Insurance Claims – Another way to pursue tough claims

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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On the lookout for appliance repair costs? Fret not! We have collected the information you need. In this article we have covered the repair costs for the common household appliances.

This is just a generalized average national cost for the whole of USA. The cost will vary from state to state. If you have a Home Warranty you can save loads of cash on repairs and replacements. The chart we have here lists the costs for appliances that are fairly old (above 4 years) and normally in such cases, an appliance warranty is highly recommended.

Appliance Repair Costs

The figures displayed above was computed by taking the average of the prices from various sources including Home Advisor and HomeWyse

With the data available on sites mentioned above, we calculated the values by taking the average national repair costs. Another thing to keep in mind is that the labor charges also vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. You need to account for that as well.

May we remind you again that this is simply an estimate of the amount involved in repairs of household appliances. As mentioned before, the costs vary significantly with the state you reside in. Costs can be higher than the prices quoted here. If your appliances are over four years old, consider purchasing an appliance warranty. For assistance, you can refer to our Home warranty buyers guide.

Home Warranty To The Rescue

According to various reports, the repair/replacement cost of a single appliance is almost equal to the annual premium of a home warranty plans. On an average, a basic home warranty plan would cost somewhere around $250-$600. From the table above we can see that in some cases, repair charges alone are $250+.

Hence, on many aspects it seems wise to purchase a home warranty. These plans also have the added beauty of being convenient. No homeowner will have to go looking for a technician or carry the broken appliance to a service vendor to get it fixed.

That said, it is vital to purchase the home warranty from a reputable provider to avoid unpleasant experiences.

Maintenance tips

Wouldn’t it be much more easier if the appliances would take care of themselves? Sadly that is so not happening. Every homeowner must ensure that his/her devices are maintained well because, mind you, common warranty programs do not cover damages resulting from lack of maintenance (unless you opt for such plans.). So let’s discuss a few tips that helps maintain clean and properly functioning appliances.

Garbage disposal

That’s one place that requires quite a lot of work.  Let’s begin with what we must NOT do so that they don’t get clogged up and cause a headache

  • Never put bones, corn husks, egg shells, uncooked rice/ pasta into the garbage disposal. In short no hard, non-biodegradable substance must go into it.
  • If you have to dispose veggies and fruit peels, chop them into small pieces. Do not think that the big chunks would naturally break down in the drain. They will only clog it up leading to a rather expensive cleaning procedure.

For further assistance, read All you need to know about Garbage disposals.

HVAC

This one needs major attention because a badly maintained HVAC gadgets such as a furnace can be a source for carbon monoxide, known as the gas that causes asphyxiation (which by the way is fatal)

Moving on to the tips

  • Keep the vents and also the area around the appliances sparkling clean
  • Never let any combustible substance come near the HVAC units.
  • Units that need lubrication for smooth running must be regularly serviced by experienced technicians.
  • If your heating/cooling unit has been damaged for quite a bit of time, consider shifting elsewhere until the issue is fixed. As mentioned before damaged HVAC devices produce carbon monoxide, if you inhale that, your health will be adversely affected.

Refrigerator

  • Keep the coils clean.
  • Set the right temperature.
  • Refrigerators need “thermal stuff”. That means you should not keep it empty.
  • Be prepared for power losses. Keep the refrigerator closed if power goes off, so that some amount of coolness is retained.
  • Always close the doors properly.

Well we could go on all day discussing tips, because trust us there are quite a lot of appliances out there. For your convenience (and ours), let’s just take a look at Home Maintenance Tips for a much more detailed description. Hope you enjoyed the read, thank you!




Usually, appliances last for several years, mainly when they are properly maintained. Adequate maintenance actually brings down faulty function incidents considerably. When household appliances no longer work, you have two alternatives. You could either substitute it or repair it. In order to make the right decision, many points have to be kept in mind. Firstly, make sure your commercial appliance’s age and warranty period. If the particular warranty period continues, your repair could fee you nothing, or much less than what you suppose to pay otherwise.

The Cost of Appliance Repair – Are they worth Repairing?

Average appliance repair costs

Assuming that the warranty period is over and consequently repair shall be pricey, then you certainly must consider a few points. You must begin with obtaining estimates and quotes from no less than four different service providers. If the cost is about 50% of the cost of a new appliance then it is worth getting the repair done. If not, it would make more sense to just upgrade to a newer model. An amazingly old kitchen appliance may give you the situation of hard-to-find spare parts. Your repair guy might have a tough time discovering suitable appliance parts and he could charge extra for that too.

Getting original parts to be substituted by spare alternatives is not a very good idea. There are high chances of making more troubles than answers. Even if it does not prove to be a fix, you will face stumbling blocks later on. Throw away your appliance and get yourself a new one instead. New models from reputable warranty companies tend to be more energy-efficient and reasonable. By employing environmentally friendly commercial appliances in your business, you will also be promoting goodwill and sales among your patrons. It also transforms to lower energy expenses and more savings. The extra cost will surely be justified over the years.

How Much Does Replacing or Repairing an Appliance Cost?

Commercial appliance repair service is normally billed for on hourly basis. Average hourly rates for the first half an hour could vary between $50- $70. After that, for any subsequent moment block the rates will be a few dollars less per half hour. On average, if you are a regular customer of a company, you can anticipate to pay 10$-20$ per hour for time slots from your technician. Lower rates are charged if your appliance is delivered to the provider shop and the technician did not have to go onsite for the repair. Sometimes based on the complexity of the job, the rate will vary. This will usually adjust in benefit of the client as then, the duration of time taken for repair is not of importance. The person will not be anxious about being charged too much.

When calling your repair services call center or offices, bear in mind that ‘overtime calls, i.e. the calls taken after business hours, on holidays, and on weekends, will naturally cost you extra. In fact, charges might even be as much as 25% over. Thus, take thin in account. If the repair is not an emergency, calling for an urgent ‘overtime repair’ is not a very smart idea.

A Pre-Owned Home Warranty Can Protect You From Costly Repairs

If you are most consumers, you would not even consider buying a new or pre-owned car without some type of warranty. So why would you purchase a home without similar protection? Well, the simple answer is the majority of people just don’t know that home warranties exist. But as home sales are rising, buyers are negotiating for the best possible deals and sellers are seeking for advantages to make their home more pleasing. As a result, home warranties are rapidly becoming part of home sale transactions on both sides.

What is a Home Warranty

Get Covered!

A typical pre-owned home warranty is a service agreement provided to the sellers and/or buyers all through the sale of a home that protects the home’s essential mechanical systems and appliances. Usually, home warranties protect sellers and new homeowners from repair and/or replacement costs that are not covered by their homeowners’ insurance. While specific coverage differs, some of the most common items covered are the water heater, HVAC system, plumbing and electrical system.

Cost to Repair Appliances 2012

According to Homewyse, in 2012 the average cost to Repair Appliances varies from $184.63 to $242.40 per each appliance.

Your cost depends on material costs and local labor, level of preparation, finishes quality and job complexity.

Cost to Repair Appliances – General Information

The cost estimate includes:

  • Costs to material delivery and service provider transportation to and from the job site
  • Costs to set up the worksite for Appliance Repair, together with costs to project existing finishes, components and materials
  • Costs for site cleaning and debris removal once work is complete
  • Costs for machinery or tools to complete the Appliance Repair
  • Costs for tools or machinery used to complete the Appliance Repair

The cost estimate does not include:

  • Cost to modify or add present electrical, plumbing or HVAC systems
  • General contractor charge fees for directing and managing the Appliance Repair. You would expect 12.3% to 19% to the total cost if a general contractor supervises the project

Appliance Maintenance

The following list comprises major work tasks commonly performed during Appliance Maintenance.
Make use of this list to know the timing and sequence of different steps in the Appliance Maintenance project.

Example:

The table mentioned below is provided by Homewyse which is a vendor neutral, comprehensive online reference for the home. It is published by competent home design and construction professionals who seek to produce a “level playing field” for trade professionals and consumers. By relevant professional knowledge and expert insight which is easily accessible to the average homeowner, Homewyse facilitates effective decision making in all matters related to home.

Task Service Provider Duration Do-it-yourself difficulty Target Cost 
Install Electric Cooktop Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $513 – $932
Install Gas Cooktop Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $583 – $1,062
Install Trash Compactor Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $520 – $949
Install Range Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $895 – $1,643
Install Vent Hood Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $445 – $811
Install Washing Machine Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $695 – $1,273
Replace Washing Machine Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $695 – $1,273
Install Refrigerator Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $70 – $117
Install Dishwasher Plumber 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $488 – $886
Repair Appliances Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $70 – $117
Repair Dishwasher Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $70 – $117
Repair Dryer Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $70 – $117
Repair Refrigerator Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $70 – $117
Replace Built-In Refrigerator Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $1,820 – $3,354
Replace Trash Compactor Appliance Service and Repair Technician 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $520 – $949
Install Waste Disposal Plumber 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $105 – $175
Install Ice Maker Plumber 1 d Level 2 – Challenging $230 – $407
Install Dishwasher Plumber 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $488 – $886
Install Garbage Disposal Plumber 1 d Level 3 – Complex, Difficult $250 – $444



Home Warranty or appliance extended warranty are basically insurance policies for the appliances and systems in your home. Hope you never have to employ them, but glad you have it when your appliance breakdown. With cost of service & electronic components, your repair bill could end up being the same as the price appliance was bought for.

This article will help you in deciding on what is more pertinent, buying a home warranty or extended warranty.

Home Warranty and Extended Warranty – ComparisonHome Warranty or appliance extended warranty

Home Warranty – Valuing Your Possessions

Hands and little house.‘Home Warranty’ is typically provided by the builder to a new homeowner. This covers major household appliances and systems such as washing machine, refrigerators, gas system, central heating and plumbing. Remember, you are only covered if the failure of the appliances or systems is not a result of mishandling or misuse.

 

 

Appliance Extended Warranty

Extended warranty, as the name suggests is usually purchased for a specific appliance(s) or system(s) for a definite period. This warranty is generally provided by the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or any of their subsidiaries or partners. Extended warranty begins once the standard warranty on the product expires and comes with a cost.

What You Get With Your New Appliance

Manufacturer’s Warranty

The least you must be expecting from a warranty on a new appliance is one year on parts and labor. This home warranty cover flaws in parts and workmanship for that year. Generally this warranty will be on site service except for smaller units that may have to be transported to the nearest service centre at the owner’s cost for repair.

This warranty generally starts from the date the appliance was purchased, delivered or installed.

Appliance warranties may or may not cover “cosmetic” or “customer instruct” claims. Cosmetic claims might be a scratch, broken plastic trim piece or knob. Some manufacturers will cover these claims for the first 30 or 60 days. Customers instruct calls can include installation issued calls or operation calls which will also be covered for the first 30 or 60 days.

Limited Warranty

Limited warranties are extended warranties on specific parts of your appliance. These limited warranties are stated in owner’s manual and have fine print, so ensure you read them carefully. Most of the limited warranties offer the part free of cost, the customer may be asked to pay for labor.

Below are some examples of limited warranties.

  1. Laundry products may have a 2-5 year limited warranty on parts that stop working. Other limited warranties may cover the transmission for up to 5 years and a limited lifetime warranty on a stainless steel tub. The part will be covered but you will generally be liable for the labor and any trip service charge.
  2. Cooking appliances may have an extra 2-5 year limited warranty on ceramic cooking surface, heating elements and electronic controls. This is normally only parts and you need to pay for labor and any trip charges.
  3. Dishwashers may have an additional limited warranty on the pump/motor assembly for 2-5 years. The inner tub may also be covered against rust after 5 years to the lifetime of the appliance. Labor and service charges are your responsibility.
  4. Microwave ovens usually have a 5 year limited warranty on the magnetron. You may be responsible for un-installing the microwave if it is an over-the-range model.

Parts replaced under a limited warranty will not increase the warranty period. Generally they will only be assured for the remaining life of the original product’s warranty period.

Lastly, these extended warranties or any appliance warranties are not transferrable to a second owner so keep this mind while buying or selling a pre-owned product.

Do I require Home or  Extended Warranty?

When repairs on appliances are needed, they can be pricey. Here is a list of appliance types and some repairs that we think might call for a purchase of a repair contract.

Built-in Models

When a major problem occurs, specially a built-in appliance, it may not be easy. Some built in appliances are not uniform in size and cabinet work may be required to replace this appliance. In this case, getting the appliance repaired may be expensive. Contract would definitely be best for this case.

Electronic Models

Many modern day appliances have electronic controls. If you live in an area that is prone to power outages, surges or fluctuations, electronic appliances have a bigger danger of being damaged. Most electronic boards are not low-priced to replace, as some cost well over $300 for the part alone. In this case, an agreement would perhaps be wise.

Gas Range

Majority of gas ranges use electronics for control and ignition of the gas. These parts need service or replacement through the life of the stove. Glow bar igniters in your oven are not hard to replace but the cost for these parts are $50-$150. Control boards cost generally from $100-$250. With these costs alone, you can purchase an agreement.

Standard gas ranges require fewer repairs. These stoves are very simple and can run for a lifetime without a repair. Moreover, of gas stoves can still be used even if you have a power outage. In this case, agreement is not recommended.

Electric Ranges

For electronic, self-clean, glass top stoves, a contract is always recommended. Parts on these stoves are usually pricey. Elements alone can cost almost $200; glass tops can cost $600, and controls up to $250.

In case you are purchasing a simple, basic coil type stove, repairs are fairly low-priced. In most of the cases these repairs can be done by the homeowner and he/she shouldn’t be worried about a repair agreement.

Gas Dryers

Gas dryers must be serviced by skilled technicians only. Sometimes heating problems are difficult to diagnose and can be dangerous if not corrected properly.

 

What you Should Know About Home Warranties and Extended Appliance Warranties

Do your homework BEFORE buying home warranty or extended warranty for your appliances or systems. Understand the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract, specially its limitations.

Be sure you know:

  • Any repair NOT covered
  • If you must get second opinions or price estimates before repair
  • The reputation of the selling agent
  • If the agreement contains a service repair cost “deductible” clause
  • If you have to take the appliance to the repair shop or it will be repaired in your home
  • If you will be reimbursed for consequential damage such as clothing or food loss resulting from freezer failure
  • If the agent is responsible for a repair when the necessary part is no longer available
  • If you can renew annually and what the cost is to do so

Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcomed surprises!

 

Differences between Extended Warranties & Home Warranties

Extended Warranty

extended-home-warranties

‘Extended Warranties’ usually mirror your original home appliance warranty, offering repair, service and replacement of major systems and appliances within home that breakdown. Extended warranties can be provided by the manufacturer, the dealer where you purchased it, or third party. Manufacturers will generally let you procure an extended warranty at the time of purchase or during your warranty period. Since these warranties are offered by who made your appliance, so the service will generally be provided by the same people who provide the warranty work.

These service companies usually have the proper training for your appliance and are more knowledgeable about your appliance.  Dealer extended warranties will either service your appliance themselves or use an approved service provider. Either way, the service company must be trained for your appliance similar to the manufacturers extended warranty contract.

Third Party extended warranty is generally managed by a national company. One more thing that you should keep in mind is that some credit card companies extend the manufacturer’s warranty by a full year when you pay using one of their cards.

Home Warranty

Home warranties are all the time, a third party company and are a bit different than extended warranties. These warranties cover your entire home which includes plumbing, HVAC systems, electrical appliances and other items. The cost related with these home warranties is based on the items that are actually being protected and on the type of deductible or service fee you sign up for.

Home warranties can be procured any time without any age restrictions or an inspection of your home and equipment. In addition, sellers, builders and real estate agents provide these home warranties when selling their houses.

These home warranties need to be read very carefully. Home warranties have the most omissions and generally the highest deductible cost to the homeowner.

There are dozens of home warranty companies which do not perform the work themselves. They sub-contract all the work out to independent, generally local, service shops of all types.

 




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

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

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

Benefits of Green Life

Decorate Your House With Plants

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

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

Common indoor plants

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

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

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

Where to place your green friends?

plant2

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

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

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

How to place them?

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

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

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

Caring for indoor plants

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

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

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




Buying your first home is a daunting thought. This article provides a list of things you need to know before purchasing your first home.

First home

So you’ve saved and saved and now you’ve decided to bite the bullet and try to enter the property market. No matter where you are — Sydney, one of the most expensive cities in the world, or the country, looking for a small cottage — laying down most of your savings, and a large amount borrowed from the bank can be daunting. It’s not just the commitment to pay it off for the next 20+ years that can weigh heavily on your mind in the lead up to signing on the dotted line, it’s the added expenses, like land tax, stamp duty and home insurance that all need equal consideration. Then there are other optional expenses such as appliance warranty that come into play later on. Although they are option, a home service contract and its benefits are totally worth the money. You may want to read about how to determine whether a homeowner needs home warranty.

If you’re preparing to take the big step, have a look at five ‘must-knows’ before getting started.

Time
One of the biggest things people don’t realise when buying their first home, is time plays a big factor in the whole process. From deciding to buy, to getting your keys, to making your final mortgage payment, buying a house is a big investment time.

The first instance where time plays a role is finding a house — not always as easy as you think. The amount of properties on the market at any one tie depends on the time of the year. And even if the property market is strong, and there is a lot to choose from, finding something you’re happy with, and can afford, can take months.

After finding your home, and choosing a bank, settlement — the period after signing the contract, and waiting for keys — is a long stretch. Before and during this period, be prepared to run to the bank a lot,to the agent, to your solicitor and back again.

Your bank loan
This is one of the biggest concerns for most people — borrowing hundreds of thousands and committing to repayments for the foreseeable future. Rest assured, you have some control. Ensure you don’t just go with your bank because you’ve always banked with them, see several bank managers and get several quotes before committing. Ask not just for the interest rate, but the comparison rate, which includes additional fees and is a more realistic Idea of what you’ll be paying.

Your solicitor
When buying a home, you need a solicitor. Buying seems like an easy thing to do, but behind the scenes, there are a lot of actions, searches and checks that need to be performed before you can settle — your solicitor takes care of this for you. The best idea, if you haven’t used a good solicitor before, is to use someone recommended by a friend — then you know you can likely trust them, their advice, and their commitment to your purchase. Ask them as many questions as possible, and determine how much their services will likely cost before getting started.

Property Inspection
Importantly, before agreeing to exchange contracts, have a full building and pest inspection (or a strata report search) conducted on your property. While a property may look good upon inspection, it’s difficult to know any faults of ongoing problems without having a professional look at it first. While this is an additional cost, it could save you a fortune in repairs later, or worst case, paying for a property that can’t be lived in.

Other costs
Don’t be fooled into thinking that paying your deposit, the balance of rates, bank and solicitor fees and building inspection are the last of the costs. Beyond this, you will need home and contents insurance, often mortgage insurance, stamp duty and other fees associated with your loan. Remember to save more than just the deposit to get over the line, and work out completely what you expect to pay before you decide to purchase.




Nobody likes a cluttered kitchen because there is nothing more unappealing than it. Given how busy everyone gets these days, it is not a surprise that we found ourselves writing this article because, trust us, people are actually looking up ways to declutter their kitchens in the shortest time span possible.

We did some research and we found out that a cluttered kitchen is not only unappealing, it is also unhygienic. God knows how many germs that ignored, uncleaned corner of your kitchen is harboring.

Before you begin, try to harden yourself so that you don’t feel guilty about the things you are going to discard. Or the money (and time) you may have to spend so that future clutter is avoided.

So, let’s begin!

Cut Kitchen Clutter

 

Step 1 – Efficient use of storage space

Not all kitchens are loaded with cabinets and storage spaces, so make the best use of what you have. If you do not have much, make it a point to reduce the number of things you have in your kitchen.

Efficient use does not mean cram everything into the space that you have such that you’ll need to move a hundred things before you get your hands on what you need. Neatly arrange everything category wise in your cabinets. Keep the perishable and non-perishable items separate. You may also want to invest in racks or brackets that can be mounted on the walls, if you don’t have enough storage space. They are much cheaper than installing more cabinets or drawers.

Step 2 – Proper disposal of waste and unwanted materials

Sometimes, one disposal bin may not be enough for a home that houses a family of 2+. Ideally, have two large bins, one for organic waste and one for everything else. Scan your kitchen and chuck everything that is unnecessary or starting to rot. That applies to expired packed goods too. Dispose old cleaning sponges and washcloths if they look dirty.

Also, try to keep your garbage bins away from the stove/part of the kitchen where you cook or store food.

Step 3 – Shopping smart and avoiding unnecessary purchases

Half the clutter in your kitchen is probably from bulk deals you jumped up at and never paid attention to later. Even if something is on an unbelievably awesome sale, don’t buy it unless you are 100% sure that you cannot avoid buying it.

If you are a victim of bulk purchasing syndrome, you may want to scan your kitchen once again and chuck out some things. Trust us, the amount of space you’ll end up freeing is enormous!

Step  4 – Cleaning the kitchen before and after each cooking session

Setting aside the task of cleaning will only make you dread it more and increase your chances of putting that task away further. Make it a point to clean your kitchen or arrange your counters before you begin cooking. Once you are done preparing a meal, there is a good chance that everything will become messy or unclean. So repeat the cleaning routine unless your kitchen is spotless.

This step alone can help you save a lot of time clearing accumulated clutter in the future.

Step 5 – Assign a place for everything

If you are the kind of person who crams everything into the first available spot, you’ll end up with a very chaotic, disorganized kitchen over time. If your kitchen is already like that, you may want to take everything out and rearrange them back into shelves.

Assign places for everything. Spices together, containers and vessels together, and so on. You may also want to label everything so that it will be easier to find them as and when the need arises.

Do Not Skip De-cluttering

If you found the process tedious, you may be wondering if you could put it away for some other time. We strongly discourage this. The earlier you get it over with, the better you will feel. It may seem difficult at first but if you put on some music and get yourself to start the task, you’ll find that it’s not that hard.

Once you are done, spray some lemon juice or your favorite essential oil to make your kitchen smell heavenly. We recommend that you avoid room fresheners and chemical fragrances as kitchen is a bad place for them.

If you are a lazy homeowner and if your home is more than four years old, you may want to consider getting a Home Warranty plan to protect your appliances and budget.  While you are at it, we would also recommend that you go through some awesome home maintenance write-ups for some added info. Thanks for reading!




Life throws many unforeseen things at all of us. As we can’t stop these things from happening, we can choose to give our lives a bit of protection. Insurance is meant to grant us some measure of financial protection, when a disaster occurs. There is plethora of insurance options available and it is suggested by many financial experts to have these insurance policies in place. Yet, with so many choices, it can be difficult to decide what kind of insurance you need to get.

Life Insurance Policy

Buying the right insurance is always decided based on your specific situation. There are however, four insurances that are suggested by most financial experts namely life, health, auto and long-term disability. Each of these covers up a definite feature of your life and is vital to your financial future.

Do I Really Need Life Insurance, and if So How Much?

The greatest aspect in having life insurance is providing for those who depart. This is really important when your family is dependent on your salary. Experts recommend that life insurance policy should cover “ten times your yearly income”. This amount would give a sufficient amount of money to cover funeral expenses, existing expenses and provide your family a financial cushion which will assist them re-group after your demise.

When estimating the amount of life insurance coverage you want, keep in mind to factor in not only funeral expenses, but also mortgage payments and living expenses such as credit cards, taxes, loans, child care and future college costs.

Life insurance is something that will be required by everybody at some point. Unless you work in the insurance industry or are familiar to somebody that does, what do you really know about the life insurance types that are accessible to you? The answer to that question probably is ‘not a lot’, and why you be supposed to?

Types of Life Insurance

Many of us think that there is a common life policy for insurance that everybody procures but this is actually not the case and there is a variety of life insurance that can be bought. Each of the types has its own precise features and benefits that may be of concern to the consumers.

Below is the brief explanation as to what these different kinds of life insurance are in order that you can be familiar with the difference between them.

Life insurance comes in several sizes and shapes, but they generally fall into two categories namely Term Life Insurance and Permanent Life Insurance.

 

Term Life Insurance Policy

This is the most affordable life insurance and coverage in this type is bought for a definite price for a specific period of time. After the demise of the insured, the recipient will receive the death benefit. It makes the death benefit longer only for a definite period and if the insured doesn’t die within the term of the policy, he gets nothing in return.

This kind of life insurance makes logic if you have monetary needs that will reduce over time, such as a child’s tuition or a home mortgage.

Types of Term Life Insurance

  1. Guaranteed Level Term Life Insurance: This is the most common type and is well-liked for the reason of the very low cost and long term coverage it provides. These kinds of life insurance policies have premiums that are intended to remain level for a period of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or even 30 years.
  2. Return of Premium Term Life Insurance: This is a type of life insurance policy that gives a definite refund of the life insurance premiums when the term period expires, assuming the insured is still living. This policy is a bit more expensive but the premiums are planned to remain level. Significantly less expensive than permanent types of life insurance, this life insurance policy still may give cash surrender values if the insured doesn’t die. Return of premium term life insurance policies can be availed in 15, 20 or 30 year terms.
  3. Annually Renewable Term Life Insurance: This type of term life insurance policy has growing premiums. The premiums rise each year to reveal the possibility of your death in any given year.  Annually Renewable Term Life Insurance is not popular and is only procured when the coverage is required for one year or less which happens most frequently in business deals.

 

Permanent Life Insurance Policy

Permanent life insurance by definition is a policy that provides lifelong protection. The policy never ends as long as the premiums are paid. In addition, this type of policy provides a savings element that builds cash value over a long period of time.

Types of Permanent Life Insurance

  • Whole Life Insurance:  This is a type of permanent life insurance which is intended to provide coverage for an individual’s whole life rather than a specified term. It is apt to needs that do not decrease over time such as paying estate settlement taxes and costs. Usually, the life insurance rate for this policy remains unchanged throughout the life of the insured. For the early years of life insurance policy, premiums are much higher and these life insurance policies build up cash values which can be accessed by the by the owner of the policy through surrenders or policy loans.
  • Universal Life Insurance: This policy is different from whole life insurance in the fact that this type itemizes and distinguishes the protection element, cash values and the expense element. By sorting out the three elements, the insurance company can put up more flexibility into the life insurance policy which permits the policy owner to amend the face amount or the premium in response to changing circumstances and needs.
  • To age 100 level guaranteed life insurance: This type offers an assured level premium to age 100. In addition, it also provides guaranteed level death benefit to age 100. Most frequently, it is carried out within a Universal Life policy, with an additional feature known as a “no lapse rider”. Some of these plans also incorporate an “extension of maturity” feature, which provides that if the policy owner lives to age 100, having paid “no lapse” premium each year, the complete face amount of coverage will carry on an assured basis at no charge thereafter.
  • Survivorship or 2nd-to-die life insurance: A survivorship policy is a type of coverage that is usually provided either as whole life or universal and pays a death benefit at the later death of generally a husband and wife. It is widely accepted among wealthy individuals since the mid 1980’s as a method of discounting their expected future estate tax liabilities which can take away an amount to over half of family’s entire net worth!A “2nd-to-die” life insurance policy permits the insurance firm to delay the payment of the death benefit until the second insured’s demise, thus creating the necessary dollars to pay the taxes just when they are required! This type of coverage is extensively used as it is less expensive than individual permanent life insurance coverage on either partner.

Once you know the type of protection applicable to you and would like to procure, you can get online rates for the policy you wish. With the help of online life insurance quotes, you are able to examine and compare insurance quotes from various insurance companies.




This letter was written by someone who worked in the home warranty industry for a long time. The views and opinions expressed are author’s own. However, we do think the author provides an insightful view along with some valuable suggestions.

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Hello. I was just reading the letter from Robert Lehman of HSA Home Warranty along with the comments as well as other home warranty company reviews and am compelled to contact you.

I worked in the home warranty industry for almost 17 years. I was an outside sales rep, selling the home warranty through the real estate industry as well as related industries (lenders, title companies, system and appliance vendors, appraisers and inspectors). I have been in the insurance industry since 1983.

An open letter to the home warranty Industry

While I am no longer working in the home warranty industry, I do believe in it and would like to help both consumers and home warranty companies alike. To make it as simple as possible – The home warranty covers the items listed in the contract subject to limitations and exclusions. Just like any other contract, not everything is covered. It is not Carte Blanche. Things that are not covered by the home warranty plans may be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, a product recall, homeowners insurance or may just simply fall into the category of “the cost of owning a home”.

A home warranty is a wonderful service to have, reducing unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. But when there is a financial burden because of an unexpected problem, it’s so easy to not like who you have to call because you don’t like the situation. Not having to come out of pocket for the full retail cost of the repair is a whole lot better than coming out of pocket for the trade call fee and perhaps a bit
more towards the repair.

Now, having worked through many challenges with home owners, I know that the home warranty companies can improve in terms of both coverage and service. The challenge with coverage is the cost, the premium that is charged to the home owner. The challenge with service includes the home warranty company staff and the vendors that represent the home warranty companies.

Coverage provided by home warranty companies should be far more inclusive in my opinion. And I know it could be, but there has yet to be a home warranty company that is willing to make the move to charge a higher premium for that more inclusive coverage. It is a very competitive industry and no one wants to price themselves out of the market. But I know that I personally would rather pay $800 to $1,000 a year vs. $250 to $600 and not have to worry about more than my trade call fee.

Many home warranty companies have a basic plan with additional optional coverage for things like a kitchen refrigerator or roof leak coverage. Many times a home owner is justifiably frustrated to learn that this “option” was not purchased so they had no coverage. This is most common for home warranties that are purchased through a real estate transaction and the actual end user did not have say in the coverage purchased as the seller was the one who bought the warranty. The most common coverage complaint is when a vendor is dispatched for a system or appliance and the home owner has to pay above the trade call fee for an item that is covered by the home warranty. An example might be having the pay to bring a water heater to current code before the repair can be made. If the home warranty companies charged more for their covered items, they could very likely remove many limitations from their plans. There will always be exclusions, just like any other contract.

Service is big issue and it should be. The staff of the home warranty company should always have a smile in their voice and an empathetic ear. It’s a tough industry for service representatives at a home warranty company because they take a lot of heat from frustrated, emotional home owners. It is imperative that the home warranty companies properly and constantly work with their service reps to keep moral up and to coach on “empathy”. At the same time, it is equally important for the home owner to be polite and remain calm. It is not acceptable to speak rudely or abusively to a service rep at any company. But because people are emotional, there will always be times of poor communication, so the biggest burden should be with the home warranty company personnel. So many complaints about the service provided by the home warranty service rep would be eliminated if they would return a phone call in a timely manner; not keep someone on hold without checking back often and offering a return call rather than holding; and simply listening to the caller, completely, and having a genuine, unscripted conversation without pressure of ending the call in a certain time frame. And of course, the oh-so-important follow-up and follow-through.

Another challenge with service is with the vendor that has been dispatched to a home. Vendors do the dirty, physical labor, regardless of conditions including weather, traffic, conditions at the property they are servicing and the attitude of the customer. In most cases, the vendors working for the home warranty company are experienced and reputable and therefore should always treat the home owner with the utmost care and professionalism. Unfortunately, even though the vendor company may meet the requirements and expectations of the home warranty company, the home warranty company has no control over who that vendor hires; this is when many of the vendor related problems occur. It is so important for the home warranty company to have staff specifically assigned to vendor/contractor relations as well as requesting feedback from the home owner on how that vendor’s service was.

There is so much more that could be addressed, but hopefully this has helped someone somewhere.

– Anonymous Industry Veteran




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

Contractor looking for job

Why Work With A Home Warranty Company?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Work With A Home Warranty Company?

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

Some of these leading Home Warranty Companies include,

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

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

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


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

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

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

What To Remember Before Becoming A Service Contractor?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Readers here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are a diverse bunch.  You have home buyers.  You have home sellers.  You have real estate professionals, and you even have members of the various professions involved directly and indirectly with the home warranty and home service contract industries.  Today’s article is for anybody who is new to the idea of home warranty.  The topic is one of the first things that any consumer or professional new to home warranties should be familiarized with.  Without further ado, let’s get down to why a home warranty and a home service contract are two completely different things!

Differences in home warranty and home service contract

What’s in a name anyway?  Well, sometimes a lot.  Take a home warranty, for example.  In the marketing world, a home warranty is a term that’s generally used to describe more than one type of contract.  And marketers don’t always make it perfectly clear to consumers whether “home warranty” is just a convenient label that’s used due to the need for a familiar way of describing a home service that isn’t always well known among homeowners and homebuyers.  You may have seen an advertisement or piece of literature about a home warranty.  Is that “warranty” really a home warranty, or is it a home service contract?  If you don’t know the difference between the two then read on and learn something that’s important to know when you own a house.

The letter of the law

No matter what it was called when you bought it, if you purchased a “home warranty” then you probably bought a home service contract.  Builders are typically the only people who have a need to buy a true home warranty.  A homeowner typically needs a home service contract.  Knowing the difference is important.  Here’s how it works in the simplest terms.

A home warranty, the true legal contract that warranties labor and materials, is passed from a seller to a buyer without cost when a house is new and being sold to the first occupant.  Though a builder’s warranty can be transferred to a second buyer during the sale of a house, it still doesn’t involve an added cost to that buyer.  A warranty, in the legally defined sense, isn’t something that can be sold.  It’s a guarantee, a right afforded to a customer, to expect that a product purchased will function properly inside a particular time frame.  In a true legal warranty contract, there is a form of compensation for failures, whether that amounts to failure due to material defect or workmanship.  The home warranty typically covers everything between the foundation and the roof, but not items that are not permanently installed, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, or ovens.

Since a home warranty is free of charge and is a legally binding contract, the home buyer has little reason to research the company backing the warranty.  And since the warranty is oftentimes purchased from a third party, in order to free the builder from any future liability to pay for repairs of poorly built or defective parts of a house, there is always a risk of a warranty being backed by a financially unstable company.  If the builder is the one backing the warranty then there may be an even greater risk than if the warranty was backed by a large company which specializes in providing insurance and/or warranties.

So far we’ve covered a very basic description of what a true home warranty is, what it covers, and the risks that can be associated with it.  Now let’s look at what a home service contract looks like by comparison.

Covering breakdowns that occur due to normal wear and tear

A home service contract is NOT a warranty!  Why the emphasis on “not?”  Well, you might be surprised how many consumers are confused about what they have purchased.  And it’s really not their fault that they are confused.  When you call a home service contract a home warranty you make confusion almost unavoidable.  But when you’re selling something you can’t afford to risk the consumer not knowing what your service or product is.  Between the market needing a convenient label for home service contracts, something that consumers will immediately relate to, and the almost inevitable confusion that results from the use of that convenient label lies the need to educate customers.  And that’s what we’re about to try to do in this article.

If you are in a house that is no longer covered by a warranty then anything that goes wrong, whether it be electrical wiring, plumbing, fixtures, etc, you’ll probably pay 100% of the cost of repairs or replacements out of your own pocket.  But you do have the option of buying a contract called a home service contract.  The purpose of a home service contract is twofold.  Let’s break down the two reasons for home service contracts being offered.

  1. When something breaks in a house it usually is completely unexpected.  We all have lives to deal with, and few of us have time for unexpected things that take us away from our jobs, our families, or our other commitments.  So time is a big, valuable thing for us.  And a home service contract is supposed to help homeowners avoid wasting time.  The idea is that the home service contract company has relationships with a lot of professional repair technicians.  And because they work with so many technicians, they can afford their customers access to licensed, bonded, pre-screened professionals in less time than the homeowner could have found them.  Instead of spending a whole day making calls, reading reviews from other consumers, and getting estimates, the homeowner with the home service contract is supposed to be freed to go on with his or her daily life.
  2. Cost!  Nobody likes dealing with the cost of fixing things that break.  We already pay a lot for our houses, and in some cases, we’re already strapped cash-wise.  This is the another big advantage that home service contract companies offer to their customers.  Instead of paying every penny of a home repair, the home service contract company is meant to cover some or all of the cost of a repair or replacement job.

So we’ve covered what a home warranty is and a bit of what a home service contract is, but we have not covered what a home service contract covers.  Let’s break that down into some detail.  Bear with us.  It’s a bit lengthy, but readers will be glad they read everything that follows before buying a home service contract.

What parts of a house does a home service contract cover?  

In some cases, a home service contract might cover most of what a home warranty originally covered.  But it varies greatly from one company to another.  So here’s the best advice anybody will give you about buying a home warranty.  Do NOT fixate on the price alone!  Pricing may look like the bottom line, but you really have to compare home service contract coverage, the companies’ reputations, and other factors aside from the prices.  

Coverage might include structural parts of a house, appliances, system components such as air conditioning and heating, water lines that run from the house to the city’s water lines underneath the street, and lots of other things.  But it’s important to be aware that not all home service contracts are the same.  In fact, they vary so much that a consumer really cannot afford to buy one without doing a lot of homework.  At the very least the buyer should read the contract word for word.

Sometimes the biggest difference is in the fine print

The biggest difference between a home warranty and a home service contract in terms of the way the contracts are written is sometimes in the loopholes.  These loopholes can be the difference between a home service contract being worth the money or not.  Here are some loopholes to watch out for.

Pre-existing conditions

It’s exactly what it sounds like.  A pre-existing condition is something that was already wrong or on its way to being wrong, due to neglect, poor installation, or other factors that the home service contract company deems to have caused a breakdown.  And this language is so vague that some companies use it as a way to deny any and every claim by their customers.  But a consumer can typically spot companies that abuse the pre-existing condition loophole by simply reading reviews from other customers.

Excluded parts

It’s not always safe to assume that if a home service contract covers an item that every part of that item is covered.  Some consumers find out the hard way that a part or a set of parts in an item, say a refrigerator, for example, are excluded.  Nobody wants to find that out the hard way, so it pays to check out every detail of the company’s reputation and the contract before buying a home service contract.

Maximum amounts the company will pay

This one is a big, big area of concern for anybody buying a home service contract.  Some home service contracts will only pay a maximum amount per contract period.  Some have different allowed maximums for different items covered under the contract.  Some will only pay a set maximum amount during the lifetime of a customer’s relationship with the company!  And some reserve the right to cancel or not renew a contract.  That leaves the company an opening to get rid of customers who are making too many repair requests.  It’s very important to look for language in the contract that might be taken more than one way.  If a consumer does not see every word of a contract as being explicitly clear then it may be necessary to get clarification of some parts of the contract in writing before buying the service contract.  And “in writing” is the most important part.

Also, take a look at these important pointers if your claims are denied by the home warranty company!

HomeWarrantyReviews.com wants our readers to be the best-educated consumers when it comes to home warranties and home service contracts.  If you found this article helpful please take a moment to tell us what you learned in the comments below.  Or email us at [email protected] to tell us how our article helped you and what we could do to make it more helpful to other readers.  If you are like most readers then you’ll probably want to keep going from here, on to the next question.  Why not read another of our articles or check out companies that you’re interested in knowing more about while you’re here on the website?




10 Things You Must Know About Home Warranty

Home Warranty Insurance provides you with protection against expenses that are incurred due to damage of your household appliances. The appliance warranty company shall either pay for repairs or replace your damaged appliance.

Home Warranty is not an ideal choice for customers who have fairly new equipment in their homes. It is ideal for appliances over four years old.

The Great Stuff

The advantages of Home Warranty are many. Its like an umbrella warranty that covers all the appliances in your home. These are the best aspects of an Appliance Warranty Insurance:

  1. If a major appliance or system breaks down, the Home Warranty company will pay for repairs or in certain cases may even replace the appliance.
  2. You need not go around looking for a technician to repair your damaged appliance. All you have to do is call up your warranty company and pay the deductible amount (usually around $50) and they will send a technician to service the appliance or system
  3. If you wish to sell your home, having a Home Warranty Contract adds value to your property. Buyers are often interested in getting an insured home rather than an uninsured one.
  4. It makes you stress free and you can rest assured that if an appliance breaks down, it will not burn a hole in your pocket.

The Not So Great Stuff

As much as there are benefits, like a coin with two sides, this too has a few limitations.

  1. Each repair will cost something as you have to pay a deductible amount anywhere between $50 – $100 for EACH repair incident. You will have to pay a separate deductible amount for each appliance that was damaged.
  2. The annual premium you pay can range anywhere between $ 500 – $ 1000. So if you are confident that you will not need annual repairs for your appliances, it is better that you hire a contractor for the occasional repairs.
  3. If an appliance part needs to replaced, expect delays. Contractors will have to wait for the company to send new parts in the mail and this delays the repair work.

Drawbacks

Being a top home warranty reviews site, we are aware of common problems faced by customers. Let us take you over a few such issues that you may find difficult to deal with:

  1. Often claim processing moves at a snail’s pace with the company quoting clauses from the contract to deem your claim invalid when the costs involved are quite high. Let this not deter you, there are Insurance companies around who provide impeccable service and ensure that you are well treated.
  2. Pre-existing conditions of your used appliances are not covered. Damages due to wear and tear and lack of maintenance are not covered as well. However, there are companies that do cover above criteria.
  3. Then there is  the fact that Insurance companies always opt for repairs rather than replacing the damaged appliance with a brand new one.

Always make sure that you read the Policy booklet and contract thoroughly so that future conflicts are avoided. Also ensure that the Insurance Company you choose comes highly recommended.

Choosing the right Home Warranty Plan

Choosing the right plan and the right Insurance company is a tough decision to make. The market does provide a lot of choices regarding this as well. If you have decided to proceed with your decision of getting a Home Warranty for yourself, check our reviews section for some insights and ratings. We hope that it will help you choose a plan that suits your needs and your budget. If you are still undecided, do check out our Home Warranty Buyers Guide for further help.




Green is the color of choice for those who wish to protect the environment and mother earth. Green fever is catching up quickly and everywhere you see, companies are coming up with new eco-friendly products whether it is energy saving products, reducing plastic usage or simply buying products from companies that are known to promote environmental awareness.

Greener Home Warranties

If you are shopping for a new home warranty insurance, you may want to ask if they choose ENERGY STAR appliances when they replace the old appliances

in 2008, Home Warranty of America started its GreenPlus program which provides an option to choose energy saving appliances. The program costs an additional $6.25 a month and provides replacement of covered appliances with ENERGY STAR qualified products.

“We’re so excited GreenPlus has been positively received over the past year. At this point, selling thousands of these options has surpassed our expectations,” says Marc Roth, CEO and President of HWA according to the press release.

GreenPlus covers the refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer, heating system and water heater for an additional $6.25 a month or $75 a year. When homeowners with GreenPlus encounter an event wherein  an insured piece of equipment cannot be repaired, they receive an ENERGY STAR qualified replacement, which is typically a higher end model than their existing one.

“We wanted to create a product that allowed our customers to reduce their energy consumption and save money while helping the planet at the same time. We know that Realtors and homeowners want innovation from us in our products and are increasingly interested in being able to choose environmentally friendlier options,” added Marc Roth. HWA also said they are looking to develop more innovative options in the near future.

Home Warranty of America, Inc. of Buffalo Grove, IL, was founded in 1996 to provide home warranty coverage for houses, town homes, and condominiums. The Company provides its comprehensive home warranties directly to the homeowner and takes the worry out of buying and owning a home.




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 homeowners 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. A 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 homeowners 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 homeowners 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 homework. 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 homeowners 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 homeowners 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 homeowner 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 are 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 homeowners 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. Homeowners caught up in the web of these characters can count on denied claims, shoddy work, unpaid contractors pursuing the homeowner for debts the home warranty company owes payment for, and many other unpleasant circumstances.

What can homeowners 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 homeowner 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 from realizing 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 CompareHomeWarrantyQuotes.com  Kevin spend 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 homeowners who need help with questions about it.




Ever wondered what is the difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance ? Are they not same? Let’s find answers for these questions.

While home warranty and home insurance products may come across as same, they are totally different. The coverage, cost, terms and conditions vary greatly. Home insurance is compulsory in some cases whereas home warranty is a recommended choice.

Difference Between Home Insurance And Home Warranty

difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance

Home warranty offers protection for your major appliances, as well as plumbing and electrical units. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing major household appliances in case they break down, provided they meet the terms and conditions of the home service contract.

Home insurance covers your home in the event of damage due to natural calamity or man-made disasters and offers you liability protection from lawsuits in case of a third party involvement. If your neighbor came visiting you and accidentally fell and got injured and decides to sue you, then home insurance will take care of the claims. Home insurance is mandatory if you have a mortgage on your home.

What Does A Home Warranty Contract Cover?

Items covered by a home warranty may vary by company and plan, but typically includes the following items:

  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC)
  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing system
  • Water heater
  • Kitchen appliances such as refrigerator, stove/oven/range, built-in dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, built-in trash compactor
  • Clothes washer and dryer
  • Garage door opener
  • Coverage for pools, spas, well pumps and other items may be available for an additional fee.

Benefits Of Home Warranty Coverage

To The Homeowner

  • Placing a claim and getting your appliance repaired is lot more easier.
  • Helps save up huge costs.
  • You can get repaired as many appliances you want provided they are covered.

To The Seller

  • Home may sell faster and at a higher price.
  • Protection from after-sale legal disputes.
  • Increases marketability of home.

To The Buyer

  • Warranty coverage on major systems and built-in appliances.
  • Protects your cash flow.
  • Access to network of qualified service technicians at your fingertips.

Home Insurance

In case of an uncertain event like fire, theft, vandalism, or certain natural disasters, the cost of damages are covered. It also covers your personal items and gives you liability protection. Liability insurance will protect you from lawsuits in the event that someone is injured on your property. Home insurance will only insure your personal items in case they are stolen or ruined in a disaster. Repairs and replacements due to wear and tear are not covered.

What Does A Home Insurance Policy Cover?

The insurance policy varies depending on your state of residence and type of policy, but generally it will cover the following.

  • Structure and contents of the house.
  • Personal property such as indoor and outdoor furniture, clothes and home electronics such as computer, TV, stereo, etc.
  • Jewelry may be covered up to a certain value, or itemized for its full value, or excluded entirely.
  • Living expenses if your home is uninhabitable as a result of a natural disaster.
  • Events like theft, vandalism, fire, windstorm, lightning, hail, falling objects such as a tree.
  • Liability claims such as someone got hurt while in your property and decided to sue you. The policy will take care of it.

Benefits Of Home Insurance

Home is the most prized and cherished possession any individual can have and nobody anticipates damages to this, therefore a home insurance provides you the following benefits when you cover your home.

  • Covers accidental damages to your interiors and exteriors as well.
  • Easy to renew all you have to do is pay the premium on time.
  • Processions are covered regardless of new or old.
  • Assures you peace of mind and gives you a feeling of safety and security.
  • Pays for loss and minor damages like broken glass of a window.

Cost/Pricing For Both

A standard warranty runs $300 to $500 for a year of protection, which covers the cost of repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances. Home sellers typically pick up the tab for the first year of coverage. Extended coverage plans for pools, spas and washers and dryers can be purchased at an extra cost.

Insurance cost varies from state to state and depends on the extent of coverage and the location of the property but a standard insurance can cost any homeowners insurance is between $300 and $1,000.

How To Choose A Home Warranty?

When you are planning to buy a home warranty, make sure that you do some research. Check our home warranty reviews section that provides pricing, comparison, quotes and consumer reviews of all major companies. When you are getting price quotes, inquire to look over a sample policy. Bear in mind to understand the entire policy, together with the fine print.

Another advantage of home warranty policy is that it is transferable. That means when you sell the house the warranty would be passed to the new owner. This has proved to be a well-liked feature amongst home buyers as homes having home warranties are selling at increased prices and in much shorter times. This in itself could make it sensible to get a home warranty policy.

How To Make A Claim?

When a covered appliance breaks down you need to contact your warranty company. A warranty company already has business ties with different service vendors. They will in turn contact a service repairman to come to your home and repair the appliance. The repairman will fix the item or recommend replacing it. The service repairman will bill your warranty company directly, but you have to pay a service charge when the repair person visits your home.

How To Choose Home Insurance?

With any kind of insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around and evaluate benefits and prices as most insurance companies will provide you a policy discount. Ensure you read the policy before writing a check and ask any queries that you have in mind.

So, the conclusion is that home warranty and insurance are complementary to each other. You can choose to protect everything you own, provided you can afford to. Keep in mind that these insurance products do cost a bit more, but compared to the benefits they provide and the peace of mind you get, it seems like a very small amount. Insure your home as well as buy a home warranty all within your budget.

 




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

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

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

How to Minimize Your Chances for Claim Denials?

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

How to Dispute Unfairly Denied Claims?

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

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

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




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

Washington-Best-Realtors & properties for sale

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

Tina Long

Best-Realtor-in-Washington-DC

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

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

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

Joan McLernon

Top-rated-realtor

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

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

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

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

Mike Baldwin

Top-class-realtor-for-sale

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

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

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

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

In addition, Mike has earned the following:

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

Karen Horejs

Real-Estate=Proffesional-in-Washington-DC

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

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

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

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

Karen has earned the following designations and certifications:

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

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

Kari Shank

Realtors-REMAX-in-Washington-DC

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

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

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

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

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

For Sale : Take Away

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




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.




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

Home Warranty Companies

Oregon’s Best Home Warranty Companies

 

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

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

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

1. American Home Shield

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

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

2. The Home Service Club

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

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

3. Select Home Warranty

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

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

4. Landmark Home Warranty

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

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

5. HSA Home Warranty

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

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

The Final Word

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