Do It Yourself Patio

A patio is an ideal place for basking in the sun on those lazy Sunday brunches or happening evening barbeques, wining and dining. A patio can add that special something to your home, at the same time adding value to your property.

A patio is a outdoor space for dining or recreation that adjoins a residence and is often paved and well decorated.
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors, patios were among the top 10 features that buyers want in a new house. More than half of surveyed buyers said that they would be willing to pay a premium for a house with a patio.

Creating a patio for your home can be engaging and rewarding. You can choose to do it yourself or hire a professional. A patio is one of the most flexible places and you can design it the way you want.

Creating a Patio

Five Easy Steps To Laying A Patio

Don’t worry if you’ve never done any hard landscaping before, as our simple guide will lead you through each step of the process. We chose to use slate paving, but the choice of materials are endless (from sandstone to york stone to concrete), with something to suit every budget.

Step 1

Measure the area you want and dig it at least to 15 cms deep to allow space for mortar and slabs.

Step 2

Shovel in three inches of crushed stones for base and make it even. This can be done manually or you can rent a machine tamper.

Step 3

Lay the slabs down and check if you’re happy with the arrangement. Start from the house or a wall or fence if there is one.

Step 4

Make a mortar mix from five parts building sand to one part cement or use ready-made mortar mix and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Create a bed of mortar 5 to 8 cm deep and lay slabs on it leaving 1 cm gaps in between for grouting. Tap down the slabs with a lump hammer. Check with a spirit level as you go to ensure the slabs are level or maintaining the fall away from the house. Leave the mortar to set for at least 24 hours or a few days.

Step 5

Fill in the spaces between the slabs with a mix of three parts building sand to one part cement (or a ready-made mix) using a pointing trowel. If you get any of the mix on the slabs; remove it. Allow to dry for a few days.

A patio is incomplete without elegant furniture, lighting to suit the mood and yes some plants to add some color. Here are some ideas on how you can decorate a patio –

Furniture

Choose furniture which fits the space you have created in the patio else you end up having no space for a table or chair. You have a wide variety of materials to choose from plastic to wood or iron. Resin, a kind of plastic is the best choice for outdoor furniture. It is weather-resistant and doesn’t absorb heat in the summer and are low on maintenance.

Lighting

patio5
Lighting It sets the mood and makes your patio a much sought after place. Embedded lights on stairs can help you watch your steps during dark nights. Here are few lighting options to consider. Energy efficient lighting tips can be found in the articles section.

Chinese lanterns add glamour and ambience to any space, also are very economical. Make sure to shop for sturdy lamps as cheaper ones get worn out easily.

Flood lights are the best for lighting a patio especially when they are positioned correctly and makes the place look much brighter. But these consume lots of electricity therefore can be used as an alternative.

Solar lights  If you are a Mother Nature lover then yes. Even if not then yes, solar lights are the most viable option. These lights tend to sit low to the ground and serve as perimeter lighting, which is perfect for the path to the patio.  Solar lights can be a great option for and can be chosen from variety of styles and illuminates for 15 hours  and of course saves on your electricity bill.

Plants

Spruce up your patio with potted plants, ferns and shrubs and plants which thrive well in your area. You can get creative with the plants you choose and experiment with different colors and texture and use pots of different shape and size. You can also create a pool or a fountain to get closer to the Mother Nature and to add that special touch.

To enjoy your Patio in all weather you have to shield the place. Consider adding a retractable awning or umbrella to your patio space. The shade that these coverings offer will allow you and your family to enjoy your patio comfortably regardless of the weather.

Patio Shades

Retractable awning: This modern shelter allows you to shade your porch and keep it dry during a storm, but you can also retract it to enjoy the sun’s rays.

Sail shades: They’re flexible enough that you can attach them to anything from the side of a house to a tree, and they come in many sizes, shapes and colors to fit any budget and style.

patio2Umbrella 

One can get carried away by the variety of umbrellas to choose from  Auto Tilt Patio Umbrella, Offset Patio Umbrella, 9 Market Umbrella etc. Back-porch classic is both decorative and functional and will give diners a shady respite during mealtimes. For nighttime parties, drape garden lights inside an umbrella for added ambiance.

You can add a fireplace and a barbeque and decorate the place with artifacts to add personality to your space and your patio is done. Home warranty might not be able to cover your patio but insurance will.






The most basic and inevitable need of our daily life. Guessing what we are talking about? Look up yes it is the humble ceiling fan, which saves you from the wrath of summer heat. So how to clean your fan?

There are different types of fans based on its design. There are table fans, pedestal fans, window fans, tower fans, ceiling fans, exhaust fans and the list is exhausting too. All of them work on the same principle and the methods of cleaning is applicable to all kinds.

Cleaning and maintenance of your fan is something you must do. Dirty fans not only look horrible, the dust settled on it can cause allergies too. Regular maintenance of your fan will enhance its life and also reduce your electricity bill as they will always be in a perfect working condition, bearing a shiny look  without those disturbing noises.

How To Clean Your Fan?

Try out these easy tips for hassle free cleaning of your fans.                                              Clean Your Fan

1. Take a hand vacuum cleaner and vacuum each wing. Before doing this wear glasses to prevent the dust from falling into your eyes.

2. If  you do not have a vacuum cleaner then pull in a ladder and take a damp cloth and wipe, go gently on each wing of the fan and wipe dust on both the sides. Apply equal pressure on all the wings.

The best way to do this task is to use a pillow case, dust gets collected inside the case preventing it from dirtying the floor and getting into the furniture. Once you are done you can just reverse it and dust it into a bin.

3. If you have lights on your ceiling fan then take  paper towels  and spray it with all-purpose cleaner and wipe them. Never spray directly onto hot light bulbs, as it can spark fire.

4. If your fan is way too dusty then go a step ahead and clean the fan thoroughly. Turn off the main electric supply and get hold of a screwdriver.

(i) Unscrew the fan from ceiling and bring it down slowly you might need someone’s help to do it.

(ii) Unscrew the wings and you can wash them in water with a mild cleanser or wipe them with  damp cloth. Do not scrub the wings as it may result in warping.

(iii) Make sure to dry the wings properly.

(iv) Dust around the motor with a vacuum spray. Do not use water it can damage the motor.

(v) Fix the blades carefully and screw them tightly. Fix the fan back on to the ceiling.

(vi) Now turn on the fan on a trial basis to be proud of the great job you have done.

Easy Tips For Electrical Maintenance of Ceiling Fans

fanNoisy fans can get really annoying. Always buy superior quality fans as cheaper ones are made of inexpensive metal and do not last long. Here are some simple tips to fix those problems.

* Sometimes the wobble may be because of something very simple. Check the bolts that hold the blades onto the fan motor. The blades can become loose with continued usage, causing undue noise. You can easily fix the problem in no time with a screwdriver.

* The accumulation of dust is one of the common reason for the motor to run hot. One way to limit the dust is to periodically blow out any visible parts of the motor with a can of compressed air.

* Ceiling fans cannot run on light dimmer switches, it can cause damage to the motor, create noise and also limit the life of the fan. Pay attention to the type of switches your fan has.

With proper care and maintenance, your ceiling fans will give you years of carefree comfort. The interesting bit is that ceiling fans are covered under home warranty plans. In case of extended warranty you can get the repair done without shelling out bucks, but unfortunately none of the home warranty plans cover the process of cleaning your fans therefore it is a do-it-yourself  job.




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

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

Appliances That Need Care Before Winter Hits

Appliances That Need Care Before Winter Hits

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

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

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

HVAC

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

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

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

Smoke Detectors

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

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

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

Dryers

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

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

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

Fireplace

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

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

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

General Winterizing Advice

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

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

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

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




Builder’s warranty is a written statement by the builder assuring that the house was completed as per a stipulated set of standards. This provides a form of protection to buyer from latent defects.

This form of warranty is also called a Limited warranty and is issued by the builder on their work. This is done either within the sales contract or as a separate document. The period of duration of such contracts are usually between one to ten years.

Coverage

A Typical Builder’s warranty covers only the material and workmanship issues of various components relating to a new building. This includes

  • Windows
  • HVAC units
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Stolen construction materials are also covered in some plans.

As mentioned before, the duration is largely dependent on the component. For example, material and workmanship issues are covered for a year. This would include paint, drywall, siding and stucco, door and trim etc. HVAC, plumbing and electrical units are usually covered for two years. Major structural defects like a roof that may collapse or any other structural damage that pose danger to the residents are covered for a period of up to ten years.

These warranties do not cover the cost incurred by the owners as a direct consequence of material and workmanship issues. Eg, staying away or moving out temporarily while a repair is being conducted. They also DO NOT cover the following:

  • Household appliances.
  • Components that are still covered by the Manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Minor cracks in tiles, bricks or drywall.
  • Damages sustained as a result of your own abuse, outsider or people whom you hired to work on the property.
  • Deterioration of materials used in construction within an expected level.

Making a claim

If you wish to make a claim for your repair, first and foremost, refer to your warranty contract to ensure that the damage is indeed a covered one. If so, place a request to the builder informing them about the damage and requesting for a repair. It is recommended that you place this request in writing even if the company has a telephonic submission method. Ask for receipts and keep records of all correspondence. These records will help you if a dispute arises.

Things to keep in mind

The builder’s warranty cannot replace the Homeowner’s Insurance or Home Appliance Warranty. All three are very different and have their own unique features.

For your own safety, it is suggested that you ask the following questions about your warranty.

  1. What is not covered?
  2. Name some of your previous projects so that you can speak with some owners
  3. What is the extent of your liability?
  4. What do I do if I have a claim or dispute?

The laws related to enforcing these warranties vary in each state. Therefore it will be a wise step to check with your State’s attorney general’s office or contractor licensing board to ensure that your builder follows all the laws as required by the state law.

Make sure that the contract is thoroughly studied and preserved. Experts say that the longer the contract, lesser the benefits. Such long contracts indicate inefficient builders who use vague clauses to narrow down the possibility of you succeeding in filing a claim. Shorter the contract, better the builder.

You may be asked to sign a “Warranty document” at the time of closing the sales. This is often a way to impose more rules on you and thereby narrow down your chances of making a claim on your warranty. If you have already agreed to sign such a document on your sales contract, you can’t do much about it. But if you have not consented to any such thing, you can and you should refuse signing this.

Towards the end of the duration of your contract, get your home inspected by a professional home inspector. This will help you make the best out of your warranty.

Difference between Home Warranty and Builder’s Warranty

We stated earlier that the builder’s warranty cannot be used to replace a home warranty.  Although both these plans cover home and it’s components, they are poles apart on certain matters.

Builder’s Warranty

You can also read about Differences between Homeowner’s insurance and Home Warranty.

The builder’s warranty is always a good way to ensure that you won’t have to pay for any repairs caused due to faulty or badly constructed structures. Always remember to clear all questions you have prior to signing the contract. Once signed, preserve the contract and other documents carefully. Should you ever feel that the service you received is not up to your expectation, spread the word. You can visit websites like ours to read about warranties and other topics related to owning a home. Cheers!




For most people, buying a house is one of the most expensive purchases of their lifetime. As it is an expensive purchase, very often involving a person’s entire life’s savings, it is only natural that a homeowner will expect some additional protection.

Increase The Sale Price Of A Property

A home warranty or a home service contract is a form of service agreement that offers to provide discounted repairs and replacement services for household appliances. When paired with a property sale, it has been noted that homes sell faster and at higher prices. Recent market studies have confirmed that homes with home warranty sell 10% faster than those without. Over the years, it has become one of the incentives that home buyers eagerly expect when they make a purchase.

In a recent survey conducted by the American Home Shield, it was clearly seen that homes sold with a home warranty sold faster and at higher rates. Following are the assertions from the study:

  • Average sales price of houses sold with home warranty was 0.91% higher than homes sold without warranty
  • The average number of days that a home with a home warranty stays in the market was 16.14% lower than those for homes without warranty.
  • The percentage of Sales Price to List Price was 96.7% as opposed to 96.1% for homes minus home warranty.

What makes home warranty increase the value of a home?

As mentioned before, home service contracts provide budget protection to the homeowner. When a buyer makes a purchase and receives a home warranty along with it, he also receives the following benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits the buyer gets:

  • Protection against unexpected repairs and replacement costs
  • Repair services from qualified and skilled technicians if an appliance breaks
  • Saves the need to look for a trustworthy contractor as technicians are sent to one’s doorstep

If these points are not compelling enough, here’s a list of benefits that the seller will receive. Yes! This is a deal where people at both ends of the stick score high. Here are some of the seller benefits

  • Affordable liability protection.
  • Buyer will not bother the seller if appliances/ systems in the house crash
  • Increases the value of the property as buyer feels protected
  • Saves the need of chasing the seller as and when a damage occurs

In some cases, real estate agents often purchase transferable home warranty contracts for a property that is to be sold. Once the deal is closed, the protection becomes effective thereby reducing the agent’s liabilities.

From the points discussed above, it is quite clear that combining a home warranty with a home sale benefits both buyer a seller. Hence, a home warranty effortlessly increases the value of the property.

Different types of home warranty in a property sale

In a property sale, 3 types of home service contracts are commonly seen

  • Seller Home Warranty: A seller home warranty is one that is purchased by the seller during the time that the house sits in listing. It becomes effective as soon as the payment is made and protects the house during the listing period. It can be transferred to the buyer once the sale is made.
  • Buyer Conversion Warranty: This is a home warranty that is transferred to buyer. It becomes effective on the closing day.
  • Buyer Direct Warranty: Buyer direct warranty is purchased by the buyer or his real estate agent. It becomes effective on the day of closing or it can be purchased anytime within 90 days of closing.

When is a home warranty not ideal?

No matter how attractive a home service contract may seem, there are times where it is a bad deal. Here’s one such situation. A home, if it is new, stands very little chances of encountering appliance/ system crashes. Also, home warranty covers damages that occur due to regular use and wear & tear. Such damages are more likely with appliances that are over 4 years old. So, in cases where the home is new, a home warranty, no matter how attractive, could be unnecessary.

How to select a home warranty plan for your home that you plan to sell?

It is unlikely that a real estate agent would ask this question. Most agents have a company that they always rely upon for home service contracts. If you are a first time seller, we suggest that you talk to a few agents before picking a plan. Speak to your friends and family who have experience in home sales and related aspects.

Another option is to visit home warranty review websites. Such sites offer ratings and opinions from customers of home warranty companies. It gives you a hands on feedback about the big players in the industry. This is a very reliable option as user generated feedback is often the ideal way to decide a company’s quality.

Making the final decision – Sell with warranty or without?

From all that has been discussed here, it’s quite clear that, new homes don’t necessarily need a warranty plan. At the same time, it is advised that if you are first time homeowner, you should always have your newly purchased home protected with some form of appliance warranty.

In conclusion, homes that are not new and not under any form of protection are best sold with a warranty plan attached to it. In fact, when homes sold with a warranty sell faster in addition to being sold at higher prices. Nothing good can come out of putting yourself and the buyer at inconvenience. So, do visit some review sites and listen to the Vox Populi!!

Hope you found this helpful. Do share the article and help someone else too. Cheers!!




furnace maintenanceSummer is the ideal time for furnace repair and maintenance, and other heating repair problems. One reason for this is the accessibility of furnace technicians. Another is that preventative maintenance is always less worrying than furnace repair when its’ freezing outside.

During hotter months, furnace repair maintenance can be taken care of by widely available professionals at a time when you are not depending too heavily on your heating system. And it’s probable that you won’t have to remain in line.

Some HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) dealers even provide incentives or other specials for heating repair services all through summer, which means that can fit you in and you won’t be left in the cold.

Your furnace was fabricated to last for several years, and you can considerably extend that time by performing usual, preventive maintenance.

Furnace Maintenance and Safety Advice

A furnace that is not running at peak performance can be fatal. Carbon Monoxide is a natural product of partial combustion. Nearly every gas furnace generates some Carbon Monoxide, which is normally carried from your home through the furnace’s venting. A clean, competently burning gas furnace produces very little amounts of carbon monoxide, while as inefficiently, dirty burning one can produce toxic amounts. Carbon Monoxide is colorless, odorless and cause flu-like symptoms, confusion, disorientation and even death.

Safety FirstIt is suggested that you have your furnace checked and cleaned each year. The older the furnace, the more essential this service is. Newer furnaces are outfitted with many features that shut the furnace off when a problem is spotted. Older furnaces have no such devices. Eventually, furnaces can build up small cracks in the combustion chamber. These cracks may not be noticeable with naked eye. It is through these cracks that Carbon Monoxide can leak into your home.

It is also vital to change your furnace filter frequently. The filter is normally found just inside the front cover of the furnace. It may have its own access door on the front cover of the furnace. A clean filter will efficiently burn your furnace and will prevent dust from being circulated through your home.

This is a quick, simple job all homeowners or tenants can do. A new filter makes your furnace more energy-efficient and saves money too.

The following tips will assist you keep your furnace running ably for as long as possible, and hopefully limit expensive repairs down the line.

What You Should Learn About Furnace Repair

checklist for furnace maintenanceTo make yourself acquainted with your furnace you may want to assess how a furnace works, and implement some of the preventative repairs yourself. Here are a few things you can deal with, if you are up to it:

  • Keep the area around your furnace clean and unhindered
  • Keep the burner area of your furnace clean
  • Furnaces that need lubrication on the motors and bearings must be attended to by a qualified heating technician once a year.
  • Do not have anything combustible within 6 inches of your vent pipe
  • Do not obstruct more than 20% of the registers in your house. This can cause high resistance and irrelevant heat build up in the furnace.
  • Do not store combustible material such as paint thinners, gasoline etc. near your furnace.

As with any important appliance or part in your home, proper maintenance is essential for making sure that your gas furnace will last as long as it should. With some simple steps and regular inspections from a competent service provider, you can get the most out of your home’s furnace. Home Warranty Reviews is the place for trusted consumer reviews about HVAC professionals.

Furnace maintenance expertIf you wish to hire a specialist, go well-armed into your search for a company. Here are a few questions that you could ask of the HVAC dealer you are bearing in mind:

  1. Which is the best furnace on the market?
  2. Could I save money on my utility bills with a new furnace?
  3. Is my furnace energy efficient?
  4. Which furnaces have easy-to-clean filters?
  5. Do you have client references I could contact?
  6. How quickly can you typically respond in an emergency situation?
  7. Which of the heating manufacturers you represent have been around the longest?
  8. Is my furnace operating at peak performance?
  9. How closely can I manage my home comfort with your line of furnaces?
  10. How long has your company been in business?
  11. What are your billing and payment methods and terms?
  12. Do you have any special furnace service or maintenance plans?

How to Go on Without Heat?

FireplaceFireplace or Wood Burning Stove

Get rid of all hindrances from the fireplace and flue before you start a fire. Burn only well seasoned wood. Do not start a fire with highly combustible fuels such as gasoline or lighter fluid. Charcoal and other coal products can emit toxic fumes and must not be used. Bear in mind to also have a good aeration as the fire is consuming oxygen. Always use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. And keep the damper open while fire is burning and when it is dying out.

Stay Elsewhere

If your heating equipment is out of order for an extended period of time, you might wish to consider staying with family or friends or in hotel/motel, mainly if there are elderly people or infants in your family.

Gas ovenNever Use Your Gas Oven for Heating

Extended use of the open oven in a closed house burns oxygen, thus causing improper combustion of gas, which produces a deadly carbon monoxide gas.




Next to the so important health insurance each individual should have, there stands as second in line the home insurance. For homeowners, the home insurance is a specifically well tailored preventive measure any damages should happen to their property. The most important fact before you settle for one certain type of home insurance policy, is to ask yourself which kind of insurance do you actually need.

Home insurance

For example, if you live in a high risk area where floods happen quite often, then you should take an extra option for flood insurance. Certainly because your property lies in a high risk area, the flood insurance for your home is an extra option, it will not be included in the policy, and it will cost more. It is you, who should decide whether you need it or not. Bear in mind that it is not only the physical property which needs protection, but also your personal belongings (i.e. jewelry), and don’t forget about personal liability issues. Find the quickest way to get insurance quotes compared online.

The market offers you plenty of choices, and that is why it is so hard to make a choice. Settle your priorities first, see how much you can afford to pay for the insurance premiums and which are those aspects which definitely need insurance coverage. You have to watch out for the advertisements which offer too high discounts, but little or not effective coverage for you. The points where you can save when buying a home insurance is basically if you apply for one online (can bring you up to 15% savings), there are also certain new buyer discounts, plus if you make no claims for a number of years since you have the insurance, that could lower the price of your insurance with as much as 50% in some cases.

Some of the main coverage factors within a home insurance policy should contain:

  • Buildings cover
  • Contents cover / Contents lost or even damaged when moving
  • Theft from garages
  • Lost/damaged business equipment
  • Alternative accommodation for the insured when needed
  • Food in the freezer / money in the house

Certainly the amounts to which the above mentioned situations are covered for, differs from one insurer to the other, but these should be contained in a standard home insurance plan. As for the extra options you may choose, these are plenty, and each homeowner chooses according to his needs and best interest. On the extra options list you may settle for Accidental Damage, which simply means protection for accidental damage of your stereo equipment for example. Then, the personal possessions cover is yet another extra option, which compensates you for loss of money or credit cards up to a certain coverage

limit, or accidental damage loss or theft of personal items. The family and legal protection extra option will offer coverage for almost any legal costs up to a certain amount, disputes revolving around employment issues, or property and inheritance related ones. Plus, the home emergency option will offer a helping hand in case your door lock breaks, your electrical heating fails, so that you don’t have to worry about the incurring costs a professional would charge for an emergency repair to your home. Check and discus with your family all the available options pertaining to home insurance in general, and settle for the one which is the most affordable and efficient regarding your personal needs.




Claim denial is an incident in which a home warranty company rejects a customer’s request for repair service. Sometimes customer claims are legit and fully entitled to receive services stated as per the contract. Claim denials are considered to be a major reason behind spats between service contract companies and the customer.

While some claims are denied for genuine reasons, some customers argue that companies deny claims on vague grounds often stating fine print from the contract. Yet, there are also cases where the companies were falsely accused of unfair claim denial solely because the customer failed to understand the terms mentioned in the home service contract.

What we need to understand is that not all companies deny claims unfairly because doing so will severely damage their reputation. So unless there is a valid reason, reputable companies will not deny a customer’s claims randomly.

Let’s take a look at some common reasons for claim denials

1. Appliance is not covered

This is often the most common reason for denying a claim. Most service contracts only cover a fixed set of appliances and not everything in your house. If your home service contract provider gives you this reason, go check your contract and make sure that the appliance is indeed not covered. In case you find that it is a covered item, place further calls to the company and let them know that the as per the contract, the item is covered.

Home Warranty Claim Denials2. Appliance is not maintained properly

No home service contract covers an appliance that has become damaged due to lack of maintenance. Regular wear and tear is not caused due to insufficient maintenance. It is the result of prolonged, proper usage. It is the homeowner’s duty to carry out regular maintenance routines, especially for HVAC appliances. However, if you believe that the damage is not caused due to insufficient maintenance, tell the company that you need to get a second opinion from a different contractor.

3. The damage is pre-existing

Home service contract providers often tell the customer that the damage was one that existed even before the contract was signed and hence it will not be covered. There’s hardly anything you can do about such a denial. However, you can avoid chances for such disputes by making sure that you get a home inspection done prior to signing the contract. That way the home inspector’s report will clearly state about what appliance has what damage. If it is not in the report and if the item is covered, you may be entitled to a repair service.

4. Unusual wear and tear

Wear and tear due to regular usage and wear and tear due to rough handling and careless usage can be distinguished quite easily. If the damage was caused due to the latter kind of wear and tear, your claim stands a chance to be denied. In this scenario too, you can ask for a another contractor to get a second opinion if you disagree on the diagnosis.

5. Code Violations and improper installation

If the appliance was not properly installed and if it violates the codes laid down for safe use and installation, chances are high that your claim may be denied.

What should a customer do when claims are denied?

It goes without saying that the policy booklet, the contract and the inspection report, if any, must be preserved carefully. The moment you realise that your claim has been denied, go through your contract and policy document to make sure that the claim is denied purely based on the terms in the contract. If you have a home inspection report go through that too. If you feel that your claim has been unjustly denied, you can call the home service contract company again and press the issue.

You can also visit review websites and post a review about your experience. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a feature called the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) which is a platform for companies and their customers to resolve their issues. The customer merely needs to report his negative experience with HomeWarrantyReviews.com, following this, he will be asked if wants to take part is CRP. If he/she chooses to participate in it, the company will be notified about his/her grievance and will be given 30 days to respond/ sort it out. If the company fails to respond or resolve the issue, the customer’s negative review becomes public. Some review websites allows their users to resolve the issues with the contract provider by communicating with them through a specific platform. The advantage of this system is that if the home service provider fails to resolve the issue for the customer or fail to respond within a time frame, the review becomes public, thereby affecting the rating and reputation of the company. Most companies do not want that.

Whatever the reason could be, we request customers to make things clear before they react to a claim denial. It could be that the company is not at fault here and because of a misunderstanding, their name gets tarnished. Most of the unpleasant scenarios can be avoided if the company you pick is reputable. Hence we cannot stress enough on the importance of picking the right company, a good home service contract provider will always put the interests of the customer first. Remember, good communication is often the solution to the biggest of problems.




Author: Ron
Posted in – HSA Home Warranty

2 service/repair issues the first year in my 13 year old home in Las Vegas, Nevada (water heater & refrigerator not cold). $55 deductible.

Customer service – contact w/HSA through their website. Not much to report on that.
Timeliness – HSA responded Monday morning when water heater broke on Sunday morning… HSA responded 3 hours after refrigerator service call made (weekday).
Repairs – Replaced water heater 2 days later after technician visit. Had to pay $325+deductible for items not covered under warranty… Refrigerator repaired same day.
Overall – only complaint was that service company had to reschedule service for refrigerator repair (1 day). I plan on renewing w/HSA. HSA is good in the Las Vegas area. (warranty companies are only as good as the service companies they use)

(I noticed the complaints about HSA as well as all the other warranty companies. I work in the a/c service industry and run into the same complaints found on this message board. Problem is that people do not read the contract throughly and thus the complaints. You have to have service done on appliances, like your a/c, pool, heater. Items over 10 yrs old will have to be replaced because of technological innovations and the discontinuation of parts for the old units. i.e. you can’t expect a car over 10 yrs old to run well if you don’t service it, plus the older it is, the harder and more $$$ the part would be.)

You can see all comments on this post here:
HSA home warranty ratings




  1. What is home warranty?
  2. How does a home warranty work?
  3. What are the major appliances covered in home warranty?
  4. What is not covered in home warranty plan?
  5. What is Optional Coverage?
  6. How much does a home warranty cost?
  7. Who pays for home warranty coverage?
  8. When does coverage begin?
  9. What are deductibles or  service call fees?
  10. What Can Cause Denial of claims?
  11. What is home inspection?
  12. How do I request for warranty service?
  13. What if you have an emergency over the weekend when the service is not available?
  14. How long does it usually take to provide service, once it is requested?
  15. What is the replacement policy?
  16. How is a home warranty different from a manufacturer’s warranty that is available with most appliance purchases?
  17. What is home buyer’s protection?
  18. How does a Home warranty plan work?
  19. Can I renew my home warranty plan?
  20. Is the value of Home Warranty worth the cost?
  21. I have homeowner’s insurance, then why do I need a home warranty?

Frequently Asked Questions about Home Warranty:
1. What is home warranty?
Top

Home warranty or appliance protection plan is a service agreement that  covers your household appliances and systems during breakdowns thereby protecting your budget. When an insured device malfunctions it is either repaired or replaced. There are various types of Home Protection plans available in the market today.

2. How does a home warranty work?Top

In case of an unexpected appliance/ system breakdown, you can open a claim by calling the customer support or reporting it online, following which the home warranty company sends a technician to fix the issue. Most companies have round clock customer service facility to process claims. Once the report is processed, contractor assistance will be scheduled as per your convenience.

3. What are the major appliances covered in home warranty?Top

Most basic plans cover major appliances and systems like heating, air conditioning, plumbing systems, electrical appliances, kitchen and laundry appliances or any other key units. For a detailed list, refer to What is covered by home warranty.

Some Standard coverage may also include appliances like-

Plumbing stoppages, toilets, sump pump, bathroom whirlpool motor pump, recirculating hot water pump, water heater, heating and duct work, telephone system, central vacuum system, garage door opener, ceiling fans, attic and exhaust fans, smoke detectors, doorbells, dishwasher, range, oven, cooktops, built-in microwave, instant hot water dispenser and trash compactor.

4. What is not covered in home warranty plan?Top

Warranty covers only those systems and appliances, specifically mentioned as covered in the contract and excludes all the others. The contract does not cover system or appliance failures that occur due to lack of maintenance, natural hazards, theft or other crimes.

5. What is Optional Coverage?Top

Additional or optional coverage is the extra coverage you buy from a list of add-on items such as kitchen appliances like refrigerator, oven, washer/dryer, air conditioning, pool and spa equipment. Roof leak repairs are also available for purchase at an additional fee at the time of signing a contract.

6. How much does a home warranty cost?Top

Typical home warranty expenses are as follows:

Annual premium, which would be around $300 to $500 for basic appliance coverage and a service call fee per incident, which comes to around $40 to $70. This fee varies from company to company.

7. Who pays for home warranty coverage?Top

It depends. Generally the buyer pays the cost of a home warranty policy. However, the seller may buy a policy for the buyer to avoid certain liabilities that may occur after the closing a deal. You can also buy a policy on existing homes.

8. When does coverage begin?Top

For sellers: Usually the coverage varies from company to company . Coverage begins when the enrollment form is received and continues through the listing agreement period.

For buyers: Coverage begins at closing (when title is transferred and payment is received).

For Existing Homeowners: Generally coverage is effective 30 days after receipt of funds. Check with the contract guidelines to confirm on the duration.

9. What are deductibles or  service call fees?Top

A standard service fee/deductible is a nominal fee charged each time you raise an issue. Some repairs may require more than one service partner or several unrelated visits to the house by the same service partner, and a service call fee is charged for each visit. If a contractor has to order parts and come back to your house at a later time to complete the repairs, this visit would not require an additional deductible. Fee varies from company to company, but it is generally between $40 to $100 per incident. Some companies have zero deductible home warranties

10. What Can Cause Denial of claims?Top

Denial of claims may be caused due to code violations, unusual wear and tear, improper installation, pre – existing conditions and in some cases issues due to improper maintenance. Some companies however, do cover damages resulting from lack of maintenance. For further details, refer to your warranty contract.

11. What is home inspection?Top

A home inspection is a procedure in which a home inspector investigates the comprehensive information about property conditions. He/she analyzes the description of problem in a written report and recommends further evaluation if required. Normally every Inspection report is guaranteed for 30 days.

12. How do I request for warranty service?Top

You must have received your Home Protection Kit after having purchased warranty coverage within which you will be able to find all the information and materials you need on  the service contract. You have several options, you can locate the toll free numbers of the service providers and place a call to them.  Your call should be immediately answered by a customer service representative who will expedite your request. Most companies have a customer service wing that functions round the clock.

13. What if you have an emergency over the weekend when the service is not available?Top

Most warranties come with an emergency repair service option. You may simply contact customer service toll free number and report the problem. Normally customer support works for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. They will schedule the dispatch of a qualified service technician as early as possible. Following which, the technician can rectify and sort the issue.

14. How long does it usually take to provide service, once it is requested?Top

It usually takes 48 hours, following the acceptance of your claim, to provide you with a service call. In case of an emergency, the service time may be much quicker.

15. What is the replacement policy?Top

If the damaged item is covered under the policy, the technician will normally fix it on the spot. Warranty Company may provide the cash payment on repair or replacement. If it is diagnosed that the covered item is not repairable, or it is not cost effective to repair, the appliance may be replaced with a new product with the similar primary functionality and capacity. But the company may not be able to provide exact match in color, dye, material, type or brand.

16. How is a home warranty different from a manufacturer’s warranty that is available with most appliance purchases?Top

Manufacturer’s Warranty is designed to cover factory defects of a new product.  It is of  limited duration, normally for a period of up to one year and covers only ONE appliance. But home warranty covers a whole range of appliances which are usually aged and stand higher chances of breakdowns.

17. What is home buyer’s protection?Top

A home buyer’s protection plan is a service contract that covers repairs and replacements of  insured appliances and systems like electrical, plumbing and heating systems and built-in appliances that are not covered by regular homeowner’s insurance.

Home warranty coverage varies from company to company. It is very essential that you read the terms and conditions of the policy before choosing one that is suitable for your requirements. Most of the standard policies cover plumbing and heating appliances, but if the cooling units are not covered under the basic plan you can still include it by paying an additional fee, into your policy.

18. How does a Home warranty plan work?Top

Though there are different plans available in the different warranty companies, most plans function in the same way.

Step 1- In case any of your systems/ appliances stop working, you need to call your home warranty company and inform them about the fault.

Step 2- Home Warranty company contacts a service provider with whom they have contracted.

Step 3- Now, the service provider calls you (home owner) to fix an appointment.

Step 4- Issue will be fixed by the technician who visits your house. In some rare cases if the appliance could not be repaired and needs to be replaced, based on the conditions mentioned in the contract, home warranty company will pay for the replacement of the appliance.

Step 5- As a small out pocket expense, you may need to pay for each service request. You may have to pay a Trade Service Call Fee of around $50 per visit. Some companies offer plans that do not charge any service call fee.

19. Can I renew my home warranty plan?Top

Usually the home warranty coverage plan begins 30 days after the payment receipt or on the day the sale closes. The coverage plan generally covers the appliances for 365 days from the date the policy is active.

When your original home warranty expires, you have the choice of renewing your existing warranty. Before deciding on extension of home warranty duration, it is essential to know whether the existing warranty is really beneficial or not.

Home Warranty Company will send the notification to the warranty holder regarding the renewal of coverage. The homeowners will be notified about the expiration date in advance and will be provided with a variety of convenient payment options.

20. Is the value of Home Warranty worth the cost?Top

If your home is newly constructed, then you may think that home warranty is not essential for first few years. But it is wise to have a warranty protection plan to protect you from costly repairs and replacements.

A standard policy usually costs around $200-$600 per year, which is reasonable and can certainly save you from spending money on repairs or replacements. However, remember that you cannot get extended warranties on plumbing, duct work, electrical or gas systems.

21. I have homeowner’s insurance, then why do I need a home warranty?Top

Homeowner’s insurance protects personal belongings and the entire house from damages due to burglary, crimes or natural disasters such as fire, lightning, tree fall  and certain other explicitly mentioned perils, but it does not cover issues caused due to wear and tear or age. Hence homeowner’s insurance can never be used to replace a home warranty or vice versa.

Home warranty plans cover your household appliances and systems from breakdowns and puts less risk on your budget. When an insured device malfunctions, it is either repaired or replaced by the warranty company. Basic home warranty plan covers major appliances like heating, air conditioning, plumbing systems, electrical appliances, kitchen and laundry appliances or any other expensive units.

Your homeowner’s insurance is a hazard insurance, and only covers items damaged due to fire, flooding, wind, and other natural disasters and perils. A home warranty repairs household appliances and mechanical systems that break down due to normal wear and tear.

 




Home warranty coupons and deals:
02/17/14 Update

As of now, many of these coupons have expired. However you can still get a price quote for home warranty on our website. This will be a free quote and there is no obligation to buy

10/11/08 Update

Choice Home Warranty is offering 25% discount on premium and $15 off of service call fee. Use the code “HOLIDAY25” here – http://choicehomewarranty.com/quote-start.php

Coupon expires on 12/26/2008

Check out our reviews section for Choice home warranty reviews

11/18/08 Update

Choice Home Warranty is offering 15% discount on premium and $15 off of service call fee. Use the code “15OFF” here – http://choicehomewarranty.com/quote-start.php
Check out our reviews section for Choice home warranty reviews

10/17/08 Update :

We found this discount deal on deal catcher forums – National Home Protection is offering 20% off, and $50 Gift card

Sign up for a new home warranty and get 20% off your monthly bill, $45 service calls (usually $60) & a free $50 Home Depot Gift card. Offer expires 10/31.

Use Promotional Code SAVE20 Check out our reviews section for National Home Protection home warranty reviews




Texas AG Greg Abbott filed a suit against a New York-based Home Warranty company for unlawfully doing business in Texas. The state’s enforcement action seeks to prevent National Home Protection, Inc. from doing business in Texas until it is licensed by the state and complies with requirements of the Texas Occupations Code.

According to state investigators, National Home Protection continued selling “residential service contracts” to Texas homeowners even after the company was specifically informed about licensure and other requirements. The defendant ignored the Texas Real Estate Commission’s demand that it stop offering Texas home warranty plans and return any money received from Texans. Meanwhile, Texas customers continued to complain that the company refused to repair or replace various home systems.

The state’s enforcement action charges National Home Protection with violating the Texas Occupations Code by failing to obtain a license, maintain a funded reserve against their liabilities and file annual reports with the state. The company also is charged with violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) by operating without a license in Texas.

For more information, Texas homeowners can call a toll-free complaint hotline at (800) 252-8011 or go online to www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.




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.




Life is certainly unpredictable, you cannot control the outcome but surely can prepare yourself through careful planning and minimize the risk and be on the safer side. Insurance is one such protection mechanism which covers major expenses with an understanding that you will pay a smaller fee as a premium.

Insurances

An insurance is a contract in which an individual receives financial protection or reimbursement against losses from an insurance company against the payment of a premium.

We have an inherent need to protect ourselves and our family, so why not buy insurance and secure the unknown future. According to needs you have various insurances. Some are a must while others are worth. Here is a quick tour into the world of insurance policies.

Insurances That You Cannot Miss To Have For Your Home And Family

Life Insurance

As the term suggests you are insuring your life with a certain amount. It is an insurance that pays out a sum of money either on the unfortunate death of the insured person or after a set period.

Benefits of a Life insurance

  • Risk Cover – Insurance ensures that your loved ones continue to enjoy a good quality of life against any unforeseen event.
  • Planning for life stage needs – Life Insurance not only provides for financial support in the event of untimely death but also acts as a long term investment which can reap benefits once it reaches a maturity period.
  • Assured income through annuities – Life Insurance is one of the best instruments for retirement planning. The money saved during the earning life span is utilized to provide a steady source of income during the retired phase of life.
  • Tax Benefits-Insurance plans provide attractive tax-benefits for both at the time of entry and exit under most of the plans.

Health Insurance

It is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses that are incurred by the insurer. Health insurance can either reimburse the insured for expenses incurred for illnesses or injury or pay the care provider directly.

  • Protection against rising health expenses – Life Insurers through riders or stand alone health insurance plans offer the benefits of protection against critical diseases and hospitalization expenses. This benefit has assumed critical importance given the increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases and escalating medical costs.
  • Provides peace of mind – You don’t have to worry about the huge bills when you visit the doctor or an unfortunate accident or an expensive surgery your insurance will take care of unpredictable medical needs.
  • Regular health checkups – Insurance gives you various benefits and one of such is that you can avail regular health checkups and keep a tab and stay healthy.

Auto Insurance

It is an insurance for all your automobiles against theft and accidents.

Benefits of Auto- insurance

  • With a high cost of living there is hardly much room for savings in case of an emergency. Unfortunate auto accidents are the kind of emergency situations that can easily drain your bank account. A premium according to the specified period can be of a great help.
  •  Even in case of a minor accident with no injuries, cost of paying for another person’s vehicle and your own can burn a hole in your pocket and an insurance is a friend in need to bail you out in such a situation.
  • It helps you in case of automobile thievery, you can claim the insurance with some existing terms and conditions whereas getting the complete value might not be possible.

Home Warranty

A home warranty is a contract for repair and replacement of major home appliances such as refrigerator, washing machine, garbage disposal etc. on payment of a premium.

Benefits of home warranty

  • Saves you huge cost of repairs
  • A Home Warranty will repair or replace any covered item. It adds value to your property and benefits everyone from a buyer, seller to homeowner has an advantage.
  • Assures you peace of mind

Home Insurance

This insurance covers the home including the structural elements as well as the valuables inside the home. However, you can claim this insurance only where there is a natural disaster such as flood, fire etc. Please note that this does not cover the appliance repair and replacement costs.

Benefits of home insurance

  • Protects your biggest investment that is your home in case of natural and manmade disasters.
  • Covers accidental damages to your interiors and exteriors as well.
  • Takes cares of any third party damages and legal issues if any incident occurs while in your property.
  • Assures you peace of mind and gives you a feeling of safety and security.

Often Home warranty and insurance are thought to be similar but they are completely different in the coverage they provide. Home insurance is a must to have whereas home warranty you can choose to get.

When it comes to insurances you have a plethora of options to choose. From travel insurance to disability insurance etc, you can choose and plan according to your needs. All insurances have advantages and disadvantages but insurance no matter which protects your peace of mind. While buying insurance always make sure to do a background check of companies you are dealing with and read the reviews and fine print thoroughly.

Click here to check for Home Insurance and warranty companies.

Future is unpredictable yet securable therefore get insured stay assured.




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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.

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

Home Warranty Companies

Oregon’s Best Home Warranty Companies

 

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

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

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

1. American Home Shield

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

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

2. The Home Service Club

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

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

3. Select Home Warranty

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

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

4. Landmark Home Warranty

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

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

5. HSA Home Warranty

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

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

The Final Word

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