For decades now, the American Dream has been synonymous with Homeownership. Even though the housing market has not got back up after the recession hit of 2008, a majority of the population still strives to own their dream home, looking at it as a sign of stability and accomplishment. The only thing that changes is what each individual, couple or family unit is really looking for in a home, and at what time in their lives, they choose to take the leap.
Statistics show that an approximate 70% of all Americans hope to own a home of their own, comprising a solid 80% to 90% of millennials, aged between 18 and 34. Even though there is a postponement of getting married and having children in the lifestyles of the latter, parents – single or in committed relationships – have dream homes high on their priority list.
As far as dream homes go, it can be safely said that a mere one-third of the cross section across generations claim to already be living in their ideal residence, most aspiring to own a space larger and more luxurious. Yet, size isn’t everything and a very large percentage do want homes that are sized neither too small nor too big, between 1500 to 2500 square feet on an average.
At the end of the day, aspirational homes are greatly dependent on the age-bracket that you fall under – each generation having constantly changing needs, wants and family structures. While Millennials prefer to invest in homes which are high-tech and modern in both structure and amenities, the Baby Boomers (between 50 and 70 years at the moment) are in search for or have already invested in ranch-style homes which are comfortable and easily accessible.
The want for modernity has blended right in with the need to entertain, socialize and have a good time. Countering the luxury of numerous bedrooms, the new dream home features a large spread out floor plan with incentives and perks like French windows opening onto decks, views of the city or the sea, gourmet kitchens, fancy wet bars and open terraces.
A style of building, interiors, and structure that are appreciated across generations, French Country is making a comeback into the list of homes that Americans aspire to own.
Having its own touch of fantasy with its French feel, these country homes combine to perfection the resourceful American architectural techniques with French flair and decorative elements. What is more, being a type of home which first gained popularity in the early 1900’s, these country houses can be structured as anything from a small old-worldly cottage with a yard and a fence to an extravagant castle-like mansion with French windows and elaborate décor. Whichever it may be, they are known for their warmth and comfort, with tall window panes letting in plenty of morning sun and a mix of stepped roofs and gables with arches over the doorways to balance out the sharp edges.
The French traditional façade and elements of elevation are kept up through the use of stucco, brick, wrought iron rails and window panes, while the floor plan of the home tends to be more modern and functional – altering itself to fit the needs of your current lifestyle.
Colonial homes are known to be one of the most popular styles of architecture in America, characterized by their sharp geometricity brought by the European colonists in the 18th century. Themselves influenced by the Greeks and Romans in the past, European stylistic tendencies soon cropped up in various parts of both urban and rural America and is still known for its grandeur, symmetry, and stable stature.
The house is the epitome of formal balance, with the entrance being centrally located and brought to focus by the use of columns, often decorated around the capital or fluted from top to bottom. The formal balance is echoed in the sturdy and square foundation, on which stand an approximate of two or three floors. Taking it a step further, the windows are usually all the same size, symmetrically distributed on the façade with decorative shutters and multiple panes.
The past two to three centuries have seen very little change in this style, though certain homeowners do add elements to suit their needs. As far as dream homes go, the Colonial three-floor home in the city acts as the perfect bridge between the bustle of urban life and a safe and secure space for you and your family. It’s efficient and need based design caters perfectly to the new age priority of functionality while incorporating elements such as classical decorative detailing, hardwood floors and fireplaces without any compromise on the traditional look and feel of the space.
Tudor style homes date back to England in the 1500’s, owing its name to the Tudor Dynasty which witnessed the last developmental phase of medieval architecture in England. The Tudor we know today owes a great deal more to modern alterations made to the style of that time, known now as Tudor Revivalist architecture.
Bringing in elements of both the Victorian charm and tradition as well as ornate gothic height and elevation, the Tudor Revivalist structures feature decorative timber on their façade, placed to give the entire house a sense of stability and weight even though they are purely ornamental in reality. In complete contrast to the colonial style of building, Tudor homes are characterized by their marked lack of symmetry, which is noticeable in all aspects of the interior and exterior of the home. Stressing on the abstract over geometric formal balance, the houses have a mix of angles and shapes which are rather varied, though they fall together in perfect harmony.
In recent times, newer constructions have been shying away from building Tudor style houses, but its archaic quality mixed with its abstract structural plan still keeps it in demand with the present generations of Americans.
A style which came into being wholly in America, Traditional Ranch Homes are the Baby Boomer’s dream right about now. Ideal for family units and retirement, ranch homes are known for their close to ground single story plans, minimal or no decorative elements, and functional priority in all aspects.
Influenced by North American colonial architecture from the Spanish colonies, Ranch houses cut out direct sunlight and heat, offering the owner a covered porch with a view of the street – right out a country western flick.
Similar in functionality and priority as the Ranch homes, Cape Cod-style houses too boast of low floor plans and modest exteriors. These have now been subject to some experimental design in the past few decades, opening out the floor plan further and increase ventilation, living space and light. The new age American home is beginning to look at the importance of privacy and elbow room, which low floor plans can easily be altered to provide.
With amenities at the minimum, the house was once associated with the simple life, fusing modern ideas of to-the-point design with the American belief system of casual living spaces and informal communities and family units.
The last of the major shifts in architecture in the US, the nineteenth century saw the advent of the Arts and Crafts movements which came into existence in direct opposition of the opulent Victorian style (which was characterized by decoration in all fields) as well as the continued revival of classical styles of the past.
These styles developed into the contemporary ideals of home ownership shared by the present generations of Americans and focused on simplicity and inspiration from the surrounding nature itself. Not wanting to construct obstructive structures or spend excessively, the building materials and amenities were kept to a minimum in both, though each style was distinctly different.
The Craftsmen style featured small, sturdy and extremely well-built bungalows known for their expert craftsmanship and lasting strength, while Prairie homes were characterized by spread out floor plans that echoed the prairie through its extending porches, courtyards, and balconies.
While many of us dream of owning the home down the street from theirs or a cottage that they once drove by in the countryside, a large number of Americans in recent times prefer being able to control and individualize their dream home’s floor plan and structure.
The Contemporary and New American trends in construction are rooted in the need for basic form and function over decorative opulence, incorporating abstract floor plans and leveled rooms and spaces to allow for a flowing interior while not compromising on private spaces.
A touch of luxury has entered the privacy of bedrooms and baths as well, bringing in leisure into busy lifestyles by introducing simple tweaks like couple sinks, bath tubs, walk in closet spaces and oversized windows to greet you in the morning.
The spaces blending into one another also serves well when it comes to the love for entertaining, where open kitchens, terraces and landscaped backyards become a part and parcel of what a dream home should have.
Open floor plans are supported by open facades as well, with numerous windows, minimal dividing walls and doors, and a stress on abstract and asymmetry over formal balance. This focus on function has led to bigger questions regarding the environment as well, with homeowners who are building or renovating using natural and eco-friendly materials available close to the site of construction over large amounts of concrete.
While owning your dream home can be an aspirational standard you work towards, every home can be made to suit your best and serve its every purpose to the fullest. Even spending a few hours every Sunday on a little gardening or a spruce up cleaning spree can make a great difference in the feel of your home, and bring to the fore elements of its structural beauty that you never noticed before.
HomeWarrantyReviews.com holds within its array of articles not only guides to Home Warranty coverage and companies but also Do It Yourself guides and hacks to maintain your home and garden, giving you a space to discuss and learn about various ways to bridge the gap between physical appearance and functionality when it comes to your home.
Discussing the various types of the home is something cool. But what is cooler is to keep it that way. How? You might ask!
We only have three words for that – Research, Ratings & Reviews!
So take out those keen eyes and get online, check for the track record of the home warranty company in question by seeing the innumerable reviews on the internet. Check for their ratings and gauge how the company is performing and see for a fact how clearly the site’s rate a home warranty company, you know you can betcha on our site because we understand how important credibility is & we’ve been the go-to site for many such types of internet researches on home warranty shenanigans!
Nothing announces the advent of summer like firing up the grill. Sadly, nothing spoils a summer party faster than a grill that won’t light, cooks unequally or smokes too much. Marinades, Grease, and sauces cause mess on gas burners, while charcoal grills endure the corrosive properties of charcoal.
All professionals know the value of their tools. The basketball players have their shoes. The surgeons have their knife. And you have your grill. The perfect tool can aid you get the job done with the greatest of ease. But before showing off your grilling skills to everyone, you must know how to care for your grill.
Grills of all types, from simple kettles to stainless steel restaurant-grade infrared grills, need maintenance to guarantee that they perform and last. A careful cleaning makes sure that the burners fire well, heat distributes equally, and the grill is safe. Usual maintenance of your home lets you catch problems like rust early on.
Without correct grill maintenance, you are just playing with fire!
For a successful season of grilling, you need a clean, reliable grill.
Follow these tips to keep your grill in fine working order – and have delicious meals for many summers to come.
Always study your owner’s manual for detailed guidelines and cleaning instructions. Most are obtainable online at the grill manufacturer’s website.
Regardless of what type of grill you have, you must clean it regularly. Clean and reliable grills work better, last longer and won’t have a terrible taste on food. This is particularly true for cooking grates, which, if left unclean, can harbor bacteria that could contaminate your food.
The best time to clean a grill is just after food is removed, as the cooler you allow your grill to get, the more time you are giving stuck-on food and grease to set. Heat makes it simpler to take out food particles, so get at it while it’s very high in temperature.
After every use, put a grill cover over your cooled, cleaned grill, and if possible, store in a sheltered area. This is mainly important during the off season to help avoid dirt buildup, mechanical failures and rusting.
After every use, take away dirt and grease from the outside of your grill. If you see rust spots or areas where paint is coming off, use grill-safe paints for external touch-ups.
Simple and easy cleaning will increase your grill’s grilling potential for many years.
Low maintained charcoal grills are more inclined to rust. After each use, and after the grill has fully cooled, remove grates and clear your ash catcher; or take out ashes using a large spoon or garden trowel. Then employ your wire brush to remove any remains.
Extend the long life of your grill with a careful preseason cleaning. Remove each detachable piece, and clean individual parts with warm, soapy water and a wire brush. Allow cooking grates to soak for 15 to 30 minutes before scrubbing. Heat the grill completely for about 15 minutes to burn off any remaining soap residue before using.
These grills at times have a misleading “clean” knob or a “self-clean” setting, but these settings will burn off only some stuck-on food. In case your grill has a setting like this, use it to preheat before cleaning grates.
Lift the grate and gently clean the barriers above the burners. The barriers could be lava rocks, ceramic briquettes or metal plates. If it is ceramic or rock, use a soft cloth, as these surfaces are more delicate than metal. Employ your wire brush to clean metal plates.
In order to remove baked-on food or grease, wrap cooking grates tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil- shiny side out – and put on a heated grill for about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on severity. Allow the grates to cool and then unwrap the foil. If that does not work completely, follow up with a wire brush and warm soapy water.
Follow these simple grill maintenance tips and you will have a trouble free barbecue season this year! So get out there, clean the grill and just don’t forget to use these great grill maintenance tips.
Good maintenance will extend the life and working of the grill.
Read more about how to prolong life of your appliances.
At HomeWarrantyReviews.com, we strive harder to bring you honest articles that help you decide in buying home warranty plans from over 90+ companies listed with us and over 25 thousand reviews to skim through. This article is all about annual savings from home warranty plans.
Now given for a fact, all of us would like to have a great deal, be it on any day (not only on Memorial Day or Thanksgiving or Christmas, gotcha!). So we decided to help you make an informed decision and save you dollars which could obviously prolong and protect your budget for unforeseen circumstances.
Here are ways to Estimate Home Maintenance Costs and it’s good to know Which Appliances Break Most Often, when you plan to buy an optimal home warranty as per your needs. And we’ve also got a free get quote tool for you to know what’s best in your area. Why don’t you give it a spin!
From $70 being shelled out to a repair executive to the individual appliances consuming more than $200 at one go, you could save plenty of dollars if you knew how to choose the right Home Warranty Plan.
Firstly, a homeowner with a new place to crash doesn’t need a home warranty, you’re covered by the builder’s insurance policy for up to a year. Then there’s life expectancy for the new appliances, so you could safely assume that it’s not gonna burn a hole in your pocket for the first few years. The danger mark is when one approaches the 4 year tenure and upwards of it.
Secondly, assume that your home is over 12 years old and isn’t maintained at scheduled intervals (read it as faulty appliances, leaky pipeline, paint fading, shabby interiors, you get the picture!), then even if you have the most amazing home warranty plan on the planet, your claims could get rejected. Home warranty companies seek for schedules of maintenance and keep in mind that not everything is covered and that the service executive could also charge the deductible and not get the appliance working, crazy right? It’s more likely to boil down to the individual state of affairs and policy-to-policy variations. (Clauses, subclauses and more!).
If you’re not covered under a policy at this juncture, then the regular service executive charges something around $70 per hour, also keep in mind that you’ll be charged for extra hours. You’d definitely want to think if you want to repair the appliance or replace the appliance, most would stick to the later option.
Lastly, here lies the category of pivotal importance. The sweet spot of 4 to 10 years during which every homeowner must have a home warranty policy. Now, let me tell you why. Among all the claims, the most sought after one is the HVAC control system. The service costs can vary from as low as $80 to as high as $900, in extreme cases. The average costs hover within the price bracket of $200 to $400. And now this should get you thinking, if one appliance service repair is costing that much, then how about the remaining appliances in your home! We’ve still got the next sought after claim- water heaters, averaging again around $300 for each service repair, and adding more to the list are- swimming pools/spas, garage doors, plumbing, furnaces, washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers and other miscellaneous appliances, which might potentially need a service. Thus, the individual average price of each appliance can shoot over $200 respectively. (That’s a Roadkill if you ask me!)
At this juncture, on a yearly basis, one can expect that at least two of the home appliances could breakdown & give you headaches which you never knew existed! Add to that the service executive’s cut, the cost of the replaced part and you’ll see yourself frowning. Whereas, the average price of one comprehensive home warranty policy is around $600, lesser than getting HVAC control system alone repaired on your own. But, if you choose wisely you’ll cover a lot of other appliances and potentially save a minimum of $1500 to $2000 in a given year. Isn’t that a pretty cool figure to save any day?
So this is why we’re all here folks, to know why Home Warranty plans are beneficial to us, in our day-to-day activities. Here’s a list of comprehensive pointers for us to ponder over-
The bottomline is, if you’re a homeowner falling under the 4 to 10 years age bracket, then home warranties are going to be most beneficial as elucidated. We would also urge you to search for best companies locally listed under your ZIP and find the right choice for a home warranty plan by comparing the different plans offered by top 10 companies. If you fall into other categories, fret not, and make an informed decision by checking out our extensive collection of reviews, get online, be in the know, it’s that simple! Internet is the information superhighway afterall. Happy home warranty hunting everyone!
When it comes to appliance warranty protection plans, the choices are plenty. Should you buy a comprehensive home warranty or extended warranty at the point of sale? While home warranty is like an umbrella insurance that covers all major home appliances, extended warranty is purchased for each appliance separately.
Home warranties will charge annual premium and deductibles per repair incident but they can be purchased anytime during the life-cycle of the product. Extended warranties will charge up front fees, but no deductible per incident and these protection plans are generally sold during the initial stages of product’s use, although there are exceptions.
Generally, home warranties cover all used appliances, but extended warranties cover new items only. Recently, Warranty Week ran an article that questioned whether there is an overlap between the two. They interviewed several executives from home warranty and extended warranty companies. The general consensus appears to be that, there is some overlap, however two types of warranties serve different purposes.
Mike Frosch, president of The Warranty Group, North America, said “Home warranties are great, when you’re buying or selling a house and want to cover used appliances immediately. Service contracts are great, when you’re shopping for new appliances and want to extend the manufacturer’s warranty for additional years. So in a sense, the coverage may overlap, but the offers don’t really compete. When you buy a home warranty, for the sake of argument let’s say it’s $450. It’s a one-year coverage on used equipment. It’s providing some coverage on some amount of appliances, but it’s really about heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electric”
In our view, they do overlap if you are talking about big ticket appliances, but there is no need to buy both. If you are buying a new appliance, chances of it failing in the first 3-5 years is far less assuming you have researched the product before buying. So, there is no real need for extended warranties.
However, if homeowners still want peace of mind coverage, then they should simply go with home warranty as it covers all appliances in your home not just one specific product. The home warranty costs are higher than the extended warranty, however it covers far more items and you have a single point of contact for all repair needs.
Extended warranty companies argue that they provide better service and offer more economic protection plans. The argument is compelling on the surface, but keep in mind home warranties are useful where there is frequent need for repair such as old appliances.
We wonder what would be the service level if extended warranty companies offer maintenance service of 10-15 years old appliances such as heaters and air conditioners. The repair needs are much higher and their profit margins are much lower. Generally extended warranties are bought for new electronics items and repair incidents are much lower. For this reason, we think it is a wise decision not to buy extended warranty at point of purchase.
Buying your own home is a dream that many of us cherish and wish to realize one day, but with increasing property prices and taxes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to become a homeowner. While the real estate market is booming with hot options, and extensive marketing to push people to buy a new home over renting, potential American homeowners are more skeptical of the costs and potential return on investment than in past years.
Buying a home is profitable as long as one can commit to living in the home for a longer period, thus avoiding any extra rental expenditure. But with today’s work culture, it has become considerably uncertain to live in the same city forever and hence may put one in a dicey situation to pay for a mortgage as well as rent while moving to a new city for work or studies.
The mortgage terms should be read through and well understood before buying a home as the value appreciation by buying a home could cause loss, if the home maintenance cost like replacing the heaters or repairing a ceiling or water bills and the actual amount of money going into the principal is considered. In such a scenario, you can opt for a home warranty plan to cut down on the maintenance cost.
Overall stability is a factor that dominates each one of your financial decisions. Stability, in terms of job, relationships, promotion, savings, and family plans determine the amount of money that could be needed for future expenditure and can hence allow you to buy a home or not.
While buying a home can get you some tax deductions, there is a lot of added pressure as well, in terms of an assured amount that’s needed to pay-off the mortgage, unless you wish to lose your assets to the bank. Also, as per figures, value appreciation in property rates since 1975 has been disappointing and not earned much profit to the homeowners in comparison to other investment options available in the market.
Apart from paying for a mortgage, savings for future and sufficient planning for family expansion is also important as the place should meet all your requirements without piling you with a burden, for life.
Owning a home gives people the benefit to painting it the way they desire, or, make a small basketball court in the backyard and add tons of elements that define your personal space, but the fact that it also adds to a lot of responsibility cannot be overlooked. It is suggested that one should be able to pay at least 20% of the sum as down payment while planning to buy a home but at the same time what is more important is to maintain a constant cash inflow for a good 30-yr time until the mortgage is waved off and the property is entirely owned by you.
Also, it is the great freedom to make or change a carpet or any other thing in the home that comes in as a pleasant surprise while owning a home, where people are free to make their own decisions and not worry about a second opinion for changes that they make.
But the property market has been quite misleading and unforgivable to many, in terms of considering a new home as an investment for future as factors like selling off a home and at an escalated price which is at par with homeowners’ expectations, may not be the case every time. Realtors charge up to 6% of the property price and finding a deal that land you in profit is not guaranteed while making the purchase, as a homeowner. In the case of an emergency, selling a beloved property at loss may come as a shock to many homeowners. Also, dealing without a realtor may close doors to the best possible price for the property.
Rented properties, on the other hand, come with a bag full of its own positives and negatives. For e.g., living in a rented home lets one move to a new place without worrying about anything, unlike owning a home. But there is also a possibility of the owner escalating the rent, or, willing to discontinue the tenant once the lease is over.
All in all, there is no better feeling that creating a place that’s a representation of one’s personality, beliefs and ideologies. But leaving the emotional part of it, if planned carefully, one can afford to buy a place with a lesser mortgage and lower interest rates and proudly become a homeowner. Also, one may cut down on extra expenses by availing home warranty plans and similar saving options. As long as that takes the time to be realized, living in a rented home away from the hassle of repair and maintenance is a good idea in order to live life freely, and save enough till one can actually afford to buy a home that they can call their own!
These days, when people hardly have time to even talk with neighbors, cleaning the house has become a rarer activity. Yet, cleaning your home is a task that just cannot be ignored. The first rule of personal hygiene – keep yourself and your surroundings clean. Otherwise, germs may take up residence on you and in your home.
For those of you short on time and money for hiring a maid, this article would be the perfect cheat sheet to make sure that your home remains clean and well, disease free. If you think this article is too big, take a look at our quick home cleaning cheat sheet.
We’ve compiled a list of things that you can do to ease the task of cleaning your home. This includes tips and tricks that you may never have come across. So don your cleaning gloves and let’s begin!
Most kitchen cabinets accumulate gunk, usually around the handles or the inside corners. Thankfully, they’re not difficult to get rid off.
Here’s what you need to do – mix baking soda and any vegetable oil. The consistency of this mixture should be like that of toothpaste. Use an old toothbrush and scrub away around the handles and corners of cabinets. You’ll have clean surfaces in no time
Everyone has cleaning sponges in their kitchens. Without these soft friends, cleaning would be very difficult indeed. However, over time, they become ragged and home to a host of microbes and germs. If the condition is so bad that they are tearing in pieces, discard them. If they are still in a single piece, sanitize them before you use them again.
To sanitize kitchen sponges, sprinkle a few drops of water (lemon juice, if you have it) and microwave them on high heat for two(2) minutes. This should fry any germs in them leaving the sponges clean and bacteria-free.
Get an ice tray. Mix water and vinegar in the ratio 1:8. Chop up a lemon into tiny pieces. Pour the water-vinegar mixture into the ice cube tray and drop one piece of lemon into each square. Freeze this mixture.
Once frozen, drop the ice cubes into the garbage disposal and run it for several seconds (leave the faucet running). Make sure all the ice is ground. This is an easy hack to not only dislodge debris stuck between the blades but also to sharpen and deodorize the device.
This is an object that accumulates huge amounts of grime and grease and cleaning them is a task we often dread. Scrubbing them may be time-consuming, so here’s a no scrub routine to clean grime and grease from stove burners.
You’ll need basic ammonia and a zip-lock bag. Take around half a cup or less of ammonia and drop it into the zip-lock bag. Drop in the stove burner as well and seal the plastic zip-lock bag. The idea is not to soak the burner in ammonia, but to let it just sit in the ammonia fumes overnight. Ideally, leave the zip-lock outside, just in case it develops a leak and you don’t want your house smelling of NH3. You should be able to clean the grime off smoothly with a cloth. No scrubbing needed!
Yes, there’s a hack for this one too. No, cleaning it in the sink with the help of a scrub won’t help much. Blenders are difficult to clean because there are many jutting edges which could cut your fingers if you try to scrub around them.
Here’s what you need to do. Add a few drops of dish-washing liquid to a cup or so of warm water. Pour it into the blender and turn the blender on. Pour the soap water out and repeat with clean water. Once this is done, you can clean the outsides and then give the whole jar a final rinse.
Yet another beautiful, no-scrub hack to clear out hard water stains from the shower heads and other steel surfaces. You will need a leak proof plastic bag, rubber bands, distilled white vinegar and water. Pour the vinegar into the plastic bag and tie it around the shower-head with the help of rubber bands. Leave it overnight or at least for a few hours, rinse with plain water in the morning. All hard water stains will be magically removed.
For other steel surfaces, dip a cloth into the distilled vinegar or spray some on them. Rinse with plain water after a few hours.
Grout is generally a kind of filling used between spaces while laying tiles or similar structures. Over time, they often turn dark and become an eyesore, especially against light colored walls/tiles. To remove them, there is a very effective, homemade grout cleaner that works wonders.
You will need a scrub brush or an old toothbrush, baking soda and some bleach. Combine ¼ cup bleach with a ¾ cup of baking soda until it forms a paste. Apply this on affected areas and let it sit for a few minutes. Bleach usually does the job, however, scrubbing it will yield maximum results. Do remember to wear your protective gloves when handling chemicals like bleach.
Bathtub drains accumulate a lot of grime and debris and the most common culprit behind a clogged drain is (ewww) human hair. For clearing a clogged bathtub drain, you’ll need a screwdriver, skinny pliers, paper towels, vinegar and baking soda.
Remove the drain plug and pull out the insert with the screwdriver. You should see some really disgusting gooey debris there. Use paper towels to wipe around the area and then use skinny pliers to pick up the gooey mess. The gross part is now over. Finally, pour a cup or so of baking soda and then vinegar over it until the mixture bubbles up. Leave this for around 15 mins and then rinse with tap water. Put back the plug, and you’re done!
Mold is a kind of fungus that happily grows in any region that is continually damp. Bathrooms are ideal for mold colonies. These fungi are not only unpleasant to look at but they are also high-risk allergens. Cleaning them is thankfully simpler than you think.
Get some straight bleach and cotton balls, the kind you use for cosmetic purposes. Soak a piece of coil in the bleach and place it over the mold-affected areas. Leave this overnight. Using skinny pliers or tweezers, pick up the coil pieces and discard them. Rinse the area with water. You’ll be happy to see that mold growth would be considerably reduced. Keep in mind that bleach is a harsh chemical and it must never be handled without appropriate safety measures.
Yeah, this one made a lot of people happy. Scrubbing a tub could be back breaking task for some people which is why this one is a big hit! All you need is dish soap and vinegar. Mix the two in 1:1 ratio and spray it generously all over your tub. Leave this on for an hour or two, wipe away with a soft cloth and rinse with water.
These days, cleaning grade vinegar has become available in department stores. The acetic acid content in cleaning grade vinegar is higher than the food grade version. This means the cleaning effect is improved.
Carpets take a lot of beating from the folks in the house and so it’s quite common that they end up with difficult stains and a lot of offensive particulate material. While dust can be easily removed with the help of suction, stains require additional tools.
Baking soda, liquid detergent, vinegar and warm water are the only things you will need. As step 1, drop baking soda/cornstarch on the stains. Let it sit for half an hour and then use a vacuum cleaner to remove it. Once that is done, mix liquid detergent, one spoon of vinegar with warm water. Using a sponge, wipe the stain with the detergent solution. Using a different dry sponge, absorb the vinegar-detergent solution out of the carpet. Your stain would’ve faded considerably!
To clean your mattress without breaking your back, you’ll need a few drops of your favorite essential oil, baking soda and your trusted vacuum cleaner. Open a can of baking soda and add a few drops of essential oil. Replace the lid and shake the container so that the oil and the soda mixes well. Sprinkle this all over your mattress and let it remain for an hour or so. Vacuum the entire mattress making sure that all traces of baking soda are removed. This is very effective in removing dust mites and other harmful microbes.
Microfiber couches are one of the most comfortable couches ever. However, they become dirty quite easily and kids just love to create art masterpieces on them. Cleaning them may seem difficult and you may even consider replacing them. But do try this simple fix before you discard your lovely couch.
You’ll need rubbing alcohol, a sponge, a sprayer and a scrubbing brush. Pour the rubbing alcohol into the sprayer and spray it all over the stain till it saturates. The alcohol will evaporate quite quickly so spray continuously. Using your sponge, scrub vigorously till the stain starts to visibly reduce. Once you are done scrubbing, leave it to dry. Use your brush to ruffle the couch back once the alcohol has dried. We strongly recommend that you use a pair of gloves while handling the scrubbing alcohol and try not to drink it :).
Having a pet is a wonderful feeling indeed. If you have a furry friend, be warned that their fur has been known to cause a lot of diseases, including the very dangerous Toxoplasmosis. It would be a good idea to rid your house of their fur once in a while to avoid pathogens of various kinds.
Damp rubber works wonders for removing pet hair. You’ll simply need to dampen your rubber gloves and give the furniture and other surfaces a good scrubbing. For getting cat/dog fur off carpets, use a squeegee and wipe the fur away.
Grab a small laundry bag and dump all the small toys into it. Hold them under the sink and run the faucet. The tiny holes in the laundry bag will allow water to come in and drain taking all the dust away.
While you may not be able to do all of these at once, try going one section at a time – bathrooms, followed by the kitchen and so on. Remember – Safety first. Do not forget to use rubber gloves or overalls when necessary. Once you are done, put the chemicals away in a safe place where your kids cannot reach them. We also have a great guide on 10 ways to organize your home efficiently. You should read that too!
Home maintenance is no easy task. Keeping a home running does require some amount of effort. That said, there are some things that you just cannot prevent. Appliance breakdowns are a fine example. We strongly recommend that you purchase a home warranty to protect your budget and your appliances.
That’s all for now, do try out these hacks and let us know what you think. Don’t hesitate to ask us any questions, we’ll be more than happy to help. Thanks for reading, cheers!
If you have been planning to buy a house or you have already bought a house, realizing the importance of homeowners insurance is very important. Make sure you have adequate coverage. Studies reveal that approximately 20% of the Americans have cut back on their insurance costs to meet their other monthly financial obligations.
However, insurance coverage is one thing that should never be compromised upon. Your home insurance should be such that it should not only give you adequate coverage but it should also do justice to the amount you shell out as premium. And your premium should be within your reach. It is only when you find it difficult to make payments for the premium that the insurance policy appears to be a financial burden to you.
The ideal way to find the best quote for homeowners insurance is to shop around. You can compare quotes online or talk to insurance carriers personally. There are many insurance carriers that offer different plans to meet the requirements of the consumers. You can try out these and after evaluating the pros and cons of the plan, should you buy your insurance policy.
It is very important that you are not underinsured. If you save some cash now by staying underinsured, you may have to shell out just the double in case of a financial emergency or an unforeseen event.
Instead of buying inadequate coverage for your homeowners insurance policy, there are many things you can do to cut down expenses related to your insurance policy in a reasonable manner. Given below are few measures you can take to reduce insurance costs.
So, when you have the above measures to keep your insurance cost down, it is not necessary to reduce the coverage to save costs.
Recently, there was an interesting review posted at AHS warranty discussions page about dealing with insurance claims. The legal option suggested by the reviewer might be useful to some homeowners, who have difficulties dealing with home warranty insurance claims.
It is not practical and cost effective to take legal route to pursue your insurance claims and you may want to read How to pursue insurance claims article before you go that path. However, if you are fighting an insurance claim on a big ticket item, and you have exhausted all other options, this is definitely an effective strategy. Author of this post himself was an attorney and he effectively used the legal threat to beat the home warranty company.
Here is the excerpt:
I have discovered how aggrieved homeowners can turn the tables on home warranty companies and beat them at their own game. Please share this with everyone you know.
I’m an attorney and after having a problem with my home warranty company, American Home Shield, I decided to investigate whether other homeowners had experienced the same or a similar problem. What I found were web sites devoted to consumer complaints on which numerous homeowners had recounted incidents of fraud, deception, and rip-offs by their home warranty company. I also found a blog written by a former American Home Shield employee and another written by a former plumber for a home warranty company. Both recounted situations that would not pass the “smell test” in a court of law.
I also investigated lawsuits that had been filed against American Home Shield in Georgia, which is where I live. I found about 15 cases. The majority of cases had been filed in small claims court. As I reviewed the cases, I discovered that none of the cases had been litigated. In every instance, the case had been settled to the Plaintiff’s satisfaction although the details of each settlement were not part of the case file. With the knowledge that all cases had been settled to the homeowners’ satisfaction, I realized that American Home Shield would settle with an aggrieved homeowner before allowing a case to go to trial. My conclusion is that the only thing aggrieved homeowners need to do to beat home warranty companies at their own game is to file suit. The last thing American Home Shield wants to do is litigate a homeowner’s claim and the reasons are obvious to me.
The most obvious reason American Home Shield would not want to litigate a claim is that in most instances, the cost to American Home Shield to settle a claim would be less than the cost to litigate. The average amount of a claim in the cases I found was $3,800.00. Two were for less than $1,000.00 and only one was for more than $10,000.00. I’m sure far more than the 15 homeowners who have filed lawsuits in Georgia have had their claims denied. American Home Shield wins when a claim is denied and the homeowner does not sue, which is exactly what American Home Shield is counting on homeowners not doing.
Another reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because the company does not want to have to defend its craftily drafted contract or its questionable business practices, which is exactly what it would have to do if a case went to trial. American Home Shield also does not want such information to become public knowledge, which is also likely to happen. Additionally, a judge or a jury would also be hard pressed to return a verdict favorable to a company that engages in questionable business practices.
The final reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because a lawsuit actually places American Home Shield in a precarious situation. American Home Shield would have a difficult time defending any claim by a homeowner because the company has no first hand knowledge about the claim; it would need the testimony of the service contractor who, for its own reasons, may be less than eager to testify. The only knowledge American Home Shield has is what the company has been told by the service contractor. And any testimony from American Home Shield about what it was told by the service contractor is hearsay and not admissible in court.
To defend a claim, American Home Shield would need to subpoena the service contractor who actually made the diagnosis to testify about the claim. If the homeowner has done his/her homework, he/she would subpoena witnesses who could dispute the witnesses for American Home Shield. The homeowner should subpoena one or more service companies who had been called either for a second opinion or to make the actual repairs to dispute the testimony of the American Home Shield service contractor. The homeowner might also consider locating one or more other aggrieved homeowners to testify about their problem with American Home Shield. Another good witnesses for the homeowner to subpoena would be a former service contractor for the home warranty company or a former employee of a service contractor.
Since American Home Shield has at least three significant reasons why it does not want to litigate, the best and easiest way an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game (and most likely any other home warranty company) is to file suit. The one thing for an aggrieved homeowner to keep in mind is that if he/she does not sue, the home warranty company will win. But if he/she sues, the homeowner will most likely win. And that is how an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game.
My advice to aggrieved homeowners is not to stress over a denied claim, the denial of a situation as an emergency, repeated “band-aid repairs,” or a delay in authorization or in the repair of an item. I would also advise a homeowner not to waste time arguing with American Home Shield but to set a reasonable deadline for the appropriate action. Upon expiration of the deadline without receiving satisfaction from American Home Shield, the homeowner should then proceed as if they did not have a home warranty and then sue American Home Shield for reimbursement. The homeowner should also remember to document every action or inaction by both himself/herself and American Home Shield. Although the disadvantage to the homeowner is initially having to pay for the repairs, the advantage is that the homeowner can choose the service contractor and the brands and quality of products. I won’t guarantee all aggrieved homeowners will prevail every time but I have good reason to believe most aggrieved homeowners will prevail the majority of time.
For aggrieved homeowners whose claims were denied at sometime in the past, you may still be able to sue for reimbursement. To make that determination, the homeowner needs to research the statute of limitation for suing on a contract in their state. In any event, a homeowner should be safe filing suit for a claim that was denied during the past twelve (12) months.
Within the next six months, instead of reading homeowner’s stories about being scammed and ripped off by their home warranty company, I want to read stories about how homeowners turned the tables and beat their home warranty company at their own game.
If anyone has any questions, I can be contacted at [email protected]
October 7, 2014: In what came as a shock to many consumers and industry observers, Certified Warranties Corporation, a relatively new home warranty company, filed for bankruptcy owing to financial difficulties.
The company, headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois is a nationwide provider of warranty services, however, due to licensing requirements, the company had recently exited from the states of California and Florida.
On October 3rd, 2014, Certified Warranties Corporation, announced through their official website that the company has filed for bankruptcy as it suffered financial problems. No further details have been provided by the company at the time of this article’s publication.
The company, founded in 2010, quickly acquired customers owing to their affordable plans and timely services. Certified Warranties Corporation had managed to gather a sizeable number of customers during its 4 year stint in the industry. Since most of their reviews were positive, the news of bankruptcy came as a shock to many.
Reasons behind the company’s financial difficulties are unknown as of now. The company has remained unavailable for a statement.
Certified Warranties Corporation had a good reputation among home warranty customers. The Illinois based company had a host of affordable plans, most of them were offered at zero deductible rates. The company also had a 60 day guarantee on all repairs they performed.
Certified Warranties Corporation was accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2012. The company previously held an A-rating. BBB’s website states that the company met all the necessary standards which made sure that an institution is ready to resolve consumer complaints by taking necessary steps.
The consumer complaints summary for Certified Warranties Corporation on BBB shows that there were zero complaints against the company in the last six months. BBB also states that it knows of no significant government actions ever being taken against the company.
The company enjoyed good ratings on many online review sites. With over a thousand reviews from the company’s customers, Certified Warranties Corporation had a reasonably high rating on HomeWarrantyReviews.com as well.
Customers of the company have reported that while unpleasant incidents were not uncommon, the overall quality of services provided by Certified Warranties Corporation was above average. This only leaves us wondering as to what could have possibly gone wrong with the company in such a short span of time.
Until further details are revealed by the company, customers are encouraged to exercise caution when trying to place claims or buying plans from anyone who claims to be associated with Certified Warranties Corporation.
Do not discard your copies of the policy booklet or the home service contract. You may need these documents in case you are given an opportunity to recover your money. You can attempt to contact your State’s Dept. of Insurance and inquire about what needs to be done if your state’s laws afford consumers protection against loss of home service contract services without a refund.
Most importantly, make sure that you have coverage for your appliances. Now that you do not have coverage, assess your needs and choose a reputable home warranty company if you decide to go with another company. We suggest that you use reviews and ratings about various home warranty companies providing services in your area, before you choose one. Now more than ever it is important to judge the financial stability and long term sustainability of any company you consider doing business with.
Premium Home Warranties or a Deductible Home Warranties? Should I include a Home Warranty contract or not? These are just some of the many questions that you are to deal with before purchasing a home.
You may have done a CIA level inspection of your home-to-be, but sometimes despite it, there is no telling when, why or how a machine will break down and force you to interrupt your everyday chores. Isn’t it a nightmare when you are forced to wait for days to simply wash your clothes or dishes? We don’t want a piling heap of clothes in our living rooms or even a stinking kitchen for that matter. Because with today’s employment demands it is hard and even close to impossible to manage work alongside home chores. So without your appliances to lend you a hand, you may never catch up on your housework.
So what happens if they break down?! The effective solution would be to use a home warranty contract to ensure a quick and reliable way to fix them in time, without coming in between your everyday schedules.
Buying Home Warranties are one such intelligent solution to your problems. Given how crucial it is, we want to cover all the mistakes people usually make while buying Home Warranties. In giving you a heads up, we hope to help avoid frustration, as well as cover all topics before an actual machine crisis ensues.
Here is a list of mistakes a consumer might make when choosing a Home Service Contract-
When purchasing a home, make sure you are buying from a builder who has covered the Home Warranty costs. While some states make the payment of warranty compulsory, otherwise, builders don’t usually cover the Warranty prices along with the price of the property/home. And in the states where it is compulsory, the home builders register with their respective regulator, thus escaping the need to make sure your warranty is paid. However, this is how it works only in the states where payment of warranty is compulsory. Hence, always make sure your builder is charging you the warranty along with the price of your home. If not, you may be falsely charged while not really availing a Home Warranty contract.
Not inspecting can be one of the first and worst mistakes you will ever make while buying a home. It should be obvious that home sellers have a tendency to hide defects within the property! Hence, always schedule a home inspection before purchasing a home which could avoid multiple costs later. If you are unfamiliar with the way a machine works or are ill-equipped to do so, rely on someone observant and knowledgeable in this aspect. Hence, with your own interests at heart, an inspection before moving in, i.e., at least prior to a month, have the home and its appliances inspected thoroughly.
If not the first time, do hire a professional Home Inspector before your warranty plan expires. Hence 12 or 24 months into use, some of the appliances might be showing signs of defect which are unrecognizable for a normal person. This will reduce the risk of ever having to spend either for labor and material costs since the defects would’ve been repaired when it has started to show the first signs. Also, since this will cover all the upcoming four seasons, we recommend you always hire a professional Home Inspector, at the expiration of your Warranty term if not at the time of delivery.
This can lead to disasters in terms of price, be it manual labor or material cost. Some Warranty companies don’t cover all the peripheral prices which are mentioned in the contract, which is why not reviewing a contract can lead to miscommunication between the buyers and the builders. While most plans cover all the appliances within, some might not cover the external structures. And if the model contract doesn’t cover the conventional structures, you can contact the contractor to add coverage to other appliances of your wish.
Since the market is flooded with hundreds of home warranty companies and hence, a mind-numbing number of Home Warranty Plans to pick from, it is all the more difficult to choose a Home Warranty plan that suits your home best.
It should be obvious that a Home Warranty plan used for a newly built home won’t necessarily be the right pick for a property that is a decade old. From HomeWarrantyReviews, you can use our Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) to complain or highlight a company based on your previous experience and also compare Home Warranty companies. This will give you a better insight as to which company could be the right pick for you. Since the CRP complaints can be reviewed by the companies themselves, they can immediately rectify it. Also don’t forget to read our reviews, checking out our Home Warranty Appliance Maintenance Calculator in order to make the right choice.
Sometimes after using our Home Appliance Maintenance Calculator, you might find that Home Maintenance cost could be more without a Home Warranty or vice-versa. Using an unbiased guide on Home Warranty plans which is not sponsored by any Home Warranty company, in particular, can help you give a balanced view without misleading you to purchase from a company. For such an unbiased opinion, it is always important to do your own research to evaluate your needs and costs before buying.
Our Home Warranty Appliance Maintenance Calculator calculates as well as compare the costs of repairing with and without a Home Warranty contract. This will hence give you a complete picture regarding whether or not you should buy a certain plan or a certain part of the plan.
Yes and No. As a leading platform for all of your home warranty needs, including getting your fresh quotes in a jiffy to using our knowledge resource of a wealth of articles and the free tools like that of a home maintenance calculator, we always create value for our readers.
So we always advise our readers to be cautious of not reading the fine print in the home warranty contracts, and we’re also against having predetermined opinions on certain companies or not researching enough on the new companies who’ve joined a long list of companies and who yearn to provide a quality service at your doorstep.
Go ahead and give our features a shot!
When is the homeowner supposed to buy home warranty? A home warranty is not a plan that can be purchased and used for the life of a home, but it is a warranty coverage for home appliances. It is procured before the sale of a home and acts as insurance for the new homeowner. Selling a home can be much easier if there is a home warranty drawn in. Shopping for a new home is a pricey endeavor.
People accept loans to purchase real estate, not wanting or expecting to spend extra on repairs for systems, appliances and things such as roofing. These hidden costs usually leave new homeowners in complex positions. A home warranty protects the new homeowner against these unexpected problems. Sometimes issues with different household features such as appliances come up in the closing days of a real estate contract. This can make a closing tricky and cost the original owner large sums of money they had not intended on spending. These issues might also convince the potential buyer to pull out of the deal, resulting in a failed transaction. The seller must then perform the necessary repairs before putting their home back on the market. A home warranty can only be implemented to working appliances and systems. The age of the item is not taken into consideration as long as it is in working order.
Retailers, installers and manufacturers may provide separate warranties, each of which covers a different part of the home. Inquire for copies to take home and contrast against other packages from other retailers. Ensure that you get a copy of the complete warranty, not only a summary brochure. Glance at the combined terms of all the warranties that cover a home. All new homes must have a warranty but old or used homes may not, or may have a limited warranty. Be cautious of homes sold with no warranty – there may be several hidden problems with the home.
As a consumer, identify what is and is not covered before purchasing any home warranty. Ensure the details are clarified in any contract before you sign it.
None of these aspects should deter a buyer from purchasing a warranty that meets his or her needs but it takes a fair amount of due meticulousness to identify all the hidden costs in buying a home regardless of whether it is new or used.
Nation’s largest home warranty provider and a business unit of ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc., American Home Shield(AHS) has announced that they have acquired OneGuard Home Warranties as part of their strategic expansion. This step seems to open up new prospects for ServiceMaster while also hugely increasing their footprint in the highly competitive states of Texas, Arizona, and Nevada. The acquisition, which happened in late June, is a momentous step in the growth of both companies.
The Vice President for mergers and acquisitions for ServiceMaster has stated that this is an important step in their strategy for organic growth. He has also stated that is one of the many commercial and residential acquisitions that ServiceMaster has made this year. This is ServiceMaster’s first acquisition after AHS acquired Wisconsin-based HSA Home Warranty in 2014.
The CEOs of both companies have expressed their excitement about this recent development and have opined that both companies have common goals, high standards and are equally driven to provide high-quality services to their customers.
President of AHS, Tim Haynes has said that OneGuard was a company that came across as driven and possessing a wide range of products. He also stated that the company has been enjoying a unique position in the marketplace and is a company that has shown much promise.
Financial details of the acquisition or the terms of the transaction remain undisclosed and are hence, unavailable right now. OneGuard, previously known as ServiceOne, reportedly has a revenue of around $30 million and a three-year growth rate of 92%
Despite the acquisition, OneGuard will continue to retain their brand identity and the leadership team will also remain untouched. Product offerings are also expected to remain the same. The company, headquartered in Phoenix, currently employs around 125 employees with most of them working at their headquarters and service centers in Phoenix. A team from AHS and ServiceMaster each is expected to relocate to Peabody Place Downtown.
Established in 1990, OneGuard is a Phoenix-based company which caters to wide range of homeowner needs. The company is a two-time winner of the prestigious Angie’s 2015 & 2014 Service award. OneGuard has also appeared on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies and has also been described as one of the best places to work for.
The company has a wide range of services to offer to their customers which include home maintenance and home warranty plans. OneGuard has serviced a total of over 50,000 customers so far in the states of Arizona and Texas. They also have a claims approval rate of 95%.
American Home Shield is a business unit of ServiceMaster Global Holdings and is responsible for founding the home warranty industry in 1971. Along with its subsidiaries, AHS services close to 50 million customers across all states of the U.S. The company employees over 1,800 people and has a contractor network with over 11,000 contractors and 45,000 technicians. AHS continues to remain an industry leader to this date.
The company has many home warranty products and home service/maintenance plans to offer. AHS has a nationwide footprint, with all 50 states being covered. Winner of many industry awards, the company is said to be one of the leading providers of home service contracts in the country.
Founded in 1929 and incorporated in 1947, ServiceMaster was initially founded as a moth-proofing company. It quickly expanded to provide a variety of residential and commercial services. And today, after 85 years, the company has become a network of several high-quality franchise-based companies like Terminix, Merry Maids, and AHS.
After being acquired by a group of equity sponsors in 2007, the company shifted base to Tennessee and is currently headquartered in Memphis. The company began publicly trading in 2014.
There are few home warranty companies that do not charge service trade fee or “deductible”. If you are looking for such companies, please read on. Please note that we do not endorse any of these companies.
IMPORTANT: To read most recent list of companies that offer Zero dollar deductible, please visit our Home Warranty Plan Comparison section and sort the companies by Deductible (low to high)
Following are the home service contract companies that offer zero deductible as of this writing:
As a website dedicated to offering honest information about the various matters related to Home Warranty, we have collected the feedback of several appliance warranty customers in the form of reviews. Please check out our tool to find top rated home warranty companies in your area. There, you can sort through the various companies based on their premium amount, deductible amount, ratings and total reviews.
In an insurance policy, a deductible is the sum of money paid by the insured party before an insurer will pay any expenses. It is usually a fixed amount and is a part of most policies covering losses to the policy holder and must be paid by the insured before the insurance company’s own coverage plan begins.
For example, an auto insurance policy may bear a $500 deductible. If the owner of a car hits another car by mistake while parking and both drivers decide that the loss is minimal, he or she would pay the repair bill $500 out of his own pocket. Insurance companies would not support a claim for such small damages. Based on the incident, the deductible may apply per covered incident, or per year. For policies where we can’t restrict the incidences, the deductible is usually applied per year.
An insurance premium is the definite amount of money charged by insurance firms for active coverage. Cost of a premium can differ widely for the same service, which is why experts strongly suggest getting several quotes before committing to an insurance policy. Insurance brokers or agents takes basic information from people and evaluate an insurance premium estimate depending on the answers and other factors.
The lowest quoted cost on a premium may be the better deal, but the level of coverage may also be lesser. Insurance premium is mainly based on statistics, while people’s habits and history can cause the premium to be lower or higher. For example, a 22 year old male looking for car insurance for a sports car can often predict a higher insurance premium than a 45-year old woman driving a mid-size sedan. Both may perhaps have excellent working records, but the insurance company considers the younger driver in faster car to be at more risk for accidents. Thus, the premium quotes will be clearly different.
In general, a faster car will cost more to insure, just because the owners of those vehicles tend to drive faster. The amount of a deductible is typically related to the amount of premium charged by the insurers. That is, higher deductible amount are usually related with lower premium rate and vice versa. Try to find stability between reasonably priced premiums and a fair deductible when buying insurance.
Adding to a long list of home warranty companies which have entered the home service contract space only to quickly exit, Stanley Warranty announced recently that the company is immediately terminating its services. Visitors to Stanley’s website see this message:
The company’s closing may come as little surprise to those who are aware of last year’s announcement of an investigation into the new company’s business practices. In June 2015 New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs announced that it had filed a complaint against Stanley Warranty, LLC, alleging that the company had committed acts contrary to its contractual commitments to its customers. Among the state’s specific complaints against the company were alleged offenses that specifically involved Stanley’s home service contract customers. Stanley also operated a business unit which provided consumers with extended service agreements for motor vehicles, commonly called auto warranties.
Here’s a quick analysis that we can provide to readers seeking more information about Stanley Warranty’s abrupt closure and the precedences set by other companies that pulled this same move in recent years. Come back to HomeWarrantyReviews.com for updates as we learn more about the fallout from Stanley Warranty’s announcement.
Like Sensible Home Warranty did in 2014 when it closed shop, Stanley provided no apparent warning to their customers that pre-paid services would not be provided, though at this time it’s still unclear to HomeWarrantyReviews.com whether the company contacted customers via telephone or postal mail prior to closing its doors. It’s also not known yet whether Stanley’s failure to uphold its commitment to any pre-paid customers will compound the company’s problems with New Jersey’s consumer agency.
Another company in the home warranty space that closed its doors in 2014, Colonial Home Warranty, sought bankruptcy protection. Through bankruptcy, the company appears to have been able to escape financial responsibility for unfulfilled service contracts and repair bills from their contractors. Whether or not Stanley Warranty will seek similar protection is not clear at this time.
Reviews for Stanley Warranty, also known as Stanley Safe Club, here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are almost entirely negative. The reviews reflect an apparent trend of the company not honoring its promises to customers or contractors who performed repairs on its behalf. Many of the worst reviews mention repair contractors pursuing payments from the homeowners after Stanley Warranty failed to fulfill its duty to make those payments in a timely manner.
On its Better Business Bureau page, Stanley Warranty already had an F rating prior to the announcement of its cessation of services to its customers. On Yelp, a recent review includes a comment about a refund check from the company to the customer, who had canceled services ahead of the expiration of the contract period, being denied due to insufficient funds. That review was created in December of 2015, leading to the obvious question whether or not Stanley was insolvent well before it closed its doors in 2016. Interestingly, reading past reviews on Yelp leads you to at least one claim in 2014 that Stanley Warranty had announced on its company website that it was closing. And no matter how far back in time a reader travels on Yelp, the story seems to be consistently poor, one unhappy customer after another.
Perhaps the most insulting element of this story is that Stanley Warranty sold its service contracts with a promise of zero service fees. Anyone familiar with the home service contract industry knows that most companies charge a fee, paid by the customer to the service provider, at the time of a service call. For a company to offer competitive rates with no service fees is a pretty compelling deal for consumers. And many of the consumers lured in by that deal are now left with every required repair being paid entirely out of their own pockets, despite having paid well in advance for home service contracts from this company.
The home warranty industry has a history of companies like Stanley Warranty popping in and out of the space and taking loads of customers’ money out the door when the companies fold or burning up the money received from customers through mismanagement and unhedged risks. Consumers who have been buying home warranties for years probably recognize some of the company names, ones like Arkidus, Sensible Home Warranty, Colonial Home Warranty, and Certified Warranties Corporation. All of these companies have something in common. They sold home service contracts right up until the day they shut the office lights off and locked the doors.
This may be the single biggest black eye that the home warranty industry has received in the last decade, and it just keeps happening. As if companies being able to enter an industry that is so much like insurance, often undetected by the state agencies that regulate their industry, improperly funded, and perhaps even criminally intent on defrauding their customers is not enough, the end result of the companies is consumers left with financial losses sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars in service contract fees paid in advance. All too often the regulators in the states where the customers live are powerless to retrieve those customers’ funds, and even when bankruptcy courts are involved the individual consumer is usually out of luck when liquidated assets are divided up among registered claimants.
In a nutshell, the chance of Stanley Warranty’s customers seeing refunds is very, very slim. It’s quite likely that this story will end the same way it did for customers of Sensible Home Warranty in 2014 when that company disappeared overnight. But that should not stop consumers willing to do whatever they can to seek justice. Readers who wish to pursue legal action should immediately seek advice from an attorney, preferably one with experience with defunct service contract companies.
If there’s any worthwhile piece of advice we can give to our readers who are shopping for a home warranty company it’s this:
Do your homework! Despite it not always being easy to do, consumers must research companies in the home service contract space before making a purchase. Here’s an example of the kind of detailed reporting available to consumers trying to evaluate the financial health of companies selling home service contracts in the United States. That article by Warranty Week is an excellent resource. Keep in mind that if the home warranty company you choose is using its sales to finance its claims then you can probably count on two things happening. One, the company will do whatever it can to avoid paying your claims. Two, the company will eventually get into hot water and close up quickly in order to try to avoid the owners bearing personal responsibility for the actions of the company.
Be safe out there. And if you are a Stanley Warranty customer who would like to share information with other readers in the same boat as you then please share your story in the comments section below.
Ever wondered what is the difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance ? Are they not same? Let’s find answers for these questions.
While home warranty and home insurance products may come across as same, they are totally different. The coverage, cost, terms and conditions vary greatly. Home insurance is compulsory in some cases whereas home warranty is a recommended choice.
Home warranty offers protection for your major appliances, as well as plumbing and electrical units. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing major household appliances in case they break down, provided they meet the terms and conditions of the home service contract.
Home insurance covers your home in the event of damage due to natural calamity or man-made disasters and offers you liability protection from lawsuits in case of a third party involvement. If your neighbor came visiting you and accidentally fell and got injured and decides to sue you, then home insurance will take care of the claims. Home insurance is mandatory if you have a mortgage on your home.
Items covered by a home warranty may vary by company and plan, but typically includes the following items:
In case of an uncertain event like fire, theft, vandalism, or certain natural disasters, the cost of damages are covered. It also covers your personal items and gives you liability protection. Liability insurance will protect you from lawsuits in the event that someone is injured on your property. Home insurance will only insure your personal items in case they are stolen or ruined in a disaster. Repairs and replacements due to wear and tear are not covered.
The insurance policy varies depending on your state of residence and type of policy, but generally it will cover the following.
Home is the most prized and cherished possession any individual can have and nobody anticipates damages to this, therefore a home insurance provides you the following benefits when you cover your home.
A standard warranty runs $300 to $500 for a year of protection, which covers the cost of repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances. Home sellers typically pick up the tab for the first year of coverage. Extended coverage plans for pools, spas and washers and dryers can be purchased at an extra cost.
Insurance cost varies from state to state and depends on the extent of coverage and the location of the property but a standard insurance can cost any homeowners insurance is between $300 and $1,000.
When you are planning to buy a home warranty, make sure that you do some research. Check our home warranty reviews section that provides pricing, comparison, quotes and consumer reviews of all major companies. When you are getting price quotes, inquire to look over a sample policy. Bear in mind to understand the entire policy, together with the fine print.
Another advantage of home warranty policy is that it is transferable. That means when you sell the house the warranty would be passed to the new owner. This has proved to be a well-liked feature amongst home buyers as homes having home warranties are selling at increased prices and in much shorter times. This in itself could make it sensible to get a home warranty policy.
When a covered appliance breaks down you need to contact your warranty company. A warranty company already has business ties with different service vendors. They will in turn contact a service repairman to come to your home and repair the appliance. The repairman will fix the item or recommend replacing it. The service repairman will bill your warranty company directly, but you have to pay a service charge when the repair person visits your home.
With any kind of insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around and evaluate benefits and prices as most insurance companies will provide you a policy discount. Ensure you read the policy before writing a check and ask any queries that you have in mind.
So, the conclusion is that home warranty and insurance are complementary to each other. You can choose to protect everything you own, provided you can afford to. Keep in mind that these insurance products do cost a bit more, but compared to the benefits they provide and the peace of mind you get, it seems like a very small amount. Insure your home as well as buy a home warranty all within your budget.
Some of the above mentioned cases can be avoided, while some cannot be. In situations where the company says that the home warranty claim cannot be processed because the item is not covered or that the damage is due to improper maintenance, refer to your contract. If they say that the damage was pre-existing, there is hardly a way out unless you had a home inspection performed prior to purchasing the contract. Likewise for damages due to crimes and natural hazards, one needs a home insurance and not a home warranty. Which is one reason why you cannot replace a home appliance warranty with a home insurance or vice versa.
So now the question is, how do we avoid such incidents of claim denial? Simple, pick a great company. Like the infographic tells us, you have to do rigorous research before picking a warranty provider. This website could be a starting point for that. We have reviews of tens of thousands of customers which can help you choose a reputable company. Once that is done, review the contract or policy document thoroughly. Once you feel that the company is good and that the contract is drawn up pretty decently, you may proceed with the purchase.
In spite of all the research that you did and picking a good company, if you still find that your claims are being denied unjustly, you can dispute the claim. This basically means to go behind them until they set things right and make amends. It’s quite easy, follow the steps mentioned in the last section. Keep in mind that companies won’t give up that easy, so you make have to make multiple calls to convey your point. While disputing claims, keep the following in mind:
Chances are high that the company will come around and accept you claim.
Purchasing your home was likely the single largest investment that you ever made… and not just monetarily. Homeownership is an emotional investment as well. You care for your home, pouring your heart into maintaining and improving it. Your home is where you watch children grow, create lasting memories, cry a few tears—some happy and some sad—and watch as the seasons of life change.
So, with all that you’ve poured into your home, you deserve to maximize the return on your investment when it comes time to sell. Including a home warranty in the transaction helps protect your investment— monetarily and emotionally—and may even help attract better offers.
A home warranty helps defray the unexpected costs associated with repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances should they malfunction due to normal wear and use. For the home seller, coverage remains in effect while the home is on the market (up to 180 days in most cases). For the buyer, coverage usually goes into effect at close of sale and lasts for up to one year.
Home warranties cover your home’s major systems and appliances when they fail due to normal wear and use. This includes:
Since we all know things happen at the least opportune time, home sellers may avoid Murphy’s Law by purchasing a home warranty. If your water heater springs a leak while your home is on the market, paying the full cost of a repair can erode potential profits from the sale of your home and possibly delay closing until repairs are complete.
With a home warranty plan, home sellers get immediate protection, as coverage takes effect the day your agent submits the application. This is important, as it means there are no delays or waiting periods before you can make a service request, further saving your precious time and resources.
On top of the budget protection home warranties provide, home sellers benefit from access to a network of qualified contractors and the peace of mind that comes with knowing help is just a phone call away (you can even request service online!). Perhaps most important is a greater return on your investment, as your home may sell faster and at a higher price.
No matter how well you maintain your home, potential buyers are taking a perceived risk. The older your home (and its systems and appliances), the greater the risk in their eyes. You can offset the perceived risk by offering a home warranty with the home sale. In many cases, a home warranty could prove to be the differentiating factor for some buyers, giving them enough confidence to increase their offer and more aggressively pursue your home.
In addition, the home warranty continues protecting you beyond the close of sale. One of the last things you want is an after-sale issue because a covered system or appliance malfunctioned in your old home. If you include a home warranty with the home, the buyer contacts the home warranty provider—not you—to have the malfunction resolved.
There are two distinct coverage periods in a real estate transaction, the seller’s coverage period (when the home is on the market, up to 180 days) and the buyer’s coverage period (after the close of sale, up to 12 months). When you choose to have seller’s coverage, you agree to purchase a home warranty contract for the buyer as well. In most cases, the fees for the home warranty contract are paid through the closing process, meaning there is no out-of-pocket cost to you until the home sells.
Depending on your state, the warranty company either includes coverage for the home seller with the home buyer’s contract or provides the coverage for a small fee (typically $60 to $75) in addition to the cost of the home buyer’s contract. That’s a small price to pay for tremendous budget protection!
It’s important to note that home warranties do not cover everything. Read your contract carefully to understand how the Plan works. Every home warranty has terms and conditions of coverage that explain what is and is not covered, the conditions under which coverage applies, and any dollar limits that may apply.
Home warranties provide coverage for the items specified in your contract, which are typically limited to the home’s major systems and appliances.
For home buyers, additional optional coverage is available. In some states, items such as air conditioning, kitchen refrigerator, and clothes washer and dryer may be included in the standard plan or available as options for an additional fee. Optional coverage may be available for other non-standard items, including swimming pool and spa equipment, well pump, septic system, ornamental fountain, and more.
Plan upgrades provide additional protection and enhancements to custom fit the individual needs of your home. For example, some companies offer plan upgrades that cover additional costs for permits, cranes required for repairs, modifications, correction of code violations, and a host of other coverage enhancements. Consider the systems and appliances in your home when choosing coverage to ensure you choose adequate protection to meet your needs.
It’s inevitable that a home’s systems and appliances will eventually break down and usually at the least opportune time. A system malfunction could cause unnecessary financial hardship and personal stress when your home is on the market. A home warranty, however, offers affordable budget protection and peace of mind. It may also help sell your home faster while attracting higher offers from confident buyers.
Speak to your agent to learn more and ensure you realize the full value home warranty coverage can provide.
About the Author
This article was prepared by Old Republic Home Warranty, a leading provider of home warranty plans.
An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.
The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.
Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.
It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.
We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.
It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.
The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.
If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.
If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.
Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.
If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.
Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.
As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.
The basic coverage usually covers the following:
The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.
Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.
Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.
Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.
When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.
Here’s a write up about top home warranty companies in New Jersey. Now all you need to do is scroll through the list of companies, visit our site for a free quote and user reviews to pick your home warranty! We guarantee you that you’ll find that it is very useful!
Located in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of U.S.A, New Jersey is indeed a popular state. Fondly called as the Garden State of America, NJ has much to offer for its residents. No matter where in New Jersey you are, if you are a homeowner, your primary concern would be caring for your family and your home. Like most homeowners, it’s natural that you’ll worry about the expenses of repairing unexpected damages and replacements of your household appliances.
So here’s our list of top home warranty companies in NJ based on user reviews and ratings-
These companies have been around for several years and are on this list because of the feedback they have received on our site from their customers. Take a detailed look at each one of ‘em!
American Home Shield or AHS as it’s commonly called, is a company that founded the home warranty industry. Naturally, this is a company with unparalleled experience and a nationwide footprint. AHS also has a massive contractor network where every single technician is selected after a stringent screening process.
AHs offers plans that are designed to suit the needs of homeowners, Realtors, buyers and sellers alike. Their plans are reasonably priced and standard plans start from as low as $250 every year. The company also has an online claims facility and a customer service facility that runs around the clock.
Yet another popular home warranty company in NJ is the Home Service Club (HSC). This too is yet another company with nationwide footprint and with coverage in over 48 states. HSC too screens each technician in their contractor network and follow up with the customers to ensure that they are satisfied with the services.
HSC’s plans start from $400 annually and the deductibles are charged between $65 to $125. Warranty purchases can be made through their website which also has the facilities to allow homeowners track their account. Online claims can be made just as easily as claims can be made with their round the clock customer care service.
Headquartered in NJ, Select Home Warranty is one company which has plans to cover anything from rental properties to mobile homes and condo units. They have three main warranty plans which vary in the extend of coverage and comes at affordable prices. This is one company that does not place an age restriction on the house or mandate a home inspection prior to purchasing a plan.
Select Home Warranty’s plans start at $299 annually and the average deductible is charged at $45 per service visit. Customers can purchase plans through their website and even place claims online to schedule to a repair.
This is a company with close to 30 years experience in selling warranty products. Like the others on this list, HSA too offers competitive plans at compelling prices to its customers. More than just home warranty plans, the company also has a host of other services and even a newsletter for homeowners, sellers, buyers and real estate agents.
Annual premium for plans sold by HSA range between $589 – $619. The deductible varies depending on the kind of plan you chose but is usually between $50 – $100. HSA too has a 24/7 claims facility and also the facility to place claims through their website.
Choice Home Warranty is a popular choice among NJ homeowners owing to their comprehensive warranty plans and affordable pricing policies. With policies that will add to the value of your home, CHW has managed to garner a lot of positive feedback from their customers.
Standard plans are available at premiums ranging from $370 – $450. Deductibles are charged starting at $60. CHW too has an online claims facility and has a massive network of skilled, licensed and experienced technicians ready to be dispatched when claims come in.
This list has been prepared based on actual user reviews submitted on our site. Therefore, there is a good chance that we may have missed out on an awesome company due to insufficient reviews. We welcome inputs from readers based in NJ to know more about companies there. Do let us know what you think. Also, you can take a look at top home warranty companies in various states across U.S.A. Cheers!