This is the electronic age. Hundreds of new gadgets and appliances throng the buyer’s market every day. The consumer is literally spoilt with options that tend to reduce the burden and thereby bringing handiness into our lives. The convenience however, comes with many riders. Remember, the onus is on us to conserve energy and shield our resources from superfluous depletion.
An energy-efficient home will keep your family comfortable while saving you money. Whether you take simple steps or make larger investments to make your home more efficient, you’ll see lower energy bills. Over time, those savings will naturally pay for the cost of improvements and put money back to where it belonged, your pocket.
Now, let us deliberate and gather some thoughts on saving energy at home. Remember; following these tips promptly have added repercussions too, like increasing the lifespan of your appliances.
Making your home energy efficient can be as easy as discussed above. Who doesn’t want to save money and the planet at the same time?
If you are a responsible homeowner, make sure you have appliance warranty policy to protect yourself from costly repairs.
Imagine how messy your kitchen would be with unwashed dishes and bowls if your dishwasher breaks down! Washing those utensils & dishes manually can be cumbersome.
You can stay away from such tricky situations by taking good care of your dishwasher. We have provided below, a simple list for maintaining the appliance. This guide will not only help you to reduce maintenance expenses but also increase the life of the dish washer.
Even if you have an appliance warranty plan, warranty companies expect you to maintain your appliances in good condition before carrying out any repair related work.
If you have been using your dishwasher regularly, then frequent cleaning is not recommended for the interiors of the dish washer. Fortunately, dishwashers don’t need cleaning very often and it’s not hard to clean them.
When you decide to clean them, follow the steps below.
The above simple maintenance tips can make your dishwasher run efficiently and reliably. They also help in extending the life span of your dishwasher leading to prevention of high replacement or repair bills.
Considering that you are on a website devoted to home warranties, you may already know what a home warranty is. It is essentially a service contract that agrees to provide you with repair/replacement services for appliances or systems in your home. Most homeowners wonder whether annual premiums are put to better use if they are set aside as emergency fund instead of being paid to warranty providers, hoping that they will come to the rescue if a breakdown happens. The question here is, what if the annual premium is paid and no claim is raised in that year? This article will address the question in detail.
A home warranty company maintains a network of technicians and service vendors, who are dispatched to a customer’s house as and when a claim is raised. The customer is often charged only a service call fee and not the entire expense of fixing a damage. Here’s how home warranty benefits the homeowner–
What they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Don’t you think it’s worth?
Many homeowners have expressed concerns about the annual premium that is paid for a year in which no claim was made by them. However, what they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ worth of home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Minus a warranty, an average repair cost would be around $500-$1000 for a typical household appliance. Replacing would definitely cost more, sometimes several years worth of annual premiums.
As you can see, annual premiums seem like a very small fee in comparison with the amount you would have to pay if an appliance breaks down.
Let’s take an example of a typical homeowner, we’ll call him Mr. Bond. Mr. Bond believed that setting aside $400 every year for emergency repairs would make more sense than purchasing a home warranty plan. Three years into this practice, his HVAC unit decided to call quits. Mr. Bond asks around and finds out (to his dismay) that a high end HVAC system would cost around $5,800. He had saved up around $1200 and all of that wouldn’t help him get a new one.
Had the story been different and if Mr. Bond had opted for a home warranty instead, he could’ve had the replacement done at a fraction of the cost.
The only time it doesn’t make sense to opt for a home warranty over saving that money is when your house and the appliances in it are new. As a rule, home warranty is only recommended for folks whose house and its contents are over four years old. If you belong to this category, then the chances of your appliances or systems breaking down are low. So paying annual premium to a home warranty provider may not make sense, especially when many of the appliances at your house are still under warranty.
If you meet any of the conditions mentioned below, buying a home warranty will likely provide you with budget protection and not to mention, feeling of confidence. Here are the parameters-
If you meet any one of the above mentioned conditions, you will probably benefit from an appliance warranty. As long as you go with a company that is reputable, you should find yourself with nothing but pleasant outcomes.
If you are still unsure, we suggest that you look into our guide for home warranty buyers. Once you do that, you may want to look at some of the best home warranty companies in the country to get things started. Should you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to holler at us. Cheers!
Home Warranty or appliance extended warranty are basically insurance policies for the appliances and systems in your home. Hope you never have to employ them, but glad you have it when your appliance breakdown. With cost of service & electronic components, your repair bill could end up being the same as the price appliance was bought for.
This article will help you in deciding on what is more pertinent, buying a home warranty or extended warranty.
Home Warranty – Valuing Your Possessions
‘Home Warranty’ is typically provided by the builder to a new homeowner. This covers major household appliances and systems such as washing machine, refrigerators, gas system, central heating and plumbing. Remember, you are only covered if the failure of the appliances or systems is not a result of mishandling or misuse.
Extended warranty, as the name suggests is usually purchased for a specific appliance(s) or system(s) for a definite period. This warranty is generally provided by the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or any of their subsidiaries or partners. Extended warranty begins once the standard warranty on the product expires and comes with a cost.
The least you must be expecting from a warranty on a new appliance is one year on parts and labor. This home warranty cover flaws in parts and workmanship for that year. Generally this warranty will be on site service except for smaller units that may have to be transported to the nearest service centre at the owner’s cost for repair.
This warranty generally starts from the date the appliance was purchased, delivered or installed.
Appliance warranties may or may not cover “cosmetic” or “customer instruct” claims. Cosmetic claims might be a scratch, broken plastic trim piece or knob. Some manufacturers will cover these claims for the first 30 or 60 days. Customers instruct calls can include installation issued calls or operation calls which will also be covered for the first 30 or 60 days.
Limited warranties are extended warranties on specific parts of your appliance. These limited warranties are stated in owner’s manual and have fine print, so ensure you read them carefully. Most of the limited warranties offer the part free of cost, the customer may be asked to pay for labor.
Below are some examples of limited warranties.
Parts replaced under a limited warranty will not increase the warranty period. Generally they will only be assured for the remaining life of the original product’s warranty period.
Lastly, these extended warranties or any appliance warranties are not transferrable to a second owner so keep this mind while buying or selling a pre-owned product.
When repairs on appliances are needed, they can be pricey. Here is a list of appliance types and some repairs that we think might call for a purchase of a repair contract.
When a major problem occurs, specially a built-in appliance, it may not be easy. Some built in appliances are not uniform in size and cabinet work may be required to replace this appliance. In this case, getting the appliance repaired may be expensive. Contract would definitely be best for this case.
Many modern day appliances have electronic controls. If you live in an area that is prone to power outages, surges or fluctuations, electronic appliances have a bigger danger of being damaged. Most electronic boards are not low-priced to replace, as some cost well over $300 for the part alone. In this case, an agreement would perhaps be wise.
Majority of gas ranges use electronics for control and ignition of the gas. These parts need service or replacement through the life of the stove. Glow bar igniters in your oven are not hard to replace but the cost for these parts are $50-$150. Control boards cost generally from $100-$250. With these costs alone, you can purchase an agreement.
Standard gas ranges require fewer repairs. These stoves are very simple and can run for a lifetime without a repair. Moreover, of gas stoves can still be used even if you have a power outage. In this case, agreement is not recommended.
For electronic, self-clean, glass top stoves, a contract is always recommended. Parts on these stoves are usually pricey. Elements alone can cost almost $200; glass tops can cost $600, and controls up to $250.
In case you are purchasing a simple, basic coil type stove, repairs are fairly low-priced. In most of the cases these repairs can be done by the homeowner and he/she shouldn’t be worried about a repair agreement.
Gas dryers must be serviced by skilled technicians only. Sometimes heating problems are difficult to diagnose and can be dangerous if not corrected properly.
Do your homework BEFORE buying home warranty or extended warranty for your appliances or systems. Understand the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract, specially its limitations.
Be sure you know:
Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcomed surprises!
‘Extended Warranties’ usually mirror your original home appliance warranty, offering repair, service and replacement of major systems and appliances within home that breakdown. Extended warranties can be provided by the manufacturer, the dealer where you purchased it, or third party. Manufacturers will generally let you procure an extended warranty at the time of purchase or during your warranty period. Since these warranties are offered by who made your appliance, so the service will generally be provided by the same people who provide the warranty work.
These service companies usually have the proper training for your appliance and are more knowledgeable about your appliance. Dealer extended warranties will either service your appliance themselves or use an approved service provider. Either way, the service company must be trained for your appliance similar to the manufacturers extended warranty contract.
Third Party extended warranty is generally managed by a national company. One more thing that you should keep in mind is that some credit card companies extend the manufacturer’s warranty by a full year when you pay using one of their cards.
Home warranties are all the time, a third party company and are a bit different than extended warranties. These warranties cover your entire home which includes plumbing, HVAC systems, electrical appliances and other items. The cost related with these home warranties is based on the items that are actually being protected and on the type of deductible or service fee you sign up for.
Home warranties can be procured any time without any age restrictions or an inspection of your home and equipment. In addition, sellers, builders and real estate agents provide these home warranties when selling their houses.
These home warranties need to be read very carefully. Home warranties have the most omissions and generally the highest deductible cost to the homeowner.
There are dozens of home warranty companies which do not perform the work themselves. They sub-contract all the work out to independent, generally local, service shops of all types.
Gardening is a pleasurable activity! Starting a new garden is truly thrilling but before you go for it, first decide where the garden should be and what you want to grow. Setting up ahead for your garden is very important as it will save time and money.
The price of everything is going up these days and you are likely for some ways to save money. A vegetable garden is a great start in doing that. A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) study recommends that one tomato seed can grow as much as $50 worth of tomatoes!
If your path of option to savings is a vegetable garden and you are new to gardening or have little experience, then you have come to the correct place. When you are just getting started, gardening can be scary. How do you even know where to start? Here are some basic tips that can make vegetable gardening more fun, more productive and certainly help you produce fresh veggies, fruits and herbs.
If you are all set to think about a vegetable garden, keep in mind this—it’s better to be proud of a small garden than to be bothered by a big one!
One of the frequent errors for beginners is planting too much too soon and way more than anybody could eat or want. Unless you want to have zucchini taking up residence in your attic, plan carefully. Start small. To know more about this check out Home And Garden guide.
The answers to these queries will help you with your garden planning and it’s important to know these things before you start digging in.
Beginning gardeners can take the chance to learn about gardening and different plants to raise. When you get pleasure from your first harvest, you will feel a sense of delight knowing that the plants you lovingly cared for produced so well. Whether you pick flower gardening or a vegetable garden, you can perfect your gardening methods year after year and get even better outcomes.
Identify which types of plants do well in your area. Planting perennials and annuals in the same garden generate flowers during most of the year. To learn about the plants that will flourish in your area, visit local nurseries and home-improvement stores that sell them. Many of them have gardeners to assist you make the right alternatives.
The best tool a beginner gardener can purchase is a pair of garden gloves. This will protect your hands with painful blisters caused from the friction of the garden tool handles against your skin. Other tools you will require are a rake, hoe, shovel, hose, clippers and sprinkler. In case you are planning to have a large garden, think about a tiller or a tractor. If you don’t want to procure one, rent one or hire someone to cultivate your garden.
Sketch your garden before trying to actually start it. An experienced gardener or your local nursery can help you, or do study online to help you get started. Knowing which plants or flowers attract butterflies and bees may be useful. Keep in mind that tall plants block the sun from smaller plants until they are tactically placed. Inquire about beneficial insects and herbs as a means of pest control in the garden. Know which area of your property is best suited for the types of plants you want.
Careful preparation of soil is essential for a healthy garden. Take out all rocks from the area with a rake, and decide which nutrients are needed. Prior to planting, remove weeds and grass and fertilize with chemical fertilizer or manure. Have pine straw, wood chips or hay bales ready for mulching. Once you have ended preparing the soil, it’s planting time.
Don’t jump in too fast; begin with a few varieties of vegetables or flowers. Pick healthy looking plants with no traces of disease. The plants will be labeled with directions regarding water & light requirements, planting depth—follow the instructions closely. Don’t plant ahead of time in the spring to lessen the chances of losing your garden to snow or frost. Consider the size requirements of your plants.
Water your garden properly. Normally, you must water the plants daily the first week, every other day for the second week, and at least once a week after that, enabling a strong toot system to be established. Be cautious not to over water.
Lastly, begin small start with plants that are easy to grow. This way you will avoid situations where the joy of your new hobby is substituted by frustration. Most prominently, relax! There will be successes and failures, but half the fun of gardening is learning as you grow!
Buying your first home is a daunting thought. This article provides a list of things you need to know before purchasing your first home.
So you’ve saved and saved and now you’ve decided to bite the bullet and try to enter the property market. No matter where you are — Sydney, one of the most expensive cities in the world, or the country, looking for a small cottage — laying down most of your savings, and a large amount borrowed from the bank can be daunting. It’s not just the commitment to pay it off for the next 20+ years that can weigh heavily on your mind in the lead up to signing on the dotted line, it’s the added expenses, like land tax, stamp duty and home insurance that all need equal consideration. Then there are other optional expenses such as appliance warranty that come into play later on. Although they are option, a home service contract and its benefits are totally worth the money. You may want to read about how to determine whether a homeowner needs home warranty.
If you’re preparing to take the big step, have a look at five ‘must-knows’ before getting started.
One of the biggest things people don’t realise when buying their first home, is time plays a big factor in the whole process. From deciding to buy, to getting your keys, to making your final mortgage payment, buying a house is a big investment time.
The first instance where time plays a role is finding a house — not always as easy as you think. The amount of properties on the market at any one tie depends on the time of the year. And even if the property market is strong, and there is a lot to choose from, finding something you’re happy with, and can afford, can take months.
After finding your home, and choosing a bank, settlement — the period after signing the contract, and waiting for keys — is a long stretch. Before and during this period, be prepared to run to the bank a lot,to the agent, to your solicitor and back again.
Your bank loan
This is one of the biggest concerns for most people — borrowing hundreds of thousands and committing to repayments for the foreseeable future. Rest assured, you have some control. Ensure you don’t just go with your bank because you’ve always banked with them, see several bank managers and get several quotes before committing. Ask not just for the interest rate, but the comparison rate, which includes additional fees and is a more realistic Idea of what you’ll be paying.
When buying a home, you need a solicitor. Buying seems like an easy thing to do, but behind the scenes, there are a lot of actions, searches and checks that need to be performed before you can settle — your solicitor takes care of this for you. The best idea, if you haven’t used a good solicitor before, is to use someone recommended by a friend — then you know you can likely trust them, their advice, and their commitment to your purchase. Ask them as many questions as possible, and determine how much their services will likely cost before getting started.
Importantly, before agreeing to exchange contracts, have a full building and pest inspection (or a strata report search) conducted on your property. While a property may look good upon inspection, it’s difficult to know any faults of ongoing problems without having a professional look at it first. While this is an additional cost, it could save you a fortune in repairs later, or worst case, paying for a property that can’t be lived in.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that paying your deposit, the balance of rates, bank and solicitor fees and building inspection are the last of the costs. Beyond this, you will need home and contents insurance, often mortgage insurance, stamp duty and other fees associated with your loan. Remember to save more than just the deposit to get over the line, and work out completely what you expect to pay before you decide to purchase.
Building insurance is a type of insurance most people don’t know enough about. This is the cover that provides for dealing with storm damage, accidents, malicious damage and a range of other things most people understandably prefer not to think about at all if they can help it. Building insurance is a type of “catchall” insurance, which covers damage to buildings which can run into very heavy costs for owners. So how do i insure a building? Read this article to get clear insight about building insurance.
Buildings and risk management
This is a very versatile type of insurance, and it needs to be. Building damage can include some extremely difficult, capital-intensive issues that owners have to deal with quite regularly. It’s a form of investment protection, very common in commercial properties, to deal with the risks of businesses. If you own several million dollars worth of building, you need to know you’re properly covered.
The fact is that any type of building ownership includes a lot of basic risk management by definition. If you own rental properties, you’ll be well aware of the possibilities of damage from various sources, and the fact that premises really need to be maintained. Damage has to be fixed, and if that damage isn’t adequately covered, it’s money out of pocket upfront, a loss in any terms unless you have a very good homeowners insurance policy.
That’s not good business practice, and it’s exactly what building insurance is designed to deal with. For homeowners, the issues may be different, but the principle is the same. If you’re paying off a mortgage, and the budget is looking a bit fragile, the last thing you need is building damage running into thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. That whole scenario has to be covered, and covered properly.
Building insurance basics
The best approach to building insurance is to take a long hard look at your needs and then start shopping around for insurance that covers your needs. You’ll probably be surprised to hear that online buildings insurance is quite easy to get, complete with upfront quotes and adjustable cover, which can be tailored to your needs. This is the new paperless insurance, bureaucracy-free to the extent that it’s possible to be, and it’s getting a lot of market share because it’s highly efficient for both private and business purposes.
The shopping around needs to include:
Buildings insurance is easy to get and easy to manage. Stay in front of the issues, and your cover will do the rest.
Since you searched for this online, it is possibly true that you are frustrated beyond possible limits, because your Insurance Company, that you hired to make your life easier, is in fact annoying you. Let’s not waste time, this article explains the strategy that you must adopt in the event that your Insurance company acts tough on your claim.
Let’s take you over the essentials first. The points that follow must be adhered to , otherwise you stand a chance to lose the fight against the Insurance company.
Gather all the information you can regarding your damaged device eg Manufacturer’s name, model no, batch no, claim center’s details, basically anything that is required. You should have them ready before you call up the Insurance Company. Keep the info that you gathered in the same place, this is will make accessing them easier. Keep your policy booklet and contract ready as well.
Once you have gathered all the required information, call the Insurance company. It is suggested that you don’t place your call on Mondays as it is the busiest day of the week. You should keep records of the following:
Remember that being rude is not going to reap any rewards. The Representative on the other end of the line is possibly more frustrated than you are as they have to deal with annoyed customers like you all day.
If you follow the above two rules, you might get a positive response from the Insurance company soon. But there are cases where even good manners and genuine claims fall on deaf ears. If you are experiencing something like that, read on.
Call them up at a later time: This may help if the representative you talked to is a kind fellow. Or they may decide to help you just so that you stop annoying them with constant calls. Give it a try.
Speak with a supervisor: We are not sure how much this would help, but it is still worth a try.
Threaten them: Yes, you read that right. You probably had thought about it already. First, tell them that you had been a loyal customer and that you will be disappointed if your issue is not resolved. If that does not work, threaten them by telling them that you will terminate your contract if your grievances are not solved immediately. When you do this, they will ask you why you want to terminate your contract. Proceed on telling them how your constant pleas and calls were ignored.
Threaten them some more: It might be helpful if you threaten them by saying that you will tarnish their reputation by bad mouthing them. Declare that you are going to publicise the details of how you were treated and you can even tell them that you will announce the same through various social media.
BBB: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one such institution that mediates between the customers and the businesses to resolve issues. Place a complaint with them . The BBB is not a government run organization, however they are advocates of integrity and ethics. They do keep records of all the complaints. No institution wishes to be in the bad list of the BBB.
Attorney General’s office: If you genuinely feel that you are being victimized, you can complain to the Attorney General’s office. They will conduct enquiries and try to resolve the issue. If you do not wish to do this, then simply threaten the Insurance Company by telling them that you will complain to the Attorney General’s office.
Last resort: The lawsuit threat. This should not be used unless your case is that compelling. Most biggies in the Insurance field have their positions covered legally and you may lose unless you have a strong case against them.
American Home Shield is one of the most widely acclaimed and also the biggest player in the home warranty industry. With over 40 years of experience in caring for its patrons, AHS has established itself as a leading home protection plan company. While the company is highly reputable, there have been cases where lawsuits were filed against the company and some of them have resulted in AHS agreeing for settlements. One such lawsuit against American Home Shield resulted in a settlement, even though the company did not admit any illegal behavior or liability in the settlement.
During the settlement of two lawsuits against AHS in which the company was accused of paying kickbacks to real estate brokers to promote their service plans, the company was allegedly trying to protect the brokers and agents from any legal responsibilities.
On that subject, American Home Shield, the nation’s largest provider of home warranties, has stated that the payments they made to real estate brokers to market its products, did not violate the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA.
The company admitted to no wrongdoing but has currently agreed to pay up to $26 million to determine allegations that the payments violated RESPA.
AHS put an optimistic spin on the settlement and released brokers and agents involved from any form of liability. This supported the company’s position as its current broker compensation program; ProConnect is in accordance with RESPA guidelines and regulations.
About 500,000 homebuyers and sellers who procured warranties between May 27, 2008, and March 4, 2011, may be qualified to collect an average of $52 each under the terms of the settlement.
Edleson v. American Home Shield filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court in San Diego in July 2007. The California court declined a proposed settlement of Edleson v. American Home Shield, which would have formed a review desk for homeowners to resubmit earlier denied claims.
The court hearing the Edleson case expressed concern that AHS would have the right to readjudicate claims, and the consumers included in the settlement would be giving up “possible” and “realistic” rights in exchange for the hope that a defendant that has supposedly not acted on good faith” before”, would do so.
After the proposed Edleson settlement was declined, American Home Shield reached tentative settlement in Faught v. American Home Shield, which also called for a review desk for consumers to resubmit claims.
The proposed Faught settlement was opposed by 24 homeowners and by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
The settlement was the outcome of a class-action lawsuit filed by Laura and Steven Faught against AHS in support of people in the US who procured or were issued a home service contract from AHS on July 24, 2001 throughout October 19, 2009. As part of the agreement, AHS decided to set up a review desk to reflect on claims from settlement class members whose claims were declined during the class period.
The Faught lawsuit suspected that American Home Shield engaged in a pattern and practice of failing to accomplish its contractual responsibilities to its customers. This includes declining to provide repair and replacement services to which its customers were entitled and also inappropriately denying claims in the first year of a customer’s home service contracts for “lack of maintenance” (from the Notice of Class Action and Settlement; faughtclassaction.com).
In spite of entering into a settlement, AHS has denied any misconduct or any legal responsibility. However even this claim no of wrongdoing has not prevented a different lawsuit against them. This lawsuit also alleges that American Home Shield was unsuccessful in paying for its customers’ claims.
The complaint, filed by Brigette and William Guadet, on June 23, 2011 according to The Louisiana Record (June 30, 2011) alleges AHS of denying claims made by class members under grounds of “lack of maintenance, pre-existing condition, or failure to clean, in spite of not examining the appliances when policies are issued.”
In addition to this, the lawsuit alleges that AHS denies claims because of negligible uncleanness, even if external factors were the cause of the appliance’s breakdown. Plaintiffs allege that contractors were given an additional benefit for declining legal claims. The lawsuit claims violation of agreement and fake misrepresentation. Plaintiffs seek damages in excess of $75,000.
In the meantime, consumers of other home warranty companies have filed lawsuits of their own or may be looking into possible lawsuits, suspecting that their claims were denied improperly.
The 2008 Abney v. American Home Shield lawsuit alleged that the company violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act through its compensation of real estate brokers with regard to the sale and marketing of home warranties.
American Home Shield strongly denied the allegations made in the lawsuit and chose to resolve the suit due to the potential costs in defending the case. Details on the resolution of this case are available at www.abneyclassaction.com.
The Bottom Line
According to D. Frank Davis, a lead attorney for consumers in both the Abney and Faught cases, the Faught settlements is more favorable to all the class members in a lot of important ways.
Under Faught, individuals whose rejected claim incurred in the first year of their contract and involved a heating or air conditioning unit are likely to have their claim paid on reconsideration because of specific language in the settlement about the standards to be used by the review desk. All the other claims resubmitted are also likely to be paid this time because of the negotiated penalty provisions.
Well, technically it isn’t winter yet, but like the Starks say – “Winter is coming” and as a homeowner, you better be prepared for it. If you live in a region which sees subzero temperatures and biting winds, your house, and its contents could be in trouble. While snow covered trees and angelic white surroundings may look pretty, the potential damages that cold temperatures can cause to household appliances are no fun. Frozen water in the plumbing, malfunctioning humidifiers and the scariest of them all – broken radiators which means no heat! Many things could go wrong and if that happens in the dead of the winter, you could be in trouble. So before the winter sets in full swing, here’s a checklist of things you must get done.
This step cannot be skipped, more so if your home is 4+ years old. The outdoor pipes face the biggest perils as they can easily have water freeze inside them causing grave damages. Like you learned in school, frozen water expands and this means that the pipe could burst if water has frozen inside it. Needless to stay, a burst pipe is not an ideal thing during Christmas season. Your septic piping may also need your attention. Clogged sewage or burst pipes within the sewage system are nightmares.
To prevent plumbing issues, here are some things that you could do –
Unless you want to freeze to death, inspecting your HVAC unit or even better, getting a professional to check and run a maintenance routine is highly recommended. We have a dedicated HVAC maintenance checklist which you MUST go through to prevent possible breakdowns. Some things you could do to ensure smooth running of your HVAC unit are –
Winters require your heating systems to work overtime and sometimes even round the clock. Even if they are in their best shape, here are some signs that could indicate that the system will become faulty soon. Watch for –
If you see any of these signs, have a professional look at the system right away.
Roofs often get the worst of it as they are constantly exposed. Roof tiles may crack or even break if the climate gets that harsh. Such cracks and breaks allow water to seep into your attic and disturb the temperature of your house, or worse, cause further cracks and breaks. It might be a good idea to get your roof inspected. If your roof sustains extensive damages, the repairs could cost you an average of $600.
Some DIY checks you could do are –
Fireplaces were the first heating arrangements that civilized humans used. They are fairly inexpensive to maintain when compared to HVAC units. Before winter sets in, it might be a good idea to give your fireplace a thorough cleaning. The general rule of thumb is that the fireplace must get cleaned once a year, ideally before the winter. A lot of ash and other fuel residue tends to accumulate within the fireplace which could lead it to function badly.
If you use gas, your fireplace will be considerably cleaner. However, there is always the risk of debris or leaves that fell through. Wood fireplaces may need a routine check from a professional.
Most American homeowners swear that an appliance warranty plan is the best strategy for budget protection. Any unexpected repair cost will get covered as long as the damage was caused due to normal wear and tear. Of course, for damages caused due to natural hazards or perils, you’ll need a homeowner’s insurance and not a home warranty. While both plans are designed to cover repair and replacement costs, homeowners insurance and home warranty are quite different from each other.
During winter, especially in regions where the temperatures drop really low, the risk of appliances getting damaged rises significantly. So, if you are not a home warranty customer already, you may seriously look into getting one. It could help you save thousands of dollars in the long run.
Maintaining a house in good working order, especially when the climate gets harsh, is no easy feat. Which is why you need to go through our home maintenance checklist and execute the steps in it to ensure that you have a warm and cozy winter. The festive season is just around the corner and nothing spoils our mood more than faulty appliances. Keep your home warranty ready and you’ll have your peace of mind. Have a good winter!
Do you possess a home warranty program? Chances are, if you are a new homeowner, you likely do. But after you have been in your home for a year, you are likely speculating if you should renew your home warranty or not. So many families get themselves in the same situation and expectantly this article will be able to offer you some help.
In all possibility, when you bought your home you obtained a home warranty covering a range of items in your home, i.e. roof, air conditioner, appliances, heating and plumbing systems, possibly your spa/pool etc. If you had a great Realtor he or she can get the seller to pay for the warranty. So here you are approaching date and questioning if you should renew it or not.
Firstly all you should ensure that you inspect your situation properly. This means that you must be careful not to purchase too much insurance or procure coverage for items that you don’t have. So many times, people buy coverage for things like home telephone wiring when they don’t even have a home phone or landline any longer.
For some people, they do not have sufficient money in their savings to pay for a major system repair like a HVAC system. That’s the same thing as a heating or cooling system. You also require making sure that you only purchase coverage for your heating and cooling system if you don’t need for your kitchen items and refrigerator covered as well. Or in case you are not bothered about the AC going out, you may only require coverage for your other major systems and appliances.
Majority of first time home buyers get to the end of that first year and feel like they want to take the chance on not having a system to be unsuccessful. And the reality is, many of them won’t. But for some people anything that can happen will happen if luck is involved. So for them making the choice to renew is a no brainer.
We all are familiar in these economic times coming up with $350 to $600 is a lot of money for most of us. If you certainly did not have to pay for the initial coverage, then there is a doubt that you paid much attention to the cost of your home warranty. No doubt, you had to pay the $50 – $55 service call if you had one and that likely felt like a fine deal, particularly if you had something major go wrong like your hot water heater going bad. Maybe you didn’t have any service calls at all and now you are faced with this renewal expense and there’s a good chance you’re saying “I don’t think so”.
For people who reside in older house, age is definitely a factor to consider. How old are your appliances, your AC and heat pump, the filter motor for your pool, hot water heater, your roof, garage door opener and some of many other things that a home warranty can cover.
You must also factor in the additional costs of the service calls; they have a means of adding up if you have 3 – 4 of them in a year. These certainly are costs over and above the cost of the warranty itself. Study the fine print of your policy before you renew to be sure the items that you may be worried about are really covered. Some of the items you desire to be covered are not in the standard policy but are considered “optional coverage and have supplementary fees. You may have more than one surprise and can be very disappointed if you find out the warranty did not cover “that specific” item.
The additional thing, as a homeowner, you must know that if you don’t have an existing home warranty you can always acquire one. These companies don’t just cater to the new home buyer of a resale home. You can procure a home warranty any time, but you recognize that there will be a 30 day waiting period for it to go into effect.
One way to deal with the query of your right to renew is to just ask the contractor you work with, whether it’s a real estate professional or a home warranty company. If the home warranty that is being offered to you for consideration does not permit you to renew without the company’s consent then you must compare that service contract to others which would allow you to renew freely. It is never a benefit to have a home warranty contract that does not guarantee your right to renew. Actually you risk a lapse in service coverage if you purchase a home warranty that does not guarantee you the permission to renew. Your next home warranty might not provide you instantaneous coverage after buying it, which would leave you with a period which any repairs required, would be 100% out of pocket.
It might appear like you are getting ahead of yourself by distressing about the renewal of contract you might not be interested in renewing. Although you just give yourself the choice of renewing you are better off than being refused or canceled renewal. Never let your policy lapse. You can continue renewing your policy for the period of time in which you own your home, except if you have had lapses in coverage.
Established in 2006, HomeWarrantyReviews.com is one of the leading websites when it comes to Home Warranty information, guides, reviews, and customer assistance. With extensive lists of companies sorted by states, cities, rank and rating from across the country, the website is your one stop for all the information you need when it comes to Home Warranty. Besides the comprehensive information which has been accumulated through the years, HomeWarrantyReviews.com ranks companies based on their excellence and presents them each year with Home Warranty Awards.
Home Warranty Awards were started in 2012, spanning three categories – Top Rated, Best in Customer Service and Best Regional Company. This year’s awards see the addition of another category – the Editor’s Choice Award. The awardees are chosen based on the data collected during the year gone by. The process is entirely independent and utilizes an algorithm to analyze the information accumulated on the site.
The Home Warranty Awards for 2017 are out, and HomeWarrantyReviews.com proudly announces the recipients, acknowledging their excellence in the industry-
Giving the customers an edge and helping them take informed decisions regarding Home Warranty schemes and coverage, Home Warranty Awards play a role not only in assisting the client but also encouraging the Home Warranty Companies to keep their policies and services up to the mark and constantly improving.
The first category, Top Rated, is awarded to the company that has shown excellence when it comes to overall customer satisfaction, ranking high in everything from services and product maintenance to complaint resolution, policies, and outreach.
The Best in Service Award is presented to the Home Warranty Company that shows distinction and quality when it comes to handling customer complaint resolution, servicing of products, claims, and repair.
Reserved for companies that are localized in a specific state or region, the Best Regional Award is given to a company that does not necessarily have a wide client base across the country but has shown excellence in its own region.
The Editor’s Choice Award looks at the Home Warranty Company’s overall rating as well, focusing on specific excellence in fields that show the company’s quality.
The selection process is rigorous and relies on information that is provided through research and analysis. Special focus is given to customer reviews and satisfaction as through the years, HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a database of more than 35,000 customer reviews. At the end of each year, companies are nominated under each category of the Home Warranty Awards and then subsequently the awardee is selected.
Companies are nominated based on a few basal requirements, regarding their customer base (at least 5,000 in number), years of experience (minimum of 5 active years in the industry) and coverage across the country (75% of the states of the US, not required for the Best Regional Award Category). Once these are met, the companies are screened by HomeWarrantyReviews.com for their standing when it comes to reviews, credibility, presence online and on social networks, accessibility and complaint resolution, satisfaction rate etc.
Set up primarily to bridge the gap between consumers and Home Warranty Companies, HomeWarrantyReviews.com is an independent site which through the years has created a platform for conversation, reviews and complaint resolution regarding Home Warranty. The user-friendly interface of the site gives you all the information you will need before and during your Home Warranty purchase and policy claims.
Providing you with data ranging from company lists and regional differences in warranty laws to pros and cons, do’s and don’ts – the website presents to you, objective data and subjective reviews, all just a click away.
Besides articles and reviews, the website is also equipped with tools and interfaces to maximize your research. From on the spot estimates through the Home Maintenance Calculator to a thorough and well supervised Complaint Resolution Program, HomeWarrantyReviews.com has developed a strategy to make sure you make your decision in a well informed and planned fashion.
Purchasing Home Warranty is most often a big decision, and just as every home differs, so does the appropriate policy and coverage for the customer. The Home Maintenance Calculator gives you a chance to weigh the pros and cons of your decision to purchase a Home Warranty policy, looking at it objectively in terms of maintenance costs with and without the warranty. By feeding in basic information about your home, its age, appliances in it and their condition, the Home Maintenance Calculator provides you with an estimate of your expenditure for repairs and servicing for the years to come. This cost is compared to how much a Home Warranty policy would cost you for the same period of time.
Besides age of the house and its appliances, the Home Maintenance Calculator also requires you to feed in the specific age of major appliances, electrical systems, heating systems and how frequently you have repairs done in your home. The resulting comparison will give you a reasonable idea of whether or not Home Warranty is for you, but make sure you supplement the estimate provided by the tool with adequate research before you pick your company, policy, perks, and claims. Also, keep in mind that state laws regarding Home Warranty vary across the United States, so it is important you check your region’s specifications before signing papers. State-wise laws and claim information is available on HomeWarrantyReviews.com as well.
The site also has inbuilt features to compare policies within and between companies, saving you from the tedious task of having to tally features and perks across different portals and websites. This is furthered added to by the State and City-wise listings which offer a comprehensive comparison of prices and policies as well.
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.
There are five types of warranties plans available such as manufacturer warranty, home warranty, seller’s warranty, extended warranty, appliance service contract etc. All the above mentioned terms are basically protection policies of your household appliances. All these warranty contracts are slightly different and we will get into them in just a moment. Please note that we do not cover homeowners insurance here but you can refer to the article that talks about home insurance and home warranty differences
Home warranty is a service contract on your home appliances and it covers repairs and maintenance of household machinery. Home warranty plan takes care of repair and replacement of all your insured appliances by the qualified service provider. This plan is also referred as
One of the basic thing people look for while purchasing any appliance or gadget is the warranty. A warranty is a kind of assurance provided by the manufacturer for the product and if the item does not meet the expectations then the insurance provider is bound to repair or replace the product within the stated warranty period. The standard coverage is generally for the period of one year. A warranty is a legal binding which means if the seller does not stick to their words, then you can legally file lawsuits against them.
These days all the online stores and offline stores are providing manufacturer’s warranty and the original bill along with the purchased product. The products shipped are also completely sealed and as good as what you can get from retail stores. You can extend the warranty for additional years if you desire, although it is not necessary in most cases. Generally, big ticket items such as HVAC units come with 5 years warranty, but the coverage will be limited to parts only from second year onwards. That means you will have to pay for the repair service.
Home appliance warranty companies generally do not cover an equipment when it is under manufacturers warranty.
Seller Warranty is also known as dealer warranty. The warranty is basically provided by the respective seller or the dealer of the products. Most of seller warranties last for the period of 6 months. In case of any sort of defect of malfunction of the product, you have to take the product particularly to the seller from whom you bought it.
You have an option to extend manufacturer’s warranty when it expires. It is recommended only for those appliances that are not covered by home warranty, such as laptop, PC, TV and other electronics.
You can also extend home warranty when your original plan expires. Usually the breakdown period of appliances starts just before or after your warranty expires because of its usability. If you want to avoid such hassles of contacting repair services, extended warranty service just makes things easier
Service contracts are also considered as agreement or protection agreements. Most of these are offered by vendors selling the appliance, a service company, or a third party service provider. Home service contractors are basically local, licensed, and insured team to provide service. The price, terms and coverage choices widely vary as these companies tend to be local service providers. The repair and customer service may also vary depending on the vendor. Make sure you thoroughly understand the contract before you sign it.
Do your homework before buying home warranties, extended warranties, or service contracts for your major appliance. Understand the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract, especially its limitations.
Make sure you know and understand:
Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcome surprises.
Hagerstown, Maryland is one of the prime cities in Western Maryland. The Hagerstown-Martinsburg urban area is home to almost 270,000 residents, while the Hagerstown suburban area has over 40,000 people and about 30,000 jobs. Currently, there are approximately 500 homes for sale in Hagerstown at a median listing pricing of nearly $180,000.
The top-rated realtors in Hagerstown are well aware of properties, neighborhoods, and newest for sale listings in the city. The experts can provide you with updated information about home buying and selling trends in Hagerstown. Below is the list of top 5 real estate professionals based on their recent activity, years of experience, and total sales volumes in dollars.
Tina is a Realtor with Exit Preferred Realty and licensed in Pennsylvania and Maryland. With an experience of more than three decades, she specializes in short-sale, consulting, and buyer’s agent. She is a proud Member of Pen Mar Regional Association of Realtors, Member of Metropolitan Regional Information System, Member of Realtors Association of York and Adams County, and Member of National Association of Realtors. Tina is an accredited short sales and foreclosure resource (SFR) as she knows how to help sellers maneuver the intricacies of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities. Tina understands that buying or selling a home is one of the most significant things you do in life and she assists in making the experience as smooth and successful as possible. Her extensive experience and expertise in the Hagerstown, Chambersburg, Fayetteville, Greencastle, Mercersburg, and Waynesboro real estate market benefit her customers in their buying and selling process.
If you want to buy a home, Tina and her team can help you find the home of your dreams by patiently listening to your needs. She works untiringly to find the right home so that no one has to compromise when it comes to such a huge purchase and decision! Besides, her real estate knowledge ensures that you get the best price possible for your property. Her strategic marketing program makes sure the right people view your home. Whether you are seeking Homes for Sale or Mortgage information, Tina and team are always available for service by phone, email, or appointments. Experienced in all facets of real estate, Tina enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, gardening, riding horses, and taking a hike.
“So if you or someone you know is looking to Buy or Sell a home give me a call. Thinking Real Estate! Think Tina Long!”
Joan possesses more than 33 years of experience in the real estate industry spanning across Residential and Commercial Development in the Washington D.C. Cosmopolitan Area, Property Management, and Certified Buyer and Seller Representation in the Western Maryland and South Central Pennsylvania neighborhoods. A consistent multi-million producer, she can assist first-time buyers and people scaling up or down with their home size or moving to a new area. Joan is skilled in all facets of real estate including but not limited to equestrian or farm properties, urban, suburban or rural homes, historic properties, primary or second homes, and Country Properties. Currently a part of the management team at Coldwell Banker Innovations, she operates mainly in Hagerstown, Boonsboro, Braddock Heights, Clear Spring, Funkstown, Sharpsburg, Chambersburg, Mercersburg, Greencastle, Waynesboro, Knoxville, Fairplay, Saint James and more. Joan believes that experience and understanding are priceless when purchasing or selling a home and hence she provides the right guidance to attain your real estate goal.
An alumna of the University of Buffalo, Joan is constantly acknowledged as one the area’s leading real estate professionals. She has served as President of PenMar Regional Association of Realtors providing guidance for the local membership to boost their abilities and opportunities to prosper through cooperation, participation, promotion of professional integrity and moral standards, and providing educational opportunities to further their careers. She is also engaged in teaching the Introduction to Real Estate licensing course at Hagerstown Community College. Joan has steadily maintained a multi-million dollar award winning sales position in the top 10% each year. She has won the following awards:
Call, email or text JOAN anytime with real estate queries you may have.
Mike has spent more than two decades working in the real estate industry serving the needs of both the residential and commercial market. He is a resident of the Frederick and Washington County neighborhood and displays an amazing sense of leadership and integrity in everything he does. Mike received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland University College and operates mainly in areas such as Hagerstown, Adamstown, Saint James, Brunswick, Boonsboro, Middletown, Smithsburg, Keedysville, Ijamsville, Williamsport, Maugansville, New Market, Point Of Rocks, Thurmont, Cascade, Cavetown and more. After spending his initial 17 years with Mackintosh Realtors, a local independent firm in Maryland, Mike established Atlantic Real Estate in January 2013 and since then is building a business model that incorporates the customary services expected from a real estate brokerage firm while combining state-of-the-art technology and advanced ideas. Atlantic Real Estate manages all aspects of real estate including property management, buyer & seller representation, real estate investor strategies & planning, professional marketing & sales, consulting & advisory services, land development, and new home sales & marketing. He established Atlantic Home Construction in 2015 after renovating & remodeling investment properties for many years. The company builds custom new homes and remodels existing homes for resale.
In 2016, Mike established Atlantic Companies, recognizing the void between the real estate and building industries. Atlantic Companies is comprised of a real estate division (Atlantic Real Estate) and a construction division (Atlantic Home Construction) along with other ventures. This allows both divisions to work together providing superior quality and long-term value, forward-thinking ideas, and honest customer care.
Mike’s commitment to work responsibilities sets him apart from the rest and has helped him achieve the following:
In addition, Mike has earned the following:
A licensed agent with Keller Williams Premier Realty, Karen serves neighborhoods such as Hagerstown, Clear Spring, Chambersburg, Fort Loudon, McConnellsburg, Mercersburg, Orrstown, Williamsport, Boonsboro, Shippensburg, Waynesboro and more. Whether working with a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, she believes in striving for excellence. Her specialties include short-sale, investors, senior real estate consumers, residential, distressed homeowners, luxury homes, listing agent, and relocation. After graduating from Mercyhurst College, Karen spent 25 years as a registered nurse in Erie, PA. When her husband relocated to the Cumberland Valley around 17 years ago, her 5 children were very young. Her passion for bringing the best to a community led her to get involved with the local Boy Scouts of America. She held numerous leadership positions such as Cubmaster and leading district training events. Later she also became a board member of the Mason-Dixon Council as Vice President of Cub Scout Program. Karen is a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award which is the highest Council award and her 4 sons have earned their Eagle Scout award. Her daughter is the pharmacist at the local Greencastle CVS and one of her sons is a pilot for the United States Coast Guard.
Karen’s expert skills along with hard working attitude and interest in marketing led her to pursue a career in real estate in 2004. In her very first year of service, she was awarded PenMar’s Rookie of the Year. Since then, she has continued to be a top volume producer. “Helping people with one of the biggest decisions of their life is such an honor. Being their advocate and making their move as easy as possible are my goals. People look to us for guidance with life changes and this is a responsibility that we cannot take lightly. I BELIEVE that Realtors who base their practice on the latest guidelines and marketing principles are “doing their best” for their clients and their client outcomes are then optimized.” Karen helps the first-time buyers by making them understand the assets and liabilities of a property. She believes that preparing the home for selling and staging the house are critical when buyers are so selective. Premium virtual tours are her specialty.
Finding Keller Williams, the second largest Real Estate Company in the US has been impeccable for Karen’s wish to be the best. Working at Keller Williams has offered her the following:
Karen has earned the following designations and certifications:
“My mission is to always “DO MY BEST” in providing professional real estate services to you the buyer or seller!”
Kari Shank is a full-time realtor with RE/MAX Achievers and licensed in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. She is keen in making your real estate transactions as seamless as possible. She is a permanent resident of Washington County, MD and also has great exposure to the Washington and Baltimore areas. Kari loves working with both buyers and sellers and always takes a tailored approach to the business. Besides, she works as a buyer’s agent emailing you with new listings, setting up custom home searches, negotiating deals, and setting up custom home searches on your behalf! She has a proven track record selling real estate and is available to you seven days a week to answer any of your concerns. Kari has a long list of clientele as she carefully listens to understand the goals and guides them through the complete process of selling their property from listing to sale.
With nearly 11 years of distinguished service, Kari has won the following awards:
Kari is mainly active in neighborhoods such as Hagerstown, Middletown, Smithsburg, New Market, Falling Waters, Boonsboro, Adamstown, Chambersburg, Shepherdstown, Brunswick, Clear Spring, Fairplay, Frederick, Keedysville, Maugansville, Myersville, Sharpsburg, Williamsport, Greencastle, Waynesboro, and Martinsburg. Her skills include sellers, buyers, first-time buyers, relocation, condos/townhomes, short sales, foreclosures, investment properties, and new construction. She is very active in the real estate community serving on the PenMar REALTOR® Association’s YPN Group and as a presenter at the Hagerstown Home Store. As a certified distressed property expert (CDPE), Kari is proficient in effective short sale negotiations. “If you must sell and the current value of your home is no longer enough to satisfy your mortgage a short sale can be a wonderful opportunity to avoid foreclosure. I have worked on many of these sales and would be glad to help you consider your options.” An alumna of University of Maryland College Park, Kari is interested in historic properties, music, photography, traveling, animal rights, and vegetarianism.
“Just tell me what you are looking for and I will search all of my sources and provide you with a convenient report of all the properties that you may be interested in complete with photographs of the properties and detailed neighborhood information.” Kari guarantees to advertise through multiple sources, competitive commission rates, and guides you through your next move! Call her today for more information on the current market.
It is not surprising that homeowners often wonder whether home warranty is more cost-effective than the actual repair expenses. Top home warranty review, rating, and comparison website, HomeWarrantyReviews.com has introduced Home Maintenance Calculator to better make an informed decision in purchasing a home warranty. There is also a widget code for all the realtors out there to use it on their websites and blog posts. This is a nice to have feature and sends out the right signal for all of the potential customers coming your way! (<iframe src=”https://www.homewarrantyreviews.com/home-maintenance-widget”></iframe>)
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.
Here’s an article to give you a clue about the best home warranty companies in Utah. The state that is defined by vast expanses of deserts and the Wasatch mountain ranges. Utah needs no further introduction. Its capital city, Salt City Lake, attracts many swimmers to its buoyant waters.
If you are a resident of this beautiful state or if you are planning to move to this state, then glancing at a list of the finest home warranty companies operating there is a must! This is what we intend to provide you through this article.
As you may know, we rate companies on the basis of user feedback received from actual customers. So in the order of ratings, here is a list of top warranty providers in Utah –
Let’s take a look at each company in more detail, shall we?
Also called as AHS, American Home Shield is one of the most popular home warranty providers in America. They are also the founders of the home warranty industry which means that there are few companies out there that have more experience than AHS. Over the years, they’ve developed plans and products which cater to the needs of buyers, sellers, homeowners and real estate agents alike.
The company offers a wide range of plans suited for most homeowners. All plans are reasonably priced and the annual premiums often range between $249 – $500+ and the deductible per service visit ranges between $65 – $125. The fact that the company is not just backed by experience but also by immensely positive user feedback, makes it one of the top competitors in Utah and the rest of America.
Considered as an innovator and people friendly company, The Home Service Club (HSC) is yet another popular choice among Utah residents for their home warranty needs. They serve 48 states across the country and have been in business for a very long time. HSC claims that the constant surveys and feedback they collect from customers helps them improve their products and services for the better.
Standard plans offered by HSC are designed to cover major household appliances and systems and are priced competitively. Customers are also free to customize their plans and add items from a list of pre-selected add-ons, enabling them to extend coverage as per their wish. Plans are priced around $400 on average and the deductibles are charged between $65 – $125.
With plans designed to prevent any homeowner from losing hair over unexpected repair and replacement costs, Select Home Warranty (SHW), has been a strong player in the home warranty scene of Utah for quite a bit of time. SHW also has a nationwide footprint so their services are not limited for Utah alone. All warranty products offered by SHW are highly praised by their customers and this has led to them being a popular choice among Utah residents.
SHW offers three main plans to their customers each based on different levels of coverage. Annual premiums range between $299 – $499 and all plans have a deductible of $45. Like most other companies on the list, SHW too has a round the clock customer service facility and also an online claims submission feature. All of this along with many, many positive reviews makes SHW a strong choice for home warranty products in Utah.
Landmark Home Warranty (LHW) is a company which has services in the states of Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon and Texas. Customers have often praised their services to be extremely user friendly. The primary goal of LHW is to provide exceptionally good services to all its customers.
LHW has 4 main plans to offer to their customers, each priced differently and having different levels of coverage. All plans come at a service call fee of $65 charged for each service visit. LHW also offers support to real estate agents to help with their clients. Apart from home warranty services, LHW offers re-keying and heater tune-up services too. The strong feedback from customers and their compelling plans makes Landmark a very sound choice for your home warranty needs.
HSA is a company with over 30 years experience in the home warranty industry. Headquartered in Wisconsin, HSA has quite an extensive coverage across USA. The company has claimed that their primary focus is on nothing other than providing great services to their customers. This is a company that has a wide range of products to offer. From agent programs, E&O insurance policies to live tools like seminars, HSA has more than home warranty plans to sell.
HSA’s primary product, home warranty plan comes in two variants, where the primary difference lies in the extend of coverage offered. Annual premiums range between $589 – $619 and the deductibles are charged between $75 – $100. HSA also has an online claims facility in addition to the 24/7 customer service wing which takes complaints no matter what time it is.
What we have provided you is a list of companies based on user reviews on our site. We urge our readers to go through some of the reviews and even take a list of Award Winning Home Warranty Companies. It is advisable that you do some extensive research on our website before making a choice.
Should you have any concerns, feel free to holler at us. Cheers!