How To Own A Home Faster?

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

Tips-to-become-a-homeowner

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

The Way To Dream Home

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

1.    Climbing-Up The Ladder

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

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

2.    Accessing The Schemes

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

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

3.    Save-Up

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

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

4.    Joint Ownership

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

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

5.    Lease To Own

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

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

6.    Family Help

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

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

7.    Secondary Job

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

Make Your Dream Come True

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






Freon is not as common a word in the American lexicon as it used to be.  And that is greatly due to the phase out of the product that started decades ago. That common household name was once the main chemical component in central heating and cooling systems, but that started to gradually change in 1987 when the U.S. government decided to gradually get rid of the ozone damaging chemical. That chemical, technically referred to as r-22, is only a handful of years away from the end of its U.S. phase out timeline.

What does this mean for you as a homeowner?

Your home’s air conditioner, when it’s working the way it should, does not need added coolant.  But like most machines, the ideal condition and the real world condition of the average central heating and cooling system differ.

Cost of Freon

 

People who have recently discovered leaks in their older HVAC systems will already be aware that it’s getting more expensive to recharge the coolant. As less r-22 is available to technicians and homeowners the costs will probably continue to increase. Here’s what I learned about this trend and what we all may expect in the future.

Some U.S. homeowners are immune to the problem of rising Freon costs. Newer homes, particularly ones built after 2010, typically have HVAC systems that use newer coolants, ones that will be around for a long time and are produced and distributed in greater quantities. But those of us with the older systems face a dilemma. Do we upgrade to a newer HVAC system, a decision that involves lots of out of pocket costs, or do we continue to accept the rising expense of recharging the coolant in leaking systems that regularly require a refill?

How do I decide whether to convert my existing HVAC system to run with the new coolant type, replace the system entirely or just leave things alone?

After researching this myself I concluded that the most cost effective choice is to leave the existing system in place at least until 2020, but that is only true if the system is running well and not leaking coolant. I also believe that a system that requires some component repair or replacement but does not leak is cheaper to keep than replace. I found that to be true after looking at the prices of replacement parts. Long after r-22 is no longer made there will still be new parts manufactured for the older systems. Those parts will not contain any coolant though.  That is the most important thing to consider when making your own decision. At what point is it more expensive and time consuming to find a technician or coolant source still carrying the old coolant type? That will likely vary from one area of the U.S. to another. But keep in mind that some of that coolant will still be available in the form of reclaimed product, taken out of systems and reused, for years to come.

What if the system is leaking heavily or near to failing?

If your HVAC system is in poor condition then you may be better off trying to find a way to afford the cost of replacing the entire system. I arrived at that conclusion after examining the costs of replacing individual components of an older system. And here is the real problem with continuing to fix that old system. The newer coolant type, r410a, does not work with older systems. Trying to convert a system from r-22 to r410a is highly impractical. The system pressure is higher for r410a, the lubricant type is different and overall it’s a throwing good money after bad to even attempt a conversion for most homeowners.

So what is best for someone on a tight budget whose HVAC system is leaking and doesn’t appear to have much time left before things start breaking?

Anyone in this situation who plans to keep the house for more than a few years should think seriously about financing options. Some local utility companies and some HVAC installers offer financing options. And in some instances the monthly payments may be very reasonable. On the other hand a homeowner who does not intend to keep the house much longer can’t look at such a hefty cost as a good idea unless the new HVAC system will result in an equal or greater boost in the sales price of the house.

There’s another thing to consider in all of this. If your system is leaking heavily then it’s not just costing money to recharge. It’s also releasing a chemical into the air in your house and ultimately into the atmosphere.  And there is a good reason that the chemical was marked for phasing out in the first place. It certainly isn’t helping the environment to have it being released into the air from lots of older homes. For some homeowners that, coupled with the greater efficiency of newer HVAC systems from an energy use standpoint, is enough to make the cost of the new system acceptable.




Home appliance protection plans are getting popular these days among homeowners. Such home warranty plans cover appliance repair costs and help homeowners with maintenance and repair services.

Home Appliance Protection Plan

What exactly is home appliance warranty plan?

Home warranty plan is a contract to insure the appliances in case of breakdowns to cover-up the repairs or replacement.

Watch this video to know the basics of Home Warranty –

Why do I need a home protection plan?

Home protection plan relieves you from unwanted stress and buys you peace of mind by providing the confidence that any repairs and replacement of your insured appliance will be taken care of by qualified service providers.

How does a home protection plan work?

In case any of your insured appliances break down, first step is to place a service request by simply calling up your insurance company. Once the request is confirmed the same is sent out to schedule an appointment. Only the service fee will be collected to determine the problem and sort-out the issue.

Are all the appliances in the house covered in the warranty plan?

Only the products listed in the insurance contract will be taken care of by the Home protection plan. Generally all major appliances  like refrigerator, washer/dryer, bathtub, plumbing systems, electrical systems, ceiling fans, water heaters and garage door opener are covered in the insurance plan. If it is determined that your insured item cannot be repaired by a service contractor, then it will surely be replaced.

Before deciding on home warranty plans and policies:

There are lots of home protection plans available in the market today. But it is not really hard to find which plan suits your requirements best, besides you just need to do some basic groundwork before deciding-

  • First you need to find out what your entire plan should cover
  • How much do you prefer to invest on the warranty plan?
  • Find a suitable home warranty company that offers the kind of plan you are looking for at a particular price to invest on.
  • Go through the policy booklet and fine print of the company contracts
  • Do check whether the policy has any pre-existing condition exclusions and if so what those conditions are
  • Does the company add up any additional fee on repair or service charges?
  • Will the appliance be replaced or repaired? Will they replace items with new or used items?
  • Check company’s response time obligations. Generally it is within 24 to 48 hours for non-emergency repairs.

These are all the questions that you need to find the answers to before purchasing a home warranty policy.  Some company policies cover only certain appliances while few are expensive. You need to be clear on all these issues.

Once you are certain about which plan suits your needs, compare the policy premiums and ensure the coverage plan. Finally, make sure the home warranty  company is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays, so they are there when you need assistance. You can find such companies in our home warranty company directory. A home warranty company should have a toll-free number so it doesn’t cost money to call. Ensure that the customer support is available on easy track so that it helps in fast communication and service. Sign up with a company that has all the above mentioned facilities.

Planning to buy a Home Warranty policy? Watch this video –

 




Home Warranty or appliance extended warranty are basically insurance policies for the appliances and systems in your home. Hope you never have to employ them, but glad you have it when your appliance breakdown. With cost of service & electronic components, your repair bill could end up being the same as the price appliance was bought for.

This article will help you in deciding on what is more pertinent, buying a home warranty or extended warranty.

Home Warranty and Extended Warranty – ComparisonHome Warranty or appliance extended warranty

Home Warranty – Valuing Your Possessions

Hands and little house.‘Home Warranty’ is typically provided by the builder to a new homeowner. This covers major household appliances and systems such as washing machine, refrigerators, gas system, central heating and plumbing. Remember, you are only covered if the failure of the appliances or systems is not a result of mishandling or misuse.

 

 

Appliance Extended Warranty

Extended warranty, as the name suggests is usually purchased for a specific appliance(s) or system(s) for a definite period. This warranty is generally provided by the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or any of their subsidiaries or partners. Extended warranty begins once the standard warranty on the product expires and comes with a cost.

What You Get With Your New Appliance

Manufacturer’s Warranty

The least you must be expecting from a warranty on a new appliance is one year on parts and labor. This home warranty cover flaws in parts and workmanship for that year. Generally this warranty will be on site service except for smaller units that may have to be transported to the nearest service centre at the owner’s cost for repair.

This warranty generally starts from the date the appliance was purchased, delivered or installed.

Appliance warranties may or may not cover “cosmetic” or “customer instruct” claims. Cosmetic claims might be a scratch, broken plastic trim piece or knob. Some manufacturers will cover these claims for the first 30 or 60 days. Customers instruct calls can include installation issued calls or operation calls which will also be covered for the first 30 or 60 days.

Limited Warranty

Limited warranties are extended warranties on specific parts of your appliance. These limited warranties are stated in owner’s manual and have fine print, so ensure you read them carefully. Most of the limited warranties offer the part free of cost, the customer may be asked to pay for labor.

Below are some examples of limited warranties.

  1. Laundry products may have a 2-5 year limited warranty on parts that stop working. Other limited warranties may cover the transmission for up to 5 years and a limited lifetime warranty on a stainless steel tub. The part will be covered but you will generally be liable for the labor and any trip service charge.
  2. Cooking appliances may have an extra 2-5 year limited warranty on ceramic cooking surface, heating elements and electronic controls. This is normally only parts and you need to pay for labor and any trip charges.
  3. Dishwashers may have an additional limited warranty on the pump/motor assembly for 2-5 years. The inner tub may also be covered against rust after 5 years to the lifetime of the appliance. Labor and service charges are your responsibility.
  4. Microwave ovens usually have a 5 year limited warranty on the magnetron. You may be responsible for un-installing the microwave if it is an over-the-range model.

Parts replaced under a limited warranty will not increase the warranty period. Generally they will only be assured for the remaining life of the original product’s warranty period.

Lastly, these extended warranties or any appliance warranties are not transferrable to a second owner so keep this mind while buying or selling a pre-owned product.

Do I require Home or  Extended Warranty?

When repairs on appliances are needed, they can be pricey. Here is a list of appliance types and some repairs that we think might call for a purchase of a repair contract.

Built-in Models

When a major problem occurs, specially a built-in appliance, it may not be easy. Some built in appliances are not uniform in size and cabinet work may be required to replace this appliance. In this case, getting the appliance repaired may be expensive. Contract would definitely be best for this case.

Electronic Models

Many modern day appliances have electronic controls. If you live in an area that is prone to power outages, surges or fluctuations, electronic appliances have a bigger danger of being damaged. Most electronic boards are not low-priced to replace, as some cost well over $300 for the part alone. In this case, an agreement would perhaps be wise.

Gas Range

Majority of gas ranges use electronics for control and ignition of the gas. These parts need service or replacement through the life of the stove. Glow bar igniters in your oven are not hard to replace but the cost for these parts are $50-$150. Control boards cost generally from $100-$250. With these costs alone, you can purchase an agreement.

Standard gas ranges require fewer repairs. These stoves are very simple and can run for a lifetime without a repair. Moreover, of gas stoves can still be used even if you have a power outage. In this case, agreement is not recommended.

Electric Ranges

For electronic, self-clean, glass top stoves, a contract is always recommended. Parts on these stoves are usually pricey. Elements alone can cost almost $200; glass tops can cost $600, and controls up to $250.

In case you are purchasing a simple, basic coil type stove, repairs are fairly low-priced. In most of the cases these repairs can be done by the homeowner and he/she shouldn’t be worried about a repair agreement.

Gas Dryers

Gas dryers must be serviced by skilled technicians only. Sometimes heating problems are difficult to diagnose and can be dangerous if not corrected properly.

 

What you Should Know About Home Warranties and Extended Appliance Warranties

Do your homework BEFORE buying home warranty or extended warranty for your appliances or systems. Understand the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract, specially its limitations.

Be sure you know:

  • Any repair NOT covered
  • If you must get second opinions or price estimates before repair
  • The reputation of the selling agent
  • If the agreement contains a service repair cost “deductible” clause
  • If you have to take the appliance to the repair shop or it will be repaired in your home
  • If you will be reimbursed for consequential damage such as clothing or food loss resulting from freezer failure
  • If the agent is responsible for a repair when the necessary part is no longer available
  • If you can renew annually and what the cost is to do so

Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcomed surprises!

 

Differences between Extended Warranties & Home Warranties

Extended Warranty

extended-home-warranties

‘Extended Warranties’ usually mirror your original home appliance warranty, offering repair, service and replacement of major systems and appliances within home that breakdown. Extended warranties can be provided by the manufacturer, the dealer where you purchased it, or third party. Manufacturers will generally let you procure an extended warranty at the time of purchase or during your warranty period. Since these warranties are offered by who made your appliance, so the service will generally be provided by the same people who provide the warranty work.

These service companies usually have the proper training for your appliance and are more knowledgeable about your appliance.  Dealer extended warranties will either service your appliance themselves or use an approved service provider. Either way, the service company must be trained for your appliance similar to the manufacturers extended warranty contract.

Third Party extended warranty is generally managed by a national company. One more thing that you should keep in mind is that some credit card companies extend the manufacturer’s warranty by a full year when you pay using one of their cards.

Home Warranty

Home warranties are all the time, a third party company and are a bit different than extended warranties. These warranties cover your entire home which includes plumbing, HVAC systems, electrical appliances and other items. The cost related with these home warranties is based on the items that are actually being protected and on the type of deductible or service fee you sign up for.

Home warranties can be procured any time without any age restrictions or an inspection of your home and equipment. In addition, sellers, builders and real estate agents provide these home warranties when selling their houses.

These home warranties need to be read very carefully. Home warranties have the most omissions and generally the highest deductible cost to the homeowner.

There are dozens of home warranty companies which do not perform the work themselves. They sub-contract all the work out to independent, generally local, service shops of all types.

 




Are you longing for a home decorated with our green friends? You want a home that is eco-friendly and looks pretty at the same time? You have come to the right place!

Over the years plants have become much more than just a source of food. While being a very nutritious edible species, members of Kingdom Animalia are also very visually appealing. Even the prickly cacti are never an eye sore.

For all you homeowners out there who wish to add a hint of green to your home, this article shall give you all that you have to know about before you decorate your house with plants.

Benefits of Green Life

Decorate Your House With Plants

There are indeed a lot of benefits associated with gardening and using plants as decor. Let’s discuss about them.

  • Plants are cheaper than most other decor items.
  • They are eco-friendly. Read further about Bringing Nature Into Your Home!
  • During mornings, they release oxygen as a bi-product of photosynthesis. This means that the area around a plant has pure and oxygen rich air.
  • Growing flowering plants can help you save money when the need arises to gift/ make decorations with flowers. Did you know? Some of the best center pieces for dinner tables are made out of fresh flowers and T- light candles?
  • Spending time in a space filled with plants lifts your mood.
  • Plants come in a wide range of varieties giving you unlimited possibilities to use them as decoration.
  • Makes your house look fresh!
  • They are like pets that you can love and care for but don’t move around and litter your home!
  • Living in an environment filled with healthy plants, help cure disease. Ailments like Asthma and other respiratory diseases can be controlled by placing plants in our homes, so that we can breathe fresh air!

Common indoor plants

Norfolk island pine, peperomia, aloe vera, English ivy, peace lily, snake plant, spider plant, bamboo palm, golden pothos etc are the most common varieties of indoor plants. Among them, aloe vera is known for its moisturizing properties and so it can double as an ingredient for homemade face packs. The English ivy is said to be a plant that purifies air effectively, while the most common indoor plant is the spider plant, which is also known for its air purifying properties.

Did you know, the golden pothos has the ability to remove formaldehyde from the air, if you thought plants simply stood lazily in a corner?

You can visit a local nursery or look up on the internet to identify the plants that best suit your lifestyle and home decor.

Where to place your green friends?

plant2

Window sills, kitchen counters, living rooms and balconies make ideal locations for plants. You can even use an assemblage of different plants to create a great ambiance.

Most indoor orchids require humid atmosphere to thrive well. They’ll make excellent additions to your kitchen or a sunny bathroom.

Bedrooms are not really recommended because, as you know, plants release carbon dioxide at night. This leads to reduced amount of oxygen in the air and that is most certainly not good for health.

How to place them?

plant1Pots and containers for these plants are also decorative pieces themselves. So make sure that the pots you use are not only functional but also visually appealing. If you don’t want to spend loads of cash on fancy clay pots, you can simply buy some normal brown ones and paint them in a variety of colors.

If you have enough space, use big terracotta pots and paint them in a bronze or copper color. It adds a certain old world charm to the whole area. Although metal planters are ideal for this look, they are a wee bit expensive.

As much as possible, place your plants in sunny areas and avoid keeping them in places that are not frequently visited. plants like cacti can be kept in tea-cup sized pots and placed in smaller spaces.

Caring for indoor plants

This part is vital. Even though indoor plants require less maintenance as compared to their outdoor counterparts, they will still wither and die if you don’t care for them. Here’s how you should care for your indoor plants.

  • Ensure that they get sufficient light. This does not mean that you should keep them in direct sunlight always and get them burnt in the afternoon sun. Few hours of sunlight per week would do. If your plants are big, place them in wheeled pots. This way you can push them around to locations where they receive light.
  • Water them regularly. Water requirements of each species of plants are different. Hence do sufficient research to find out exactly how much water is needed for a plant. Also plants should never be stored in pots that lack even a single hole. Excess water should never be allowed to collect beneath a plant as it causes the roots to rot.
  • Keep pests at bay. Vegetation is bound to attract insects. Hence you should make sure that such pests don’t cause harm to your beloved plants. A mild pesticide should do the trick.

Plants are indeed a joy to have around living spaces. Having them in your home shall freshen the air and also lift the moods of people occupying that space. If you are someone concerned about environment, you should know about how green landscaping benefits the environment. Hope you found this article informative. Cheers!




Decks have turned out to be an extremely admired, low-cost additions to a home. Decks make it suitable to enjoy sitting outside day or night. They open up the home and help entertaining and outdoor dining. Yet, decks are also subjected to the damaging effects of the weather. As such, maintenance of deck is imperative to avoid discoloration caused by moss, algae, dirt and other plants. These deck attackers destroy the surface of wood. Splinters are formed, creating a rougher surface that is even more welcoming to plants and dirt. Before long, you have a dirty deck that’s unfaithful when wet and riddled with splinters. Regular home maintenance takes some work, but you will enjoy and cherish the changes afterwords.

Deck After & Before Maintenance

After & Before Maintenance

Many homes have a deck these days. It may just be an entrance slope to the most complicated designs. While some decks are finished with customary redwood and cedar (which have natural preservatives in it), various decks are now made from pressure-treated pine or cedar.

A deck installed and designed by a competent deck service team have a long life span, Like servicing your car, the deck also requires usual maintenance checks to cover things such as algae build up, Tightness of Bolts, condition of timber, and general wear and tear. Our coarse climate requires that most decks get some notice during the year. The UV rays in the sun and wetness from rain are the greatest enemies of a deck.

Is Deck Maintenance Obligatory?

Numerous decks are made of pressure treated pine. High quality treated pine will last  30 years or so before there is any considerable decay. However, splintering and discoloration can start on after only a few months. For this reason, most people take on a usual cycle of maintenance. Failure to do so won’t cause your deck to decay, but your deck will definitely become faded and the surface will become prone to splinters and rough.

To make certain that the deck goes on looking good with negligible discoloration and splintering, the deck must be sealed as soon as it becomes steady within its surroundings. This normally means waiting a few weeks after the deck is accomplished before sealing.

What kind of Maintenance is Recommended?

Roughly once a year, the deck must be checked for protruding nails and loose boards, carefully cleaned and resealed. Cleaning deck includes taking away algae, dirt, moss and other organic matter. Resealing is accomplished applying a clear or semi-clear liquid sealant to all uncovered surfaces.

Many proficient painters offer this service. However, quality and prices differ. Usually, sealing expenses and deck cleaning vary from $300-$600. There are lots of firms who are not sure of what they are doing, so be careful and choose highly skilled and experienced individual.

High-Quality Deck Maintenance

Here’s a checklist of things to do in order to maintain your decking material in the best shape possible:

1. Examine and Prepare the Deck

You should scrutinize your deck each year or two. Examine especially for any loose boards or protruding nails that need repair. Clear the deck of any toys or furniture and cover all delicate plants. Next, sweep up the deck of larger debris. Before starting the cleaning process, ensure no children have right to use the area.

2. Clean the Deck

Deck Maintenance

Power Wash

Before applying sealant, you should thoroughly clean the deck of all build-up and dirt. Debris blocking the spaces between deck boards must be blasted out with an influential nozzle on a garden hose or a power washer. The water can also help in diluting any chemicals that may accidentally come into contact with grass and plants. Discoloration and stains can be eliminated by products with a base of non-chlorine bleach base or oxalic acid. Acid-based materials handle stains and graying while bleach-based products eliminate mildew. However, be conscious as bleach used to kill mildew can also put down a surface dull and washed-out. In such situations, an acid-based deck restoration product should be used.

Make sure to study the instructions and warnings for cleaning solution thoroughly. The solutions can typically be brushed onto the deck using a broom or it can be sprayed on with a power washer under low pressure. Generally, the more powerful the chemical, scrubbing will not be required more. Scrubbing can be done by hand by making use of a basic scrub or a push button. After waiting for the directed duration for the chemicals to do their work, carefully clean the deck. High-powered jets can be useful, but excess pressure can gouge wood or cause the grain to become blown up.

3. Seal the Deck

Once the area is dried out, you must seal the deck. Put down tarps to defend air conditioners, plants, and other items that require protection from the sealant. The level of defense needed is based in part on how you are going to apply the sealant. Sealant can be sprayed on, brushed on or rolled on with a paint roller. By far, spraying is the fastest. But this is also the toughest to manage. And, some sealants have color that will discolor surfaces to which they are applied.

Sealants are also coarse on plants. While most plants won’t be spoiled by getting hit with wafting over-spray, direct hits can do actual damage. Sealants are available in either oil-or water based formulas. Generally, the professional sealants, which are usually of better quality, are oil–based. Some sealants have stain to shade the color of the deck. Sealants with stain don’t bring consistent color across the wood all the time, so attempt it first in an out-of-the-way spot to ensure the results go with your prospects. A best deck sealant will also contain ultraviolet sunlight protection to decrease the harmful effects of the sun.

Substitutes to Traditional Decking Materials

There are new decking material choices. Quite a few companies make new decking materials that don’t splinter and don’t need sealing or painting. Most are made of plastic or by mixing wood and plastic together. While more pricey primarily than the ordinary wood products used today, they provide large savings over time due to reduced maintenance costs. Most of them are perhaps not good as decking replacement on older decks since they need tighter spacing of joints due to decreased dimensional strength.

 

Want to Read More About Home Maintenance?

Then you should check out our home maintenance section!





Building insurance is a type of insurance most people don’t know enough about. This is the cover that provides for dealing with storm damage, accidents, malicious damage and a range of other things most people understandably prefer not to think about at all if they can help it. Building insurance is a type of “catchall” insurance, which covers damage to buildings which can run into very heavy costs for owners. So how do i insure a building? Read this article to get clear insight about building insurance.

Insure a Building

Buildings and risk management

This is a very versatile type of insurance, and it needs to be. Building damage can include some extremely difficult, capital-intensive issues that owners have to deal with quite regularly. It’s a form of investment protection, very common in commercial properties, to deal with the risks of businesses. If you own several million dollars worth of building, you need to know you’re properly covered.

The fact is that any type of building ownership includes a lot of basic risk management by definition. If you own rental properties, you’ll be well aware of the possibilities of damage from various sources, and the fact that premises really need to be maintained. Damage has to be fixed, and if that damage isn’t adequately covered, it’s money out of pocket upfront, a loss in any terms unless you have a very good homeowners insurance policy.

That’s not good business practice, and it’s exactly what building insurance is designed to deal with. For homeowners, the issues may be different, but the principle is the same. If you’re paying off a mortgage, and the budget is looking a bit fragile, the last thing you need is building damage running into thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. That whole scenario has to be covered, and covered properly.

Building insurance basics

The best approach to building insurance is to take a long hard look at your needs and then start shopping around for insurance that covers your needs. You’ll probably be surprised to hear that online buildings insurance is quite easy to get, complete with upfront quotes and adjustable cover, which can be tailored to your needs. This is the new paperless insurance, bureaucracy-free to the extent that it’s possible to be, and it’s getting a lot of market share because it’s highly efficient for both private and business purposes.

The shopping around needs to include:

  • Clear understanding of policy values. This is critical. Ask questions, and you’ll get straight answers. The insurers need informed customers, particularly about cover values. Sales and quality are now inseparable in this highly competitive industry, so expect good offers and good information.
  • Clear policy operation values: How a policy is operated, including outlay on premiums and policy variations is often critical, particularly to people having property portfolios to manage. Efficiency pays off in time and value, so go for the best you can get in these areas.
  • No “grey areas”. Best practice in insurance includes Product Disclosure Statements, and these statements are comprehensive. Read them.

Buildings insurance is easy to get and easy to manage. Stay in front of the issues, and your cover will do the rest.




Since you searched for this online, it is possibly true that you are frustrated beyond possible limits, because your Insurance Company, that you hired to make your life easier, is in fact annoying you. Let’s not waste time, this article explains the strategy that you must adopt in the event that your Insurance company acts tough on your claim.

Let’s take you over the essentials first. The points that follow must be adhered to , otherwise you stand a chance to lose the fight against the Insurance company.

General guidelines

Pursue Insurance Claims

 1. Information

Gather all the information you can regarding your damaged device eg Manufacturer’s name,  model no, batch no, claim center’s details, basically anything that is required. You should have them ready before you call up the Insurance Company. Keep the info that you gathered in the same place, this is will make accessing them easier. Keep your policy booklet and contract ready as well.

2. Maintain Call logs

Once you have gathered all the required information, call the Insurance company. It is suggested that you don’t place your call on Mondays as it is the busiest day of the week. You should keep records of the following:

  • All communication with your Insurance company must be noted down precisely. Details about the following are most significant.
  • Time, date and duration of the call.
  • Name, ID and call center location of the representative you spoke to.
  • Name of the supervisor to whom your call was transferred.
  • Details about the content of your communication.

3. Be nice and pay attention

Remember that being rude is not going to reap any rewards. The Representative on the other end of the line is possibly more frustrated than you are as they have to deal with annoyed customers like you all day.

  • Greet the Representative back, make sure that you have gotten his name and other details right.
  • Politely explain your grievance, ask for their help, give them details that are required.
  • Tell them why you think your claim should be processed.
  • Always keep in mind that your fight is with the Company and the representative has nothing to do with it.

If you follow the above two rules, you might get a positive response from the Insurance company soon. But there are cases where even good manners and genuine claims fall on deaf ears. If you are experiencing something like that, read on.

They still won’t listen- What to do ?

Call them up at a later time:  This may help if the representative you talked to is a kind fellow. Or they may decide to help you just so that you stop annoying them with constant calls. Give it a try.

Speak with a supervisor:  We are not sure how much this would help, but it is still worth a try.

Threaten them: Yes, you read that right. You probably had thought about it already. First, tell them that you had been a loyal customer and that you will be disappointed if your issue is not resolved. If that does not work, threaten them by telling them that you will terminate your contract if your grievances are not solved immediately. When you do this, they will ask you why you want to terminate your contract. Proceed on telling them how your constant pleas and calls were ignored.

Threaten them some more: It might be helpful if you threaten them by saying that you will tarnish their reputation by bad mouthing them. Declare that you are going to publicise the details of how you were treated and you can even tell them that you will announce the same through various social media.

BBB: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one such institution that mediates between the customers and the businesses to resolve issues. Place a complaint with them . The BBB is not a government run organization, however they are advocates of integrity and ethics. They do keep records of all the complaints. No institution wishes to be in the bad list of the BBB.

Attorney General’s office: If you genuinely feel that you are being victimized, you can complain to the Attorney General’s office. They will conduct enquiries and try to resolve the issue. If you do not wish to do this, then simply threaten the Insurance Company by telling them that you will complain to the Attorney General’s office.

Last resort: The lawsuit threat. This should not be used unless your case is that compelling. Most biggies in the Insurance field have their positions covered legally and you may lose unless you have a strong case against them.




Recently Warranty Week Newsletter published a report on home warranty companies market share in U.S. While it is not clear how the estimates were made and what assumptions were in place, the estimated numbers seem to be in the ballpark and must give an approximate idea where the companies stand.

With 41% market share, American Home Shield leads the pack followed by First American (11%), Old Republic (8.3%), CCHS (6%), 2-10 HBW (5.3%), and Fidelity (4.3%). It is interesting to note that the major service providers account for only 76% of the market. According to the report, remaining 24% of the market is shared by small companies and half of which are Internet scam companies which have no credibility whatsoever.

Here is the breakdown of home warranty companies market share :

Company Name Market Share (%)
American Home Shield by Service Master 41
First American Home Buyers Protection 11
Old Republic Home Protection Co. Inc. 8.3
Cross Country Home Services (HMW) 6
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty Corp 5.3
Fidelity National Home Warranty Co. 4.3
Dominion Products and Services Inc. 3.7
Home Service USA Corp. 3.3
American Water Resources Inc. 3.3
Home Security of America (HSA) 2.1
Service America Enterpirse 2.0
Home Warranty of America – HWA 1.7
Land America – BHW 1.5
Broward Factory Service – BFS Less than 1%
Allied Home Warranty Less than 1%
The Warranty Group (ServicePlan) Less than 1%
Warrantech Home Service Less than 1%
Nations Preferred Home Warranty Less than 1%
American Home Gaurdian Less than 1%
America’s Preferred Home Warranty Less than 1%
HISCO Home Warranty Less than 1%
Blue Ribbon Home Warranty Less than 1%
Home Warranty Inc. Less than 1%
RAM Home Warranty (Rehak) Less than 1%
U.S. Home Protective Association Less than 1%
Nicor Services Less than 1%
Others 5%

The $1.5 billion home warranty industry was hit by the real estate downturn and but looking at the growth chart, 2009 was not a bad year. The growth was flat for the last 2 years, but the industry did not experience any negative growth unlike the real estate market.

You can read the home warranty market share report at their website

You can refer to home warranty companies and their offers on our website as well.




Undoubtedly, consideration of best home warranty is the first step towards feeling confident about your purchase on
safeguarding your appliance.
Many things contribute to a great service experience.When insured and covered appliance breaks down or any item needs to be repaired, then a home warranty contractor comes into the picture to provide the best service.
These home warranty contractors have pre-arranged agreements with home warranty companies to provide the services.Home Warranty Contractor

What is Home Warranty Plan?

Home warranty is a service contract which promises to repair or replace your appliances once a contract is made and certain amount is paid. It is a protection plan for all your aging appliances  provided they meet the pre existing conditions specified in the contract.

Home Warranty Coverage

Home Warranty coverage policy covers all major appliances like heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, kitchen appliances or any other expensive units. Either seller, real estate agent would buy the warranty and provide it as additional benefit or the home owner alone can purchase the warranty which is worth having.

If you are not sure what kind of coverage you want, check out the article – how to choose a home warranty protection plan

What is not covered?

Generally speaking outdoor items such as sprinklers, faucet repairs are not covered under all plans check with it, not all plans pay for refrigerators, washers & dryers or garage door openers, spa or pools unless specific coverage requested.

Denial of Coverage

Contractors are required to get the approval of the warranty company before carrying out the repair work. Sometimes the home warranty company may decide to deny the coverage due to pre-existing conditions clause or due to maintenance negligence reasons.

You have rights to negotiate the coverage, but sometimes small print clauses in the contract puts you in difficult situations. Hence you need to be aware of what your home warranty should cover and also very important to know what is excluded or not covered under the policy.

Causes of denial of Coverage

Your claim may be denied if the insurer determines that you have not maintained your home properly. Improper installation, code violation or any unusual pattern of wear and tear may lead to rejection of  your claim.

Procedure for Contacting Contractor

To get contractor assistance for service, you need to contact the warranty company to arrange for a service call. Once it is processed, service team will arrange one of the contractors on their list and ask them to contact you and schedule a convenient time to come and resolve the issue which involves a service charge.

If the service provider is unable to fix the problem, then it is Warranty Company’s duty to replace the item. Replacing the item normally depends on the coverage plan of the policy.

In case of dispute with contractor

Communicate with your home appliance warranty company in case of any dispute with the contractor. Home warranty contractors are being paid by the insurance company and work as per their instruction. Hence check with the contract policy terms and conditions.

Note the name of the person you spoke with, the date and a summary of what was discussed. Your notes should include the date and time of the communication, whom you spoke with, and your understanding of what was discussed regarding the denial of your claim which will help you in future correspondence and quick resolution of the issue.

Denial of Contractor Payment

In some rare cases, home warranty companies do not pay their dues to contractors. While reputable companies always honor their commitment, there are some shady companies that operate in the grey area. In such cases, contractors may approach the homeowner for payment. As your contract is with the home warranty company, you are not obligated to pay the contractor. However, make sure you do not sign any agreements with the contractors to cover such payments.

 




Home Warranty Hidden CostsWhen is the homeowner supposed to buy home warranty? A home warranty is not a plan that can be purchased and used for the life of a home, but it is a warranty coverage for home appliances. It is procured before the sale of a home and acts as insurance for the new homeowner. Selling a home can be much easier if there is a home warranty drawn in. Shopping for a new home is a pricey endeavor.

People accept loans to purchase real estate, not wanting or expecting to spend extra on repairs for systems, appliances and things such as roofing. These hidden costs usually leave new homeowners in complex positions. A home warranty protects the new homeowner against these unexpected problems. Sometimes issues with different household features such as appliances come up in the closing days of a real estate contract. This can make a closing tricky and cost the original owner large sums of money they had not intended on spending. These issues might also convince the potential buyer to pull out of the deal, resulting in a failed transaction. The seller must then perform the necessary repairs before putting their home back on the market. A home warranty can only be implemented to working appliances and systems. The age of the item is not taken into consideration as long as it is in working order.

Prior to Purchase

Retailers, installers and manufacturers may provide separate warranties, each of which covers a different part of the home. Inquire for copies to take home and contrast against other packages from other retailers. Ensure that you get a copy of the complete warranty, not only a summary brochure. Glance at the combined terms of all the warranties that cover a home. All new homes must have a warranty but old or used homes may not, or may have a limited warranty. Be cautious of homes sold with no warranty – there may be several hidden problems with the home.

What is and not covered before purchasing any home warranty

  • How long does the warranty last? For existing homes, warranties last about a year after which you can renew them. For newly built homes sold by the builder, the warranty provided by the builder can last for as long as 10 years, but incorporates shorter coverage terms for certain systems and materials. For instance, the doors, trim and drywall may be covered for the few years of the warranty term, while major damage or structural defects to load bearing portions of home are covered for quite a few years longer, as long as it meets the severity of defect stated by the warranty coverage. Again, make sure to read the fine print.
  • What is covered and what is barred? Warranties usually disclaim responsibility for consumer abuse, normal wear and tear, neglect of maintenance, and site preparation. Many exclude “cosmetic” items and some exclude important items such as wall cracks and leaky faucets, and doors and windows. Used homes typically have extremely limited warranties. To learn more, check out What is not Covered by Home Warranty article
  • What can cancel the warranty? Sometimes moving or selling the home together with improper site preparation can void the warranty. Does the home need regular maintenance to keep the warranty in force? If yes, what kind of maintenance?
  • Are appliances covered by a separate warranty? Whom do you contact for service? Who performs the warranty work? How does the retailer, manufacturer, and installer split job? Whom do you contact first? It is recommended to purchase directly from a manufacturer, but it is not possible in all states due to licensing laws.
  • Be wary of “extended warranties.” These are often little more than high-priced insurance products issued by 3rd party companies. Terms of the extended warranties may be dissimilar than the original warranty, so assess them as closely. If you are financing the extended warranty, then interest costs should be considered as one of the factors.
  • Arbitration Clauses: These contract terms restricting your right to take legal action are more common in manufactured homes than conventional buildings. You must ask whether any of manufacturers, retailers or the finance companies uses mandatory arbitration clauses in their contracts. What does it cost file a claim? Will they sell you the home warranty without the clause, or with the clause changed to your satisfaction? Request to see the argument while shopping.
  • Quality of Service: Check whether the retailer has references from previous customers. Verify with more than one, possibly people who have been in their homes long enough to endure the excellence of warranty service. You can also check the history of the manufacturer, retailer and installer. Many states want retailers to be licensed.

After the Purchase of Home Warranty

  • For new homes sold by builders, store all documents pertaining to the sale of your home, in addition to any correspondence with the retailer, manufacturers and state or federal agencies. Evaluate the homeowner’s guidelines and other information found in the homeowner’s manual that your retailer gives you upon receiving your new home. This manual is needed by the Federal law. There must be facts on how to deal with warranty issues, as well as maintenance necessities that may need to be pursued to keep your warranty valid.
  • Maintain credentials of maintenance performed on the home.

Small Print Clauses and Hidden Costs of Home Warranty

  • Waiting period – normally 30 days from the date of purchase of home warranty
  • Claim denials are very common and some of the reasons include negligence and lack of maintenance of appliances. For HVAC units are you supposed to get the annual maintenance performed by a professional. Make sure you keep maintenance records.
  • Trade/Service Call Fee – You are required to pay service call fee per repair incident. The amount is anywhere between 50 to 100 dollars.
  • Repair Over Replacement. Even if an appliance is faltering very often, the service providers tend to repair it rather than replace it as it will cost them less. Due to this tendency of service providers, you have to face the same problem repeatedly, without having much control over it as you are tied down by spending in the plan.
  • Max Limit – Some companies will set the ceiling on maximum amount on repair expenses they incur. Make sure you understand these limitations.
  • As you near the end of your warranty period, cautiously examine the home for signs of problems.

As a consumer, identify what is and is not covered before purchasing any home warranty. Ensure the details are clarified in any contract before you sign it.

None of these aspects should deter a buyer from purchasing a warranty that meets his or her needs but it takes a fair amount of due meticulousness to identify all the hidden costs in buying a home regardless of whether it is new or used.




American Home Shield (AHS), a leading home warranty company in the United States, appoints Mark Barry as new president of the company.

Mark Barry as New PresidentBarry most recently served as president of United Technologies Automation and Control Solutions, a $3.2 billion Hartford, Conn-based unit of UTC’s climate, control and security business. He previously served as the president of GE Security-Americas before it was acquired by UTC in 2010.

He spent seven years at Tyco International, including five years as the president of Tyco’s fire and security services Asia division, based in Singapore. He led a multinational team of 11,000 employees in 12 countries, growing the division to $1 billion in annual sales of its electronic security systems, fire-protection, detection and suppressions systems, and related services.

Barry succeeds David Crawford, who is retiring from the post after more than 25 years with American Home Shield, a servicer of home warranties with more than 1.3 million customers in 49 states. Crawford has been AHS president since 2006.

AHS is a pioneer in the home warranty industry, serving more than 1.4 million customers across 49 states of America, and is one of the best service provider in America.

The company offers home protection plan, a service contract which covers the repair or replacement of home appliances and components. It also offers home care advices in the areas of maintenance, tips and also guides towards aspects involved in buying and selling of homes, inspections etc.

It was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee with service centers in Georgia, Iowa, and Tennessee. American Home Shield Corporation operates as a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company. It employs 1,700 employees and has over 11,000 approved, independently insured service contractors nationwide.

The ServiceMaster Company is one of the world’s largest and most versatile service networks. The company’s network includes TruGreen, Trugreen Land Care, Terminix, AHS, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec.

Barry said in a recent phone interview, in his career he saw the penetration of household-alarm systems jump from about just 2 percent in the early 1990s to close to 30 percent.

“The (home-warranty) industry has the same potential to do that,” he says, “We are passionate about our commitment to grow in the real estate space, but we also know that we have the potential to grow beyond that niche and reach even more households.”

“He says a key to growth is getting the message to prospective customers on the value of American Home Shield warranties.

Last month he visited Carroll, Iowa and received inputs from department representatives and also visited city mayor Adam Schweers and Area Development Corporation executive director Jim Gossett.

Barry says he’s impressed that AHS’s employees are “incredibly well-focused” and the business is a “well-operating organization.”

The company has added more employees and with a promising president it is all set to grow and take the home warranty industry to a new level.




As a landlord, legal responsibility is a bigger issue for you. You need to guard yourself against the losses that can potentially crop up to your properties and in general financial health. What if your occupant is hurt on the rental possessions? You want to be sure that if you are prosecuted, you have the adequate insurance to lend you a hand.

Insurance Landlord needs

As a landlord, you should guard your income stream and that’s your rental income. If the structure is adequately spoiled then it is not possible for the renter to dwell in your property, so you require a protection to your rental income so as to meet your obligations, together with the mortgage on the property, if any. This is where you have to reflect carefully on what your exact needs are and purchase the right coverage.

Take heart! While it may sound scary, insurers have previously designed policies for the landlord’s requirements. Always remember that there will be a dissimilarity in these policies, so you will have to verify the fine print and choose the one that suits your situation. By shopping around, you will get a better idea of what is obtainable in coverage and at what price.

Essential Insurance for Landlords

There are some forms of insurance you can take to make your life simpler and less of a burden. Here is a list of essential insurances that a landlord must have:

Get a Home Warranty

Landlords most likely take issue with this one, as it appears to take money out of their pockets-especially those with the ability to do repair work themselves. However, you can draw a better class of tenant if they recognize that there’s a warranty in place. (i.e., they won’t have to hunt you down and request you to come by to make repairs). Besides, it will free you up to truly manage your belongings as an owner rather than just a handyman. To end with, a home warranty policy will pay for itself with one or two repairs.

To get an estimate of home warranty costs for your rental properties, visit our home warranty price quote section

Landlord House Insurance

If you possess a home then you likely know the significance of ensuring that it is properly protected. Having the correct insurance for your property is a good step towards making sure that you have the guard you require. Landlord house insurance is essential for anyone who possesses a home. The key to home insurance policies is ensuring that you receive the best price for your insurance.

Below is a list of ways by which you can decrease the rate of your insurance policy.

  • Security System– If you set up a right security system that can sense fires or thieves, then you can find a reduced rate on your insurance policy.
  • Increase Deductible– You can ensure to pay a lower amount for your insurance plan by increasing your deductible payment. The deductible is the payment that you are required to pay once you make a claim on your insurance plan. Make sure that you find a good deductible rate for yourself.
  • Remove Potential Hazards– If you stay in an area that is bounded by trees then likely you have a high risk of a fire occurring. By clearing the trees you may be able to save money on the insurance. Based on the circumstances you may have to shell out a higher premium for your contents house insurance.
  • Find the Right Lender– The best way to save money on your landlord house insurance is to gaze around. Start a search online and hunt for different companies that provide reasonable insurance for your home. You can obtain free online quotes for house insurance from different companies but make sure that you get comprehensive quotes for your insurance. Get the details of the coverage and don’t be fooled by any company as the offer really low prices because they normally have high deductibles and bad coverage.

Landlords Contents Insurance

Many landlords believe that they do not require any insurance for the contents in their buildings. They hold the impression that these contents are taken care of by the building insurance they procured. However, that is not the actual case. To get the contents covered, they will have to spend extra in landlords’ contents insurance. Some landlords even feel that the contents will be covered by any insurance policy the tenant holds. But the actual fact is that the policies bought by the tenants will only cover possessions of the tenants and not that of the landlord.

If the landlords truly worry about the contents for which they put in a huge amount of money, they must procure landlords contents insurance. In this way, they can expect to get some reimbursement for the items in case they are damaged. Having no insurance for these items will leave them totally destructed if they face any incident causing damages.

Umbrella Insurance Policy

It’s called “umbrella insurance as it is intended to give liability protection beyond when the liability on other policies has been exhausted. Depending on the insurance company, you can obtain an umbrella policy with an extra one to five million in liability protection.

Umbrella Insurance gives an added layer of liability coverage. It’s isn’t just for rich and famous. Whether it’s an incident on your policy or a serious auto accident concerning costly medical bills, you can find yourself liable for damages that exceed the limits on your homeowners, auto or boat policies. A pricey judgment is the last thing you want to be anxious about.

Landlords habitually handle different types of policies, but one of the most significant and frequently unnoticed types of insurance is the umbrella insurance policy.

Consider these factors if you are not sure if you would benefit from procuring umbrella insurance or not.

  • Rentals– Though you carry an independent fire policy for each home, umbrella insurance can help you protect in case your tenant or tenant’s guest are injured on a rental property.
  • Vacant land-Your vacant land can be used by neighborhood children to play. If one is hurt it could result in an expensive lawsuit. In such situation, umbrella insurance can offer additional coverage.

Taking no notice of these insurance policies is not recommended anytime. The consequence of such ignorance could lead to serious losses that will be hard to recover. On the contrary, landlords are strongly suggested to make an investment in such policies that will save them a lot of money in case of any accidents.




Adding to a long list of home warranty companies which have entered the home service contract space only to quickly exit, Stanley Warranty announced recently that the company is immediately terminating its services.  Visitors to Stanley’s website see this message:

Stanley Warranty

The company’s closing may come as little surprise to those who are aware of last year’s announcement of an investigation into the new company’s business practices.  In June 2015 New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs announced that it had filed a complaint against Stanley Warranty, LLC, alleging that the company had committed acts contrary to its contractual commitments to its customers.  Among the state’s specific complaints against the company were alleged offenses that specifically involved Stanley’s home service contract customers.  Stanley also operated a business unit which provided consumers with extended service agreements for motor vehicles, commonly called auto warranties.

Here’s a quick analysis that we can provide to readers seeking more information about Stanley Warranty’s abrupt closure and the precedences set by other companies that pulled this same move in recent years. Come back to HomeWarrantyReviews.com for updates as we learn more about the fallout from Stanley Warranty’s announcement.

This Isn’t The First Time That A Home Warranty Company Has Gone Belly Up

Like Sensible Home Warranty did in 2014 when it closed shop, Stanley provided no apparent warning to their customers that pre-paid services would not be provided, though at this time it’s still unclear to HomeWarrantyReviews.com whether the company contacted customers via telephone or postal mail prior to closing its doors.  It’s also not known yet whether Stanley’s failure to uphold its commitment to any pre-paid customers will compound the company’s problems with New Jersey’s consumer agency.

Another company in the home warranty space that closed its doors in 2014, Colonial Home Warranty, sought bankruptcy protection.  Through bankruptcy, the company appears to have been able to escape financial responsibility for unfulfilled service contracts and repair bills from their contractors.  Whether or not Stanley Warranty will seek similar protection is not clear at this time.

The Signs Were All Over The Place That Stanley Warranty Was Trouble

Reviews for Stanley Warranty, also known as Stanley Safe Club, here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are almost entirely negative.  The reviews reflect an apparent trend of the company not honoring its promises to customers or contractors who performed repairs on its behalf.  Many of the worst reviews mention repair contractors pursuing payments from the homeowners after Stanley Warranty failed to fulfill its duty to make those payments in a timely manner.

On its Better Business Bureau page, Stanley Warranty already had an F rating prior to the announcement of its cessation of services to its customers.  On Yelp, a recent review includes a comment about a refund check from the company to the customer, who had canceled services ahead of the expiration of the contract period, being denied due to insufficient funds.  That review was created in December of 2015, leading to the obvious question whether or not Stanley was insolvent well before it closed its doors in 2016.  Interestingly, reading past reviews on Yelp leads you to at least one claim in 2014 that Stanley Warranty had announced on its company website that it was closing.  And no matter how far back in time a reader travels on Yelp, the story seems to be consistently poor, one unhappy customer after another.

Perhaps the most insulting element of this story is that Stanley Warranty sold its service contracts with a promise of zero service fees.  Anyone familiar with the home service contract industry knows that most companies charge a fee, paid by the customer to the service provider, at the time of a service call.  For a company to offer competitive rates with no service fees is a pretty compelling deal for consumers.  And many of the consumers lured in by that deal are now left with every required repair being paid entirely out of their own pockets, despite having paid well in advance for home service contracts from this company.

What Happens Next May Not Be Good For Stanley Warranty’s Pre-Paid Customers

The home warranty industry has a history of companies like Stanley Warranty popping in and out of the space and taking loads of customers’ money out the door when the companies fold or burning up the money received from customers through mismanagement and unhedged risks.  Consumers who have been buying home warranties for years probably recognize some of the company names, ones like Arkidus, Sensible Home Warranty, Colonial Home Warranty, and  Certified Warranties Corporation.  All of these companies have something in common.  They sold home service contracts right up until the day they shut the office lights off and locked the doors.  

This may be the single biggest black eye that the home warranty industry has received in the last decade, and it just keeps happening.  As if companies being able to enter an industry that is so much like insurance, often undetected by the state agencies that regulate their industry, improperly funded, and perhaps even criminally intent on defrauding their customers is not enough, the end result of the companies is consumers left with financial losses sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars in service contract fees paid in advance.  All too often the regulators in the states where the customers live are powerless to retrieve those customers’ funds, and even when bankruptcy courts are involved the individual consumer is usually out of luck when liquidated assets are divided up among registered claimants.

In a nutshell, the chance of Stanley Warranty’s customers seeing refunds is very, very slim.  It’s quite likely that this story will end the same way it did for customers of Sensible Home Warranty in 2014 when that company disappeared overnight.  But that should not stop consumers willing to do whatever they can to seek justice.  Readers who wish to pursue legal action should immediately seek advice from an attorney, preferably one with experience with defunct service contract companies.

What’s A Nice Homeowner To Do?

If there’s any worthwhile piece of advice we can give to our readers who are shopping for a home warranty company it’s this:

Do your homework!  Despite it not always being easy to do, consumers must research companies in the home service contract space before making a purchase.  Here’s an example of the kind of detailed reporting available to consumers trying to evaluate the financial health of companies selling home service contracts in the United States.  That article by Warranty Week is an excellent resource.  Keep in mind that if the home warranty company you choose is using its sales to finance its claims then you can probably count on two things happening.  One, the company will do whatever it can to avoid paying your claims.  Two, the company will eventually get into hot water and close up quickly in order to try to avoid the owners bearing personal responsibility for the actions of the company.

Be safe out there.  And if you are a Stanley Warranty customer who would like to share information with other readers in the same boat as you then please share your story in the comments section below.




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.




Claim Denial Reasons Found this useful? Share this with your friends and family, hit the share button and help someone out. Cheers!

Share this Image On Your Site

Claim denials are often said to be the most annoying experience for home warranty customers. Although most cases happen due to misunderstandings, we do agree that some companies do deny claims on vague grounds for their profit. But a reputable company would never do that. Let’s take a look at this infographic. It explains the common reasons behind home warranty claim denials and how a customer can verify if the grounds for denial are genuine or not. As shown in the infographic, the most common reasons for claim denial are:
  • Improper maintenance
  • Item not included in coverage
  • Improper installation
  • Damage resulted due to natural hazards
  • Damage resulted from crimes

Some of the above mentioned cases can be avoided, while some cannot be. In situations where the company says that the home warranty claim cannot be processed because the item is not covered or that the damage is due to improper maintenance, refer to your contract. If they say that the damage was pre-existing, there is hardly a way out unless you had a home inspection performed prior to purchasing the contract. Likewise for damages due to crimes and natural hazards, one needs a home insurance and not a home warranty. Which is one reason why you cannot replace a home appliance warranty with a home insurance or vice versa.

How to Minimize Your Chances for Claim Denials?

So now the question is, how do we avoid such incidents of claim denial? Simple, pick a great company. Like the infographic tells us, you have to do rigorous research before picking a warranty provider. This website could be a starting point for that. We have reviews of tens of thousands of customers which can help you choose a reputable company. Once that is done, review the contract or policy document thoroughly. Once you feel that the company is good and that the contract is drawn up pretty decently, you may proceed with the purchase.

How to Dispute Unfairly Denied Claims?

In spite of all the research that you did and picking a good company, if you still find that your claims are being denied unjustly, you can dispute the claim. This basically means to go behind them until they set things right and make amends. It’s quite easy, follow the steps mentioned in the last section. Keep in mind that companies won’t give up that easy, so you make have to make multiple calls to convey your point. While disputing claims, keep the following in mind:

  • Always be polite while speaking to the representative
  • Gather all the information required before making the call
  • If you are sure that your claims are being denied unfairly, inform the company that you will complain about them to concerned authorities like State Insurance Boards and small claims court.
  • You can also share your experience through review websites like HomeWarrantyReviews.com and through various social media pages.

Chances are high that the company will come around and accept you claim.




Planning to sell your home and hoping to get top dollar for it? You’ve come to the right place! Selling a home often requires as much thought and consideration as buying one, especially if you are trying to fetch a good price for it. Thankfully, these are a set of pointers you can go through to ensure that you get a good deal. So, sit back, read and get to know how a home can be sold for a great price!

top dollar

Step 1: Research For Top Dollar

Any transaction that involves real estate should be researched well. Selling a home for top dollar is no different. You could begin with finding out what the average market value is for homes in your neighborhood. You could also pick a real estate agent to help you with the sale of property. Real estate agents always stay updated about prices and know the vibe of the crowd.

If you do not want to appoint an agent, you can use the old-school method and gather information from friends and family. You should also do some research on the amenities available in the neighborhood as such matters affect the sales price of your house.

The Internet is also a very good place to begin your research. You can also make use of online portals to list your house. This will give better visibility and might help you get an idea about prices of houses in your neighborhood.

Step 2: Pricing For Top Dollar

Many factors should be considered while pricing your house for sale. Apart from obvious factors like size, amenities, and age of the home, there are factors like facilities in the neighborhood, proximity to schools/hospitals/parks, connectivity, and history of the locality. Again, internet research will help you with this task and probably be worthy of your time for those top dollars of your home. There are online tools which give you an estimate of the sales price of your home after you provide details.

If you have listed your property on an online marketplace, be sure to keep checking in often. Events that happen in your neighborhood like crimes or accidents could adversely affect your listing. Staying updated is key here. Also, unless you fix the right price, a good deal can never happen.

Step 3: Negotiate For Top Dollar

If you have placed an ad for your property in print or online media, there is a good chance that many potential buyers will try to contact you to collect information. These folks are also going to negotiate with you to drop the price. While making a small reduction is fine, dropping the price by a large margin could get the buyer suspicious. He/she will begin to wonder if the house is truly worth top dollars if you drop the price without much fuss. The general trend among sellers is to price the house a little above the market value. That way, even if a buyer makes a request to reduce the price, the deal will still be good.

Like we said before, real estate agents are of huge help when it comes to negotiating. In fact, the entire negotiation can happen with the agent alone leaving you free of the task of having lengthy conversations with the buyer.

Step 4: Add-ons

Everybody loves add-ons, more so when it comes to property. This is a step which is almost guaranteed to increase the selling price of your home. Research has found that a home warranty plan definitely increases the sales price of your house. These plans not only protect your budget, they will also relieve the seller from future disputes. If an appliance in your home fails, the new homeowner will simply contact the warranty provider and not the seller.

You can also put in more shelves or racks to increase storage. Most people are huge fans of ample storage and hence, it could compel people to buy your property. Replacing old appliances will also help sell your home faster.

Step 5: Aesthetics

Nobody wants a house that looks old and spooky. Peeling paint, squeaky doors – in general, anything that looks like the Amityville horror house will be seen as a huge turn-off. It could repel potential buyers. A fresh coat of paint is almost mandatory for the house before it goes on the market. You could also enhance the external appearance of the home by improving the garden (if you have one) or you can add some other landscape detailing. You could also renovate the bathrooms (if they are old) or the kitchen for faster sales. The money you spend on upgrading your home can be reaped back once you sell the property. Trust us, decorating your apartment creatively helps lure in buyers!

Strike A Good Deal For Top Dollar

Unless you use the services of an agent, your home could be in the market for some time. Do not let that prompt you to drop the prices drastically. A good deal will definitely come by. In the meantime, read up on various home maintenance guides to give your home a thorough upkeep. You could also get a home inspection done as a home inspection report is something that potential buyers would want. That’s all! Hope you strike a very good deal!




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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

Recommended Articles




Georgia, the state that has everything from marshlands to beautiful beaches! This state has many things to be proud of and on top of the list is the fact that its capital city, Atlanta is the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For the 10 million Georgians out there, here’s an article that discusses some of the best home warranty companies in your state.

There are many home warranty companies out there, but some of them stand out from the rest due to an enhanced customer service and benefits that they provide. In this article, we are going to be talking about the top 5 home warranty companies listed on our website as of September 2015.

Home Warranty Companies in Georgia

1. American Home Shield (AHS)

Services Offered

Reviews about this company suggest that they offer excellent services when you get their coverage and they will always find the most professional work for the best deals. That is what home warranty services are all about and these guys do it extremely well. They have been in the business or a very long time and they know exactly what people need and what kind of plans they should be providing to them.

Client feedback

The general feedback from customers is that AHS is a truly incredible service provider that goes the extra mile for their customers and that is the thing that really makes them the best at what they do in the eyes of hundreds of customers who have left their feedback. This is the kind of customer feedback that can be extremely good and it can make a company gain a great reputation fast.

Plans Offered

They are offering some excellent home warranty plans that are going to be extremely beneficial to a lot of people. There are also many variations of each one of these plans and the price ranges are pretty good. There is a good chance that you will find one plan that will be ideal for your needs.

One of the best things they offer is the “Build Your Own Plan” option, which basically allows you to customize the coverage and this makes it even easier for you to get something that fits your budget and needs.

2. The Home Service Club

Services Offered

These guys really go the extra mile with their 24/7 customer service features and they will get people to repair an appliance of yours fast and efficiently. This is the one thing that makes the Home Service Club stand out from the competition in a very positive and appealing way. People like the idea of being able to ask for help at any hour of the day and even at the latest hours of the night. No matter how late or how early in the morning, they will have someone answering their phones and providing emergency services to you if necessary.

Client feedback

The client feedback for the company is predominantly excellent and there are many people who are always giving praise to their 24 hour availability. There is no doubt that these guys have earned a good reputation. There are a few disgruntled customers who report having to call third parties in regards to some issues, but 99% of their feedback is excellent.

Plans Offered

They have a standard plan which is good enough for most people and they have a comprehensive plan that gives coverage to a larger number of states.

3. Home Warranty of America

Services Offered

Home Warranty of America is very proud of the way they strive to simplify the lives of their customers. They provide help with very immediate responses and that is what makes them part of this top 5. This is the kind of customer service that needs to be provided to the customers if a company wants to be able to gain any kind of respect and positive reputation.

Client feedback

The Client feedback is for the most part very good and there are many customers who are very satisfied with the service. You will find that some people who own very old appliances will complain that they did not get assistance for those items, but most people seem very satisfied with the service. It’s remarkable to see a company with such a high rate of satisfaction from its customers.

Plans Offered

Their customizable home warranty plans are very efficient and a lot of people have mentioned that they have a lot more options available since they started using this company. This is one of the reasons why it’s so highly recommended to anyone that wants to get proper home warranty plans for their appliances.

4. 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty

Services Offered

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has a host of online and offline services for their customers. They have a large contractor network of over 10,000 licensed and experienced technicians. The company takes pride that they have served more than 2.5 million American homeowners so far. The official website of 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty provides customers with the provision to manage their account online and also place and track claims through the Internet.

Client Feedback

This is a company that has been  in the industry for close to 30 years. They’ve built a strong reputation for themselves and is therefore a popular choice among new and existing homeowners. Feedback from customers was mostly positive with some instances of claim denials being reported here and there. Overall, this is a company that holds an A+ rating with the BBB and is also a favorite among homeowners.

Plans Offered

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has different plans for homeowners, builders and real estate agents. For homeowners, there are two basic plans. A 10 year structural plan and a Systems and Appliances plan. For real estate agents, the company provides one year service agreements for townhouses, condos or multi-family homes. Builders can avail comprehensive protection plans that provide structural warranty and reduce the builder’s liabilities.

5. Select Home Warranty

Service Offered

These guys are known for their quick and efficient customer services as well as their ability to provide the most professional repair services for all the covered appliances. This is a very solid company that has plenty of experience and it has become quite obvious to their customers that they are in this business to stay.

Client feedback

The client feedback is extremely good for this company and there is a very small number of people who have complained about the services not being what they expected, but this is inevitable in any large business. Even when everything gets done as it should, there will always be someone who is not going to be 100% satisfied with the work.

Plans Offered

They have very good standard home warranty plans that cover a wide range of appliances and they also offer more flexible plans that allow their audience to fully customize their services. There is definitely nothing more important than having a certain degree of flexibility when you are working with any kind of flexibility plan and that is all that you really need to learn.

Conclusion

While this article discusses top five companies based on user reviews, we want our readers to understand that this is not some kind of authoritative list. Please do keep in mind that there is a large number of home warranty companies that are just as good and efficient as the ones we mentioned. We actively encourage you to go through our website and the user reviews on it before you make a choice. Plus we’ve got a free quote tool and listings of top home warranty companies serving in each state, which you are free to exploit.

If you think there’s another company that deserves to be on the list, do tell us about it and If you found this article useful, don’t forget to share it with your friends! Cheers!