How To Start Urban Farming In Your Apartment?

Farming is not an activity which can only be done in a vast plane area; it can also be confined to your house, home or an apartment. Sounds appealing, isn’t it? It isn’t a mammoth task, after all, it is feasible and easy! For starters, here are some tips on where to start from, to have a fun-filled family activity like Urban Farming and get health benefits too!

Essentials For Urban Farming In Your Apartment

Finding A Perfect Location

Urban Farming In Your Homes

A balcony or a patio would be the first option coming to your mind. It essentially should be your first option because it receives plenty of sunlight and has open spaces. One more benefit is that it will keep the soil away from the inner area of your home. You can beautifully decorate the plants on both sides by keeping a path for walking!

The front or backyard is all you have if you are a resident of a lower level. With a lot of unused space, a collective farming can also be put in. Although it might not be an ideal area to dig in for farming, you can line up containers and start growing them.

A fire escape can be a new way of urban farming. After leaving a little space for the footpath, place your containers in the landing. Even though it has limited space, it can be useful to grow something for yourself.

The handrails! Yes, you heard it right. With the same method you used for the fire escape, handrails can also be used to grow one or more produces for oneself.

Walls, for instance, provide a lot of space for vertical gardening that needs to be clamped to the wall. Thus, they should be followed up with asking for permission from your landlord.

Windowsill boxes are better than the walls as they do not need to be secured. You can just lay some containers with no other extra attachments.

Method Of Urban Farming To Be Used

  • The Vertical Farming: The best way to utilize the available space in an apartment is to go for the practice of vertical farming. It is also called the Green Wall wherein, it helps to reduce the overall temperature of the building. Green walls are also used as a piece of art. It can be installed in the balcony, the outside walls of the building or inner areas of apartment such as the living spaces.
  • Pot gardening: A method used extensively across the urban farming sector is the Pot gardening. It ranges from small teacups to automatic irrigation system. Containers are easily movable and can be customized to any sort of balcony. The things to keep in mind while going for a container gardening is to make sure the drainage is loose and provides proper aeration to the roots.
  • Square Footing Garden: These type of Urban farming is ideal for a terrace or balcony. If one wishes to grow a variety of crops in a limited space, Square Footing garden is the best option. It only takes an initial effort to construct a raised bed with soil fills. Soon after, it is sure to yield a wide variety of organic produce. Let alone a Square Foot Garden, a raised bed has its own benefits. It prevents the unwanted weed/grass growth around the square foot.

Sun Conditions

An essential need for all plants to grow is sufficient sunlight, without which plants wither away. Typically, a plant needs minimum 6 hours of sunlight a day for its full growth. But in an Urban Farming setup in an apartment, what we primarily lack is also sunlight. Due to various problems with other apartment or roofs barricading the sun rays, it is quite a task to find spaces where it is possible to grow a crop.

It is advisory to assess the amount of sunlight received in your apartment for some days. Either by making a note of it or by clicking pictures of spaces you are planning to grow crops every one hour, it is necessary to understand the pattern of sunlight received.

After the above task is done, the next step is to evaluate which space will be suitable for your Urban Farming. And this should be according to the maximum amount of sunlight received.

What Crop To Grow

A lot of other questions have to be answered before we decide what to grow in your Apartment.

Prefer to a grow a crop you and your family prefer to consume. It is a total unworthy effort if you plan to grow a crop you don’t like consuming yourself. By raising a crop you like, it doubles your satisfaction that you have a farm all by yourself and can consume it with all your heart.

Decide on the purpose for which you are setting up the farm. If your motive is commercial, it is better to choose a crop that yields high income when you sell. It needs a study of the market value of various crops that can be grown in an apartment set-up. After that, decide which will be feasible and meanwhile profitable to you.

The climate conditions are also essential things to keep in mind while you are planning to set up an Urban Farm. Certain Herbs, Vegetables, and Flowers grow only at a specific temperature. Thus seasons are also one thing to check before you start on with the farm.

Home Warranty For Urban Farmers

Any activity related to farming needs an added focus. Besides watering and adding fertilizers to the crops, there exists a task of maintaining the various machines used for farming.

Be it a lawnmower or a container garden, a frequent inspection is an essential activity for extending their life. However, as the produce keeps growing, it demands multi-tasking.

But here’s the easy way! HomeWarrantyReviews.com provides a hassle-free affair of managing all the repairs and maintenance. By listing out to you Various Home Maintenance Companies, Home Warranty Reviews brings to you many options to choose from. To know more about your spot estimates, A Home Maintenance Calculator can be a relief for any Urban Farmer.

So why wait? All you need is to find a place and plant your favorite crop. Connect with roots. Connect with nature. Feel the magic of farming in your apartment!






Living in the modern times is a blessing in many ways. When we look back at the way our ancestors lived, we certainly feel grateful about the various developments and innovations in technology. Science is indeed a marvellous field.

Every invention that man has ever made has always been done with the idea of making human life easier. The very first machines, be it the blunt stone tools or the wheel, the idea behind every one of them was to reduce manual effort. Several centuries later, the world we live in today has developed so much that we have a machine for anything and everything.

Let’s take a look at some of the most genius inventions that science has given to the average homeowner.

HVAC units

Appliances That Make Our Lives EasierMan’s need for protection against the bitter cold started with the invention of fire in the early stone ages. Today, we have electrically operated Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning units that provide us with the much needed warmth/cool.

HVAC units are large systems which take in air through filters, use coils to alter its temperature and then blow it out through a vent. If you care for your HVAC unit, take a look at our Checklist for HVAC maintenance.

Washing machines

washing machineCan anyone imagine a world without clean clothes? Of course, no! Washing machines are yet another gift the world of technology has given us, one we can’t thank them enough for. Feed in a pile of dirty laundry and out comes fresh, clean fabric!

They save us the effort of hand washing our clothes or the money to buy new clothes, which ever way you want to look at it.

Refrigerators

refrigaratorIf science did not gift us with the refrigerator, we would’ve been surviving on take-outs or slaving away fetching fresh ingredients and cooking them daily. Fridges too make our life

immensely easy by ensuring that we have the provision to store food in our homes.

Refrigerators too have become a staple in every average kitchen. The work by reducing the temperature of edible items which in turn reduces the chances for decay and spoilage. We also have a very informative Refrigerator Maintenance Guide, do take a look!

Dishwashers

Dish washerNobody wants to spend their post-dinner time scrubbing dirty utensils. Dishwashers do that job for us. These appliances provide us the luxury of allowing us to sit back and relax post dinner. All you need to do is load the dirty dishes into it and press a few buttons.

They easily fit into kitchens as they are not that space consuming and is yet another appliance that makes our lives so much more easy. You can also take a quick peek at our Dishwasher Maintenance Guide.

Microwave ovens

Washing MachineThey are a fairly recent invention, nevertheless, they too have become an integral part of the modern kitchen. This gadget is tiny compared to the other appliances. However, its quick cooking time and ease of use has earned the microwave its place in every home’s kitchen. While the radiation it emits is still a heated topic of discussion among staunch environmentalists, this appliance continues to help us immensely in our day to day life.

 

 

And that’s not all!

While we’ve talked about five appliances alone, we want our readers to understand that they are just the few of the many systems that make our life easy. We’re sure everyone who reads this agrees with us on that.

Now, since these beloved appliances do so much for us, shouldn’t we do something for them? Of course we should! If your appliances/ systems are 4+ years old, it is strongly recommended that you purchase a home  warranty to protect your appliances as well as your budget. You can read more about home warranty and its features and benefits!

We hope you found the article interesting, do share your concerns and doubts with us. Cheers!




Anyone with a fully functional kitchen can tell you with confidence that a dishwasher makes a huge difference when it comes to reducing daily workload. Many other major appliances can also breakdown suddenly, so one needs to lookout for all the major appliances in the home along with the dishwashers. With the advent of new technologies and modifications in dishwashers, they have in fact become efficient in terms of water and power consumption as well. The newer models utilize even less water than hand washing dishes does!

Dishwasher Benefits & top tips on how to select the best one

Mostly, a dishwasher is priced around $800-$1000 and within this range, you are sure to get an efficient dishwasher with a reasonable capacity and silent motor. There are options within a lower price range but they tend to be louder and if you have a bigger load, then not all your dishes might come out clean. Having said this, they might be still adequate for your needs, and at the end of the day, it does depend on how often you use it and to what degree.

High-end dishwashers do come with their advantages, but in a sense, are very close to the mid-range appliances. They do tend to be quicker in washing a load, with additional racks and specialty zones with extra water jets, but if you dig deep enough you might find something which is similar within a $1000.

If the consumption of electricity and water is compared, a dishwasher is, without a doubt, more efficient. One cycle of vessels washed in a dishwasher of medium capacity utilizes about 3 to 5 gallons of water and 1 kWh of energy. Now it isn’t hard to believe that hand washing uses more water – in fact, 5 to 7 times as much – but interestingly even the electricity usage is higher when vessels are hand washed.  The electricity required to heat 20 to 30 gallons of water for hand washing vessels is three times what a dishwasher uses for a cycle.

According to these estimates, a dishwasher saves you anywhere between 300 and 400 kilowatt-hours of energy in a year, and a whole of 3000 to 4000 gallons of water. There is no doubt, dishwashers are one way to efficiently utilize the resources we have.

What’s more, the dishes washed in the dishwasher get a lot more sanitized than the ones washed by hands, for no other reason but the fact that the water inside reaches up to 160°F, a good 50 degrees more than an average hand can bear. These high temperatures handle grease and bacteria in ways that usual washing never can, making dishwashers an excellent addition to your list of household appliances.

What Not to Miss

Technology is always on the move and there is a new innovation every day! Dishwashers are no exceptions. Models are continually evolving; before buying one, do your homework. Give it some time and try and map out your average load size and frequency. How many times do you use a dishwasher? Daily or, twice a week? Do your vessels usually have high levels of grease and crust or are they easy to wash? The answer to these simple questions regarding your routine and style of cooking can help you narrow down a great deal from all the options that are now available.

Warranty is another extremely important feature – one or more years for free parts and repair is never something to take lightly. Especially when an appliance is used consistently, it is bound to need servicing and replacement of parts one way or another. And it makes sense for every homeowner to know how to effectively take care of all of the appliances, let alone dishwashers!

Modern technology has improved the dishwasher to a get extent, and manufacturers have even come up with models that function at nothing louder than a low hum. With chic controls, efficiency in energy and water use, stainless steel body, and interiors for zero rust and perks like water softeners built into the system so that your dishes are sprightly clean without any hassle, these dishwashers are no longer aesthetic eyesores. In fact, you are going to want to show them off! That said, there is no doubt that they are priced proportionately to their features, so be prepared before you stray to the high-end aisle in the showroom.

The world of almost-robots being a part of our daily lives is here and has entered our homes and workspaces. Many companies have also introduced “Smart” Dishwashers, which use sensors to check cleaning during wash cycles, allowing for customization of your machine settings to meet your load settings and retain optimum efficiency.  If you are looking for something in which you don’t have to interfere at all, then a smart dishwasher is what you need.

Buttons, Controls, Aesthetics and Styling

If machines can function all with sensors, then there is no doubt that controls have become a lot simpler. Whirlpool has introduced a dishwasher which functions with just a single push of a button – a One-Touch control.

Dishwasher controls can be broadly divided into push buttons, dials, and electronic control pads. While mechanical controls such as buttons and dials are a lot more reliable and actually easier to use, the trend has moved towards electronic for its style and trendy aesthetic.

Besides just putting it on, there are usually three kinds of cycles a dishwasher offers – Light, Normal and Heavy. Some washers also provide for a Gentle cycle for people who wish to wash fragile dishes made of crystal and china in dishwashers as well.

The last control is one that adds a timer to the mix, allowing the user to set the load to start at a later time.

Aesthetics have become extremely important when it comes to any room of the house, and appliances becoming trendier is the natural course that design is to take. Instead of hiding their dishwasher under a ledge or behind cabinet doors, people choose to customize the appliance to match the design of the kitchen. Usually, they come in tones of steel, white and black. Lately, companies have begun to offer customized finished to match their cabinet surfaces and tiles. In fact, companies such as ASKO have started a Designers Series in home appliances, with a variety of colors that can even be matched exactly to the shade of your wall or cabinet.

Dishwasher Capacity

Conventional dishwashers are generally of the same size because they are made to fit under a standard height counter which is 24 inches wide. European models are usually smaller than American ones. The most important element when it comes to the capacity of a dishwasher is actually it’s flexibility in rack sizes and shapes, allowing you to snuggly fit in a variety dishes and kitchen implements. Your options might include, terraced racks, fold down trays, and adjustable or removable stands.

Energy-Efficient Dishwashers

Post the federal regulations that were imposed in the late 20th century, dishwashers have become twice as efficient in the use of both water and electricity. This minimized usage is resulting in dips in owner’s electricity bills. Experts opinions and research shows that the maximum amount of energy used in a dishwasher is for the heating of the water, so many new models have inbuilt water heating systems that are localized and efficient. If you invest in one such appliance, then you should be saving up to 20% more on electricity.

Another perk of newer models is that they no longer require you rinse dishes off before you place them in. This not only saves time but also lands up saving water and electricity as the entire process happens in one go without any human intervention. Instead of using soak cycles which waste water, dishwashers have begun to use pressurized sprays to get dishes clean and dry.

Dishwasher Energy-Saving Tips

As we already know, most energy in a dishwasher goes into heating water, then the drying cycles, running the pump and lastly, powering controls. While shopping for a new dishwasher, picking up an energy efficient model is the first step to energy savings, however, there are a few tips on how you could use your dishwasher to the best of its capability.

  • Dishwashers that are being manufactured now are quite powerful, especially when it comes to cleaning. Skip hand-rinsing your dishes, not only would you save water and thereby energy, but also it would let your dishwasher do what it is meant to!
  • Do not over fill your dishwasher. This might lead to in dishes not getting cleaned properly, requiring more than one cycle.
  • There is a huge variety of washing cycles in dishwashers that are in the market now. Experiment and choose what suits your needs the best. The ‘power scrub’  or ‘heavy load’ option may not be necessary for every load.

Four Dishwashers Ideal for Daily Use

KitchenAid KDTE104DSS

KitchenAid Dishwasher

A trendy and efficient model which is also priced reasonably, the KitchenAid dishwasher is one of the quietest in its price range. It has electronic controls situated at the top of the unit, and its one-touch function comes with a Pro-Wash preset that can not only choose the right cycle type for the vessels you load but also alter its settings for more efficient cleaning as it is working. This real-time alteration of settings at such a price is one of its kind, and it also has added features of increased temperatures that kill virtually all the bacteria present.

Bosch 800 Series SHX68T55UC

Bosch 800 Dishwasher

If energy efficiency is what you are looking for then the Bosch 800 series is the way to go. Even though its setting and cycles are standard, elements of modernity are instilled within its functioning, wherein it costs much less to operate as compared to others of its kind.

Electrolux IQ-Touch EI24ID50QS

Electrolux Dishwasher

Electrolux is for individuals who want a dishwasher that can cater to a variety of dishes, materials, and sensitivities. With a very wide range of cycle options and controls, this dishwasher does include cycles that are energy efficient as well.

Samsung DW80F800

Samsung Dishwasher

If you have dishes to clean with crusts and heavy grease stains, then the Samsung DW80F800 is your go to machine. The jets on this unit surpass any other, and as it uses pressure over soak, this appliance is also energy efficient. As a perk, its interiors are stainless steel and resistant to any abrasions.

Home Warranty for your Appliances

Any daily use appliance is bound to sustain routine wear and tear, making its manufacturer’s warranty insufficient. Very rarely do we discard appliances once their warranty gets over, but what we don’t realize is that an appliance needs servicing and repair most once its company-given warranty runs out.

Enter Home Warranty, a simple solution to maintenance and servicing of your home, its appliances, and systems. Everything from scheduled inspections to routine servicing and a claim coverage which will assure that you owe virtually nothing, Home Warranty is an investment worth making. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a databank of articles, reviews, top ranked companies and guidelines, all catering to consumers who wish to purchase a warranty for their homes. Join the community and look at the research and tools to truly get to know its wide-ranging benefits and policy options offered by companies in your state.




Extended home warranty provides warranty coverage for major home appliances after the manufacturer’s warranty period is completed.

Buying the home warranty, avoids unnecessary stress and to assists you in peace of mind. It is truly a best insurance for your investment. The costs are very low compared to repair bills of any of your appliances.

Extended Home Warranty

Before deciding on extended warranty

Homeowners are generally provided with home warranty coverage along with the purchase of new house by the seller. But when your original home warranty expires, you have the choice of extending your existing warranty. Before deciding on extension of home warranty it is essential to know whether it is really beneficial to consider the warranty to continue hence let us find the facts on this issue.

Cost consideration on home warranty

The basic home warranties are available at about just $400 per year. Let us assume that the warranty period has expired on any major appliance where the device may have lost manufacturer’s warranty.  Just an initial visit may be charged minimum of about $50 to $100. Repair companies will also bill on an hour basis, for the first hour they may charge you about $50 to $70 and sometimes the subsequent hours will be charged less but varies from case to case. Addition to it you are expected to pay for the repair job.

Planning for home repairs is not predictable. Charges on repair job will differ depending upon the system, duration of time since how long you are using the device. In the usual cases home warranty policies covers up the equipments insured for the period of one year once the warranty is about to expire you can just extend the home warranty just by additional payment and renewal of documentation on what all appliances the policy should cover.

Importance of extended home warranty

Extended home warranty can surely help homeowners in leading stress free life and saves tons of money. It is realistic if you have been repeatedly spending on maintenance and repairs. Usually the breakdown period of appliances starts just before or after your warranty expires because of its usability, if you want to avoid such hassles of contacting repair services. Extended warranty service just makes things easier you are already guaranteed of competent and licensed repair company.

If you calculate, you will surely save thousands of dollars on all the possible repairs, this is quite a big amount of money that you have to set aside if you choose not to opt on warranty. At the end of each passing year you would get a clear idea on how much you need to pay on the renewal of your policy to extend the assurance. There is no need to search for fresh home warranty companies to renew the scheme you can just pay the extra amount and set your life in calm. Any unexpected issue will also be taken care of such companies hence it is truly worth to invest money in affording extended home warranty plan.

Based on your choice, these policies can be extended online or in person. You may be able to find better deals on home warranties online. On the other hand, a benefit of this is that you can take your time to make up your mind without salespeople constantly pestering you. You do not even have to browse the pages of your directory and call them one by one to ask for availability, if you have this service. All it takes is one call to make your life simpler and relaxed.




Buying a home is a cherished dream for many first time home buyers, a sort of milestone if you will. A home will probably be the most expensive purchase you ever make in your lifetime, which is why a lot of thought and consideration is given to it. For most home buyers, especially, first timers, the financial cost alone is monumental. If you are someone who is planning to buy a home for the first time, we’d like to warn you about some of the biggest challenges that you will face.

First time home buyers

For convenience, we’ve sorted the challenges into two categories – Financial challenges and maintenance challenges. Let’s begin with the financial challenges.

Major Financial Challenges: For The First Time Home Buyers 

Down Payment

Most buyers cannot afford to pay the entire price in one go. They will typically opt to get a home loan. However, even if you do opt for a home loan, you will still have to pay the down payment, which is a lump sum anywhere between 3%-20% of the sales price of the house. This is often a rather big amount which you will have to arrange yourself. The rest can be paid off with a house loan.

Credit Score

Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness. It is often used to estimate risk involved in lending money or resources to a person. Credit scores also decide at what rate of interest a loan should be given to you. So if you do have a house loan, your credit score will be hugely affected. Should you require a loan before your home loan is paid off, the chances are high that such a loan would either be difficult to get or would come at a high interest rate.

Tight budgets

It goes without saying that purchasing a house will take up a huge chunk of your savings. Since you’ll also be using up money to furnish/decorate your new home, you’ll most probably be left with a very tight budget leaving very little room to afford holidays or other recreational activities. You’ll also be paying monthly installments to the bank to pay off your house loan for the next decade or so which would mean that the tight budget will remain tight for a very long time.

Home Maintenance Challenges: For The First Time Home Buyers

Maintaining a home in good condition is no easy task. It is not pocket friendly either, especially when the home is 4+ years old. First time home buyers find home maintenance very taxing, mostly because they are new to this. So, if you are one among the first time home buyers, then here are some things you should worry about-

Leaks and Squeaks

Leaking plumbing is a messy and inconvenient event. It could also cause further damages to the house. Fixing one requires skill and sometimes hefty sums of money. Leaks are one of the most common issues reported by first time home buyers and handling it will require the services of a skilled plumber.

Appliance Breakdowns

Possibly the most expensive kind of maintenance challenge that you will encounter is an appliance breaking down. Big appliances like built-in refrigerators or the HVAC units cost a lot and replacing them could cost you heavily. Sometimes a repair job could fix the issue, but even that requires the skills of an experienced technician and some amount of money.

Preparing Yourself For That Big Purchase

Houses or any kind of property are often considered as solid investments with a very little scope for depreciation. Hence, buying a home is often positively encouraged. Although they are expensive, they could be an asset unlike any other in the long run.

If you did buy a home, your homeowner duties don’t end there. Home maintenance, like we said before, is not an easy or cheap task. This is why most American homeowners swear by a home warranty plan. For older homes, an appliance warranty plan is your best bet for budget protection. They are affordable and come in wide range of coverages. All you need to do is alert your home warranty company when there is a breakdown and you can get the repair done at a nominal fee! Also, it is strongly recommended that you get a home inspection done before moving in to reveal potential damages with the house. It will also help you in deciding whether you need to look for another house if the damages are too many. We also recommend that you read up on whether your need a home warranty or not.

If this article got you worried, we would like to sincerely apologize. We were merely giving out pointers on what to expect when you don the shoes of a homeowner. And like we said, buying a home is a serious step and it comes with an immense sense of accomplishment for many. So if you’ve found your dream home, go ahead and get it! We wish you all the very best with your new home. Cheers!




Personalizing a space and its aesthetics to suit your style and needs is what renovation is all about, but it’s not all about how it looks. We all know what a task it is just to get your home repainted, from covering up all the furniture and appliances to pretty much having to move out till the task is complete. That’s where the mission of preparing yourself for a home renovation comes in – from the planning of layout and budgets to the actual wrapping up of the house and constant supervision. When it comes to renovating a kitchen, planning is all the more important, as it is impossible to use the space while the contractor is at work.

Kitchen Renovation and Preparedness

It can seem very daunting and not knowing where to begin is a major setback when it comes to such projects. If you take too long, there is even the fear of losing interest altogether. Taking stock of property, estimating costs, schedules and research are all a part of the process, making sure you don’t compromise during the renovation and yet don’t land up overshooting budgets. Below are a few points that will help you out to kick start and keep control of the renovation.

1. Draw Out A Plan For The Essentials

Keep your plans and layouts realistic, the budget strict and make sure you set aside a margin for unexpected costs – there is no way of avoiding surprises completely! A few absolute essentials – cabinets, stovetops, sink, and chimney – usually take up a larger percentage of the estimate, so if you plan on changing or adding any of these, do it first.

2. Research For A Perfect Renovation

Keep some time to go through interior and architecture magazines and blogs online to get some inspiration and keep an archive of things you might want to get back to or must remember. Phone applications like Wunderlist, Evernote and Google Keep act as great digital notebooks, and Pocket for Android/ Apple /PC allows you to save websites and blogs offline to get back to later. Instead of printouts and sticky notes, the digital era gives you an easy way out, especially since they can be synced between computers and phones with just an ID.  It might seem like a lot of work, but it is always helpful to have a picture of that you want, especially when talking to the contractor.

3. Assess The Level Of Work

At this point, there would be two ways to go about it – either to follow the existing blueprint or to alter architectural elements and start afresh. The latter is more lucrative but keep in mind that it is also pricey and more time consuming. The benefit of it is that it will allow you a lot of flexibility in terms of wiring and even plumbing a few areas.

It’s time you also took stalk of decisions regarding your appliances; their age, condition, and efficiency primarily. This is a good stage in the process to call in an inspector from a Home Warranty company to assess which appliances of yours are keepers and what the company can offer you in terms of their coverage, claims, and conditions.

4. Professional Assistance For Renovation

The first step is going to take up quite some time, especially when it is about budgeting.  The fact of the matters remains that you will need a professional sooner or later, and it is best to give yourself that liberty of taking help when you need; from hiring an inspector for technical decisions to getting a little design assistance during your showroom visits.

Pick what suits you best and chalk out a tentative budget. A professional at this point can be very resourceful and would also help you keep grounded in all the small decisions that you need to take. If you plan on undertaking a more comprehensive route which involves architectural changes, getting an engineer to inspect the space is a must.

5. Finishes, Fixtures, And Style

It’s time now for big decisions! It is important to keep things functional but that shouldn’t stop you from having a bit of decorative fun.

Major aesthetic decisions you have to narrow down and sign off on:

  1. The style, build and exterior finish of cabinets.
  2. What material you want to use for countertops.
  3. Positions of electrical appliances, niches, and division of space.
  4. Sink placement and accessories.
  5. Lighting.
  6. Material and finish of your backsplash, anything from tiles and glass to simple glazes and stone.
  7. Relooking at the flooring, maybe even in just parts.
  8. Ventilation and windows, chimneys and airways.   

6. Estimates From The Contractor

Before you sign off with a contractor, make sure you get more than one estimate. Outside of the budget, make sure you relate with him and his team – you will be spending quite a bit of time with them, especially when you supervise the finishing touches.

7. Set Yourself A Temporary Place

Once the hiring, picking of designs, signing contracts are done, it is time for you to pack up and let the renovation begin. Have the contractor help you set up an alternate space; it makes the entire process a lot less daunting.

8. Let The Fun Begin

We’d love to say that it is time now to relax but now is when the real work begins. Though the contractor and professionals will do the heavy lifting, as a homeowner, it important that you are involved and kept in the loop every step of the way.

Warranty And Insurance

Be it an extensive renovation or just a few replacements and tweaks, having an insurance in place during the construction process as well as a warranty for appliances and wiring systems is highly recommended.

Not only are you covered in case of accidents, there is also a certain degree of guarantee that the alterations being made are going to hold for years to come, without constant repair.

And what better way to research than HomeWarrantyReviews.Com? With comprehensive reviews, ratings of all the states in the US and with a greater focus on home warranty companies operating in major cities, you can be certain of the level of work you can expect from a home warranty company. At the end, all you have to go is compare policies and pricing by getting free quotes from many home warranty companies operating in your ZIP code!




Condos are a great substitutes to renting an apartment or possessing a single family home and they have their own unique insurance needs.

About Condo Warranty Insurance

Condo Warranty

Condo Warranty is similar to appliance warranty and provides condominium owners with coverage for repair of major appliances and home systems.

Appliances are intended to make your lives simple. Refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, and other kitchen compliments not only assist you in doing everyday chores and prepare food faster, but they take some of the monotony out of your day and allow you more free time, as well.

Unluckily appliances, like any other piece of machinery can stop working. When that occurs, instead of saving your time and hassle, your malfunctioning appliance can actually add to your stress. This problem becomes even bigger when the malfunction occurs soon after you buy an appliance. To avoid the extra stress of dealing with faults of a brand new appliance, an appliance warranty is a brilliant tool to have in your corner.

Condo Warranty Types

When procuring an appliance, inquire if the appliance is issued by the dealer or if the appliance is covered by a manufacturer’s  warranty. Some retail chains and dealers buy appliances from the makers without a manufacturer’s warranty, so as to lower their costs. There are quite a few disadvantages to this.

  • First, if the dealer or chain goes out of business, you will probably be left without warranty at all. Whenever service is required, the dealer will fix up for someone to service the unit at no cost to you. But if you are not happy with whom they have chosen, you are caught up with them.
  • Conversely, if the warranty is covered by the manufacturer, you must be able to address any of their official service agents to get the repairs done.

Comprehend Your Condo Warranties Systematically

In case you buy a product for commercial/store use for a boarding house, townhouse, or apartment building with an ordinary kitchen or laundry room, make sure to study the warranty limitations. The majority of domestic appliance warranties are only meant for single family use.

Bear in mind that the majority warranty companies, no matter at what condition your appliance is, they would still repair it than replace it.

Condo Warranty vs. Home Warranty

Condo Warranties are there to cover you when a trouble happens due to a defect.

A home warranty is planned to cover repair and replacement costs for major home systems and appliances (like wiring, plumbing etc.). Usually, a home warranty is bought as a contract for a year, with either annual, monthly or quarterly payments.

Even if you might have to pay a small deductible when you raise an issue, with a home warranty, you will have less worries about large, unforeseen bills caused by appliance or home system breakdown. When merged with your  dealer condo warranty, a home warranty must ensure that, one way or other, if something goes wrong you will be able to manage it without breaking the bank.

About Condominium Insurance

Condo Warranty Insurance

Condominium insurance is a unique insurance intended to fit the detailed needs of condo owners. Similar to renters insurance, condo insurance offers liability and personal property protection. However, condo owners need to consider additional coverage for the building based on their condominium association’s master policy and it’s coverage.

So take a look at this article, you can learn about condominium insurance below, and then obtain a free quote to see if it can help you get the coverage you need to defend your residence and your belongings.

Why Do I Need Condo Insurance?

Condo insuranceYou possess a condo and the association has insurance. So what’s the big deal? Well, your condominium association insurance covers the condominium building, commonly owned property, and liability insurance for the association.

Regrettably there are many instances where that insurance policy won’t cover you or your things – like water damage to your living room walls, break in, or someone gets injured by slipping on your wet kitchen floor. For this reason, you need condominium insurance planned specifically for condo or co-op owners.

If something happens to your condo or townhome, it may be up to you to put back things like flooring, drywall, light fixtures, cabinets and more. That’s where condo liability insurance comes into the picture.

Many condominium associations only insure the building’s structure and general areas, typically leaving each unit’s interior construction to the homeowner. However, condo insurance coverage may also vary by state.

What Does A Condo Insurance Policy Cover?

All-risk contents coverage insures the possessions inside your home for the most common types of losses. When you have this coverage, your contents are insured for the whole thing, unless it’s particularly excluded from your policy.

Named-Perils coverage includes a catalog of the most common types of items covered under your insurance. It includes theft, fire and water damage. All the items are clearly listed in your policy booklet so that you have a thorough knowledge of what your insurance policy covers.

A standard home policy usually offers for the Actual Cash Value (ACV) replacement of your possessions. This means you only obtain the value of the item, less reduction. For instance, if you bought a TV 5 years ago for $500, you might only receive $100 for it if it were damaged in a fire. Even if it may cost you $600 to substitute that same TV, your insurance would only give you $100.

Many people opted to add the Replacement Value option to their contents coverage. Replacement value coverage means that the contents of your home are insured for the amount it costs to replace them. When you substitute the item(s) with a similar kind and quality, within a definite time, the insurer will pay you what it cost you to replace the item(s). This means if your 5 year – old TV was lost in a fire, you would obtain the full amount it would cost to replace it.

When you replace the item(s) with a similar kind and quality, within a specified time, the insurer will pay you what it cost you to replace the item(s) not what they were actually worth in their used state. This means if your 5 year-old TV was lost in a fire, you would get the full amount it would cost to replace it, even if that is more than you paid for the TV in the first place.

Detached Private Structure. This type of coverage applies to structures that belong to your property, but that are not connected to your primary residence. For example, a separate garage could be integrated under this coverage. There is normally a definite limit to this kind of coverage, but you can always increase that limit by buying additional coverage options.

Additional Living Expenses. If you are compelled to leave your home because of a loss, this coverage pays for your logical and necessary expenses to momentarily live away from home. Hotel and food expenses would be covered under such circumstances. There is generally a limit on this kind of coverage.

Personal Liability. Liability insurance guards you from having to pay damages to people, if you have been found liable for accidentally injuring them or damaging their property.

Voluntary Payments for Medical Expenses. This covers medical costs if someone unintentionally hurts themselves as a result of your personal activities or the way you have kept your building. It also covers injuries caused by resident employees.

Voluntary Payments for Damage to Property. The unintentional physical damage to the property of others is covered. It may also be caused by your pets or animals, or by actions of your resident employees. This kind of coverage would also comprise the intended acts of other insured persons under a certain age.

Improvements and betterments. Investing money to get your residence better increases the worth of your investment. The Improvements and Betterments Protection recompenses you for all the additional you have put into your condominium – on top of what the builder initially provided for you, up to the limit of your replacement value.

For example, your unit was initially furnished with a $5000 medium-grade carpet. You want to upgrade to a high quality carpet, valued at $10,000. The ‘Improvements and Betterments’ protection will guarantee that you obtain the full value of your new carpet in the event of a loss. So if there were a fire, and the builder only gave you $5000 to cover the value of the original carpet, the insurer would give you the remaining $5000.

Supplemental Coverage. Aside from insuring your betterments, you may also need to insure your condominium unit itself. This will ensure that you are sheltered should the corporation’s insurance not fully cover a loss to your unit.

Loss Assessment. A significant feature of a condominium insurance policy is loss assessment. This is when you share liability with others for common property. The insurer will shell out, up to a set limit, your portion of any particular assessment that’s valid under your condominium corporation’s governing rules:

  • If it’s due to a direct loss that influences a shared part of the premises and if it has been caused by an insured hazard
  • If it’s due to legal liability arising out of shared ownership of common areas of the condominium premises
  • Providing that the assessment has not been made essential because of a deductible in the corporation’s own insurance policy

Condo Insurance Quotes ProvidersCondo insurance quote

You are likely finding out there are a lot of decisions to make and details to work out before you make a choice.

The home insurance agents recognize that a condominium is not a traditional home. However, it does need homeowners insurance of a particular type. In case you want to protect your condo, ensure to inquire about how condo insurance differs and what it covers.

Homeowners insurance agents who focus on condo insurance are an exceptional resource. In all reality, you are asking for tailored homeowners insurance quotes, when you ask for condo insurance quotes. So there is guarantee that you are receiving what you actually require in a policy.

Ensure you speak with a Condo Insurance Professional

All agencies or insurance types are shaped equal. Make sure that when you get condo insurance quotes,  you follow up with the insurance agents who offered you with the quotes, so you are alert about all the details before you invest in a policy.




While appliance protection plans are always a wise purchase if your appliances are older than 4 years, you still have to make sure that you chose a home warranty company that has a good reputation. It has been noticed that companies sometimes deny our claims on vague grounds, often quoting fine print from the contract. One major such reason stated for denying claims is lack of maintenance.

More than a handful of customers have reported that their claims were denied stating that the device was badly maintained. While it is understandable that customers feel cheated, we still have to realize that since contracts explicitly mention that lack of maintenance issues are not covered, we can’t expect the company to repair such devices.

Claim Denials for Right ReasonsHome Warranty Claim

Let’s take a look at a story that happened sometime back. A lady bought a home warranty contract thinking that she’ll get some budget protection. Her appliances were well over 4 years old. She briefly breezed through the contract and assumed that except for damages due to hazards, thefts and some explicitly mentioned perils, every other damage was covered. One day, her radiator breaks down. She informs the home warranty company and they send a tech to take a look at the device.

The tech finds out that the device was never serviced for quite a bit of time which eventually led to its breakdown. He innocently reports to the same to our lady who gets mad at the tech and the company. The lady then decides to write about this incident on the internet without realizing that the fault could be on her part. She did not get her devices serviced nor did she read the contract carefully. The company’s reputation suffered due to her carelessness.

Claim Denials for Wrong Reasons

Now let’s take a look at another story. Yet another lady bought a home warranty contract from a company that was not really famous nor did it have a good reputation. She paid her premium and she was a good housekeeper who regularly got her appliances serviced. She turned to her warranty company when her refrigerator malfunctioned. This company then sends over a tech who diagnoses the issue to be one caused due to lack of maintenance. The lady was distraught. She was sure that the issue was something else but what choice did she have? The company in question here, operated without ethics and refused to repair a damage that was legit. This incident too leaves the lady furious and in a position where she would definitely bad mouth the company.

So you see, like a coin with two sides, the home appliance warranty industry too has a good side and a bad side. There are cases where genuine claims were denied just so that the company can make a profit and there were cases where the denial was genuine and the customer could just not accept it.

We understand that nobody wants to encounter such unpleasant experiences. We can’t make these warranty companies behave themselves, so what we can do is to make sure that we don’t associate ourselves with companies that have a bad reputation or are fraudulent.

Improve your Claim Approval Rates

Here’s a list of things you can do to avoid any disputes and conflicts

  • Always, we repeat ALWAYS pick a company that has a good reputation. Consider multiple options, read online reviews, talk to your friends and family, visit the company’s office if possible before you zero in on a company.
  • Never ignore the documents. Always read the policy booklet and the contract thoroughly. You can get someone to look at it as well, just to be on the safer side. Before you sign, make sure that you understand how the plan works and what is excluded and included in the coverage.
  • Pick a company that has a round the clock customer support.
  • Some companies recommend a home inspection prior to signing the contract. They do so, so that pre-existing issues can be detected. If the company does not conduct an inspection, it could be a potential problem. In future, they may deny your claim saying that it was a pre-existing issue. To save yourself, get your home inspected by a professional inspector even if the warranty company does not recommend one.

The bottom Line

We are a team of likeminded people who built HomeWarrantyReviews.com to provide genuine feedback about the industry to its customers, so we are not here to praise the industry or cover-up their mistakes. In the time that we spent here, which is over 9 years, we have come to realize the following:

  • Not all feedback and stories provided by customers are completely true
  • Not all companies are rip-offs
  • Most of the unpleasant incidents reported  occur due to a lack of understanding between the customer and the warranty company.
  • Fraudulent companies exist and one must practice caution so that they don’t end up being cheated.
  • Good experiences are often unreported.

If you keep all these points in mind, we’re sure that your experiences with the home warranty industry will be a pleasant one. Cheers!




Author: Ron
Posted in – HSA Home Warranty

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

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

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

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HSA home warranty ratings




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

Contractor looking for job

Why Work With A Home Warranty Company?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How To Work With A Home Warranty Company?

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

Some of these leading Home Warranty Companies include,

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

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

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


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

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

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

What To Remember Before Becoming A Service Contractor?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recommended Articles




Here at HomeWarrantyReviews.com we deliver thousands of new, free-to-read, customer reviews and ratings of home warranty companies each year, along with several Complaints.  Best of all, we don’t charge companies or our website users anything for those reviews and ratings!  Our service is still free after nearly a decade online, and we’re proud of that.  Our readers have come to know us as a place where a home warranty shopper or customer can find what they need on the internet.  Our reviews are objective, and though we do edit them to ensure that fake reviews or ones which lack value for readers don’t clutter up the website, we never make it possible for a home warranty company that is not keeping its promises to customers to cover that up by paying to have negative reviews hidden or removed.

CRP- How it Works!

 

We keep things real here, and our readers can tell by the mix of positive and negative reviews for each company.  And whether you’re posting a review in order to have your voice heard or shopping for a reliable home warranty company, the work we do here and the value we provide through our free service is immediately impacting tens of thousands of homeowners.  Reviews are only part of the way in which we help our readers and the home warranty companies who keep the industry alive and growing. That’s what keeps us doing what we do.

One of our lesser known services is our Complaint Resolution Program, and it not only serves customers in need of a way to resolve their negative experiences but also helps companies manage their online reputation, ensuring that the occasional mistake by one of their employees or contractors doesn’t result in a lost customer.

The Complaint Resolution Program is extremely simple for both sides of the relationship between the home warranty company and the customer.  There is absolutely no charge to use it, and there’s no obligation on the part of the company or the customer to use it.  It’s the best of both worlds.  But how does the Complaint Resolution Program, or CRP as it’s also called, work?

Making the problem known to someone who can help is how CRP works.

If you’ve visited many reviews websites online today then you are probably already aware of the trend toward companies posting responses to customer complaints.  Sometimes these responses appear to have a real, positive effect on the customer’s level of satisfaction.  A company might not have been fully aware of the problems the customer encountered with a home warranty claim or another service.  The company might have had a bad apple that poorly represented them to the customer or mismanaged the claim process.  Anything can happen after all.  So responses from companies sometimes lead to meaningful reactions between the parties, and problems get solved.  But other times a response from a company feels more like a defensive maneuver.  You’ve probably seen some of these yourself.  The company posts the same response under every negative review, and there seems to be no sign of resolution among any of the reviews.

CRP Process Flow

When a customer takes the time to post a complaint on an internet reviews website, the party posting the review typically has probably traveled through the company’s various routes of complaint resolution, but not always.  At times, a negative experience begins and ends with one person on the company’s team or their repair contractor.  And those situations might be resolved in many cases with action from people at the company who are higher up in the decision-making processes.  This is where the CRP process can really help the company and the customer.

When a user posts a review on HomeWarrantyReviews.com that has a low rating, the website prompts the author of the review to decide if he or she would like to have another chance at seeking resolution of the problem.  This very simple and free, and most of all optional, offer to the consumer is where the CRP process starts.  If the customer decides that it’s worth trying once more to resolve the problem then simply selecting to participate in the CRP is a single click away.  Once opted into the program, the customer will be able to correspond through private emails, hosted by HomeWarrantyReviews.com, with the company.  And the company representative assigned to handle CRP cases will be able to help the customer, sometimes with greater problem escalation abilities than the average customer service representative.

While this process is going on, the negative review is not visible on the website.  And this part is important to both parties.  Sometimes when we’re upset we make hasty remarks.  Later we regret those same remarks.  So for the customer and the company CRP presents a cooling off opportunity in which the consumer has the chance to have a problem solved before the review is out there for others to read.  If the problem is resolved then the party who wrote it may choose to not have it posted on the website.  In that case, the company’s reputation is saved a blemish, and the customer is afforded a chance to successfully resolve a problem.  Both parties win, and neither are out an additional dollar for the service.

Building a team of problem solvers can lead to a better company reputation.

Companies that use the CRP are not just solving one-off problems for their customers.  In some cases, they’re opening a new, cost-efficient, window to customer feedback.  Any company which pays for customer satisfaction surveys or other third party consultative services related to reputation management knows how costly these services can be.  What if a company could find a way to get the same kind of feedback without an additional expense?  Now they can.

Building the CRP was all about giving our reviewers and the companies they review a more productive experience and ensuring that the good companies don’t wind up looking bad, simply because of mistakes or unidentified problems that the company should be working to resolve for future customers as well as current ones.  We set out to build something that would help all the people we serve, the companies and customers alike.  And in the process, we aimed to help even more people, particularly the ones who will have a better customer service experience as a result of companies taking an active role in learning from their customers’ complaints.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com didn’t invent the concept of complaint escalation or creating specialized teams at companies that specialize in helping the most unhappy customers.  But we did bring the missing piece to the reviews process on our website, and we believe it makes all the difference.  Once you create a forum where unhappy customers can receive help from the most specialized customer service representatives at home warranty companies then the next step is for the companies to seize the opportunity to use that forum to its full potential.  We believe that companies that use the CRP the best are ones that empower their teams to react to the complaints received through the CRP in a way that satisfies reasonable customers who have honest and fair objections to the way they were treated by the company or those the company allowed to represent them, repair contractors included.

Companies that use the CRP are in a unique position in which they can not only reduce the number of bad reviews they collect on our website but also increase customer retention.  And keeping customers is something that companies that post a boilerplate response to complaints online probably are not doing.

Participating in the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) is easy.

Maybe you want to learn more about the CRP – Q & A and how it works to your benefit. But if you’re already sold on the idea then here’s what you need to do.

If you are a company representative then you can send us an email at [email protected], to address your queries for CRP enrollment and we’ll help you get started with the quick setup process.  Your company will need to designate an email address to receive the CRP case notifications and new customer correspondence notices at.  And you’ll need to make sure that you have team members checking that email inbox very regularly.

If you are a customer who has had a bad experience with your home service contract or home warranty, and you’d like help resolving the problem then please use the search box below to find the company you want to be contacted by.  If that company is not participating in the CRP then you can email us at [email protected], and we will forward your request for help to the company representative we have on file.  We will also let them know that it would have been great if they’d been participating in the CRP, so your problem could have been dealt with more quickly today.

 



Is the increasing price of home warranty and insurance your concern?

You may be wondering why appliance warranty costs are always on the rise. We know that it is a huge financial strain to keep your expenses within your budget. It therefore comes as no big surprise that the yearly increase in your annual premium or just the cost of procuring a home service contract makes you want to scream.

Naturally, you begin to wonder if it is a good idea to drop home warranty. My dear friend, that may not be a very wise move. With the prices of everything around you skyrocketing, what makes you think that the prices for appliance repairs would drop? Labor charges, material charges and every other charge on the surface of Earth has gone up.

This means that if your appliances stop working, you will be paying quite a huge sum of money to get it repaired. And in another two years, the price may vary significantly. Now, if you had an appliance warranty, you wouldn’t have to pay so much. We suggest that you keep your warranty.

Now we can’t alter the prices for you, that would be difficult (read impossible). But we can explain why the prices have gone up over the years. Before that, let’s tell you what an appliance warranty does.

How A Home Warranty Works

Home service contracts are usually bought for a specific period of time during which expenses incurred for repairing your household devices will be covered. As long as the damage occurs for a covered device in the designated time frame, your only expense will be a nominal service call fee while the expenses for the repairs will be paid by the warranty company.

Why Prices Rise

So, with prices of materials and labor rising each year, is it not natural that the annual premium rises along with it? Yet another significant reason for annual price hike goes like this. As each year passes, your house becomes older and so do the appliances in it. Which means that the chances of them breaking down are also increasing.  So you see, the risk of malfunctions and system damages increase with each passing year. Hence to keep up with things, the warranty companies often hike the rates by a certain percentage. Also, if you make a claim, the annual premium may hike by a small margin in the next year.

We don’t have precise numbers from the appliance warranty industry, but we can get you a glimpse into the hikes in the homeowner’s insurance industry. The figures are often comparable.

Let’s take a look at the places where there is highest hike after a claim is made

Rising Costs of Home Warranty

Now let’s take a look at the places that have lowest hike following a claim.

state with lowest premium

Source – insurancequotes.com

The reasons for these differences are many. The labor and material costs vary from one region to another and contribute to the premium.  The state regulatory requirements can also add to increase in costs.

The average increase in annual premium varies from company to company and therefore you can get price quotes for home warranty companies and compare. Most companies determine the annual premiums based on your location and the age of your house. Sometimes it is also dependent on the number of service requests they take each year.

How to keep your premium low?

  • Make fewer claims. For smaller claims, get the repair done out of your pocket.
  • Get your appliances inspected regularly; especially the heating and cooling appliances should be professionally inspected once every year. This will improve the life expectancy and reduce repair needs. Remember, issues caused due to lack of maintenance are not covered.
  • Do comparison shopping if the premium is excessively high. But make sure you stay with a reliable home warranty company

Numbers from the Industry

The appliance warranty providers industry has exhibited a decent growth over the last few years. The industry revenue is expected to increase at annual rate of 0.4% to $1.8 billion. Their profit stands at $197.4 million with wages amounting up to $176.1million. Over the years, a few providers were acquired or merged by/with their peers.

In the next five years, the industry is expected to show an annual growth rate of 1.8% to become a $2.0 billion industry. It is believed that the recovery of the housing market, home sales and homeownership rates will increase. This in turn may lead to an increased demand for appliance warranty. Also, as the economy improves, incomes and consumer confidences are expected to rise leading to an increased spending on home appliances and other fixtures.

The final word

We certainly hope that you found this article helpful!  We have presented a true description of the industry and its working in the most honest way possible.

Yet we have to say that inspite of all the costs, a home service contract is indeed a very wise purchase if any of the following are true. You can also read our Guide to Home Warranty buyers for further assistance.

As a quick advice, if any of the following are true, it is recommended that you purchase appliance warranty.

  • Your house is over 4 years old.
  • You don’t have time for DIY repairs.
  • You don’t wish to pay up for frequent and expensive repairs.
  • You don’t have a trusted contractor.

Keep in mind that the policy booklet and the contract documents are vital documents. They have to be studied and preserved very carefully to avoid future conflicts and annoyances.




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

AHS

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

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

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

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

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

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




Maintaining everything in the home is one of the major concerns homeowners have to deal with. Every homeowner worth his salt will tell you that the primary expenses incurred in the process of home maintenance are due to appliance and system faults.
Home Maintenance Plans

Having said that, we’re sure that everyone has heard of Appliance / Home maintenance plans or simply put, home warranty plans. Such plans are contracts that agree to provide you with discounted repairs and replacement services for household appliances and systems. Do keep in mind that such plans are for ageing appliances that have suffered quite a bit of wear and tear over the years. Appliance warranties only cover damages that are due to age, wear and tear.

Home Warranty – How Does it Work?

The working of such plans are quite simple. You purchase the warranty from a home service provider for a specific duration. During the coverage period, if your appliances / systems breaks down, you only need to  call the your warranty provider. They will send a technician to fix your faulty item at just a nominal service charge fee. The actual cost of repairs will be borne by the company.

Hence, in many ways, a warranty is a wise way to protect your budget from unexpected expenses. To know more about home service contracts, read things to know about home warranty. You’ll find that helpful.

Cost of Home Maintenance Plans

Now, coming to the actual problem that this article addresses, cost of home maintenance plans. In general such appliance warranties are affordable and reasonably priced. Most companies offer a specific set of plans from which you can choose, based on your requirements.

The annual premiums for a home service contract ranges between $200 – $ 600, for a home under 5,000 sq.ft. When you purchase a plan, you will be provided with a policy booklet that explicitly specifies all the items that will be covered. You will also be provided with information about various other terms and conditions. Like we said before, home service contracts do not cover damages due to anything other than age and regular use. For faults due to crime, hazards and other perils, you may want to check the difference between home insurance and home warranty.

In addition to the annual premium, you may also have to pay a nominal fee as the deductible each time you raise an issue. Deductibles usually cost between $50 – $100. There are some companies that offer zero deductible appliance protection plans

Like we discussed before, different providers charge different amounts for their plans. Following are the facts that decide the cost of home warranty.

  • Extent of coverage
  • Type of plan
  • Additional benefits/ services
  • Size of the house
  • Age of the house

If you want to purchase a home warranty plan, we suggest that you get your home inspected first. While some companies offer this service prior to the contract being signed, some companies do not. A home inspection reveals a lot of potential problems that your house may face and the inspector may even recommend a plan to make the best out of home warranty.

Bottom Line

If you are still unsure about home warranty, we suggest that you go through our web site and read some informative articles that may help you solve some confusion. That said, we still think that a home warranty is a clever way to protect your appliances and save cash in the process. Cheers!




Are there scams in the home warranty industry?

When you look at the words most often used in emotional complaints about home warranty companies you may find that “scam” is a very common term. But if you look very closely at the home warranty industry it’s hard to find evidence of a scam rooted in the established home warranty companies.

Home Warranty Scams

Though homeowners are not always happy with the speed or manner of the response to their claims it takes more than just complaints to make a true scam. So are there no scams in the home warranty industry? My personal opinion is that there are plenty of scams and if you look back you’ll find plenty more in the past. Does that make the home warranty industry unique? I definitely don’t believe so. Auto insurance, health insurance, home building, government, religion – you name it, there have been scandals and grounds to throw words like scam around. A home warranty is not unique in that it has unhappy customers. Show me an industry without unhappy customers and I’ll be the first to change careers. But like I mentioned before, home warranty customers have been victimized and are probably being victimized even today.

Spotting the scams and the companies that are not operating with the best interests of their customers in mind is the very first priority. This is where homeowners and legitimate home warranty companies can work together. Real estate agents, home repair contractors, home inspectors, and many other professional and customer advocacy groups can also help to point out the signs that home warranty companies are not doing what is right for their customers.

How do you spot home warranty companies that may be scamming customers?

How can homeowners identify home warranty companies that are likely to be scams or just not be doing what is right in terms of their commitments to customers? There are a few basic approaches to getting a good read on a home warranty company and all of them involve some time spent doing homework. What this comes down to really is customers taking their time and not making impulse purchases of home warranty contracts. And during that period of finding out about a home warranty company here are some things homeowners would be wise to look out for:

  • Is the home warranty company well established? This one is important. Many home warranty companies that fail to take care of their commitments due to greed or negligent management practices still cannot be labeled scams. But like the companies that are intentionally misleading customers, the ones that do a bad job with customer service or mismanage the company’s assets tend to wind up being fly-by-night companies. If a company hasn’t been around long then homeowners should be extra cautious.
  • Are people you know talking about the company? If you ask everyone you know about a home warranty company and nobody can tell you a thing about them then, again extra caution is wise. Keep in mind that hearing about other people you know signing up for a home warranty doesn’t necessarily mean a company will be good to deal with as a customer. Until you file a claim you don’t really know what you’ve gotten yourself into.
  • Do your state government’s insurance regulatory authorities or other public offices know anything about the home warranty company? Some states have rules for home warranty companies while others do not. If you live in a state that has no regulations, licensing requirements, or other rules for home warranty companies then you should tread very carefully. If you choose a home warranty company that fails to deliver on its promises your state may have little or no recourse available for you. If your state licenses or otherwise sets limits on home warranty companies don’t sign or buy anything until you know where the home warranty company stands with your state’s regulatory entity. And ask about complaints. Some officials can tell you if there have been complaints filed with their office or other offices against the home warranty company you are inquiring about.
  • Find out more about the company in terms of physical location and ownership. As mentioned earlier in this article, there are sometimes signals that a home warranty company isn’t legitimate. The harder it is to find out about the ownership and location of a company the more cautious a homeowner should be about doing business with it.

What sorts of home warranty scams should you watch out for?

It’s difficult to predict what sort of stunt criminals will pull tomorrow but in terms of what scams I’ve heard of up to now, here are a few. The names may be funny but the financial losses and wasted time on the parts of the jilted customers are nothing to smile about.

“The Emperor’s New Clothes”

This one involves a company that isn’t a company at all. It has none of the financial depth that is required to cover the costs of handling repairs and replacements when home warranty customers file claims. In fact, these companies rarely have a real office and follow the same pattern almost every time. They deny all the claims they can, approve the ones they can’t but then don’t pay anyone for the work performed, and then when frustrated customers cancel they promise refunds which they also fail to pay.

“The Ponzi Scheme”

These companies oftentimes pay their contractors and approve returns but do so in such a way as to gradually put the company further and further behind on various debts. While they do this they use positive customer reviews to attract more customers and also spend a great deal on advertising in some cases. By the time they become fat with customers and reach their peak they’ve already bankrupted the company through poor management. The customers who are holding new home warranty contracts the day the company finally sneaks out its back doors and turns off the phones are the ones who get hit the hardest. Sometimes this type of scam leaves a long-term trail of customers who don’t find out their contract is worthless until they attempt to contact their home warranty company’s customer service center. This grab-the-cash-and-dash routine has burned many, many homeowners over the years.

“The Disguise”

Some people who found bad home warranty companies get away with their misdeeds or only receive a slap on the hand that holds the checkbook. They then go on to start other home warranty companies using new company names and sometimes using different people as the officers or owners of the company. By disguising themselves they evade the public scrutiny that would otherwise stop their scams cold. Homeowners caught up in the web of these characters can count on denied claims, shoddy work, unpaid contractors pursuing the homeowner for debts the home warranty company owes payment for, and many other unpleasant circumstances.

What can homeowners do if they suspect they are dealing with a fraud that is posing as a home warranty company?

For the sake of other consumers, friends, and the home warranty industry where companies work diligently to satisfy their customers, any homeowner who feels that a claim was handled unfairly or that there are signs of misconduct on the part of their home warranty company should not remain silent. All too often home warranty companies give the overall industry a bad name with their poor handling of claims, contractor relations, or other important areas of their businesses. And in the case of true scams, more often than not, the people behind the scams only get away with what they do because it takes so long for anyone in a position to stop them from realizing what is happening. As consumers realize their options to use government offices, social media, and word of mouth to sound the alarm about bad home warranty companies it will become more and more difficult for new scams to find victims.


This is a guest article written by Kevin Wallach. As owner and writer at CompareHomeWarrantyQuotes.com  Kevin spend a great deal of time collecting information to help his readers better understand home warranty plans. Though home warranty is not the most popular topic online, it does mean a lot to homeowners who need help with questions about it.




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

Insurances

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

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

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

Life Insurance

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

Benefits of a Life insurance

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

Health Insurance

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

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

Auto Insurance

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

Benefits of Auto- insurance

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

Home Warranty

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

Benefits of home warranty

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

Home Insurance

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

Benefits of home insurance

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

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

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

Click here to check for Home Insurance and warranty companies.

Future is unpredictable yet securable therefore get insured stay assured.




HVAC Maintenance Checklist

 

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

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

Monthly maintenance routine

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

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

Annual maintenance routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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In the past year, over 32 real estate agents have helped consumers with more than 13 residential home sales in Houston, Texas. The oil slump can’t hold back Houston’s top realtors as the Houston’s housing market is performing extremely well. Sales have ranged in price from $99,000 to $697,500. Now, homes are available for a variety of price ranges – from about $300,000 near downtown to around $2 million in the best neighborhoods along the city’s Energy Corridor.

Best-Realtors-and-agents-of-Houston

Below is the list of Houston’s leading realtors based on their gross sales volume in dollar amounts, the number of transactions and the average price of homes sold-

Paige Martin

Houston-Realtor

A Houston-area native, Paige is a proficient and successful partner in any residential real estate transaction. Armed with an in-depth knowledge of Houston real estate market, her skills have marked her as one of the most preferred agents in Houston. With a customer-focused approach, Paige is dedicated to providing brilliant service. After graduation from Baylor University, Paige started her career as a marketing consultant, developing individually-tailored marketing techniques for her customers. She now employs those cutting-edge skills to aid her customers to buy and sell their homes with the least amount of stress. She monitors clients through every aspect of learning about Houston, relocating to Houston and ensuring hassle-free real estate transaction.

Paige Martin, a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Realty and owner of HoustonProperties.com is ranked as one of the top residential real estate agents across the world. Her website HoustonProperties.com features more than 1,200 pages of Houston real estate information on over 40,000 properties for sale in addition to a large number of resources for home sellers. Paige has successfully sold over $250million of homes and is listed among the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston for the second consecutive year in terms of individual gross sales and transactions. She has also been featured on TV and in several publications including:

  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Fortune Magazine, Reuters
  • Fox News in the Morning
  • Money Magazine
  • Houston Business Journal
  • The Houston Chronicle
  • Downtown Houston Magazine
  • Texas Monthly Magazine

Paige has been a consistent top producing agent and has won over 198 awards since 2003 for excellence in customer satisfaction. Her recent awards include:

  • 2016: One of the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston, Houston Business Journal
  • 2016: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly
  • 2016: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2015 Q3: #9 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Worldwide (of 125,000 agents)
  • 2015: #2 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Texas
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Southwest Texas (Houston, Woodlands, Katy, San Antonio)
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Houston
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2015: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2015: One of the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston, Houston Business Journal
  • 2015: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2014: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2014: One of the Top 40 Real Estate Agents in Houston, Houston Chronicle
  • 2014: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2014: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2013: Top 50 Houston Realtors by the Houston Chronicle
  • 2013: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2013: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2012: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2012: Top 5 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams
  • 2011: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2011: Top 10 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams
  • 2010: #1 Ranked Individual Agent in the Keller Williams Memorial Office
  • 2010: Top 10 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams

James Krueger

Houston-RealtorWhether you are buying or selling a home, James Krueger can help you win at real estate! He is the owner of Kruger Real Estate which was founded on a corporate philosophy of devoted commitment to quality service. Upon graduating from Texas A&M University as an All-American archer and economics major, Kruger worked as a business analyst for Reliant and then a consultant for an executive compensation firm. He believes that excellent real estate service begins with personalization – with one agent who listens, learns your goals and helps you accomplish them. Krueger Real Estate agents are backed by a team that keeps you informed through every step of the home buying or selling process while giving you unmatched customer service. As a former litigation, Kruger understands legal contracts and also knows how to value a property to get you the best possible deal.

Krueger Real Estate mainly serves the Greater Houston Area and surrounding areas including Katy, Cypress, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Spring, and Tomball. Krueger is pioneering an exclusive model to improve agent retention and client satisfaction. Unlike many traditional brokerage firms, Krueger Real Estate pays attention to duties that a realtor at other brokerages is responsible for. It provides a distinct advantage in maximizing the exposure of their listing through online, print, and social media outlets. The local experts assure you of professional photographs, proficient staging and presentation guidance, an online marketing blitz campaign and thorough listing descriptions that will make your home noticeable from the rest. “If I can create an amazing place to work, I can attract super high-quality agents who attract high-quality clients,” said Krueger, broker and owner of Krueger Real Estate.

Krueger Real Estate employs a client relation management system to keep an eye on its clients and has a call center that tries to answer all new client queries within 3 minutes. Krueger’s client focused approach seems to be working and has helped him grow his company. In 2013, Krueger started with 8 agents who made $27 million in home sales and the following year he grew his company to 15 agents who brokered $46 million in home transactions. In 2015, with 45 agents, Krueger’s firm collectively made $65 million in closed and pending sales. Krueger aims to crack $100 million in sales in 2016 and has a dream to grow his company to 250 agents, expand to the four major Texas markets and break the $1 billion home sales mark by 2020.

“I always wanted a fun, cool place to work, so when I started my company, I wanted to make it an enjoyable place to work,” Krueger said. “A company isn’t anything without the people you have on board.”

Krueger has been named the Top Producer by the Houston Association of Realtors for 2012 and 2013. He is a certified negotiation expert (CNE) and has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:

  • Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®)
  • Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®)

Lance Loken

Realtor-Houston

Founder of The Loken Group, Lance Loken strives to be the excellent real estate service provider in all 9 countries in the Greater Houston Area. The group is backed by a team of specialists out of the Keller Williams Realty Signature office who serves real estate buyers, sellers, and investors to make your home buying and selling experience pleasant. By employing the newest technologies, business tactics, and market research, the agents are able to list your home strategically and effectively. Most importantly, the agents listen and find solutions that are tailored to you.

Prior to entering real estate, Loken worked as a C-Level executive for firms like The Wood Group Renewable Energy Service, Francesca’s Collections Inc., and C.D. Johnson Companies which helped him shape the way he approaches real estate. “My goal is to always be your real estate SOLUTION – whether that means helping you buy, sell, invest or rent,” Loken said. Loken is an Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS) and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS).

From paperwork to marketing, The Loken Group stand by you in every step of the way, replying to your questions and offering exceptional customer service. They were recently named:

  • #3 out of all Real Estate Teams in Houston (Ranked by Number of 2014 Closed Transactions – 662 by the “Houston Business Journal”)
  • #20 out of all Real Estate Teams in The United States (Teams by Transaction Sides in 2014 – 658 – by REAL TRENDS (“Wall Street Journal”))
  • #3 in all Keller Williams agents worldwide (based on units closed in 2015)
  • #1 Best Place to Work in Houston (Medium Companies, 2015, “Houston Business Journal”)
  • #79 (Teams by Sales Volume in 2014 – $137.3 mil) in America by REAL TRENDS (Wall Street Journal)
  • #303 in the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies

The team of specialists at The Loken Group manages clients in all price ranges. Their luxury division is backed by proficient luxury experts who help clients in more than $650,000 price range.

Alfonso Parodi

Realtor-Houston

Alfonso Parodi obtained a Business Administration degree with a Minor in Marketing from University of Lima, Peru. Thereafter, he moved to Houston and lived there for 9 years where he had the opportunity to attain extensive experience and training in Sales including residential lending, real estate, retail, networking, recruiting, marketing and primarily customer service. Parodi is competitive and goal-oriented with a passion for delivering outstanding customer service. In just 3 years, Parodi has become a top agent at Realty Associates in Houston which is home to more than 1800 agents.

Alfonso founded Team Parodi in 2013 whose focus is to bring the best group of agents together with a support team of award winning interior designers, experienced inspectors, proficient photographers and all other experts to help customers buy and sell their homes in areas such as Cypress, Houston, Humble, Katy, Tomball and more. Team Parodi at Real Associates is proud of each purchase or sale that aids clients to attain their dream home!

The technology savvy agents employ the cutting-edge tools and programs to give their clients an advantage in the fast moving and super competitive market for a successful transaction. Currently, Team Parodi is backed by 6 key members and will be adding more agents to be better prepared for a very busy future market. Whether buying or selling a home, Team Prodi is ready to be your trusted resource.

Owing to his excellent communication skills and expertise, Parodi is selected and recommended time and again by his clients. He has been awarded in the top 1% Buyer Agents among 25,000 agents and also:

  • recognized by Houston Association of Realtors in 2012, 2013 and 2014
  • awarded the esteemed 20 Rising Stars under Age 40 by Next Generation of Realtors (Houston Association of Realtors)
  • named 2015 Top 250 Latino Agents in the US by NAHREP

With professional accomplishments in both experience and education, Parodi maintains the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designee. Presently, less than 3% of 1 million agents carry this designation. Besides, he has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:

  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®)
  • Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI®)
  • Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®)
  • Texas Realtors Leadership Program (TRLP)

Angela Pipes

Realtor-Houston

Angela Pipes is a Licensed Real Estate Agent at Redfin Corporation with 17+ years in the Houston Real Estate market representing both sellers and buyers. She is passionate about the relationship with her clients which helps her adapt to their needs and receive referrals. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an accomplished seller, Pipes would guide you through the entire process. A member of the Houston Association of REALTORS, Pipes has established a reputation for being proficient in handling land sales, new construction, investment properties and resales including historic homes in the Heights, Montrose and other neighborhoods such as Katy, Memorial, Spring Branch, Clear Lake, and Galveston.

Pipes mainly works in the urban communities of Houston and keeps abreast of real estate developments and attending community events. She is an advocate for those interested in building better practices, smart growth and energy efficiency. Pipes works closely with her clients to make sure every sale closes without a hitch. She is always accessible, prompt, and thorough with her clients’ requests and her quick response time with emails is appreciated as well.

Angela Pipes has been qualified as a Top Production REALTOR based on 2016 second quarter listing side number of MLS sales transactions of the Houston Association of REALTORS. This certification is given to those who aim to maintain the highest ethical standards and whose production ranks among the highest number transactions within HAR’s 25,000 brokers and agents. As a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) and Accredited Luxury Homes Specialist (ALHS), Pipes has proven to be a valuable asset to Redfin and to her clients.




Just the decision to take the task of building a home into your own hands can be daunting, keep aside the fact that liabilities are now yours alone to deal with. The joy of being there every step of the way and having a say in every brick, beam, and wall comes with a lot of responsibility. The smallest of injuries on site to a worker, accidental falls, natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances can put your budget off by thousands of dollars.

Time is a factor as well, having the plan pushed back by weeks, if not months; time and money that you cannot get back. Such accidents are what makes it prudent for you to invest in structural insurance, warranty and legal coverage for all the essentials.

What is Structural Insurance?

Structural insurance functions within the parameters of Builders Insurance and Site Insurance, covering claims regarding the foundation and architectural framework of the building, as well as the integrity of the site it is built on.

Structural Insurance & Home Warranty

As the percentage of self-built homes increase in the US, numerous companies now offer a comprehensive list of structural insurance for homes built without the assistance of building agencies.

If narrowed down to just structural claims, structural insurance covers the claim of any structural defects in a home for a fixed number of years after it is built. Often certain companies have a secondary set of rules, pertaining to the fact that the claim will only kick in 7 to 10 years after the house is completed.

That being said, structural insurance usually comes hand in hand with site and builders insurance as well, both essential and usually synonymous with structural insurance.

Site Insurance

Site insurance is offered to builders as well as individuals who have purchased land and intend to construct. It not only covers any natural disaster-related damage – fire, storm, flood – to the land, but also the temporary structures on it. The coverage puts aside a certain sum to take care of any unforeseen circumstances that may cause huts, caravans, tools and the building under construction itself to be partially or wholly damaged.

Certain insurance companies not only take care of the monetary side of things but also offer services to clean, repair and bring back the space to its former state.

Builder’s Insurance

In recent times, Builder’s Insurance has become a must for self-built structures, especially since it establishes a sense of trust between the homeowner and the bank or builder who is offering monetary assistance.

Builder’s insurance acts as the umbrella under which site and structural insurance fall, but often companies do cater to individual needs by offering them separately. These insurance policies even accommodate for theft of tools and valuables from the site, but usually, put a limit of the claim. That being said, it is important to pick appropriate coverage plans and not under or over-insure your property.

Allowing delays and pushbacks, any building or structural insurance for individuals who are constructing on their own extend to 18 months, as opposed to the usual 12-month coverage given for builders.

Why Insurance During Construction is Essential

Building a home isn’t only about the structure and integrity. Along each step of the way, you have to be aware of not only accidents and loss that are beyond your control, but also any harm that the process may cause to workers, the public and adjacent private and public property.

Structural Warranty for self built homes

As a homeowner, you are liable if any of your workers are injured during the course of construction, or even if they fall ill due to toxic substance exposure while they worked for you.

Even a trespasser walking into property can have a legal claim if he or she is injured due to any improper construction methods.

Damage to surrounding property can be another reason you are faced with a very large bill for compensation. Everything from a falling tree branch to heavy machinery vibrations that may cause harm to adjacent structures can be seen as cause for a lawsuit. Most often, such damage is seen to happen during the time when your foundation is being set, causing worry about underground water sources and support extending below the ground of other buildings in the area.

Home and Structural Warranty

Besides structural and builder’s insurance, warranty extends the coverage, claims, and care for years after the home is built – taking care of issues and damage that insurance does not address. While insurance deals with unforeseen circumstances and matters that were out of your control, Home Warranty offers solace when you need to deal with maintenance, repair, and replacement due to general wear and tear.

Usually put in place for a period of ten years, Structural Warranty covers defects in the foundation, load-bearing walls, beams, pillars and sometimes even wiring and plumbing systems. Not only does it keep you worry free, it also assures that any negligence on the part of the contractor is covered for without conflict.

 




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

Home Warranty Companies

Oregon’s Best Home Warranty Companies

 

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

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

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

1. American Home Shield

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

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

2. The Home Service Club

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

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

3. Select Home Warranty

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

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

4. Landmark Home Warranty

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

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

5. HSA Home Warranty

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

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

The Final Word

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