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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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Heating and air conditioning units make us feel nice and comfy. No matter what the temperature is outside, whether it’s too hot or too cold, HVAC units help us relax inside our homes. So, as owners of HVAC systems, we want to keep our heating and air conditioning units in good working condition. To do that correctly typically involves regular maintenance and occasional repairs.
There are times when we make mistakes though, some of those being very common. Making mistakes with the maintenance of HVAC systems will typically reduce those systems’ performance and efficiency. We all make mistakes. But, how we handle them is the crucial thing.
In order to correct these mistakes, you first need to know what is going wrong. To help you out, we have covered the most common mistakes that HVAC owners make. After learning about these you should know what to avoid, while effectively dealing with your HVAC units.
Like all other mechanical systems, the performance of HVAC units reduces with time. But if you maintain your HVAC system properly it does tend to work well longer. People often ignore this fact. Moreover, older HVAC systems are not equipped with the modern technology. Their construction and optimal efficiency become obsolete over time. Because of this fact some homeowners trade an older system for a newer one rather than dumping good money into costly repairs up system upgrades.
Many people constantly change the settings of their HVAC systems. They fiddle with the controls and settings of their HVAC systems, day in and day out. But they don’t realize that, this can harm the overall performance and efficiency of their HVAC units. It is recommended that you set your HVAC systems to a particular setting, which will work for all temperatures. The settings should remain stable. This way the HVAC unit will adapt to your comfort level. You can also adopt other measures to control the temperature of your home. For instance, in winters, you can add another layer of clothing or use a blanket to keep yourself warm, instead of changing the settings of your heating unit.
Some people continuously run their HVAC units. Some homeowners leave their air conditioning and heating units on when they go out so that when they return home they can find their homes at the preferred temperature. In extreme heat or cold this approach to maintaining a constant, comfortable temperature may take a toll on your HVAC system. It also uses a lot more energy, resulting in huge electricity bills. Instead of this approach you might find a tolerable temperature and maintain that until you return home. Or you can opt for a programmable HVAC system with time-specific temperature controlling options. Such units allow you to pre-program the settings and govern how your HVAC unit operates when you are not at home so that when you arrive home you can feel comfortable without constantly running your HVAC unit.
Keeping only one particular setting of your HVAC system throughout the year is also not good. Seasonal high temperatures or low temperatures can put excessive stress on the system. Keeping your home around 72 degrees Fahrenheit may be desirable, but it may not be ideal year round from the point of view of maintaining your HVAC system. If you are not sure of the temperature that is safest to maintain for your particular system at various times of year you should ask the company or technician maintaining your system for that advice.
Yes, many people forget about the crucial V in HVAC. The V stands for ventilation. People oftentimes overlook the IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) of their homes. Kitchens and bathrooms are the most common places in a house that may be poorly ventilated. Depending on your region’s climate your house may suffer from high humidity in addition to having ventilation issues. Such homes require mechanical systems to deal with excess humidity. Excess humidity can cause your system to work much harder than is ideal for its expected operational life. And improper ventilation, even without extra moisture in the air can seriously affect the performance of the system. Make sure that your HVAC units incorporate adequate ventilation with the 3 essential pressures– positive, negative, and balanced pressure.
Every house has a different structure and architecture. Modern homes tend to be much larger than ones from the past. HVAC systems have also changed. But you should never assume that the HVAC system in your home is the exact match to your home size and other unique factors. If you never seem to find a comfortable balance between the indoor temperature and the electric bill you may want to speak with an HVAC professional. Make sure that your HVAC unit or units are sized properly. And don’t skimp on costs at this point. Going with the best HVAC service and sales outlet in your area is wise.
People often ignore the fact that they need to call on professionals once in a while, for maintaining and repairing their HVAC units. Remember to schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician, at least once each year, in order to ensure proper functioning of your HVAC unit. Twice per year may be better, and your local service company may offer pre-paid plans with discounts for paying in advance. Paying in advance may also help to avoid forgetting to schedule the service calls. And don’t fall into the trap of trying to save money at the expense of the longevity of your HVAC system. You get what you pay for. You might save some money by choosing the cheapest HVAC service contractor, but spend a lot more when the system starts to break down due to cheap parts, cheap filters or improper maintenance.
We hope you have learned a few valuable things here. Owning a home can be a daunting task when you really start to recognize all the details involved in maintaining it. But even when you don’t know a lot personally about the house or its systems you can always save yourself future problems by having a trusted professional to give advice and to do the actual work needed to maintain things around the house. For the HVAC system there is no substitute for a great company or individual contractor, one with a good reputation in your area. Ask your friends or family members if you aren’t sure which company to choose. And just as this website provides reviews for home warranty companies, you can find great websites that you can trust which have thousands of reviews on HVAC installation and service companies.
So, you have decided to purchase a warranty that’s going to protect your budget against unexpected repairs and replacements of your household devices. It is a wise step, but you might also want to know about the options you have when you buy warranties. We bring you the list of the most common types of warranties that are purchased to cover household appliances.
Warranties can differ based on several criteria. The age of appliances, age of the home, current conditions of the device are all significant factors that you must consider before you zero in on a household appliance protection plan.
The working is pretty much the same for all these plans. When a device cracks, you inform the folks from whom you purchased the warranty and then they send over a technician to fix the damaged device. You will pay a service call charge each time you raise an issue. And, you can’t report multiple issues in a single call.
Before we go into all that, we have to tell you that the Homeowner’s insurance is something that is not included in this article. It is an entirely different plan and if you wish, you can read about the differences between Homeowner’s insurance and Home warranty.
Let’s begin with the list
We bet that you have definitely heard about this one! This is also the most widely used plan. The Home Warranty also called as the Appliance Warranty/ Appliance protection plans ( it is known by quite a number of names, would take sometime to list them all out) is a service contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of your household appliances.
This plan is ideally suited for customers whose appliances are over 4 years. Appliance protection plan covers damages that result due to regular wear and tear, so if you have brand new devices, chances are that you won’t need frequent repairs.
Also, this is not a free of cost arrangement. As a matter of fact, none of the plans discussed here are free. They do cost money, but the amount is nominal as compared to how much you will be paying if you had to carry out the repairs and replacements by yourself.
Home warranties cover almost all the major appliances and systems in your home. They don’t cover the outdoor devices like sprinklers and all that. Read your policy document to get a better idea. You can also read a brief description about the appliances that are covered.
If you think that this is the ideal plan for you, we suggest that you read more about Home Warranty before you make a move.
This too is a familiar name. It is the kind of warranty that the appliance’s manufacturer provides for a limited period of time. Meaning that when you purchase a brand new appliance, the manufacturer’s warranty agrees to repair/ replace your device if something happens to it during the stated warranty period. The time frame changes from manufacturer to manufacturer. The average is often 1 year.
This warranty is a kind of legal binding. If they displease you by not honoring the conditions mentioned in the warranty contract, you can sue them.
Most new gadgets come with a manufacturer’s warranty, even if you buy them online, you can get the manufacturer’s warranty. Major appliances like HVAC units come with longer warranty periods. But keep in mind that the coverage doesn’t remain the same thoughout the warranty period. From second year on-wards, you will be paying for the repair service as the coverage becomes limited to certain parts alone.
You can’t use a Home Warranty to cover a device that is already covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty. As stated before, Home warranty is for devices that are old, used and no longer covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
Also called as the dealer’s warranty, and is the warranty that is provided by the seller of the device. This is a very short duration warranty, usually around 6 months and if a defect occurs within the stated time, you have to take the gadget to that particular seller itself and no one else. It is not a very flexible and easy plan, but it is definitely better than no warranty at all.
This is the kind of warranty that gives you the choice to extend the manufacturer’s warranty as and when it expires. These are ideal for the devices that are not covered under the Home Warranty plans eg., TV, Laptops, etc.
You can’t avail extended warranty on used and old devices. They can only be taken for fairly new gadgets whose manufacturer’s warranty expired recently.
These are third party service contracts, often provided by the seller or repair vendors. The costs vary widely as these contracts are usually given by local yet licensed service vendors. The coverage also varies so it is difficult to give much details about this type of warranty.
Speak with a few vendors and compare with the other options you have.
Getting the best
Do your research to get the best out of Appliance warranties. Always ensure that you chose a reputable company. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that the company you chose has a clean record. Friends and family can also recommend good companies for you.
Remember, any kind of warranty, if chosen wisely can benefit you immensely by protecting your budget and also by giving you peace of mind.
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 – Valuing Your Possessions
‘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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 must be serviced by skilled technicians only. Sometimes heating problems are difficult to diagnose and can be dangerous if not corrected properly.
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:
Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcomed surprises!
‘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 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.
Consider this: it’s a lazy Sunday and you haven’t worked out all week, your stress levels are high. And the doctor says you need to get going and get some physical exercise into your daily routine. You have considered your options – hitting the gym, joining that community swimming pool, going for those morning runs that everyone’s been vouching for – but it hasn’t worked out yet and nothing seems to click. Here’s your answer: start gardening.
A chance to not only get some quality time with nature but calm your nerves, work your muscles and burn a few calories as well? Gardening just an hour a day is proven to have far reaching impacts on your life. Especially if your day comprises of concrete jungles, desk jobs and skyrocketing stress levels.
Gardening boosts your metabolism and we have studies to prove it!
Research conducted by the Pennsylvania University of Scranton a decade ago showed clear results in favor of gardening as a way to stay fit. This proves that extended amounts of time spent partaking in light physical exertion is a much more effective way of burning calories than bouts of cardio and gym sessions.
Another study conducted in Michigan State showed that even a mere ten percent increase in greenery in the immediate environment of an individual resulted in a drastic drop of health issues – from lifestyle illnesses to even depression and mental health.
The key to a good workout is duration, not just intensity.
It’s not just about burning calories and toning muscles – a consistent routine of balanced physical activity can have an impact on heart functioning, blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity and its side effects, and even premature death. How does this work? Gardening ranges from low to medium intensity, but the constant monitoring of the garden and the level of involvement is never limited to just a single workout cycle; automatically weaving it into your daily routine and making it a habit!
With the majority of our daily activities involving the maximum use of our arms – and even that not usually in ways good for our bodies – gardening can incorporate the metered use of muscles like hamstrings without adding undue stress to them. Countering the effects that hours of typing on a keyboard or driving a car can have on your back, shoulder, and neck, getting down on all fours and getting your hands dirty can be therapeutic and stretch every muscle in your body all at once.
Another perk to introducing gardening into your lifestyle is eating what you grow. Directly linked to better diets, organic production of food right at home or within a community can encourage you to follow a diet with nutrition as a priority and simultaneously assure the quality of produce.
Having a hard time getting your children to eat their spinach and peas? Give gardening a shot, working it into their play time as a fun way to grow their own lunches and dinners – who wouldn’t want to proudly eat a tomato picked right from their own backyard!
Ranging from organic farming in the backyard of your country home to just a few potted herbs on the kitchen windowsill, depending on your space constraints, the time you have to spare and your physical capabilities, you can choose the kind of gardening that suits you best.
Living in an apartment building which doesn’t allow you space to garden? Community plots are the answer to the space crunch any urban dweller faces today. A great way to catch up with neighbors and blow off steam, all while tilling, weeding and celebrating the earth, community plots give you a chance to delegate and divide responsibilities as well – saving you the worry of who will tend to your precious daisies, trim the hydrangeas and ward off pests from the squash and melons while you’re out on a business trip.
Sky high stress levels and an increase in lifestyles illness in the past couple of decades is evidence enough for the need to go back to our instincts of nature and nurture, and the benefits of gardening seep into areas besides immediate physical well-being.
An equalizer not bound by any hierarchy, gardening is often used as a form of therapy to boost self-esteem as well as inculcate responsibility and appreciation. Giving our nurture gene a space to grow, just the act of giving back can have a tremendous impact on our stress levels and anxiety. Time spent watching each seed sprout and saplings flourish and flower, gardening is a gentle reminder that we humans are not the center of the universe.
What is good for the body is also good for the mind. Exercise, whatever the intensity may be, has a direct impact on not only adrenaline levels but on levels of serotonin and dopamine as well. Both hormones that play a role in fighting depression, the time spent tending to each root and bud isn’t just uplifting in spirit, it literally translates into happy hormones.
Be it an apartment, a duplex with a yard all to yourself, community plots or a country house, the joy of having a garden can come with an added expense and hassle of maintaining tools and machinery, worrying about seepage and waterproofing and even the occasional crack or two when it comes to deep-rooted plants and creepers.
Don’t let the stress of maintenance come in the way of your quality time with your garden – let the happy hormones flow and pass on the responsibility of care for the home to home warranty companies.
Giving you a chance to delegate home and domestic appliance maintenance to a professional, home warranty saves you the effort of having to rummage through websites and newspaper advertisements for service agents and repair contractors. Providing full coverage of repair, servicing and replacements costs, Home warranty is all about planning ahead. HomeWarrantyReviews.com brings to you a comprehensive list of companies to choose from – giving you access to pros and cons, detailed reviews, do’s and don’ts when it comes to warranty and insurance and even a free Home Maintenance Calculator to get on the spot estimates.
Finding the right match for your Home Warranty needs is of utmost importance; just like every insurance coverage plan is tailor-made for different budgets, levels of involvement, age and usage intensity, Home Warranty has its own set of criteria. Research is key, and the best place to start with is the Awards and Reviews section of consumer research based sites. From categorized awards ranging from service, top rated and regional service, HomeWarrantyReviews.com uses consumer review rates of credibility, retention, satisfaction, online presence, and consumer issue resolution to judge companies that provide nationwide Home Warranty coverage, offering all-round information to customers. What’s more, the companies are divided according to a region as well, accounting for state law differences and tweaks in the coverage plans in various geographical pockets.
Stress, anxiety and an ever-growing list of errands are a part of everyone’s daily routines, why add home repairs and maintenance to the mix? Give yourself the peace of mind to tend to your herbs, flowers, and ferns without the worry of repercussions, after all, what is the point of canceling out the mental health perks of gardening by worrying about broken lawn mowers?!
Buying your own home is a dream that many of us cherish and wish to realize one day, but with increasing property prices and taxes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to become a homeowner. While the real estate market is booming with hot options, and extensive marketing to push people to buy a new home over renting, potential American homeowners are more skeptical of the costs and potential return on investment than in past years.
Buying a home is profitable as long as one can commit to living in the home for a longer period, thus avoiding any extra rental expenditure. But with today’s work culture, it has become considerably uncertain to live in the same city forever and hence may put one in a dicey situation to pay for a mortgage as well as rent while moving to a new city for work or studies.
The mortgage terms should be read through and well understood before buying a home as the value appreciation by buying a home could cause loss, if the home maintenance cost like replacing the heaters or repairing a ceiling or water bills and the actual amount of money going into the principal is considered. In such a scenario, you can opt for a home warranty plan to cut down on the maintenance cost.
Overall stability is a factor that dominates each one of your financial decisions. Stability, in terms of job, relationships, promotion, savings, and family plans determine the amount of money that could be needed for future expenditure and can hence allow you to buy a home or not.
While buying a home can get you some tax deductions, there is a lot of added pressure as well, in terms of an assured amount that’s needed to pay-off the mortgage, unless you wish to lose your assets to the bank. Also, as per figures, value appreciation in property rates since 1975 has been disappointing and not earned much profit to the homeowners in comparison to other investment options available in the market.
Apart from paying for a mortgage, savings for future and sufficient planning for family expansion is also important as the place should meet all your requirements without piling you with a burden, for life.
Owning a home gives people the benefit to painting it the way they desire, or, make a small basketball court in the backyard and add tons of elements that define your personal space, but the fact that it also adds to a lot of responsibility cannot be overlooked. It is suggested that one should be able to pay at least 20% of the sum as down payment while planning to buy a home but at the same time what is more important is to maintain a constant cash inflow for a good 30-yr time until the mortgage is waved off and the property is entirely owned by you.
Also, it is the great freedom to make or change a carpet or any other thing in the home that comes in as a pleasant surprise while owning a home, where people are free to make their own decisions and not worry about a second opinion for changes that they make.
But the property market has been quite misleading and unforgivable to many, in terms of considering a new home as an investment for future as factors like selling off a home and at an escalated price which is at par with homeowners’ expectations, may not be the case every time. Realtors charge up to 6% of the property price and finding a deal that land you in profit is not guaranteed while making the purchase, as a homeowner. In the case of an emergency, selling a beloved property at loss may come as a shock to many homeowners. Also, dealing without a realtor may close doors to the best possible price for the property.
Rented properties, on the other hand, come with a bag full of its own positives and negatives. For e.g., living in a rented home lets one move to a new place without worrying about anything, unlike owning a home. But there is also a possibility of the owner escalating the rent, or, willing to discontinue the tenant once the lease is over.
All in all, there is no better feeling that creating a place that’s a representation of one’s personality, beliefs and ideologies. But leaving the emotional part of it, if planned carefully, one can afford to buy a place with a lesser mortgage and lower interest rates and proudly become a homeowner. Also, one may cut down on extra expenses by availing home warranty plans and similar saving options. As long as that takes the time to be realized, living in a rented home away from the hassle of repair and maintenance is a good idea in order to live life freely, and save enough till one can actually afford to buy a home that they can call their own!
When you start out to know what home inspection is, Wiki says “A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home”.
Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components. A home inspector is sometimes confused with a real estate appraiser. A home inspector determines the condition of a structure, whereas an appraiser determines the value of a property. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an inspection to verify compliance with appropriate codes.
You might start to think if it is needed. If yes, then why? You are buying a new house, your house is less than 5 years old and you have no plans of selling your property hence you may not need to carry out an inspection. You should not forget that home builders can go wrong or miss something crucial. Home inspection could save you from a pit fall. Also note that you can add an inspection clause to your new home contract. You can consult your attorney if the builder does not allow you to get a private inspection done.
Here’s the other part, you have a house which is more than 5 years old and/or you are buying this property, you will need to call in a home inspector to get a detailed report of the house. As already said, inspection reports give buyers a chance to take a better look at the house and hence facilitate a better negotiation.
The price varies based on the size and age of the house, and inspector’s level of experience. Inspection fee may be quoted based on square foot of area under the roof or square foot of living area or flat rate or price of the house. Just check to know what is covered in the quoted price and what stands outside it. A 2000 sq ft house could incur an inspection expense of $250 to $450 for a general inspection.
You will need home inspection when you decide to buy a home warranty plan. Based on what is in the report, the warranty company will cover those appliances which are under proper and regular maintenance and which are also listed in the selected plan. It should be emphasized that many appliances are not covered in the plan hence you will have to put some effort into reading the fine print.
Before you ask an inspector how much he charges, please ask about his level of expertise, how he got into becoming an inspector, a sample report of his previous inspection, what is the training he received, years into business, license. In short, the inspector’s reputation is very important. You might find an amateur doing the job for a dirt cheap price who might as well offer a short term warranty just incase if anything were to be missed. Situations as such should remind you that your house could probably be the biggest achievement you will ever make so why go penny-pinching now? Choose the qualified personnel to carry out the inspection. Why not get your uncle or cousin do the job? “Hey, he is a realtor” you say. I say, the inspection may turn out biased or the person may be too strict in evaluating as he mostly cares for you.
Here are some tips to help you during the inspection process –
So what is this new thing? Some home warranty companies have started allowing a home inspector to purchase a policy that will warrant their work. Many inspectors provide money-back guarantees in the event that they miss something, but what we’re talking about here is a short term home warranty that will actually pay for repairs. The inspector you choose to offer a cash back if you face any problem within a short period of inspection or a short term home warranty of 90 days or more. It could be your gain or loss. How? The short term home service contract might be from a non-licensed company which may not follow up on your claims or sell your information to telemarketers to compensate the cost. Check if the company is licensed and its ratings. Also, the warranty may cover only few but not all appliances. Read the plan carefully to know if is worth striking a deal.
Never forget that inspectors are not perfect like me and you. They can’t be expected to find every problem in a house. Finding a good inspector will certainly put you in a better position.
A home inspector will not decide for you. He will not stamp the property a pass or fail. A home inspector is hired to report the condition of the house and in some cases carry out additional tests like radon, termite, drug pollution etc. Once the report is handed out, you and your agent can settle it out and it would be in your hand to pass or fail the property. Check for the clauses in the contract to see if you can back out of the sale or request the seller to fix certain or all defects or accept the home as-is.
Condos are a great substitutes to renting an apartment or possessing a single family home and they have their own unique insurance needs.
Condo Warranty is similar to appliance warranty and provides condominium owners with coverage for repair of major appliances and home systems.
Appliances are intended to make your lives simple. Refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, and other kitchen compliments not only assist you in doing everyday chores and prepare food faster, but they take some of the monotony out of your day and allow you more free time, as well.
Unluckily appliances, like any other piece of machinery can stop working. When that occurs, instead of saving your time and hassle, your malfunctioning appliance can actually add to your stress. This problem becomes even bigger when the malfunction occurs soon after you buy an appliance. To avoid the extra stress of dealing with faults of a brand new appliance, an appliance warranty is a brilliant tool to have in your corner.
When procuring an appliance, inquire if the appliance is issued by the dealer or if the appliance is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Some retail chains and dealers buy appliances from the makers without a manufacturer’s warranty, so as to lower their costs. There are quite a few disadvantages to this.
In case you buy a product for commercial/store use for a boarding house, townhouse, or apartment building with an ordinary kitchen or laundry room, make sure to study the warranty limitations. The majority of domestic appliance warranties are only meant for single family use.
Bear in mind that the majority warranty companies, no matter at what condition your appliance is, they would still repair it than replace it.
Condo Warranties are there to cover you when a trouble happens due to a defect.
A home warranty is planned to cover repair and replacement costs for major home systems and appliances (like wiring, plumbing etc.). Usually, a home warranty is bought as a contract for a year, with either annual, monthly or quarterly payments.
Even if you might have to pay a small deductible when you raise an issue, with a home warranty, you will have less worries about large, unforeseen bills caused by appliance or home system breakdown. When merged with your dealer condo warranty, a home warranty must ensure that, one way or other, if something goes wrong you will be able to manage it without breaking the bank.
Condominium insurance is a unique insurance intended to fit the detailed needs of condo owners. Similar to renters insurance, condo insurance offers liability and personal property protection. However, condo owners need to consider additional coverage for the building based on their condominium association’s master policy and it’s coverage.
So take a look at this article, you can learn about condominium insurance below, and then obtain a free quote to see if it can help you get the coverage you need to defend your residence and your belongings.
You possess a condo and the association has insurance. So what’s the big deal? Well, your condominium association insurance covers the condominium building, commonly owned property, and liability insurance for the association.
Regrettably there are many instances where that insurance policy won’t cover you or your things – like water damage to your living room walls, break in, or someone gets injured by slipping on your wet kitchen floor. For this reason, you need condominium insurance planned specifically for condo or co-op owners.
If something happens to your condo or townhome, it may be up to you to put back things like flooring, drywall, light fixtures, cabinets and more. That’s where condo liability insurance comes into the picture.
Many condominium associations only insure the building’s structure and general areas, typically leaving each unit’s interior construction to the homeowner. However, condo insurance coverage may also vary by state.
All-risk contents coverage insures the possessions inside your home for the most common types of losses. When you have this coverage, your contents are insured for the whole thing, unless it’s particularly excluded from your policy.
Named-Perils coverage includes a catalog of the most common types of items covered under your insurance. It includes theft, fire and water damage. All the items are clearly listed in your policy booklet so that you have a thorough knowledge of what your insurance policy covers.
A standard home policy usually offers for the Actual Cash Value (ACV) replacement of your possessions. This means you only obtain the value of the item, less reduction. For instance, if you bought a TV 5 years ago for $500, you might only receive $100 for it if it were damaged in a fire. Even if it may cost you $600 to substitute that same TV, your insurance would only give you $100.
Many people opted to add the Replacement Value option to their contents coverage. Replacement value coverage means that the contents of your home are insured for the amount it costs to replace them. When you substitute the item(s) with a similar kind and quality, within a definite time, the insurer will pay you what it cost you to replace the item(s). This means if your 5 year – old TV was lost in a fire, you would obtain the full amount it would cost to replace it.
When you replace the item(s) with a similar kind and quality, within a specified time, the insurer will pay you what it cost you to replace the item(s) not what they were actually worth in their used state. This means if your 5 year-old TV was lost in a fire, you would get the full amount it would cost to replace it, even if that is more than you paid for the TV in the first place.
Detached Private Structure. This type of coverage applies to structures that belong to your property, but that are not connected to your primary residence. For example, a separate garage could be integrated under this coverage. There is normally a definite limit to this kind of coverage, but you can always increase that limit by buying additional coverage options.
Additional Living Expenses. If you are compelled to leave your home because of a loss, this coverage pays for your logical and necessary expenses to momentarily live away from home. Hotel and food expenses would be covered under such circumstances. There is generally a limit on this kind of coverage.
Personal Liability. Liability insurance guards you from having to pay damages to people, if you have been found liable for accidentally injuring them or damaging their property.
Voluntary Payments for Medical Expenses. This covers medical costs if someone unintentionally hurts themselves as a result of your personal activities or the way you have kept your building. It also covers injuries caused by resident employees.
Voluntary Payments for Damage to Property. The unintentional physical damage to the property of others is covered. It may also be caused by your pets or animals, or by actions of your resident employees. This kind of coverage would also comprise the intended acts of other insured persons under a certain age.
Improvements and betterments. Investing money to get your residence better increases the worth of your investment. The Improvements and Betterments Protection recompenses you for all the additional you have put into your condominium – on top of what the builder initially provided for you, up to the limit of your replacement value.
For example, your unit was initially furnished with a $5000 medium-grade carpet. You want to upgrade to a high quality carpet, valued at $10,000. The ‘Improvements and Betterments’ protection will guarantee that you obtain the full value of your new carpet in the event of a loss. So if there were a fire, and the builder only gave you $5000 to cover the value of the original carpet, the insurer would give you the remaining $5000.
Supplemental Coverage. Aside from insuring your betterments, you may also need to insure your condominium unit itself. This will ensure that you are sheltered should the corporation’s insurance not fully cover a loss to your unit.
Loss Assessment. A significant feature of a condominium insurance policy is loss assessment. This is when you share liability with others for common property. The insurer will shell out, up to a set limit, your portion of any particular assessment that’s valid under your condominium corporation’s governing rules:
You are likely finding out there are a lot of decisions to make and details to work out before you make a choice.
The home insurance agents recognize that a condominium is not a traditional home. However, it does need homeowners insurance of a particular type. In case you want to protect your condo, ensure to inquire about how condo insurance differs and what it covers.
Homeowners insurance agents who focus on condo insurance are an exceptional resource. In all reality, you are asking for tailored homeowners insurance quotes, when you ask for condo insurance quotes. So there is guarantee that you are receiving what you actually require in a policy.
All agencies or insurance types are shaped equal. Make sure that when you get condo insurance quotes, you follow up with the insurance agents who offered you with the quotes, so you are alert about all the details before you invest in a policy.
While appliance protection plans are always a wise purchase if your appliances are older than 4 years, you still have to make sure that you chose a home warranty company that has a good reputation. It has been noticed that companies sometimes deny our claims on vague grounds, often quoting fine print from the contract. One major such reason stated for denying claims is lack of maintenance.
More than a handful of customers have reported that their claims were denied stating that the device was badly maintained. While it is understandable that customers feel cheated, we still have to realize that since contracts explicitly mention that lack of maintenance issues are not covered, we can’t expect the company to repair such devices.
Let’s take a look at a story that happened sometime back. A lady bought a home warranty contract thinking that she’ll get some budget protection. Her appliances were well over 4 years old. She briefly breezed through the contract and assumed that except for damages due to hazards, thefts and some explicitly mentioned perils, every other damage was covered. One day, her radiator breaks down. She informs the home warranty company and they send a tech to take a look at the device.
The tech finds out that the device was never serviced for quite a bit of time which eventually led to its breakdown. He innocently reports to the same to our lady who gets mad at the tech and the company. The lady then decides to write about this incident on the internet without realizing that the fault could be on her part. She did not get her devices serviced nor did she read the contract carefully. The company’s reputation suffered due to her carelessness.
Now let’s take a look at another story. Yet another lady bought a home warranty contract from a company that was not really famous nor did it have a good reputation. She paid her premium and she was a good housekeeper who regularly got her appliances serviced. She turned to her warranty company when her refrigerator malfunctioned. This company then sends over a tech who diagnoses the issue to be one caused due to lack of maintenance. The lady was distraught. She was sure that the issue was something else but what choice did she have? The company in question here, operated without ethics and refused to repair a damage that was legit. This incident too leaves the lady furious and in a position where she would definitely bad mouth the company.
So you see, like a coin with two sides, the home appliance warranty industry too has a good side and a bad side. There are cases where genuine claims were denied just so that the company can make a profit and there were cases where the denial was genuine and the customer could just not accept it.
We understand that nobody wants to encounter such unpleasant experiences. We can’t make these warranty companies behave themselves, so what we can do is to make sure that we don’t associate ourselves with companies that have a bad reputation or are fraudulent.
Here’s a list of things you can do to avoid any disputes and conflicts
We are a team of likeminded people who built HomeWarrantyReviews.com to provide genuine feedback about the industry to its customers, so we are not here to praise the industry or cover-up their mistakes. In the time that we spent here, which is over 9 years, we have come to realize the following:
If you keep all these points in mind, we’re sure that your experiences with the home warranty industry will be a pleasant one. Cheers!
United Services Automobile Association (USAA) began in 1922 with 25 Army officers who offered to cover each other’s vehicles when no one else would. Today, their tiny organization has grown into a respected institution offering a full range of financial products to millions of members.
USAA is committed to the financial well being of members of the military and their families for generations to come. That’s why it offers a variety of financial products and excellent services to assist its members attain their financial goals and plan for the future.
A few years ago USAA also offered home warranty backed by reputable partners but currently they don’t seem to offer it anymore.
When you procure a home, there is a very good chance that you will be offered a home warranty that aids cover the cost of repairs for a period of time after you have purchased it.
A home warranty is essentially an insurance policy that insures the electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems of a house. A home warranty offers the same comfort as any insurance against unforeseeable events.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind to make the most of the safety it provides.
If you are purchasing a newly built home, your builder will probably offer a warranty covering defects in workmanship and materials. The period of this coverage differs, but it’s generally not less than a year.
To stay away from unpleasant surprises, read your entire warranty booklet before closing on the contract. Ensure you understand the various exclusions and conditions. New home warranties usually don’t cover electronics, appliances and similar fixtures set up in the home, as those products are generally covered by manufacturer’s warranties. Confirm that you obtain the home owner’s guidebook and warranty information kit that comes with each of them.
Sellers of existing homes frequently purchase warranties to increase the appeal of their property to buyers. Towards the end of their terms, these warranties can usually be extended at the homeowner’s expense, often for $250 to $600 per year.
Study the warranty carefully as it is only as good as its terms. You may discover some limitations that can lessen the initial appeal. For instance, plumbing problems ahead of home’s foundation may be not included, which means many of the most common and destructive headaches will be your liability.
When you name for service, the warranty provider naturally sends off a local service company to remedy the situation. As they wish to pay out as little as necessary, be prepared for warranty providers to favor less expensive repairs over complete replacement. And have your checkbook useful— even when the repair is covered, warranties characteristically need homeowners to pay a service fee for each repair maybe $25 to $75.
Like any other type of insurance, the rank of claims service linked with home warranties differs from company to company. If you require service, be ready to rise above obstacles. If the warranty company notifies you that your claim isn’t covered, ask them to quote a specific channel in the warranty document.
Note cautiously when your warranty expires. A few weeks before it does, give your home a thorough basement-to-roof evaluation to see if there are any covered problems that can still be fixed at the home warranty company’s expenditure.
USAA membership is a benefit extended to those who have served in the U.S military and their families.
USAA provides life, home and car insurance, banking services, and independent financial advice from licensed financial planners. It also provides a buying service for diamonds and other jewelry, which will save you some funds if you are in the market of those things.
USAA Insurance provides one of the best values and their claims service is exceptional. The policy premiums are competitively priced and the coverage is better than anywhere else.
USAA provides a range of personal property and casualty (P&C) insurance, including automobile insurance, homeowner insurance, renters insurance, valuable personal property insurance, and umbrella insurance. Other than P&C insurance, USAA offers term life insurance, whole life insurance and annuities. USAA’s life insurance policies, while not completely unique in the industry, are different from most offerings since they do not include a war-exclusion clause.
USAA banking services also save you a bundle and offer you more convenience. It operates limited-service financial centers in other cities, normally near military bases, which provide assistance and advice in obtaining services and opening accounts online. These limited service locations cannot process deposits or withdrawals, but ATM’s located on site do permit customers to make financial transactions.
USAA offers a restricted discount brokerage service and a family of no-load mutual funds. Mutual funds established by other firms can also be bought and held in USAA investing accounts. USAA also provides limited independent financial planning advice, as well as a more systematic flat-free or hourly-rate financial planning service.
Through its Alliance Services Company (ASC), USAA runs a mail-order catalog service focusing in the sale of diamonds and jewelry.
Besides, the ASC secures a variety of discounted services for members. These include travel-related services through rental car alliances with Avis Budget Group and Hertz Corporation, as well as discounts on cruise travel. Their retail alliances also comprise partnerships with FTD, FedEx, and ADT Security Services.
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.
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.
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,
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:
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.
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!
Purchasing warranty plans for household items has become a common thing these days. Over time, it has become one of the best ways to protect your budget against unexpected repairs and replacements of damaged household devices.
A Home Warranty, sometimes called an Appliance Warranty is a contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of the covered devices. They cover damages resulting from wear and tear and hence are ideally suited for houses whose appliances are over 4 years old.
Home warranties differ from homeowner’s insurances in the fact that the latter covers damages and losses resulting from natural hazards or crimes while appliance warranty covers damages due to regular wear and tear. You can never replace a homeowner’s insurance with a home warranty. It is generally considered that home warranties are best suited for the following people who –
So naturally, they are not suited for people who
There are a lot of home warranty companies offering a range of packages to suit your requirements. So never feel that you have only one option. In fact there are so many options out there that you may want to read a Home warranty buyer’s guide before you make a decision. In general, home warranties are affordable, with the annual premium ranging anywhere between $250 to $1000. The premium usually depends on the amount of coverage you are purchasing.
The advantages of owning a home warranty are many. And also, it is the closest thing you can get to peace of mind when it comes to protecting your budget. Let’s take a look at the pros.
If you have doubts about the devices that are covered and omitted, you can go through What is covered under Home Warranty plans to get a clearer picture. If you are still not sure if you need home warranty or not, we suggest that you read an article on “Do I need home warranty?”, this will certainly give you some guidance.
Home warranty works in a very simple way. An appliance crashes and you call up the warranty company and inform them about the damage. They will ask you to give them all the necessary information like device name, manufacturer’s details, model no, batch no, and other relevant matters.
Once they collect this info, they will call up a service vendor with whom they maintain business ties. The vendor then collects your contact details to talk to you about fixing an appointment. A qualified and experienced technician then comes over to look at your device. If the repairs needed are minor, he will do them right away. However, if major repairs are needed or if parts need to be replaced, the technician waits for the approval of the home warranty company. Parts needed will be procured by the company. You will pay the service call fee to the technician when he comes to your home.
This is not a free of cost arrangement. In addition to the annual premium, you will be paying a service call fee (around $50) each time you place a claim. Like a coin with two sides, home warranties too have a few drawbacks. Let’s discuss them.
Home warranties are indeed a great way to insure your household devices. It protects your budget too. It is necessary that you make a wise decision regarding the choice of company and warranty plan so that you make the best out of the deal. The policy booklet and the contract are vital documents and they must, without fail, be studied and preserved carefully.
You can go through reviews about various companies and their plans on our website to compare and choose the best.
Buyers Protection Group, Inc. an Atlanta-based real estate services firm, has completed its acquisition of home warranty and home inspection services business from from LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc. LandAmerica provided home warranty services in 30 states and recently filed for bankruptcy in November 2008, primarily due to problems in its title insurance and 1031 Exchange businesses.
Alpharetta, Ga.-based BPG said the deals give it home warranty operations in 30 states and home inspection services in 14 states. BPG will now have dual operations centers in Alpharetta and Burbank, Calif. The company has 280 employees and is expanding its sales force and adding home inspection professionals.
“Despite the financial struggles with LandAmerica and severe decline in the housing industry, the home warranty and inspection subsidiaries remained profitable,” said BPG President and CEO, Revell Fraser, in a statement. “We were doing well in a very difficult environment and our employees remained committed to the business, so it was a natural decision to pursue buying the companies.”
LandAmerica Home Warranty Company, founded in 1987, provides one-year home warranties with significant concentrations in AZ, CA, and TX. LandAmerica home warranty began investing in the home inspection business in 2001, and is now the nation’s largest employee-based residential and commercial inspection company.
BPG partnered with The Stephens Group, a family-owned investment firm, on the transaction. The Company was advised by Croft & Bender LLC and Miller & Martin PLLC.
Most homeowners are quite concerned about maintaining their household appliances in good working condition. Any homeowner worth his salt will admit that it is no easy task. Hence it calls for some expertise in the form of appliance maintenance plans. What confuses homeowners is the fact that there are so many appliance maintenance plans out there and they end up wondering which ones to sign up for!
Here’s an article that’ll help you decide what plans you need to buy to ensure smooth running of your household appliances, while going easy on the pocket too.
There are quite a few things you need to consider before you decide whether or not you need an appliance maintenance plan.
In short, folks who have old appliances, lack DIY repair skills and sufficient money and do not have a trusted contractor should purchase some form of protection for their household appliances.
Let’s make this easier for you. An HVAC maintenance plan covers only heating, ventilation and cooling units. A basic home warranty plan covers all the major systems and appliances in the home which includes HVAC units and other appliances too. In simple terms, the coverage is often more for home warranty contracts.
Let’s take a look at some of the common advantages
Now let’s take a look at the advantages separately
Advantage of HVAC maintenance plans:
Advantages of Home Warranty plans:
Who needs an HVAC maintenance plan?
The U.S Dept. of Energy advises having your HVAC systems checked at least twice a year. This could be expensive for some.
Homeowners whose homes are aged should definitely think about purchasing a home warranty plan. It covers more than just your HVAC units. Ideally, following are the types of homeowners who need a home service contract:
Although most home warranty plans include coverage for HVAC units, the services are not as extensive as provided by an HVAC plan built specifically with heating and cooling needs in mind. If you feel that you are okay with basic coverage, then it would make more sense to go for a home warranty as your other appliances get protection too. Another option (safer one) is to buy a home warranty plan that covers on general household appliances and electrical systems and then to top it up with an HVAC plan. It may cost a little more than just a single plan, but it will be useful in the long run.
Yet another vital thing to do is to get your HVAC appliances get checked by a professional at least once a year. Regular maintenance checks are often helpful in diagnosing problems at an early state. Hence, no matter what the age or the make is, annual maintenance checks are a must for every HVAC appliance/system.
You can also read about Home Maintenance Tips on our website. We host several articles that explain the maintenance regimes for various household appliances and systems.
Remember, no matter how much thought you give into deciding a plan, if you don’t take the same effort for picking a reputable company, it may disappoint you. Always, we repeat, always select a trusted warranty provider and do sufficient research before you sign the contract. You can visit websites like ours, HomeWarrantyReviews.com, to see reviews and ratings about various warranty providers. Our website provide readers with reviews from genuine customers who are more than willing to share their experiences with others.
The Illinois department of insurance issued a warning earlier this year to its residents to avoid a Florida based home warranty company Arkidus Home Protection, Inc. Arkidus had been unlawfully advertising home warranty services via the internet to residents of Illinois and in many cases there were documented incidents of these consumers who purchased a warranty not receiving the services promised to them.
The company and its owner, Reinaldo “Ray” Berges has previously been served with a cease and desist order by the Illinois Department of insurance, but continued offering service coverage for household appliances and major system components. The company had its headquarters in Miami though more recent reports suggest that office has been closed for many months.
The company has not been granted any certificate of authority to sell insurance or home warranties to the consumers in the state of Illinois, thus the cease and desist order from that state was issued. This unfortunately may not help recover the money lost by the Illinois consumers who purchased home warranties, also referred to as residential service contracts or home service contracts.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), The consumers have launched over 245 complaints against the company in last three years. BBB indicates in its report that Arkidus conducted its business through a website, www.theahp.net.
BBB is a non- profit organization more than a 100 years old functioning in U.S and Canada. It collects and provides free business reliability reviews on over 4 million businesses. The BBB plays the role of an intermediary between businesses and consumers. Though it is not mandatory for any firm to get accreditation from BBB such accreditation is sought by some companies in order to build faith in their business. Arkidus is not accredited by BBB and thus the amount of involvement BBB may have had with Arkidus’s customers would have been limited to collecting and documenting complaints and then reporting complaints to the company. For further recourse consumers who have complaints against Arkidus would likely need legal representation or assistance from consumer protection entities.
According to publicly available information Illinois’s Department of insurance has also received many complaints from customers of Arkidus who allege they have been tricked by that company and were unable to obtain reimbursements for their claims or their canceled contracts.
The complaints from consumers are also publicly available on various websites. One such complaint posted online was from Jose. E who is a resident of Florida. In his post he said, “This Company is a scam. I started service with them in May, and they will not honor their policy. I keep getting calls from companies that were dispatched by them. I needed a plumber and an electrician, and both have been harassing me with the remainder of their bill, even though I paid my deductible. Do not purchase anything from this company, they are frauds.”
Arkidus appears to have ceased doing business but for a time the company was successful persuading customers to pay long term contract fees, in some cases for terms of two years or more. These customers spent thousands of dollars in some cases, all of which they now face losing forever. If significant legal action isn’t taken against the owner of the company it is unlikely that consumers will receive any reimbursement and this whole story will end sadly. Hence we warn our readers to be cautious about choosing home warranty companies with very little business history, no matter how positive the early reviews of the company may be.
If you suspect you are dealing with the wrong people already or believe you too have been scammed do not delay making a formal report to the appropriate agency or agencies. Both at the state and national level in the U.S. there are free and fast ways to make your voice heard when you feel you’ve been misled by a business or been the victim of a scam. The important thing is to act quickly and not give up if you feel your complaint is being documented but not being acted upon.
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is in the process of launching Green Advantage Warranty as part of protection assurance programs for new and upcoming green building initiatives.
The 2-10 home appliance warranty company offers Green Advantage Warranty to builders who meet eco-friendly standards. Builders need to build homes that fulfill the requisites of Energy Star, National Green Building Standard (NGBS), or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
Green Advantage Warranty includes repairs and replacement of Energy Star certified products and appliances. Coverage includes the replacement of green labeled items, engineered wood products, sustainably harvest lumber, low or no emission finishes and recycled products with accordance of applicable national certification standard.
Scott Cromie, Chairman and Chief Executive officer states that “With one in four homes now certified by green building standards, it is clear that home buyers want a more eco-friendly home, and that offering warranty protection that targets these values offers builders a clear competitive edge,” and also reports “Our new Green Advantage Warranty represents 2-10 Home Buyers’s Warranty commitment to greener business practices, and celebrates the home builders and home buyers who want a greener home and lifestyle. We’re proud to offer a product that meets these standards, while continuing to provide the same leading, trusted protection our company stands behind.”
Builders interested in participating are encouraged to call 877.777.1344 for more information. You can register to 2-10 HBW Green Advantage Warranty, just by adding up a minimal additional fee over the existing standard rate. It is as simple as checking a box next to the certification standard on 2-10 HBW’s Home Enrollment Application.
Green Advantage Warranty is an added policy to the company’s existing home warranty package, including one, two and ten years of coverage offering for new construction home builders. Company’s 10 years warranty covers structural warranty defect. Under the policy of 1-2-10 warranty one year of surety coverage of workmanship and materials. Two years of warranty also covers on systems.
About the company
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® is in market for more than 30 years, now the company has offered customers and their homeowners the most comprehensive warranty program available. Whether you’re building, selling or buying a home, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty offers a complete line of warranty, service contracts and risk management products. Since 1980, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has provided warranties and service contracts for more than 5.5 million new and pre-owned homes.
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HVAC appliances are one of the most vital components in a home. Naturally, unexpected crashes and breakdowns of HVAC units disrupt a peaceful living. And once they crash, boy! They are really expensive to repair (or replace).
Any homeowner, in his right sense would therefore make sure that the heating, cooling and ventilation units are well taken care of and maintained. For all of you who are wondering how to extend the life of your HVAC appliances, this checklist is just the right thing for you!
Yes, all HVAC appliances will do well if you give them some basic cleaning every month. Ensure that you do the following two steps at least once a month.
The U.S. Dept. of energy advises homeowners to carry out a maintenance routine at least twice a year. This ensures that the power consumption is optimized and hazards are avoided. Here are the steps that you should carry out yearly to ensure healthy running of your HVAC appliances/ systems.
If you think that these tasks are difficult and that your warranty plan will save you, here’s some incentive for you to get going in the right direction.
Home Warranty Companies usually DO NOT cover damages caused due to lack of maintenance. Which means that if your system stops working and the technician diagnosis says that the damage was caused due to lack of maintenance, your claim may be denied.
If that is not compelling enough, here are some more things that will happen if you are careless about HVAC maintenance
Appliances and systems in our home and around us help us lead a happy and easy life. So it is only fair that we do for them at least a fraction of what they do for us. Take good care of your appliances, don’t use them roughly and above all, purchase a home warranty plan to protect your budget against unexpected appliance crashes.
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If you are someone trying to sell your home at the best possible price, you’ve landed at the right place! Many homeowners face a lot of hurdles when trying to sell their property. We understand that it can be difficult especially if potential buyers start low-balling the price. In today’s times, it sometimes makes sense to hire a real estate agent specializing in selling homes to make sure that your home gets the right buyer. However, picking the right real estate agent could be a task in itself.
We’ve got some great ideas about how to sell homes faster. Take a look at some of the points discussed below to know more!
While the sentence sounds simple, a lot of effort goes into making a home look warm and inviting. Here are a few tips you could try to liven up things –
Before you conduct the open house, you can consider hiring a stager. Stagers are folks specialized in setting up your home to make it look extremely pleasing to the eye. However, if you’ve got a knack for things like this, we’re sure your skills would be more than enough.
Make sure everything in the house is functional. Which means you’ll have to check for leaks, faults with inbuilt appliances and even a pest control drill may be necessary in some cases. Most buyers will opt for a home inspection prior to making a purchase and if multiple faults come up in the home inspector’s report, there’s a good chance that they’ll cancel the deal.
Also, make sure that the windows are sparkling clean and broken light bulbs/ fixtures are replaced.
Some studies reveal that offering such a plan would not only sell your home faster, but an appliance warranty may actually increase the sales price of the property by an appreciable value. Many home warranty providers also offer seller’s warranty which is an ideal option in a scenario like this. While you may be offered suggestions, we recommend that you read and compare top home warranty companies in your region.
Also, since most plans are transferable, you can simply transfer the plan to the new owner once the sale is finalized. Many real estate agents strongly recommend offering an appliance warranty to the buyer as it not only fetches the house a higher price, but also reduces the liability of the seller and the agent. If and when an appliance related issue occurs, the buyer would call the home warranty provider and not the seller/agent.
How the house is presented to a potential buyer is a major factor which decides whether a buyer develops an interest in the property or not. If you have hired an agent, step back and let the agent show the clients around. Agents do this for a living and so they would know how to do it best. They also know what to highlight, what not to stress on and how to tackle tricky questions that may come their way.
All of this will not be possible unless you have a killer agent. Do ample research, meet many agents and ask around before you hire one to represent your home. You may want to read about how to pick the right real estate agent for you.
Lastly, price your property correctly. We cannot stress enough on the importance of this one. If you price it too high, most folks won’t give a second glance to the ad. Price it too low, you’ll leave potential buyers wondering whether your home has some serious issue (or worse, haunted).
A real estate agent would be the right person to guide you on how to price your property. Several things go into deciding the value of your home – locality, age, square footage, amenities, proximity to schools/hospitals etc. You may want to look at listings in your neighborhood to find out an approximate value.
This proverb is more true than you’d think, especially in real estate dealings. If buyers don’t like the property at the first glance, they may not give it much consideration. Keep this in mind during every stage of the sale. We would strongly recommend that you consider offering a home warranty along with your home as the benefits are just too hard to ignore.
Real estate dealings can be hard to many, but as long as you have the right agent and the right support, it should leave both parties happy. We hope your property sale goes well. Good luck and thank you for reading this article!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 are a homeowner in Ohio, this is an article that can’t miss! Your home is probably the biggest investment in your life and you know it takes time and money to keep it running well. We’re sure that you would’ve considered a home warranty plan to save yourself hundreds of dollars in repairs and replacements. But are you sure you know about the best companies in your locality? This is why you need to know about the best home warranty companies in Ohio.
Being the 10th most densely populated state in the country, Ohio does have numerous players in the home warranty sector. Yet, some companies have managed to outshine others with exceptional services and great products. You may already be knowing that our website ranks companies based on feedback collected from actual customers. We have also used these reviews to come up with the best home warranty companies in the country. So, based on said reviews, here are the companies that top the list of best appliance warranty providers in Ohio-
We’d like to provide you some more details about the companies in this list. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a detailed page for every company listed with us and we also have a statewise list of companies. So if you have friends and family in other states, do tell them to pay us a visit for getting their home warranty needs to be addressed.
American Home Shield (AHS) is a company that laid the foundation of the home warranty industry, Since its inception in 1971, American Home Shield has always been a popular choice among American homeowners. AHS has a nationwide footprint with even some parts of Canada being included in their coverage.
Being one of the first companies to sell warranty products, their experience is close to unmatched. All AHS home warranty plans are designed to cover major appliances and systems at reasonable prices. A typical AHS warranty plan would cost somewhere between $249 – $500+ and the deductible per service visit would cost somewhere between $75 – $125. The company maintains a massive contractor network of over 11,000 skilled and licensed technicians who are selected after a careful screening process. AHS, like most of the top players, maintains around the clock customer service facility and also runs an online claims submission program. Backed by strong reviews, this is one company that totally deserves to be on top of this list.
Home Service Club or HSC, is a company who considers themselves innovators in the field of home warranty. HSC’s primary focus has always been on providing the best possible service to their customers. The company’s coverage spans 48 states across the country. HSC believes that the frequent surveys and customer feedback programs they conduct are the reason why they are able to stay on top of their game.
HSC’s plans do not mandate a home inspection, neither do they place a restriction on the age of the appliances. A standard plan from HSC will cost around $400 and the deductible per service visit is charged between $65 – $125.
Yet another company with huge popularity in Ohio is Select Home Warranty (SHW). Select has a vast national network of contractors and is also a company with a commendable tenure in the home warranty industry. Headquartered in New Jersey, this company covers anything from rental properties and condos to mobile homes.
For homeowners in Ohio, SHW provides three types of home warranty plans each varying in the level of coverage. On an average, SHW’s plans are priced between $299 – $599 and most plans have a service call fee of $60. This is yet another company that does not place a restriction on the age of appliances, neither do they mandate a home inspection.
HSA is a company with close to 30 years experience in the home warranty industry and they also have immensely positive reviews from their customers. Headquartered in Wisconsin, HSA believes that their success is attributed to the problem-solving capabilities and the commitment of their team.
Their primary product, the appliance warranty plan, comes in two variants for Ohio homeowners and they cost between $589 – $619 and their deductible cost ranges between $75 – $100. Customers are also given the option to extend coverage by adding items from a pre-selected list of add-ons.
Choice Home Warranty (CHW) is a company known for providing comprehensive warranty plans to their customers. The company claims that they can cater to the needs of homeowners, real estate agents, buyers and sellers.
CHW offers transferable home warranties to homeowners, buyers and sellers alike. Standard plans are priced between $370 – $450 and the average deductible charge is $60. CHW has a 24/7 customer service facility and also an online claims facility through which customers can manage and track the progress of their claims.
While we have indeed provided you with a list of some of the best companies, we recommend that you conduct ample amount of research before you zero in on a choice. Our website would be an excellent place to find out insights about home warranty companies across the country. We suggest that you go through user reviews and go through our statewise list of companies before you decide. We hope you found this useful and don’t hesitate to contact us in case you have a query. Cheers!