The dream of possessing a home has become increasingly non-achievable for many Americans, and the condition is not possible to get better soon, as the fall of the housing market and the downturn continue to take their toll. That is the worrying conclusion to be drawn from the U.S. Census Bureau’s lately released report which is an overview of the national home market at the end of the last decade.
Homeowners in the United States also tend to have higher incomes and the households staying in their own home were more likely to be families than were their tenant counterparts. The name “home ownership rate” can be deceptive. As defined by the US Census Bureau, it is the percentage of homes that are occupied by the owner. It is not the percentage of adults that have possession of their own home. The second percentage will be importantly lower than the home ownership rate as many households that are owner occupied contain adult relatives (most frequently young adults, descendants of the owner) who do not possess their own home, and because single bedroom multi-bedroom rental units can have more than 1 adult, all of whom do not possess a home.
According to Consumer Insights 2012, here is what consumers are thinking today about home ownership:
In the U.S. the homeownership rate is shaped through Housing Vacancy Survey by the US Census Bureau. It is formed by dividing the owner occupied units by the total number of engaged units. This is a significant point to comprehend changes in the homeownership time over time. The bust of the housing bubble resulted in many houses becoming foreclosed. However, the decrease the in the homeownership rate from 3Q2007 to 4Q2007 mainly a result of an increase in the renter’s populace and less because of a decrease in the homeowner population.
The impact of the bursting of the U.S housing bubble is still being felt across the country. In the first quarter of 2012, the homeownership rate fell to a 15-year low as per the Census Bureau. The 65.4% rate in the 1st quarter of 2012 is down from the 66% rate in the 4th quarter of 2011 and from the rate of 66.4% in the first quarter of 2011. Prior to the housing bubble burst, the rate of homeownership in the U.S. had been as high as 69.2% in the 4th quarter of 2004.
Economists say the rate could trip further. While low mortgage-interest rates and declining home prices have made homes more reasonable than at any time in the past decade, mortgage-lending standards stay tight. Besides, more Americans may feel less confident about property ownership after the sharp price declines of the past 6 years.
According to New York-based Reis Inc. (Reis) the vacancy rate fell to 4.9%in the first quarter, an 11-year low. The Census Bureau said that the vacancy rate for rental homes was 8.8% in the first quarter when compared with a 9.7% a year earlier.
Of the expected 132.6 million U.S. homes, 18.5 million, or 13.9%, were available in the first quarter a year before, about 19 million homes were empty, as per a report. That comprises homes for rent or sale or held off the market, and vacation properties used seasonally.
According to Stephen East, an analyst with International Strategy & Investment Group LLC, the dropped rates of both homeowner and rental vacancy during the 1st quarter bodes well for housing as shrinking inventory will enhance rents and urge demand for new homes.
Almost 6 million borrowers will lose their properties in the next five years because of inability to pay, creating 4 million new rental households.
The homeownership rate fell 3 percentage points from a year earlier to 61.4% in the 1st quarter for people aged 35 to 44, the highest drop of any age group. The Northeast has the largest regional decline, with the ownership rate falling 1.4% points to 62.5%. The West has the lowest ownership rate at 55.9%, down 1% point from a year before.
In 2004, when President George W. Bush, running for re-election, called for expanding home – loan availability to create an “ownership society”, the U.S homeownership rate rose to a record. The present rate of 65.4% matches the average since 1965, when the Census Bureau began reporting the figures, according to data collected by Bloomberg.
Home prices fell 3.5% in February from a year earlier and are 35% below their July 2006 peak, as per the S&P/Case-Shiller index of 20 U.S. cities. The average rate for a 30 year fixed loan was 3.88% and reached 3.87% in February, the lowest level in at least four decades.
Following are the home ownership rates of various states in U.S.
|State||First Quarter 2012|
|District of Columbia||45.7|
Been having trouble with your heating/cooling unit of late? Think freon is the culprit behind it? Let’s find out!
HVAC freon levels are a common area of doubt among homeowners. For those of you who don’t know a thing about freon, here are some pointers.
Freon is the common name for a class of chemicals that usually include aerosol propellants, organic solvents or refrigerants. Most of them are compounds of chlorofluorocarbons, which are derivatives of methane and ethane. Most common form of freon is R-22.
Before we tell you how to find out if your HVAC needs freon, lets discuss what issues could happen due to low levels of freon.
Issues caused due to insufficient freon levels
Freon, is essentially a heat transfer fluid. So it absorbs heat from your home and transfers it to the outside air, thereby cooling the air down. Hence, the primary issue happening due to low freon level is prolonged cooling period or lack of cool air inspite of the thermostat being set to “cool”.
Freon is not something that gets “used up”, it gets circulated. So the only reason why freon levels fall would be that your HVAC unit has a leak.
Here are some common signs that indicate insufficient freon in HVAC units:
Ice Buildup on Copper Lines. Image Courtesy:inspectapedia.com
If your HVAC unit is exhibiting any of the above signs, we strongly recommend that you call a technician right away to take a look at the unit. If you have a home warranty, inform the warranty provider immediately.
Yet another method is to inject a fluorescent dye into the unit. The dye then circulates through the system and flows out in case there is a leak. The unit is then illuminated in UV light which will reveal where the dye has pooled if a leak is indeed present.
As we said before, call for immediate help if you notice something amiss with your HVAC units. If the problem is indeed with freon, you may have a lot more in hand than just an uncomfortable home.
Ideally, conduct annual or half-yearly tune ups to make sure that the system is in proper working order. Such maintenance routines check the system for possible leaks and malfunctions.
Considering that you are on a website devoted to home warranties, you may already know what a home warranty is. It is essentially a service contract that agrees to provide you with repair/replacement services for appliances or systems in your home. Most homeowners wonder whether annual premiums are put to better use if they are set aside as emergency fund instead of being paid to warranty providers, hoping that they will come to the rescue if a breakdown happens. The question here is, what if the annual premium is paid and no claim is raised in that year? This article will address the question in detail.
A home warranty company maintains a network of technicians and service vendors, who are dispatched to a customer’s house as and when a claim is raised. The customer is often charged only a service call fee and not the entire expense of fixing a damage. Here’s how home warranty benefits the homeowner–
What they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Don’t you think it’s worth?
Many homeowners have expressed concerns about the annual premium that is paid for a year in which no claim was made by them. However, what they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ worth of home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Minus a warranty, an average repair cost would be around $500-$1000 for a typical household appliance. Replacing would definitely cost more, sometimes several years worth of annual premiums.
As you can see, annual premiums seem like a very small fee in comparison with the amount you would have to pay if an appliance breaks down.
Let’s take an example of a typical homeowner, we’ll call him Mr. Bond. Mr. Bond believed that setting aside $400 every year for emergency repairs would make more sense than purchasing a home warranty plan. Three years into this practice, his HVAC unit decided to call quits. Mr. Bond asks around and finds out (to his dismay) that a high end HVAC system would cost around $5,800. He had saved up around $1200 and all of that wouldn’t help him get a new one.
Had the story been different and if Mr. Bond had opted for a home warranty instead, he could’ve had the replacement done at a fraction of the cost.
The only time it doesn’t make sense to opt for a home warranty over saving that money is when your house and the appliances in it are new. As a rule, home warranty is only recommended for folks whose house and its contents are over four years old. If you belong to this category, then the chances of your appliances or systems breaking down are low. So paying annual premium to a home warranty provider may not make sense, especially when many of the appliances at your house are still under warranty.
If you meet any of the conditions mentioned below, buying a home warranty will likely provide you with budget protection and not to mention, feeling of confidence. Here are the parameters-
If you meet any one of the above mentioned conditions, you will probably benefit from an appliance warranty. As long as you go with a company that is reputable, you should find yourself with nothing but pleasant outcomes.
If you are still unsure, we suggest that you look into our guide for home warranty buyers. Once you do that, you may want to look at some of the best home warranty companies in the country to get things started. Should you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to holler at us. Cheers!
Home Warranty or appliance extended warranty are basically insurance policies for the appliances and systems in your home. Hope you never have to employ them, but glad you have it when your appliance breakdown. With cost of service & electronic components, your repair bill could end up being the same as the price appliance was bought for.
This article will help you in deciding on what is more pertinent, buying a home warranty or extended warranty.
Home Warranty – Valuing Your Possessions
‘Home Warranty’ is typically provided by the builder to a new homeowner. This covers major household appliances and systems such as washing machine, refrigerators, gas system, central heating and plumbing. Remember, you are only covered if the failure of the appliances or systems is not a result of mishandling or misuse.
Extended warranty, as the name suggests is usually purchased for a specific appliance(s) or system(s) for a definite period. This warranty is generally provided by the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or any of their subsidiaries or partners. Extended warranty begins once the standard warranty on the product expires and comes with a cost.
The least you must be expecting from a warranty on a new appliance is one year on parts and labor. This home warranty cover flaws in parts and workmanship for that year. Generally this warranty will be on site service except for smaller units that may have to be transported to the nearest service centre at the owner’s cost for repair.
This warranty generally starts from the date the appliance was purchased, delivered or installed.
Appliance warranties may or may not cover “cosmetic” or “customer instruct” claims. Cosmetic claims might be a scratch, broken plastic trim piece or knob. Some manufacturers will cover these claims for the first 30 or 60 days. Customers instruct calls can include installation issued calls or operation calls which will also be covered for the first 30 or 60 days.
Limited warranties are extended warranties on specific parts of your appliance. These limited warranties are stated in owner’s manual and have fine print, so ensure you read them carefully. Most of the limited warranties offer the part free of cost, the customer may be asked to pay for labor.
Below are some examples of limited warranties.
Parts replaced under a limited warranty will not increase the warranty period. Generally they will only be assured for the remaining life of the original product’s warranty period.
Lastly, these extended warranties or any appliance warranties are not transferrable to a second owner so keep this mind while buying or selling a pre-owned product.
When repairs on appliances are needed, they can be pricey. Here is a list of appliance types and some repairs that we think might call for a purchase of a repair contract.
When a major problem occurs, specially a built-in appliance, it may not be easy. Some built in appliances are not uniform in size and cabinet work may be required to replace this appliance. In this case, getting the appliance repaired may be expensive. Contract would definitely be best for this case.
Many modern day appliances have electronic controls. If you live in an area that is prone to power outages, surges or fluctuations, electronic appliances have a bigger danger of being damaged. Most electronic boards are not low-priced to replace, as some cost well over $300 for the part alone. In this case, an agreement would perhaps be wise.
Majority of gas ranges use electronics for control and ignition of the gas. These parts need service or replacement through the life of the stove. Glow bar igniters in your oven are not hard to replace but the cost for these parts are $50-$150. Control boards cost generally from $100-$250. With these costs alone, you can purchase an agreement.
Standard gas ranges require fewer repairs. These stoves are very simple and can run for a lifetime without a repair. Moreover, of gas stoves can still be used even if you have a power outage. In this case, agreement is not recommended.
For electronic, self-clean, glass top stoves, a contract is always recommended. Parts on these stoves are usually pricey. Elements alone can cost almost $200; glass tops can cost $600, and controls up to $250.
In case you are purchasing a simple, basic coil type stove, repairs are fairly low-priced. In most of the cases these repairs can be done by the homeowner and he/she shouldn’t be worried about a repair agreement.
Gas dryers must be serviced by skilled technicians only. Sometimes heating problems are difficult to diagnose and can be dangerous if not corrected properly.
Do your homework BEFORE buying home warranty or extended warranty for your appliances or systems. Understand the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract, specially its limitations.
Be sure you know:
Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcomed surprises!
‘Extended Warranties’ usually mirror your original home appliance warranty, offering repair, service and replacement of major systems and appliances within home that breakdown. Extended warranties can be provided by the manufacturer, the dealer where you purchased it, or third party. Manufacturers will generally let you procure an extended warranty at the time of purchase or during your warranty period. Since these warranties are offered by who made your appliance, so the service will generally be provided by the same people who provide the warranty work.
These service companies usually have the proper training for your appliance and are more knowledgeable about your appliance. Dealer extended warranties will either service your appliance themselves or use an approved service provider. Either way, the service company must be trained for your appliance similar to the manufacturers extended warranty contract.
Third Party extended warranty is generally managed by a national company. One more thing that you should keep in mind is that some credit card companies extend the manufacturer’s warranty by a full year when you pay using one of their cards.
Home warranties are all the time, a third party company and are a bit different than extended warranties. These warranties cover your entire home which includes plumbing, HVAC systems, electrical appliances and other items. The cost related with these home warranties is based on the items that are actually being protected and on the type of deductible or service fee you sign up for.
Home warranties can be procured any time without any age restrictions or an inspection of your home and equipment. In addition, sellers, builders and real estate agents provide these home warranties when selling their houses.
These home warranties need to be read very carefully. Home warranties have the most omissions and generally the highest deductible cost to the homeowner.
There are dozens of home warranty companies which do not perform the work themselves. They sub-contract all the work out to independent, generally local, service shops of all types.
Are you longing for a home decorated with our green friends? You want a home that is eco-friendly and looks pretty at the same time? You have come to the right place!
Over the years plants have become much more than just a source of food. While being a very nutritious edible species, members of Kingdom Animalia are also very visually appealing. Even the prickly cacti are never an eye sore.
For all you homeowners out there who wish to add a hint of green to your home, this article shall give you all that you have to know about before you decorate your house with plants.
There are indeed a lot of benefits associated with gardening and using plants as decor. Let’s discuss about them.
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.
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.
Pots 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.
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.
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!
Who wouldn’t want a private swimming pool? If you have one, you sure are lucky! That said, pool maintenance is a task that does require some serious work. In this article, we will give you some really cool tips to keep your pool crystal clear and squeaky clean.
Any pool cleaning veteran would swear on his life that a balanced pH and clean water are the very foundations of a good swimming pool. The general rule is that swimming pools require a basic maintenance routine every week and an extensive one if any of the following mishaps occur-
For those of you who don’t have much time on your hands, we recommend that you consider buying a home warranty. In case a major damage happens, you will be able to save a load of cash if you have an active warranty on your pool. For more information, do look into the coverage of a home warranty plan. Next, we’re going to give you a step-by-step guide on what must be done to keep your pool clean. This is a monthly routine, so you don’t have to worry about doing this every week.
Before you get into the main steps of pool cleaning, skim the debris and any other particulate material floating in the pool. Some materials would float while some get settled at the bottom of the pool. Your first step is to get them all out. Start with scrubbing the walls of the pool and the floor too. Ensure that you use pool manufacturer recommended cleaners and vacuums.
If the pH is incorrect, anybody who takes a dip in the pool could come out with skin rashes. Apart from this, an incorrect pH may also corrode the pool equipment. The parameters that decide a well-balanced pool are the alkalinity and calcium hardness levels. Many pool balancers are available in the market, you just need to follow the instructions given on the pack to get it done.
Known for its disinfectant properties, Chlorine is a chemical which most people are familiar with. It has a strong smell which is often associated with pools and well, hospitals. True to its nature, chlorine acts as a disinfectant in pools. It keeps away bacteria and other potentially harmful microbes, rendering the water safe and pathogen free. There are many ways in which you can chlorinate your pool. Some of the common ones are-
These are available in most department stores and they come with easy-to-follow instructions.
Algae are notorious because if left unchecked, one tiny colony can become an infestation in no time. These microscopic plants are best avoided by using algaecides appropriately. Algaecides are chemical mixtures designed to keep growth of algae in check. Add them to the pool weekly, and that should keep things in control. If you already have an algae invasion, then get products designed to quickly wipe out algae. But please do keep in mind that adding such a chemical would leave your pool unusable for a few days.
Pool maintenance is a task that can be mastered with practice. It only requires following a set of steps precisely. That said, we cannot stress enough on the importance of protecting yourself while you are cleaning your pool. Ensure that you wear gloves and protective clothing while using chemicals and tools. We also advise you to strictly follow all the instructions given with the cleaning chemicals. Any mistake may damage your health as well as the health of those who dive into the pool.
We also have a host of other articles on maintenance of various household appliances and general home cleaning and maintenance. We recommend that you go through them so that you can become a star homeowner who invites the envy of the neighbors. Good luck and happy housekeeping!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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
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.
Americans buy home warranty to protect themselves from repair and replacement costs of home appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear. Unfortunately a lot of policy holders feel let down by the result after filing a claim with their warranty company. Some people are ignorant that they have the power to dispute the outcome of a claim when one is filed; others are conscious that many customers succeed when they dispute a claim correctly. The procedure involved in disputing a claim can be extensive, but can be worth time investment.
A home warranty is a service contract that covers systems and items in your home that are usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Furnaces and outside air conditioning units, plumbing and electrical systems are items commonly covered under a home warranty protection plan. The homeowner requests a claim with the warranty company when a covered item requires repair. Some home warranty providers repay the homeowner for the cost of the repair while others send a contractor directly to the home for repairs.
You should look at these factors carefully for any items that you estimated to be covered by the home warranty contract you aim to procure. Make sure you read the contract one more time and understand the reason for denial. In some cases, even courts cannot help you if the claim was denied for a reason clearly stated in the contract.
So what are some of the common reasons for denial of claims on home warranty?
Always be polite and be friendly with customer service professionals. They will go an extra mile if they like you. The first step should always be that you speak to customer service supervisors and their bosses who make the decision. Assuming those steps did not result in a favorable outcome, you can follow these escalation steps:
HomeWarrantyReviews.com provides readers with a free resource unlike any other online. Our reviews and articles about home warranty companies are unbiased, unlike other websites you might visit these days. We do not give preferential treatment in our ratings, reviews, or articles to companies based on what the companies pay us in marketing fees. Due to that objectivity, readers like you can count on what appears here to be fair and in most cases free of editorial content.
In this series of articles, we let members of the home warranty industry talk about their companies. Please keep in mind that these interviews are not endorsements of companies. They’re meant to be a forum in which readers can get to know the companies direct from the source.
In this piece, we’ll share a conversation with a New Jersey based home warranty company, Select Home Warranty. Recently Home Warranty Reviews talked with Joseph Shrem, a manager at Select Home Warranty about their home warranty offering.
What is it about Select Home Warranty’s offering to homeowners that makes it so valuable?
Your home is most likely the biggest purchase you make in your lifetime. At Select Home Warranty we understand this and our job is to protect this investment.
With service costs rising and newer appliances having more sophisticated electronic parts and not built to last as long as they did decades ago, home warranties are viewed more as insurance, giving homeowners the peace of mind of knowing their costs are controlled and not having to go without a working appliance or dipping into savings to take care of an unexpected breakdown.
What sorts of items are covered in Select Home Warranty’s home warranty plans?
Select Home Warranty offers coverage on a wide variety of services nationwide such as air conditioning, heating, plumbing, electrical, and appliance repairs. We also offer flexible programs to custom-tailor the amount and type of coverage to meet our customer’s specific needs. Homeowners can also obtain coverage for their pool equipment, septic systems, lawn equipment, sump pumps and more!
Home warranty customers are obviously looking for cost savings when things around their homes break down. But do you find your customers are also looking for convenience?
Along with financial security, comes the peace of mind of knowing that the hassle of dealing with a break-down is taken care of as well. Select Home Warranty has a large network of independent service technicians who are on standby, ready to help you with your home. Our technicians are well trained to assist you with any type of issue you may have. We are partnered with top of the line contractors around the country. We don’t want our customers to scramble to get a service appointment or find the right contractor. As the provider, we also want to make sure the job is done quickly and correctly.
Automation is the buzzword in almost any industry these days. Do you feel like automated customer service is the right approach?
Select Home Warranty’s top priority is servicing our customers. With around-the-clock professional staff, we strive to make ourselves available to answer questions, whether it’s regarding coverage or a claim.
If you represent a home warranty company and would like to see your company featured in a future interview on HomeWarrantyReviews.com, please let us know!
If you are a reader with questions about this home warranty company or other home warranty companies, please visit our top home warranty companies page or our home page, where you can search for any company by name.
Select Home Warranty was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey. The company markets its service contracts to current owners, sellers, buyers, and real estate professionals who regularly assist their clients with decisions about home warranties. Select Home Warranty provides a number of web services on their corporate site, including information for contractors who wish to join the company’s network of service professionals. Existing customers can also submit claims online via a brief form on Select Home Warranty’s website. Readers who are interested in obtaining a price and coverage quote from Select Home Warranty may do so here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com, via the company’s website, or by phone.
Readers here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are a diverse bunch. You have home buyers. You have home sellers. You have real estate professionals, and you even have members of the various professions involved directly and indirectly with the home warranty and home service contract industries. Today’s article is for anybody who is new to the idea of home warranty. The topic is one of the first things that any consumer or professional new to home warranties should be familiarized with. Without further ado, let’s get down to why a home warranty and a home service contract are two completely different things!
What’s in a name anyway? Well, sometimes a lot. Take a home warranty, for example. In the marketing world, a home warranty is a term that’s generally used to describe more than one type of contract. And marketers don’t always make it perfectly clear to consumers whether “home warranty” is just a convenient label that’s used due to the need for a familiar way of describing a home service that isn’t always well known among homeowners and homebuyers. You may have seen an advertisement or piece of literature about a home warranty. Is that “warranty” really a home warranty, or is it a home service contract? If you don’t know the difference between the two then read on and learn something that’s important to know when you own a house.
No matter what it was called when you bought it, if you purchased a “home warranty” then you probably bought a home service contract. Builders are typically the only people who have a need to buy a true home warranty. A homeowner typically needs a home service contract. Knowing the difference is important. Here’s how it works in the simplest terms.
A home warranty, the true legal contract that warranties labor and materials, is passed from a seller to a buyer without cost when a house is new and being sold to the first occupant. Though a builder’s warranty can be transferred to a second buyer during the sale of a house, it still doesn’t involve an added cost to that buyer. A warranty, in the legally defined sense, isn’t something that can be sold. It’s a guarantee, a right afforded to a customer, to expect that a product purchased will function properly inside a particular time frame. In a true legal warranty contract, there is a form of compensation for failures, whether that amounts to failure due to material defect or workmanship. The home warranty typically covers everything between the foundation and the roof, but not items that are not permanently installed, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, or ovens.
Since a home warranty is free of charge and is a legally binding contract, the home buyer has little reason to research the company backing the warranty. And since the warranty is oftentimes purchased from a third party, in order to free the builder from any future liability to pay for repairs of poorly built or defective parts of a house, there is always a risk of a warranty being backed by a financially unstable company. If the builder is the one backing the warranty then there may be an even greater risk than if the warranty was backed by a large company which specializes in providing insurance and/or warranties.
So far we’ve covered a very basic description of what a true home warranty is, what it covers, and the risks that can be associated with it. Now let’s look at what a home service contract looks like by comparison.
A home service contract is NOT a warranty! Why the emphasis on “not?” Well, you might be surprised how many consumers are confused about what they have purchased. And it’s really not their fault that they are confused. When you call a home service contract a home warranty you make confusion almost unavoidable. But when you’re selling something you can’t afford to risk the consumer not knowing what your service or product is. Between the market needing a convenient label for home service contracts, something that consumers will immediately relate to, and the almost inevitable confusion that results from the use of that convenient label lies the need to educate customers. And that’s what we’re about to try to do in this article.
If you are in a house that is no longer covered by a warranty then anything that goes wrong, whether it be electrical wiring, plumbing, fixtures, etc, you’ll probably pay 100% of the cost of repairs or replacements out of your own pocket. But you do have the option of buying a contract called a home service contract. The purpose of a home service contract is twofold. Let’s break down the two reasons for home service contracts being offered.
So we’ve covered what a home warranty is and a bit of what a home service contract is, but we have not covered what a home service contract covers. Let’s break that down into some detail. Bear with us. It’s a bit lengthy, but readers will be glad they read everything that follows before buying a home service contract.
In some cases, a home service contract might cover most of what a home warranty originally covered. But it varies greatly from one company to another. So here’s the best advice anybody will give you about buying a home warranty. Do NOT fixate on the price alone! Pricing may look like the bottom line, but you really have to compare home service contract coverage, the companies’ reputations, and other factors aside from the prices.
Coverage might include structural parts of a house, appliances, system components such as air conditioning and heating, water lines that run from the house to the city’s water lines underneath the street, and lots of other things. But it’s important to be aware that not all home service contracts are the same. In fact, they vary so much that a consumer really cannot afford to buy one without doing a lot of homework. At the very least the buyer should read the contract word for word.
The biggest difference between a home warranty and a home service contract in terms of the way the contracts are written is sometimes in the loopholes. These loopholes can be the difference between a home service contract being worth the money or not. Here are some loopholes to watch out for.
It’s exactly what it sounds like. A pre-existing condition is something that was already wrong or on its way to being wrong, due to neglect, poor installation, or other factors that the home service contract company deems to have caused a breakdown. And this language is so vague that some companies use it as a way to deny any and every claim by their customers. But a consumer can typically spot companies that abuse the pre-existing condition loophole by simply reading reviews from other customers.
It’s not always safe to assume that if a home service contract covers an item that every part of that item is covered. Some consumers find out the hard way that a part or a set of parts in an item, say a refrigerator, for example, are excluded. Nobody wants to find that out the hard way, so it pays to check out every detail of the company’s reputation and the contract before buying a home service contract.
This one is a big, big area of concern for anybody buying a home service contract. Some home service contracts will only pay a maximum amount per contract period. Some have different allowed maximums for different items covered under the contract. Some will only pay a set maximum amount during the lifetime of a customer’s relationship with the company! And some reserve the right to cancel or not renew a contract. That leaves the company an opening to get rid of customers who are making too many repair requests. It’s very important to look for language in the contract that might be taken more than one way. If a consumer does not see every word of a contract as being explicitly clear then it may be necessary to get clarification of some parts of the contract in writing before buying the service contract. And “in writing” is the most important part.
Also, take a look at these important pointers if your claims are denied by the home warranty company!
HomeWarrantyReviews.com wants our readers to be the best-educated consumers when it comes to home warranties and home service contracts. If you found this article helpful please take a moment to tell us what you learned in the comments below. Or email us at [email protected] to tell us how our article helped you and what we could do to make it more helpful to other readers. If you are like most readers then you’ll probably want to keep going from here, on to the next question. Why not read another of our articles or check out companies that you’re interested in knowing more about while you’re here on the website?
As of now, many of these coupons have expired. However you can still get a price quote for home warranty on our website. This will be a free quote and there is no obligation to buy
Choice Home Warranty is offering 25% discount on premium and $15 off of service call fee. Use the code “HOLIDAY25” here – http://choicehomewarranty.com/quote-start.php
Coupon expires on 12/26/2008
Check out our reviews section for Choice home warranty reviews
Choice Home Warranty is offering 15% discount on premium and $15 off of service call fee. Use the code “15OFF” here – http://choicehomewarranty.com/quote-start.php
Check out our reviews section for Choice home warranty reviews
We found this discount deal on deal catcher forums – National Home Protection is offering 20% off, and $50 Gift card
Sign up for a new home warranty and get 20% off your monthly bill, $45 service calls (usually $60) & a free $50 Home Depot Gift card. Offer expires 10/31.
Use Promotional Code SAVE20 Check out our reviews section for National Home Protection home warranty reviews
We previously reported about NY attorney general’s lawsuit against National Home protection. On December 15, 20009 NY New York Attorney General Andrew M. announced a court victory in the lawsuit against this home warranty company. NHP’s website is not accessible any more and phone calls are not answered. The company is believed to be defunct and its customers cannot expect any service, although they might get some kind of severance from this lawsuit.
According to the reports published at wivb.com this morning, the court found NHP engaged in false and misleading advertising, made multiple misrepresentations and violated New York consumer protection and insurance laws. Subsequently, the company and its principals, Leo Serrur, David Seruya and Victor Hakim, agreed to pay $900,000 in restitution, penalties and costs. The agreement was approved by the New York Supreme Court on December 14.
NHP sold consumers yearly home warranty plans at an annual price of about $370. NHP’s advertising and contracts promised to repair or replace consumers’ household systems and appliances which failed to work properly due to normal wear and tear. Hundreds of consumers who purchased NHP’s plans complained to the Attorney General’s office and other agencies that NHP did not provide the promised services or replacements.
The Court also concluded that NHP made multiple misrepresentations to consumers via its website, including that it provided “sensible protection against repair costs,” “affordable coverage that could save you thousands,” and that it “will replace your unit with the same or like model.” The Court noted that consumers complained that claims were denied for failure to produce maintenance records and that they were offered inferior appliances or cash back offers that were a small fraction of the actual appliance cost. The Court also ruled that the Attorney General could recover on behalf of all aggrieved consumers, including those residing outside the State of New York, since NHP used New York to complete its deceptive transactions.
Importantly, the Court’s decision makes it clear that a company cannot rely on small print terms and conditions of contracts to disclaim attractive advertising claims that lure consumers to purchase products or services.
As part of its agreement with the Attorney General’s office, NHP and it principals have agreed to pay a total amount of $900,000 in restitution, penalties and costs. The company and its owners are also permanently enjoined by court order from running a home warranty business unless they first comply with the New York Insurance law on demonstrating financial responsibility and with other New York consumer protection statutes, violations of which are punishable by contempt.
Consumers who are eligible for restitution under the settlement
– Consumers who were denied contracted-for, or advertised services from NHP;
– Consumers who did not receive gift cards advertised and offered by NHP as an incentive for entering into the home warranty agreements; or
– Consumers who were denied the right to cancel their home warranty agreements within twenty (20) days of the date of mailing of the home warranty agreement or within ten (10) days if the home warranty agreement was delivered at the time of sale, and have not received a full refund from NHP or any other entity.
Consumers who were harmed by NHP’s deceptive conduct and false advertising will be able to file a claim for restitution. All NHP customers will receive claim forms by mail over the next several weeks and need not take any further action at this time.
Consumers may check the Attorney General’s website periodically for updates on the National Home Protection consumer claims process. Consumers with questions may also call the Attorney General’s Consumer Helpline at (800) 771-7755.
Most homeowners are quite concerned about maintaining their household appliances in good working condition. Any homeowner worth his salt will admit that it is no easy task. Hence it calls for some expertise in the form of appliance maintenance plans. What confuses homeowners is the fact that there are so many appliance maintenance plans out there and they end up wondering which ones to sign up for!
Here’s an article that’ll help you decide what plans you need to buy to ensure smooth running of your household appliances, while going easy on the pocket too.
There are quite a few things you need to consider before you decide whether or not you need an appliance maintenance plan.
In short, folks who have old appliances, lack DIY repair skills and sufficient money and do not have a trusted contractor should purchase some form of protection for their household appliances.
Let’s make this easier for you. An HVAC maintenance plan covers only heating, ventilation and cooling units. A basic home warranty plan covers all the major systems and appliances in the home which includes HVAC units and other appliances too. In simple terms, the coverage is often more for home warranty contracts.
Let’s take a look at some of the common advantages
Now let’s take a look at the advantages separately
Advantage of HVAC maintenance plans:
Advantages of Home Warranty plans:
Who needs an HVAC maintenance plan?
The U.S Dept. of Energy advises having your HVAC systems checked at least twice a year. This could be expensive for some.
Homeowners whose homes are aged should definitely think about purchasing a home warranty plan. It covers more than just your HVAC units. Ideally, following are the types of homeowners who need a home service contract:
Although most home warranty plans include coverage for HVAC units, the services are not as extensive as provided by an HVAC plan built specifically with heating and cooling needs in mind. If you feel that you are okay with basic coverage, then it would make more sense to go for a home warranty as your other appliances get protection too. Another option (safer one) is to buy a home warranty plan that covers on general household appliances and electrical systems and then to top it up with an HVAC plan. It may cost a little more than just a single plan, but it will be useful in the long run.
Yet another vital thing to do is to get your HVAC appliances get checked by a professional at least once a year. Regular maintenance checks are often helpful in diagnosing problems at an early state. Hence, no matter what the age or the make is, annual maintenance checks are a must for every HVAC appliance/system.
You can also read about Home Maintenance Tips on our website. We host several articles that explain the maintenance regimes for various household appliances and systems.
Remember, no matter how much thought you give into deciding a plan, if you don’t take the same effort for picking a reputable company, it may disappoint you. Always, we repeat, always select a trusted warranty provider and do sufficient research before you sign the contract. You can visit websites like ours, HomeWarrantyReviews.com, to see reviews and ratings about various warranty providers. Our website provide readers with reviews from genuine customers who are more than willing to share their experiences with others.
When you look at the words most often used in emotional complaints about home warranty companies you may find that “scam” is a very common term. But if you look very closely at the home warranty industry it’s hard to find evidence of a scam rooted in the established home warranty companies.
Though home owners are not always happy with the speed or manner of the response to their claims it takes more than just complaints to make a true scam. So are there no scams in the home warranty industry? My personal opinion is that there are plenty of scams and if you look back you’ll find plenty more in the past. Does that make the home warranty industry unique? I definitely don’t believe so. Auto insurance, health insurance, home building, government, religion – you name it, there have been scandals and grounds to throw words like scam around. Home warranty is not unique in that it has unhappy customers. Show me an industry without unhappy customers and I’ll be the first to change careers. But like I mentioned before, home warranty customers have been victimized and are probably being victimized even today.
Spotting the scams and the companies that are not operating with the best interests of their customers in mind is the very first priority. This is where home owners and legitimate home warranty companies can work together. Real estate agents, home repair contractors, home inspectors, and many other professional and customer advocacy groups can also help to point out the signs that home warranty companies are not doing what is right for their customers.
How can home owners identify home warranty companies that are likely to be scams or just not be doing what is right in terms of their commitments to customers? There are a few basic approaches to getting a good read on a home warranty company and all of them involve some time spent doing home work. What this comes down to really is customers taking their time and not making impulse purchases of home warranty contracts. And during that period of finding out about a home warranty company here are some things home owners would be wise to look out for:
It’s difficult to predict what sort of stunt criminals will pull tomorrow but in terms of what scams I’ve heard of up to now, here are a few. The names may be funny but the financial losses and wasted time on the parts of the jilted customers is nothing to smile about.
This one involves a company that isn’t a company at all. It has none of the financial depth that is required to cover the costs of handling repairs and replacements when home warranty customers file claims. In fact these companies rarely have a real office and follow the same pattern almost every time. They deny all the claims they can, approve the ones they can’t but then don’t pay anyone for the work performed, and then when frustrated customers cancel they promise refunds which they also fail to pay.
These companies oftentimes pay their contractors and approve returns but do so in such a way as to gradually put the company further and further behind on various debts. While they do this they use positive customer reviews to attract more customers and also spend a great deal on advertising in some cases. By the time they become fat with customers and reach their peak they’ve already bankrupted the company through poor management. The customers who are holding new home warranty contracts the day the company finally sneaks out its back doors and turns off the phones are the ones who get hit the hardest. Sometimes this type of scam leaves a long-term trail of customers who don’t find out their contract is worthless until they attempt to contact their home warranty company’s customer service center. This grab-the-cash-and-dash routine has burned many, many home owners over the years.
Some people who found bad home warranty companies get away with their misdeeds or only receive a slap on the hand that holds the checkbook. They then go on to start other home warranty companies using new company names and sometimes using different people as the officers or owners of the company. By disguising themselves they evade the public scrutiny that would otherwise stop their scams cold. Home owners caught up in the web of these characters can count on denied claims, shoddy work, unpaid contractors pursuing the home owner for debts the home warranty company owes payment for, and many other unpleasant circumstances.
For the sake of other consumers, friends, and the home warranty industry where companies work diligently to satisfy their customers, any home owner who feels that a claim was handled unfairly or that there are signs of misconduct on the part of their home warranty company should not remain silent. All too often home warranty companies give the overall industry a bad name with their poor handling of claims, contractor relations, or other important areas of their businesses. And in the case of true scams, more often than not, the people behind the scams only get away with what they do because it takes so long for anyone in a position to stop them to realize what is happening. As consumers realize their options to use government offices, social media, and word of mouth to sound the alarm about bad home warranty companies it will become more and more difficult for new scams to find victims.
This is a guest article written by Kevin Wallach. As owner and writer at HomeWarrantyWiz.com Kevin spends a great deal of time collecting information to help his readers better understand home warranty plans. Though home warranty is not the most popular topic online, it does mean a lot to home owners who need help with questions about it.
Ever wondered what is the difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance ? Are they not same? Let’s find answers for these questions.
While home warranty and home insurance products may come across as same, they are totally different. The coverage, cost, terms and conditions vary greatly. Home insurance is compulsory in some cases whereas home warranty is a recommended choice.
Home warranty offers protection for your major appliances, as well as plumbing and electrical units. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing major household appliances in case they break down, provided they meet the terms and conditions of the home service contract.
Home insurance covers your home in the event of damage due to natural calamity or man-made disasters and offers you liability protection from lawsuits in case of a third party involvement. If your neighbor came visiting you and accidentally fell and got injured and decides to sue you, then home insurance will take care of the claims. Home insurance is mandatory if you have a mortgage on your home.
Items covered by a home warranty may vary by company and plan, but typically includes the following items:
In case of an uncertain event like fire, theft, vandalism, or certain natural disasters, the cost of damages are covered. It also covers your personal items and gives you liability protection. Liability insurance will protect you from lawsuits in the event that someone is injured on your property. Home insurance will only insure your personal items in case they are stolen or ruined in a disaster. Repairs and replacements due to wear and tear are not covered.
The insurance policy varies depending on your state of residence and type of policy, but generally it will cover the following.
Home is the most prized and cherished possession any individual can have and nobody anticipates damages to this, therefore a home insurance provides you the following benefits when you cover your home.
A standard warranty runs $300 to $500 for a year of protection, which covers the cost of repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances. Home sellers typically pick up the tab for the first year of coverage. Extended coverage plans for pools, spas and washers and dryers can be purchased at an extra cost.
Insurance cost varies from state to state and depends on the extent of coverage and the location of the property but a standard insurance can cost any homeowners insurance is between $300 and $1,000.
When you are planning to buy a home warranty, make sure that you do some research. Check our home warranty reviews section that provides pricing, comparison, quotes and consumer reviews of all major companies. When you are getting price quotes, inquire to look over a sample policy. Bear in mind to understand the entire policy, together with the fine print.
Another advantage of home warranty policy is that it is transferable. That means when you sell the house the warranty would be passed to the new owner. This has proved to be a well-liked feature amongst home buyers as homes having home warranties are selling at increased prices and in much shorter times. This in itself could make it sensible to get a home warranty policy.
When a covered appliance breaks down you need to contact your warranty company. A warranty company already has business ties with different service vendors. They will in turn contact a service repairman to come to your home and repair the appliance. The repairman will fix the item or recommend replacing it. The service repairman will bill your warranty company directly, but you have to pay a service charge when the repair person visits your home.
With any kind of insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around and evaluate benefits and prices as most insurance companies will provide you a policy discount. Ensure you read the policy before writing a check and ask any queries that you have in mind.
So, the conclusion is that home warranty and insurance are complementary to each other. You can choose to protect everything you own, provided you can afford to. Keep in mind that these insurance products do cost a bit more, but compared to the benefits they provide and the peace of mind you get, it seems like a very small amount. Insure your home as well as buy a home warranty all within your budget.
Here’s a funny pictorial story that gives a peek into how does a Home Warranty work. Mr.Fox here is our friend who purchased a home service contract. His beloved washing machine crashed one day while the contract was still valid.
Now, back to the story.
Mr. Fox had an appliance warranty, so he did not have to
Mr. Fox simply called the home warranty company who in turn called up a service contractor with whom they maintain business ties. The warranty company sent a technician to Mr. Fox’s home to take a look at the appliance. The tech fixed the issue right there as it was a minor problem. You see, if the problem was big and if parts needed to be replaced, the tech would have had to wait for the approval of the warranty company before doing it.
Once the problem was fixed, the tech collected the service call fee and departed his way. Mr. Fox lived happily ever after resting assured that if his appliances crashed, he would always have his home warranty company to rely on!
Planning to sell your home and hoping to get top dollar for it? You’ve come to the right place! Selling a home often requires as much thought and consideration as buying one, especially if you are trying to fetch a good price for it. Thankfully, these are a set of pointers you can go through to ensure that you get a good deal. So, sit back, read and get to know how a home can be sold for a great price!
Any transaction that involves real estate should be researched well. Selling a home for top dollar is no different. You could begin with finding out what the average market value is for homes in your neighborhood. You could also pick a real estate agent to help you with the sale of property. Real estate agents always stay updated about prices and know the vibe of the crowd.
If you do not want to appoint an agent, you can use the old-school method and gather information from friends and family. You should also do some research on the amenities available in the neighborhood as such matters affect the sales price of your house.
The Internet is also a very good place to begin your research. You can also make use of online portals to list your house. This will give better visibility and might help you get an idea about prices of houses in your neighborhood.
Many factors should be considered while pricing your house for sale. Apart from obvious factors like size, amenities, and age of the home, there are factors like facilities in the neighborhood, proximity to schools/hospitals/parks, connectivity, and history of the locality. Again, internet research will help you with this task and probably be worthy of your time for those top dollars of your home. There are online tools which give you an estimate of the sales price of your home after you provide details.
If you have listed your property on an online marketplace, be sure to keep checking in often. Events that happen in your neighborhood like crimes or accidents could adversely affect your listing. Staying updated is key here. Also, unless you fix the right price, a good deal can never happen.
If you have placed an ad for your property in print or online media, there is a good chance that many potential buyers will try to contact you to collect information. These folks are also going to negotiate with you to drop the price. While making a small reduction is fine, dropping the price by a large margin could get the buyer suspicious. He/she will begin to wonder if the house is truly worth top dollars if you drop the price without much fuss. The general trend among sellers is to price the house a little above the market value. That way, even if a buyer makes a request to reduce the price, the deal will still be good.
Like we said before, real estate agents are of huge help when it comes to negotiating. In fact, the entire negotiation can happen with the agent alone leaving you free of the task of having lengthy conversations with the buyer.
Everybody loves add-ons, more so when it comes to property. This is a step which is almost guaranteed to increase the selling price of your home. Research has found that a home warranty plan definitely increases the sales price of your house. These plans not only protect your budget, they will also relieve the seller from future disputes. If an appliance in your home fails, the new homeowner will simply contact the warranty provider and not the seller.
You can also put in more shelves or racks to increase storage. Most people are huge fans of ample storage and hence, it could compel people to buy your property. Replacing old appliances will also help sell your home faster.
Nobody wants a house that looks old and spooky. Peeling paint, squeaky doors – in general, anything that looks like the Amityville horror house will be seen as a huge turn-off. It could repel potential buyers. A fresh coat of paint is almost mandatory for the house before it goes on the market. You could also enhance the external appearance of the home by improving the garden (if you have one) or you can add some other landscape detailing. You could also renovate the bathrooms (if they are old) or the kitchen for faster sales. The money you spend on upgrading your home can be reaped back once you sell the property. Trust us, decorating your apartment creatively helps lure in buyers!
Unless you use the services of an agent, your home could be in the market for some time. Do not let that prompt you to drop the prices drastically. A good deal will definitely come by. In the meantime, read up on various home maintenance guides to give your home a thorough upkeep. You could also get a home inspection done as a home inspection report is something that potential buyers would want. That’s all! Hope you strike a very good deal!
An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.
The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.
Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.
It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.
We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.
It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.
The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.
If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.
If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.
Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.
If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.
Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.
As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.
The basic coverage usually covers the following:
The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.
Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.
Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.
Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.
When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.
Home warranties, or home service contracts as they’re more correctly called in Washington and elsewhere in the nation, covers the costs of some repairs that are needed around a house each year. These repairs are often small things, but even small costs add up. And then there’s the time taken away from work and family life to deal with the arrangements for the repairs. So the point of a home service contract is to help save time and money when things around the house stop working properly. But there’s a catch to the whole thing. That catch is the quality and availability of professional contractors to do the work required.
Most established home warranty companies have huge networks of home repair contractors, ones they regularly check for customer satisfaction and overall quality of work. So customers of big home service contract companies can typically count on there being an abundance of good repair contractors in their areas. But this does vary when you consider small towns, states with highly rural populations, or crowded metro areas with more customers per square mile than in suburban or rural areas. With all this under consideration, it pays for home warranty buyers to understand which companies are the top ones in their local areas. In short, it pays to understand the market for qualified contractors before buying a home warranty.
Today we will cover the state of Washington. What’s the home warranty market like for people living in the state of Washington? That’s today’s topic in our top companies series!
Residents of the state of Washington live close to the heart of the U.S. home warranty industry. The western part of the country is home to some of the largest and oldest home warranty companies. And the homeowners out west are typically more knowledgeable about using home warranties too. Between the savvy consumers and the abundance of choices, there is a thriving market for these service contracts for homeowners.
Among the most popular companies in Washington are ones you’ll find in our top ten companies list. But there are also companies such as Fidelity National Home Warranty which fall outside of HomeWarrantyReviews.com’s top ten companies, by our website’s users’ ratings. According to Google, one of the most searched companies in the home warranty space among search engine users in Washington is Fidelity National Home Warranty. And though search volume is not an indication of sales volume it’s still worth noting that we don’t necessarily capture all the data needed to say for sure which companies are selling the most home warranties in individual states. So as you read on, please keep in mind that these top companies are a reflection of what you’ll find in our website’s users’ reviews and company ratings.
According to HomeWarrantyReviews.com’s statistics, ratings and reviews accumulated for many years now, homeowners in the state of Washington overwhelmingly prefer American Home Shield. We reached out to the company for comment after discovering this to be the case.
Mike Clear, VP of Operations at AHS weighed in on what he believes is behind American Home Shield’s success in Washington.
|“Homeowners in Washington expect and deserve outstanding service and value. At American Home Shield, our employees and network of local service contractors proudly provide both, each and every day. When things break down, we solve problems, plain and simple. This means being there when you need us most; making sure you have convenient access to technicians who have the expertise to diagnose and repair covered items; and protecting your budget against unexpected repair costs. We founded the home warranty industry 45 years ago, and no one pays more in servicing claims or protects more customers than American Home Shield.”
AHS is by far the largest company in the industry today. So in some ways it makes sense to see them on nearly every top companies list we publish here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com. But there’s something to keep in mind when you consider that the company that’s the biggest also has the most customers. And that something is customer satisfaction. Though no company keeps every customer happy all the time, AHS has done an extraordinarily good job pleasing its customers who post reviews here on our website. So whether you’re in Washington or elsewhere in the U.S., American Home Shield is one you should probably include in your list when comparing home warranty companies.
Based in Colorado, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has been serving American homeowners for almost four decades. Like American Home Shield, 2-10 is one of the top companies in the industry in terms of longevity and number of customers. In addition to providing home service contracts, 2-10 also sells home warranties in the true legal sense, meaning the contract covers defects in the builder’s work or materials.
As one of the original companies in the home warranty industry, 2-10 has a presence across the U.S. and an expansive network of professionals serving its customer’s repair needs.
As part of the Direct Energy family of companies, Home Warranty of America brings its home service contract offering to the western U.S. via its network of regional sales representatives. HWA assists real estate professionals and homeowners with many different scenarios in which coverage of home repairs are important. This includes periods in which a house is listed for sale or has just been purchased, as well as longer periods of time in which an owner of a home would want to offset the costs of repairs due to an unexpected system or appliance breakdowns.
We reached out to them for a comment about their service to Washington residents, and Monica O’Neill, HWA Product Manager, had this to say.
“Home Warranty of America has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and we are very grateful for our loyal customers. We truly enjoy providing reliable solutions and being a home warranty partner to real estate agents and homeowners across the great State of Washington.”
Customers of Home Warranty of America have the security of working with a home service contract provider backed by a big parent company, well known in the energy space. And financial stability is one of two of the most important things to look for in a home warranty provider.
That wraps up our short list of top companies in the state of Washington. Come back here soon for new articles about companies providing home service contracts in other parts of the country.
Readers in Washington, if you have a company you’d like to give a shout out to, please do so in the comments below! If you represent a home warranty company doing good things in Washington, please feel free to mention your company in the comments below as well.