds to throw words like scam around. Home warranty is not unique in that it has unhappy customers. Show me an industry without unhappy customers and I’ll be the first to change careers. But like I mentioned before, home warranty customers have been victimized and are probably being victimized even today.

Spotting the scams and the companies that are not operating with the best interests of their customers in mind is the very first priority. This is where home owners and legitimate home warranty companies can work together. Real estate agents, home repair contractors, home inspectors, and many other professional and customer advocacy groups can also help to point out the signs that home warranty companies are not doing what is right for their customers.

 

How do you spot home warranty companies that may be scamming customers?

How can home owners identify home warranty companies that are likely to be scams or just not be doing what is right in terms of their commitments to customers? There are a few basic approaches to getting a good read on a home warranty company and all of them involve some time spent doing home work. What this comes down to really is customers taking their time and not making impulse purchases of home warranty contracts. And during that period of finding out about a home warranty company here are some things home owners would be wise to look out for:

  • Is the home warranty company well established? This one is important. Many home warranty companies that fail to take care of their commitments due to greed or negligent management practices still cannot be labeled scams. But like the companies that are intentionally misleading customers, the ones that do a bad job with customer service or mismanage the company’s assets tend to wind up being fly-by-night companies. If a company hasn’t been around long then home owners should be extra cautious.
  • Are people you know talking about the company? If you ask everyone you know about a home warranty company and nobody can tell you a thing about them then, again extra caution is wise. Keep in mind that hearing about other people you know signing up for a home warranty doesn’t necessarily mean a company will be good to deal with as a customer. Until you file a claim you don’t really know what you’ve gotten yourself into.
  • Do your state government’s insurance regulatory authorities or other public offices know anything about the home warranty company? Some states have rules for home warranty companies while others do not. If you live in a state that has no regulations, licensing requirements, or other rules for home warranty companies then you should tread very carefully. If you choose a home warranty company that fails to deliver on its promises your state may have little or no recourse available for you. If your state licenses or otherwise sets limits on home warranty companies don’t sign or buy anything until you know where the home warranty company stands with your state’s regulatory entity. And ask about complaints. Some officials can tell you if there have been complaints filed with their office or other offices against the home warranty company you are inquiring about.
  • Find out more about the company in terms of physical location and ownership. As mentioned earlier in this article, there are sometimes signals that a home warranty company isn’t legitimate. The harder it is to find out about the ownership and location of a company the more cautious a home owner should be about doing business with it.

 

What sorts of home warranty scams should you watch out for?

It’s difficult to predict what sort of stunt criminals will pull tomorrow but in terms of what scams I’ve heard of up to now, here are a few. The names may be funny but the financial losses and wasted time on the parts of the jilted customers is nothing to smile about.

 

“The Emperor’s New Clothes”

This one involves a company that isn’t a company at all. It has none of the financial depth that is required to cover the costs of handling repairs and replacements when home warranty customers file claims. In fact these companies rarely have a real office and follow the same pattern almost every time. They deny all the claims they can, approve the ones they can’t but then don’t pay anyone for the work performed, and then when frustrated customers cancel they promise refunds which they also fail to pay.

 

“The Ponzi Scheme”

These companies oftentimes pay their contractors and approve returns but do so in such a way as to gradually put the company further and further behind on various debts. While they do this they use positive customer reviews to attract more customers and also spend a great deal on advertising in some cases. By the time they become fat with customers and reach their peak they’ve already bankrupted the company through poor management. The customers who are holding new home warranty contracts the day the company finally sneaks out its back doors and turns off the phones are the ones who get hit the hardest. Sometimes this type of scam leaves a long-term trail of customers who don’t find out their contract is worthless until they attempt to contact their home warranty company’s customer service center. This grab-the-cash-and-dash routine has burned many, many home owners over the years.

 

“The Disguise”

Some people who found bad home warranty companies get away with their misdeeds or only receive a slap on the hand that holds the checkbook. They then go on to start other home warranty companies using new company names and sometimes using different people as the officers or owners of the company. By disguising themselves they evade the public scrutiny that would otherwise stop their scams cold. Home owners caught up in the web of these characters can count on denied claims, shoddy work, unpaid contractors pursuing the home owner for debts the home warranty company owes payment for, and many other unpleasant circumstances.

 

What can home owners do if they suspect they are dealing with a fraud that is posing as a home warranty company?

For the sake of other consumers, friends, and the home warranty industry where companies work diligently to satisfy their customers, any home owner who feels that a claim was handled unfairly or that there are signs of misconduct on the part of their home warranty company should not remain silent. All too often home warranty companies give the overall industry a bad name with their poor handling of claims, contractor relations, or other important areas of their businesses. And in the case of true scams, more often than not, the people behind the scams only get away with what they do because it takes so long for anyone in a position to stop them to realize what is happening. As consumers realize their options to use government offices, social media, and word of mouth to sound the alarm about bad home warranty companies it will become more and more difficult for new scams to find victims.

 

This is a guest article written by Kevin Wallach. As owner and writer at HomeWarrantyWiz.com Kevin spends a great deal of time collecting information to help his readers better understand home warranty plans. Though home warranty is not the most popular topic online, it does mean a lot to home owners who need help with questions about it.

 




There are five types of warranties plans available such as manufacturer warranty, home warranty, seller’s warranty, extended warranty, appliance service contract etc. All the above mentioned terms are basically protection policies of your household appliances. All these warranty contracts are slightly different and we will get into them in just a moment. Please note that we do not cover homeowners insurance here but you can refer to the article that talks about home insurance and home warranty differences

Types of Warranties

Home Warranty

Home warranty is a service contract on your home appliances and it covers repairs and maintenance of household machinery. Home warranty plan takes care of repair and replacement of all your insured appliances by the qualified service provider. This plan is also referred as

  • Appliance Protection Plan
  • Appliance Service Contract
  • Home Maintenance Plan
  • Home Protection Plan
  • Home Appliance Insurance
  • Appliance Repair Service
  • Home Warranty Insurance

Manufacturer’s Warranty

One of the basic thing people look for while purchasing any appliance or gadget is the warranty. A warranty is a kind of assurance provided by the manufacturer for the product and if the item does not meet the expectations then the insurance provider is bound to repair or replace the product within the stated warranty period. The standard coverage is generally for the period of one year. A warranty is a legal binding which means if the seller does not stick to their words, then you can legally file lawsuits against them.

These days all the online stores and offline stores are providing manufacturer’s warranty and the original bill along with the purchased product. The products shipped are also completely sealed and as good as what you can get from retail stores. You can extend the warranty for additional years if you desire, although it is not necessary in most cases. Generally, big ticket items such as HVAC units come with 5 years warranty, but the coverage will be limited to parts only from second year onwards. That means you will have to pay for the repair service.

Home appliance warranty companies generally do not cover an equipment when it is under manufacturers warranty.

Seller’s Warranty

Seller Warranty is also known as dealer warranty. The warranty is basically provided by the respective seller or the dealer of the products. Most of seller warranties last for the period of 6 months. In case of any sort of defect of malfunction of the product, you have to take the product particularly to the seller from whom you bought it.

Extended Warranty

You have an option to extend manufacturer’s warranty when it expires. It is recommended only for those appliances that are not covered by home warranty, such as laptop, PC, TV and other electronics.

You can also extend home warranty when your original plan expires. Usually the breakdown period of appliances starts just before or after your warranty expires because of its usability. If you want to avoid such hassles of contacting repair services, extended warranty service just makes things easier

Home Service Contracts

Service contracts are also considered as agreement or protection agreements. Most of these are offered by vendors selling the appliance, a service company, or a third party service provider. Home service contractors are basically local, licensed, and insured team to provide service. The price, terms and coverage choices widely vary as these companies tend to be local service providers. The repair and customer service may also vary depending on the vendor. Make sure you thoroughly understand the contract before you sign it.

Do your homework before buying home warranties, extended warranties, or service contracts for your major appliance. Understand the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract, especially its limitations.

Make sure you know and understand:

  • The reputation of the selling agent or the service provider
  • If the agreement contains a service repair cost “deductible” clause
  • If you must get second opinions or price estimates before repair
  • If you renew annually and what is the cost to do so
  • Any repair not covered such as plastic, glass, rust, corrosion non-functional parts, and installation, wiring or plumbing corrections
  • Costs involved if you have to take the appliance to the repair shop (against being repaired in your home)
  • What happens when the necessary part is no longer available
  • Any other terms and conditions of the contract, especially its limitations

Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcome surprises.




This infographic depicts the most basic definition of what a Home Warranty is all about. Although the title says that it is for dummies, we’re sure that even people with average/ above average intelligence can keep up!

Now, an appliance warranty is a form of protection your purchase for your household appliances and systems. It is a contract that offers to provide you discounted repair and replacement services should your device sustain any damages.

Home Warranty Dummies

Share this Image On Your Site

Coverage

As you can see in the infographic, all major systems and appliances are covered. Now that would include refrigerator, built in ovens and microwaves, washer/ dryer, HVAC units and major systems like plumbing and electrical units. Additional coverage can always be purchased, so you can rest assured that all your devices can be protected!

How Does Home Warranty Plan Work?

This is how it works. When your covered device gets damaged, you simply place a call to the warranty company explaining your situation. If the damage is not an excluded one, your claim will be taken up. The warranty company then sends a technician to your home to fix the damage.

Claims

Let’s discuss the claims part. Like we said, when you notice a damage, all you need to do is inform the warranty company about it. Did you notice that title saying “Common reasons for claim denials”? Yes it is true. Although this does not happen often, it is still noticed that companies often deny claims. The grounds for claim denial varies from company to company and can be understood only after you go through their policy booklet.

However, common reasons for denial are as follows

  • Insufficient maintenance
  • Improper installation
  • Code violations
  • Unusual wear and tear

Don’t worry too much about it. If you choose a reputable company, chances are low that your claims will be unjustly denied.

Premium and Deductible

Moving on, let’s discuss the premiums and deductibles involved. As the image says, the annual premium for most basic warranty plans are somewhere in the range of $250- $500. This can vary depending on the extent of coverage. Larger the coverage, higher the premium.

Each time you raise an issue, you will be expected to pay a deductible/ service call fee (it’s nominal, around $50). The happy news is that there are some companies offering plans at zero deductible.

So there! That’s what the infographic is all about. Isn’t it an awesome image? Cheers!




In the past year, over 32 real estate agents have helped consumers with more than 13 residential home sales in Houston, Texas. The oil slump can’t hold back Houston’s top realtors as the Houston’s housing market is performing extremely well. Sales have ranged in price from $99,000 to $697,500. Now, homes are available for a variety of price ranges – from about $300,000 near downtown to around $2 million in the best neighborhoods along the city’s Energy Corridor.

Best-Realtors-and-agents-of-Houston

Below is the list of Houston’s leading realtors based on their gross sales volume in dollar amounts, the number of transactions and the average price of homes sold-

Paige Martin

Houston-Realtor

A Houston-area native, Paige is a proficient and successful partner in any residential real estate transaction. Armed with an in-depth knowledge of Houston real estate market, her skills have marked her as one of the most preferred agents in Houston. With a customer-focused approach, Paige is dedicated to providing brilliant service. After graduation from Baylor University, Paige started her career as a marketing consultant, developing individually-tailored marketing techniques for her customers. She now employs those cutting-edge skills to aid her customers to buy and sell their homes with the least amount of stress. She monitors clients through every aspect of learning about Houston, relocating to Houston and ensuring hassle-free real estate transaction.

Paige Martin, a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Realty and owner of HoustonProperties.com is ranked as one of the top residential real estate agents across the world. Her website HoustonProperties.com features more than 1,200 pages of Houston real estate information on over 40,000 properties for sale in addition to a large number of resources for home sellers. Paige has successfully sold over $250million of homes and is listed among the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston for the second consecutive year in terms of individual gross sales and transactions. She has also been featured on TV and in several publications including:

  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Fortune Magazine, Reuters
  • Fox News in the Morning
  • Money Magazine
  • Houston Business Journal
  • The Houston Chronicle
  • Downtown Houston Magazine
  • Texas Monthly Magazine

Paige has been a consistent top producing agent and has won over 198 awards since 2003 for excellence in customer satisfaction. Her recent awards include:

  • 2016: One of the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston, Houston Business Journal
  • 2016: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly
  • 2016: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2015 Q3: #9 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Worldwide (of 125,000 agents)
  • 2015: #2 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Texas
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Southwest Texas (Houston, Woodlands, Katy, San Antonio)
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Houston
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2015: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2015: One of the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston, Houston Business Journal
  • 2015: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2014: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2014: One of the Top 40 Real Estate Agents in Houston, Houston Chronicle
  • 2014: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2014: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2013: Top 50 Houston Realtors by the Houston Chronicle
  • 2013: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2013: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2012: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2012: Top 5 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams
  • 2011: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2011: Top 10 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams
  • 2010: #1 Ranked Individual Agent in the Keller Williams Memorial Office
  • 2010: Top 10 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams

James Krueger

Houston-RealtorWhether you are buying or selling a home, James Krueger can help you win at real estate! He is the owner of Kruger Real Estate which was founded on a corporate philosophy of devoted commitment to quality service. Upon graduating from Texas A&M University as an All-American archer and economics major, Kruger worked as a business analyst for Reliant and then a consultant for an executive compensation firm. He believes that excellent real estate service begins with personalization – with one agent who listens, learns your goals and helps you accomplish them. Krueger Real Estate agents are backed by a team that keeps you informed through every step of the home buying or selling process while giving you unmatched customer service. As a former litigation, Kruger understands legal contracts and also knows how to value a property to get you the best possible deal.

Krueger Real Estate mainly serves the Greater Houston Area and surrounding areas including Katy, Cypress, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Spring, and Tomball. Krueger is pioneering an exclusive model to improve agent retention and client satisfaction. Unlike many traditional brokerage firms, Krueger Real Estate pays attention to duties that a realtor at other brokerages is responsible for. It provides a distinct advantage in maximizing the exposure of their listing through online, print, and social media outlets. The local experts assure you of professional photographs, proficient staging and presentation guidance, an online marketing blitz campaign and thorough listing descriptions that will make your home noticeable from the rest. “If I can create an amazing place to work, I can attract super high-quality agents who attract high-quality clients,” said Krueger, broker and owner of Krueger Real Estate.

Krueger Real Estate employs a client relation management system to keep an eye on its clients and has a call center that tries to answer all new client queries within 3 minutes. Krueger’s client focused approach seems to be working and has helped him grow his company. In 2013, Krueger started with 8 agents who made $27 million in home sales and the following year he grew his company to 15 agents who brokered $46 million in home transactions. In 2015, with 45 agents, Krueger’s firm collectively made $65 million in closed and pending sales. Krueger aims to crack $100 million in sales in 2016 and has a dream to grow his company to 250 agents, expand to the four major Texas markets and break the $1 billion home sales mark by 2020.

“I always wanted a fun, cool place to work, so when I started my company, I wanted to make it an enjoyable place to work,” Krueger said. “A company isn’t anything without the people you have on board.”

Krueger has been named the Top Producer by the Houston Association of Realtors for 2012 and 2013. He is a certified negotiation expert (CNE) and has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:

  • Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®)
  • Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®)

Lance Loken

Realtor-Houston

Founder of The Loken Group, Lance Loken strives to be the excellent real estate service provider in all 9 countries in the Greater Houston Area. The group is backed by a team of specialists out of the Keller Williams Realty Signature office who serves real estate buyers, sellers, and investors to make your home buying and selling experience pleasant. By employing the newest technologies, business tactics, and market research, the agents are able to list your home strategically and effectively. Most importantly, the agents listen and find solutions that are tailored to you.

Prior to entering real estate, Loken worked as a C-Level executive for firms like The Wood Group Renewable Energy Service, Francesca’s Collections Inc., and C.D. Johnson Companies which helped him shape the way he approaches real estate. “My goal is to always be your real estate SOLUTION – whether that means helping you buy, sell, invest or rent,” Loken said. Loken is an Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS) and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS).

From paperwork to marketing, The Loken Group stand by you in every step of the way, replying to your questions and offering exceptional customer service. They were recently named:

  • #3 out of all Real Estate Teams in Houston (Ranked by Number of 2014 Closed Transactions – 662 by the “Houston Business Journal”)
  • #20 out of all Real Estate Teams in The United States (Teams by Transaction Sides in 2014 – 658 – by REAL TRENDS (“Wall Street Journal”))
  • #3 in all Keller Williams agents worldwide (based on units closed in 2015)
  • #1 Best Place to Work in Houston (Medium Companies, 2015, “Houston Business Journal”)
  • #79 (Teams by Sales Volume in 2014 – $137.3 mil) in America by REAL TRENDS (Wall Street Journal)
  • #303 in the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies

The team of specialists at The Loken Group manages clients in all price ranges. Their luxury division is backed by proficient luxury experts who help clients in more than $650,000 price range.

Alfonso Parodi

Realtor-Houston

Alfonso Parodi obtained a Business Administration degree with a Minor in Marketing from University of Lima, Peru. Thereafter, he moved to Houston and lived there for 9 years where he had the opportunity to attain extensive experience and training in Sales including residential lending, real estate, retail, networking, recruiting, marketing and primarily customer service. Parodi is competitive and goal-oriented with a passion for delivering outstanding customer service. In just 3 years, Parodi has become a top agent at Realty Associates in Houston which is home to more than 1800 agents.

Alfonso founded Team Parodi in 2013 whose focus is to bring the best group of agents together with a support team of award winning interior designers, experienced inspectors, proficient photographers and all other experts to help customers buy and sell their homes in areas such as Cypress, Houston, Humble, Katy, Tomball and more. Team Parodi at Real Associates is proud of each purchase or sale that aids clients to attain their dream home!

The technology savvy agents employ the cutting-edge tools and programs to give their clients an advantage in the fast moving and super competitive market for a successful transaction. Currently, Team Parodi is backed by 6 key members and will be adding more agents to be better prepared for a very busy future market. Whether buying or selling a home, Team Prodi is ready to be your trusted resource.

Owing to his excellent communication skills and expertise, Parodi is selected and recommended time and again by his clients. He has been awarded in the top 1% Buyer Agents among 25,000 agents and also:

  • recognized by Houston Association of Realtors in 2012, 2013 and 2014
  • awarded the esteemed 20 Rising Stars under Age 40 by Next Generation of Realtors (Houston Association of Realtors)
  • named 2015 Top 250 Latino Agents in the US by NAHREP

With professional accomplishments in both experience and education, Parodi maintains the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designee. Presently, less than 3% of 1 million agents carry this designation. Besides, he has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:

  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®)
  • Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI®)
  • Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®)
  • Texas Realtors Leadership Program (TRLP)

Angela Pipes

Realtor-Houston

Angela Pipes is a Licensed Real Estate Agent at Redfin Corporation with 17+ years in the Houston Real Estate market representing both sellers and buyers. She is passionate about the relationship with her clients which helps her adapt to their needs and receive referrals. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an accomplished seller, Pipes would guide you through the entire process. A member of the Houston Association of REALTORS, Pipes has established a reputation for being proficient in handling land sales, new construction, investment properties and resales including historic homes in the Heights, Montrose and other neighborhoods such as Katy, Memorial, Spring Branch, Clear Lake, and Galveston.

Pipes mainly works in the urban communities of Houston and keeps abreast of real estate developments and attending community events. She is an advocate for those interested in building better practices, smart growth and energy efficiency. Pipes works closely with her clients to make sure every sale closes without a hitch. She is always accessible, prompt, and thorough with her clients’ requests and her quick response time with emails is appreciated as well.

Angela Pipes has been qualified as a Top Production REALTOR based on 2016 second quarter listing side number of MLS sales transactions of the Houston Association of REALTORS. This certification is given to those who aim to maintain the highest ethical standards and whose production ranks among the highest number transactions within HAR’s 25,000 brokers and agents. As a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) and Accredited Luxury Homes Specialist (ALHS), Pipes has proven to be a valuable asset to Redfin and to her clients.




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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

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