Home Warranty Helps Sell Your Home Quickly

Which home would you rather purchase? One that gives you no protection if the air conditioner, plumbing, furnace, garage door openers or dishwater go kaput or one the with a home warranty that fixes any repairs for less than $100?

Majority of buyers would opt for  the latter. It is simple to see why many sellers are making  home warranty part of the selling contract. Provide yourself a marketplace edge by giving buyers peace of mind.

Sell Your House Faster

A home warranty offers the buyer with peace of mind that helps in case there are any problems with major appliances, electrical or home systems. Generally there is a deductible service fee of about $ 60 payable per incident. The cost is generally around $300 to $400 in the form of an annual fee which buys peace of mind and adds value when you’re staring at selling your house.Sell Your House Faster

Additionally, some real estate companies may provide appliance and system protections plans to their customers at no extra charge. Nearly all real estate agencies will offer this service for free, which is generally built into the selling price of the home and brokerage of the realtor.

People who are procuring an older home will buy a warranty if there isn’t one already provided by the seller. This is where having a home warranty for your home is an excellent selling feature. Potential buyers are ought to be impressed if the home is already covered for its appliances and systems.

How to Compare and Choose the Best ?

You can effortlessly find a company that provides appliance protection on our website here or by asking your real estate agent. They will possibly have a list of good home warranty companies that they have used in the past and can advice. Your research also helps choose the best. It’s vital to find out what a company charges along with coverage and other clauses.

 

 

You must compare plans based on the categories below.

  • Systems and appliances covered
  • The cost of the home warranty
  • Service deductible fee
  • Exclusions
  • Other variables like add on’s and customization of plans

With a home warranty, you can give buyers with peace of mind allowing them to be assured that the home is worth their investment. This can be  an outstanding selling feature for any home, new or old. A home warranty can aid you to sell the home faster, standing higher than other homes for sale on the market that do not come with a home warranty.

Selling your home can be a daunting task. Providing appliance protection should do the trick. This service gives your home buyers the composure they look for.

Other Tips for Improving the marketability of Your Home

A few tips for you that will better the chances of finding a buyer for your house.

Kitchen Remodeling

One such improvement is kitchen remodeling. The key aspects you must bear in mind when remodeling are good floor area, sufficient storage space and other modern features. An agent in your locality will be the best person to advice. You can also look up on the internet for resources.

The most common reasons people go for kitchen remodeling are :

  • To improve materials, appliances and fixtures
  • To provide more floor space
  • To provide extra space so family members have a place to grab a quick bite or dine together

Putting back old kitchen cabinets with solid wood – whether cherry, oak or even something less pricey like pine and kitchen counter tops is a good way to increase the kitchen’s usability and appearance as well as the market value of your home.

Bathroom Remodeling

Like kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling needs the services of a professional contractor.

It is important  to have a comprehensive plan and know what type renovation work you want before beginning the project so that code compliance laws are met and essential permits obtained.

Be specific when making the list. Instead of just a lavatory, identify the type. Pedestal lavatories can cost over $300, while a simple wall-hung model can just be under $ 70. Designer toilets will be a little over $ 1,500 while a standard two-piece model will cost under $100. Shop for the finest quality fittings.

Besides, here is a list of 6 tips for selling your home that can change the way home buyers look at your home.

  1. Change the mailbox. The mailbox is one of the first items potential buyers see from the curb. A rusty mail box shows a poorly maintained home.
  2. Paint the front door.Depending on the type of door you have, it is prone to wear and tear making it look dull. The dirt from outside stains and the light it is exposed to fades the paint. A fresh paint can vary the image of the psychology of the buyer entering the house.
  3. Trim shrubbery. Shrubbery is good but overgrown shrubbery looks untidy. It makes the same impression – unkempt, not looked after and not clean. Sensible use of the clippers can make a huge difference in the curb appeal.
  4. Fertilize the lawn. Few things make a bigger impression than from the curb than a blossoming green lawn. And nothing will attain that for you than a little addition of fertilizer. Also apply a little seed to the balder patches of the loan and you can see improvements in a week.
  5. Change Light Switch Plates. Unavoidably, light switch plates and plates for outlets show signs of constant contract. Finger prints, dirt can be clearly visible. You could attempt cleaning them one by one but the plates are very cheap. However, clean plates would point to a home that is cared for to the last little item.
  6. Clean the windows. Dazzling clean windows make the house more attractive both inside and out while dirty windows showing hand prints, rain stains create a negative impression on the home buyer.

This list gives you a starting point on economical ways to improve your home’s marketability. Now you should walk your home and try to find the little things that could be made cleaner and brighter with very small expenses.






If you want your appliances to function in top condition, you must take care of them. This will help you save money on repair charges in the future. Here are a few maintenance tips that will help you take good care of you appliances:

Appliance Maintenance Tips

Let’s take a look at some basic yet important maintenance tips for keeping major appliances and systems in good condition.

1. RefrigeratorHome Appliances Maintenance

  • Cleaning is recommended every 6-12 months. Clean the condenser coil of your refrigerator on a regular basis.
  • Freezers should be located away from streaming sunlight or heat sources. Otherwise, they work much harder than necessary. Removing interior ice build-up improves airflow and helps to maintain proper freezer temperature.
  • Ensure that door seals are airtight
  • Always set the interior temperature to around 40° F

Follow the above steps and your refrigerator’s efficiency may increase by 30%! Want  more tips? You can read our Refrigerator Maintenance Guide for some cool information.

Washing machine2. Washing Machine

  • Check the connections where hoses meet faucets for both cold and hot water to ensure that they are not showing signs of leaking. Also check the drain line to ensure that leaks or overflow are not occurring.
  • Check hoses and screens for buildup.
  • Don’t overload the washing machine. If the machine is packed with clothes, it will need more energy to move them around. This means added strain on the washer’s motor, transmission, belts, and other parts.
  • Do not under-load the machine. Small loads can lead to off-balance cycles, which put a strain on the drive components.

Dishwasher

3. Dishwasher

  • Always set dishwasher’s multiple settings to save water.
  • Set the water heater to 120°F.
  • Use the ‘overnight-dry’ feature whenever possible.
  • You should inspect the condition of the door seal periodically and keep it clean. When water or dirt builds up on the seal, it can cause mold growth.
  • When loading your dishwasher, be careful to not damage the racks. Dishwasher racks are typically very expensive and often rival to the cost of a new appliance.

For more information, read dishwasher maintenance and repair guide.

oven4. Oven

    • Clean your range top often.
    • A gas oven with a solid ventilation system is the most energy-efficient choice.
    • Self-cleaning ovens use a lot of energy but are better insulated than other models.

 

  • Follow few basic checks before you call your home warranty people for service

5. Clothes Dryerdryer

  • Avoid overloading. When a dryer is overloaded, it puts a strain on the belt that turns the drum and that can lead to repair
  • Check exterior portion of the exhaust system to ensure that it is not clogged
  • Restricted air flow can tax the motor, but keeping the lint filter and the area below it clean, keeps the dryer operating more efficiently.
  • Clean out the lint filter before every load.
  • Every three months, use detergent to remove the chemical residues that can cling to the lint filter and restrict airflow.
  • Once a month, look at the dryer exhaust duct for crimps and obstructions.
  • Every year, remove and clean out the entire exhaust duct line from the dryer to the outside.
  • Reduce fire hazards by replacing vinyl with something else for flooring.

Troubleshooting Appliances

1. Washing machine: Washer Mold, Washer Vibration and Bubbles in Washing machine

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  • WASHER MOLD

    – Any washer can develop mold if the lid is kept closed always, trapping moisture within. But more serious issues have been reported regarding mold in frontload washers, especially high efficiency (HE) washers. There are ways to reduce the risk of washer mold, but even with the best of care, some frontload washers tend to have mold issues. This can become a very serious health issue that requires constant attention to minimize the effects on the family. The mold is usually black – the worst kind and sadly it is usually a recurring problem that requires proactive care.

  • WASHER VIBRATION

    – When a washer vibrates and starts gyrating out of place, there’s an imbalance problem which could be due to the wash load, but it could also signal a problem with the laundry room floor.  An imbalanced wash load is easy to fix, just cancel or pause the cycle and redistribute the load. At the most, you may have to add a large towel or two to help balance the wash and resume the wash cycle.

  • BUBBLES IN AN HE WASHER

    – If you’re using a High Efficiency (HE) washer, but inadvertently used the wrong detergent (regular), you may have soap bubbles that are trying to escape from the washer. Turn off the washer and proceed to a rinse and spin, which may need to be repeated to clear out the high volume of suds. HE detergent is a low siding formula which is recommended for high efficiency washers.

2. Humidifiers & Home Moisture: Water Droplets on Windows, Mold

  • WATER DROPLETS

    – Water droplets or steamy interior windows are usually an indication of excessive moisture. This could simply be caused by a large pot boiling on the stove, but it could signal another problem. It can be caused by a humidifier which is over humidifying the room – not being properly sized for that area or is running on High, where Low would be sufficient. Either way, it’s giving off way too much moisture. You can easily correct that by turning it down or moving the humidifier to a larger area of the house.

  • MOLD

    – Mold in the high corners of a bathroom usually signals that you need a fan in that areas which exhaust the bath/shower steam to the exterior of the home. Mold can be difficult to remove and will often recur prompting another home repair.

NOTE: The above troubleshooting tips are of advisory nature only. If your appliance isn’t working properly and you are not comfortable attempting any of the following, you may contact your local home warranty company and they can surely refer you to a qualified service contractor. If you don’t have a home warranty, contact a local technician at the earliest to get your appliance fixed.

Performing these small tasks in your regular cleaning and maintenance routine will reduce operation costs and may even eliminate the need for professional repairs. When you take great care of your appliances and further safeguard them with a home appliance warranty, you’ll be able to extend the life of your home appliances and count on them to last for many years to come.




Do you have a trusted appliance lying around your household for the past few years that you don’t want to give away or replace? Yet you are worried that it’s going to crash pretty soon leaving you with no other option other than repairing it or replacing it with a new one? Fret not! This article will shed some light on how to insure your household appliances against potential breakdowns

Let’s begin by comparing Home Warranty from the Homeowner’s insurance policy. The primary difference between the two is that Home Warranty covers repairs and replacements of failed appliances and systems, while the the Homeowner’s Insurance covers damages caused to your home and its content by natural hazards or theft. You can always find a contractor to repair your damaged appliances, but more often than not the costs involved in such scenarios are rather high. The other option that you have is to apply for a Home Warranty plan.

The Home Warranty plan is a contract of service that covers repairs and replacement of appliances and systems in your home. Depending on the kind and extent of coverage you wish to avail, the annual premium for the Home Warranty plan can range anywhere between $ 250 to $ 450. In addition, each time you approach the warranty company for a service, you have to pay a service fee usually called as the deductible. This is around $ 50. You can take a look at the table below if you want to know he systems and appliances that are covered under the Home Warranty Plans.

Home Appliance Warranty Plans

If you have doubts regarding whether or not your appliances need a Home Warranty Plan right now, take a look at the following chart. It tells you what the average lifespan of the common household appliances.

Table2 for Appliance Warranty article

Now lets discuss the most important question.

What kind of plans are available and do I actually need them?

Let me clear the former first. You have two options, you can either avail an extended warranty for each appliance or you can get a Home Warranty which covers all your appliances. Although, getting extended warranty on each appliance is not a wise decision, the best way out is to get a Home Warranty.It is also suggested that if your appliances are not new and over four years old, getting a Home Warranty will turn out to be highly useful. However, if your home and the appliances you own are reasonably new and still covered by the Manufacturers warranty, you may want to consider taking an extended warranty. You can click here for further details and comparisons between the two.

If you are wondering how this works then here’s the answer. The company offering a Home Warranty plans often sign contracts with vendors offering repair services to appliances. Each time you approach your warranty provider with a claim, they  call up these repair facilities which in turn sends a technician to evaluate the condition of your appliance.He shall decide if your appliance needs to be repaired or replaced.Service charges(deductible fee) of the technician shall be paid by you and it is always nominal.

Things to know about appliance protection plans

If you have read so far, then it would mean that you are genuinely interested to know as much as possible about Home Warranty plans. Few hiccups that you may encounter are as follows:

  • Home warranty plans are a way to ensure security and to reduce maintenance costs. They don’t provide blanket coverage nor do they pay for pre-existing issues.
  • All companies do not offer the best customer service. Make sure that the Home warranty company you choose comes with high recommendations.
  • Ensure that you read the contract for Home Warranty thoroughly.This ensures that conflicts do not arise later.
  • Many a times, it is often seen that Home Warranty companies opt for repairs rather than replacement of the damaged appliance. Further, waiting period for this is also considerably long in some cases. Worst of all, claims are sometimes rejected on unclear grounds or by bringing up small clauses from the contract that are often overlooked by the customers.

It is again stressed that you read your contract carefully and have it looked over multiple times , paying immense attention to the monetary factors.

Do I really need Appliance Protection?

Despite the issues that were mentioned, it is advised that you insure your appliances by availing a Home Warranty Plan. Costs incurred during repairs and replacements can be considerably reduced if you have a sound Appliance Protection plan. Also, if you choose to sell your home while the Home Warranty plan is still valid, the value of the property is likely to be higher than when it is sold without a Home Warranty. Most buyers recommend strongly in favor of Home Warranty plans. You are likely to do the same if your choice of  home warranty provider is good.

Here is the summary of benefits you shall have if you avail a Home Warranty Plan

  • Confidence: This is something that can rarely be bought with money. Home Warranty Plans provide you a tension free life. It does so by relieving you from worries about unexpected expenses occurring due to damage of your appliances.
  • Broad coverage: Almost all your appliances and systems are covered by the U.S. Home warranty contract.
  • Affordable prices: The annual premium as well as the deductible you pay are both affordable to an average U.S. citizen.
  • Budget protection: To those of you who just purchased a new home and had to spend quite a lot on one time expenses like drapes, landscaping etc, the first year in your new home is not the ideal time to expect financial drains due to faulty appliances.
  • Lawsuit avoidance: Assuming that you sold your home while it was still covered by the Home Warranty, any appliance that sustains damages will be taken care of by the home warranty company. If the appliance was not covered by a Home Warranty, it may often result in the buyer suing the seller.

May it be reminded again that reading the contract well is of utmost importance. You can get a free estimate on home warranty from top rated companies on our website before you purchase the plan.




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

extended warranty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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!




Do you fear the onset of your monthly energy bill but discover yourself unwilling – or unable – to pay out the money required transforming your home into a self-sustainable abode? Good news: There are some convenient, simpler ways to save energy at home – and money.

Save Energy at Home

It’s no big shock that energy costs money, but some people welcome their bills each month with surprise when they see how much their utilization is costing them. According to the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), the average family uses about $1,600 per year on utility bills alone. Anything you can do to preserve energy puts some of that money back in your pocket.

Many people are concerned about effects of energy on environment. Sometimes energy issues may seem complex, pricey and out of our control. The truth, however, is that conservation and efficiency are the most useful ways to reduce energy usage.

Your collective efforts will make for real changes in our energy independence, our financial security and our actions to lessen global climate changes.

These days, it’s more of a win-win than ever to save on energy. Every time you lower your utility bills, you put more money back in your back account. And lesser energy bills also means less energy consumed, which means less harmful emissions released into our environment. And what makes this an even better deal is you don’t have to renovate your home to make it more energy efficient. There are many simple, effective things that you can do, with little investment and little or no DIY experience, to save energy at home.

Let’s take a look at 10 simple ways you can save energy at home.

1. Have an Energy Audit

Have an Energy Audit Performed

Before doing anything else, learn how your house is working at present. An Energy Audit (or Home Performance Review) will provide you an assessment of you energy use, insulation levels, air leakage and mechanical systems like cooling, ventilation, and heating). Offered through utility companies and private contractors, an Energy Audit may include numerous diagnostics, such as a infrared camera scan, blower door test, and a combustion appliance test. The outcomes can help you fix on what energy improvements to do first, and which ones can wait.

2. Use Your Thermostat

Programmable ThermostatTurning up the thermostat during the summer and turning it down during winter are great tactics for putting your thermostat to work for your wallet. The DOE suggests setting the furnace at 68 degrees and the air conditioner at 74 to keep your house comfy while reducing your energy costs and decreasing the demand on energy grid. A programmable thermostat allows you make the house cooler or hotter during the times when you are not in home. This lessens the temperature difference between the exterior and interior of your house, which in line reduces loss of energy. In case you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the existing unit yourself.

3. Seal Air Leaks

Home Caulk

A huge amount of energy is spent when inside air (heated or cooled) escapes to the outside through leaks in walls, windows, doors and attics. Pipes, wires and ducts that enter the attic must have caulking or foam sealant applied – insulation is not sufficient! Doors and windows must have tight weather stripping and caulking, and wall penetrations need to be caulked or sealed. Sealing joints in duct work with approved foil tape or mastic can increase the effectiveness of your heating and cooling systems by carrying heated or cooled air where you want it

4. Energy Star Appliances

Energy Star certified aplliancesBuy Energy Star products as these identifies energy-efficient appliances which include dryers, washers,refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, computers, room air conditioners, and many more. To get the Energy Star, they must meet severe energy efficiency and reliability criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency or the US Department of Energy. For warranty of all these appliances check out our Home Warranty Company Reviews site.

Since Energy Star appliances use less energy, these products save you funds on your electricity bill and aid protect the environment by causing fewer harmful emissions from power plants. The point here is to not increase the use of these items just because they are energy savers. This is much the same as idea low-fat food: consuming more beats the purpose.

5. Control Hot Water Use

Control Hot Water Use at HomeA standard showerhead can use up to 5.5 gallons of water per minute. Based on your mix of hot/cold water, that means a 10 minute shower could make use of 40 gallons of hot water! Latest low-flow showerheads are available which delivers a high pressure spray at less than 2 gallons per minute. You not only save the energy to heat all that water, you save the water, too. Don’t forget to turn down your water heater to 120 degrees, and wash clothes in cold water.

6. Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs

Energy efficient light bulbA quick and easy way to lessen your energy use is to substitute existing incandescent lights with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights. As per General Electric (NYSE:GE), compact fluorescent bulbs makes use of two-thirds less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs, and last up to 10-times longer.

GE reports that employing a 13-watt compact fluorescent instead of a 60-watt incandescent will result in a $30 savings in energy costs over the life of a bulb. In spite of the bulbs that you use, turn them off when you go away from room. For garages, laundry rooms, basements and other little-used areas, think about installing timers that automatically turn off the lights after a predetermined amount of time – just if you forget to shut them off.

Ceiling Fan Energy Star® Approved7. Ceiling Fans

Turn your ceiling fan on and use them properly. As per Energy Star, a voluntary labeling program sponsored by the DOE and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ceiling fans must be set to spin counter clockwise in the summer, which pulls hot air up to the ceiling and away from the living space. During winters, reverse the setting so the fans blow the hot air down.

8. Home Electronics

DVD players, stereos, kitchen appliances, televisions and other plugged-in appliances draw a little amount of power when turned off. Plasma televisions and large LCD use up to 400 watts of energy and about 4 watts when not in use. Make use of the surge suppressor to turn them completely off when not in use, or unplug these items until you actually need them.

9. Use Your Surroundings

Trees save EnergyStrategically placed trees can help to cut your heating and cooling costs. During the summer, trees provide shade and during winter they provide a windbreak. Placing large deciduous trees in the right places can decrease cooling costs up to 25%, as per U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). These trees must be planted on the south and west sides of your home and properly positioned to shade hard surfaces. Because they lose their leaves in winter, they permit the sun to warm your house. Evergreen trees planted on the north side of your home will help to guard the house from cold winds in every season.

10. Make Windows More Efficient

Even if you seal windows properly, window glass is a thin barrier against outside temperatures. If you can pay for it, set up new storm windows in your home. Storm windows reduce temperature loss by sealing leaks and making a dead airspace between window panes. Though installation is pricey, storm windows have a fairly short return on investment (about 10 years).

There are arrays of solutions to save energy. You can all save by changing your habits like remembering to turn off lights and start to see a difference in bills

==>Click here to get the Quote for Home Warranty.




Life throws many unforeseen things at all of us. As we can’t stop these things from happening, we can choose to give our lives a bit of protection. Insurance is meant to grant us some measure of financial protection, when a disaster occurs. There is plethora of insurance options available and it is suggested by many financial experts to have these insurance policies in place. Yet, with so many choices, it can be difficult to decide what kind of insurance you need to get.

Life Insurance Policy

Buying the right insurance is always decided based on your specific situation. There are however, four insurances that are suggested by most financial experts namely life, health, auto and long-term disability. Each of these covers up a definite feature of your life and is vital to your financial future.

Do I Really Need Life Insurance, and if So How Much?

The greatest aspect in having life insurance is providing for those who depart. This is really important when your family is dependent on your salary. Experts recommend that life insurance policy should cover “ten times your yearly income”. This amount would give a sufficient amount of money to cover funeral expenses, existing expenses and provide your family a financial cushion which will assist them re-group after your demise.

When estimating the amount of life insurance coverage you want, keep in mind to factor in not only funeral expenses, but also mortgage payments and living expenses such as credit cards, taxes, loans, child care and future college costs.

Life insurance is something that will be required by everybody at some point. Unless you work in the insurance industry or are familiar to somebody that does, what do you really know about the life insurance types that are accessible to you? The answer to that question probably is ‘not a lot’, and why you be supposed to?

Types of Life Insurance

Many of us think that there is a common life policy for insurance that everybody procures but this is actually not the case and there is a variety of life insurance that can be bought. Each of the types has its own precise features and benefits that may be of concern to the consumers.

Below is the brief explanation as to what these different kinds of life insurance are in order that you can be familiar with the difference between them.

Life insurance comes in several sizes and shapes, but they generally fall into two categories namely Term Life Insurance and Permanent Life Insurance.

 

Term Life Insurance Policy

This is the most affordable life insurance and coverage in this type is bought for a definite price for a specific period of time. After the demise of the insured, the recipient will receive the death benefit. It makes the death benefit longer only for a definite period and if the insured doesn’t die within the term of the policy, he gets nothing in return.

This kind of life insurance makes logic if you have monetary needs that will reduce over time, such as a child’s tuition or a home mortgage.

Types of Term Life Insurance

  1. Guaranteed Level Term Life Insurance: This is the most common type and is well-liked for the reason of the very low cost and long term coverage it provides. These kinds of life insurance policies have premiums that are intended to remain level for a period of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or even 30 years.
  2. Return of Premium Term Life Insurance: This is a type of life insurance policy that gives a definite refund of the life insurance premiums when the term period expires, assuming the insured is still living. This policy is a bit more expensive but the premiums are planned to remain level. Significantly less expensive than permanent types of life insurance, this life insurance policy still may give cash surrender values if the insured doesn’t die. Return of premium term life insurance policies can be availed in 15, 20 or 30 year terms.
  3. Annually Renewable Term Life Insurance: This type of term life insurance policy has growing premiums. The premiums rise each year to reveal the possibility of your death in any given year.  Annually Renewable Term Life Insurance is not popular and is only procured when the coverage is required for one year or less which happens most frequently in business deals.

 

Permanent Life Insurance Policy

Permanent life insurance by definition is a policy that provides lifelong protection. The policy never ends as long as the premiums are paid. In addition, this type of policy provides a savings element that builds cash value over a long period of time.

Types of Permanent Life Insurance

  • Whole Life Insurance:  This is a type of permanent life insurance which is intended to provide coverage for an individual’s whole life rather than a specified term. It is apt to needs that do not decrease over time such as paying estate settlement taxes and costs. Usually, the life insurance rate for this policy remains unchanged throughout the life of the insured. For the early years of life insurance policy, premiums are much higher and these life insurance policies build up cash values which can be accessed by the by the owner of the policy through surrenders or policy loans.
  • Universal Life Insurance: This policy is different from whole life insurance in the fact that this type itemizes and distinguishes the protection element, cash values and the expense element. By sorting out the three elements, the insurance company can put up more flexibility into the life insurance policy which permits the policy owner to amend the face amount or the premium in response to changing circumstances and needs.
  • To age 100 level guaranteed life insurance: This type offers an assured level premium to age 100. In addition, it also provides guaranteed level death benefit to age 100. Most frequently, it is carried out within a Universal Life policy, with an additional feature known as a “no lapse rider”. Some of these plans also incorporate an “extension of maturity” feature, which provides that if the policy owner lives to age 100, having paid “no lapse” premium each year, the complete face amount of coverage will carry on an assured basis at no charge thereafter.
  • Survivorship or 2nd-to-die life insurance: A survivorship policy is a type of coverage that is usually provided either as whole life or universal and pays a death benefit at the later death of generally a husband and wife. It is widely accepted among wealthy individuals since the mid 1980’s as a method of discounting their expected future estate tax liabilities which can take away an amount to over half of family’s entire net worth!A “2nd-to-die” life insurance policy permits the insurance firm to delay the payment of the death benefit until the second insured’s demise, thus creating the necessary dollars to pay the taxes just when they are required! This type of coverage is extensively used as it is less expensive than individual permanent life insurance coverage on either partner.

Once you know the type of protection applicable to you and would like to procure, you can get online rates for the policy you wish. With the help of online life insurance quotes, you are able to examine and compare insurance quotes from various insurance companies.




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.




This letter was written by someone who worked in the home warranty industry for a long time. The views and opinions expressed are author’s own. However, we do think the author provides an insightful view along with some valuable suggestions.

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Hello. I was just reading the letter from Robert Lehman of HSA Home Warranty along with the comments as well as other home warranty company reviews and am compelled to contact you.

I worked in the home warranty industry for almost 17 years. I was an outside sales rep, selling the home warranty through the real estate industry as well as related industries (lenders, title companies, system and appliance vendors, appraisers and inspectors). I have been in the insurance industry since 1983.

An open letter to the home warranty Industry

While I am no longer working in the home warranty industry, I do believe in it and would like to help both consumers and home warranty companies alike. To make it as simple as possible – The home warranty covers the items listed in the contract subject to limitations and exclusions. Just like any other contract, not everything is covered. It is not Carte Blanche. Things that are not covered by the home warranty plans may be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, a product recall, homeowners insurance or may just simply fall into the category of “the cost of owning a home”.

A home warranty is a wonderful service to have, reducing unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. But when there is a financial burden because of an unexpected problem, it’s so easy to not like who you have to call because you don’t like the situation. Not having to come out of pocket for the full retail cost of the repair is a whole lot better than coming out of pocket for the trade call fee and perhaps a bit
more towards the repair.

Now, having worked through many challenges with home owners, I know that the home warranty companies can improve in terms of both coverage and service. The challenge with coverage is the cost, the premium that is charged to the home owner. The challenge with service includes the home warranty company staff and the vendors that represent the home warranty companies.

Coverage provided by home warranty companies should be far more inclusive in my opinion. And I know it could be, but there has yet to be a home warranty company that is willing to make the move to charge a higher premium for that more inclusive coverage. It is a very competitive industry and no one wants to price themselves out of the market. But I know that I personally would rather pay $800 to $1,000 a year vs. $250 to $600 and not have to worry about more than my trade call fee.

Many home warranty companies have a basic plan with additional optional coverage for things like a kitchen refrigerator or roof leak coverage. Many times a home owner is justifiably frustrated to learn that this “option” was not purchased so they had no coverage. This is most common for home warranties that are purchased through a real estate transaction and the actual end user did not have say in the coverage purchased as the seller was the one who bought the warranty. The most common coverage complaint is when a vendor is dispatched for a system or appliance and the home owner has to pay above the trade call fee for an item that is covered by the home warranty. An example might be having the pay to bring a water heater to current code before the repair can be made. If the home warranty companies charged more for their covered items, they could very likely remove many limitations from their plans. There will always be exclusions, just like any other contract.

Service is big issue and it should be. The staff of the home warranty company should always have a smile in their voice and an empathetic ear. It’s a tough industry for service representatives at a home warranty company because they take a lot of heat from frustrated, emotional home owners. It is imperative that the home warranty companies properly and constantly work with their service reps to keep moral up and to coach on “empathy”. At the same time, it is equally important for the home owner to be polite and remain calm. It is not acceptable to speak rudely or abusively to a service rep at any company. But because people are emotional, there will always be times of poor communication, so the biggest burden should be with the home warranty company personnel. So many complaints about the service provided by the home warranty service rep would be eliminated if they would return a phone call in a timely manner; not keep someone on hold without checking back often and offering a return call rather than holding; and simply listening to the caller, completely, and having a genuine, unscripted conversation without pressure of ending the call in a certain time frame. And of course, the oh-so-important follow-up and follow-through.

Another challenge with service is with the vendor that has been dispatched to a home. Vendors do the dirty, physical labor, regardless of conditions including weather, traffic, conditions at the property they are servicing and the attitude of the customer. In most cases, the vendors working for the home warranty company are experienced and reputable and therefore should always treat the home owner with the utmost care and professionalism. Unfortunately, even though the vendor company may meet the requirements and expectations of the home warranty company, the home warranty company has no control over who that vendor hires; this is when many of the vendor related problems occur. It is so important for the home warranty company to have staff specifically assigned to vendor/contractor relations as well as requesting feedback from the home owner on how that vendor’s service was.

There is so much more that could be addressed, but hopefully this has helped someone somewhere.

– Anonymous Industry Veteran




A home warranty protection is a form of insurance intended to protect homeowners from expensive repairs of appliances and systems. In average home warranty plan, homeowners are required to pay a flat rate deductible for each service call other than an annual fee. Sometimes a seller will put home warranty as a part of the package when negotiating the sale of a home. Other times you may desire to procure a home warranty so as to protect yourself against repairs that may become essential on your home. Though a home warranty will not cover pre-existing conditions in your home, it can be useful way to reduce unpredicted expenses when you possess a home.

Cancel Home Warranty

How to call off Home Warranty?

While home warranties are beneficial to useful older appliances, some homeowners discover that they don’t need the home warranty plan any longer. When this happens the homeowners must take several steps to terminate the home warranty plan so as to avoid additional charges.

Step 1

Get in touch with the home warranty company by telephone to talk to a representative. Tell the representative that you desire to terminate the policy. Inquire the representative about the standard process for terminating.  Ask particularly whether you may expect any prorated premium refund and about cancellation fees. The representative may inform you that you require sending the warranty company a written notice of termination. Obtain the mailing address from the representative along with the representative’s name. If there is an option to cancel by phone you can avail that option, but using snail mail is a better option as you will have a proof of cancellation request.

Step 2

Write a notice to the home warranty company in order to inform them that you want to terminate your policy. Date the notice with the current date and state your policy number and dates of coverage in the notice. Specify the prorated refund information you received from the representative and add the representative’s name. Sign your name at the bottom of the notice.

Step 3

Send the notice via registered post or courier to the address you received from the warranty company representative. Make sure you keep the receipt.

Step 4

Wait for a check from the warranty company with your prorated premium refund. The refund may have a cancellation fee removed from it.

How to End an American Home Shield Warranty?

American Home Shield is 35-year-old company that focuses in offering home warranties. Well-liked among homeowners, contractors and real estate companies, American Home Shield has a wide assortment of appliance, central heating and cooling, and water heater warranty products.
If you are certain to call off your AHS home warranty service, make sure to avoid potential problems by cautiously reviewing your warranty contract before commencing the cancellation process.

Instructions

Step 1

Assess the original American Home Shield contract. The company contract is state-specific with termination terms that are planned to obey the individual states’ consumer protection laws. To avoid being charged unforeseen fees, evaluate the contract before contacting American Home Shield. In case you don’t find your original contract, send a letter via certified postal mail to American Home Shield requesting a copy of the contract for personal records.

The address is as follows:

American Home Shield
P.O. Box 849
Carroll, IA 51401-9901

Step 2

Write a cancellation letter asking for the termination of services. This letter must have the warranty holder’s name, service address, and account number. It should also request that the warranty service be terminated 30 days from the date of the letter. American Home Shield needs a minimum of 30 day’s notice, so set your mind to shell out for an extra month of warranty service.

When mailing the letter have an extra copy mailed to the credit card issuer or the bank being drafted for the automatic monthly payments. Ensure to add a CC postscript to the letter sent to American Home Shield so that it is known that bank has been informed. Do not try to email, fax or call customer service to make cancellation requests, as the receipt of these requests can be difficult to verify.

Step 3

Call credit card issuer or the bank handling the automatic warranty payments and inform the customer service representative that the account is listed to be terminated. Confirm that the copy of the termination letter has been received, and notify the representative of the last expected payment date. Detail the date and time of the phone call along with the name of the representative spoken to.

Step 4

Contact American Home Shield via registered mail requesting for written verification of warranty cancellation. It can take up to 5 weeks to obtain this written confirmation, and once you get it, file it away with the original contract.

Once the cancellation has been verified, watch bank and charge accounts for been confirmed, watch bank and charge accounts for unlawful deductions made by American Home Shield. If money is drafted from an account 30 days after the termination request is made or after termination has been confirmed, call the bank or card issuer. Offer to fax the written cancellation verification and in most circumstances, the bank or credit card issuer will repay the additional charge.




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.




Freddie Mac has started offering free home warranty coverage for 2 years when you buy bank owned or foreclosed real estate property. The “Smart Buy” program was started in late August and is expected end at the end of October.

free home warranty

The promotional program applies to real estate owned homes sold through the agency’s HomeSteps unit, which deals with foreclosed properties that have been turned over to the lender. Called SmartBuy, the program seeks to address one of the major concerns homebuyers have about buying foreclosed property, namely, the potential cost of repairs on a home that may have been poorly maintained or allowed to deteriorate.

A typical home owner’s warranty costs anywhere from 300 to 600 dollars and will have a deductible per incident. There are several companies (AHS home warranty, Old republic home warranty, First American home warranty etc.) that offer home protection plans.

Freddie Mac will also pay closing costs of up to 3.5 percent of the purchase price. For example, on a $200,000 home, the program would pay up to $7,000 in closing costs, however it does not cover down payment.

Freddie Mac plays a critical role in the mortgage industry. Serving as one of the nations largest agencies that securitises conventional home loans, they have been in a precarious financial position over the last two years as home foreclosures have swept over the housing markets. Freddie Mac, along with Fannie Mae, another large national agency covering the mortgage markets, have both received billions of dollars of capital from the U.S. government in the last twenty four months. The companies financial problems escalated as they were leveraging the value of their loan portfolios in multiples over ten percent

Second and vacation homes, investment properties or property purchased solely for rental purposes are not eligible. There is a minimum purchase price of $25,000. More information on the program, including localized listings of eligible HomeSteps properties, are available through www.homesteps.com web site. Local real estate agents can also provide information on which properties are offered through the program.

As an advice, if you are buying a home make sure you hire a professional home inspector. They will inspect appliances, backyards, plumbing, electricity etc. to make sure everything is in good and working condition.




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

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

Home Warranty – How Does it Work?

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

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

Cost of Home Maintenance Plans

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bottom Line

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




The Illinois department of insurance issued a warning earlier this year to its residents to avoid a Florida based home warranty company Arkidus Home Protection, Inc. Arkidus had been unlawfully advertising home warranty services via the internet to residents of Illinois and in many cases there were documented incidents of these consumers who purchased a warranty not receiving the services promised to them.

The company and its owner, Reinaldo “Ray” Berges has previously been served with a cease and desist order by the Illinois Department of insurance, but continued offering service coverage for household appliances and major system components. The company had its headquarters in Miami though more recent reports suggest that office has been closed for many months.        Arkidus Home Protection

The company has not been granted any certificate of authority to sell insurance or home warranties to the consumers in the state of Illinois, thus the cease and desist order from that state was issued.  This unfortunately may not help recover the money lost by the Illinois consumers who purchased home warranties, also referred to as residential service contracts or home service contracts.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), The consumers have launched over 245 complaints against the company in last three years. BBB indicates in its report that Arkidus conducted its business through a website, www.theahp.net.

BBB is a non- profit organization more than a 100 years old functioning in U.S and Canada. It collects and provides free business reliability reviews on over 4 million businesses. The BBB plays the role of an intermediary between businesses and consumers. Though it is not mandatory for any firm to get accreditation from BBB such accreditation is sought by some companies in order to build faith in their business.  Arkidus is not accredited by BBB and thus the amount of involvement BBB may have had with Arkidus’s customers would have been limited to collecting and documenting complaints and then reporting complaints to the company.  For further recourse consumers who have complaints against Arkidus would likely need legal representation or assistance from consumer protection entities.

According to publicly available information Illinois’s Department of insurance has also received many complaints from customers of Arkidus who allege they have been tricked by that company and were unable to obtain reimbursements for their claims or their canceled contracts.

The complaints from consumers are also publicly available on various websites.  One such complaint posted online was from Jose. E who is a resident of Florida.  In his post he said, “This Company is a scam. I started service with them in May, and they will not honor their policy. I keep getting calls from companies that were dispatched by them. I needed a plumber and an electrician, and both have been harassing me with the remainder of their bill, even though I paid my deductible. Do not purchase anything from this company, they are frauds.”

Arkidus appears to have ceased doing business but for a time the company was successful persuading customers to pay long term contract fees, in some cases for terms of two years or more. These customers spent thousands of dollars in some cases, all of which they now face losing forever.  If significant legal action isn’t taken against the owner of the company it is unlikely that consumers will receive any reimbursement and this whole story will end sadly.  Hence we warn our readers to be cautious about choosing home warranty companies with very little business history, no matter how positive the early reviews of the company may be.

Tips to prevent you from becoming a victim of similar home warranty and insurance scams

  • Reading about incidents like the ones surrounding Arkidus Home Protection’s brief business in the home warranty space may leave you wondering if there is a way to avoid becoming a victim. Here are some things you can keep in mind when choosing an insurance company or home warranty company.
  • When shopping for home warranty or insurance make sure any company you consider doing business with is properly registered and if licensing or bonding is required by your state be certain those things are in order as well.
  • Check a company’s background, reviews and the companies’ customer complaint records which can found on the company’s local Better Business Bureau website.
  • Never purchase financial products such as home warranties or insurance policies from a company which solicits your business at your door without doing the same homework you would with any other company.  Impulse purchases from hard-sales-tactics sales people are very often regretted by the consumers making them.
  • When dealing with sales people face to face try to develop an eye for details, study the business cards and other documents and verifying that the business address furnished is authentic and not just a P.O. Box, short term single office rental or other temporary type of mailing address.  Though legitimate and not alone a sign of trouble, short term addresses and discreet addresses may be a warning sign that you won’t be able to track anybody down when you run into trouble with the product you bought.
  • Always demand a contract for the services provided, claims and reimbursement, and other provisions and then study the fine print carefully before signing the document or making a purchase.
  • Always ask for a bill or invoice and never pay by cash.  Using a check or a credit card can sometimes help you when you seek reimbursement after not receiving what was promised to you by the merchant.

If you suspect you are dealing with the wrong people already or believe you too have been scammed do not delay making a formal report to the appropriate agency or agencies.  Both at the state and national level in the U.S. there are free and fast ways to make your voice heard when you feel you’ve been misled by a business or been the victim of a scam.  The important thing is to act quickly and not give up if you feel your complaint is being documented but not being acted upon.




Ever wondered what is the difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance ? Are they not same? Let’s find answers for these questions.

While home warranty and home insurance products may come across as same, they are totally different. The coverage, cost, terms and conditions vary greatly. Home insurance is compulsory in some cases whereas home warranty is a recommended choice.

Difference Between Home Insurance And Home Warranty

difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance

Home warranty offers protection for your major appliances, as well as plumbing and electrical units. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing major household appliances in case they break down, provided they meet the terms and conditions of the home service contract.

Home insurance covers your home in the event of damage due to natural calamity or man-made disasters and offers you liability protection from lawsuits in case of a third party involvement. If your neighbor came visiting you and accidentally fell and got injured and decides to sue you, then home insurance will take care of the claims. Home insurance is mandatory if you have a mortgage on your home.

What Does A Home Warranty Contract Cover?

Items covered by a home warranty may vary by company and plan, but typically includes the following items:

  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC)
  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing system
  • Water heater
  • Kitchen appliances such as refrigerator, stove/oven/range, built-in dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, built-in trash compactor
  • Clothes washer and dryer
  • Garage door opener
  • Coverage for pools, spas, well pumps and other items may be available for an additional fee.

Benefits Of Home Warranty Coverage

To The Homeowner

  • Placing a claim and getting your appliance repaired is lot more easier.
  • Helps save up huge costs.
  • You can get repaired as many appliances you want provided they are covered.

To The Seller

  • Home may sell faster and at a higher price.
  • Protection from after-sale legal disputes.
  • Increases marketability of home.

To The Buyer

  • Warranty coverage on major systems and built-in appliances.
  • Protects your cash flow.
  • Access to network of qualified service technicians at your fingertips.

Home Insurance

In case of an uncertain event like fire, theft, vandalism, or certain natural disasters, the cost of damages are covered. It also covers your personal items and gives you liability protection. Liability insurance will protect you from lawsuits in the event that someone is injured on your property. Home insurance will only insure your personal items in case they are stolen or ruined in a disaster. Repairs and replacements due to wear and tear are not covered.

What Does A Home Insurance Policy Cover?

The insurance policy varies depending on your state of residence and type of policy, but generally it will cover the following.

  • Structure and contents of the house.
  • Personal property such as indoor and outdoor furniture, clothes and home electronics such as computer, TV, stereo, etc.
  • Jewelry may be covered up to a certain value, or itemized for its full value, or excluded entirely.
  • Living expenses if your home is uninhabitable as a result of a natural disaster.
  • Events like theft, vandalism, fire, windstorm, lightning, hail, falling objects such as a tree.
  • Liability claims such as someone got hurt while in your property and decided to sue you. The policy will take care of it.

Benefits Of Home Insurance

Home is the most prized and cherished possession any individual can have and nobody anticipates damages to this, therefore a home insurance provides you the following benefits when you cover your home.

  • Covers accidental damages to your interiors and exteriors as well.
  • Easy to renew all you have to do is pay the premium on time.
  • Processions are covered regardless of new or old.
  • Assures you peace of mind and gives you a feeling of safety and security.
  • Pays for loss and minor damages like broken glass of a window.

Cost/Pricing For Both

A standard warranty runs $300 to $500 for a year of protection, which covers the cost of repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances. Home sellers typically pick up the tab for the first year of coverage. Extended coverage plans for pools, spas and washers and dryers can be purchased at an extra cost.

Insurance cost varies from state to state and depends on the extent of coverage and the location of the property but a standard insurance can cost any homeowners insurance is between $300 and $1,000.

How To Choose A Home Warranty?

When you are planning to buy a home warranty, make sure that you do some research. Check our home warranty reviews section that provides pricing, comparison, quotes and consumer reviews of all major companies. When you are getting price quotes, inquire to look over a sample policy. Bear in mind to understand the entire policy, together with the fine print.

Another advantage of home warranty policy is that it is transferable. That means when you sell the house the warranty would be passed to the new owner. This has proved to be a well-liked feature amongst home buyers as homes having home warranties are selling at increased prices and in much shorter times. This in itself could make it sensible to get a home warranty policy.

How To Make A Claim?

When a covered appliance breaks down you need to contact your warranty company. A warranty company already has business ties with different service vendors. They will in turn contact a service repairman to come to your home and repair the appliance. The repairman will fix the item or recommend replacing it. The service repairman will bill your warranty company directly, but you have to pay a service charge when the repair person visits your home.

How To Choose Home Insurance?

With any kind of insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around and evaluate benefits and prices as most insurance companies will provide you a policy discount. Ensure you read the policy before writing a check and ask any queries that you have in mind.

So, the conclusion is that home warranty and insurance are complementary to each other. You can choose to protect everything you own, provided you can afford to. Keep in mind that these insurance products do cost a bit more, but compared to the benefits they provide and the peace of mind you get, it seems like a very small amount. Insure your home as well as buy a home warranty all within your budget.

 




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No human need is greater than a home to live in. While not all of us can afford to buy our dream houses, there are people who are not even sure buying is a good idea. The decision between buying and renting is one that has reduced many a strong willed man to tears.

As folks who work closely with homeowners, we have, over the years gathered knowledge about handling such dilemmas. So we thought we’d write an article to help those faced with the doubt that has plagued many of us – Should I buy a house or should I rent one?

Buying a house

Buying Vs. Renting A House

We know that it is not a silly decision. So here are some points you should give thought to before you lean towards one decision.

1. How long are you planning to live in that area?

This is something that should be considered before anything else. If you are in that city for an assignment or for a short duration, buying a house may not seem like a sensible option. If you plan to settle there permanently, looking into buying will be wise. Rent is often considered by many as dead money. That money never comes back or turns into an investment. So, give due thought to how long you plan to stay in an area and put that down on your list of things to consider.

2. How are your finances?

Does your bank balance match that of Arab Royals’? You could buy a mansion in that case. Is your balance the typical American average? Well, you could maybe buy a house with some aid from loans then. But if you don’t have enough for a down payment, don’t even think about taking loans from several lenders to buy a house. Also, if you have no source of income, loans will never even be an option.

3. Are you looking for an investment or just a roof over your head?

If you plan to buy a house, redecorate and sell (which is an expensive but rewarding business idea), you could probably look into some options for buying. If you are just looking for accommodation, renting an affordable place might seem sensible.

4. Worried about landlord issues?

Believe us when we say this, some folks steer clear of the idea of renting because they are worried that the landlord might be a nightmare. However, don’t let this be the reason that deters from renting. Having a home of your own is indeed a satisfying feel but there is no reason why you should feel small because you stay in a rented house. For many, renting may make more sense financially than buying a home.

Perks Of Buying A House

Buying a house does have formidable benefits. Here are some of them-

  • Tax exemption for all payments you make towards buying a house.
  • A house of your own is a huge asset and can serve as an investment.
  • Mortgage rates are mostly fixed, unlike rent which could go up annually.
  • You could become part of the local community.
  • You’ll be free to do whatever you want in your space – decorate your home as you wish, invite guests as you want and live the way you chose :).

Disadvantages Of Owning A House

Like everything has two sides, owning a home too has a trying side. Let’s take a look at some common disadvantages of owning a house-

  • Maintenance. Or the excess of it. You may want to look into home warranty plans if you want to protect your budget from unexpected repairs.
  • Various kinds of taxes. You’ll have to pay them all!
  • Potential depreciation costs. If a crime/hazard happens in your neighborhood, the value of your home may fall below what you bought it for.
  • Paying for mandatory homeowner’s insurance, if you have a mortgage plan.

Perks Of Renting A House

Well, since it’s better suited for the not so well off, financially, renting offers many advantages over buying. Let’s take a look at some of them –

  • Very little maintenance required. If major systems get damaged, it’s mostly the landlord’s job to get it fixed.
  • No worries about owning a depreciating asset.
  • No mandatory insurances or protection plans, except maybe renter’s insurance.
  • Moving from one city to another or shifting, in general, is easier if you stay in a rented home.

Cons Of Renting A Home

Often called as a dead investment by many, renting comes with its set of heartbreaking disadvantages. Here are some of them-

  • Can’t redecorate/remodel your home as per your desires. Most rental agreements lay down clauses preventing the tenant from making any permanent changes to structures of the home.
  • No tax benefits. The money you pay every month is as good as lost.
  • Not your house, so not your rules. Some landlords are pretty strict about what activities can be done in their house.
  • Most landlords demand a yearly increase in the monthly rental amount.

The Bottom-Line

We can’t decide for you, but we can urge you to strongly consider every aspect before you make a choice. Owning a home is indeed a wonderful experience that is unmatched. If you are already a homeowner and if you are thinking about buying an additional house, we would recommend that you look into easy home maintenance tips & cleaning hacks. You may also want to compare top home warranty companies to ensure that your budget stays protected.




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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

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There is no question that a large number of people would give anything to live in California. This is one of the greatest states in the US because no other location in the entire country has ever been able to become the capital of entertainment and dreams. The state that has given life to the largest phenomenon in the entertainment industry and that is of course Hollywood. This is one of the main reasons why so many people choose to move to this state. In this article we are going to talk about the top five warranty companies and how important it is to be able to hire their services if you want to get the best service. These are the top rated home warranty companies in California as of June 2015

1. The Home Service Club

This is a great company that has an excellent service with two main warranty plans available. They have the standard and comprehensive plans. Once covers the primary systems and appliances and the other covers basically everything in your household. The reviews are generally very good and their services are known to be very efficient. They have fewer plans than others, but their current plans are quite good.

2. American Home Shield

This is the company that basically founded the home warranty industry. They offer a wide variety of home warranty plans that have a wide range of costs that can fit most budgets. The general opinion in the reviews about this company are quite good, so you can definitely trust their services to be good. They have been in the business longer than anyone else and they have learned how to get things done properly.

Home Warranty Companies in California

3. Home Warranty of America

This is another company that has been providing excellent services to millions of Americans in every state of the country. They have been providing some of the most cost effective plans that are available in the industry. The reviews for the business are very positive and their customer service is their greatest strength. This is one of the companies with the largest reach in the country.

4. Select Home Warranty

This company has plans that truly fit all kinds of budgets and they give coverage to all sorts of properties and the repairs and replacement that might be needed for their homes. This is the main reason why so many reviewers are saying that this is the home warranty service.

5. Total Protect

There is no question that customer services is the most important thing that the staff at Total Project wants to be able to provide to all of their clients. They have a very special method of helping with home warranties by giving homeowners better tools in order to maintain their own homes much better. The reviews say that this is the one company that seems to get involved the most and this is the reason why they have gained so much respect in the business. The reviews are generally quite positive too.

Conclusion

There is nothing more important than being able to get the right kind of service when it comes to your home warranty. This is going to allow you to maintain your home in top condition at all times for a very reasonable cost. The use of this kind of service has become extremely popular in California and now you have plenty of choices that will allow you to decide which one is going to be the best decision. You can research all of the companies that we have just mentioned and decide which one will be best for your needs.

To view a complete list of top rated home warranty companies use the link below: