Things Covered and Not Covered in a Home Warranty

A home warranty sounds like it is a great form of monetary security against unexpected, expensive home repairs. But you should understand what is covered in a “standard” home service contract. When you are buying a home, there is possibility that you were provided with a home warranty by the seller and you assumed that it will take care of all repairs inside your home. But there are some items NOT covered in a home warranty.

Basics of home warranty –

What Does Home Warranty Cover?

The best answer to this can be found by evaluating your specific contract or by reviewing an on-line contract sample.

Basic coverage includes:

  1. Plumbing stoppages
  2. Plumbing System
  3. Sump pump (permanently installed)
  4. Toilets
  5. Hot water pump
  6. Bathroom whirlpool motor pump
  7. Water heater
  8. Ceiling fans
  9. Smoke detectors
  10. Built-in dishwasher
  11. Built-in microwave
  12. Attic and exhaust fans
  13. Heating and duct-work
  14. Telephone system
  15. Electrical system
  16. Instant hot water dispenser
  17. Built in trash compactor
  18. Oven
  19. Cook tops
  20. Doorbells
  21. Air conditioning
  22. Garbage disposal
  23. Range and oven
  24. Telephone wiring
  25. Central heating system
  26. Range Hood
  27. Humidifier
  28. Refrigerators (does not include ice maker)

Because coverage differs from policy to policy and from state to state, request to see a sample copy of a policy before you commit.

What is Not Covered in a Standard Plan?

As discussed above, the contract covers only those parts, systems and appliances that are mentioned as covered and excludes all others. Remember you can always pay extra premium to cover these items before you sign the contract.

  1. Faucet repairs (unless otherwise stated in the policy)
  2. Spa or pools (you can request/add this coverage in some cases)
  3. Hot tubs (you can request/add this coverage in some cases)
  4. Not all plans pay for washers and dryers or garage door openers. These come under “Enhanced Coverage”
  5. Outdoor items such as sprinklers
  6. Haul away debris
  7. Hauling away old appliances
  8. Outdoor water systems
  9. Combo ceiling fans
  10. Second air conditioner
  11. Second fridge/freezer
  12. Food spoilage
  13. Icemaker
  14. Well Pump
  15. Central Vacuum
  16. Limited Roof Leak
  17. Septic system
  18. Septic Tank Pumping
  19. Stand Alone Freezer
  20. Home entertainment
  21. Office package
  22. Central AC unit
  23. Wine cooler
  24. Heating system
  25. Septic system
  26. Additional spa
  27. Washing machine

However, for items such as washer/dryer, kitchen refrigerator, air conditioning, spa equipment, pool and roof leak repair, additional or optional coverage are available for an extra fee at the time of contract. Verify your contract to check which optional coverage, if any, were paid for.

Basics of Home Warranty

A home warranty is neither similar nor it is a replacement for homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance policy covers major unforeseeable events such as fires, theft, property crimes, hail and certain types of water damage that could have an effect on the homeowner’s personal possessions and the entire structure. A home warranty does not cover these hazards but it covers particular components of the home. It covers regular wear and tear defects which may include an older air conditioner break down or requiring certain parts changed in spite of you have kept up with needed maintenance. In simplest terms, a home warranty is an additional coverage for the items in your home which might initially have been covered by a manufacturer’s or builder’s warranty.

When you purchase a home warranty, you are principally signing a service contract. The contract provides for low-priced repair and replacement service on a number of home’s major appliances. Most plans have a basic component that offers all the homeowners who pay for a policy with certain coverages. The contract will spell out which appliances it’ll cover, how much is required to pay per occurrence and what is not covered. For instance, structural aspects of your home are not covered. So if your roof falls down, that would be covered by homeowner’s insurance. In case your water heater leaks, the water heater would be covered but the consequent water damage would be homeowner’s insurance issue. Homeowners are also allowed to procure one or more optional components that give additional coverage at additional cost.

How much does a Home Warranty Cost?

They are quite inexpensive, usually ranging from $259 to $400, based on coverage. Home warranty companies every now and then run special discount policy prices or special sales or provide additional coverage for the same price. The policies are prepaid for a year in advance, at which time they run out or can be renewed.

How Do They Work?

Though specific plans offer for definite types of coverage, most operate in the same way.

  • If a home appliance or a system breaks down, the home owner calls the home warranty firm.
  • The home warranty company calls a service provider with whom it has a business arrangement in order to examine the problem.
  • The provider then calls the home owner to make an appointment.
  • If the provider settles on that the required replacement or repair is covered by the warranty, he accomplishes the work. In case an appliance cannot be repaired and is malfunctioned, based on the contract coverage, the home warranty firm will pay to put back and set up the appliance.
  • The homeowner only pays a small trade service fee (less than $100) plus the money he/she has spent by now to buy the warranty.

Watch this video to know how home warranty works –

Types of Coverage

As all plans differ, you are required to ask specifically what is covered. Inquire with your real estate agent if upgrades are available. Make sure that whether the home warranty company will pay for your repairs to make certain types of appliances or systems compliant with new regulations. Pay close attention and read the home warranty contract cautiously to know the coverage, limitations and exclusions.

What to Expect in a New Home Warranty?

Home warranties may be procured by individuals buying a new or used home, landowner, and persons selling their homes or investors. Each company’s coverage is decided by the terms of its contact, but basic home warranties usually cover the parts and labor on or replacement of chief home systems and equipment.

What’s covered? Most home warranty firms provide a variety of plans, all offering different levels of coverage, so be sure to study the details of any contract before procuring. Even if you decide to renew the contract from your year-to-year, double check the details of your plan as the coverage can change yearly.

Here is a common idea of what a homeowner can wait for to find in each tier of service.

The Bottom Line

A home warranty is not an ideal solution to the risks homeowners face. Before buying one, it’s important that the homeowners read the home warranty contract and consider whether the warranty is probable to pay off. Home sellers who want to provide a warranty to buyers and homeowners or buyers who feel more relaxed having a home warranty should also do extensive research to get a reputable home warranty company that will in fact pay for legal genuine repairs when they are required.

Other home warranty tips –

 






Refrigerator maintenance is a vital part of housekeeping that just cannot be ignored. For people who don’t know the first thing about cleaning a fridge, this guide is just for you!

Is your refrigerator running?  Well, you’d better go catch it!

If you are rolling your eyes then maybe you’re not a fan of old jokes.  That’s forgivable.  But that old joke has a tiny bit of truth to it if you own a home.  Your fridge may be running away from you in terms of the electricity it’s using.

refrigerator maintenance tipsThere are two good reasons to maintain your refrigerator. The first is to keep it running as long as possible, but the second is less obvious. Your home’s monthly electricity costs are directly affected by the way you use and keep up your fridge. It’s easy to forget that, but if you get into a habit of following these tips you will begin to see the savings.

3600 Cleaning

The back of your fridge is almost never seen, but it’s the part most in need of regular cleaning. At least once each month you should pull your fridge away from the wall, preferably without unplugging it, in order to clean the operational parts located near the bottom. The best way to do this is to gently clean the coils and other exposed parts with a vacuum cleaner. But be careful not to press against the parts with the vacuum. Doing so may damage some of the more delicate parts. By keeping these parts clean you can help your fridge to optimize its heat dissipation. And that helps the fridge use less electricity.

Dirt-free Surrounding

Don’t let the areas around or on the door gaskets become dirty or greasy.  Keeping the door gaskets clean will allow for a good, tight seal. And the more air you keep inside the fridge the easier it is for the fridge and freezer to maintain ideal temperatures.

Loading it right

Resist the temptation to carelessly load your fridge. Don’t overload it, but also don’t underfill it. An empty fridge is almost as bad as a fridge that is too full. Either way you’re making the refrigerator work harder in order to stay at a constant temperature. If you are the type to keep lots of food around try to make sure the food is distributed evenly and does not obstruct air flow. If you travel a lot or order food regularly then maybe you have an empty or nearly empty fridge. If that’s you then you can use bottles of water to fill the fridge so it runs more efficiently.

Cool it and cover it!

Avoid putting food straight into the fridge after cooking it. Even if you are preparing food to eat later it’s best to cover it and allow it to cool before refrigerating it. Hot things do not help your fridge stay cool. And uncovered foods are problematic too. Though it might not be as obvious as producing odors or being a spill hazard, uncovered foods make your fridge work harder. Ideally you want to keep the moisture in foods and drinks sealed in and not allow it to become part of the air that the fridge must cool.

Debris free drain pan

If your freezer is frost free then you should have a drain pan underneath the fridge. If you have one down there then it’s very important to keep it free from debris. You don’t want to block the drain or cause spills by allowing the pain to fill up with dust and other junk. The best time to clean it is at the same time when you clean the rear of the fridge.

Don’t fiddle with the thermostat

It’s best to keep the fridge and freezer around 37 degrees Fahrenheit and 0 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. Usually you can do this by leaving the thermostat at its middle setting. Turning the thermostat in the fridge down too low can not only increase electricity usage but can sometimes result in the freezer not staying at a safe temperature.

Defrost Care

If you do not have a frost free freezer then it’s important to regularly remove ice and frost from the inside of the freezer. You don’t need to turn off your fridge in most cases. A nice open container of hot water left inside the closed (and emptied) freezer will usually do the trick.

Dry it when you clean it

When you wipe down the inside of your fridge or freezer try to always dry off the surfaces you clean. And if you use disinfectant cleaners to remove meat or egg drippings then be sure to go back over those surfaces with water in order to not leave chemical residues.

Though your refrigerator may not be using as much electricity as your heating and cooling system it still pays off in the long run to maximize its energy efficiency. And if you love to cook it pays off in other ways. Your food will stay fresher, not to mention taste and smell better, if you make these tips part of your regular routine. You can also go through this guide on How to Conserve Electricity At Home And Cut Energy Bills for more information.

If you are an obsessive cleaner, you may also want to look at this elaborate guide on  refrigerator maintenance. You’ll know exactly what to do with each appliance once you go through this. Good luck!




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.

Warranty Plans for Household Items

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

#1 Home Warranty

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.

#2 Manufacturer’s Warranty 

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.

#3 Seller’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.

#4 Extended Warranty

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.

#5 Home service contracts

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.




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

extended warranty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




For decades now, the American Dream has been synonymous with Homeownership. Even though the housing market has not got back up after the recession hit of 2008, a majority of the population still strives to own their dream home, looking at it as a sign of stability and accomplishment. The only thing that changes is what each individual, couple or family unit is really looking for in a home, and at what time in their lives, they choose to take the leap.

The When and What of Dream Homes

Statistics show that an approximate 70% of all Americans hope to own a home of their own, comprising a solid 80% to 90% of millennials, aged between 18 and 34. Even though there is a postponement of getting married and having children in the lifestyles of the latter, parents – single or in committed relationships – have dream homes high on their priority list.

As far as dream homes go, it can be safely said that a mere one-third of the cross section across generations claim to already be living in their ideal residence, most aspiring to own a space larger and more luxurious. Yet, size isn’t everything and a very large percentage do want homes that are sized neither too small nor too big, between 1500 to 2500 square feet on an average.

At the end of the day, aspirational homes are greatly dependent on the age-bracket that you fall under – each generation having constantly changing needs, wants and family structures. While Millennials prefer to invest in homes which are high-tech and modern in both structure and amenities, the Baby Boomers (between 50 and 70 years at the moment) are in search for or have already invested in ranch-style homes which are comfortable and easily accessible.

The want for modernity has blended right in with the need to entertain, socialize and have a good time. Countering the luxury of numerous bedrooms, the new dream home features a large spread out floor plan with incentives and perks like French windows opening onto decks, views of the city or the sea, gourmet kitchens, fancy wet bars and open terraces.

From Country to Contemporary – 6 Types of Homes for the American Dreamers

French Country – An Eclectic Blend of American and French

A style of building, interiors, and structure that are appreciated across generations, French Country is making a comeback into the list of homes that Americans aspire to own.

French Country, your ideal home

Having its own touch of fantasy with its French feel, these country homes combine to perfection the resourceful American architectural techniques with French flair and decorative elements. What is more, being a type of home which first gained popularity in the early 1900’s, these country houses can be structured as anything from a small old-worldly cottage with a yard and a fence to an extravagant castle-like mansion with French windows and elaborate décor. Whichever it may be, they are known for their warmth and comfort, with tall window panes letting in plenty of morning sun and a mix of stepped roofs and gables with arches over the doorways to balance out the sharp edges.

The French traditional façade and elements of elevation are kept up through the use of stucco, brick, wrought iron rails and window panes, while the floor plan of the home tends to be more modern and functional – altering itself to fit the needs of your current lifestyle.

Colonial – European Geometricity and Symmetry

Colonial homes are known to be one of the most popular styles of architecture in America, characterized by their sharp geometricity brought by the European colonists in the 18th century. Themselves influenced by the Greeks and Romans in the past, European stylistic tendencies soon cropped up in various parts of both urban and rural America and is still known for its grandeur, symmetry, and stable stature.

Colonial, your dream home

The house is the epitome of formal balance, with the entrance being centrally located and brought to focus by the use of columns, often decorated around the capital or fluted from top to bottom. The formal balance is echoed in the sturdy and square foundation, on which stand an approximate of two or three floors. Taking it a step further, the windows are usually all the same size, symmetrically distributed on the façade with decorative shutters and multiple panes.

The past two to three centuries have seen very little change in this style, though certain homeowners do add elements to suit their needs. As far as dream homes go, the Colonial three-floor home in the city acts as the perfect bridge between the bustle of urban life and a safe and secure space for you and your family. It’s efficient and need based design caters perfectly to the new age priority of functionality while incorporating elements such as classical decorative detailing, hardwood floors and fireplaces without any compromise on the traditional look and feel of the space.  

Tudor – Dynastic English with a Touch of Victorian

Tudor style homes date back to England in the 1500’s, owing its name to the Tudor Dynasty which witnessed the last developmental phase of medieval architecture in England. The Tudor we know today owes a great deal more to modern alterations made to the style of that time, known now as Tudor Revivalist architecture.

Tudor, your dream home

Bringing in elements of both the Victorian charm and tradition as well as ornate gothic height and elevation, the Tudor Revivalist structures feature decorative timber on their façade, placed to give the entire house a sense of stability and weight even though they are purely ornamental in reality. In complete contrast to the colonial style of building, Tudor homes are characterized by their marked lack of symmetry, which is noticeable in all aspects of the interior and exterior of the home. Stressing on the abstract over geometric formal balance, the houses have a mix of angles and shapes which are rather varied, though they fall together in perfect harmony.

In recent times, newer constructions have been shying away from building Tudor style houses, but its archaic quality mixed with its abstract structural plan still keeps it in demand with the present generations of Americans.

Traditional Ranch and Cape Cod – simple, stately and minimal

A style which came into being wholly in America, Traditional Ranch Homes are the Baby Boomer’s dream right about now. Ideal for family units and retirement, ranch homes are known for their close to ground single story plans, minimal or no decorative elements, and functional priority in all aspects.

Cape code, your ideal home

Influenced by North American colonial architecture from the Spanish colonies, Ranch houses cut out direct sunlight and heat, offering the owner a covered porch with a view of the street – right out a country western flick.

Similar in functionality and priority as the Ranch homes, Cape Cod-style houses too boast of low floor plans and modest exteriors. These have now been subject to some experimental design in the past few decades, opening out the floor plan further and increase ventilation, living space and light. The new age American home is beginning to look at the importance of privacy and elbow room, which low floor plans can easily be altered to provide.

With amenities at the minimum, the house was once associated with the simple life, fusing modern ideas of to-the-point design with the American belief system of casual living spaces and informal communities and family units.

Craftsmen and Prairie

The last of the major shifts in architecture in the US, the nineteenth century saw the advent of the Arts and Crafts movements which came into existence in direct opposition of the opulent Victorian style (which was characterized by decoration in all fields) as well as the continued revival of classical styles of the past.

Prairie, your dream home

These styles developed into the contemporary ideals of home ownership shared by the present generations of Americans and focused on simplicity and inspiration from the surrounding nature itself. Not wanting to construct obstructive structures or spend excessively, the building materials and amenities were kept to a minimum in both, though each style was distinctly different.

Craftsmen, your ideal home

The Craftsmen style featured small, sturdy and extremely well-built bungalows known for their expert craftsmanship and lasting strength, while Prairie homes were characterized by spread out floor plans that echoed the prairie through its extending porches, courtyards, and balconies.

Contemporary, New American and Green – Uninterrupted, Individual and Unique

While many of us dream of owning the home down the street from theirs or a cottage that they once drove by in the countryside, a large number of Americans in recent times prefer being able to control and individualize their dream home’s floor plan and structure.

Modern & Contemprorary homes most americans aspire to own

The Contemporary and New American trends in construction are rooted in the need for basic form and function over decorative opulence, incorporating abstract floor plans and leveled rooms and spaces to allow for a flowing interior while not compromising on private spaces.

A touch of luxury has entered the privacy of bedrooms and baths as well, bringing in leisure into busy lifestyles by introducing simple tweaks like couple sinks, bath tubs, walk in closet spaces and oversized windows to greet you in the morning.

The spaces blending into one another also serves well when it comes to the love for entertaining, where open kitchens, terraces and landscaped backyards become a part and parcel of what a dream home should have.

Open floor plans are supported by open facades as well, with numerous windows, minimal dividing walls and doors, and a stress on abstract and asymmetry over formal balance. This focus on function has led to bigger questions regarding the environment as well, with homeowners who are building or renovating using natural and eco-friendly materials available close to the site of construction over large amounts of concrete.

Tips, Tricks, and DIY’s

While owning your dream home can be an aspirational standard you work towards, every home can be made to suit your best and serve its every purpose to the fullest. Even spending a few hours every Sunday on a little gardening or a spruce up cleaning spree can make a great difference in the feel of your home, and bring to the fore elements of its structural beauty that you never noticed before.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com holds within its array of articles not only guides to Home Warranty coverage and companies but also Do It Yourself guides and hacks to maintain your home and garden, giving you a space to discuss and learn about various ways to bridge the gap between physical appearance and functionality when it comes to your home.

What Next For Your Dream Home?

Discussing the various types of the home is something cool. But what is cooler is to keep it that way. How? You might ask! 
We only have three words for that – Research, Ratings & Reviews!
So take out those keen eyes and get online, check for the track record of the home warranty company in question by seeing the innumerable reviews on the internet. Check for their ratings and gauge how the company is performing and see for a fact how clearly the site’s rate a home warranty company, you know you can betcha on our site because we understand how important credibility is & we’ve been the go-to site for many such types of internet researches on home warranty shenanigans!




Who does not want to own a home? In fact, the sooner, the better! But with the ongoing inflation and increased property prices, buying your own home seems like a far-fetched dream. But owning a home has benefits of its own. From creating a space that defines you to re-doing the interiors without worrying about the landlord. Or be it having privacy, the perks of having your own home are endless.

Tips-to-become-a-homeowner

The increased mortgage interests and the guarantee requirements have also made it difficult to find your own abode. But there are ways can help you earn more, save better and realize your dream sooner than before.

The Way To Dream Home

People love to own a  big home that’s cozy and have ample space for all their belongings. It becomes difficult to carry things from one place to another while staying in a rented apartment. With your own home, you have the luxury to set your dream closet and fill in the place with the most drool-worthy ideas. Buying a home forms a big part of the great American dream and we tell you ways that can help you realize the same.

1.    Climbing-Up The Ladder

We all know that the home of our dreams may take us a little too long to save up for. In such a case, investing in smaller properties and then benefitting on the increased values will not only give you a huge profit but also help you pay a bigger sum as down-payment and hence avail lower mortgage interest rates.

For such a procedure, climbing up the ladder is the way as you cannot expect to buy your dream home right away. Also, there is an added risk of losing money in case the prices drop. So, it is suggested to do your research before investing in such a plan and hire a trusted realtor who genuinely wants to help you achieve your dream.

2.    Accessing The Schemes

There are several schemes available in the market that offers added benefits to first-time buyers. These schemes can be backed by banks or the government. Thus, it is important to stay updated of all the available and upcoming schemes in the real-estate market.

Housing schemes by US department of Housing and Urban development could not only offer you lower interest rates but also have the benefit of being a first-time home buyer by offering perks on the down-payment.

3.    Save-Up

There is no easier way to pave your way to your home than saving up each penny possible. It may require a lot of effort and sacrifice but once you are able to book your own home, it will be all worth it.

Giving up on expensive clothing, dinners and parties could be an effective way to kick-start the savings. Renting a home and investing in a car that actually meets your requirement to save a little more is sensible. Finally, investing in gadgets and other valuables that depreciate in value should be avoided to achieve your goals. Enrolling in a trusted home warranty plan will also help you save on regular expenses like repair & maintenance of home and appliances.

4.    Joint Ownership

Buying a property in collaboration with a friend or a family member and paying off the debt is a good idea to avoid the hike in prices. Buying a home today will shield you from the future increase of pricing. This gives you a sense of deep relief as you know that you handled the loan mortgage terms efficiently. 

However, the terms should be clearly discussed and mentioned in the contract to avoid any future disagreement.

5.    Lease To Own

This is another effective method to own a home early. In this scenario, you rent a place on lease basis from a homeowner until you find yourself capable enough of making the down payment and can finally transfer the ownership to your name. The same can be mentioned in an agreement detailing the terms & conditions of acquiring the home on a future date.

This way, you will be living in your future home right from the beginning and will have flexibility in terms of renovation and changes in the home. Also, home warranty plans can help you save on those extra expenses by covering it for you.

6.    Family Help

The family is always here to help us out no matter what. Therefore, seeking a helping hand from parents or siblings who have saved enough is likely to be the best resort to buying a new home for first-time owners. This will also prevent you from all the added stress and assure you of no hidden terms & conditions.

You can also pay them back as per your understanding and can lend a helping hand with their needs.

7.    Secondary Job

Everyone has a hobby or a favorite job that they excel at. From cooking to playing guitar, it could be anything. Taking up a secondary job can help you cover that extra mile with ease and buy your dream home sooner than expected. Another good thing about this is that you don’t have to learn a new skill and are making extra money with what you already have.

Make Your Dream Come True

It is not easy to save enough to buy a home. Following these simple methods, you can not only save better but also realize your dream of a perfect home. You can also save money by cutting down on regular expenses like repairing appliances which failed unexpectedly by intelligently shopping for a home warranty plan. It may seem to be difficult but once you start researching, you will only discover new methods to save more every day. You will always win given the advent of the internet and it is the super highway of information.




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

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

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

Kitchen Cleaning Hacks

1. Cabinet Cleaning 

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

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

 

2. Cleaning The Sponges

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

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

3. Cleaning The Garbage Disposal

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

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

4. Stove Burner Cleaning Hack

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

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

 

5. Cleaning The Blendershutterstock_84133486

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

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

Bathroom Cleaning Hacks

6. Cleaning The Shower Head

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

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

7. Cleaning Grout From The ShowerCleaning Tile

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

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

8. The Bathtub Drain

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

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

9. Cleaning Mold From The Shower

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

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

10. No Scrub Tub Cleaner

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

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

 

General Indoor Cleaning

11. Carpet Cleaning 

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

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

12. Easy Mattress Cleaning

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

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

 

13. Cleaning A Microfiber Couch

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

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

14. Removing Pet Hair 

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

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

 

15. Cleaning tiny toys

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

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

 

A Word Of Advice

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

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

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

 




Your home is the center of your everyday life and possibly your most valued asset. When your home is destroyed or damaged, you want your claim sorted out by an insurance company that realizes this simple fact. A right homeowners’ insurance company best meets your needs and provides you with the most valuable blend of quality service, custom-made coverage, and fair pricing in policies.

Am I Required To Have Home Insurance If I Own A Home?

Depending on where you live – an apartment, house, or condominium – the right home insurance plan can give you peace of mind along with the money you need to replace or repair your home and/or stuff. Home insurance policies vary by the type of coverage you choose, the losses covered and the type of residence you own. You pick a policy that is best for you, whether it’s an all-inclusive policy that covers losses such as smoke, fire, falling objects, and theft of personal property, or whether it’s a policy that covers specified losses.

New age policies for American Homeowner

Your home insurance plan is made up of the precise options you select. The amount you pay for your policy depends on what coverage you buy, how much you want to cover, and where you set your limits. There are many types of homeowners policies available when once you decide to be a homeowner or not. The most significant part of homeowners insurance is the level of coverage. Avoid paying for more than you require. Below are the most common levels of coverage.

  •  HO-1 & HO-2 – Broad policy that guards against 16 perils that are stated in the policy
  •  HO-3 – Covers the structure against all perils except those specifically excluded by the policy
  •  HO-4 – If you rent or lease your home, you need a renters policy to cover your personal property and liability
  • HO-5 – Premium policy that guards newer, well-maintained homes; it covers against all perils except those specifically excluded by the policy
  •  HO-6 – Insurance for co-ops/condominiums, which includes liability coverage, personal property coverage, and coverage of improvements to the owner’s unit
  • HO-7 – Similar to an HO-3 policy, but for mobile homes
  •  HO-8 – Policy particularly for older homes, with similar coverage to an HO-2 policy. However, it only covers actual cash value. In Florida, many insurers are offering this policy

Comprehending Your Policy

As insurance policies come in many shapes and sizes, the same is true for insurance companies and agents, who can charge different rates for the same coverage. Bigger insurers are not always better and small don’t essentially have the best customer service. So, it’s always good to shop around for the top deals and ask the precise questions in an attempt to know what you are really receiving.

Prior to signing on the dotted line, you should understand that not all homeowners policies are the same. This is always one of the most common misinterpretations about insurance. According to a survey, more than a third of the homeowners said they did not have or didn’t identify if they had adequate homeowners insurance coverage. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina affected the city of New Orleans, and again in 2012, when Superstorm Sandy damaged numerous communities in New York and New Jersey, thousands of worried survivors got a rude shock when they found their standard homeowners’ policies did not cover flood damage.

Additional Insurance And Endorsements

Many catastrophic events are not covered in the basic homeowner’s policy, but they are still insurable and require additional levels of insurance. In some cases, homeowners need entirely different policies, which are usually several times costlier than the typical homeowners’ premium. Some homes are situated in high-risk areas such as flood, hurricanes and earthquake zones, which make buying additional insurance a top priority for these homeowners. Instead of the usual $250 to $1,000 deductible under basic coverage, you have to shell out 1 to 5% of your home’s insured value (up to 10% in Florida).

Hurricane season is an old threat for many residents living along the southeastern coast of the U.S. Hurricane Matthew, which made arrival on Oct 8, 2016, left an expected $6 billion worth of property loss in its devastation across states such as Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. If you live in a region that is prone to hurricanes, you must have certain emergency plans in place. Homeowners in hurricane-prone areas need to act fast to file damage claims with their insurance firms. For instance, if your home is insured for $200,000 and your plan has a 3% deductible for hurricanes, you will have to expend $6,000 out-of-pocket on a storm-related claim.

Some Popular Endorsements And Extra Policies Include:

  •  Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage – A policy that pays to reconstruct your home completely, even if the cost is above your policy limits. You can expect to pay $400 to $1,000 more in premiums each year for this endorsement
  • Inflation Guard – A policy that automatically raises your dwelling coverage limit yearly in proportion to inflation, so that your limits are at least 80% of its value. Incremental premium increases in relation to the limit are often charged when the policy is renewed
  • Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance – A policy that broadly covers assets. It increases your liability coverage above the limits available in any of your “basic” policies, comprising auto, boat, and homeowners insurance. Umbrella coverage can extend to other excluded coverages, such as the invasion of privacy, false arrest, and slander, which can kick in once your primary coverage is exhausted. Premiums for this coverage begin at around $150 to $300 per year for $1 million in coverage, an additional $75 for $2 million, and $50 extra per year for each additional $1 million in coverage
  • Scheduled Personal Property – A policy that covers high-value objects such as stamps, jewelry, coins, antiques, guns, computers, furs, and other items that could go beyond the limits of your homeowner’s policy

Creating Your Home Inventory

When you buy a homeowners insurance policy, one of the must have insurance policies, you must prepare the latest home inventory to speed up a claim settlement if you ever need to make one. A complete home inventory, help your insurance company verify the property easier, which in turn makes settling your claim easy. Additionally, you can validate losses for your income tax return with the latest home inventory without any hassles.

For many homeowners, insurance is something to be thought of again, i.e., until the worst occurs. Homeowners who wait until they experience a loss before assessing their own policies do not get the full value – may be little value – out of their incalculable premium payments.

Homeowners insurance is a monetary agreement, but it should also be treated as a living entity to be cherished over time. By reading your policy wisely, shopping around for the suitable agent, comprehending your coverage limits, and create an updated property inventory.




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

Home Warranty Claims

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

Common Causes of Home Warranty Claims Denial

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

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

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

How to Dispute Home Warranty Claim Denials

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

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

 




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.

USAAUSAA 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.

Home Warranties USAA

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.

New Home Warranties

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.

Warranties on Existing Homes

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.

Receiving What’s Due

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.

The Value of USAA Membership

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

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

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.

Investing and Financial Planning

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.

Other Business

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.




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.

insurance on appliances

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 –

  • Own appliances that are over 4-5 years old
  • Can’t afford frequent repairs and replacements
  • Do not have a trusted contractor to perform the repairs
  • Have no time for do-it-yourself repairs
  • Are owning a home for the first time

So naturally, they are not suited for people who

  • Own brand new or fairly new devices
  • Can afford expensive repairs and replacements
  • Have a trusted contractor or is a contractor himself
  • Have the time and skill for DIY repairs

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.

Advantages

  • Being the repair contract that it is, home warranty takes care of repairs and replacements of damages happening to the covered device for a stated period of time. So if your appliances crash during the coverage  period, you will not have to spend much from your pocket.
  • Saves your budget from unexpected expenses due to appliance damages.
  • Almost all the major appliances and systems are covered. Electrical, plumbing, HVAC and wiring in general are included in a standard warranty plan. You can always purchase additional coverage too.
  • Each time an appliance crashes, you simply have to place a call to your service provider. They will send a technician to your doorstep to fix the issue. You have to pay a service call fee each time an issue is raised.
  • Depending on the coverage you purchased, home warranties sometimes even replace your device with a brand new one if the technician pronounces the device unrepairable.
  • Home warranties increase the value of your property at the time of sale as sellers prefer homes that are covered by appliance warranty.

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.

Working

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.

Drawbacks

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 warranty companies will always try to repair and not replace your damaged device.
  • Home Warranties do not cover pre-existing conditions or damages resulting from lack of maintenance. They also do not cover damages occurring due to crimes or natural hazards, that is the job of Homeowner’s insurance.
  • The technician sent over to your house will decide the extent and nature of your damage. The Home Warranty company will consider his word and not yours when it comes to determining the action to be taken up. If you have disagreements on this, contact the customer service operative of the company.
  • Claims can often be denied on unclear grounds and by stating tiny clauses from the contract which are often overlooked by customers. Ensure that you read the policy booklet and contract carefully to avoid any misunderstandings.
  • You cannot raise multiple issues in a single claim.

The bottom-line

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.




The recent AHS class action lawsuit is creating waves in the real estate industry. The lawsuit alleges that American Home Shield violated federal laws by not disclosing the fact that real estate agents were paid for recommending their home warranty service. Many of the home owners and sellers were not aware of the different practices regarding the fact that the brokers and the agents are being paid for promoting the home warranty policies. There are many thousands of home owners and sellers who had purchased the warranty from the American Home Shield Corp and realtor commission was not disclosed to them during the sale.

AHS

American Home shield is one of the most popular companies in the home warranty industry. They account for majority of the sales in this industry and their last year’s revenue was about 600 million dollars.

The aim of the Home warranty policies is to offer services in terms of the repairs and the replacements for the owners when their specific home products and appliances are not working properly. Though the policy is creating controversial waves throughout, attorney‘s doubt as to how many of the customers will ultimately think of filing for the case and wait for receiving the cash from the settlement. It is alleged that the American Home Shield has not adhered by certain federal laws while promoting the warranty policies to customers. It is also claimed that they paid kickbacks to the realty brokerage firms and also the agents to serve their own purposes. This affected many of the customers who had applied for the home warranty policy. According to the Real-estate Settlement procedures Act, payments for referrals of the Settlement services in connection with the mortgage transactions is actually prohibited and it really goes against the law. It also prohibits any transactions in fees or other compensation when there is no substantive service provided.

But the American Home Shield has denied of the charges of wrongdoing heaped upon them. The Homeowners in Alabama had complained about a payment which includes a sum of $524 at the closing of the one year home warranty from the American Home Shield. The home owners also complained that a specific amount of money has already been paid to the real estate agents beforehand only. So why will they need to pay for the extra sum of money. The consumers groups said that sometimes the entire terms and conditions regarding the payment issue is not entirely disclosed to them. The warranty policies costs somewhere around $400 to $500. The lawsuit is now settled.

Regarding the payment of the fees there has been some problems in the real estate brokerage industry itself. While some of the real estate companies have declined to participate in home warranty commissioned sales, there are others who are in favor of the practice. According to the members of the National Association of Realtors the federal anti kickback terms and conditions will not cover home warranties as they are not regarded as the settlement services and have no effect on the closing of a real estate transaction. The chief regulator of a real estate settlement statute-AHS Settlement.

In a letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development it has been clearly mentioned that the brokers and agents have always been helpful to the buyers and agents by making them aware of the existence of the different home warranty services. At times the home warranty companies complained that it has also been found that some of the consumers are not aware of the different home warranty products that are available in the market. The brochure of these products are not handed over to the individual customers by the real estate brokers. Rather they show concern in educating the consumers about the different limitation and prices of the home warranties.

Prospective customers are always advised to understand all the terms and the conditions of the home warranty before signing any of the documents.




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

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

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

Six Steps to Choose a Home Appliance Warranty

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

This video will help you compare home warranty companies.




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

Fake Reviews

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

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

Penalizing Companies Posting Fake Reviews

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

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




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

Green Advantage Warranty

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

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

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

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

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

About the company

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




HVAC Maintenance Checklist

 

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

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

Monthly maintenance routine

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

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

Annual maintenance routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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With over 185,300 active Realtors in Los Angeles, selecting the right one to assist you with the sale or purchase of your home can be daunting. You will want to find someone who is proficient in buying or selling homes in your surrounding area in L.A as well as in your price range.

Best Realtors in Los Angeles

Below is the list of the top 5 Realtors in Los Angeles by their gross sales volume in dollar amounts and some other relevant information so you can feel confident when making decisions about buying or selling your home.

Brad Korb

Top Realtor Brad Korb

For more than three decades, Brad has focused his attention on helping families attain their goals of buying or selling a home in North Hollywood, Studio City, Burbank, Glendale, Tujunga, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Valley Village, West Hollywood, Van Nuys, and the wonderful and diverse surrounding areas. He listens to his clients’ needs patiently and then puts together the best strategies for reaching the results they want. He believes that true success comes from making objectives for what matters most in life. Whether he is with his family or assisting his real estate clients, Brad enjoys positive results owing to his unique ability to visualize a goal and make an effort for achieving it. This determination is what continues to take his career as a realtor to new levels of success. With over three decades of experience, Brad is an unmatched resource for all things from the real estate market to community services.

An alumnus from California State University-Northridge, Brad’s specialties include home sellers, home buyers, 1031 tax deferred exchanges, short sales, investment properties, first time home buyers, bank foreclosures, multi- residential homes, single family residences, condominiums, townhomes, downsizing, and relocation. The owner of The Brad Korb Real Estate Group, Brad and his team of  realtors have attained an incredible success for clients by offering services that go well beyond the average realtor. “We are very excited to have been endorsed by real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, from Shark Tank, and also being ranked #1 locally by Wall Street Journal.” He believes that relationships with clients are based on accountability, dedication, loyalty, and clear understanding of client needs. There are three teams within the Brad Korb Real Estate Group. The listing team members concentrate fully on marketing client’s homes on every available marketing podium such as Internet, TV, and Radio. The buyer’s team is elite coached and sell up to 10 times as many homes yearly compared to an average realtor. The concierge team manages internet inquiries and phone calls along with the chat service on the website. Besides, Brad is also an owner of RE/MAX In Action and Civic & Social Organization Professional. He has received the following real estate industry awards:

  • #1 Realtor in the Valley (RE/MAX) Top 10 Realtor for California for 6 years (RE/MAX)
  • 2010 Best of Business Award (SBCA)
  • 2015 Best of Burbank Realtor
  • 2015 Best of Burbank Reader’s Choice
  • 2014, 2015  REAL Trends Best Real Estate Agents Award
  • 2014 Best of Trulia Top Agent Award
  • #37 in the country in 2010 (RE/MAX)
  • #1 Team in Burbank (RE/MAX)
  • Top 100 Team 2003 (RE/MAX)
  • Top 100 Team 2004 (RE/MAX)

Additionally, Brad is also proud to hold the following certifications sponsored by the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) – the highest designation awarded to sales associates, recognizing professional accomplishments in both understanding and education
  • Certified Distressed Property Expert® (CDPE) – Brad has an in-depth understanding of complex issues in today’s dynamic real estate industry and understanding of foreclosure avoidance options available to homeowners. He can provide solutions, specifically short sales, for homeowners facing market hardships.
  • e-PRO – Brad is dedicated to making the most of today’s technology to help with your real estate needs

Brad’s interests include spending time with family, fishing, reading, Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball, Los Angeles Lakers Basketball, traveling, reading, concerts, and working out.

When you and your family are set to make the important decision to move, contact Brad Korb who is always focused on What Matters to You.

 

Jesse Weinberg

Best Realtor in Los Angeles

Jesse Weinberg is widely acknowledged as one of the Los Angeles’ leading realtors, focusing on the highly competitive Westside neighborhoods. With over a decade of experience in Playa Vista, Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, and Venice, Jesse is a well-recognized member of Southern California’s brokerage community. He analyzes 20-30 new properties in person each week and can locate just the right home to match any search standards or set a precise value for a sale. His background in Business Administration and a decade of sales experience results in innovative strategies that make the most of his clients’ opportunities and aid them to reach their financial goals.

Jesse’s track record is unrivaled – he has sold more properties in Marina del Rey than any other agent for the last 5 years in a row! He believes that every client and every property is different, yet his goal remains the same: to surpass expectations in the course of a transaction as he works toward a preferred price and time frame. A Licensed Real Estate Agent at Keller Williams Realty, Jesse and his skilled team of realtors have built a thriving real estate empire. Jesse Weinberg & Associates delivers impeccable service and has effectively sold and leased more than 600 properties in the last decade with a very high customer service rating. The team has represented over 700 sales and 300 lease transactions – directly benefiting their clients by saving them time and money.  The seasoned real estate experts provide a robust database of skilled buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants to the clients, resulting in a seamless offer-to-close process, shorter listing periods, and access to off-market opportunities. Jesse’s passion for real estate has earned him the following:

  • #1 Sales Team Nationwide for 2013 & 2014 by Keller Williams Realty, out of nearly 100,000 agents
  • #1 Sales Agent for (All Brokerages) in Marina del Rey in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015
  • #1 Sales Agent for Marina Pointe Drive in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015
  • Ranked Top 200 Agents Nationwide by Wall Street Journal and Real Trends (Top half of 1% of 1 million agents nationwide)
  • Named one of America’s Best Real Estate Agents by Real Trends in recognition of incredible results in 2013, 2014 & 2015
  • Top Los Angeles Seller’s Agent, ranking in the top 1% of 31,459 agents
  • A Condo Expert, ranking #7 of 31,459 agents
  • A Townhouse Expert, ranking in the top 3% of 31,459 agents.
  • A Single Family Home Expert, ranking in the top 19% of 31,459 agents

His specialties include Buyer’s Agent, Listing Agent, and Property Management. His loyalty and amiable attitude have led to a network of repeat and referral business. He is well-read and keeps up with the latest market trends and economic news. His transaction volume each and every year surpasses the last!

 

Danny Mahelka

Experienced Realtor in Los Angeles

Danny brings over two decades of experience to every transaction, where he focuses in the Greater Los Angeles area from Downtown to the beaches, North Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and everything in-between. As a motivated Realtor and Associate Manager, his proficiency has led to a lucrative and productive sales career with special emphasis on single family and condominium sales. Danny and his team always look out for clients’ best interest and deliver exceptional customer service in all areas such as marketing, escrow, and inspections. A consistent leader and a top sales producer, Danny is in the top 2% of all Coldwell Banker agents countrywide. Before moving to Coldwell Banker, he held a position as a commercial real estate agent with Silverstone Development Group, focusing on sales and leasing of commercial properties.

Danny accomplishes his goals by ensuring each property has a separate Business Plan on how, why, and to whom he is going to sell to. “It is specific, targeted and deliberate. Our specialization and full Business Plan marketing approach to selling property is a dedicated approach that is effective and relevant in today’s real estate market. We consistently win recognition from our peers and earn accolades from our Clients,” says Danny. His specialties include Representing Buyers, Representing Sellers, First-Time Buyers, Short Sales, Foreclosures, Relocations, Luxury Properties, Commercial Real Estate, Rentals, Condos, Resorts and Second Homes, Lease-to-Owns, Investment Properties, and Appraisals. His sprawling network, unmatched client service, outstanding sales production, and proven marketing tactics have made him recognized by Coldwell Banker from 1996-2012.

An Alumnus from Santa Monica College, Danny’s interests include reading and jogging. His professional appearance, integrity, communication and negotiating skills would ensure you a smooth and stress-free sale or purchase. “Relationships are about connecting, and I invite you to contact me about your real estate needs”.

 

Fredy Rodriguez

Awesome Realtor in Los Angeles

Selecting a right real estate agent is the first step in purchasing or selling a home. Fredy Rodriguez has been a licensed real estate agent in California for 15 years and is present with Fanthom Realty. Fredy’s coverage area includes Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Palm Desert, Coachella, Garnet, Palm Springs, and Thousand Palms. A top real estate agent listing website ranks Fredy as one of the top 2% of agents in Cathedral City for effectively selling homes and as one of the top 8% of agents for single family homes. “From suggesting mortgage lenders to explaining signing papers, I am here to make this normally daunting experience a smooth and successful transaction. My goal is to assist you in finding that perfect home.” Whether you want a big backyard or a 3-car garage, Fredy and his team find you that special property.

One of Fanthom Realty’s leading realtors, Fredy is recognized as a hardworking and trustworthy individual whose passion is to assist his clients in real estate transactions from inception to conclusion. Through his hard work and willingness to learn, he continues to beat his own records, year after year. His specialties include short sales, foreclosure, buyer’s agent, first-time buyers, and investors; financial (loans), and life insurance. Equipped with sufficient knowledge and expertise, he has received several awards and recognition such as:

  • Diamond Club No.1 Top Producer for 2015
  • Multi-Million Dollar Producer for 2014 and
  • Worked as a District Director of Fathom Realty from 2013 to January 2016

Fredy’s credentials and certifications include the following:

  • Council Of Real Estate Services (CRS)
  • Graduate Realtors Institute (GRI)
  • Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource (SFR)
  • Resort & Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS)
  • Certified Broker Price Specialist (CBPS)
  • Five Star Institute, REO Certified
  • Five Star Institute, Short Sale Certified
  • Five Star Institute, Lease To Own Certified
  • Federation of REO Certified Expert (FORCE)
  • e-PRO Certified
  • Green Certification
  • Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA) Certified
  • Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (CPRES)
  • National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) member
  • Life and Health Insurance Licensee
  • RES.NET Certified

An alumnus of Palm Desert Community College, he is interested in networking with other realtors and seeking clients to assist them in the home buying and selling process. Fredy runs by his slogan “Under Promise and Under Delivery”. His only purpose is to earn referrals which are the life of his business. Contact Fredy Rodriguez if you have any questions or concerns about financing options, current listings, or the market in general.

 

Lynette Williams

Most sought after Realtor in Los Angeles

Lynette Williams has been a full-time real estate expert since 1997. As a practicing attorney, she specializes in real estate sales, development, and construction. Her other areas of practice include estate planning, contracts, and business structures. Her previous experience as a financial analyst, an insurance agent, and marketing coordinator gives her the talent to assess your real estate needs including financial analysis, tax strategies, legal ramifications, insurance requirements, and marketing strategies. She has also served as an officer in the United States Army. A graduate of the University of Florida and the University of Florida College of Law, Lynette’s goal is to offer the first-class service and build long-standing relationships with her clients. She works meticulously with the highest standards of professionalism to serve her clients’ needs. By implementing new tools and techniques and incorporating innovative concepts, she assists her clients to get the most of their home in the minimum possible time.

Lynette’s real estate record epitomizes her commitment to her clients. She has a record of selling more than 97% of all her listings with them being on the market an average of 19 days. 51% of all her sales have come from listings. She is equally dedicated to working with first-time buyers and buyers moving from their present homes. She especially comprehends the needs of the first-time homebuyers and is focused on their long-term real estate dreams. While most realtors look for new business from the general public, Lynette focuses her time on her existing clients and referrals. She has obtained the following designations and certifications:

  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR)
  • Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI)
  • Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR)
  • NAR’s e-PRO

Lynette lives in the Los Angeles and loves going to movies, flying airplanes, real estate investing, rehabbing properties, reading photography, concerts, plays, and dining out. She is a member of the Beverly Hills/Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, Los Angeles Bar Association, Toastmasters Int’l, and the California State Bar Association. Lynette is also involved with the 99s Club and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Skeptical about home warranty? Leading home warranty review, rating, and comparison website, HomeWarrantyReviews.com has introduced Home Maintenance Calculator which allows customers to estimate costs involved in maintaining a typical American Household. The tool is absolutely free of cost and hence fascinates many potential home warranty customers. Also, there is a widget code (<iframe src=”https://www.homewarrantyreviews.com/home-maintenance-widget”></iframe>) for the home maintenance calculator tool to put in your website or blog post.




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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

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Texas is the second largest state in America, regarding the number of people living in it. That means a great number of households that need protection and maintenance. Also, statistics concerning the trends of population evolution are pointing towards growth in the future. Soon, new residences will have to be built to accommodate the growing no. of people. In a state with so many homes, a Home Warranty should be a must. Anything can go wrong and get broken, leaving you with the inability of doing your everyday tasks. Yes, there are companies that take care of these matters, but considering the high number of households that might need their assistance, you may have to wait for a while. As an advice to homeowners, here are five of the most reliable Home Warranty companies in Texas, as of June 2015.

1. The Home Service Club

The most important appliances in your home, in case they malfunction and regardless of their age, will be repaired and handled by the Home Service Club. And in case your appliance cannot be repaired, their solution also foresees a replacement of the malfunctioning device. The company has an extensive network of sub-contractors, meaning that interventions at the client’s house will be done in a short time frame. Customer service is available around the clock, in any day of the week, so you can call them any time you need assistance. Besides phone calling, any customer can access their website in case they need any of the services they provide.

The company is getting great reviews from former clients. They appreciated the short period of solving the matter and the professionalism of technicians. Customers expressed their contentment and stated that company is reliable and trustworthy.

They have two available plans for their services. The Standard plan, which cover some of the most significant appliances and systems within a home. And the Comprehensive plan, which includes almost anything needed in a house, regarding devices and household appliances.

Home Warranty Companies in Texas

2. American Home Shield

A large number of technicians and contractors who compose the American Home Shield team, are ready all the time to take care of any systems or appliances that might get broken in your home. They have built quite a reputation in their extended activity in this branch, earning thousands of satisfied customers, who got their appliances running in the shortest notice.

Customers are happy with the services received from the company, pointing out promptitude, respect and well-trained technicians on the field. Most of them did not wait longer than 24 hours to get their appliances working again, which is extremely important for every homeowner.

Regarding their plans, the company has quite a diversity. The most preferred by clients is the Combo plan, destined to take care of the majority of appliances and systems a house may have, at a very low price. They also offer a customizable Build Your Own Plan, which allows the homeowner to designate his priorities. Shield-Essential takes care of the devices that are most costly to buy and repair. Shield-Plus works the same way as the previous plan, but having a few extras. And Shield-Complete that gathers all the benefits of both of the previous plans, plus a couple of other advantages.

3. Complete Appliance Protection

As the company claims, everything that comes with an outer metal case and gets plugged in, will be covered by their services. They also have a customer service available regardless of day or hours, and there are no fees for calling in each time you have a problem.

Reviews show that customers appreciate the company, some of them using their services for more than 10 years. They appreciate the availability of the customer service, the professionalism with which their issues are treated and the quality of the services.

The Complete Appliance Protection has four plans to offer to their clients. They have the Kitchen and Laundry plan and the Heating and Cooking plan, which both state what their cover in their names. They also have the Full House and Full House Plus plans, with extended covering regarding the type of appliances.

4. Landmark Home Warranty

The services offered by this company regard both homeowners and real estate agents as well. They can take care of any appliance or system that refuses to work properly. Besides the traditional customer service, a client can also visit their website to find out information about plans, services or to become a member. There will also be a call fee of $65, regardless of the plan you chose.

Customers seem to be impressed by the services they receive. They appreciate the high quality of the repairs, fast solving of the matter and reliability at each call for a problem. Being there for the customers and offering the best support is the success recipe for this company.

The company offers four types of plans. Standard, Premier Plus, Value and Deluxe, each having specific coverage and price. From all these, Deluxe is the plan that offers the most coverage and solves most of your issues regarding appliances.

5. Select Home Warranty

Repairs or replacements should never be a worry with the services provided by this company. It doesn’t matter what type of home you have or what appliance gets broken, as long as the terms mentioned in the contract are met, Select Home Warranty will repair it for you. Their network of technicians and contractors is rather large so that they can be at your place in no time.

Customers are quite happy with the services and promptitude, claiming their issues were solved in a relatively short period. Also, they mentioned that the quality of the services is also reliable. Still, there were some customers wishing for some more coverage in the company’s plans.

They have three types of plans available. Bronze Care, Gold Care and Platinum Care, and each plan has a specified coverage and a payment plan. If you wish to get maximum coverage, then you will have to opt for the Platinum care. Also, do remember that there is a service call fee for all customers, regardless of the plan.

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