5 Ways To Cut Kitchen Clutter

Nobody likes a cluttered kitchen because there is nothing more unappealing than it. Given how busy everyone gets these days, it is not a surprise that we found ourselves writing this article because, trust us, people are actually looking up ways to declutter their kitchens in the shortest time span possible.

We did some research and we found out that a cluttered kitchen is not only unappealing, it is also unhygienic. God knows how many germs that ignored, uncleaned corner of your kitchen is harboring.

Before you begin, try to harden yourself so that you don’t feel guilty about the things you are going to discard. Or the money (and time) you may have to spend so that future clutter is avoided.

So, let’s begin!

Cut Kitchen Clutter

 

Step 1 – Efficient use of storage space

Not all kitchens are loaded with cabinets and storage spaces, so make the best use of what you have. If you do not have much, make it a point to reduce the number of things you have in your kitchen.

Efficient use does not mean cram everything into the space that you have such that you’ll need to move a hundred things before you get your hands on what you need. Neatly arrange everything category wise in your cabinets. Keep the perishable and non-perishable items separate. You may also want to invest in racks or brackets that can be mounted on the walls, if you don’t have enough storage space. They are much cheaper than installing more cabinets or drawers.

Step 2 – Proper disposal of waste and unwanted materials

Sometimes, one disposal bin may not be enough for a home that houses a family of 2+. Ideally, have two large bins, one for organic waste and one for everything else. Scan your kitchen and chuck everything that is unnecessary or starting to rot. That applies to expired packed goods too. Dispose old cleaning sponges and washcloths if they look dirty.

Also, try to keep your garbage bins away from the stove/part of the kitchen where you cook or store food.

Step 3 – Shopping smart and avoiding unnecessary purchases

Half the clutter in your kitchen is probably from bulk deals you jumped up at and never paid attention to later. Even if something is on an unbelievably awesome sale, don’t buy it unless you are 100% sure that you cannot avoid buying it.

If you are a victim of bulk purchasing syndrome, you may want to scan your kitchen once again and chuck out some things. Trust us, the amount of space you’ll end up freeing is enormous!

Step  4 – Cleaning the kitchen before and after each cooking session

Setting aside the task of cleaning will only make you dread it more and increase your chances of putting that task away further. Make it a point to clean your kitchen or arrange your counters before you begin cooking. Once you are done preparing a meal, there is a good chance that everything will become messy or unclean. So repeat the cleaning routine unless your kitchen is spotless.

This step alone can help you save a lot of time clearing accumulated clutter in the future.

Step 5 – Assign a place for everything

If you are the kind of person who crams everything into the first available spot, you’ll end up with a very chaotic, disorganized kitchen over time. If your kitchen is already like that, you may want to take everything out and rearrange them back into shelves.

Assign places for everything. Spices together, containers and vessels together, and so on. You may also want to label everything so that it will be easier to find them as and when the need arises.

Do Not Skip De-cluttering

If you found the process tedious, you may be wondering if you could put it away for some other time. We strongly discourage this. The earlier you get it over with, the better you will feel. It may seem difficult at first but if you put on some music and get yourself to start the task, you’ll find that it’s not that hard.

Once you are done, spray some lemon juice or your favorite essential oil to make your kitchen smell heavenly. We recommend that you avoid room fresheners and chemical fragrances as kitchen is a bad place for them.

If you are a lazy homeowner and if your home is more than four years old, you may want to consider getting a Home Warranty plan to protect your appliances and budget.  While you are at it, we would also recommend that you go through some awesome home maintenance write-ups for some added info. Thanks for reading!






Our lives in the twenty-first century are irrevocably bound to technology is one way or another, be it at work, home or for leisure time activities. Our daily routines are punctuated with the usage of machines and home appliances of all kinds, from a coffee maker to wake us up, an oven to heat the morning bagel, washed vessels out of the dishwasher to a carton of cold milk in the refrigerator.

Know your service repairman to maintain your home appliance

Now that convenient and comfortable living is synonymous with the usage of home appliances, keeping them up and running becomes an absolute necessity – imagine going even a couple of days without a garbage disposal, coffee maker or refrigerator! Adding to the day to day need of these home appliances as a reason to make sure they are maintained, there is also the simple fact that they don’t come cheap, and if a little sprucing up now and then can keep them new, shiny, energy efficient and functional for longer, then why not!

Home appliances are not always sturdy enough to survive rough and constant use without maintenance and require a routine round of cleaning, servicing, and safety measures to be followed to make sure they work right. The unseen side of burnt grease in your oven, deposits in your dishwasher or corrosion of your washing machine coils can lead to your home appliances malfunctioning, and if you wait too long then the only solution left at your disposal may be a replacement.

Another extremely important factor to keep in mind when it comes to home appliances is that they are directly linked to your electrical systems and usually take up a large part of your electrical load. Even if a perfectly functioning washer or air conditioner uses up a considerable part of your total electrical consumption, and as the appliance begins to deteriorate, its efficiency when it comes to energy consumption only drops further. In fact, if the appliance is left too long and is affected by rust, corrosion or damaged internal circuits then it could even cause your home’s electrical system to short circuit or blow out.

Each of the home appliances has its own mode of functioning and requires specialized care and attention to certain details like coils, filters and external switches and controls. Though the general thumb rule is to make sure an overall level of cleanliness is maintained, here are a few things to keep a check on when it comes to individual appliance systems.

Air Conditioners – Filters and Coils

HVAC Maintenance tips

The first step to maintaining your home appliances effectively is getting acquainted with its major functioning processes and parts.

Filters and coils are the life of an air conditioner, the former keeping the airflow steady and clean and the latter doing the actual cooling and temperature stabilization within the machine.

A routine cleaning of air filters and replacement them when just cleaning is no longer sufficient is essential to keeping your air conditioner in a suitable working condition. When air filters get blocked with dust, grime and larger particles, the normal airflow is obstructed and the appliance uses a much larger amount of energy to pump in the same amount of air, making it an inefficient use of power. The dust that has settled will also transfer to the coil, creating a layer of insulation that will hamper its capacity to absorb heat. Adding to that, the filter will be unable to serve its primary purpose of purifying the air, and the room will gradually get laden with dust, causing allergies and other respiratory issues.

Depending on the climatic conditions of where you stay, or even if you have furry cats and dogs in the house, the need to clean the filter may become more frequent. Dust storms, humid weather causing the filter to get damp and clogged and a lot of dust being sucked into the filter can have the energy consumption of your air conditioner to drop anywhere from 5% to 15%, if not more. Also, check if your filters are reusable or have to be replaced after a certain period of time, because after a point, cleaning a non-reusable filter doesn’t help.

Dirt and grime aren’t isolated in only the filter; the evaporator coil and condenser coil of an air conditioner collect layers of dust as well. As the whole purpose of the coil is to act as a conductor, when an insulative layer settles on it, its ability to heat and cool reduces, reducing the effectivity of the cooling system as a whole. This, in turn, sucks at more energy to keep down the temperature of the room. Usually, a clean filter helps keep coils clean for longer, but eventually they too need to be cleaned.

Condenser units which are outside must be maintained as well, as they collect dust and debris very easily. Any obstruction to the airflow around them can be the cause of overheating and excess energy usage.

Washing Machine

Washing machine: effective way to maintenance of home appliances

While the maintenance of an air conditioner is dependent on the air around your home, a washing machine’s upkeep is dependent almost entirely on the quality of water. Besides a general use of baking soda and detergent to run empty cycles and keep the machine fresh and smelling good, descaling and cleaning out lint are two essential tasks on your hand.

If you stay in a part of town that gets hard water supply, then cleaning your washer drum with an empty hot water cycle once a month is crucial. You can add a decalcifier right from your kitchen – either baking soda or white vinegar – to the hot water, or use a commercial decalcifier available in any supermarket.

The filter and pores of the washing machine are a part of keeping the drum fresh and dry, so make sure you check for any caught dirt, lint or hair in the filter and clean it out at least once a month.  

Once the drum is clean and sparkly, shift your attention to the dryer. Invariably, a normal weight load shouldn’t take more than an hour to dry, at most. If the speed is dropping below this, or the dryer still gives you partially damp clothes after a full cycle, then it’s a good idea to check the vents and get them cleaned or replaced. A damaged dryer vent could be dangerous even when it comes heating up of the appliance, which could cause internal short-circuiting or even fires.

You can choose to call a professional, a vent replacement shouldn’t cost more than $100. If you prefer to check and clean yourself, start by removing the exhaust from the back of the washer-dryer, clean out the clogged lint in the crevices, and inside the tubes and opening in the back. You can use a long thin object to help you reach the narrow crevices, but don’t use anything sharp that can scratch off the film and cause more damage.

Refrigerator – Coils and Water Filter

Refrigerator or Fridge, home appliance maintenance tips for Homeowners

Any clogging of coils in a refrigerator directly obstructs the flow of air, making the generator unit of the machine use up more energy and work much harder to maintain the temperature inside the unit. Any debris can cause the coil to clog up, from dirt and dust to pet hair and particle lint. Use a rag to dust off the visible portions of the coil – usually located in a panel beside the door or at the back of the unit – and then do one quick round of vacuuming to make sure all the fine dust is taken care off.

The water filter in the refrigerator serves the purpose of purification as well as temperature moderation of the water in the ducts. If the filter’s working is compromised due to impurities, then there is a chance that you are being exposed to contaminated water. The process of replacing the filter is specific to each model of refrigerator, but it is usually a simple turn on either side to unlock the old filter from its place and lock in the new one. Replacing the filter at least 3 to 4 times a year is usually recommended.

Garbage Disposal

How to resolve issue with Garbage Disposal?

A home appliance that is all about hygiene and is used on a daily basis, a broken garbage disposal can be a very difficult thing to deal with even for just a few days. To keep the foul smells, residue, and grime in check in the chute, a simple home remedy is to use a combination of ice cubes and either salt or white vinegar to sanitize it. Pour in the mixture, wash it down with cold water and then turn it on, adding activated carbon or lime peels and slices to cut out the odor.  

Oven and Microwaves – Self-cleaning and Otherwise

Ovens and Microwave maintenance, essential tips

Ovens that are self-cleaning are usually easy to maintain, but it is important to run regular cleaning cycles before the inside of the appliance is too caked with grease and food particles. A self-cleaning oven cuts out the need for chemical cleaning agents, using temperatures up to 900 degrees (Fahrenheit) to incinerate the leftovers within the oven and smoke them out.

Regular cleaning, in this case, is necessary to make sure that the smoke production in each cycle is kept to a minimum; it helps to use a soft absorbent pad and dust off the larger particles beforehand.

Ovens that do not have a self-cleaning preset must be maintained regularly and very carefully as well, especially since grease residue can cause fires and malfunctions in the thermostat, especially if the vent is clogged and doesn’t allow for fumes to escape. Warning: commercial cleaning compounds are safe to use but should never reach close to the electrical connections inside, or the heating elements as it could cause disaster reactions.

Microwaves can be maintained by just sponging them down on the inside and out to remove any dirt and spills. Check regularly if the door seal shut tightly, and in the case of an abrasion call for a professional to service it. If you feel the need to handle issues of smells within the microwave, one trick is to use a diluted mix of baking soda and water – keeping it to heat inside the appliance and removing it once it has completely cooled down.

Home Warranty for Home Appliances

While home appliances come with manufacturer warranties of their own, our usage of home appliances far surpasses the given period during which this warranty serves its purposes. What is more, when we buy a home then often home appliances come with it, many out of warranty or even maintenance.

Both in terms of cost effective servicing as well as hassle free problem solving, investment in a Home Warranty scheme can help you through every step of the process. From identifying the problem at hand to repair and replacement, companies provide unlimited support all year around on all your home’s major appliances and systems, giving you the freedom to delegate.

To know more about how to get yourself warranty, what coverage schemes are available, individual state laws and companies which are highly rated, scroll through the articles, reviews and guides on HomeWarrantyReviews.com – comprehensive information right from the consumer.




“Winter is coming” – Remember this famous dialog by the Starks from Game of Thrones? Well, it is true now. Winter is indeed approaching and that means homeowners have to prepare themselves for the chilly festive season.

While the idea of another Christmas is awesome, the idea of sub-zero temperatures and malfunctioning appliances is not. Fret not! There are some things that you can do to ensure that the chances of your appliances crashing are kept to a minimum. This article will provide you with a list of appliances that needs to be checked before winter sets in and also how to ensure that they don’t breakdown. Wondering why you need to check your appliances in advance? Well, like they say, a stitch in time, saves nine!

Appliances That Need Care Before Winter Hits

Appliances That Need Care Before Winter Hits

So here are some of the appliances that need a thorough check up before the temperature drops-

  • HVAC unit
  • Smoke detectors/ alarms
  • Fireplace (if you have one)
  • Dryer

Let’s take a detailed look at how these appliances should be checked. Don’t worry, the steps are quite simple and only require a very basic examination on the appliances listed above.

HVAC

This one is absolutely essential. If there is no heating in your home, you’ll probably get sick. Or worse, freeze. HVAC units are large appliances and they may require annual maintenance checks. If you have signed up for a warranty plan or similar arrangement that conducts frequent checks on your HVAC, now would be an ideal time. If you don’t have such an arrangement, worry not. Here’s what you need to do.

  • Examine the entire unit visually. Find out what you must look for in an HVAC unit.
  • Check the filter. If it appears old and worn out, replace it.
  • Check the thermostat. If you use a mercury thermostat, now would be a good time to shift to a digital one. They are said to be more accurate.
  • Examine the heating ducts. They may need cleaning to remove any dirt or debris accumulated in them.
  • Finally, keep the area around the unit clear and free of inflammable materials.

While you’re at it, you may want to read about common mistakes HVAC owners make.

Smoke Detectors

Personal safety is always a primary concern. With all the heating devices going in full swing, having a fire, although uncommon, is still possible. Check your smoke detectors to ensure that they are in working order. If they fail, you could risk the lives of everyone in your home.

Here is what you need to do to check your smoke detector –

  • Let the others in the house know that you are going to test the detector. You don’t want everyone panicking when the alarm goes off.
  • Press and hold the test button on your smoke detector. This should trigger the alarm. If it doesn’t. The device could be faulty.
  • If you want to test it in a more real scenario, try spraying some smoke detector aerosol on the detector.
  • If the alarm is triggered, suck out the test material using a small hand held vacuum cleaner. This should silence the alarm.

Dryers

These are appliances that can get really hot if their vents are blocked, making them prime fire hazard material. Leaving them to function unattended during the cold winter season may not be a bright idea. Make sure somebody checks on them at frequent intervals.

The following steps can help you run a basic exam on your dryer-

  • Take a look at the vent behind the dryer. It should not be blocked or damaged.
  • Clean the lint filter. Ideally, this should be done after every few wash cycles.
  • Make sure the area around the dryer is not blocked by objects that could easily catch fire.
  • Finally, if you are going to be away for a long time, unplug the dryer.

Fireplace

While it is lovely to have a fireplace, there are somethings that you just cannot overlook while using them. To ensure that your fireplace is safe for use, do the following –

  • Make sure that the damper opens and closes without hiccups.
  • Arrange a professional sweep to clear out any soot or particulate material that would have accumulated in the chimney.
  • Inspect the mortar around the bricks in the fireplace and chimney. There should not be any cracks or breaks in the bricks.

If you have a gas fireplace, look out for peeling wallpaper and eroding mortar. Ideally, get it inspected by a professional.

General Winterizing Advice

First time homeowners may need to do extensive research about making your home safe for winter. Apart from the appliance maintenance checklist we provided above, there are some general safety and wellness practices that you must follow. This would include things like keeping an emergency contact list ready, stocking up on food, check your car to see if it’s winter-safe and finally formulating a fire escape plan.

Also, do keep in mind that outdoor hose bibs may freeze in the winter and to prevent that, they should be shut off at the source or covered on the outside with an insulator. It should not be difficult to find an insulator as they are available at most home goods stores.

If you don’t have a home warranty, now would be a good time to think about one. Such appliance service contracts help you save money on repairs due to unexpected appliance breakdowns. You could also look into our general appliance maintenance checklist to ensure that your home runs smoothly always.

We hope you found this article useful. Let us know your thoughts. 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 and Extended Warranty – ComparisonHome Warranty or appliance extended warranty

Home Warranty – Valuing Your Possessions

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

 

 

Appliance Extended Warranty

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

What You Get With Your New Appliance

Manufacturer’s Warranty

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

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

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

Limited Warranty

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

Below are some examples of limited warranties.

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

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

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

Do I require Home or  Extended Warranty?

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

Built-in Models

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

Electronic Models

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

Gas Range

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

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

Electric Ranges

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

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

Gas Dryers

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

 

What you Should Know About Home Warranties and Extended Appliance Warranties

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

Be sure you know:

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

Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcomed surprises!

 

Differences between Extended Warranties & Home Warranties

Extended Warranty

extended-home-warranties

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

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

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

Home Warranty

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

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

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

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

 




Getting and staying organized is a bit of a challenge for many of us. This challenge often feels impossible to meet, resulting in the individual getting trapped in an overwhelmed mode. It is probable, however to overcome the overwhelmed feeling and efficiently get your home arranged by breaking the task into smaller steps and following an organized approach to achieve each step.

Get Your Home Arranged

Reasons for getting Organized

After a tiring day at work, you require to get to place where you could take enough rest and relax for recharging your energy. No other place can be more appropriate to do that, than your own home. But, first and foremost, you need to get your home organized to make it your favorite place for relaxation.

Your house is not just a place where you take your sleep, stock up your belongings and nurture your body with food and other basic requirements. But, your home is your sanctuary for the reason that whatever happens through the day, you would always go to the place where you could ease your victories and judge your failures.

Those are the reasons why organizing your home should be a main concern if you want to keep its comfort. Since you are too busy at work and usual activities, you would find it a major challenge to get your home organized. Generally, people complain that it is hard to organize the home as there are just too many stuff that are stored in. They are too busy to fix the mess and clean the dirt regularly.

That is why the ability to get your home planned is a must for you and for everyone. Once you gain knowledge of how to get your home organized, you would surely realize that it is not a hard task. Moreover, you would surely develop the practice of being responsible and reliable in keeping your place as pleasant as possible.

Get Your Home Arranged in 7 Simple Steps

After implementing the following organizing tips, you’ll speculate how you or anyone else manages without being organized.

  1. Schedule time to de-clutter your home and do this regularly.
  2. Place your things in such a manner that there would be sufficient space for free movement within the house.
  3. Keep the orderliness of your cabinets, shoe rack and even your refrigerator. Throw away unwanted stuffs so that they would not pile up and will be trouble-free to get your home organized. If the stuffs have sentimental value, you could just pile them up in the garage or in the storage room.
  4. Keep your house hygienic and clean it regularly. Ensure there is no dust piled up at furniture and appliance surfaces.
  5. Arrange the books in the book shelf and label your compact discs and place them as per their categories.
  6. Use every room as per their proper functions to get your home organized. This would avoid unnecessary mess everywhere inside the house.
  7. Do not file the bills with personal letters and other important documents.

Keep to your goals and get your home organized. You would find that a planned home would surely make you feel good in the future as you would not be messed up inside the premises of your own sanctuary. If you still face difficulty to get your home organized, you need to consult experts.

All the Best with the re-organization!




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

First time home buyers

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

Major Financial Challenges: For The First Time Home Buyers 

Down Payment

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

Credit Score

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

Tight budgets

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

Home Maintenance Challenges: For The First Time Home Buyers

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

Leaks and Squeaks

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

Appliance Breakdowns

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

Preparing Yourself For That Big Purchase

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

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

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




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.




Review filed under: First American Home Warranty
Author: S Waltson
HWR2Copyrighted

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I’ve been with this company for 3 years and have had several repairs made. Downstairs furnace, Downstairs Air Conditioning, Attic Fan, garage door opener, Running toilets. Overall, I’m fairly satisfied with the service I’ve received and have even recommended FA to a friend. I pulled up this website to review for my friend who is looking for a home warranty company. I suspect that these ratings are somewhat skewed because only the people who had problems seem to be rating the companies….even though anyone can post a comment. Basically these ratings are only based on “How Bad” was your experience.
I would be interested in seeing ratings which include the hundreds of positive experiences as well as the negative ones. The positive ones are just not here.

I still think that my $40 a month charge and $50 service call fee is fair and a good deal. Neither my husband nor I are the handy-man type and it gives us great peace of mind to know there’s someone we can call to help. I’ve called at 1am before and spoke to a live person when my attic fan was making a horribly loud noise. The repair man called on a Sunday and wanted to come out the next day (Memorial Day holiday)at 7am to fix it for me. Without hesitating and with no questions asked…he installed a brand new attic fan.
We also got good service on our replacement downstairs air conditioner even though we had to wait for a part to come in and some disposal/upgrade/modification work was not covered by the home warrantee.
We got great service on our garage door opener. The repair was booked (and served by) with Sears repair service. I saw from other reviews that poorly skilled repairmen (F grade?)were used by FA but the Sears repair man was very knowledgeable, friendly, prompt and I highly doubt that he was a F-grade repairman.
Maybe it’s just my area in TN that has a good FA department but I would bet that readers are just not hearing the other side of the story. There are happy, content customers out there. Am I crazy-in-love with FA?…No But I am a satisfied customer.




If you’re contemplating on buying home warranty coverage, read this article, it will assist you to choose the best service to match your needs.

Home Warranty Buyers

To begin with, a major step is to find a reputed company in your vicinity. This is a critical area of concern because most buyers do not have the required information. We collect and present ratings on home warranty companies from our website visitors in a detailed and presentable manner. Potential buyers should consider a range of factors along with user ratings such as annual premium, deductible costs, appliances coverage, pre-closure charges and those small but vital clauses in the contract. Read on…

Do I need a Home Warranty?

The very first step is to decide if you really need home warranty. Check our article that explains the need for home warranty on this site and review the checklist. It is a good idea to get a detailed home inspection report on your existing house from a third party inspector. This report will help you understand the potential and existing problems with your appliances and will also help you decide if you need home warranty. If some appliances are aging and need special attention, be sure to check if the warranty company provides sufficient coverage for those appliances.

Make a list of 3-5 home warranty companies that match with your needs. You can use home warranty price comparison section to identify providers based on premium, deductible, coverage effective dates etc. (Please note that our list covers most of companies that have nationwide coverage and it may have missed local warranty providers.)

Consult your friends and colleagues and gather feedback on service provided from their service providers. Be sure to ask about their satisfaction levels on service and claims turnaround time. A “Word of mouth” advice really helps if it’s from an acquaintance.
Choose a company that has a proven track record in this industry. Several consumers are unsatisfied with the services offered by many home warranty companies and it may be tricky to deal with some companies while claiming a repair or replacement.

There are several ways to research.

  1. Use home warranty insurance ratings to learn about the ratings given by our users.
  2. Check company’s track record using trade organizations such as Better Business Bureau.
  3. Research the company over the Internet for any negative reviews. Insurance discussion board in scam.com has the list of complaints against many home warranty companies. www.ripoffreport.com is another website for lodging complaints.
  4. Your real estate agent will also be able to provide the name of few reliable warranty companies in the area.

Determine if you need extra coverage. Most basic home warranty plans do not cover clothes washer/drier, second set of equipments (second refrigerator), pool/spa equipments, computers etc. And some plans also exclude air conditioning, roof, etc.

Now, start calling the companies and make notes of their offerings. Be sure to collect information such as –

  • Annual premium
  • Deductible per incident (Trade service call fee)
  • Average turnaround time for repair handling
  • If you have determined that you need extra coverage mentioned above, check on the cost
  • If you have any aging equipments reported in your Home Inspection report, be sure to check if the warranty company provides adequate coverage for those equipments
  • Ask them how they calculate the buyout amount if you decide to replace the equipment yourself.
  • Is coverage effective immediately upon buying the policy? (only matters if you need immediate coverage)
  • Ask for clarifications and contractual obligations. Observe how they are treating you, which is a good indicator of how the company treats its customers after sale.

Finally, browse the contractual terms when you are ready to buy the coverage. Request a reliability report from your local BBB to make sure there are not many complaints against the preferred company. Remember to keep all maintenance records which may be required when you file claims.

This video provides helpful tips on how to compare different home warranty companies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4ADRjQGYSo

If you have decided to buy home warranty, we recommend that you get a free price quote from the top companies by clicking on the link below.

==> Get a FREE price quotes for a home warranty




Do you possess a home warranty program? Chances are, if you are a new homeowner, you likely do. But after you have been in your home for a year, you are likely speculating if you should renew your home warranty or not. So many families get themselves in the same situation and expectantly this article will be able to offer you some help.

Renew Your Home WarrantyIn all possibility, when you bought your home you obtained a home warranty covering a range of items in your home, i.e. roof, air conditioner, appliances, heating and plumbing systems, possibly your spa/pool etc. If you had a great Realtor he or she can get the seller to pay for the warranty. So here you are approaching date and questioning if you should renew it or not.

Consider Your Options

Firstly all you should ensure that you inspect your situation properly. This means that you must be careful not to purchase too much insurance or procure coverage for items that you don’t have. So many times, people buy coverage for things like home telephone wiring when they don’t even have a home phone or landline any longer.

How much peace of mind do you require?

For some people, they do not have sufficient money in their savings to pay for a major system repair like a HVAC system. That’s the same thing as a heating or cooling system. You also require making sure that you only purchase coverage for your heating and cooling system if you don’t need for your kitchen items and refrigerator covered as well. Or in case you are not bothered about the AC going out, you may only require coverage for your other major systems and appliances.

Should you renew your home warranty program?

Majority of first time home buyers get to the end of that first year and feel like they want to take the chance on not having a system to be unsuccessful. And the reality is, many of them won’t. But for some people anything that can happen will happen if luck is involved. So for them making the choice to renew is a no brainer.

Things to Consider When Renewing

Consider Several Factors for RenewalWe all are familiar in these economic times coming up with $350 to $600 is a lot of money for most of us. If you certainly did not have to pay for the initial coverage, then there is a doubt that you paid much attention to the cost of your home warranty. No doubt, you had to pay the $50 – $55 service call if you had one and that likely felt like a fine deal, particularly if you had something major go wrong like your hot water heater going bad. Maybe you didn’t have any service calls at all and now you are faced with this renewal expense and there’s a good chance you’re saying “I don’t think so”.

For people who reside in older house, age is definitely a factor to consider. How old are your appliances, your AC and heat pump, the filter motor for your pool, hot water heater, your roof, garage door opener and some of many other things that a home warranty can cover.

You must also factor in the additional costs of the service calls; they have a means of adding up if you have 3 – 4 of them in a year. These certainly are costs over and above the cost of the warranty itself. Study the fine print of your policy before you renew to be sure the items that you may be worried about are really covered. Some of the items you desire to be covered are not in the standard policy but are considered “optional coverage and have supplementary fees. You may have more than one surprise and can be very disappointed if you find out the warranty did not cover “that specific” item.

The additional thing, as a homeowner, you must know that if you don’t have an existing home warranty you can always acquire one. These companies don’t just cater to the new home buyer of a resale home. You can procure a home warranty any time, but you recognize that there will be a 30 day waiting period for it to go into effect.

So how do you approach the renewal question if you are about to purchase a new home warranty?

One way to deal with the query of your right to renew is to just ask the contractor you work with, whether it’s a real estate professional or a home warranty company. If the home warranty that is being offered to you for consideration does not permit you to renew without the company’s consent then you must compare that service contract to others which would allow you to renew freely. It is never a benefit to have a home warranty contract that does not guarantee your right to renew. Actually you risk a lapse in service coverage if you purchase a home warranty that does not guarantee you the permission to renew. Your next home warranty might not provide you instantaneous coverage after buying it, which would leave you with a period which any repairs required, would be 100% out of pocket.

It might appear like you are getting ahead of yourself by distressing about the renewal of contract you might not be interested in renewing. Although you just give yourself the choice of renewing you are better off than being refused or canceled renewal. Never let your policy lapse.  You can continue renewing your policy for the period of time in which you own your home, except if you have had lapses in coverage.




First American offers financial services through its Title Insurance and Services segment and its Specialty Insurance segment. The First American Family of Companies’ fundamental business lines includes title insurance and closing/settlement services, home warranty products, title and other real property records and images, title plant management services, valuation products and services, banking and investment advisory services, and property and casualty insurance.

first american

The California-based company serves homebuyers and sellers, loan originators and servicers, real estate experts, commercial property pros, home builders, and others involved in residential and commercial property dealings with products and services specific to their requirements. With experience dating back to 1889, the company provides its services and products through direct operations and a network of competent agents across the United States as well as worldwide. In 2015, First American achieved revenues of $5.2 billion and was also acknowledged in 2016 by Fortune® magazine as one of the 100 top companies to work for in America.

First American Sets Itself For The Future

First American has announced the acquisition of a New Jersey-based RedVision Systems, Inc., the biggest national provider of the title and real property research. RedVision applies data, technology, and managed services solutions to transform the procurement and processing of title information. The firm is renowned across the industry for its state-of-the-art, proprietary NOVA® and  TitleVision2 technologies and the cascade of best-practice standardized Redi® products – ExamRedi®, SearchRedi®, ClearingRedi®, and CurativeRedi® to empower clients with SLA attainment, transaction cost savings, compliance and risk management. RedVision has been successfully examined against SOC 2 standards, named on HousingWire’s TECH100™, chosen as an American Land Title Association (ALTA) Elite Provider, and repetitively listed as one of the rapid-growing companies by Inc. The organization has delivered over 7.5 million title reports to 1600+ client organizations, comprising title underwriters, financial institutions, national agents, settlement service providers, local agents, attorneys, lenders, and foreclosure/default processing organizations.

“We’re excited to soon welcome RedVision to the First American family of companies. RedVision’s data, technology, and services complement First American’s existing title search and title evidence production and will further expand First American’s industry-leading position in title and property data,” said George Livermore, executive vice president of First American’s Data and Mortgage Solutions division, which will include RedVision. “RedVision’s nationwide title production platform, coupled with First American’s title and property data, and billions of recorded documents, will offer our customers unmatched quality, coverage, and operational flexibility.”

RedVision Welcomes The Change

The possession will let First American’s Data Trace group to leverage RedVision data to build extra title plants efficiently and rapidly. RedVision will become part of First American’s Data and Mortgage Solutions division and will function as a business unit under its management team, with CEO Brian Twibell continuing to head the business.

“We’re delighted with the opportunity to combine our technology, services and expertise with those of First American, a company known for its integrity, innovation and leadership in the title and settlement services industry. RedVision’s platform, now powered by industry-leading title and property data, will offer title evidence and packaged title reports with enhanced quality, accuracy, and efficiency,” said Twibell.




Home warranty is a service contract that offers discounted repairs and replacements for your household appliances. If you have an appliance protection plan, and if one of your covered appliances breaks down, the home warranty company will repair it for you at a very nominal price.

Home Warranty Plan

In general, such plans are considered a wise purchase for those

  • Who have fairly old appliances, ie 4+ years.
  • Have no time for DIY repairs.
  • No budget for expensive repairs and replacements.
  • Do not have a trusted contractor.
  • Is a first time home owner.

If any of the above mentioned conditions are true, it will be a good idea to purchase an appliance protection plan. Folks who fall into any one of the categories stated above stand a high chance of encountering frequent damages leaving their pocket empty.

Several types of appliance protection plans are available in the market today. Most of them differ with the extent of coverage. Most of the first tier or basic plans cover only major systems and appliances in your home. This usually excludes outdoor appliances and systems and second sets of devices. Eg spa and pool units, sprinklers are common things excluded from coverage. Also second air conditioning unit, second cooler etc are also omitted. However, the best part about these plans are that their coverage can always be extended. Accordingly the annual premium you pay will be higher.

How Does the Plan Work?

If an appliance crashes while the warranty plan is still valid, all you have to do is to inform the company about the damage. Once you give them all the necessary details, they will call up a service vendor with whom they maintain business ties. The vendor then contacts you to fix an appointment and on the agreed time he arrives to take a look at your appliance. If the damage is minor, the technician will fix it right away.

However, major damages or part replacements may need approval from the home service contract company. Any parts that require replacement will be procured for you by the company.

Advantages of a Home Warranty Plan

  • It offers some amount of protection for your budget.
  • It is the closest thing you can find to peace of mind.
  • You get the service of experienced and qualified technicians.
  • You don’t have to look for a service vendor, they will be sent to your doorstep.
  • Flexible coverage. You can purchase as little or as extensive coverage as you need.
  • Affordable. Most plans have annual premiums that range anywhere between $250 to $600.

Disadvantages

  • It is not a free of cost arrangement. In addition to the annual premium, you will also be paying a service call fee each time you raise an issue. The fee is nominal, usually around $50.
  • You cannot raise multiple issues in a single claim.
  • Claims are sometimes rejected based on vague and unclear grounds and often stating fine print from the contract which customers usually overlook.
  • Conflicts may arise on the diagnosis given by the technician.
  • The home warranty company will always try to repair and not replace your damaged appliance.

Final word

Home Warranty plans are a great way to insure your household appliances if they are old or aging. However, people often tend to confuse this with homeowner’s insurance, which is quite a big mistake. Homeowner’s insurance can never be replaced with a home service contract or vice versa. Though they both offer protection for your appliances, their grounds for placing a claim are totally different.

May it be reminded again that the policy booklet and contracts are vital documents and should be studied and preserved carefully. If you have decided to go ahead with a home warranty, check out Top Home Warranty Companies listed on our site.




Are there scams in the home warranty industry?

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

Home Warranty Scams

Though 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 do you spot home warranty companies that may be scamming 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:

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

 

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

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

 

“The Emperor’s New Clothes”

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

 

“The Ponzi Scheme”

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

 

“The Disguise”

Some people who found bad home warranty companies get away with their misdeeds or only receive a slap on the hand that holds the checkbook. They then go on to start other home warranty companies using new company names and sometimes using different people as the officers or owners of the company. By disguising themselves they evade the public scrutiny that would otherwise stop their scams cold. 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.

 

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

For the sake of other consumers, friends, and the home warranty industry where companies work diligently to satisfy their customers, any 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.

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.

 




HVAC Maintenance Checklist

 

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

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

Monthly maintenance routine

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

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

Annual maintenance routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dallas is the fourth most populated metro area in the country with 280 localities. The most active areas between April 2015 and April 2016 included Westhollow, Oak Lawn, Mountain Creek, Cedar Crest, Lake Highlands and Uptown. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is the top job producing metro areas in the country, and hence Dallas attracts thousands of new residents each year. In the past year, at least 7,800 real estate agents have assisted consumers with over 10,756 residential home sales in Dallas, Texas.

Price-of-real-estate-properties-in-Dallas

Whether you are buying or upgrading from your starter home, or downsizing now, working with a real estate agent is probably the best move. They will be knowledgeable in what it takes to advertise a home and also how to successfully negotiate a purchase.

If you are looking to purchase a home or property, it is important that you appoint a local real estate agent. Local Dallas realtors have familiarity with listings, actual property values, and trends in your target area and have dealt with dozens of properties in Dallas, thereby bringing detailed market experience to the transaction. Once you outline your specifications, your Dallas realtor will be able to show you the most suitable home that best fits within your vision.

Similarly, if you are selling a home in Dallas, the qualified realtors can guide you through the entire process. They may already have buyers who may be interested in buying a property in your area. Besides, your Dallas realtor will be able to make use of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other property listing systems to market your home for sale to other potential buyers.

Moreover, your Dallas realtor will be aware of the trustworthy local professionals such as contractors, escrow officers, mortgage bankers or appraisers who may help you close the transaction smoothly. The Dallas real estate agents also have experience with local housing laws and will be able to explain any industry jargon that you may not already be familiar with.

Dallas is home to numerous realtors, so make sure that you choose someone who comes closest to having the best professional experience to match your needs Below is the list of 7 highly recommended realtors based on their sales volume in dollar amounts, the number of transactions and an average price of homes sold. These professionals have proven results and can be a powerful ally as you purchase, sell, or invest in Dallas real estate.

 

Ellen Terry

Best-Agent-in-Dallas

Ellen Terry’s name has been synonymous with brilliant customer service, business expertise and the highest standards of integrity and ethics in the Dallas’ real estate market. Her 36 years of knowledge, experience, and proficient negotiating skills have proven invaluable to many of her customers. She has in-depth experience in Dallas’ most preferred neighborhoods and can offer latest market scenario besides renowned customer service.

Ellen Terry is referred as the Neiman Marcus of the real estate industry owing to her dedication to the highest level of excellent marketing and an utmost commitment to superiority in both service and product. During her notable career, she has closed over $530 million in sales volume epitomizing 158 multi-million dollar properties ranging from $1 million to $22 million.

Ellen’s civic, charity and professional activities have earned her

  1. Southern Methodist University Distinguished Alumni Award
  2. The Easterwood Cup Realtor of the Year
  3. The Distinguished Alumni Award for Christian College in Columbia, Missouri
  4. The She Knows Where She’s Going Award and the Kim Dawson Attitude and Attire Award by Girls, Inc.

She has been a continuing member of the Dallas Junior League Crystal Charity Ball Committee and a current member of Charter 100. Owing to her professional experience and dedication, she is also honored at the 8th Annual Award of Excellence for successful entrepreneurs.

Besides being an expert realtor, Ellen also acts as an executive vice president of coaching and mentoring at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty that helps her coach agents who want to attain their business goals.

Ellen’s favorite quote is by Napoleon Hill, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve,” and she not only believes this, she lives it!

 

Rene Burchell

Top-Agent-in-Dallas

Rene Burchell is a proficient realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Plano, Texas. She is licensed since 1992 and has been keenly helping buyers and sellers effectively since 2002. Rene holds the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), e-PRO, Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) and Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designations. Rene’s commitment to ongoing education and passion for accomplishing her clients’ real estate goals has facilitated her to be consistently recognized as a Top Producer and Top Sales Associate and team both with RE/MAX; her former alliance as well as Keller Williams.

Rene is a member of the National Association of Realtors, Texas Association of Realtors, Collin County Association of Realtors the latter which she spent 2 years as the Director of the Board. She is also an active member of the Women’s Council of Realtors where she served as the 2011 Past President for the Collin County and served 5 years on the board.

Before working in real estate, Rene worked as a financial executive assistant for Whirlpool, Merrill Lynch and Cain Watters & Associates PC for a decade after receiving her real estate license in 1992.

Rene and her team dedicatedly work with first time home buyers & sellers to Luxury Real Estate in the Dallas, Plano, N. Dallas, Allen, Frisco, Prosper, Celina, Little Elm, McKinney and nearby cities. Her focus on quality service, professionalism, and client satisfaction have earned her following accolades and awards:

  1. Keller Williams Realty Plano – 2015 Agent Leadership Council (ALC)
  2. Keller Williams Realty Plano – 2010- 2014 Top Producing Associate
  3. Keller Williams Realty Plano – 2011-2015 Top Producing Team
  4. Five Star Real Estate Agent, Texas Monthly Magazine, 2013-2015

 

Dani Hanna

Expert-Agent-in-Dallas

Dani Hanna has over 11 years of knowledge in real estate and more than 24 years of in-depth experience of residential home construction, contract negotiation, and organizational expertise. She diligently navigates the buying and selling process to your advantage. Dani is constantly acknowledged as a top producing agent and one of the best real estate agents in the mid-century neighborhoods of central Dallas, including Lakewood, Oak Cliff, the M-streets and Lake Highlands.

Dani’s clients and peers have recognized her willingness to step outside the box to attain her goals. Her clients say she is a true advocate of their best interest and puts the right people in place to execute their specialty. It’s no wonder she is constantly a top producer at Dallas City Center, with sales more than 20 million dollars. Dani enjoys tremendous client loyalty for the past five years in a row and has also been named on D magazine’s “Best Real Estate Agents” list since 2007.

Call Dani today if you are seeking a clear communication, seamless real estate transaction and local market expertise.

 

Debbie Murray

Super-Agent-in-Dallas

Debbie Murray has relished an exceptionally successful real estate career in Dallas where she was voted as “D Best Realtors in Dallas” by D Magazine and named a Unique Homes “Elite 2008” realtor” by the esteemed magazine. She attained her real estate license in the mid-1980’s while working as a Series 7 and 63 certified associate with Merrill Lynch. Debbie has keenly served condo, single family home and townhome buyers in the Dallas area for the past 17 years. Her in-depth knowledge of Dallas, Denton and Collin counties has brought her new and repeat clients from each. Besides a luxury home specialist, Debbie also focuses on home staging, international buyers, buyer representation, pro athlete and corporate relocation and new construction.

Debbie’s comprehensive relocation experience has served transferees from major corporations such as Cadbury Schweppes, State Farm Insurance, J.C. Penney, Hunt Oil, Price Waterhouse, and Mohawk Industries. She holds a BBA degree in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. As a marketing major from one of the leading business schools in the US, Debbie is equipped to innovatively implement a tailored marketing strategy for your home.

Debbie’s clients benefit from her Broker’s license education and the special skills which she has attained from her 9 professional designations.

  1. Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
  2. Certified Negotiation Expert
  3. Accredited Staging Professional
  4. Certified Residential Specialist
  5. Accredited Buyer Representative
  6. Graduate Realtor Institute
  7. e-Pro Internet Designation
  8. Transnational Referral Certified
  9. Equator Short Sale Designation

Debbie says, “My designations have trained me at a higher level in real estate.  It is exciting to share that knowledge with my clients when helping them purchase or sell a home.”

Debbie is a member of the MetoTex Association of Realtors Forms and Contracts Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for The Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas. Proud of her association with the number one producing residential real estate office in Dallas (and Christie’s International affiliate), Debbie expect to work with you!

Debbie has surpassed in real estate sales as she attentively listens to her clients, always putting their needs above all. A home’s resale value is Debbie’s number one priority, whether her customers are buying an existing or building a new home.

 

Laura Michelle

Awesome-Agent-in-Dallas

A consistent real estate expert for almost 20 years, Laura Michelle characterizes the meaning of outstanding customer service. She has been consistently honored as a multi-million dollar producer and best agent by several publications. The idea of connecting property, architecture, and people fascinated her while concentrating her studies on Business and Real Estate at the University of Texas, where she graduated with honors. Laura provides a sophisticated understanding of the trending market to her clients and offers counsel from a business manager’s point of view. She strives hard to provide unmatched service and offers innovative tactics to reduce the stress from purchasing or selling a home in the Dallas, Garland, Mckinney, Plano, Richardson areas.

She holds the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designations along with her broker’s license offering buyers with the highest level of service in a transaction. Laura concentrates on fostering customer relations with the latest technology and marketing developments. This has earned her the following accolades:

  1. D Magazine Best Agent and Top Producer for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
  2. Texas Monthly Five Star Professional Award
  3. ‘Dallas Top 10’ Realtor
  4. Top Performing Individual Agent
  5. Relocation Network Member
  6. Licensed Texas Broker- Member of NAR, TAR, GDAR
  7. Recipient Industry VIP Award for Customer Service

Laura is the best producing agent in several properties sold at Dave Perry-Miller & Associates and the industry has acknowledged her with the VIP Award for Excellence in Customer Service.

 

Tom Rhodes Jr.

Best-in-class-Agent-in-Dallas

With over 38 years of experience in Dallas real estate, Tom Rhodes Jr has sold more than $1 billion in homes and properties. He is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Commercial Investment Member and a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and leads The Rhodes Group. With unparalleled market knowledge and impeccable customer service, the Rhodes Group can market their clients’ home most effectively and have averaged a home sold every 2.5 days for the past decade. When you appoint The Rhodes Group, you hold the power of Dave Perry-Miller & Associates (a subsidiary of Ebby Halliday, the leading privately-owned real estate company in Texas) whose performance is supreme in the industry by selling more than one-fourth of their listings in-house and each averaging nearly one million dollars per sale.

With over 85% of The Rhodes Group’s clients coming from repeat and recommendation business, it has been named to The D Magazine’s list of Best Real Estate Agents in Dallas since 2004.

 

Bill Shields

Experienced-Agent-in-Dallas

Bill Shields has more than 30 years of professional real estate experience in home buying in Collin County and Dallas County. He specializes as a buyer’s agent and dedicated to helping you find your ideal home. Shields and his team negotiate the best price and choose the right strategy to protect your rights and interests throughout the entire home buying process. With over 20 years of experience as an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent, Shields assesses home values based on previous sales and help you purchase the right home at the lowest price. Shield and his team of skilled real estate professionals have the updated information on the great North Texas communities.

Bill Shields is a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) and has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:

  1. Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®)
  2. Accredited Buyer Representative Manager (ABRM®)
  3. Certified Residential Broker (CRB)
  4. Collin County Association of REALTORS®
  5. Texas Association of REALTORS®

Prior to entering the world of real estate on your own, see if any of the above Dallas realtors can help you instead. It will take just a few minutes to analyze their transactions and reviews and find the best match based on your needs.




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

Home Warranty Companies

Oregon’s Best Home Warranty Companies

 

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

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

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

1. American Home Shield

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

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

2. The Home Service Club

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

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

3. Select Home Warranty

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

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

4. Landmark Home Warranty

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

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

5. HSA Home Warranty

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

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

The Final Word

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