When you start out to know what home inspection is, Wiki says “A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home”.
Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components. A home inspector is sometimes confused with a real estate appraiser. A home inspector determines the condition of a structure, whereas an appraiser determines the value of a property. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of a house. It is not an inspection to verify compliance with appropriate codes.
You might start to think if it is needed. If yes, then why? You are buying a new house, your house is less than 5 years old and you have no plans of selling your property hence you may not need to carry out an inspection. You should not forget that home builders can go wrong or miss something crucial. Home inspection could save you from a pit fall. Also note that you can add an inspection clause to your new home contract. You can consult your attorney if the builder does not allow you to get a private inspection done.
Here’s the other part, you have a house which is more than 5 years old and/or you are buying this property, you will need to call in a home inspector to get a detailed report of the house. As already said, inspection reports give buyers a chance to take a better look at the house and hence facilitate a better negotiation.
The price varies based on the size and age of the house, and inspector’s level of experience. Inspection fee may be quoted based on square foot of area under the roof or square foot of living area or flat rate or price of the house. Just check to know what is covered in the quoted price and what stands outside it. A 2000 sq ft house could incur an inspection expense of $250 to $450 for a general inspection.
You will need home inspection when you decide to buy a home warranty plan. Based on what is in the report, the warranty company will cover those appliances which are under proper and regular maintenance and which are also listed in the selected plan. It should be emphasized that many appliances are not covered in the plan hence you will have to put some effort into reading the fine print.
Before you ask an inspector how much he charges, please ask about his level of expertise, how he got into becoming an inspector, a sample report of his previous inspection, what is the training he received, years into business, license. In short, the inspector’s reputation is very important. You might find an amateur doing the job for a dirt cheap price who might as well offer a short term warranty just incase if anything were to be missed. Situations as such should remind you that your house could probably be the biggest achievement you will ever make so why go penny-pinching now? Choose the qualified personnel to carry out the inspection. Why not get your uncle or cousin do the job? “Hey, he is a realtor” you say. I say, the inspection may turn out biased or the person may be too strict in evaluating as he mostly cares for you.
Here are some tips to help you during the inspection process –
So what is this new thing? Some home warranty companies have started allowing a home inspector to purchase a policy that will warrant their work. Many inspectors provide money-back guarantees in the event that they miss something, but what we’re talking about here is a short term home warranty that will actually pay for repairs. The inspector you choose to offer a cash back if you face any problem within a short period of inspection or a short term home warranty of 90 days or more. It could be your gain or loss. How? The short term home service contract might be from a non-licensed company which may not follow up on your claims or sell your information to telemarketers to compensate the cost. Check if the company is licensed and its ratings. Also, the warranty may cover only few but not all appliances. Read the plan carefully to know if is worth striking a deal.
Never forget that inspectors are not perfect like me and you. They can’t be expected to find every problem in a house. Finding a good inspector will certainly put you in a better position.
A home inspector will not decide for you. He will not stamp the property a pass or fail. A home inspector is hired to report the condition of the house and in some cases carry out additional tests like radon, termite, drug pollution etc. Once the report is handed out, you and your agent can settle it out and it would be in your hand to pass or fail the property. Check for the clauses in the contract to see if you can back out of the sale or request the seller to fix certain or all defects or accept the home as-is.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anyone with a fully functional kitchen can tell you with confidence that a dishwasher makes a huge difference when it comes to reducing daily workload. Many other major appliances can also breakdown suddenly, so one needs to lookout for all the major appliances in the home along with the dishwashers. With the advent of new technologies and modifications in dishwashers, they have in fact become efficient in terms of water and power consumption as well. The newer models utilize even less water than hand washing dishes does!
Mostly, a dishwasher is priced around $800-$1000 and within this range, you are sure to get an efficient dishwasher with a reasonable capacity and silent motor. There are options within a lower price range but they tend to be louder and if you have a bigger load, then not all your dishes might come out clean. Having said this, they might be still adequate for your needs, and at the end of the day, it does depend on how often you use it and to what degree.
High-end dishwashers do come with their advantages, but in a sense, are very close to the mid-range appliances. They do tend to be quicker in washing a load, with additional racks and specialty zones with extra water jets, but if you dig deep enough you might find something which is similar within a $1000.
If the consumption of electricity and water is compared, a dishwasher is, without a doubt, more efficient. One cycle of vessels washed in a dishwasher of medium capacity utilizes about 3 to 5 gallons of water and 1 kWh of energy. Now it isn’t hard to believe that hand washing uses more water – in fact, 5 to 7 times as much – but interestingly even the electricity usage is higher when vessels are hand washed. The electricity required to heat 20 to 30 gallons of water for hand washing vessels is three times what a dishwasher uses for a cycle.
According to these estimates, a dishwasher saves you anywhere between 300 and 400 kilowatt-hours of energy in a year, and a whole of 3000 to 4000 gallons of water. There is no doubt, dishwashers are one way to efficiently utilize the resources we have.
What’s more, the dishes washed in the dishwasher get a lot more sanitized than the ones washed by hands, for no other reason but the fact that the water inside reaches up to 160°F, a good 50 degrees more than an average hand can bear. These high temperatures handle grease and bacteria in ways that usual washing never can, making dishwashers an excellent addition to your list of household appliances.
Technology is always on the move and there is a new innovation every day! Dishwashers are no exceptions. Models are continually evolving; before buying one, do your homework. Give it some time and try and map out your average load size and frequency. How many times do you use a dishwasher? Daily or, twice a week? Do your vessels usually have high levels of grease and crust or are they easy to wash? The answer to these simple questions regarding your routine and style of cooking can help you narrow down a great deal from all the options that are now available.
Warranty is another extremely important feature – one or more years for free parts and repair is never something to take lightly. Especially when an appliance is used consistently, it is bound to need servicing and replacement of parts one way or another. And it makes sense for every homeowner to know how to effectively take care of all of the appliances, let alone dishwashers!
Modern technology has improved the dishwasher to a get extent, and manufacturers have even come up with models that function at nothing louder than a low hum. With chic controls, efficiency in energy and water use, stainless steel body, and interiors for zero rust and perks like water softeners built into the system so that your dishes are sprightly clean without any hassle, these dishwashers are no longer aesthetic eyesores. In fact, you are going to want to show them off! That said, there is no doubt that they are priced proportionately to their features, so be prepared before you stray to the high-end aisle in the showroom.
The world of almost-robots being a part of our daily lives is here and has entered our homes and workspaces. Many companies have also introduced “Smart” Dishwashers, which use sensors to check cleaning during wash cycles, allowing for customization of your machine settings to meet your load settings and retain optimum efficiency. If you are looking for something in which you don’t have to interfere at all, then a smart dishwasher is what you need.
If machines can function all with sensors, then there is no doubt that controls have become a lot simpler. Whirlpool has introduced a dishwasher which functions with just a single push of a button – a One-Touch control.
Dishwasher controls can be broadly divided into push buttons, dials, and electronic control pads. While mechanical controls such as buttons and dials are a lot more reliable and actually easier to use, the trend has moved towards electronic for its style and trendy aesthetic.
Besides just putting it on, there are usually three kinds of cycles a dishwasher offers – Light, Normal and Heavy. Some washers also provide for a Gentle cycle for people who wish to wash fragile dishes made of crystal and china in dishwashers as well.
The last control is one that adds a timer to the mix, allowing the user to set the load to start at a later time.
Aesthetics have become extremely important when it comes to any room of the house, and appliances becoming trendier is the natural course that design is to take. Instead of hiding their dishwasher under a ledge or behind cabinet doors, people choose to customize the appliance to match the design of the kitchen. Usually, they come in tones of steel, white and black. Lately, companies have begun to offer customized finished to match their cabinet surfaces and tiles. In fact, companies such as ASKO have started a Designers Series in home appliances, with a variety of colors that can even be matched exactly to the shade of your wall or cabinet.
Conventional dishwashers are generally of the same size because they are made to fit under a standard height counter which is 24 inches wide. European models are usually smaller than American ones. The most important element when it comes to the capacity of a dishwasher is actually it’s flexibility in rack sizes and shapes, allowing you to snuggly fit in a variety dishes and kitchen implements. Your options might include, terraced racks, fold down trays, and adjustable or removable stands.
Post the federal regulations that were imposed in the late 20th century, dishwashers have become twice as efficient in the use of both water and electricity. This minimized usage is resulting in dips in owner’s electricity bills. Experts opinions and research shows that the maximum amount of energy used in a dishwasher is for the heating of the water, so many new models have inbuilt water heating systems that are localized and efficient. If you invest in one such appliance, then you should be saving up to 20% more on electricity.
Another perk of newer models is that they no longer require you rinse dishes off before you place them in. This not only saves time but also lands up saving water and electricity as the entire process happens in one go without any human intervention. Instead of using soak cycles which waste water, dishwashers have begun to use pressurized sprays to get dishes clean and dry.
As we already know, most energy in a dishwasher goes into heating water, then the drying cycles, running the pump and lastly, powering controls. While shopping for a new dishwasher, picking up an energy efficient model is the first step to energy savings, however, there are a few tips on how you could use your dishwasher to the best of its capability.
A trendy and efficient model which is also priced reasonably, the KitchenAid dishwasher is one of the quietest in its price range. It has electronic controls situated at the top of the unit, and its one-touch function comes with a Pro-Wash preset that can not only choose the right cycle type for the vessels you load but also alter its settings for more efficient cleaning as it is working. This real-time alteration of settings at such a price is one of its kind, and it also has added features of increased temperatures that kill virtually all the bacteria present.
If energy efficiency is what you are looking for then the Bosch 800 series is the way to go. Even though its setting and cycles are standard, elements of modernity are instilled within its functioning, wherein it costs much less to operate as compared to others of its kind.
Electrolux is for individuals who want a dishwasher that can cater to a variety of dishes, materials, and sensitivities. With a very wide range of cycle options and controls, this dishwasher does include cycles that are energy efficient as well.
If you have dishes to clean with crusts and heavy grease stains, then the Samsung DW80F800 is your go to machine. The jets on this unit surpass any other, and as it uses pressure over soak, this appliance is also energy efficient. As a perk, its interiors are stainless steel and resistant to any abrasions.
Any daily use appliance is bound to sustain routine wear and tear, making its manufacturer’s warranty insufficient. Very rarely do we discard appliances once their warranty gets over, but what we don’t realize is that an appliance needs servicing and repair most once its company-given warranty runs out.
Enter Home Warranty, a simple solution to maintenance and servicing of your home, its appliances, and systems. Everything from scheduled inspections to routine servicing and a claim coverage which will assure that you owe virtually nothing, Home Warranty is an investment worth making. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a databank of articles, reviews, top ranked companies and guidelines, all catering to consumers who wish to purchase a warranty for their homes. Join the community and look at the research and tools to truly get to know its wide-ranging benefits and policy options offered by companies in your state.
Extended warranty sometimes also called as a maintenance or service agreement, is a prolonged warranty given to customers who wish to insure their fairly new devices. They are not always provided by the manufacturer and are usually procured along with or as and when the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
Such extended service agreements are often purchased for gadgets and appliances that don’t come under Home warranty. Eg. laptops, TV, desktop computers. They can be purchased over an existing manufacturer’s warranty so that damages due to accidents are also covered. They cover repairs and replacements of the insured device for a fixed period of time, which is usually around 2-3 years.
If you are wondering whether you need an extended appliance protection plans or not, consider this –
You have a reasonably new device which cost you a lot. It is still covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty but you are not certain if that will be enough. You fear that accidental damages may occur and you cannot afford to repair or replace the device if it happens. If this is what is going through your head, we recommend that you purchase an extended warranty.
There are quite a few advantages that make you want to consider buying an extended appliance protection plans. Here are a few of them:
Although, the advantages may seem great, some experts have the opinion that extended warranty is a waste of money. This is because a decent appliance/gadget manufactured by a reputable company stands very little chance to fail in the first 2 years. It has been noted that retailers make huge profits from extended protection plans as very few consumers claim them.
Also, when it comes to electronic gadgets, it sometimes makes more sense in replacing it with a new one rather than repairing the damaged one. These days you can get a DVD player for around $30, so why then would you spend $20 repairing your damaged DVD player?
Technology is advancing at a very fast pace, unless your device is precious and expensive, we suggest that you think twice and explore a few options before you purchase extended warranty.
You may want to look at the repair rates of the various gadgets in the first 3 years of their lives and then decide if you need to go for an extended protection plan. However, the same cannot be said of Home Warranty, which is always recommended for most homes.
If you feel you don’t need an extended warranty as your appliances are 4+ years old, the best option for you would be a Home Warranty. Find out more about Home Warranty and Home Warranty Companies!
Source: CBS News
While you consider purchasing an extended warranty, ensure that you contemplate on all the points that follow.
Make sure that you know how the plan works. Read through the terms and conditions mentioned in both the contract as well as the policy booklet. Understand what damages are covered and what damages are omitted.
All extended warranties do not have the same duration of coverage. The term can vary anywhere between 6 months to 3 years. Be clear on this.
Beware of this one. In certain cases you will have to ship your damaged gadget to some other location. If this happens you will have to pay the shipping charges. Not only this, there could be several cases where you will have to spend extra money in addition to the amount you pay for availing the warranty. You can speak to the retailer to clear any doubts you have regarding this.
A lot of warranty companies are out there that sell extended warranty. Sometimes it makes sense to consider a few options before you jump into a decision and purchase extended warranty from the retailer. Some companies offer plans that cover a group of devices instead of a single device. These may be much more profitable that purchasing one warranty for a single gadget.
Before you purchase an extended warranty, check with the bank issuing your credit card to know if you are automatically entitled to an extended warranty if you make a purchase with the card. In certain cases, platinum and gold cards offer this feature to customers.
Getting an extended warranty is not a bad idea. However we urge you to go through everything carefully before you purchase an extended warranty from the retailer. Extended warranties, like we said are only for a single appliance/gadget. While they are not pricey as such, sometimes, for homeowners with ageing appliances find Home Warranty plans more ideal. They are affordable and cover a host of appliances and not just a single one. If you think, an appliance warranty plan is what you need, take a look at the top 10 home warranty companies in the U.S.A. Good luck!
Green landscaping is a science which comes with some advantages, and a lot of personal criteria. Green landscapers tend to be very highly motivated, and very demanding of themselves because of their commitments. Green landscapers treat their designs like other people treat their home insurance – Everything must be covered. This is a demanding process, and it can get tough.
The basic concepts of Green landscaping are very like permaculture. Green landscapes are ecologically structured. They can include soil biota and great attention to natural ecology. They naturally include consideration of soil issues, runoff, species mixes, and a range of other technical issues which could easily fill a large library. As you may have gathered, that means Green landscapes can be difficult concepts to put into practice.
An example of Green landscaping
The most easily explained version of Green landscaping is a “restoration” type of ecological concept, using native plants, etc as the basis of the design. That isn’t necessarily easy in the modern world. Many areas are in a state of ecological flux, and native sources are often in decline. Re-establishing species isn’t straightforward, because they need their local ecology, including insects, etc, to be in working order, and that’s often not the case.
It’s not impossible, however.
A design that works
Even in degraded environments, the Green landscaper has some assets:
Without getting too technical, these are core assets, and they can be used effectively if the restoration process is also structured. Trying to re-create an ecology takes time, and the stages of reconstruction vary considerably depending on types of environment and ecological mechanics.
Setting up an ecological base involves several basic stages:
1. Physical landscaping: Restoration may require some reshaping of the land in degraded environments. Soil removal, replacement and/or eco-targeted reconditioning is also usually required.
2. Restoring drainage conditions: Common in developed areas, this is critical to success, because native plants, insects and microfauna require specific levels of moisture.
3. Working vegetation to promote soil chemistry and biota: This can be something simple, like the most common plant in the area which is a design component. These plants are the foundations of the area ecology, often keystone species. More to the point, they can be used as site-specific keystone species, which don’t contradict the intended natural ecological profile.
4. Staged plantings: When the keystone species and environs are in place, the big picture can be painted, and further plantings, physical landscaping, and other processes can take place with no risk to the core biology. (This also mimics the growth patterns of new trees, etc., and is a trustworthy mechanism for evolving the site and growth habits of the plants.
This is a rather simple depiction of a lot of hard work, but it’s very reliable. If you’re a Green landscaper, using the natural formative processes of the environment is your best option. It’s your “contents insurance” for your design. You can put your heart into your work, and win.
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.
For convenience, we’ve sorted the challenges into two categories – Financial challenges and maintenance challenges. Let’s begin with the financial challenges.
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.
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.
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.
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-
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.
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.
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!
If you have been planning to buy a house or you have already bought a house, realizing the importance of homeowners insurance is very important. Make sure you have adequate coverage. Studies reveal that approximately 20% of the Americans have cut back on their insurance costs to meet their other monthly financial obligations.
However, insurance coverage is one thing that should never be compromised upon. Your home insurance should be such that it should not only give you adequate coverage but it should also do justice to the amount you shell out as premium. And your premium should be within your reach. It is only when you find it difficult to make payments for the premium that the insurance policy appears to be a financial burden to you.
The ideal way to find the best quote for homeowners insurance is to shop around. You can compare quotes online or talk to insurance carriers personally. There are many insurance carriers that offer different plans to meet the requirements of the consumers. You can try out these and after evaluating the pros and cons of the plan, should you buy your insurance policy.
It is very important that you are not underinsured. If you save some cash now by staying underinsured, you may have to shell out just the double in case of a financial emergency or an unforeseen event.
Instead of buying inadequate coverage for your homeowners insurance policy, there are many things you can do to cut down expenses related to your insurance policy in a reasonable manner. Given below are few measures you can take to reduce insurance costs.
So, when you have the above measures to keep your insurance cost down, it is not necessary to reduce the coverage to save costs.
Claim denial is an incident in which a home warranty company rejects a customer’s request for repair service. Sometimes customer claims are legit and fully entitled to receive services stated as per the contract. Claim denials are considered to be a major reason behind spats between service contract companies and the customer.
While some claims are denied for genuine reasons, some customers argue that companies deny claims on vague grounds often stating fine print from the contract. Yet, there are also cases where the companies were falsely accused of unfair claim denial solely because the customer failed to understand the terms mentioned in the home service contract.
What we need to understand is that not all companies deny claims unfairly because doing so will severely damage their reputation. So unless there is a valid reason, reputable companies will not deny a customer’s claims randomly.
Let’s take a look at some common reasons for claim denials
This is often the most common reason for denying a claim. Most service contracts only cover a fixed set of appliances and not everything in your house. If your home service contract provider gives you this reason, go check your contract and make sure that the appliance is indeed not covered. In case you find that it is a covered item, place further calls to the company and let them know that the as per the contract, the item is covered.
No home service contract covers an appliance that has become damaged due to lack of maintenance. Regular wear and tear is not caused due to insufficient maintenance. It is the result of prolonged, proper usage. It is the homeowner’s duty to carry out regular maintenance routines, especially for HVAC appliances. However, if you believe that the damage is not caused due to insufficient maintenance, tell the company that you need to get a second opinion from a different contractor.
Home service contract providers often tell the customer that the damage was one that existed even before the contract was signed and hence it will not be covered. There’s hardly anything you can do about such a denial. However, you can avoid chances for such disputes by making sure that you get a home inspection done prior to signing the contract. That way the home inspector’s report will clearly state about what appliance has what damage. If it is not in the report and if the item is covered, you may be entitled to a repair service.
Wear and tear due to regular usage and wear and tear due to rough handling and careless usage can be distinguished quite easily. If the damage was caused due to the latter kind of wear and tear, your claim stands a chance to be denied. In this scenario too, you can ask for a another contractor to get a second opinion if you disagree on the diagnosis.
If the appliance was not properly installed and if it violates the codes laid down for safe use and installation, chances are high that your claim may be denied.
It goes without saying that the policy booklet, the contract and the inspection report, if any, must be preserved carefully. The moment you realise that your claim has been denied, go through your contract and policy document to make sure that the claim is denied purely based on the terms in the contract. If you have a home inspection report go through that too. If you feel that your claim has been unjustly denied, you can call the home service contract company again and press the issue.
You can also visit review websites and post a review about your experience. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a feature called the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) which is a platform for companies and their customers to resolve their issues. The customer merely needs to report his negative experience with HomeWarrantyReviews.com, following this, he will be asked if wants to take part is CRP. If he/she chooses to participate in it, the company will be notified about his/her grievance and will be given 30 days to respond/ sort it out. If the company fails to respond or resolve the issue, the customer’s negative review becomes public. Some review websites allows their users to resolve the issues with the contract provider by communicating with them through a specific platform. The advantage of this system is that if the home service provider fails to resolve the issue for the customer or fail to respond within a time frame, the review becomes public, thereby affecting the rating and reputation of the company. Most companies do not want that.
Whatever the reason could be, we request customers to make things clear before they react to a claim denial. It could be that the company is not at fault here and because of a misunderstanding, their name gets tarnished. Most of the unpleasant scenarios can be avoided if the company you pick is reputable. Hence we cannot stress enough on the importance of picking the right company, a good home service contract provider will always put the interests of the customer first. Remember, good communication is often the solution to the biggest of problems.
This letter was written by someone who worked in the home warranty industry for a long time. The views and opinions expressed are author’s own. However, we do think the author provides an insightful view along with some valuable suggestions.
Hello. I was just reading the letter from Robert Lehman of HSA Home Warranty along with the comments as well as other home warranty company reviews and am compelled to contact you.
I worked in the home warranty industry for almost 17 years. I was an outside sales rep, selling the home warranty through the real estate industry as well as related industries (lenders, title companies, system and appliance vendors, appraisers and inspectors). I have been in the insurance industry since 1983.
While I am no longer working in the home warranty industry, I do believe in it and would like to help both consumers and home warranty companies alike. To make it as simple as possible – The home warranty covers the items listed in the contract subject to limitations and exclusions. Just like any other contract, not everything is covered. It is not Carte Blanche. Things that are not covered by the home warranty plans may be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, a product recall, homeowners insurance or may just simply fall into the category of “the cost of owning a home”.
A home warranty is a wonderful service to have, reducing unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. But when there is a financial burden because of an unexpected problem, it’s so easy to not like who you have to call because you don’t like the situation. Not having to come out of pocket for the full retail cost of the repair is a whole lot better than coming out of pocket for the trade call fee and perhaps a bit
more towards the repair.
Now, having worked through many challenges with home owners, I know that the home warranty companies can improve in terms of both coverage and service. The challenge with coverage is the cost, the premium that is charged to the home owner. The challenge with service includes the home warranty company staff and the vendors that represent the home warranty companies.
Coverage provided by home warranty companies should be far more inclusive in my opinion. And I know it could be, but there has yet to be a home warranty company that is willing to make the move to charge a higher premium for that more inclusive coverage. It is a very competitive industry and no one wants to price themselves out of the market. But I know that I personally would rather pay $800 to $1,000 a year vs. $250 to $600 and not have to worry about more than my trade call fee.
Many home warranty companies have a basic plan with additional optional coverage for things like a kitchen refrigerator or roof leak coverage. Many times a home owner is justifiably frustrated to learn that this “option” was not purchased so they had no coverage. This is most common for home warranties that are purchased through a real estate transaction and the actual end user did not have say in the coverage purchased as the seller was the one who bought the warranty. The most common coverage complaint is when a vendor is dispatched for a system or appliance and the home owner has to pay above the trade call fee for an item that is covered by the home warranty. An example might be having the pay to bring a water heater to current code before the repair can be made. If the home warranty companies charged more for their covered items, they could very likely remove many limitations from their plans. There will always be exclusions, just like any other contract.
Service is big issue and it should be. The staff of the home warranty company should always have a smile in their voice and an empathetic ear. It’s a tough industry for service representatives at a home warranty company because they take a lot of heat from frustrated, emotional home owners. It is imperative that the home warranty companies properly and constantly work with their service reps to keep moral up and to coach on “empathy”. At the same time, it is equally important for the home owner to be polite and remain calm. It is not acceptable to speak rudely or abusively to a service rep at any company. But because people are emotional, there will always be times of poor communication, so the biggest burden should be with the home warranty company personnel. So many complaints about the service provided by the home warranty service rep would be eliminated if they would return a phone call in a timely manner; not keep someone on hold without checking back often and offering a return call rather than holding; and simply listening to the caller, completely, and having a genuine, unscripted conversation without pressure of ending the call in a certain time frame. And of course, the oh-so-important follow-up and follow-through.
Another challenge with service is with the vendor that has been dispatched to a home. Vendors do the dirty, physical labor, regardless of conditions including weather, traffic, conditions at the property they are servicing and the attitude of the customer. In most cases, the vendors working for the home warranty company are experienced and reputable and therefore should always treat the home owner with the utmost care and professionalism. Unfortunately, even though the vendor company may meet the requirements and expectations of the home warranty company, the home warranty company has no control over who that vendor hires; this is when many of the vendor related problems occur. It is so important for the home warranty company to have staff specifically assigned to vendor/contractor relations as well as requesting feedback from the home owner on how that vendor’s service was.
There is so much more that could be addressed, but hopefully this has helped someone somewhere.
– Anonymous Industry Veteran
Can a Contractor benefit from the Home Warranty Companies? There may be universal consensus on the subject which is why this article is dedicated to show how work can be extracted and also examine the full scope of benefits a Contractor can draw from a Home Warranty Company.
The better the reviews for a Home Warranty Company (New York, Virginia, Texas, California, etc.), the better your chances of earning and saving more at the same time. What makes it so attractive is the almost nullification of advertising costs for the contractor. All companies that work along with Contractors offer free referrals to Contractors, to all their home warranty customers.
In order to make the most of the significant market that exists, it is never enough to know the technical know-hows of how to repair electronic appliances but you should also be ready to expend a part of your revenue into marketing your brand.
Another reason it is beneficial to work with a Home Warranty company would be because it guarantees continuous work, and you are less prone to be out of work on a not-so-profitable season. With increasing work calls from the Home Warranty Company, the more chances you have at expanding your brand, either by hiring new technicians or buying new work-enhancing technology. With this sort of reliability, you could be fixing an AC and heater at any time of the year.
This can also prove beneficial to the Home Warranty company too as the contractors provide good reviews of the companies they are working with, increasing their chances of contacting them again or even spread goodwill by word of mouth.
When you decide to take on this relationship with a Home Warranty Company, it is also important for a Contractor to remember that he/she must be efficient in receiving calls from customers, who are directed from the Home Warranty company itself. Customer service is the lifeline on which the success of Contractor business can rely on, especially in the case where you are working with a Home Warranty Company where all your customers are directed from the contact number you provide the company.
Joining bigger Home Warranty Companies can give you a form of exclusivity if one outperforms all the contractors a company has hired. This will allow you to appear at the top of their list of contractors, especially if they provide reviews’ section.
Almost all leading Home Warranty Companies offer online applications which you can fill up in your leisure time and submit with all the relevant information typed in.
Some of these leading Home Warranty Companies include,
The customer reviews’ section within our own website can also be found for some of the top rated Home Warranty Companies like American Home Shield, The Home Service Club, Secure Home Warranty, America’s Preferred Home Warranty-APHW, Select Home Warranty and First American Home Warranty (also picked as 2017’s Editor’s Choice, a brand new category introduced this year).
However, all contractors are requested to review the home warranty companies they’ve worked with on an exclusively dedicated space called the Vendor’s Area. Here, one can dish out all the good and bad experiences one’s had by taking up the jobs given by the home warranty companies.
Some of the benefits to the contractor by working with a Home Warranty Company like above, in addition to the ones already mentioned, would be:
Renowned Home Warranty Companies also help their contractors in times of need, which include an experienced support team and a high limit on calls. Companies like Home Warranty of America also helps Contractors claim costs.
Before filling up your application form to become a Service Contractor, it is a necessary step to license your contractorship. Every Home Warranty Company expects the Service Contractor they are about to work with are certified contractors with a license and hence you are required to fill up your license ID in the application form.
Also you are required to fill in your Auto Insurance Policy Number, and your General Liability Insurance Policy Number (optional). Insurance Policies are in your own interest, hence even if some of them are optional we recommend you create one if absent.
Diversifying your skills can also be very beneficial before applying for a Contractorship with a Home Warranty Company. As you fill up your application, you are asked of your specialization and hence learning new skills can help you strike off more blanks, increasing your popularity among the reviews and consequently help increase your revenue.
Consistent work can be guaranteed when you are able to juggle with different kinds of repairs be it plumbing, garbage disposal, weed/lawn mowing, ceiling fans, gas fireplace or septic system. These numbers can go up to a hundred so a little bit of extra skill can only put you so much ahead of the rest of the contractors.
If you are looking to expand your presence in contractorship, applying to work with a Home Warranty Company is the best as it can get. You can save and earn more at the same time, a chance usually deprived for those working outside of these companies. There are many ways you can utilize such an opportunity, more so as there are numerous Home Warranty Companies and your chances at getting in at any one of them aren’t nearly dim. Go ahead and fill your applications now!
Our portal also lets you access some of the most sophisticated lists of best home warranty companies, ranked on a various different criterion. This is, in addition to the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) and Home Maintenance Calculator. Be sure to check them out!
The joys of home ownership and delight of self-sustenance comes hand in hand with maintenance anxiety and budgetary concerns. Let’s look at how to lighten the load and delegate some of the upkeep and repairs with the help of a home warranty plan or a home service contract!
Working towards keeping your home new, resolved and looked after always, Home Warranty is your one stop shop for all your servicing needs when it comes to your home – and all that without any unnecessary worry. Taking care of all issues when it comes to day to day wear and tear or appliance breakdowns, Home Warranty is like a homeowner’s insurance policy, but for the little things and routine aging of your home appliances and systems, which can be done by getting a free quote from HomeWarrantyReviews.com’s website. On the other hand, insurance tends to focus on major damage because of unforeseen circumstances and natural disasters.
If you’re diving into the deep end of the Home Warranty pool for the first time, here is some basic information to guide you through the process and keep you afloat.
Investing in a Home Warranty scheme can work out great whether you are a new homeowner, a seller looking to strike a no-nonsense deal, or even a realtor offering a perk to both parties.
From a homeowner point of view the incentives are straightforward. You have just sunk in a considerably large sum of money into a house, and for just a little more you can save yourself needless hassle and sudden repair and maintenance payments for at least the first year of owning the home. If you happen to be new to the home owning side of the fence, and have always lived as a tenant, then getting a Home Warranty works out even better – all the fixing the landlords usually took care off will still not be yours to worry about.
From a seller’s perspective, Home Warranty boosts the value of the home, builds trust in the prospective buyers that the current owner has confidence in the structure and appliances enough to invest in Home Warranty, allows for the buyer to know that a year in their lives after the purchase if taken care of and last but definitely not the least, lets you sleep peacefully at night knowing that you won’t be getting calls in a few months with complaints about the home.
Confused as to why Home Warranty can be a realtor’s best friend as well? In the time of market lows and steep competition, a Home Warranty scheme added to your list of services can act as quite the spur. Encouraging for both sellers and buyers, throw in a year’s warranty to the upcoming purchase and it shows not only your commitment to the deal but also your trust in the home they are about to call their own!
Depending on the plan you choose, which in turn will depend on the extent to which your home needs upkeep and you wish to delegate, Home Warranty plans generally cover all the major plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical systems, major appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, and ovens, amongst other things. The core plan may vary to include leakage and seepage, structural defects, drainage systems and outdoor mechanisms, pools and garages, but most companies prefer to keep these as additional maintenance factors.
Most companies also allow for unlimited service requests during the contract period, which can act as a great incentive when it comes to investing in warranty schemes, as well as replacements of appliances that cannot be fixed.
Most often, all known issues with appliances or systems that pre-date the purchase of the warranty are not covered by the company, and neither are unknown conditions that are due to mismanagement in the past.
That being said, certain unique cases are taken into account where in pre-dating issues are considered, but only if they were not known off before. The most common of these is when a Home Warranty scheme is purchased as a part of a real estate deal, wherein the coverage is extended to include circumstances where unobservable defects already existed in the home that was purchased.
Adding to that, when an appliance is already under warranty from the manufacturer or requires fixing of cosmetic damage or damage that is not related to its core functioning, then too the appliance will not be applicable for coverage. The most common example of such a claim is physical weathering, noise, and corrosion on the outside.
If you don’t treat your appliances right by the rules, or have a pet that could cause accidents, then any such damage will not be taken into account. As an extension, the Home Warranty does not overlap in function with insurance, so any acts of God such a fires and floods will not be covered either.
Lastly, any damage due to mold or pests are usually left out of Home Warranty terms and conditions as well, but some companies do tend to add it in their extended schemes. Knowing your scheme is important, and while we have covered the generalities, make sure you look through the terms, conditions and limitations of your schemes before you sign the papers.
Even though it isn’t a necessity to have a professional home inspection done before you get yourself Home Warranty, it is never a bad idea to get your new home checked for quirks and components that may need a little extra care along the way. In the opinion of most experts, getting a thorough home inspection done before the purchase can tell you all you need to know about the property, and get you up to speed about the kind of warranty scheme and coverage you should invest in. It is important for you to have an idea of the proceedings of an inspection as well, and not miss the essentials.
Just as a general rule, a warranty should cover appliances regardless of how new or old they are, as long as they are properly maintained and are in working condition when the contract begins.
Even though Home Warranty is about giving up responsibility and being able to delegate, it is just as useful for those of you who like to choose and have some control over who does the fixing.
Whether you’ve had a trusted repairman for years and prefer to call him when in need, or would rather make a quick call and call the service company down the road instead of waiting for the warranty service provider, all companies provide schemes that reimburse servicing charges as long as it falls under the terms and conditions of your specific coverage.
It is essential that you inform your Home Warranty company prior to calling for any repair, as failing to do so automatically nullifies your warranty. The first step is for you to thoroughly review your coverage and understand the repair, servicing and replacements limitations that going to be applied to the issue at hand. One you have identified the issue and gotten clear on the specifications, report the issue to the company, and they will call for a diagnosis and an estimate cost of the repairs.
The company will schedule an appointment, come and cross check the claim, and do some basic examining before calling for either replacement or repair. Simple repairs are easily tackled in the first appointment itself, but if the task at hand is complicated and requires further attention, it may take some time for spare parts to be ordered. Some companies choose to use service providers from their own list, whereas others may work with you to find one that is trustworthy and reputable.
Most often, you can decide whether your warranty scheme has an upper limit cap on expenses by picking the right deal for your needs. While schemes with unlimited spending when it comes to repairs and servicing can be enticing, they do often cost a lot. On the other hand, certain companies may choose to meet you halfway and not have a pre-set limit but yet reserve the right to decide, depending upon on each case that you bring them.
Most Home Warranties last for exactly one year from the date of payment, after which it requires an extension – the same as any legal lease. Extended plans for more than a year at a time do exist, but it isn’t the best plan to make such a long-term investment right at the first go. Your home and its systems will change and age as each year goes by, and often the premium on your warranty will increase as the appliances need more maintenance. It is best to take it one year at a time and give yourself the freedom to alter the plan when need be, unless the warranty you are purchasing is for a home that is new or nearly new.
All Home Warranties are easily renewable – most companies allow not only for quick and speedy renewal of schemes but also help you set up payment plans as per your convenience. Certain companies do have strict termination clauses though, which can be rather annoying if you wish to take a step back. The clause usually applies for cancellation or termination before a certain period, so make sure you keep your eye open for such sections in the terms and conditions before you sign! Last but not the least, laws change from state to state, so make sure to just information specific to your zip code.
The best way to find the perfect deal or company for you, know what to look out for, get to know the tricks of the trade and make the absolute most out of your warranty is to throw yourself into reviews and remarks from other Home Warranty users. Based on consumer research and a rating system that gives you both subjective information as well as statistics, HomeWarrantyReviews.com acts as a platform for all homeowners to share secrets on how to survive the complex world of being homemakers, and also provides for a systematic Complaint Resolution Program (CRP). It isn’t only about finding reviews; you can add to the data by leaving your own comments on the website as well – HomeWarrantyReviews.com acts as a bridge between you and the company without you having to get your hands dirty.
Is the increasing price of home warranty and insurance your concern?
You may be wondering why appliance warranty costs are always on the rise. We know that it is a huge financial strain to keep your expenses within your budget. It therefore comes as no big surprise that the yearly increase in your annual premium or just the cost of procuring a home service contract makes you want to scream.
Naturally, you begin to wonder if it is a good idea to drop home warranty. My dear friend, that may not be a very wise move. With the prices of everything around you skyrocketing, what makes you think that the prices for appliance repairs would drop? Labor charges, material charges and every other charge on the surface of Earth has gone up.
This means that if your appliances stop working, you will be paying quite a huge sum of money to get it repaired. And in another two years, the price may vary significantly. Now, if you had an appliance warranty, you wouldn’t have to pay so much. We suggest that you keep your warranty.
Now we can’t alter the prices for you, that would be difficult (read impossible). But we can explain why the prices have gone up over the years. Before that, let’s tell you what an appliance warranty does.
Home service contracts are usually bought for a specific period of time during which expenses incurred for repairing your household devices will be covered. As long as the damage occurs for a covered device in the designated time frame, your only expense will be a nominal service call fee while the expenses for the repairs will be paid by the warranty company.
So, with prices of materials and labor rising each year, is it not natural that the annual premium rises along with it? Yet another significant reason for annual price hike goes like this. As each year passes, your house becomes older and so do the appliances in it. Which means that the chances of them breaking down are also increasing. So you see, the risk of malfunctions and system damages increase with each passing year. Hence to keep up with things, the warranty companies often hike the rates by a certain percentage. Also, if you make a claim, the annual premium may hike by a small margin in the next year.
We don’t have precise numbers from the appliance warranty industry, but we can get you a glimpse into the hikes in the homeowner’s insurance industry. The figures are often comparable.
Let’s take a look at the places where there is highest hike after a claim is made
Now let’s take a look at the places that have lowest hike following a claim.
Source – insurancequotes.com
The reasons for these differences are many. The labor and material costs vary from one region to another and contribute to the premium. The state regulatory requirements can also add to increase in costs.
The average increase in annual premium varies from company to company and therefore you can get price quotes for home warranty companies and compare. Most companies determine the annual premiums based on your location and the age of your house. Sometimes it is also dependent on the number of service requests they take each year.
The appliance warranty providers industry has exhibited a decent growth over the last few years. The industry revenue is expected to increase at annual rate of 0.4% to $1.8 billion. Their profit stands at $197.4 million with wages amounting up to $176.1million. Over the years, a few providers were acquired or merged by/with their peers.
In the next five years, the industry is expected to show an annual growth rate of 1.8% to become a $2.0 billion industry. It is believed that the recovery of the housing market, home sales and homeownership rates will increase. This in turn may lead to an increased demand for appliance warranty. Also, as the economy improves, incomes and consumer confidences are expected to rise leading to an increased spending on home appliances and other fixtures.
We certainly hope that you found this article helpful! We have presented a true description of the industry and its working in the most honest way possible.
Yet we have to say that inspite of all the costs, a home service contract is indeed a very wise purchase if any of the following are true. You can also read our Guide to Home Warranty buyers for further assistance.
As a quick advice, if any of the following are true, it is recommended that you purchase appliance warranty.
Keep in mind that the policy booklet and the contract documents are vital documents. They have to be studied and preserved very carefully to avoid future conflicts and annoyances.
June,2012: The month of June brings some great news for those of you who are planning to buy foreclosed homes! Freddie Mac is now offering free appliance protection plans from Home Protect warranty. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or simply called Freddie Mac, is a public government sponsored company that works with mortgage lenders to help people get better access to home financing and loans at reduced rates.
Freddie Mac has declared that it will offer $500 credit on home warranty to home buyers who have bought their houses through HomeSteps division. This offer is a bonus assurance provided to homebuyers as this incentive has allowed homeowners to obtain Home Protection coverage plan without any additional investment on policy coverage.
This offer is only available for homeowners who can purchase a qualified, foreclosed single-family home, townhouse or condominium.
Home Protect home warranty is a subsidiary of Cross Country Home Services company which is a provider of a variety of residential service plans. A Home Protect Warranty protects consumers by offering them discounted repairs and replacement services.
With the coverage policy of Home Protect, home buyers will be safeguarded against unexpected appliance breakdowns and expenses related to it. Home Protect’s also offers enhanced coverage options which includes coverage of swimming pools, sump pumps and even unknown pre-existing conditions. Such enhanced coverage is a huge bonus while purchasing foreclosed homes.
Home Protect Home Warranty says that their plans are sold either for one or two year. Both plans offer the same coverage along with access to Cross Country Home Services benefits like discounted rates for new appliances. The company has a large network of over 40,000 service vendors.
In addition to this, if you have decided to purchase a house from HomeSteps property on or before May 24th 2012 and is expected to close the deal before August 31st 2012 you may become eligible to get two year Home Protect Home Warranty coverage.
When you compare “promise contracts”, such as home warranties, you must first comprehend exactly what is being assured. You can then evaluate attributes. Fraction of the research should also be aimed at comparing customer’s ratings of the companies that offer the warranties.
Comparing home warranty companies facilitates you to find the policy that suits your budget and needs. A home warranty is an individual policy you can procure to provide coverage for your home’s important appliances and systems. The precise prices and coverage obtainable to you varies by each home warranty company functioning in your area, so comparing the exact rates and services from each company is a significant step when picking a policy for your home.
When buying a home warranty, you are not only giving capital to the supplier, you are also giving your belief that they are going to cover you when you need it most. That’s why it’s so imperative to verify into a company’s history, see how they function and what they ought to offer, plus learn how they entertain their customers. It’s worth exploring before you purchase.
This video will help you compare home warranty companies.
Adding to a long list of home warranty companies which have entered the home service contract space only to quickly exit, Stanley Warranty announced recently that the company is immediately terminating its services. Visitors to Stanley’s website see this message:
The company’s closing may come as little surprise to those who are aware of last year’s announcement of an investigation into the new company’s business practices. In June 2015 New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs announced that it had filed a complaint against Stanley Warranty, LLC, alleging that the company had committed acts contrary to its contractual commitments to its customers. Among the state’s specific complaints against the company were alleged offenses that specifically involved Stanley’s home service contract customers. Stanley also operated a business unit which provided consumers with extended service agreements for motor vehicles, commonly called auto warranties.
Here’s a quick analysis that we can provide to readers seeking more information about Stanley Warranty’s abrupt closure and the precedences set by other companies that pulled this same move in recent years. Come back to HomeWarrantyReviews.com for updates as we learn more about the fallout from Stanley Warranty’s announcement.
Like Sensible Home Warranty did in 2014 when it closed shop, Stanley provided no apparent warning to their customers that pre-paid services would not be provided, though at this time it’s still unclear to HomeWarrantyReviews.com whether the company contacted customers via telephone or postal mail prior to closing its doors. It’s also not known yet whether Stanley’s failure to uphold its commitment to any pre-paid customers will compound the company’s problems with New Jersey’s consumer agency.
Another company in the home warranty space that closed its doors in 2014, Colonial Home Warranty, sought bankruptcy protection. Through bankruptcy, the company appears to have been able to escape financial responsibility for unfulfilled service contracts and repair bills from their contractors. Whether or not Stanley Warranty will seek similar protection is not clear at this time.
Reviews for Stanley Warranty, also known as Stanley Safe Club, here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are almost entirely negative. The reviews reflect an apparent trend of the company not honoring its promises to customers or contractors who performed repairs on its behalf. Many of the worst reviews mention repair contractors pursuing payments from the homeowners after Stanley Warranty failed to fulfill its duty to make those payments in a timely manner.
On its Better Business Bureau page, Stanley Warranty already had an F rating prior to the announcement of its cessation of services to its customers. On Yelp, a recent review includes a comment about a refund check from the company to the customer, who had canceled services ahead of the expiration of the contract period, being denied due to insufficient funds. That review was created in December of 2015, leading to the obvious question whether or not Stanley was insolvent well before it closed its doors in 2016. Interestingly, reading past reviews on Yelp leads you to at least one claim in 2014 that Stanley Warranty had announced on its company website that it was closing. And no matter how far back in time a reader travels on Yelp, the story seems to be consistently poor, one unhappy customer after another.
Perhaps the most insulting element of this story is that Stanley Warranty sold its service contracts with a promise of zero service fees. Anyone familiar with the home service contract industry knows that most companies charge a fee, paid by the customer to the service provider, at the time of a service call. For a company to offer competitive rates with no service fees is a pretty compelling deal for consumers. And many of the consumers lured in by that deal are now left with every required repair being paid entirely out of their own pockets, despite having paid well in advance for home service contracts from this company.
The home warranty industry has a history of companies like Stanley Warranty popping in and out of the space and taking loads of customers’ money out the door when the companies fold or burning up the money received from customers through mismanagement and unhedged risks. Consumers who have been buying home warranties for years probably recognize some of the company names, ones like Arkidus, Sensible Home Warranty, Colonial Home Warranty, and Certified Warranties Corporation. All of these companies have something in common. They sold home service contracts right up until the day they shut the office lights off and locked the doors.
This may be the single biggest black eye that the home warranty industry has received in the last decade, and it just keeps happening. As if companies being able to enter an industry that is so much like insurance, often undetected by the state agencies that regulate their industry, improperly funded, and perhaps even criminally intent on defrauding their customers is not enough, the end result of the companies is consumers left with financial losses sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars in service contract fees paid in advance. All too often the regulators in the states where the customers live are powerless to retrieve those customers’ funds, and even when bankruptcy courts are involved the individual consumer is usually out of luck when liquidated assets are divided up among registered claimants.
In a nutshell, the chance of Stanley Warranty’s customers seeing refunds is very, very slim. It’s quite likely that this story will end the same way it did for customers of Sensible Home Warranty in 2014 when that company disappeared overnight. But that should not stop consumers willing to do whatever they can to seek justice. Readers who wish to pursue legal action should immediately seek advice from an attorney, preferably one with experience with defunct service contract companies.
If there’s any worthwhile piece of advice we can give to our readers who are shopping for a home warranty company it’s this:
Do your homework! Despite it not always being easy to do, consumers must research companies in the home service contract space before making a purchase. Here’s an example of the kind of detailed reporting available to consumers trying to evaluate the financial health of companies selling home service contracts in the United States. That article by Warranty Week is an excellent resource. Keep in mind that if the home warranty company you choose is using its sales to finance its claims then you can probably count on two things happening. One, the company will do whatever it can to avoid paying your claims. Two, the company will eventually get into hot water and close up quickly in order to try to avoid the owners bearing personal responsibility for the actions of the company.
Be safe out there. And if you are a Stanley Warranty customer who would like to share information with other readers in the same boat as you then please share your story in the comments section below.
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is in the process of launching Green Advantage Warranty as part of protection assurance programs for new and upcoming green building initiatives.
The 2-10 home appliance warranty company offers Green Advantage Warranty to builders who meet eco-friendly standards. Builders need to build homes that fulfill the requisites of Energy Star, National Green Building Standard (NGBS), or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.
Green Advantage Warranty includes repairs and replacement of Energy Star certified products and appliances. Coverage includes the replacement of green labeled items, engineered wood products, sustainably harvest lumber, low or no emission finishes and recycled products with accordance of applicable national certification standard.
Scott Cromie, Chairman and Chief Executive officer states that “With one in four homes now certified by green building standards, it is clear that home buyers want a more eco-friendly home, and that offering warranty protection that targets these values offers builders a clear competitive edge,” and also reports “Our new Green Advantage Warranty represents 2-10 Home Buyers’s Warranty commitment to greener business practices, and celebrates the home builders and home buyers who want a greener home and lifestyle. We’re proud to offer a product that meets these standards, while continuing to provide the same leading, trusted protection our company stands behind.”
Builders interested in participating are encouraged to call 877.777.1344 for more information. You can register to 2-10 HBW Green Advantage Warranty, just by adding up a minimal additional fee over the existing standard rate. It is as simple as checking a box next to the certification standard on 2-10 HBW’s Home Enrollment Application.
Green Advantage Warranty is an added policy to the company’s existing home warranty package, including one, two and ten years of coverage offering for new construction home builders. Company’s 10 years warranty covers structural warranty defect. Under the policy of 1-2-10 warranty one year of surety coverage of workmanship and materials. Two years of warranty also covers on systems.
About the company
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® is in market for more than 30 years, now the company has offered customers and their homeowners the most comprehensive warranty program available. Whether you’re building, selling or buying a home, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty offers a complete line of warranty, service contracts and risk management products. Since 1980, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has provided warranties and service contracts for more than 5.5 million new and pre-owned homes.
Some of the above mentioned cases can be avoided, while some cannot be. In situations where the company says that the home warranty claim cannot be processed because the item is not covered or that the damage is due to improper maintenance, refer to your contract. If they say that the damage was pre-existing, there is hardly a way out unless you had a home inspection performed prior to purchasing the contract. Likewise for damages due to crimes and natural hazards, one needs a home insurance and not a home warranty. Which is one reason why you cannot replace a home appliance warranty with a home insurance or vice versa.
So now the question is, how do we avoid such incidents of claim denial? Simple, pick a great company. Like the infographic tells us, you have to do rigorous research before picking a warranty provider. This website could be a starting point for that. We have reviews of tens of thousands of customers which can help you choose a reputable company. Once that is done, review the contract or policy document thoroughly. Once you feel that the company is good and that the contract is drawn up pretty decently, you may proceed with the purchase.
In spite of all the research that you did and picking a good company, if you still find that your claims are being denied unjustly, you can dispute the claim. This basically means to go behind them until they set things right and make amends. It’s quite easy, follow the steps mentioned in the last section. Keep in mind that companies won’t give up that easy, so you make have to make multiple calls to convey your point. While disputing claims, keep the following in mind:
Chances are high that the company will come around and accept you claim.
If you are someone trying to sell your home at the best possible price, you’ve landed at the right place! Many homeowners face a lot of hurdles when trying to sell their property. We understand that it can be difficult especially if potential buyers start low-balling the price. In today’s times, it sometimes makes sense to hire a real estate agent specializing in selling homes to make sure that your home gets the right buyer. However, picking the right real estate agent could be a task in itself.
We’ve got some great ideas about how to sell homes faster. Take a look at some of the points discussed below to know more!
While the sentence sounds simple, a lot of effort goes into making a home look warm and inviting. Here are a few tips you could try to liven up things –
Before you conduct the open house, you can consider hiring a stager. Stagers are folks specialized in setting up your home to make it look extremely pleasing to the eye. However, if you’ve got a knack for things like this, we’re sure your skills would be more than enough.
Make sure everything in the house is functional. Which means you’ll have to check for leaks, faults with inbuilt appliances and even a pest control drill may be necessary in some cases. Most buyers will opt for a home inspection prior to making a purchase and if multiple faults come up in the home inspector’s report, there’s a good chance that they’ll cancel the deal.
Also, make sure that the windows are sparkling clean and broken light bulbs/ fixtures are replaced.
Some studies reveal that offering such a plan would not only sell your home faster, but an appliance warranty may actually increase the sales price of the property by an appreciable value. Many home warranty providers also offer seller’s warranty which is an ideal option in a scenario like this. While you may be offered suggestions, we recommend that you read and compare top home warranty companies in your region.
Also, since most plans are transferable, you can simply transfer the plan to the new owner once the sale is finalized. Many real estate agents strongly recommend offering an appliance warranty to the buyer as it not only fetches the house a higher price, but also reduces the liability of the seller and the agent. If and when an appliance related issue occurs, the buyer would call the home warranty provider and not the seller/agent.
How the house is presented to a potential buyer is a major factor which decides whether a buyer develops an interest in the property or not. If you have hired an agent, step back and let the agent show the clients around. Agents do this for a living and so they would know how to do it best. They also know what to highlight, what not to stress on and how to tackle tricky questions that may come their way.
All of this will not be possible unless you have a killer agent. Do ample research, meet many agents and ask around before you hire one to represent your home. You may want to read about how to pick the right real estate agent for you.
Lastly, price your property correctly. We cannot stress enough on the importance of this one. If you price it too high, most folks won’t give a second glance to the ad. Price it too low, you’ll leave potential buyers wondering whether your home has some serious issue (or worse, haunted).
A real estate agent would be the right person to guide you on how to price your property. Several things go into deciding the value of your home – locality, age, square footage, amenities, proximity to schools/hospitals etc. You may want to look at listings in your neighborhood to find out an approximate value.
This proverb is more true than you’d think, especially in real estate dealings. If buyers don’t like the property at the first glance, they may not give it much consideration. Keep this in mind during every stage of the sale. We would strongly recommend that you consider offering a home warranty along with your home as the benefits are just too hard to ignore.
Real estate dealings can be hard to many, but as long as you have the right agent and the right support, it should leave both parties happy. We hope your property sale goes well. Good luck and thank you for reading this article!
An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.
The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.
Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.
It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.
We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.
It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.
The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.
If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.
If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.
Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.
If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.
Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.
As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.
The basic coverage usually covers the following:
The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.
Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.
Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.
Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.
When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.
Home warranties, or home service contracts as they’re more correctly called in Washington and elsewhere in the nation, covers the costs of some repairs that are needed around a house each year. These repairs are often small things, but even small costs add up. And then there’s the time taken away from work and family life to deal with the arrangements for the repairs. So the point of a home service contract is to help save time and money when things around the house stop working properly. But there’s a catch to the whole thing. That catch is the quality and availability of professional contractors to do the work required.
Most established home warranty companies have huge networks of home repair contractors, ones they regularly check for customer satisfaction and overall quality of work. So customers of big home service contract companies can typically count on there being an abundance of good repair contractors in their areas. But this does vary when you consider small towns, states with highly rural populations, or crowded metro areas with more customers per square mile than in suburban or rural areas. With all this under consideration, it pays for home warranty buyers to understand which companies are the top ones in their local areas. In short, it pays to understand the market for qualified contractors before buying a home warranty.
Today we will cover the state of Washington. What’s the home warranty market like for people living in the state of Washington? That’s today’s topic in our top companies series!
Residents of the state of Washington live close to the heart of the U.S. home warranty industry. The western part of the country is home to some of the largest and oldest home warranty companies. And the homeowners out west are typically more knowledgeable about using home warranties too. Between the savvy consumers and the abundance of choices, there is a thriving market for these service contracts for homeowners.
Among the most popular companies in Washington are ones you’ll find in our top ten companies list. But there are also companies such as Fidelity National Home Warranty which fall outside of HomeWarrantyReviews.com’s top ten companies, by our website’s users’ ratings. According to Google, one of the most searched companies in the home warranty space among search engine users in Washington is Fidelity National Home Warranty. And though search volume is not an indication of sales volume it’s still worth noting that we don’t necessarily capture all the data needed to say for sure which companies are selling the most home warranties in individual states. So as you read on, please keep in mind that these top companies are a reflection of what you’ll find in our website’s users’ reviews and company ratings.
According to HomeWarrantyReviews.com’s statistics, ratings and reviews accumulated for many years now, homeowners in the state of Washington overwhelmingly prefer American Home Shield. We reached out to the company for comment after discovering this to be the case.
Mike Clear, VP of Operations at AHS weighed in on what he believes is behind American Home Shield’s success in Washington.
|“Homeowners in Washington expect and deserve outstanding service and value. At American Home Shield, our employees and network of local service contractors proudly provide both, each and every day. When things break down, we solve problems, plain and simple. This means being there when you need us most; making sure you have convenient access to technicians who have the expertise to diagnose and repair covered items; and protecting your budget against unexpected repair costs. We founded the home warranty industry 45 years ago, and no one pays more in servicing claims or protects more customers than American Home Shield.”
AHS is by far the largest company in the industry today. So in some ways it makes sense to see them on nearly every top companies list we publish here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com. But there’s something to keep in mind when you consider that the company that’s the biggest also has the most customers. And that something is customer satisfaction. Though no company keeps every customer happy all the time, AHS has done an extraordinarily good job pleasing its customers who post reviews here on our website. So whether you’re in Washington or elsewhere in the U.S., American Home Shield is one you should probably include in your list when comparing home warranty companies.
Based in Colorado, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has been serving American homeowners for almost four decades. Like American Home Shield, 2-10 is one of the top companies in the industry in terms of longevity and number of customers. In addition to providing home service contracts, 2-10 also sells home warranties in the true legal sense, meaning the contract covers defects in the builder’s work or materials.
As one of the original companies in the home warranty industry, 2-10 has a presence across the U.S. and an expansive network of professionals serving its customer’s repair needs.
As part of the Direct Energy family of companies, Home Warranty of America brings its home service contract offering to the western U.S. via its network of regional sales representatives. HWA assists real estate professionals and homeowners with many different scenarios in which coverage of home repairs are important. This includes periods in which a house is listed for sale or has just been purchased, as well as longer periods of time in which an owner of a home would want to offset the costs of repairs due to an unexpected system or appliance breakdowns.
We reached out to them for a comment about their service to Washington residents, and Monica O’Neill, HWA Product Manager, had this to say.
“Home Warranty of America has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and we are very grateful for our loyal customers. We truly enjoy providing reliable solutions and being a home warranty partner to real estate agents and homeowners across the great State of Washington.”
Customers of Home Warranty of America have the security of working with a home service contract provider backed by a big parent company, well known in the energy space. And financial stability is one of two of the most important things to look for in a home warranty provider.
That wraps up our short list of top companies in the state of Washington. Come back here soon for new articles about companies providing home service contracts in other parts of the country.
Readers in Washington, if you have a company you’d like to give a shout out to, please do so in the comments below! If you represent a home warranty company doing good things in Washington, please feel free to mention your company in the comments below as well.